Among the many benefits of running one’s own business is the ability to choose which and how many hours to work each day. Since my boyfriend, Allan, also runs his own company, we often work weekends and take off mid-week hours to enjoy our local hiking trails without the weekend warriors. Recently, after a fun day of mid-week hiking, we returned home in the late afternoon ready for a shower and a hearty, healthful meal. Since I enjoy eating out, I quickly perused a few online menus and presented Allan with several options before he could grab his much-loved, enormous knife and begin chopping up the contents of our refrigerator.
It was happy hour and we decided to try a Latin-Asian restaurant in town. Familiar with the online menu, I was prepared for the mostly fried options, and I knew exactly what I would order. I was looking forward to enjoying the Boston Bib Lettuce Wraps, filled with seared tofu, carrots, and sprouts. I would ask to substitute the “mayonnaise” sauce with soy or something similar.
Unfortunately, the restaurant’s online menu was different from the paper version. Among our choices were fried potatoes, fried tofu, fried calamari, fried egg rolls, tostones (twice fried plantains), and rice with beef. Recognizing the only non-fried item, we asked if we could substitute grilled fish or tofu for the beef. “Sorry, but we’re out of that,” said the waiter. So, we enjoyed our $3 bellinis and decided to eat elsewhere.
The second establishment boasted pizza and mussels. I like pizza and mussels. Allan loves pizza. In fact, he loves to use his big knife to chop lots of colorful vegetables when we make our standard veggie pizza at home. Allan also loves cheese. Having little tolerance for lactose, I enjoy pizza without cheese.
“Can I get the pizza without the cheese?” I asked.
“So, you want just the oil?” the waitress inquired. I quickly re-read the menu. Apparently, their version of pizza is dough, oil, and cheese!
“No, I don’t want oil. Can I get tomato sauce instead?” I replied.
“Sure,” she said.
“I’ll have the same, but with cheese on top,” Allan announced.
“So, you’ll take the regular pizza,” the waitress said emphatically.
“Sure,” sighed a defeated Allan. He was very hungry and reluctant to clarify his request.
Allan’s pizza was unlike anything I had seen before… It was grease (melted cheese) on top of grease (oil). Allan eyed my colorful, seasoned, chunky tomato sauce and immediately regretted not clarifying his request. He wanted the colorful, seasoned, chunky tomato sauce with cheese on top. He was stuck with a puddle of liquid fat. Fortunately, we had also ordered steamed mussels!