Sunday, May 31, 2009

Good eats and not so good eats

This weekend has been interesting for the eats.

I'll start with the not-so-good.

And I might make some people really annoyed.

Last night, we found ourselves out and in need of food. We had gone to the mall to get me some maternity clothing that fits (not so easy, but we managed and got some great deals). Having recently found ourselves with some extra money, we figured a dinner out might be in order, since it had been so long.  And so we found ourselves at the Cheesecake Factory.

I'm going to say it right here and now and in public for everyone to see. And for me to remember. Because I keep forgetting. Here it is: I DO NOT LIKE THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY.

There, I said it. I keep forgetting and then I think "well, the menu is so big there has to be something I'll like." And I order something and I don't like it. 

But aside from all the food that I don't like, I hate the conspicuous consumption of it all. Do you really need an appetizer to have the amount of food that should be on a main dish? More even? Do you really need for every meal to be two meals' worth of food? I was sickened by the bill--$50 for the three of us to eat, and no one finished. There's no kid's menu, so you have to order an appetizer for the kiddo to eat anything, or share with an adult. And truth be told, neither option is that great (surprisingly, they are awesome with small children, say 6 months to a year, and provide snacks of bananas and bread for those kids, so it's not like it's intended to be completely unfriendly to kids. They just have nothing appropriately kid-sized. That said, they have nothing appropriately adult-sized either). 

When my chicken sandwich came out, I was actually appalled at how much food was on my plate. Trust me, a chicken sandwich does not reheat well, and I knew I would be eating about half of it. 

At least our $50 paid for two nights' worth of crappy food. Even my son, for whom we got the "sliders" appetizer, didn't really like the burgers, and burgers remain one of his favorite meals. I had heartburn last night, have it again tonight. I spent last night sleeping awash in the stench of garlic, which my husband could not rid himself of no matter what he tried (I look forward to a similar experience tonight). And the kiddo ate a half a hamburger tonight, which is completely unlike him. 

All in all, no one had a particularly good meal, and everyone felt compelled to eat the not-particularly-good meal for a second night in a row, because it was so damned expensive.

I will remember. Never again. We're done with that place. I don't even like cheesecake, and we never get around to ordering dessert anyway.

Now, all that said. Some Good Eats.

Yesterday we went to the farmer's market, and we got strawberries. Now, most of the farms at the market have been selling their strawberries for a few weeks, and they are, no doubt, better than any strawberry you can get in a grocery store. 

But this one place, that grew strawberries for the first time this year, had strawberries for the first time ever yesterday. I tasted one from the "tasting" box, and at first I was confused. This did not taste like a strawberry! So I tasted again. And I realized what it tasted like. These strawberries tasted like STRAWBERRY CANDY. No kidding. It was the sweetest, most delicious strawberry I had ever had in my ENTIRE LIFE. They were small--not the giant things that people think are the awesome strawberries. They were probably under an inch across, and completely red all the way through.

We bought two boxes. As soon as I get this heartburn to stop, I am going to have a bowl full of them, because a bowl full of these strawberries can fix any awful dinner. It's true.

That's it for now. This week I look forward to two things, or rather three things: getting more of those strawberries (hope hope), my farm share starting up on Wednesday, and getting to go to Dinner Zen to make a month of freezer food next Saturday. Wish me the best.


  1. So sorry about the awful meal! I have always heard glowing reports about Cheesecake Factory. I've been there once (the one in Baltimore inner harbor) and don't remember too much about it, honestly, except that everything on the menu _sounded_ good. And of course, I love me some cheesecake, so that fixes a lot. :)

    The strawberries sound awesome though. Ever been picking yourself? My home church in Maine has a festival every year and while they order the strawberries now (it just got too unreliable with rain and growing seasons) which I find totally sad, we used to go out and pick all our own berries. Yummy!

  2. We REALLY wanted to go berry picking this year. I have never been, and now I'm just too big to be bending so much! But next year for sure!