Pitfalls in Dining Out

Well don’t I feel sheepishEwe better believe I do. I was feeling fine until I was ram-ed by the truth. It humbled me into a kid instead of the old goat I am. Oh and it was such a boar. Well it’s time to adjust, sit down on the cow-ch and get past this moo-ving experience.

Farm animal puns aside, while the last paragraph was fun to write, I must own up to my ignorance, and steer this back to the point. (One more couldn’t hurt could it?) Anyway, today my pomposity was knocked down a notch, and I guess all of this is just avoiding the inevitable. I must fess up to the truth. I am not a worldly playboy as I have previously believed myself to be. (If this were a podcast you would be hearing sad violins right now.) Here is my story.

Today I went to a restaurant and they had a sandwich was served with Smoky Mushroom Aioli. I was taken by surprise that such a delicacy might be served locally. I mean aioli certainly must be something served with expensive caviar on transatlantic jaunts to Europe and the far east. Only half of the one-percent could afford such a delicacy as aioli. And yet here it was in my local eatery. Of course, I could not ask the chef about it. Such an action would place me as a commoner. One of my stature could never be seen as anything less that perfection, lest those lesser souls than myself lose their simple adoration. They must have something to hold on to in this crazy world. It is the duty of every perfect male not to deprive them of their hope. I must People Magazine  understands this kind of attitude very well. But that is beside the point.

Getting back to the restaurant, I ordered the sandwich and to prove my good taste and breeding ordered extra aioli on the side. Then I thrust my pinkie firmly into the air and sipped my tea. It was really hot and burned my throat the whole way down. However, I was able to stop writhing quickly. As I said before, I can’t show weakness. Then after some brilliant conversation with Muffy, and Cedrick, the sandwich arrived complete with a small side cup of the said aioli. I looked at this glorious meal and it immediately presented two problems.

First, I realized aioli is a sauce. Yep, just a simple sauce. I thought it was some rare vegetable that nobody eats, like kale. I was sorely disappointed. My new taste treat, sure to dazzle my taste buds into seven levels of nirvana was just a condiment. I don’t even like condiments, and I had ordered extra. This brings us to the second problem. Upon further inspection, I noticed it looked like mayonnaise. I’m allergic to mayonnaise! I was suddenly faced with the cruelest of choices. Either I lose face in front of my friends, and pass on the sandwich, or I eat it hungrily and hope I can get to the hospital before my throat closes up. Neither seemed to have any plusses at all.

Thankfully, I am a creative sort. The solution came to me in a flash. I started into a conversation about something flashy, then abruptly said, “Hold on” I reached for my phone as if it had rung and had a heated conversation with no one on the line. Hanging up I explained, I had an emergency, asked the server to put my meal in a doggie bag, apologized to my friends and left the place. Pretty smart, huh? You’re free to try it if you want. Just don’t do it too much. People get suspicious when you stick them with the check too many times. Trust me on this.

So, I went home and Googled aioli. To my horror, it’s not anything special at all. It’s mayonnaise mixed with garlic. When I was young we called it garlic mayonnaise, not aioli!

Why do people insist on messing everything up by giving it a stupid name? take bouillabaisse for example. That’s just fish soup. Eight letters are so much easier to pronounce than thirteen. And saying fish soup describes what it is so much better. An example closer to my story might be horseradish sauce. One popular roast beef place calls it Horsey Sauce, but it contains absolutely no horsies. That’s false advertising, if I ever heard it. And don’t even get me started about chutney. Which you really can’t because you’re reading this and I won’t be writing it any more by then.

Where was I? Oh yes, chutney. Not Chumlee, the big guy from the show Pawn Stars. Chutney, the Indian dish that seems to be mentioned on every cooking competition on TV. They make it out to be the savior of every meal, but it’s really just a fruit relish. And what is a relish? Just another kind of sauce.

I guess what I’m really saying is, “Why do foodies have to confuse everybody with silly names for regular stuff??” Take shepherd’s pie for example. I prefer fruit pies, not pies made with shepherd. What it is really is meat covered in mashed potatoes.  No crust! Doesn’t a pie have to have a crust to be a pie? I think it does. Can’t we keep it simple. Shakespeare wrote “A rose by any other name still stinks” (Not a direct quote) Therefore I’m still allergic to mayo even if you do call it aioli. Fish soup, on the other hand, needs all the help it can get. So maybe I’d better let the French name stand. What was that again? Bubble-baste?

If you have comments, want to discuss the extinction of the platypus, or want me to take a sideways view at your favorite topic. Send me an E-Mail at ohhssidewaysview@gmail.com I’d love to hear from you!

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