On 10/29/10, J writes:
So N and I are on the road this week, but not really. That is to say we’re doing a meeting locally, and we still get our per-diem of $25 for lunch and $50 for dinner, which is way more than we would normally spend for food. Ever try to spend $50 for dinner at Taco Bell? You can’t do it, or at least not unless you hate your ass.
I mean seriously, think about it. Maybe instead of eating Taco Bell you should just order your food, take it to the toilet and flush it. Because that’s all that’s going on; eliminate the middle man.
But I digress. You can’t spend $50 at Taco Bell, but you can at KFC. Just saying.
Back to topic, we’ve got $50 for dinner and a lot of business networking to do, so we’ve been doing dinners at nice places. You know those restaurants that exist in cities you live in and you think to yourself, “I should try that,” but you never do?
Yeah those places.
And we ate at one last night; a Mediterranean something with a funny name. And let me just tell you, there’s a reason why we never ate there before.
It’s fancy name could be translated as “overpriced crap you don’t normally eat.”
It should have been a warning sign when I couldn’t understand the menu. I have two advanced degrees and I make my living as a writer more or less, and I could not understand the menu. I felt like pulling the manager aside and say, “listen, give this to someone on my staff, they’ll show you how to write a proper menu.”
It was all weird stuff, and at the end, pretty much a disappointment. My lobster salad had too many onions. The scallops N let me finish were too salty. The only thing I really enjoyed was the cheese fries (and no they didn’t call them cheese fries, they called them fromage fried potatoes or some such verbose garbage, but at that point I was more than a little tired so I called them cheese fries).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for creative food. We can only eat so many cheeseburgers and breaded chicken sandwiches before we weep at the lack of variety in our diets, but there is a point where we should stand athwart the cultural wave and say stop.
Tapas is not fun. Tapas can be translated “expensive food on small plates that you have to share with people you don’t really like.”
And there seems to me to be a universal law that says the more expensive a place, the less food you get and the less of it you want to eat. Super China Buffet? $10.95. What? Let’s hear it for Communist oppresion. Whatever General Tso’s faults, he did know how to make chicken and for a price most families can afford.
I’m joined in my revulsion in this by no less than Donald Trump. Trump, before he became ubiquitous, was profiled on A&E’s Biography when it was just on Monday nights at 9:00 p.m. and not 24 hours a day on its own cable spin-off channel.
Trump said despite his money that he would rather eat at Burger King than most of the fancy restaurants in Manhattan. The food was too small and there was nothing that you liked.
You go Don.
I remember last night when the “fried frites” came and you looked over at my and with joy in your eyes and a lilt to your voice you proclaimed, “Cheese fries!”
I was happy for you.
That’s sweet. It was the only thing I was excited about eating after that ridiculous lobster salad that could be affectionately called “lobster scavanger hunt.”