When I was a kid many decades ago, we rarely went out to eat whether it was a sit down restaurant or takeout. We were poor but when we did go it was an amazing treat to be savored. We looked over the menu; we ordered; we ate. There were no doggy bags. Nobody asked about ingredients or substitutions.
Today, it’s not that easy. I realize people have an inordinate number of allergies and food restrictions.
Thinking of my immediate friends who I dine out with, there’s no raw garlic or onions, no cilantro, no dairy, no eggs, no nuts, no meat, no gluten, no sugar, no alcohol, no raw fish, nothing spicy. I’m not exempt as I don’t like cream sauces as they are often too rich and I’ve recently developed a gag reflex with tarragon.
This past weekend I went out to a late lunch or early dinner with two women who don’t read my blog but I still won’t name names. One is extremely picky. I feel like slapping her into some kind of food submission ever time we’re in a restaurant together. We went to a Vietnamese restaurant. After studying the menu for 15 minutes, she orders some kind of soup (pho) and she and the other woman decide to share a spring roll. After asking the waiter exhaustive questions, she says, “Oh, I don’t eat cilantro.” The waiter explained that the mix in the broth was a combination of onions and cilantro so he would have to leave out both. She didn’t like that.
I said, “Well, you can’t always have everything you want.” And she said, “Why not?”
The soup arrived and her soup tasted vastly different (not as good) than the other soup because her soup was devoid of the good flavorings. Whine. Whine. Whine. She was disappointed but I reminded her that she had big flavoring limitations.
Once I went to breakfast with a friend whom I met shortly after I moved here. We went to a dive diner of sorts, known for big breakfasts and homemade pies, nothing fancy, think white bread toast. My new friend didn’t really read the demographic or more importantly, the waitress. Some waitresses rule, and honey, you don’t mess with them.
We ordered and my new friend said, “Can I have my coffee half caff and half decaf?” The waitress bent down and got in my friend’s face and said, “NO! Pick one.”
End of story.
So, do you have any picky eater stories to share?