Friday, September 07, 2007

Just Because It’s Endless Doesn’t Mean You Have To Treat It That Way

That’s what I was moaning saying after lunch with Partner In Crime the other day. We decided to go a little more upscale for lunch and chose a nice Italian restaurant chain. To hide the establishment’s name I will only refer to it as Drab Colored Oval Shaped Tiny Vegetable Growing Area. Perhaps you know of the chain I am speaking of. If not, it was recently brought to my attention that said eatery is also referred to as ‘The OG’ (thanks AA's sister!!). I’m sure you get it now…

We had planned on the cheap and relatively light soup and salad. Until I asked the $2.4 billion calorie question: ‘Are you still doing that endless pasta bowl thing?’ The waiter’s answer: ‘yes.’ So much for the soup and salad. I can’t recall what the first bowl I ordered was; in fact I can’t remember what the second bowl I ordered was. Nor can I tell you whether it was tasty or not. I believe there was some type of sauce and most likely cheese involved, but other than that, I’m pretty clueless (as far as the food, no smarty ass remarks!)

I guess if I had ended at just two bowls of pasta, despite its endless moniker, I would have been ok. But I had to down two more additional bowls for a total of 4 bowls (sounds like a Total cereal commercial)of rather unmemorable pasta and sauce combinations. Then I had to add 4 breadsticks and 2.5 bowls of salad. I may have also snacked on a napkin and had to ask for more lemons in my iced tea, despite the fact that out waiter swore my tea had lemons when it was delivered to our table. I am also pretty sure that there were those OG wrapped mints that come with the bill to make it more palatable. I have no clue what came over me. Perhaps it was the knowledge that the sooner I got to the bottom of each bowl that there would be another waiting for me.

What is it about all you can eat situations that makes us forget about our calorie intake in the same way that a pubescent boy forgets about pretty much everything when surrounded by the local high school’s cheerleading squad? Ok, I know that rarely happens, but I wanted to provide you with an easily understandable scenario. I mean I have seen some amazing things in buffet lines. I have actually witnessed people pile up their food in configurations that should defy the laws of gravity. How in the world do greasy sauce covered ribs not slide off a jiggly Jell-O based salad? These things simply should not stay on the same plate without crashing down! And then there’s the mind baffling food combinations that find end up on the buffeters plates. I’m speaking of pie and macaroni salad on the same plate or Italian food sitting right next to Mexican food or cole slaw nested next to bread pudding. I fear sometimes that people in the buffet line forget that not only is there an unlimited amount of food, but that there are an equally unlimited number of plates upon which to place it.

Has Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs worked cleanup at a buffet restaurant yet? If not, he should. No wait, forget it. I should. Then I can submit it to the Discovery Channel in my not so secret bid to be named as the new host of Dirty Jobs when Mr. Rowe decides that it’s easier to just do the narration for The Deadliest Catch, but you don’t care about any of that. Although I have diligently been practicing my use of the word ‘Poo’ and I am far worse at math than he is, and that’s saying something!

It might sound like I am ranting here, but I speak with some degree of knowledge, kind of, almost, ok, just a little bit. I used to be a buffet whore or ‘buffore’ as it is commonly referred. A buffet was like the satellite TV alternative for restaurants. Where a normal restaurant would be an old black and white TV that had no remote control, the buffet is a Hi-Def satellite TV feed with 500 channels, including at least 3 devoted to NASCAR. Not only would my mouth water when I entered a buffet, my eyes would water too. And it wasn’t just the smell of the dirty diaper from the kid in the booth next to me that was causing it. Yeah, I’d cry just a little. In the Eden that was the buffet table, the sheer quantity of food often overshadowed the sheer lack of its quality.

You know what, I’m getting awfully hungry. What the heck was I discussing again? Crème Brule? Crab legs? Does anyone else remember? Hmmmm, I wonder what time Billy Bawb’s Feeding Trough O-Rama around the corner opens…


****In the same spirit of Q & A Tuesdays, I'm toying with starting You Decide Thursdays. I would ask everyone to submit ideas for a post each week and then write about one of those topics each Thursday. What do ya think???****

33 comments:

Airam said...

