Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Food Story. By Linda

A funny food story from the American Library Association Conference in Las Vegas, NV. 
June 29, 2014.

I went out to eat with some people while at the Annual Conference.  One of my co-workers, Steve, was sitting next to me on my right, and there were about 8 others that I didn’t really know.
We ate at Buddy V’s Ristorante. Apparently Buddy is the Cake Boss from TV, but it was a nice Italian Restaurant and the line for the bakery across the way at the Venetian was HUGE.  Luckily, the restaurant didn’t have huge long lines.  

We perused the menu a while.  It was short, so that was nice.  But I really didn’t know exactly what to get!  It all sounded good.  Steve and I decided we could split an appetizer of eggplant. That sounded good.  They brought us three slices and I had one, he had two.  Seemed fair.  Then when it came time to order, he opted for the shrimp scampi or something and mine was meatballs and pasta.  It was a “Family favorite” or specialty or family SOMEthing.  I don’t think it was “Family Style”, but it did mention three meats, like lamb and sausage and meatballs. But I figured that the meatballs had three kinds of meat. That’s normal.  And I decided I wanted a vegetable, too.  So I ordered some brocoletti or broccolini  or something close to broccoli.  

I also had a discussion with the fellow to my left who (probably appalled by my choice of meats for dinner) was a vegetarian.  I suggested that he ask for the appetizer eggplant to be made into an entrée for him, as it was really good eggplant parmesan.  So that’s what he ordered.  They just doubled the appetizer size and he got six slices.  “Oh,” he said (he was a very slight man) “I’ll never be able to eat all this!”  And, true to his word, he ate only three and left the others untouched.  He offered me them, as he noted that I’d called it the “best eggplant parmesan I’ve ever eaten.”  I declined at the time.  [ I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten eggplant parmesan before, actually. ]

Well, they brought out all the food for everyone about the same time.  Steve’s shrimp dish was a nice big bowl of pasta and stuff.  And most everyone else had A bowl of something similar.  But *I* was served a large bowl of large pasta with sauce. Oh my. Huge serving.  THEN, the meatballs were actually meatballs (3, I think) AND lamb (2 chunks) AND sausage link (cut up into 3 pieces).  It was in a cast iron oblong skillet thing ON a serving plate. The guy next to me had to re-arrange table settings and glassware to make room for it. THEN the waiter tried to put the vegetable on the table, and the people ACROSS from me had to move THEIR stuff to make room for it.  

I was so embarrassed.  There was everyone else with one dish of food in front of them, and there I sat with THREE LARGE PLATES OF FOOD.  I could have crawled under the table.  I offered Steve a meatball. He took one.  I offered others.  They declined (I didn’t offer the vegetarian to my left any meat). I offered the green vegetable around. No one had vegetables!  Yet, they all declined. 
So the feast began.  I made a stab at it.  I made a dent, but I knew I was going to be taking it home. I was leaving for home right after dinner, going to my air-conditioned car and could put it right in the fridge. It would be enjoyed the next day for lunch and I have no qualms about asking for a box.  And, since the fellow on my left AGAIN offered me his un-touched eggplant, I took him up on it and thanked him very much.

When the waiter came and was taking away our food, etc. I asked if I could please have a box so I could take home my leftovers. He said he’d be happy to take it and box it up FOR me.  “Thanks! And I’m taking his eggplant, too,” I said, pointing to the food and person to my left.

“Oh!” said the waiter. “Did you ASK HIM first?”   


“Do you need them in separate containers?”

“No. You can put them together. That will be fine, thank you.”

“Well, Okay, then! I’ll be right back that that.”

He soon returned with my prettily-wrapped-up leftovers and started in on the rest of the table.  Then he checked with Steve, who still had a lot of food in front of him, and asked him if he was going to be taking any of his food home with him.  And Steve said “No, thank you.” [Steve and his friend were leaving for France the next morning on vacation.So then the waiter looks at me and says, “Will YOU be taking his, too,  Ma’am?”
Oh, I just laughed and said, “No. He ate all the shrimp!” 
Going on around the table, the waiter comes to the couple across from me and Steve.  Again, lots of left-over food.  They were not taking it. So the waiter AGAIN asks ME if I want to take it, too!
Seriously, I was laughing so hard.  It’s a good thing I have a good sense of humor. It was funny. 

Maybe I should have taken all their food. I wouldn’t have had to cook for a week or more.  As it was, I had some of mine for lunch the next day and I fed Mike the rest at dinner.  Granted, they were not huge portions by then, but it was more than adequate.
And, yes. I DO hate to waste food.  My waist attests to that fact. And now I have the reputation that proves that fact. Ha.  I wondered how much they talked about me when I left before dessert was even ordered! I had a long drive home and it was almost 9 pm before I got to my car, and I’d forgotten about losing an hour.

Here's the menu.  I had "Valastro Sunday Gravy" on page 2, highlighted in the box.  And Broccolini.  It all seemed so innocent at the time.

Lesson learned: Read menus more carefully and ask the waiter for ALL the leftover boxes to go home-- with ME!!


1 comment:

Donna said...

Lol, that's hilarious! Reminds me of a burrito in Vegas ;)