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The reunion before the reunion

Written by Chaz on 29 January 2012

After Thanksgiving in Washington, I headed back home to Philadelphia for my fifth high school reunion, which was a bit unreal. It wasn’t a real reunion — just basically an informal get-together at a bar in Center City — but it was supposed to be my class’ first time gathered together since graduation, and of course that’s bound to be an interesting experience.

At the end of my senior year of high school, I went out to dinner every Monday night with a few friends, including Gabi, who is no stranger to the checkpoint, and my friend Julia. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we obnoxiously called ourselves Monday Night Club. So before our class reunion, it seemed only fitting to have a reunion of our own. We chose Lolita, a Mexican restaurant on 13th Street.


Lolita is known for their BYOB margaritas: You bring the tequila and they do the rest. This results in every table having a bottle of tequila on it.


We started with a blood orange margarita with wild mint and moved onto a pineapple margarita. I’m not the biggest margarita fan, but they were definitely state of the art.

Dining with Monday Night Club was great from the blogging perspective, as our rules were always the same as the checkpoint’s: everything is shared and nobody can get the same thing as anyone else. We began our meal with a few appetizers: guacamole with chipotle and mango, served with different chips, including some plantain chips; a salad of beet, mango, arugula, sweet plantains and goat cheese; and fundido con queso y chorizo, essentially melted Mexican cheese with sausage and homemade corn tortillas.


Of those, only the fundido was particularly outstanding. The sausage was spicy and delicious, and even the cheese was something more unusual than your usual Mexican cheese blend. We moved on to our entrees: orange-ginger pork carnitas, served with pico de gallo, guacamole, and homemade corn tortillas; hazelnut-crusted duck breast with jicama-orange slaw; and my personal favorite, grilled mahi mahi with more chorizo sausage and a shaved apple salad.


Though I’m not usually the biggest fan of red meat, something about the combination of fish and sausage was really doing it for me. I continue to grow and learn to love seafood, and I think mahi mahi is among my favorite fish. The others were big fans of the duck, which was also very good.

Fortified by both the food and the margaritas, we headed over to the Black Sheep Pub for our class reunion, which was a very good time. It was strange to see high school friends in an adult setting, and hear about what everyone’s up to. But it was great to see people I hadn’t seen in forever.