The PAgent family tried a new restaurant tonight. In the interest of doing something different, we all braved some wretched traffic and a steady cold drizzle to meet at “Cafe Allegro” in Tigard.

Dinner started with some crostini served with roasted garlic and goat cheese. The combination was very good. I had a bowl of sweet and sour cabbage and sausage soup, which was really excellent. Although both sweet and tangy, the richness of the stock kept it from being either too cloying or too tart. Much to my surprise, the wife liked it as well.

My wife had chicken piccata, my son had a cheese pizza, and my daughter had fettucini alfredo with shrimp, which she ate with gusto. I had a filet stuffed with mushrooms, garlic and havarti cheese, and topped with a marsala glaze. The filet was incredibly tender, and had a good flavor. The havarti was a bit odd, but the marsala glaze was very good. The filet was served with some seriously garlic mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. After the roasted garlic in the appetizer, the garlic in the potatoes was almost too much. Almost.

All in all, it was a very good meal, and the service was better than average. The experience was somewhat spoiled, however, by a table of four teenagers near us. Three young ladies and a young man.

The young man was not just wearing a hat at the table, but had pulled the hood of his sweatshirt up over it as well. He wore this redundant ensemble through the entire meal. I’m sure my mother was spinning in her grave. The young ladies demanded to order off the children’s menu (for children under 12), methodically stuck things in the candle at their table until the dining room reeked, knocked a glass of water over, rocked their chairs back on two legs, talked constantly on a cell phone, and generally made snide comments about everyone and everything through the entire meal.

I made a point of telling my children that the two of them were behaving better than anyone at that other table. I’m becoming such a curmudgeon.

Upon returning home, the overwhelming essence of garlic that was oozing from every pore of my body led me to rummage for a package of breath mints that I have kept on my dresser since I received them as a wedding momento. Much to my surprise, the tin was completely empty, even though the last time I’d opened it, it was nearly full. I immediately went to my daughter and confronted her. She didn’t even try to deny it. You would think a smart kid like that would realize that after consuming the entire tin of mints, it would become fairly obvious that someone had been taking them from Dad’s dresser. I’m furious, of course. Not about the mints, which I didn’t care much about, but because she can’t seem to stop herself from stealing sweets, whether or not there’s any chance she will be able to get away with it. It’s troubling.