Friendship and Food
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet up with an old friend. Don’t get carried away with the word “old.” I’m just referring to the amount of time I have known her. We were able to rekindle the friendship and enjoy great food. Tara was a friend from High School and we also became roommates after college. As you can imagine, Tara and I had a lot of fun together back in the day and I mean A LOT.
Through the years, our lives have taken us into different directions, even though we live in the same city. Most of you can relate – families, kids, jobs, etc.. It’s no wonder I haven’t spoken to her in many years. We reconnected recently because of a death of a friend and Facebook provided us a resource to send condolences. I reached out to Tara directly and invited her and her husband out to dinner. After a few back and forths and follow-ups, we were able to set the plan.
We decided on a restaurant near our house in Pompano Beach, FL. Although I have been by this location on several occasions, I never noticed this quaint location in the neighborhood. The only reason I knew about this restaurant, Café la Buca, was because two different people I work with in Miami told me about it and they don’t even live in Pompano Beach. Other than hearing it was a preset menu and the food was good, we didn’t know what else to expect. When we pulled up, we noticed it was in a discrete shopping center. I have to admit; I was a little concerned about my recommendation by the looks of the outside. When we walked in, I was still a little apprehensive since the inside décor wasn’t overly charming.
My worry quickly faded when we received our first course. The food was absolutely amazing. This course was followed by three more meals served family style. We didn’t know the menu and each time food was delivered it was a wonderful surprise. During our experience, I noticed the owner walking around the restaurant and speaking with all the patrons, as if he knew them.
I was certainly surprised when he sat down with us and shared his story. Just nine years ago, Chef Marco was living in a car. He and his mother, “Momma,” started the restaurant and has built it from a tiny one-room Italian restaurant, to ripping down walls and making it the restaurant it is today. Not big but larger than a kitchen and a few tables in front. He also informed us, he now owns the shopping strip so I can only assume the restaurant is doing very well. This is a great story of coming from nothing and making a huge success out of very little. Chef Marco seems very humble and proud of what he has accomplished, as he should be.
This was also a great restaurant for Tara and I to reconnect. We had a lot to talk about: crazy things we did when we were younger, updates on our family, the food, and Chef Marco. It was also great to see that many years apart did not have an impact on our friendship. We were still the same people but just with a whole lot more responsibility. It’s interesting how a death, something so tragic, can reconnect people. Even though I wasn’t as close to the person as she was, the unfortunate event brought us together again.
What we always need to keep in perspective is life is so sacred and short. Stay connected to true friends, surround yourself with wonderful people, and enjoy at least one spectacular meal at Café la Buca, if you live near or around Pompano Beach, FL.