Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Obama "Bashert" (That's Yiddis... | War Is Bad »

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lunch Date: Personal Days

posted by on June 5 at 12:34 PM


(A few times a week, I take a new book with me to lunch and give it a half an hour or so to grab my attention. Lunch Date is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)

Who’s your date today? Personal Days, Ed Park’s debut novel.

Where’d you go? Peso’s, on lower Queen Anne.

What’d you eat?
The crab and avocado melt on open-faced English muffins ($11.75.)

How was the food? The reviewers on our review page are less than kind to Peso’s, and I can understand why. It’s kind of a young urban professionals meat-market. I’ve gone there twice at night—I had a friend who liked the staff—and it was a miserable experience, unless your ideal bar experience calls for endless shots. But the food, when I go for breakfast or lunch or happy hour, is usually good. And the crab melt was terrific. Though the motherfucker sure was rich: whole pieces of real crab and just-right avocado with cheese and a mound of fries, along with a mayo-chipotle dipping sauce. I’m just about set for the day, food-wise, I reckon. The server was polite and quick. I could’ve done without the classic rock soundtrack—for me, eating to the dulcet tones of Boston is slightly more appealing than eating a four-course meal in a bathroom—but I’d definitely come back for a fancy lunch.

What does your date say about itself?
Park was a founding member of The Believer. It’s about workers in an office who are starting to get fired with a terrifying frequency. There is a blurb from Helen DeWitt, the brilliant author who wrote The Last Samurai (no relation to the awful Tom Cruise movie), which was one of the best debuts of the last ten years: “With Personal Days, Ed Park joins Andy Warhol and Don DeLillo as a master of the deadpan vernacular.” I’ve never seen a blurb by DeWitt before. People in the book business refer to Park writing a lot of Nabokovian wordplay, also.

Is there a representative quote?
“Laars looks gaunt these days, his floppy hair hanging limp around his temples…He confesses to spending his evenings nursing Scotch before his computer at home, Googling himself until the wee hours. There’s a person out there who shares the same name, incredibly enough. Person or persons. He’s found himself in Appalachian hiking e-gazettes, antique typewriter societies, and University of Alaska alumni newsletters. I must destroy him, he says…No doubt he’s Googled everyone in the office, uncovering secrets nestled in the thirty-fifth screen of results. Jack II says that when you feel a tingling in your fingers, it means someone’s Googling you. We take to this bit of instant folklore immediately.”

Will you two end up in bed together? Yes. If you told me two weeks ago that I’d love a second book set in an office written in the first person plural this year, after Then We Came To the End, by Joshua Ferris, I would have slapped you in the face and called you Sally. But I do love it. (It helps that I’ve heard that it doesn’t keep up with the “we” narrator all the way through.) Park is coming to town on the 16th, and this is very exciting. I can’t wait to leave here tonight so I can finish the book.

RSS icon Comments

Posted by Sally (That Girl) | June 5, 2008 12:59 PM

Added to my SPL hold list. Thanks for the tip!

Posted by Levislade | June 5, 2008 1:04 PM

A few months ago at Pesos a guy in our party of 6 went outside to make a phone call (it was loud inside) and they wouldn't let him back in!! They told him to wait outside In The Line!! It was pretty outrageous - I mean the guy still had food on the table. We couldn't get ANY of the staff to budge on this either, including the manager, even when we explained that we just needed him to come back inside so he could pay his tab. The whole thing sucked and I'm never going back.

But hey, at least you had decent food and service, Paul. And keep up the lunch date posts, they're always fun to read!

Posted by bad night at Pesos | June 5, 2008 1:11 PM

The problem is that the dead and maimed are still dead and maimed and the Iraqi people are still suffering and dying. Dan had his fun promoting the war and ridiculing the anti-war folks. It was all just the usual Stranger/Slog everything is fair for abuse and snark routine. Now everyone-let's move on.

But, but-why should assholes like Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheny be treated with dis-respect and held accountable for supporting the war, and Dan Savage forgiven?

Posted by I've wasted three hours too! | June 5, 2008 1:15 PM

Who wrote this?
a)Dick Cheney
b)Rush Limbaugh
c)Dan Savage
d)John McCain
Answer: c-Dan Savage

"In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we're going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves."

Posted by I've wasted three hours too! | June 5, 2008 1:16 PM

Um, $11.75 for lunch?

Man, they pay you guys good.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 5, 2008 3:14 PM

Pesos: a little slice of Columbus, Ohio on Lower Queen Anne...

Dear Bad Night at Pesos commenter: all of the other people in your party should have went outside to make phone calls as well...either the dumbfucks would have let you all back in, or you would have had a free meal...

Posted by michael strangeways | June 5, 2008 4:14 PM

I love the food at Peso's. I hate the people who hang out there, and it's hardly ever worth it to try to go at night, but an early-afternoon brunch on the weekends? So good. It helps that the place is walking distance from my apartment, but even if it wasn't, I'd still eat there.

Posted by Aislinn | June 5, 2008 6:25 PM

Weekends - good tip, Aislinn.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 6, 2008 1:18 AM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.