Monday, February 12, 2007

Bird Man

Its aroma fills the street and changes peoples dinner plans upon first whiff. It sits in the window all warm and turning, glistening with humble goodness and flavor that will transform your house into a home. It is smaller than a breadbox but much cuter than a ham. It is the roasted chicken cooked a few doors down from the apartment. The meat jumps off of the bone and dissolves in your mouth in a bite of astonishing juicy perfection.

The restaurant is called La Embajada and the price is $7 for a perfectly roasted chicken. Every time we go in, Joe tips the man generously in smiles and dollars.

This weekend we went in and as we waited for our bird we told the man who works there, and who probably owns the place, how much we love his chickens. We gushed on and on because we wanted to and because we meant it.

He leaned over the counter and looked at us straight in the eye with an intense serious stare and told us in his softly lilting English, “Yes our chickens are the best, but they are no miracle, they come from hours of hard work. I have to watch my cooks carefully so that they do everything right.”

And there I stood loving his description and his gleaming poultry pride almost as much as I loved the chicken itself.


  1. I just love people who take pride in what they do. My parents always told me to be good at whatever I choose to do. If you are going to be a doctor than be a good doctor. If you are going to be a sanitation worker, be a good one. Obviously, this man autographs his work with excellence and his finished product is a reflection of his dedication. I bet he just loves what he does! Shouldn't everyone?

  2. Yes, that reminds me of this quote that I love:

    “Whatever you are, be a good one.”-Abraham Lincoln

    Oh and Happy Birthday Abe, thanks for the day off and the heaps of wisdom.