The Next Step: So You Think You're a Foodie   

...getting through life one step at a time.

...getting through life one step at a time.

Friday, August 31, 2012

So You Think You're a Foodie

I recall two distinct times in my life when the term "foodie" was used to describe me.  Once at a party at a friends house in Maryland, Ginger and I were talking about a particular dish and I said something about perhaps a substitution of ingredients and she said, "Oh that's right, you ARE a foodie, aren't you?"  I was taken a little aback, at the time thinking a "foodie" was a bit of an insult, or at the very least meant that you were a food snob.  Not at all denying that I am/was a snob, I just never thought I was a food snob.  (but I think I might be now)

Second, was tonight, on my birthday at the historic Longfellow's Wayside Inn.  Ever since moving to New England I've been on the hunt for the ultimate lobster roll.  I found that last summer (right down the street!) after traveling as far as Maine for the Travel Channel Food Wars: Lobster Rolls, and down on the water in Boston where Anthony Bourdain claims the best lobster roll is served.  (I disagreed with all the televised experts.) I went to fine dining, nationally recognized establishments, shacks on the side of the road, and chain fast food places - the best in my opinion is Stephen Anthony's with a solid 8 ounces of fresh-picked lobster meat, essence of mayo, and hold the celery all on a crispy, crusty, hollowed-out roll.  Perfection!

But I digress.  A few months back I won a bid at an auction that entitled me to a dinner for two at the Wayside Inn - soup/salad, entree, and dessert X 2.  Fantastic!  What a great plan for a night when my parents are here to stay with the kids.  I called last week for a reservations, got it, and when we arrived it was a beautiful night and there was a few tables available on the patio.  I'm not a big al fresco diner, but Hubs is, and when we walked into the dining room to see a family with small children seating smack in the middle, I changed course and asked for a patio table.  It was comfy, quiet, and gazing at the full, "blue" moon while sipping a lovely sauvignon blanc was the perfect way to start the end of my birthday.  And then the mosquitoes began their feast.  I am one of THE most attractive people in the world, if you happen to be a hungry mosquito.  I think of those old OFF commercials where someone looney person sprays their hand and then sticks it in a Lucite box full of buzzing bastards.  Tonight I started to think they pulled a fast one on everyone and secretly replaced the hungry, female mosquitoes with fully sated male mosquitoes and *that* is why the looney didn't get bit.  "They" say, that without mosquitoes the food chain would collapse and civilization as we know it would crumble and fall.  I'm almost willing to take that chance.

Instead, we asked our very nice waitress to move us inside.  She was gracious and put us in what used to be the Inn's original kitchen - very quaint, very rustic, very private - but for the sound of "moooommmyy!  MOMMY!  MOOOOMMMY!" coming from the next room, interrupted only by bouts of "DADDY!  DAAAADDDDY!"

Sigh - we left 3 of those home on purpose!  WHO brought a toddler to a fine dining establishment at 8:30 pm?  Shouldn't this kid be in bed?  Shouldn't this kid NOT be eating a $20 entree? (Okay, I have absolutely zero proof they bought any food at all for the child - I'm sure they were reasonable people who brought cheerioes and goldfish for their kid who I am sure tossed them all over the place and stomped on them on her many trips through our dining area to stretch her little legs because she was DONE sitting in that high chair.)

Our lovely waitress turned up the music in our room, and shut the doors between us and Daughter Dearest - and earned herself a big fat tip right there - as if having to clean two tables for us weren't enough!  Thanks dear lady!  :-)

So have I traveled farther from the original topic yet or should I take another trip around New England?

The Hubs and I started with appetizers - even though they weren't included in the gift certificate, I was going for as much lobster as I could here with a blank check like that!  "Endive Scoops with Lobster Salad" to start, "Lobster Bisque garnished with a whole lobster claw" next, "Lobster Pie - fresh lobster meat cooked in a sherry sauce and baked with a butter cracker topping" for me and "Yankee surf & turf - ribeye and lobster tail" for The Hubs, and finishing it off with creme brulee to share and an apple pie to go for Dad. 

One bite into the lobster salad and I said, "the endive is too bitter for this dish - it's totally competing with the lobster for flavor dominance - a nice, crisp romaine heart would have been a better choice" - and then it hit me, "wow, I am totally a foodie."  And then Hubs and I looked at each other and both said at the same time, "someday we should open a restaurant" and then laughed.  Everything else we ate tonight was absolute perfection - and it's not often I say that! 

Today was all about eating out - having someone else cook for me on my birthday.  Dad took me & the 5 year old out for breakfast at a great little diner a couple miles from my house - the cash-only, breakfast-all-day, kind of place where the service is, "nice" and the food is amazing.  Mom took me & the 5 year old out for Afternoon Tea (inspired by Max & Ruby go to London with Grandma and have High Tea with the Queen - or something like that) at a cute little place a bit farther from home but all they do is tea & lunch so everything was fabulous (except the fact that they have no AC and it almost hit 90 degrees today - a rarity around here.) 

My inner foodie comes out when I try new restaurants around here and whether I publicize it or not, I try to figure out what when into the meal, and how it might have been done better.  So does that make me a foodie?  I guess it depends on which definition you mean.  :-) I swear, I'm not a douchebag who likes food.


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