Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I HATE! Smelling Like the Restaurant You Were Just In

Does it do any good to complain about something you can't change? No, probably not. But obviously, that is not the point of this blog. Do I think that I can influence people out of their ignorance, oblivion, self-absorption, or stupidity? No, course not. Do I think that through this blog I am able to magically make the changes I wish to see in the world. Clearly, I do not believe that I can. My point here is this: some of these postings are simply created as a venting mechanism and I know there is nothing I can do to change the unfortunate ways of the world.

That being said, I would, today, like to address a very important issue. A few weeks ago, I went to have Mexican food with my friend Robby. I had a burrito, a glass of red sangria, and more tortilla chips than is healthy to consume in one sitting. The restaurant was nothing special - not high-end nor low-rent. It was festively decorated and more importantly, the food was very yummy. Overall, I was quite satisfied with the dining experience... that was until I got outside.

Robby and I decided that a bottle of wine might be a nice way to finish our evening and as we ventured into the wine shop across the street, I began to notice the aroma of Mexican food was following me. At first, I just thought we could still smell the fumes from the restaurant from across the street, but as we entered the shop, it became strikingly apparent that I was what smelled like Mexican food. In fact, I smelled like I had just been stuffed with re-fried beans, cheese, gauc, steak, rice, and sour cream and then thrown into the deep fryer. Ick! Ugh! Gross!

I can absolutely not stand smelling like the food I have just consumed and frankly, I take it as a bad sign when you carry the smell of the restaurant you've just eaten in to every other place you go afterwards. Furthermore, this phenomenon causes me to avoid such establishments all together. If you can't keep the smell of cooking food in the kitchen, there is something seriously wrong. Don't get the wrong idea here, I love it when food comes out of the kitchen piping hot and smelling amazing, but that scent should not seep into your clothes and hair and follow you home like a stray puppy. To me, that is a tragic sign of bad food preparation - trans fats, lard, deep-frying, unidentifiable meat products - these words come to mind.

I really feel like this has to be some sort of health code violation - isn't there a regulatory policy regarding poisoning your patrons with the crippling scent of the food served? If not, there certainly should be. It could be very hazardous to your health - suppose you leave a restaurant smelling intensely of the grilled lamb chops you just enjoyed and on the way home the scent attracts a pack of wild dogs who then proceed to attack and maul you because they think you're packing lamb chops? This is a very plausible scenario.

But the thing is, you know the moment when you walk into a restaurant whether you're going to be taking a souvenir home with you after your meal - and I don't mean a doggie bag. For example, this past weekend, I was with my mother in the classiest city in the world, AC. And for lunch, after deciding that we both were craving hamburgers, we ventured into Johnny Rockets. I know, I know - Johnny Rockets isn't a 4-star establishment, but the food is yummy - especially when you're jonesing for a greasy loaded-up cheeseburger and fries. it's the kind of place that really hits the spot. Anyway, the moment I walked into the place, I knew I (and my brand-new wool coat) was going to carry the scent of the griddle with me for the rest of the day. The place reeked of grease. The air was saturated with the scent. You know when people use the phrase 'cut the tension with a knife'? Well, I think I could have cut the greasy air with a knife. It was horribly disgusting. I could feel the greasy and pungent odor permeating my pores, my hair, and my clothing. I almost couldn't finish my barbecue sauce-slathered, onion ring and bacon-topped cheeseburger... almost. No need to fret - I did manage to get it down.

And the moment I did, I got out of there as fast as I could... leaving a trail of the scent of cheeseburger down the boardwalk behind me.

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