Sunday, January 17, 2010

The $25 Bite

I was out window shopping yesterday afternoon, and it had been about 4 hours since I drank my morning protein shake. I needed a protein rich meal, stat.

I decided to stop by The Counter for their burger in a bowl. From what I remembered, the portion size wouldn't be too difficult to handle - you get just over 5 ounces of meat served over spring mix greens and your choice of garnishes. I figured I could get a serving of their fried pickles, too; in my pre-op days, the pickles were positively paltry.

You can see where I'm going with this. What arrived was an insurmountable obstacle of food. There were probably 20 thickly sliced fried pickles in front of me, and I could only deal with one before digging into my main course. I went for the monthly special - an easily digestible crab cake with bacon cole slaw. I should've asked the server to bring me the crab cake by itself; I couldn't even contemplate the lettuce and attendant condiments. I asked for a little plate so that I could dose out my crab cake, which was beautiful and full of lumpy crab and very little filler. I'm sure the server took one look at my untouched plates and thought I was some kind of freak.

It took me 90 minutes to eat the 5-ounce crab cake plus one more fried pickle. I passed the time enjoying this guy's book. With tip, my meal came out to $25.

I learned a few things. Don't go to a sit-down restaurant when I'm starving and by myself. Go someplace with soup. Go to the grocery store and get something at the deli. Get the right portions for a better price. If I do go somewhere, it's gotta be the best of the best; I don't mind shelling out cash for a once-in-a-lifetime meal. But a crab cake? Bitch you high.

Most importantly is that I was confronted with how I saw food portions before surgery. I used to think those fried pickles were a rip-off because I could still see the bottom of the plate when they arrived. Now they look Brobdingnagian, as if I could use one of them to slide down a snowy hill. I had to break down that crab cake and move it section by section to a smaller plate so it didn't look so bestial. Eating? Not as easy as it used to be. And that is good.

So there's that,


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