Saturday, July 31, 2010

Me and Padma

We went on a little trip this week and we ate mostly from restaurants.

After ordering a pizza that we redesigned to be vegan Ike told us that we are difficult customers. He said it in that embarrassed way 13 year olds have. I said, "Of course! If we are paying $22 for a pizza (this was in Vail, CO after all) I want it done right!" And so it went the entire trip.

When ordering the Irish steel cut oatmeal be sure to order without cream or butter or yogurt and ask for the berries on the side (you get more). And clarify that you want the grilled veggie sandwich without cheese. You have to be exacting and demanding. It goes against my nature to make demands but I have actually found that in a restaurant it is fun! Especially an upscale restaurant with a chef who has celebrity aspirations. We've had some delicious meals from those chefs.

On our last night there we went out for a  celebration dinner and chose the restaurant because several people in the group were vegetarian and we saw "Mushroom Meatloaf" and assumed it was like a mushroom burger - but meatloaf style. We were wrong. I asked the waiter what vegetarian/vegan options were available besides dinner salad. After checking with the chef he said the chef was up to the challenge and would create something special for us.

It was like Top Chef and I was Padma.
Yup. I'd say that's pretty much how I looked when I was being a "difficult customer".

The chef brought out our dinner and explained it to us (just like on Top Chef!) and we dug in. And we judged it to be good. He wouldn't need to pack his knives.

Orzo, smoked rosemary, pine nuts, grilled leeks and asparagus, strawberries and little slices of mushrooms. And lots of olive oil. I would have backed way off the oil, played up the veggies more, and garnished it with something fancy looking and given it a side of fresh mango. Ahh. That might have been perfect.


Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

OOOH I love your mango idea! I'm surprised that in Colorado a chef didn't think to add some protein to a veggie meal. I'd be the bratty Tom Colicchio of the group. I love that you're learning to be demanding. I was a server for ages, and I never minded if people modified the dishes- as long as they were nice about it.

Jenibelle said...

One more thing we have in common...the love of Top Chef. I think we really would be BF's if we lived close. much as I admire your new lifestyle, I can't join you. I have TERRIBLE food allergies, I can only eat berries, peaches and lettuce raw. I am deathly allergic to avocados, fruits and most raw vegies, especially anything in the melon family. Sucks to be me.

Linda said...

You are looking more like Padma everyday.