The Hunter and I went to a wake not too long ago. The family was well known in the town and the line stretched round the block. We waited almost two hours.
Afterwards, we went to dinner at A Famous Inn. The Maitre d’ pretended the dining room was quite full up and that he would have to check to see if there were any places left for those of us silly enough to show up without reservations. It was rather a comical, unnecessary performance, as we could see in to the dining room and the place was practically empty – probably not unusual for a Tuesday night at 7:00 in the off season. There were no indications there was a rush imminent any time before next Friday.
The Maitre d’ eventually returned from his search for an empty table and informed us that he could seat us. The tone of his voice hinted this was a miraculous bit of luckon our part. When the waitress came to take our order, The Hunter ordered copious amounts of protein in the form of prime rib. I, not quite feeling up to chewing through a whole cow, decided on a “flight of vegetables and starches” primarily because every other choice on the menu managed to include at least one ingredient that I don’t like. Up until now I had always thought I was fairly easy to please. Apparently this isn’t true if one measures by a trendy menu.
Goat’s cheese shows up everywhere. I hate, loath and detest goat’s cheese. I used to be a good sport and try it every time someone assured me that this particular variety will Change Your Mind Forever. Nope. I find them all to be what I imagine licking a goat would be like. Or perhaps licking a goat while standing in a barn that hasn’t been cleaned in a while.
When dishes aren’t embellished with goat’s cheese, it’s gorgonzola or some other stinky, blue cheese. That moldy taste – it makes me shudder.
Quinoa, another trendy item staple, makes me sick, literally – as in tremendous stomach pains that work their way into my lower regions. This, it turns out, is not all that unusual. Perhaps a quarter of the population who try this grain, is affected this way and yet I have never once seen a caution on this possibility in any of the numerous articles I have read telling us how great and versatile and good quinoa is.
Okra is the only – the absolutely only – vegetable I don’t like. It appears to be doing a ‘cool food tour.’
Scallops, mussels, clams and oysters – all so tasty and so lovely. And I’m so allergic.
Which left me with the vegetable flight. It was an interesting concept, but I can’t say it was totally successful. For my taste anyway, there was too much butter on some of the things (the shredded cabbage, for instance) and none evident at all where it would have done the most good (the boiled potatoes for example.) The carrots and parsnips were ordinary. The beets were tasty.
When she came to clear away, The waitress asked if we were on the road. Neither of us were quite sure what she meant by that, but I took it as a roundabout inquiry as to whether we were staying at the inn. I said we would be leaving shortly for home. The waitress responded with: “It can be quite difficult when you are On The Road, and I can see that a plate of vegetables would be very welcome.” Then she wafted away, and I asked The Hunter: “Did she just say that I was constipated?”
“Sounded that way to me,” was his reply.
When we left, the dining room was empty. This didn’t appear to register with The Maitre d’ who was still practicing his “we’re all full up act” on a couple who had just arrived and was inquiring about the possibility of dinner.
“What a liar,” was The Hunter’s comment as we passed. He didn’t even bother to lower his voice.
A strange place, this Famous Inn. The first person you meet doesn’t want to let you in, and the next one is eager for all the intimate details…