Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Risks of Spontaneous Pontification



There are some moments that are made for taking risks. When you completely embrace the spontaneity of life. You make a run straight for destiny.

It was in this spirit that Joey and I decided to take a leap.

We tried out a new restaurant.

I know...we're big-time risk takers.

I'm not gonna lie. We were scared. In fact, we had to talk ourselves into it while we were in the parking lot. Afterall, we knew there were a few restaurants down the road where we could walk in and high five the waiters from familiarity. Comfort and reliability were just a few blocks away.

Should we do this?

Joey was going to do a little reconnaissance before we committed. As we were talking it through and as if on cue, the hostess opened the door. She had apparently been watching us from the window. She was a smart one, she was. Or maybe she just thought we were casing the joint. Regardless, the opportunity for recon work and peeling out of the parking lot was now gone.

We were committed.

I wish I could tell you that we found a new favorite restaurant. That we struck gold. A diamond in the rough. I wish I could tell you that we found out that Bobby Flay had a secret restaurant where he liked to masquerade as an ingenue cook in Katy, Texas. It was not to be.

First off the spice level had me choking throughout dinner. Did someone spike my soup with a wicked cocktail of cayenne, jalapeno juice and a cup of black pepper?

Then upon first bite of the second entree I thought that my taste buds had been stunned into brokenness from the aforementioned soup. But no. For all the flavor of the first dish, the second had no flavor at all. It was terrible. Play-doh spaghetti noodles have more flavor and substance than these.

So I gave the waitress heck. I mean, I sent back dish after dish. Exclaiming "What do you call this mush?" while faking being a restaurant critic just to strike fear in their hearts.

Ah, you know me too well. I did absolutely nothing. Nothing! In fact, it gets worse.

The waitress comes by as I've just finished telling Joey that my tongue is permanently damaged and will never taste again. What does she ask? "How is it?"

Here's my chance. The moment of truth for this restaurant hangs on this fake restaurant critic's words.

"It's great!" I say with a numb mouth full of Play-doh noodles.

I could not bear to do it. She was too sweet. The restaurant too new. They were hoping I would like it too much.

This went on for three more waitress passes.

And it gets worse.

She looked at the uneaten food on my plate and asked me if I wanted to get a to-go box. I wish my mouth really had been numbed completely. This is practically a diner's seal of approval.

I got the box.

I'm a coward.

She still thinks their food is great.

Joey is fairly baffled by this behavior.

Odds are this restaurant's days are numbered. The Play-doh noodles and taste bud killing soup niche is already at capacity anyway. And my conflict avoidance is only delaying the inevitable. But at least the waitress isn't having a bad night because of me. Am I the only one who does this?

I could never be a food critic. Or one of those judges on Chopped. One sappy story about how they're making the vanilla bean and kale chutney over veal in honor of their mother who always believed in them and I would be done.

On the plus side, I've got Play-doh noodles for lunch tomorrow. And maybe the next day.



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