Café Boeuf
SATURDAY, May 18, 2002

(GK: Garrison Keillor; SS: Sue Scott; TR: Tim Russell; TK: Tom Keith; AL: Al Franken)

GK: … this portion of our program brought to you by the Café Boeuf with your host Maurice the maitre'd and the waitress Bernadette ----- Bon soir, mon amis.

TK: Eh? What about the economy?

SS: You drive an economy car?

TK: You're looking for Wisconsin, monsieur?

GK: Never mind. I'm sorry I mentioned it. Haven't seen you folks in awhile. How is the Café doing?


GK: It's a competitive business. Lot of new restaurants opening here in downtown St. Paul. That Scottish restaurant, The Kilt N' Crock. The Canadian restaurant, with the pancake bar.


GK: I saw you got a pretty scathing review in the Minneapolis paper.


GK: The reviewer said she had to wait 45 minutes for a coq au vin that was still half frozen in the center.


GK: She said she paid $95 for a bottle of wine that came with a free deck of playing cards taped to it. She said that in addition to accepting Visa and American Express, you ought to offer Blue Cross.

SS: It makes no difference. We do not need the critics. What do they know?

TK: They're not French, how can they judge French food? (FRENCH)

TK: Business has never been better! Look! We're taking reservations for August.

SS: August, 2004.

GK: How did you get so successful with lousy food, overpriced wine, and insulting service?

SS: Easy. We put out the "Full" sign.

TK: People begged to come in!

SS: We said, "We'll put you on the waiting list. Maybe in three hours."

TK: People love a restaurant that refuses to let them in.

GK: Who is this?

TK: This is Henri, who is our head of admissions.

TR: If you wish to make a reservation, you must allow six months before the admissions committee can meet to interview you. Please bring three personal references and a financial statement and photos of your living room furniture.

SS: Midwesterners feel that any restaurant that welcomes them in is probably not so good. So we make them wait for hours and then seat them at a tippy tippy table right next to the microwave. An hour later the food still has not arrived. They're happy.

GK: Really?

TK: It is an honor to be insulted by someone who really knows what he's doing.

GK: A message from the Café Boeuf. Where the elite meet to eat.

TR: The soonest we could get you in today is 11 p.m. If you don't mind eating in the men's room.

© Garrison Keillor 2002

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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