Good Eater

My ex-boss accused me of being the fussiest eater he’d ever met. The statement was made after taking a group of us to an Asian restaurant for lunch. Five courses were set in front of each of us. I was starving when we finished.

It was dark, loud and crowded. The joint was filled with suits and cleavage. Seating was butt to butt and the grill was in the middle of the table. I asked multiple times what was in the soup and the waitperson was rather abrupt with hand gestures and little information.She had the craziest comb in the back of her up do. Can you believe some patrons actually bring their own chop sticks? It wouldn’t occur to me to bring my flatware to Ruth Chris.

There is something not quite right if a partial skeleton with flesh hanging off of it is floating in a clear broth. If I can not identify what goes in my mouth, I can not eat it. If it has a face, it should have a name. The salad had a milky white dressing that coated iceberg lettuce and sat in a puddle underneath. It just didn’t look appropriate for a salad!

Next up on the parade of horrors was sushi. I have mopped up enough seaweed tramped in from the beach. Why would I want to eat it? The display looked like colorful petite fours. I am sure they were delightful to an alternate focus group. The shrimp tempura was the next titillating course to reckon with. There were two shrimps displayed in a position to appear like they were swimming at you. They also seemed huge, which is opposite of what the name implies. The tempura batter was magically wrapped around a salad shrimp. One cut in and everything collapsed. Meanwhile, a chef, swishing the air in front of me with what appeared to be razor-sharp knives and machetes, did his rendition of make a lot of smoke and artistically cut up vegetables on the grill as if they were a live snake about to bite. He appeared to have murdered each onion and pepper with extreme expertise. I was hoping the headline on the front page of the Houston Chronicle didn’t describe a woman decapitated in front of Hitachi in North Houston, the next day.

Dessert was little tan cookies and tea. Quaint, cute and lacking sugar.

I would never make a smart or derogatory remark in the company of the boss or co-workers. This group and I had been working and traveling together for many years. We had eaten at some of the highest ranked restaurants all over the United States. I am a “good eater” by modern-day standards. I used to eat hoagies from the grill at Weiner World on Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh. If you can imagine a grill that never stopped and the wall behind it never cleaned, you will know I am a trooper.


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