Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Off Topic or Let's Have Vietnamese Noodles!

Occasionally members of the camera club that I belong to will joking comment that we are really a dining club that takes photographs. A meal always accompanies a meeting or get together. Truthfully that grates on me. I eat to live, not live to eat—I do live to photograph, so I see my priorities in a different place. Until Janet passed away I had a valid excuse for not going to the dinner that occurs after each club meeting. No longer having that excuse I do attempt to be more sociable. Unfortunately there is one member of the club from Canada that seems to only eat Mexican food. I enjoy Mexican food but not as a steady diet so often I only have coffee.

Sometime prior to 1982 the Houston Chronicle published a review of a book titled How Not to be a Wimp. Janet thought it was humorous so she read me the review. Many times afterwards she commented that she was extremely glad that she only read the review and never purchased the book for me. This frequently happened right after I walked out of a restaurant, or took a store manager to task for not being wheelchair friendly or not insisting that the employees first attention be to the customer—it doesn’t even require that I be the aforementioned customer. I see it I mention it.  In truth I see myself as extremely timid, even mousey—but I spent too many years behind a retail counter to take much crap when I am on the other side. I don’t want to be followed around when I am shopping. I don’t want to be ignored by a waiter or waitress—don’t ever throw a menu on my table as you pass by, and don’t ever overcharge me for coffee when I present my AARP card at a Denny’s. I’ve got Denny’s so snakebite that last night they insisted on giving me the 20%  discount even thought I did not even enter the building until after 10pm and it was after 11pm when I left. And believe me I do not want to wait at the checkout counter while the cashier finishes her phone call with her most recent hook up or while the unionized employees of Kroger’s discuss their after work party plans rather than check me out. The person standing on the outside the counter is your main attraction when you are on the retail side. Like the lawyer on TV says, “You deserve respect and we demand it!” Bare with me, there is a connection between these two paragraphs.
What brings this all to mind was last night after the club meeting at the restaurant where we go. Some weeks ago I ordered enchiladas which are listed as Tex-Mex. I thought surely no one could possibly screw up Tex-Mex (as long as they didn’t put chicken in the enchiladas.) Well, Tex-Mex enchiladas are covered with good old Texas chili—not these. They were floating is some sort of the most gosh awful tasting brown liquid I have ever had the displeasure of putting in my mouth. Out of character—and because I was hungry—I ate them. It was undoubtedly the worst meal that I have ever been served in a restaurant—bar none.

I have not ordered anything since then. But last night I was really hungry—my eating habits are pretty inconsistent and sometimes I just don’t remember to do it—not that I can tell it has any effect until I go to buckle my belt which for some reason keeps getting longer rather than shorter.

There were several fish dishes on the menu—most with names that I knew to avoid. One said “catfish in butter.” Well, a brushing of butter would be acceptable—not drowning in butter. After all you eat fish to eliminate the fatty acids so it doesn’t make much sense to add them. I specifically asked before I ordered if butter was the only thing on the fish, with the emphasis on ONLY and was told that it was. So help me, it came to the table with that same gosh awful tasting brown sauce drizzled all over it. I took one bite to be sure that this wasn’t some other similar appearing sauce—it wasn’t. I sent it back. If it can ruin an enchilada it will surely ruin a filet of catfish. That is why I ended up at Denny’s after ten o’clock.

Well, Alcy and I are going to Katy Prairie this afternoon and Debi is meeting us there after work. We were talking about where we would go to eat and Debi recommended a Vietnamese noodle restaurant which she tried recently and we decided to go there. This morning I got an email from her suggesting a barbeque place. I know that after having some time to think about last night she’s afraid that I won’t like Vietnamese noodles and will embarrass the dickens out of her—I wouldn’t. I enjoy trying different foods. I mean when I order squid I expect that to be an experiment—or alligator tail or rattlesnake or brains and eggs. It would be the same with Vietnamese noodles. It is one thing to order something that you suspect you might not like. It is an entirely different thing to order something that you know you like but find that it is not eatable when it gets to the table. So Debi, if you are reading this, I really would like to try the Vietnamese noodles. I promise not to embarrass you—if I don’t like them I’ll just bite my tongue and eat at Denny’s afterwards.


  1. Nietnamese noodles eh...... sounds like a wonderful tasty experiment to me. Don't lose too much weight Gary, don't want you disappearing on me.

  2. According to my belt everthing is going the other direction whether I eat or not.

  3. Stay well my friend, I would love to one day meet you!!!