Chile Verde Hatch Con Carne / Ms. Row-Kay

I am sure y’all have seen or read about my best friend and one of my biggest supporters. She is my “ride or die.” Unless she’s hungry. Then I better ride to the nearest restaurant or I may die. The great and magnificent Robin Rocque (pronounced Rock.)

Robin and Jolie at Compere Lapin in New Orleans

Robin and Jolie at Compere Lapin in New Orleans

I am sure most people would assume that I would never try to upset her. But she just gets so mad though. I can’t help myself. I have been canaille (French for mischievous) since I was a little thing and that can’t be cured. Robin’s furrowed brow and the arrows of revenge that shoot from her eyes as she tries to maintain her composure is worth it. Sooo worth it.

This will be the first of my two favorite times I got her:

Robin insists on people saying her name right (so picky and demanding.) Her last name is pronounced ROCK. Seems simple but the spelling throws many people for a loop. I have a right to make fun - my last name is Meaux for Christ sakes. Try having that name in California. 

She was kind of enough to invite me to a exclusive three course steak dinner at a very nice restaurant in New Orleans. She had made the reservations way in advance. I knew that this restaurant was very determined to pamper and make sure their guests feel special and believe you me, you paid for this treatment. So what a better way to thank her than to call and make sure she was treated like the queen she is. This is how it went.

“Hello this is Morton’s how can I help you?”

“Yes Sir, this is Mrs. Row-kay’s assistant, I need to leave special instructions for her meal.

“Yes Ma’am of course, how can I help you?”

“Mrs. Row-Kay is very adamant her name be pronounced properly. With the amount of money she has spent on this dinner we don’t need her being upset because it being mispronounced. Please make sure that everyone who will serve her knows it is pronounced Roow-Kay.”

“Of course Ma’am we will let all her servers know”.

"Please make absolutely sure. She gets very upset when she has to correct people.”

“We will make very sure Mrs. Row-kay is not upset.”

Fast forward to the night of the great steak dinner.

We walk in I in I make sure to head to the hostess first. 

“Table for two under Row-kay.”

“Yes Ma’am you can follow me Mrs. Rokay.”

Robin under her breath - “Roque (rock) it’s Rocque.”

“Here is your table Mrs. Row-kay. Your server will be with you soon.”

Robin, as the waitress walks away - “Rocque. It’s Rocque.”

Frustrated, she looks at me with annoyance rising in her eyes. I am trying not to burst out laughing because from an outsiders view she looks like a crazy lady just whispering and yelling “rock” at people.

As she starts to settle down the waiter walks over.

“So good to have you here this evening Mrs. Row-kay. What can I start you with?”

Robin - “Rocque, it’s Rocque” 

The waiter looks confused so I jump in with my appetizer order and she proceeds to follow.

I can tell it’s getting to her. She is trying to maintain her calm, public persona but aggravation is about to win.

Now enters the sommelier.

“Mrs. Row-kay, can I recommend some wine selections for you?"

That was it. She’d had enough and just snapped.

“Rocque! My name is Rocque!!!!” 

The sommelier looked genuinely scared. Knowing I can not let these kind servers receive the wrath that is purely mine to bear, I lean over and whisper - 

“Why so upset Mrs. Row-kay? All they are doing is following the explicit instructions to say your name correctly. Good thing your assistant called and warned them.” 

Her eyes turn to slits and I can see the desire to shove me right off my chair but she can’t because she is in a nice restaurant and unlike me, Robin can control herself enough to not embarrass herself in public.

She seethed and through her now clenched mouth I could here the slightest breath of words

“You bitch. You will pay.”

I of course break out into cackling uncontrollable laughter.

To her credit, once she realized what was going on she let it go and every time they called her Mrs. Row-kay she mouthed to me, “I hate you.” I am sure it gave her a slight bit of joy that through the entire dinner I would randomly break out into uncontrollable giggles and I looked like a delusional lunatic that was one step away from donning a tin foil hat.

This is not the best prank I have played on her but it’s up there. The next one took a year to make happen but it was so worth the patience.

Love you Mrs.Row-kay and remember anybody can be Creole :)

Hatch Green Chile Sauce Recipe, Here.

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