Tuesday, November 8, 2011

571. There's Only One Thing on The Menu

I am a loyal person. I went to the same hairdresser for 15 years until I moved three time zones away; I was a flight attendant for a decade before I became a mom; my favorite black cashmere sweater has been in my closet longer than my oldest son has been alive. So it should come as no surprise that I am loyal to my food.

The Husband and I have a small rotation of preferred restaurants in Crazy Town, and we typically eat out once a week. We walk in, we’re seated, and within two minutes we’ve ordered without ever glancing at a menu. We are not merely creatures of habit, we are minions of a rut.

The Husband looks up at me one evening across the restaurant table over (surprise) Mediterranean pizza no olives and says, “You know, they also have other kinds of pizza, and even lasagna. I think.”

I laugh at him. “But what if it tastes yucky?” I say, channeling the five-year-old. “I don’t want to take that risk. The Mediterranean has always been good, every time.”

I used to be adventurous. There was a time in my life when I would travel through Europe, ignorant of the local language, and simply point to something on the menu. I’d internally congratulate myself on stepping out of my world of repetition to try something new and different.

Those days are over. Familiarity does not breed contempt; it breeds happiness or at least a good taste in my mouth.

The next week, we are at the local seafood place. A waiter I’ve never seen before says, “Scallops over rice, and a side of grilled asparagus for you, Professor MOV?”

“How did you know my name and my order?!” I ask, dumbfounded.

“My manager told me.” He smiles, delighted in the knowledge that his tip will surpass the standard 20%.

The following week, we are settling into our habitual booth at the local burger dive. I hear The Husband tell the waiter, “Four burgers, two with cheese, three fries no salt, three strawberry shakes, an iced-tea, and an ice-water.”

“NO!” I shout, unaware that my voice can carry so far and so loud. “I don’t want that! I want something different!”

The restaurant goes silent. The seven or so people there (this includes the three others at our table, plus the waiter) swivel to me, waiting to find out what I’ll say next.

“I would like my water without ice.”

Baby steps, baby steps.



  1. Before I had my iPad there was a brief eXperimentation with a small Android device, but it crashed too often. I had my food orders in the notepad section because the order for the Mexican restaurant was, I think, 52 words long when ordering just my meal. The wife got fairly good at doing it for me, it was fun to watch her try. She soon learned that it involved not only the words, but certain hand motions as well in order for the waiter to get it right.

  2. I'm trying to keep my sense of adventure -- especially when it comes to food. However, I do draw the line at "parts." By parts I mean liver, gizzards, sweet breads, tripe, feet, snouts, brains, other nasty bits. I do not mean to offend those who enjoy such things, they are just not for me. No thank you.

    I finally ventured to another dish at our favorite Chinese take out. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Hooray for small changes! (or small change?)

  3. Seriously. Are you following me? This is my life. Great post.

  4. Don't try the liver of a wild deer. Or a domesticated one. Actually, STAY AWAY FROM BOVINE LIVERS. The one that my cousin gutted had these welts on it, great big black ones, and I asked my hunting-buddy what they meant and he said that they meant that the poor thing that worms.
    Don't. Eat. Liver.
    -Motaki the Cautious Hunter

  5. Thank you for vindicating me, Motaki. No livers, indeed!

  6. Every day I am increasingly jealous of all your titles. I hope one day my prowess reaches such heights so that owners of restaurants tell their new waiters how to address me. :P Hee hee.

    I like to try new things, but the majority of the time the only reason I go out to eat is because I've been thinking about something I know is good. All day. And we wants it just how we remembers it, precious.

  7. I can barely even get out to a restaurant we go to the same place as always, or try something different?!?!

  8. esbboston-- so I am not alone in my sameness.

    couse-- I agree about the "parts"!!

    marianne-- I am following you. and again, thanks for jumpstarting my car the other day. sorry I scared you while I was in my military garb. That makes me General MOV to you.

    taki--good advice!

    teri-- I know! if you have any good titles for me that I haven't thought of yet, let me know!

    andrea-- paralyzed with indecision. =O



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