Any other time, at the mere mention of Roy’s in Harbor East, my attendance would require more than a flaming tiki-torch to the butt, but this was a different occasion altogether. It was “Downtown Diane’s” birthday, and being one never to turn down an invitation, I was more than happy to post.
For the record, I’ve turned down a birthday invitation or two, but one doesn’t turn down Diane’s invitation. She’s the Don Corleone of social media, and a refusal of her invitation could mean a horse head in between the sheets so, I thought, what the hell, I’m in.
To no surprise, she had the banquet room reserved, and it was filled from head to toe with every Baltimore media type worth mentioning. Now, as I try not to be a name-dropping column, I won’t get into names, but here’s just a few: Edie Brown, Brian Lawrence, Randi Rom, Sloane Brown, Celeste Corsaro (Baltimore Eats, of course) and, of course, Diane herself.
So, in my usual fashion, I began working my way from one end to the next, after copping a pineapple infused vodka martini, apparently a staple at Roy’s. This, for future reference, was my downfall. For the time being, however, it was my saving grace and the perfect social crutch as I wound my way through the crowd, camera flash here, camera flash there. It was then that I noticed the full-on row of scantily-clad Polynesian dancing women, complete with grass skirts and out-of-season Coppertone tans gesticulating just behind me.
As I later learned, “Meki’s Tamure” Polynesian Dance Group was the hired entertainment for the evening, and that’s when it dawned on me just why Roy’s was the chosen spot for just this particular birthday. Nothing was random. As I perused the food spread, Diane threw me into a headlock. “You want the menu? I can get that for you!” She then proceeded to verbally pummel Bryson Keens, managing partner at Roy’s until, only moments later, he produced the operating menu for the evening:
Baby back ribs, lobster pot stickers, spring rolls, teppanyaki seared shrimp sticks, teriyaki salmon rolls, and, to finish it off, “Auntie Lei’s” Aloha rolls. The best part was, at the bottom of the sheet, was an in-house notation, underlined four times for gravitas: “FOUR WAVES.”
Now, when dealing with a Polynesian restaurant, “waves” could mean just about anything. Clearly, in this setting, food had to come in “waves”, just to appease the pineapple martini-sucking, grass-skirt dancing masses. Just feeding this crew wasn’t enough; food had to be of Tsunami proportions, overwhelming at the very least and, at the most, leaving you washed up on a beach looking for your significant other, your wallet, your hotel key and leaving you with plenty to talk about when you returned State-side.
I wish I could remember just how I left this party, or Roy’s in general, but those pineapple-infused vodka martinis left me quite deficient in that department. But I know this much…
Diane throws one hell of a Luau.
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