Hats off to Andre! An unusual thing happened to me on the way home last week. I stopped at Dre’s (formally Andre’s) for dinner…
You see, I’m the new kid on the block, reopening my remodeling company, which didn’t survive the recession of ’07. On Friday, August 1, 7PM, we had our Grand Opening at 198 Spring Street, Newton. I’m starting again at age 64, because I love the remodeling business I had, and I love people. I love the look on their faces when they get their monies worth. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like money; it’s just that I desire a good name more: Proverbs 22:1 And if you do that, the great riches will come.
I also do it to emulate my father and grandfather, who, as mason/brick layer/contractors, enjoyed the most sturdy of reputations as John Miller and James Bulloch in the Middlesex County area, in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. One worked on the Empire State Building; one loved God so much that he worked on 29 churches. I was privileged to work on five of them.
But enough about Miller/Bulloch. I wrote to sign the praises of another great man in our community: Andre, who is the sole proprietor of the fine dining experience knows as Dre’s. Dre’s only three doors from my office, and what I observed there were happy faces as they sat at the sidewalk tables, or came out of the restaurant.
It was not the satisfaction that comes from an all-you-can-eat buffet somewhere in Pennsylvania when you have to unbuckle your belt one or two notches. Don’t get me wrong… they have their place. We’ve all been there; done that. Some of us more than once.
But this was different. This was a different look, not just because they were satisfied and full, but they were just plain satisfied with the whole experience. You come and you got what you wanted – that’s all we could ask for and expect, but so often, don’t get. Some of you may be saying I exaggerate. To you, I say, “You haven’t eaten at Dre’s.”
Anyway, I had waited for the third Wednesday to arrive – the day my disability check comes. Only, this month, it didn’t come on time because I had changed banks, there was a foul-up, and I received the check five days late. That’s right, I said disability. That is my sole income over that last four years. And friends were mad about this venture and saying, “It might cause you to lose your disability.” Even my ex expressed concern (too bad she wasn’t that concerned three years ago, when she left). Those who truly are concerned, I say GOOD. It means I’m bringing in more than disability pays. You see, they really do want you to work, and not just talk about good old days, as Bruce calls them, the Glory Days.
In a tribute to President Kennedy, who was great with words and phrases, to those that ask, “Why?”, I say, “Why not?” To those that died while still working, or like the week before retirement (or the day of it), or the week after, and don’t get to go all the plans they talked about. To you that were close to someone like this – didn’t most pass with a smile on their face, doing what they like to do?
I was going to describe my meal, which was truly a fine dining experience. But it was “my experience”, and “your experience” will be yours. From the first drink to the last dessert, which I didn’t have room for. I would put them all together in one word: exquisite. I will make one suggestion: try the “Fish of the Day”. It was special. It was like butter.
As to the two girls that served me, one was a student and one a teacher in Dre’s food. The best I can say is they made me feel like family. Link the uncle they hadn’t seen for a long time, and were just happy to serve. I’m not too proud to say, when I think of you “girls”, I still cry. To you, I give a big hug and a kiss – like a father or uncle.
As I sat there waiting for my check, I began to realize this was clearly the most superior fine dining experience ever. When I added up what the bill might come to, I realized it was expensive, but thought it was worth every penny of it. Oh well. I had plenty of food in the cupboard, and I could go at least ten days without going to the food store. I also wondered if they remembered my request to pay in two days, when my disability check came in (it actually came in four days).
My shock when I received the bill was not sticker shock, but the shock of being told that dinner was on them. What caused them to be so generous, I don’t know. Perhaps it was because I was the new kid on the block. Perhaps it was because it was the nature of man. I think the ladder, as my office manager informed me later, it was quite common for Andre to perform these acts of kindness without attention to himself. In fact, when her house burnt down, she had the the recipient of numerous such acts.
Well, I believe in giving credit where credit is due. So without further ado, I say, “Andre, thank you! Hip hop hooray! Hip hop hooray! Thank you, Andre!”
Dre’s is located at 192 Spring Street in downtown Newton. Bon appetite!