A recent trip to Worth Avenue in Palm Beach triggered memories from a previous trip when we naïvely entered an expensive, renowned restaurant when we were in our 20s. What could have been an embarrassing mistake became a memorable experience.
The trip began when I vacationed with my friends in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and we drove to Palm Beach to spend the day. We arrived in the morning and strolled down Worth Avenue. Worth Avenue is often compared to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
Exclusive fashion boutiques, jewelry stores, antique shops, fine furniture stores, restaurants, gift shops and spas composed — and still, compose — Worth Avenue. Ferraris, Bentleys, Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce automobiles were parked on the palm-tree-lined street. Brightly colored flowers cascaded over arches and poured out of tubs and baskets outside the shops and in the courtyards.
We window shopped, and watched diamond-adorned shoppers saunter in and out of Gucci, Van Cleef and Arpels, Hermes, Neiman Marcus and Cartier stores. Many shoppers wore hats and sported designer clothes, shoes, and bags.
By mid-afternoon, we were hungry and we looked for a restaurant for lunch. I suggested that we drop into Ta-boo for a quick bite. I did not realize that it was famous, and President John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Donald Trump, Jimmy Buffett, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Rod Stewart, and many other celebrities had dined there.
I was first to enter the restaurant, and I stopped like I had hit a wall. I spotted shiny silverware and crisp starched white tablecloths, and I knew that it wasn’t in the average price range for us 20 somethings.
I considered bolting out the door and sprinting down Worth Avenue in search of McDonalds‘ golden arches. Instead, I casually glanced back at my friends with an uh-oh look and smiled. We quickly decided to stay.
My friends liked new experiences and were unlikely to get upset over a lunch. Also, it would have been awkward if we darted past the head waiter and out the door clutching our wallets. I bet that would have raised some eyebrows.
Though Ta-boo was upscale, we enjoyed our lunch and had a great time. My friends teased me that they would not allow me to suggest dropping into a restaurant for a quick bite ever again.
I fondly remember our lunch at Ta-boo. Who knows, I may even have sat in President John F. Kennedy’s chair that day.
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