On Saturday T & I went into the city for one of our best friend’s birthday dinner. The location of the party was L’esquina. This is one of those NYC restaurants which seems to have reached urban legend status... I’ve heard about it, but no one I know has ever actually been inside. The entrance is this very run-down looking taco shop, which has a marquee outside with missing letters. You go up to the hostesses in the back and tell them the name of your party, and they lead you through a dark hallway, down stairs, through the kitchen, and into a cozy dining room with chunky wood tables and designer pendant lights. I have no idea how far in advance our host had to book the table; months? Years? We arrived at 7:00 and the place was pretty empty, but by the time we left at 10:00 you could barely walk through the bar area.
The food was amazing... I’ve never had such excellent Mexican fare in my life. It’s what I imagine REAL Mexican food being like: lots of fresh ingredients and vegetables, excellent beef, cilantro everywhere, and lucky for me, nothing was very spicy (I could write pages on heartburn alone). This is definitely NOT one of those Mexican places where no matter what you order, they bring you a plate of melted cheese. Los Hermanos, you know who you are!
Anyway, it’s also supposed to be quite the celebrity hang out, due to it’s low profile and inaccessibility. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to bump into one of the rich and famous. On our way out, I headed to the bathrooms, which were indicated by a large WC on a sliding wood door. As I was going into one of the two doors, a man walked up to my friend M and asked if this was the line for the restroom. It was none other than Lance Armstrong. I headed into the bathroom, the whole time stressing that while I was peeing, someone would open the sliding door and Lance would catch me on the pot. I knew M was ahead of him in line, so there was a good chance she’d go into the adjacent bathroom and he would be heading into mine when I was done. I even tidied it up a bit: threw some TP that was on the ground in the trash and made sure the lid was closed. As I walked out he headed in, and I accidentally shut the light off with my shoulder.
I was surprised at how short he is; maybe 5’6”? This is my general impression when I see celebrities; they seem so small in real life. But other than that, he looks exactly like he does in magazines. He seems like a really nice, mellow guy (based on my 1.3 seconds of interaction with him). Overall, a pretty excellent star-spotting! And the perfect ending to a fabulous dinner with friends.