I was in Tallinn last night for an event. BTW, it was a very nice event. My friend’s daughter just opened a shoe shop in the center of the picturesque old town, and she threw an opening party.
The problem was that the party went on for a long time. I left at 1:00 am and checked into my room at the St. Petersburg. I like staying there when I want to splurge. It was nicer before they changed the decor, but it still has an eccentric charm for me.
I asked the pleasant young man at the front desk, “Any chance of getting a bite to eat at this late hour?” Negatroid. “Any idea of where else this might be possible?” Hmmmm … not really.
So I staggered out of the hotel down to the town square. BTW, the town square looks like this
At the Irish pub, the young lady behind the bar shrugged her shoulders. Nope. The kitchen was closed. She handed me an ad for a place called “Highlander” which was supposed to be open, She said it had some sort of “Scottish stuff”. I went in search but could not find it.
I was almost ready to give up when across the street, I spotted a sign that said “Steakhouse”. As I walked in, a tiny, frowning waitress who could not have been over 5 foot tall, came up to me, “But the kitchen will be closing in a half hour, sir!”
“And?`” I said
It was obvious that her heart was not in the moderately simple task of making me happy. Indeed, my interest in food seemed to be in her eyes more like a criminal offense of the morals code. Every now and then you meet people like this. You can’t help but think that they are having boyfriend problems. Or perhaps a root canal scheduled for tomorrow morning? Never mind! I was prepared to suffer in order to get something ! Anything!
I ordered the fish soup. Big mistake. It was the anything. It is true that the soup had broth and a sort of tomato base. And it offered one rectangular piece of fish, one mussel, and one shrimp. Did I mention that it was not clear if the shrimp was dead yet? It seemed to stare at me while I sipped my broth. There was also a lone floating green leaf fragment that I could not identify with any precision.
Back in my room, I attacked the mini-bar with gusto! It’s not that I really needed the pistachios, almonds, potato chips or chocolate bar or the beer to wash them down. It was more like a food-mad Mr. Hyde had suddenly emerged in the place of good old Dr. Jeckyl. Finally sated, Mr. Hyde then fell asleep. No doubt snoring loudly.,
In the morning came the saving grace. Breakfast at the St. Petersburg – perfectly scrambled eggs, with delicious sausage, smoked salmon, freshly brewed coffee and prune juice.
The world had been repaired! Tallinn was fine again.