Ben Norris

March 20, 2021

Leather menu covers

My wife and I had lunch today at Maria Bonita, a delightful Mexican restaurant in a strip mall. We were on the way home from my therapy appointment and stopped to eat and chat.

The food was great, but that wasn’t my favorite part. The ambiance was charming and welcoming, but that wasn’t my favorite either.

I loved the menu. With all my heart.

More precisely, I loved the menu covers. They were thick, genuine, hand-sewn leather. They were soft and worn in with a beautiful patina.

When the server took our order, I asked if I could keep my menu. I set it on the table beside me so I could look at it and run my fingers over it throughout the meal. As Ferris Bueller would say, “It was so choice.”

I almost wish that I would have thought to take a picture of it. But I’m also happy that it didn’t even occur to me. I was so captivated that I was completely in the moment enjoying it.

When I turned to the back, I saw that it was made by Rustico, a small company specializing in fine leather products.

My wife got me a nice journal a while ago from them that I have recently rediscovered and  have been loving:


At the restaurant, my wife told me it would not be appropriate to ask the server if I could buy the menu. At first she thought I was joking, but then realized I was seriously planning on it. Luckily she talked some sense into me.

I was struck by the joy a quality product brought me. That lunch was made so much more enjoyable by the presence of the menu.

My hope is to find and savor those moments more often. It is a happy way to live.