It was very crowded tonight, as if every couple in Boca Raton decided to eat out because it was a special occasion or even a holiday of some sort
So Bunny wanted to eat out at the Biergarten in downtown Boca Raton for dinner. Hey, I'm always up for German food. Why not? We arrive, and I start driving around the expansive parking lot, looking for a space, any space, to park the car. After driving around for some fifteen minutes or so, Bunny finally saw a sign for public parking leading into a parking garage.
And yes, it had public parking. Two spots, five levels up, marked “Reserved between 8am and 5pm.”
Now all we had to do was find our way back down to ground level. We tried looking for an elevator, but there were no obvious elevatory looking doors to be found. One level down we found an unmarked door in an otherwise featureless wall and I figured why not? It was unlocked.
It lead into an odd shaped corridor. About halfway down was another unmarked door in an otherwise featureless wall in an otherwise featureless odd shaped corridor. It was unlocked. Why not?
I walked through the door and found myself in Biltmore. What the … I thought. This is odd.
“I don't think we want this door,” said Bunny.
“Yeah,” I said, backing through the door and into the oddly shaped corridor. “I don't think we want that door.” I walked down the corridor a bit more, around a three-quarter turn to find yet another unmarked door in an otherwise featureless cul-de-sac. It too, was unlocked.
We walked through, down two and a half steps, along another oddly shaped corridor and found, yes, another unmarked door in an otherwise featureless cul-de-sac. Fortunately for us, this one actually lead us outside the parking garage somewhere in downtown Boca Raton. We started walking and after a bit, found ourselves along Federal Highway a few blocks north of the Biergarten.
Several minutes later, we arrived at our destination. Despite the serious lack of parking, the place itself wasn't crowded and we were able to get seats immediately.
“I smell smoke,” said Bunny almost immediately upon sitting down.
“Smells like pipe smoke. All the windows and doors are open,” I said, looking around the place.
“Must be coming in from the lounge area,” said Bunny. “Pardon me.”
“Can we sit elsewhere? The smoke is bothering me.”
“You can try over here.”
“Hmmm … no. I can still smell it. I'm sorry, I think we have to go.” Bunny is very sensitive to smoke.
“Maybe next time,” said Bunny as we left. The Biergarten is in a large shopping center and there were plenty of other restuarants within sight.
“There's an Indian place over there,” I said, pointing to a restaurant a few dozen yards away.
“Let's try it,” said Bunny.
I was a bit fearful as there were throngs of people milling just outside the restaurant. But the place was in a throng of restaurants in this section of the shopping center, so it was hard to tell if the Indian place was crowded or other restaurants were crowded and spilling out. We made our way into the restaurant and it wasn't completely crowded—there were a few empty tables.
And it smelled wonderful!
We stood there, waiting for a maitre d' or a host or a waitron or anybody who worked at the restuarant to notice us. There were plenty of waitrons rushing about, both inside and out, but for some reason, we were invisible. It got rather freaky when I intentionally stepped in front of a passing waitron and he just … appeared to pass through me? Around me? Somehow he ended up on the other side of me and kept on going.
By now, there was a sizable crowd of people waiting just inside the door with us, and just as invisible. None of the staff were paying any of us attention.
After a few minutes of being ignored, Bunny and I left. We decided to try one of the restaurants along Federal Highway that we passed, and that's how we found ourselves walking into Roots Italian Kitchen, a small place nestled between an Irish pub and a Vietnamese grill house. It was crowded, but not so much that we had to wait for a table. The service was professional, friendly and not too slow, not too fast.
And the food?
Too good to pause long enough to take a picture. Everything was fresh! Even dessert, which we could smell being made. And yes, it was wonderful.
And because Bunny and I ended up closing out the place, the owners gave Bunny a long stem rose and a piece of cheesecake, made fresh earlier in the day.
It was an amazing find.
All we had to do afterwards was locate the car, parked on the fifth level, in a parking garage, somewhere in downtown Boca Raton.