Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eating alone means never having to say you're sorry...

...for having sushi and seaweed salad for breakfast.

Serious Eats' Weekend Cook and Tell challenge was "Going Solo." Past weeks were easy for me to pass up, as one was cooking with wine (I become tipsy on fumes and hence don't really drink) and burgers (I'm a vegetarian). However, as I live alone, and frequently dine alone, it seemed like there was no excuse not to participate. However, I quickly experienced feelings of inadequacy--I was sure that people on the board would make perfect little meals, complete with fresh flowers in a glass and note how they froze the rest of the nine gallons of bouillabaisse they made for the next natural disaster/holiday.

Truthfully, many times I agree with the sentiment once expressed in an episode of "Cheers" by Sam that the best thing about living alone is being able to have doughnuts for dinner. Now, I love doughnuts--in fact, when I debated in college, my favorite thing about going to the Vassar tournament was the quality of the bakery doughnuts they served for breakfast. I used to starve myself beforehand, and pretty much live for the entire duration of the tournament on the enormous spread they left for we hungry hordes of college students. I can recall with great fondness the homemade Italian doughnuts...especially the chocolate mousse-filled powered doughnuts...even though they left me sugar-frosted for all of my rounds...

I have come a long way nutritionally from my doughnut college days. But as I work out in the morning, I still love a nice, substantial breakfast, and sometimes leftover Wegmans' avocado roll sushi and sesame seaweed salad is what I need.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ten Signs Your Next Meal Will Suck....

Oh little blog, how I have neglected thee...I had such great plans for you. I intended to post something every day that I was consuming (food, clothes, and 'toys') as a kind of self-examination but much have I consumed, and little have I posted. Being a writer and editor can take the joy out of writing for pleasure.

However, after seeing a link on my favorite food website Serious Eats, that linked to a blog post Ten Signs Your Next Meal Will Suck, I couldn't help adding a few (although his advice is good, regarding general cleanliness and such)

1. Open canoodling amongst staff: Yes, I have read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and Waiting by Debra Ginsberg. I know about and don't care about what goes on after hours/ backstage. But waiters flirting with the bar staff/hostess even when the place is slow (and especially if the place is small) makes me feel as if I am 'interrupting' something rather than have a right to order a meal.

2. Waitors asking if you want drinks, serving the drinks to those who order at the table, but forgetting to bring water to the table (especially if, like me, you don't order drinks and only drink water).

3. The presence of 'surf and turf'--shows that the restaurant is back in the dark ages when piling lobster and steak together was the ultimate sign of a true high-end restaurant.

4. Sticky tables or menus.

5. Cute names for pedestrian items, like "Fisherman's Feast" and such.

6. The presence of a brownie sundae on the menu--I love brownies, but this is sure to be a dried-up pastry that needs to be lubricated by ice cream. Only the ice cream is not nearly good enough to stand on its own.

7. Iceberg lettuce. Sorry Republicans, no arugala for me. ;)

8. There is only one vegetarian item containing pasta with ten pounds of cheese. (Either more than one, or none--just the one shows an effort to 'please everyone by pleasing no one at all).

9. A weird blend of ethnic entrees with no coherent fusion sentiment--as in smothered nachos on the appetizer menu, and pizza in the entree section.

10. If the restaurant soundtrack loops more than once during a normal meal.

Sometimes it is best to just stay home and have a bowl of cereal.