Stephen King once wrote, “Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant.” Not sure he ever saw the horror of working as a server or a cook though. There is something to be said about the friends you make while working in restaurants. Add in the small world we call Raleigh and you have a recipe for constantly seeing familiar faces wherever you may work or play. So the other night we finally decided to check out The Blind Barbour since it’s practically a stone’s throw from my house. Plus I had to name drop that I knew someone who works there; restaurant protocol. So a cocktail later, we figured why not venture to Taste since it is literally across the parking lot. It was like a mini Dixie Trail bar crawl if you will, minus the recently closed The Medlin. Thank God. Anyway, lo and behold, good ‘ol Leslie and Dean from my 18 Seaboard days were working at Taste. I can’t go anywhere without knowing someone. Born and raised in Raleigh tends to do that. A familiar face with who you can tell war stories from the good old days goes a long way though. You know, did you hear about so and so got knocked up? Can you believe so and so are still working there? Remember that one time? You get the point. It’s like the fellowship of the black apron or the white chef coat. The fraternity of shift meals, side work, and can I get a runner? The same people, who have seen you at your very best, have seen you at the very worst. It’s a kind of college reunion of sorts, just add more alcohol and shit talking. There are only so many good restaurants in our town that everyone eventually makes the rounds. And if you work in the service industry long enough here you are bound to run into the same people, and probably work with them again. It’s a close knit community that shares a common bond of customer service, being in the weeds, and the grind of a booked Mother’s Day brunch. One minute you might want to kill a server for ringing in their entire section at once, but a few hours later you are drinking beers together at The PR. What is said behind closed doors during the rush isn’t to be taken personally anyway. Lord knows I’ve said and done things I’m not proud of. However, the post-work camaraderie of finally sitting down on a bar stool and the steady flow of Fireball shots definitely make up for it. Only those who have worked in restaurants fully understand what I’m talking about. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I decided to apply to culinary school 10 plus years ago, but it’s been the best decision I have made. It may have not always been pretty, but it has been a hilarious, stressful, and rewarding ride so far. Cheers foodies!