Thursday, March 12, 2009

Plabnox EpiCures

Plabnox Cures recently held a business dinner at E.R.A., an Ethiopian restaurant and bar in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood. Attendees included Dr. Prosperina Swinnard, co-CEO; and Harriett Griswold, personal maid.

Below: An aerial view of E.R.A.

After announcing to the bartender-waiter-host, “We’re here for Ethiopian food,” the Plabnox Cures delegation took seats at the bar (the sole seating option in the otherwise empty establishment) and admired the interior architecture of E.R.A., which provides one of the finest extant examples of the Moose Club aesthetic. The walls are paneled entirely in a dark, polished wood, upon which mysterious plastic numbers have been affixed: 2, 17, and so on; an unadorned rectangular bar equipped with a PA system occupies eighty percent of the restaurant floor; various white wires dangle from the ceiling and a few wires stapled to the walls accentuate the vertical wood panels.

The bartender took drink requests after the doctors stirred up the staff with an all-vegetables order for three. E.R.A. has a pay-as-you-go policy, so when Dr. Perofovich and Harriett ordered a cocktail and a beer, they were forced to surrender payment immediately. Dr. Swinnard requested a water, which arrived in a pint glass*.

While waiting for the food to arrive, the handsome TouchTunes jukebox caught the eyes of the doctors. They moseyed over to examine the song selections, and as they were debating whether to make a musical investment, the proprietor entered and plugged his iPod into the speaker system. The playlist, a combination of funk and mountain music, set the tone for his personal anecdote concerning an apparently recently attended AA meeting. As the flesh on his face shone and his gray hair bristled with ire, the proprietor growled at the bartender, “I just came from AA, and there was a real asshole there that I wanted to punch.” Soon afterwards, the proprietor and the bartender settled in to watch a baseball game on the TV located at the opposite end of the room, approximately 75 feet away from the doctors and Harriett, where they remained until and as the Plabnox patrons left.

*During the meal, Harriett ordered a water, which came in a highball glass, and later, when Dr. Perofovich ordered a water, it appeared in a cordial glass.

Above: The signature high-gloss varnish of the Moose Club design movement.

Above: It was standing room only at the bar.

Above: Diners at E.R.A. will encounter a whimsical take on portion sizing.

Above: A state-of-the-art combination bar and PA system is the crown jewel of E.R.A.

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