terror in the vegan burger joint
Thursday, April 4 2019
I chatted with Gretchen on my phone as I walked through Red Hook on my way to my weekly restaurant-based lunch. The weather was still a bit cold for this time of year, though there was a cloudless sky and the sun was doing the best it could against the remnants of arctic air.
My gut has been acting up for the past few days, feeling unsettled and requiring frequent antacids. Maybe this is a consequence of all the terrible food I've been eating lately and all the beer and booze I've been drinking in Gretchen's absence (though I've been good about not drinking enough to be hungover the next day). For this reason, I was less in the mood for a burrito than I was for a good ole American-style burger. So instead of going to Bubby's. I went a few doors down to the Wildflower Café, Red Hook's vegan burger diner. There's always something a bit wrong and provisional about Wildflower, and today was no exception. For starters, there was an issue with the credit card reader which required me to insert my credit card three different times. And then I had to deal in two widely-spaced incidents, the over-solicitousness mistakenly inculcated into the employees by the owner. A new thing there is that there are no trashcans evident and no obvious place to put your trays when you are done with your meal, though the restaurant certainly looks like the kind of place where the customer handles that stuff. And then there were the customers. There's a bald, burly gentleman who owns the place, and today his family was in from Jersey (that's how they looked, though they might've been from elsewhere) to check the place out and see if vegan food really tastes like something other than carrots cum cardboard. At the table was a young woman with a sparkly logo on her sweatshirt and an older woman with a leathery face that looked like it had been exposed to a bit too much cigarette smoke and Bruce Springsteen. But the thing making their presence something of note was a little boy who looked to be maybe six years old. He had so many spoiled-brat mannerisms that it would be tiresome to list them. Suffice it to say, he seemed to be on track to being President of the United States should the United States still exist and have presidents when he reaches adulthood. He kept shouting "No!" and whining that he didn't want various things that would've pleased even a moderately impolite child. At one point he went running out of the restaurant, causing me to secretly hope he would continue into the street be run over by a car with matter-of-fact buh-bump. But no, he was dragged back in, which was how he came to jump up on a fucking table. The bald guy who owns the place had been super indulgent up until that point, but that was a bridge too far. Sadly, though, there would be no humiliating public corporal punishment.
As for my Onion Lover's Burger with fries, the recipe had evidently changed since I'd been here last and now it included an actual batter-fried onion ring in the sandwich itself. This sounds like it should be great, but it wasn't as good as the old version.
I ended up having my third good day in a row at work. After four months of kind of hating the project I've been working on, I'm just now getting to the point where I think about it even when I'm not actually at work.
I'd been feeling bad about having forgotten to feed the dogs before leaving for work this morning, but there was still food in Neville's bowl when I got home this afternoon, meaning if either dog had been desperately hungry, there would've been something to eat. I took the dogs for a walk in the scrubby highland forest west of the Farm Road. By now it was so cold that I had to keep my hands in my pockets for warmth.
This evening I spent two or three hours just cleaning up the house so it would be presentable when Gretchen got home. This meant removing crap from the dining room table, washing dishes, emptying litter boxes and sweeping up around them, vacuuming woody debris from the living room, and other things. In the middle of all that, I made some rigatoni pasta to which I added chana masala as a sauce (this is the kind of cuisine mash-up that Gretchen would never consider doing). In theory this combination should've been delicious, but (like the new recipe for the Onion Lover's Burger at Wildflower Café, it was somewhat disappointing.
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