I’ll Have What Everyone Else Is Having
Freezing fog, that’s the forecast for Denver this morning. I didn’t even know that was a thing. Shows how much I know about weather. Maybe lightning sleet is a real weather phenomenon too, or burning rain. But I’ll say this for freezing fog: it’s mighty pretty. Outside my window right now it looks like someone is firing a glitter gun horizontally through the rays of morning sun. The air is composed of trillions of tiny glassy sparkles. When the wind blows hard, it feels like someone is spray-tanning you with raw sugar.
I’d like to go out and frolic a bit, but I have a nasty cold and a cough. While that’s bad enough on holidays, today is a day when I really need to have my appetite intact, for today is Lunch at Elways Day. John Elway (or John Elastic as autocorrect prefers to call him) is the accomplished former star quarterback for the Denver Broncos. His past I care about not one jot. What concerns me is that he now owns several steakhouses in the Denver area, and I need to be able to muster sufficient appetite an hour and a half from now in order to agonize over my menu choice. Anyone who has ever dined out with me knows that it doesn’t matter how long I have to order, I will always order the wrong thing and end up with a bad case of food envy.
I’ve undergone therapy for this affliction, and tried to nut out what causes this. I think it comes down to spending too long looking at menus before I go to a restaurant. By the time i arrive I have almost always read the menu repeatedly and run through various combinations of courses in my head. Then I throw into the mix a few preconceived notions of what I should eat. It’s lunch so I should have some vegetables. I’ve been eating too many fries this week so I should skip them today. I shouldn’t order steak chilli followed by steak because that is gross.
With Elways, I can add the internal tug-of-war of knowing there are several things on the menu that I love, but that don’t add up to a particularly balanced meal. A grilled, butter-soaked artichoke accompanied by an iceberg wedge with blue cheese? Which to eat first? Is that tantamount to just ordering a salad, twice?
Inevitably, I want whatever my dining companions are having. I am extremely fortunate to have a family and friends who largely embrace this irritating quirk and share their food with me, and for that I am very grateful.
At least dessert is an easy decision. Gimmicky food reaches new heights with Elways do-it-yourself s’mores. For Australians, s’mores are a mysterious food that only exist in the realm of Babysitters’ Club Summer Specials. At Elways, they bring you a tray with homemade graham crackers (Australians: these are a sweetish crumbly biscuit, not a mad old man), homemade marshmallows, a fondue pot of melted dark chocolate and a teeny-tiny gas weber-style BBQ. Using long forks and imagination and a complete disregard of good manners, you sit there and make disgusting combinations of chocolate, biscuits and marshmallows. There is usually a bit of burning things and dropping molten sugar on your lap and by the end of the meal you are look like Al Jolson and feel thoroughly disgusted with yourself.
My appetite has returned just by writing this. Have a splendid weekend.