Thursday, May 28, 2009

Please Hold the Avocado



I had a very unusual experience yesterday in a restaurant. Now, I am used to some very good waitstaff who suggest what is "excellent" on the menu, or maybe even who hint at what you might not want to order: they explain what things are, try to describe what they taste like, tell you which sauces best complement which foods, politely bring your food and quietly whisk away your empty plates. But yesterday, a waitress shockingly exclaimed that I was asking for them to remove "the best part" of the dish I ordered!

My entire life I have had people telling me what I should like and what I would like. Don't you have friends and family try to convince you that their favorite dish should be yours? They tell you the calamari you savor is "disgusting"; your favorite hot chili recipe is "undigestable"; that their beloved tuna noodle casserole is just the best and you don't know what you're missing!

I remember being told by my father, "You don't know what good is" as he happily gulped down a bowl of cold beet soup that made me gag just to look at. And this week, visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Israel, we are barraged with new fruits and salads and mixtures and sauces, all being pushed at us at every meal, our hosts telling us how delicious these strange foods are and how much we will love them--even if we are politely declining with a smile and a "maybe later--I'm very full right now".

I have been out to restaurants hundreds of times and sat next to customers ordering what I thought were odd requests: "burn the bun", "extra mayo on my hot dog", "bring me my stake so rare you can hear it moo". And the waitress just nods and writes it down.

So, I found it particularly surprising at the Japanese restaurant last night (yes, they have them in Israel!) when I asked the waitress to hold the avocado in my salmon sushi roll--I don't happen to like the texture mixed in with that of the fish, rice, and crunchy cucumber strips--and she virtually shrieked, "WHAT? But that is the best part! Are you sure you don't want it?" As if I had turned down a personal offer of her family favorite recipe, and it would make her feel better if I accepted. I would not. And she was okay with it after all.

What is your favorite (or least favorite) food that people are always telling you is wrong to like!

1 comment:

Jim said...

My favorite food?

Avocado.

As in, give me only the avocado, hold the sushi.

Yeah, you missed the best part.