Friday, July 18, 2008

All They Wanna Do Is Talk, Talk

Have you ever just wanted to just sit down and have an intelligent conversation with friends? You know, just hash out the problems of the world over lunch?

Thanks to one member of the Tucson Single Professionals you can do just that. Robert Bulechek organizes this event, held every Wednesday at various restaurants around Tucson.

This function offers not only a chance for good conversation, but is also an excellent way to discover new restaurants in Tucson. The venue changes each month, and this month it is being held at Sabra’s Restaurant. Sabra’s is a small, unassuming restaurant that can be easy to miss as you go zipping by on Speedway Boulevard. Thankfully, I decided to make plans to attend a “Luncheon & Conversation” held here.

Sabra's Restaurant
Sabra’s Restaurant serves Mediterranean style food. That’s the generic term for what, in this case, turns out to be Kosher Jewish meals. Sabra’s is a certified kosher restaurant, which means the food is prepared and served under strict Jewish dietary laws. The food is certified Kosher under the supervision of Rabbi Israel Becker of Congregation Chofetz Chayim and Rabbi Joseph Shemtov of Congregation Young Israel Chabad-Lubavitch.

I grew up in West Michigan, which is a very conservative community, and dining variety was somewhat lacking. Unless your idea of variety is deciding whether to go to Fridays, Applebee’s, or Olive Garden. So this was a very special treat for me. I’ll admit, some of the choices were hard for me to visualize. Baba Ganoush, Tabouli, Sabich, Shakshuka, Malawach were all words I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of before. The good news is the staff is very friendly and more than willing to help de-code the menu for any newbie gentiles.

Of course there were also words on the menu I did recognize and I was able to find several tasty sounding choices. You can order pizza, spaghetti, and salads if you really have no sense of adventure. On my first visit there I tried the mushroom soup, and on my second visit I had the tuna pita. While these choices may not be that far out of my comfort zone I’d have to rate them as one of the best bowls of mushroom soup I’ve ever had and THE best tuna pita. I think on my next visit I may be ready to try some Shakshuka.

The conversation part of the “Luncheon & Conversation” was provided by the members of Tucson Single Professionals that arrived at Sabra’s. On my first visit I was a stranger to everyone there but was quickly made to feel welcome. In addition to Robert our host, and myself, there were two other guys and two women named Pam and Corrina. (I’m sure there’s a Freudian reason why I remember only the women’s names, but that’s a topic for another post.) On my second visit, there was a slightly larger group of five women and three men. Again, everyone was made to feel like old friends gathering to chat over a good meal.

Robert does a great job of researching interesting topics of possible discussion, and sends them out with the email invitation for each event. In the two events I attended all that research went for naught however, as the group discussion took off on its own with topics such as skydiving, piloting a plane, moon phases, best places for brunch, best local Mexican food restaurants, and stories about the places you’re from.

In the end, we didn’t even come close to solving the world’s problems. We did enjoy each others company, good conversation, and great food. What better way is there to spend a lunch hour?

Tucson Singles Professionals is an excellent way to meet other single people in Tucson. Don’t worry if conversation is not your thing, TSP schedules regular activities such as wine tasting, AAA baseball games, dance lessons, concerts, etc. The events are as diverse as its members. TSP is free to join. You don’t have to live in Tucson, and you don’t even have to be professional, but you do need to be single. More information is at:

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