First. Booyah. That's what she said.

(I remembered to use it!!!!)

Michael C said...

Airam: Yay, you're getting the hang of it (uh, TWSS)

And you are first two days in a row. The odds of that happening are like, well, 23 to 1. I thought the odds would be more impressive, but I don't get enough commenters.

Airam said...

I haven't been to an OG since High school!! I don't think that we have any more left in my area. I haven't seen one (or even commercials) in as long as I can remember. I wonder if they are banned in Canada. That sounds silly. TWSS.

I think people adopt a feast or famine (or whatever it's called) mode when it's all you can eat. It's almost as though they don[t know wher their next meal is coming from.

Michael C said...

Airam: You're not missing anything without an OG. All 4 bowls were suckiness personified. Bland, boring and forgettable..kinda like most of my posts. :D

Airam said...

Look at you making y0ur readers do all the work coming up with ideas of what you can write. It's hard enough (TWSS) for us to figure out what to write on our own blogs!

Michael C said...

Airam: Nice TWSS! And yeah, ya got me with the blog material cheating. I was afraid that wouldn't fly. Dang!!!!

Violet said...

Along similar lines, if I hear the word "free" I'm much more likely to reach out for one - and it'll happen before I've even had a chance to register that I've done so.

Patti said...

The way you were going through those bowls of mediocre pasta and sauce I thought you were going to say you upchucked in the parking lot.

We never go to the "garden" because the line is always out the door and around the building and, well, forget it.

AndreAnna said...

But, I thought there was no more Deadliest Catch? Mike Rowe needs all the work he can get now!!

CrystalChick said...

Hi, I started stalking your page only a couple weeks ago as my blog life is just beginning. TWSS. Been to OG a few times and actually liked the soup/salad/bread dealio. An unlimited 6 buck lunch is a good thing. The hub/kids wouldn't get din on those days... but whatever, they know how to put cereal in a bowl. As for buffets, we stopped going to OCB when we saw a pile of vomit in the parking lot. Ewwwww

Patti said...

Michael, Patti's right. With all that pasta you very well could have had an...um...reversal of fortune a la Takeru Kobayashi. But it appears that you must have been born with the Joey Chestnut eating gene...

Ralph said...

The last post was Ralph on Patti's profile. As for the sheer amount of food, remember this: Quantity has its own quality!

Candace said...

All you can eat (TWSS!) is just a dangerous situation. Period. You're exactly right about that gorging until you've gotten every last cent's worth thing. :-P I've always wondered how a place that smells so good can have such bland, tasteless food. Kinda like a Mexican restaurant on campus in Madison that had NO flavour. I mean, how can you MAKE Mexican food with no flavour? Seriously! Ecchhh.

Michael C said...

Violet: free could be the most powerful word in our language!

Patti: No, I just went back the office and napped!

AA: Oh God, I hope there will be another Deadliest Catch. The thought of there being no more makes me tremble...

CrystalChick: Welcome! Yeah, how can there be more taste in the salad dressing than in the pasta?

Patti/Ralph: I wasn't too far from a reversal of fortune, that's for sure!

Ralph: That is very deep! ALmost too deep for me to actually comprehend.

Candace: Our fav little Mexican joint across from work has become very bland. Although we might think it's because we usually eat there every single day.

Lemon Stand said...

I LOVE the OG but unfortunately there is not one close by. (I think it's about an hour and a half from my house) I LOVE their bread sticks. Now you've got ME hungry. Gotta go check what's in the fridge...

meleah rebeccah said...

Holy crap....Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs is my sons FAVORITE dude.

I have no idea what comes over US when there is the freedom to EAT ALL YOU WANT.

Glutney is the only word that comes to mind.

Odat said...

How big were the bowls?

