Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hits and Misses

You know there are some days where things seem to go well and some days where things seem to go awfully.  This not only happens with tests, exams, homework, and role plays, but with general experiences and food too.  Read on for my two examples.


Jack and I got a Groupon for a five course mystery dinner a while back, sometime in July.  We finally got the chance to trade it in last night.  We arrived and toured the house before finding our table (number 7!).


We chose our seats and then noticed our character profiles on the table.  Jack was Dr. Doeslittle and I was Marion Nouveau-Riche.


We took the couple of moments before dinner to familiarize ourselves with the dispositions of our characters.  I couldn’t wait to play mine!  The gist “You are outwardly angry with and inwardly hurt by your husband” meant I basically got to yell and rant and rave at my “husband” who was sitting directly across from me at the table.  It was fun.  Throughout the evening we had five courses.  This is where the MISS comes in.  I was disappointed with the food.

So let’s start at the beginning: the feta, spinach, and sun-dried tomato tart.


The tart dough was nice though the whole thing was rather dry.  There was no connective element.  It was like someone took premade tart pans and just dumped in some spinach, a few oily tomato slices, and a couple crumbles of feta.

The second course was a field green salad supposedly with leeks, pecans, strawberries, and a raspberry vinaigrette.


Essentially this was some green leaves thrown on a plate with a few leek shavings and five sliced strawberry pieces.  The dressing was perhaps a tablespoon amount dumped in the middle of the plate so most of the leaves were dry.  Oh, and there were absolutely no pecans on my plate for sure.  Not impressed.

The next course was pasta so I got a bit excited.  We were told it was noodles with snap peas, small peppers, shrimp, and a basil pesto sauce.


I’ll admit this was probably the best thing we had all night but that was NOT saying much.  The plates were messy (I saw some waiters carrying plates that actually had pasta strewn over the sides hanging off) and my three miniature shrimp were so overcooked they were chewy.

The next course was considered our entrée and was an apple chicken with onions in an apple marinade with raisin-wild rice pilaf and vegetables.


When these dishes got to the table the plate entirely dwarfed the food.  The chicken was dry and the rice was cold and sticky (not in a good way because believe me, I am a fan of sticky rice) and the vegetables were utterly mushy.  The veggies were also a sad dark green color and the carrots were almost a rust orange.  They reminded me of frozen vegetables that had ben microwaved.  They didn’t look anything like freshly steamed vegetables.  Also, everyone at the table got a different array.  I had almost all carrots with two or three green beans while the lady next to me had four chunks of broccoli and Jack got essentially seven green beans.

The final course, which was served while the tables were doing their final questioning and solving of the mystery, was perhaps the most disappointing of all.  We were served tall shot glasses that had pudding, that’s right, pudding in them.


And it wasn’t homemade, oh no.  It was boxed I’m fairly sure.  It tasted just like the mixes you can get from the store.  Not only was it lackluster in the originality department but they were incredibly inconsistent.  My shot glass was a third of the way full with a graham cracker layer, a chocolate layer, a pistachio layer, and then some whipped cream.  Jack’s was maybe halfway full with graham, chocolate, banana, pistachio, and whipped topping.  I saw other glasses that were almost so full they were bursting over the top edges.  Like other dishes, these glasses were dirty and awfully presented.

So, needless to say, I’m glad we got this on Groupon (we paid $50 for the two of us) instead of paying full price (over $100 for a pair) because I would have been even MORE unhappy with the whole thing.  On the bright side, the mystery part was fun.  I had a great time playing the part and solving the mystery (which by the way, I totally nailed!!!) but the food was a MISS.


This weekend had two HITS for Jack and myself. The first came before our big date night.  I had a Huntington’s Disease conference in the morning on Saturday and when I came back I headed to the gym.  Jack arrived before I finished and after a shower I was craving Arby’s so we grabbed coupons and headed out for a nice half mile walk.  I ordered a beef & cheddar with curly fries and he got the triple cheese and bacon angus sandwich with curly fries too.  We tried all the sauces they had: horsey mayo, honey Dijon mustard, triple pepper, ketchup, and Arby’s sauce.


Since I had been craving this meal for a bit it really hit the spot.  I was a very happy camper by the end.  Jack was too.

The second HIT of the weekend was today during the Redskin’s game (which, in and of itself, was a MISS because they played like four year olds at the adults table).  We went to a local sports bar as part of our Taste of the Big City mission.  It was called Frontpage and happened to be right around the corner from my apartment.  How’s that for convenience!?!


We started with the Cajun chicken nachos in the first quarter.  We had been talking about nachos for a few months but had never been in a place to order them so we were excited.  The chicken was good but the chunks of real tomato really stole the shoe.  Score.

In the late second quarter we ordered our entrees.  Jack got the Bulldog which was a half pound burger topped with shaved sirloin, grilled peppers and onions, and Swiss cheese.  I got the Cardinal (as a homage to my alma mater) which was a half pound burger with cheddar cheese, a fried egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion.  I got fries and he got onion petals to split as sides.


The onion petals were awesome and the fried egg on my sandwich was an incredible addition.  Seriously, it was like breakfast on a burger.  Awesome.  I’ll tell you this though: I almost had to unhinge my jaw to get this thing into my mouth.  It was a challenge but soooo worth it.  =D


So while there are misses in life it’s important to remember that there are also hits and they do balance out in the end.  If you’re lucky, the hits even outweigh the misses.  Balance is key and that goes for everything in life: food, friends, romance, work, school, etc.  Here’s to life and all that it entails!

Question: What were your hits and misses of the weekend?


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