This is my second visit to Shotgun and I’ve come at a bad time. It’s 3:45 pm on a Tuesday. There’s one occupied table in the place. I stand at the door, by the host’s table. I stand and stand and stand. No one comes. So I walk to the bar. There are three people behind it, busy unpacking things, cleaning. Even though I think I’m pretty visible, they don’t see me. But I swear to God I am pretty sure they know I’m there. They’re just not ready to talk to me.
A woman comes up the back stairs and sees me. She looks at me, oddly, and then looks at the people behind the bar. She does one of those head nod things to them. The “UM THERE’S SOMEONE HERE” head nod. The staff turn and look at me.
“Oh! Can I help you with something?”
“Uh, just wanted to have a late lunch and I’m pretty sure you are open all day, right?”
“Yes, yes, of course. Do you want to sit at the bar?”
All the tables are empty. Except for the one occupied one. I don’t want to sit at the bar. I have a big bag with me (Mulberry Sample Sale) and my handbag weighs 20 pounds and I just want to sit down and have some space. They let me sit down at a table.
A server drops by and takes my order. Pulled pork sandwich and a side of mashed potatoes. Although they don’t call them mashed potatoes. That’s fine. I just can’t remember what they’re called. I order a class of the house wine on tap too.
And I wait. And I wait. And I wait. They bring me my tap water. And I drink that, because I am thirsty. I am pretty sure they leave the bottle with me because I pour another glass, but later, the bottle disappears when I am not paying attention and I wonder why they would do that, take the bottle away. Because I still want water.
And I wait some more. And finally, they bring me my glass of wine. Finally. “Sorry for the delay,” they say.
And eventually, my pulled pork with a side of potatoes and two pickled okra arrives. I had joked about the lack of veg at Shotgun on Instagram a few weeks earlier. Green salad for you, or nothing. “You could have the pickled okra,” they told me. It’s not obvious on the menu. Next time, I will ask for a whole big portion because it’s great and okra is hard to get right.
And my pulled pork sandwich is great too. Although I am still not a fan of the bread, which is just too soft for me. Too wet. I need more structure. I mentioned this on Instagram too a few weeks back and Marina told me that she prefers the soft stuff.
I have never been one for white bread so consider that.
During my first visit to Shotgun, I had the brisket. It was fantastic. So get that. But the service was off then too. “We need the table back at 7,” they told us. “Yes, we know,” we told them. “We’re flexible so kick us out whenever.” The hostesses stood there at their stand, staring at us, willing us to leave.
The eye…the window to the soul.
(Later, the staff give us a glass of wine each, on the house, at the very narrow bar.)