I usually don't go to all you can eat thingys...just because....

You're really pulling at straws with the "suggest the topic" thing, huh? ;-)

Peace and have a great weekend!

Open Grove Claudia said...

CHRIST Michael! My waist gained 2 inches just reading about all these carbs.... yummy...yummy... yummy.... yummy carbs..... yummy...yummy... yummy.... yummy fat..... yummy...yummy... yummy.... yummy salt.....

FRIGGA said...

I'm very impressed with the amount of food you can consume at one sitting. The only way a buffet works for me is if I can spend at least 5 hours there :-0

The Kimmer said...

I won't comment on all the germ statistics that made me never want to eat at a buffet again, but I am very interested in YOU DECIDE Thursdays :)

Btw, g'luck to you and Jr. this weekend. I hope he makes the Chase.

Kimmer

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Damn, now I'm hungry.

*~*Cece*~* said...

OMG! Its September isn't it! OG does that endless pasta only in September. I can't believe my husband hasn't dragged me there by not. Tonight we're suppose to go to dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton, but I wonder if he could be persuaded to do OG instead. Hmmm


By the way, I LOVE watching that program Deadliest Catch! lol

katherine. said...

I haven't been to an OG since I was in Illinois...

buffore....laughing laughing laughing

come clean said...

I must admit that I'm a recovering buffore. Maybe there is a need to set up a 10 step program so as not to relapse ;)

Airam said...

Ok I thought of something for you decide Thursday. I don't know if you've done this already but tell us about the most embarrassing moment you've had. Insert TWSS where possible.

Michael C said...

Lemon: Just think of my bland meal and it won't make you hungry anymore.

Meleah: Mike Rowe is VERY cool! We should put him and Tina together ;-)

Odat: Yeah, I thought I could steal ideas from you guys. Is that breaking some blogging etiquette??

Claudia: Imagine what it did to my waist!

Frigga: Don't be impressed. I felt pretty crappy that night because I never eat like that.

Kimmer: I doubt he'll make the chase, but then he can go all out to win as many of the last 10 like Tony did last year ;-)

Silver: I haven't had an appetite since Wednesday!!

Cece: I love me The Spag Fac!!!

Katherine: I used to be the epitome of buffore.

Come Clean: Welcome! And if you find that 10 step program, shoot me an email!

Airam: This should be good! I encountered an embarrassing moment I will be inserting into things I learned this week also.

Aislínge said...

I like your idea for a Thursday night topic.

What did you have in mind as your first topic?

I like your blog immensely. I'm curious how you get so many interested readers! I noticed your have had 2,843 looks at your profile. I have had 370 and been on almost a year longer. Am I too weird? Too wordy? (I know the answer to that one, but what the hell, I'll ask anyway) What is the key?

Anyway, I will deifinitely look on Thursday or Friday to see what you've come up with as your topic!

kat said...

HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAH.

Oh my god. Really. This is truly and seriously one of the funniest things Ihave read in a long long time. I love the entire paragraph about what exactly it is that you ate. The napkin snacking: classic.

I can't wait to start listening to yur podcasts. Although I find written word funnier than everything else I really can't wait to hear you deliver this type of comedy verbally.

Oh you make me laugh so.

kat said...

Pardon the typos above. I'm not kidding when I say I am convulsing with laughter right now - TWSS.

Michael C said...

Kat: Thanks! You are always so supportive of me. I actually got home that night and felt so sick that I went to bed at 8 instead of midnight!

CS said...

There's actually been some research on plate/bowl size - the bigger the bowl, the more people eat. I don't lie all you can eat/buffet deals because a) I can't eat that much at one sitting and b) I don't want to be tempted to eat more than I need to. I want a nice meal on a plate so I can take home my leftovers.

Amy said...

Haha, shout out to me in the blog *woot woot* ;D You have everyone saying 'The OG' now. I should have totally patented that lol!

Michael C said...

Amy: It's all you!!!!
and thanks
;-)