The Curse of the Tree

I just heard that a new restaurant here in Austin, called El Arbol, has abruptly shut it’s doors for business.

That’s not really such a big deal, since restaurants come and go. But I know why this one closed. It’s because it was CURSED.

El Arbol (The Tree) is named for the magnificent oak tree that was the center of the restaurant. There were three floors of luxurious indoor seating, and three floors of patio seating around the big tree.

This place was, without a doubt, totally beautiful. Each floor a different design.

I stole these photos from Yelp.

So now you understand that the place was awesome. Great wines, great food, great service, beautiful place. My love for patio dining drew me to this place like a moth to the flame. Now back to the curse.

Over this summer, I went on six dates here with six different men, and after each date, I never wanted to speak to the man again. (Mind you, I’ve been on dates this summer at other places, but this place stands out as a disaster.) Let’s review –

Date 1: I honestly can’t remember this date. Oy. But someone introduced me to the place.

Date 2: He invited me here (to my surprise, since I had been here a couple of weeks prior). I told him that I had already eaten and I just wanted a glass of wine, and he ordered two appetizers for himself. We ended up having two glasses of wine each. At the end of the date he asked me to split the bill with him, which is weird anyway, BUT I DIDN’T EAT ANYTHING. This would make more sense if it was a jilt on me, but it wasn’t. He wanted to go out again. He was just a cheapskate, and a bore to boot. I paid half of the check, but declined further dates.

Date 3: We met here, and El Arbol was closed because it was a Monday. We went somewhere else instead, but the curse had already touched us. His raging ex-girlfriend appeared over the next few days, and scared me away from ever seeing him again.

Date 4: Normal and charming guy. We enjoyed a glass of wine and nice conversation. Sometime during the second glass of wine, he started to get really drunk. Then he picked up his pace, and ordered two more glasses. He was a very unpleasant drunk. He went on a long rant expressing his hate for modern culture and literature. He went on a second long rant telling me how corrupt home inspectors are. I ended the date as quickly as I could, and got out of there. Even after my “thanks but no thanks” email, he continued to send me drunken emails at 2am for a couple of weeks.

Date 5: This is a nice place right? And anyone with an internet connection can easily see that this is a nice place. Date 5 showed up in a ratty tshirt, cargo shorts, and dirty flip-flops. I could have forgiven that, but I spent the evening learning about every single thing that his daughters do and do not like to eat. Wow. That was really boring.

Date 6: WHY AM I STILL GOING HERE? While enjoying an antipasti appetizer, and I told my date that he should try the cheese, because it was SO GOOD. He said, “I would rather eat the shit from your dog than eat cheese”. I threw a piece of cheese at his stupid face. (This isn’t the whole reason I stopped seeing him, just the El Arbol part. And English isn’t his first language.)

Date 7: It is entirely possible that there was a seventh, forgettable date.

See? I know why this place closed. It was built on some ancient dating burial ground. But it still makes for good stories. Things can only get better now it’s closed and I have to go somewhere else, right? 🙂

17 comments on “The Curse of the Tree

  1. This is fantastically hilarious! My happiness tonight is benefiting immensely from your Curse of The Tree! Ahhh, I no longer feel quite so alone in my dating mishaps.

  2. Is it wrong for me to laugh out loud about this? I especially wish a long stay in Cheese Hell for #6, if nothing else but because Cheese Hell sounds like a funny place to be. GAHHH!

  3. after those dates…….all I can say is Stacy! You’re an optimist!
    Hang in there Sunshine!!!
    Thanks for this post…………..LOL!!!

  4. I think you are brave to meet guys that you dont know. I would have excused myself to go the ladies room and climbed out a window. Mind you, I am recently divorced after 22 years of marriage and the thought of dating, even blind dating, frightens the crap out of me. I think I will stick to my knitting needles.

  5. As someone who is currently trying to learn a second language, I think it plausible that the guy whose native language is not English meant to say, “I would love a piece of cheese!”…but he mis-translated it to “I would rather eat shit from your dog than eat cheese.” I think it’s a good possibility!

  6. Humor in everything, well, humor in the hindsight of everything. Don’t give up on dating. Hopefully the result will be finding a great guy for you – but if that’s not in the cards yet at least the duds are providing entertainment for your followers.

  7. I’ve had a couple bad dates, myself, and it’s funny afterwards, but at the time, it’s awful!
    Best thing I learned with blind dates or with first dates that I’m “iffy” about is to take myself to the location — whether it’s by my own car or cab. I feel much better all around, knowing I can get the heck outta there any time without any angst.

    You’ll have a great dates from now on, I predict :^)

  8. It’s probably a good thing the restaurant is now closed because next time you go on a date, your date cannot take you to that restaurant! Dating scene can be a hassle sometime! Wishing you better luck on dating next time you go…

  9. OMG!!! I can’t believe the amount of freaks you have encountered!

    Maybe it’s time for a new blog: Dating Nightmares. The only thing is, I’ll be too scared to sleep after reading it. LOL!

    The restaurant looks really nice, but I think I am going to stay away if I am ever in Austin, lest I be cursed. Yikes.

  10. Wow Stacy… Those were some amazing dates!! At least the drunk couldn’t call you! Your dating horror really really make me not want to jump back into into the dating scene.

    I’m sorry…I am still laughing…Cheese guy sooo deserved that!

  11. Oh my goodness, Staci! I’m sitting here reading this with my bowl of cereal laughing hysterically. I’m so sorry you’ve had such rotten luck with these dates, but when you said you “threw cheese at his stupid face”, I about lost it!

  12. Hi Staci,

    Found you through your wonderful videos on YouTube (still trying to master your flicking technique). This was so funny… sorry! Couldn’t help but laugh…. I thought all the guys like that were here in North Carolina!

  13. On behalf of all men, I apologize for the rude, uncivilized treatment you endured. And our general lameness.

    Seriously, those are some awful dates. My girlfriend told me a similar story about a best-selling author she dated (once). He took her to an interesting (though slightly shabby) restaurant. All downhill from there.

    First, he drove around for a long time trying to find a free parking spot, refusing to pay to park near the restaurant. Naturally she was wearing heels and a long walk wasn’t really what she was looking for.

    Then when they are settled in the restaurant, he whips out the 2-for-1 coupon, apparently trying to impress her with his cleverness and frugality.

    He topped that, though, when my girlfriend declined to order the house wine and got a slightly more expensive wine instead ($1 more a glass). He argued with her that she couldn’t possibly tell the difference between the wine she ordered and the house wine and she was just wasting money ordering the other wine. And he wouldn’t let go of it through the whole meal.

    During the meal, he complained that he had gone on a lot of first dates, but couldn’t seem to get many second dates. And he couldn’t understand why…

    So Staci, I hope it helps to hear you’re not the only one. And at the same time, don’t give up!


    P.S. Just took up knitting with my daughter and found your videos to be the most helpful ones on YouTube, so came over to the site. Still took me several tries to get purl stitches right, but I think I’m just a slow learner. Thanks for all the help!

Comments are closed.