Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Dining Firsts, and Hopefully Lasts

I have had two dining firsts this week. On Tuesday, I tagged along to everyone else’s favorite restaurant, even though I had already eaten a sandwich. I did not want to be antisocial, so I accepted my coworkers’ invitation to join them. This Tex Mex restaurant is not my favorite place to dine, and the fare does not meet my standards, so I thought I would have a cup of coffee and try a dessert. When I had the displeasure of dining at another Tex Mex restaurant the previous weekend, I saw “fried ice cream” on the menu. This most recent cantina also offered fried ice cream. I had not previously eaten fried ice cream, so I thought I would find out what it was. I envisioned a puddle of melted ice cream intermixed with globules of oil. I jest. Fried ice cream actually consists of a scoop of ice cream enclosed in a pastry of some variety, or perhaps a flour tortilla. I suppose the entire pastry/ice cream dessert is frozen, and then dropped into a deep fat fryer. The ice cream was still fairly frozen – not rock hard, but not melted. It was not homemade, like the ice cream at Hugo’s. The fried pastry was not that delectable. Instead of tender and flaky, or crispy, it was tough and resistant. I broke through the pastry and did not eat it, but I did eat the ice cream contained within. It was not a memorable dessert.

On Thursday, I joined my coworkers for lunch again, this time at one of the “half-restaurant, half-store” “Cracker Barrel” locations. The lunch special roasted turkey and dressing was one of the less grease-laden-sounding options. The two slices of “roasted turkey breast” were the insipid processed turkey meat I would expect to find at an inexpensive chain restaurant. The dressing was the gloppy variety that comes from a bag and is reconstituted with water and liberal amounts of butter.[1] The green beans came from a can and were “seasoned” with bacon fat. Not only was the food unexciting and a total waste of calories, but also the environment was quite objectionable. My eyes, nose, and throat became irritated from exposure to cigarette smoke. Even worse, I wore that odor around on my clothes for the rest of the day, a reminder of my unpleasant dining experience.

How do I tell the other people from the office that, although I enjoy their company, I would rather not join them for lunch?

[1] Glop. noun. “a soft lump or mixture of something, especially unappetizing food.” Encarta World English Dictionary (2000).


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