August 10th, 2004


when bad food happens to good people.

These last few days I've been visiting the Olympic Peninsula. I could talk about the cool things I saw there like the Hoh Rainforest and the lake vistas and beaches, but instead I want to complain about food because that's more fun. For me, I mean.

Crimes against taste and humanity that I experienced during my visit included:

{a} A "low-carb" side option served with steak, which the menu claimed as "beefsteak tomatoes and buffalo mozarella." Pause as I did to consider this imaginary bounty: slices from an enormous, juicy, dark red, flavorful tomato, weighing in at a pound or more, and a wet, soft mozarella made entirely from buffalo milk--an incredibly soft cheese, formed in balls, softer than warm modeling clay, softer than testicles. What they served instead--lies, lies, damned lies! Tomatoes: small, pale, orangey slices like you might find buried inside a McBurger, easily the worst I've ever tasted, and I've eaten plenty. Cheese: hard bland slabs of mozarella, possibly produced by Kraft, Inc. That's not food. That's trauma.

{b} Eggs cooked in oily fake butter with that bad popcorn "butter" aftertaste. How can you ruin eggs? I honestly didn't think anyone could ruin eggs. I passed on the oatmeal because I doubted their competency, and chose eggs. I mourn.

{c} Worst. Coffee. Ever.

{d} Strangely flavored iced tea--sort of an off coffeeish aftertaste, but perhaps not coffee. Perhaps something else, an unknown quantity.

{e} A burger offered on a restaurant menu with a detailed description that, however, left out that it comes slathered with that special McSauce. Shredded lettuce--that's just wrong. And the wrong cheese, different than what I ordered, but no matter, I was distracted from this by the uncooked bun.

{f} Fries that tasted like fish. I just don't want to know.

{g} Pancakes served with--it pains me to relate--Smuckers corn-syrup based "syrup" in little tubs.

{h} "Fresh slices of lean turkey breast." In actuality, thin pressed slices from some part of the turkey. Or other. With those charming little fat globules you get in compressed meat. Mmm.

All this and bad service! Well, in one restaurant; the other had great service, to be honest.

It will take a week of home-cooked meals before I'm normal again. Before the nightmares are banished. Before the healing can begin.