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Updated: May 7, 2022

Sometimes, I donโ€™t feel worthy.

Tonight, I dropped Justus off in our old neighborhood in Qualchan Ridge to play basketball with an old friend; thus, I took the time to head down to my old stompinโ€™ grounds to eat and grade papers.

As I walked in Latah Bistro, I leaned across the counter to the Executive Chef, Sean Payne, and stated with excitement that I was here to grade papers and to have him cook me dinner.

Sean was a wrestler of mine when I was head wrestling coach at Central Valley High School back in the 2000-2001 season. Yep, I am old.

Over the years while dining at the Bistro, I am usually there for drinks and conversation or with my kids to have some dad time, so I am usually eating their delicious pizzaโ€”often customize to meet my kids' needs. Thus, I rarely got the chance to have Sean cook for me. His Sous-Chefs do the pizza end of the kitchen . . . and darn good I might add.

Nonetheless, I made my way to the bar where the bartender, Koran, took care of my every need and offered a couple hours of intellectual conversation. Ok . . . so I didnโ€™t get much grading completed, but I did enjoy the best meal that I have ever eaten in 10+ years of eating at the Bistro.

The medium-rare, Double R Ranch Ribeye floated upon bacon and aged white cheddar whipped potatoes accompanied by a baby kale salad and pistachios was surrounded by a horseradish vinaigrette that made the full-bodied, Red Mountain Cabernet resting next to it jealous. I was not worthy.

As I cut into the stake, I knew in my heart that Chef selectively chose this aged Ribeye just for this occasion. When Koran set the plate before me, he said, โ€œThis is made special for Coach.โ€

There is never a time when I dine at Latah Bistro that I donโ€™t feel proud of the young man who many years ago wrestled for me and gave his all. He continues this same work ethic and drive with every meal he is honored to prepare for his guests.

Before leaving, Koran set before me a little black to-go box. He stated that Chef was sending this home for Mrs. Kiki. He always knows how to take care of us husbands that might spend a little more time than we should at the Bistro engaged in meaningful conversation.

Sean, thank you for yet another amazing meal at Latah Bistro. I always have that coach pride every time I see you in your zone executing the next best meal.

Until next time.


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