Must admit, I often feel most comfortable entering through the Employees Only entrance at restaurants. Just as I can get sensu-drunk on the smell of hockey equipment and ice, the mingling scents of not-too-distant dumpster, fresh stacks of industrially laundered linens, faint grease trap, and bones roasting make me feel right at home. Right where I should be.
The Palm has always been – in my imagination – a place for business dads and their faceless business compadres. I can’t imagine sitting at a table and not having an Alice in Wonderland shrinking experience. I shrink to my 12-year-old self. Next to my dad, who is suited up again, pocketchief and charm facing the world with ease and attitude.
The Palm DC had me in their pocket for a few days last summer, and I came to know their food well, up so close I could not correct the focus. The joint is not too shabby and wants the world to know. The Palm’s history alone speaks warm volumes.
“How long have you been here?” was a question I spread like buckshot. The employees seemed so at home, I needed to know how that came to be. The shortest duration mentioned was seven years. More common was a much longer stay, say, uh, thirty. Not too shabby.