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Puglia’s

IMG_4510Here’s a memory from long ago. During my residency in neurosurgery someone organized a dinner in Little Italy at Puglia’s. It had plastic red checked tablecloths thrown over picnic tables. There were candles stuck into empty wine bottles. And there was a “fat lady” who walked about with a microphone and portable speaker singing from table to table. The red and white wine on the table was mixed together to make rose whenever the wine got low. Get it? Funky, but it was just right for a bunch of residents on a budget. There were at least eight of us who piled into my little Honda Accord to go back uptown. This was the early small model built for four. Fortunately one of our group was tiny Stella Tsai, a neurology resident. She lay across the lap of several in the back. Somehow I remember Lisa was there as well. We were seriously overcrowded. But we made it home.

As for dinner, I remember there was an appetizer – “Sheepshead, half or whole.” It was $2.50 or $5.00. I thought for a moment and then said to myself, “I’ll pay to see that.” When the half head arrived it indeed was a half sheep head cut saggitally and our half included the pituitary gland (for anyone who cares). It stayed where it lay on the table until the end of the meal. Then the waiter without any bidding wrapped it up and gave us the brown bag. Obviously none of us were taking it home so … we dropped it off in the secretaries’ refrigerator in the department office. A day or so later I was told there was a loud scream when someone opened that brown bag. For those who do eat sheep’s head I apologize for being so squeamish. And it looks like the restaurant got an upgrade since we ate there decades ago.

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