After reading an article in eatdrink about the River Room restaurant, a fellow I know mused aloud whether there actually are “ladies who lunch.” Yes, I confirmed, indeed there are. In fact, I’m part of one such group and it’s been quite an adventure exploring a different local restaurant every month.
Now, women are often sociable creatures, so I imagine there might be quite a few groups who gather to gab and grab some grub. They might even refer to themselves as being those “ladies who lunch” as described. But it just so happens my group of ladies visited the River Room a few months ago, so naturally I wondered: might we be those “ladies who lunch,” the ones the astute writer had observed? Mind you, I was a bit surprised to see us referred to in the same sentence as, “the local who’s who, lawyers and judges, and the culinary set.” After all, some in the group call us the “chicks who chomp,” which might give you a different visual if you are trying to picture what we might look like.
You can’t miss us really. We’re often quite noisy. And silly. In December we almost had ourselves convinced to create a flash mob with Christmas carols in the market after our lunch at Tanakaya. Almost. But not quite, which is truly a shame since one of the ladies is a good singer and I’m sure she could have carried the rest of us, even those who insist being tone deaf. Tanakaya is well worth checking out by the way; the food is delicious and the owner, Flora, is quite good-natured if you happen to be with boisterous dining companions.
The previous month we had been to TG’s Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian restaurant on Dundas near Colborne St. We devoured our communal platter of food, delectable in its own right, but as always, the meal was made all the better by our spicy conversation and generous dollops of laughter.
Being part of the group has been a terrific way to get out and share experiences of the local restaurant scene, though not everyone turns up every month; but we do get to take turns choosing our next dining spot. Ethnic restaurants seem to be a popular choice, and we tend to pick places that are homegrown and can only be found here in the London region.
A few vegetarian selections on the menu are a must, but other than that, we don’t much care if we’re hobnobbing with the local who’s who or hanging out with the Bag Lady (another eatery, by the way, on our “highly recommended” list). Frankly, we’ll go anywhere if the food is good, the price is right, and there is enough room for six or eight or ten women of a certain age to settle in for a couple of hours. But don’t worry, we’ll be gone long before the evening crowd arrives. After all, we are the ladies who lunch … not the babes who brunch or the dames who dine.
KYM WOLFE is freelance writer based in London.