søndag, september 11, 2005

The restaurant game, or, how to make bad food good

This game was invented (or re-invented, or stolen without giving credit to the original source, take your pick, but I think I made it up) during dinner at a restaurant somewhere on Highway 1 from Mendocino to Fort Bragg. A Mexican restaurant. A Mexican restaurant with very little going for it. No atmosphere. But to be fair, good margaritas. And fast service. In fact, too fast - we got our food order about 2 minutes after we had placed it, which was also about 2 minutes before the margaritas were ready. Despite the speedy food prep time, our server apologized when serving both the food and the booze for how long we had had to wait, thus adding a touch of surrealism to the proceedings.

And the food? Dreadful. My chili relleno was not at all the right color, and indicated a serious lack of attention to keeping the frying oil fresh. Thor's burrito was not put together very well. And the rice was just wrong - I can't describe how, but wrong. So, was the meal ruined? Did we sink slowly into the depths of sadness and despair? No, we did not. In fact it was the most fun meal we had in our whole vacation, because of the restaurant game (Or rather, The Restaurant Game™).

The rules of the game are quite simple - the people at the table (it could also be done with one person alone, but then would be more of a mental exercise than a game) take turns coming up with reasons why the food is so bad. Anything goes, the more extreme the better, though more mundane explanations are also good. See if you can keep it going for the whole meal. Any other rules are up to you; for example, you could set a time limit for turn-taking. Here are some of the excuses we came up with:

  • A rival Mexican restaurant in the area is bribing the cooking staff to be really horrible so that business will shift to them.

  • We were supposed to get our margaritas first, so that by the time the food got to us, we would be a bit tipsy and wouldn't notice the quality (hence the apologies for the service time).

  • It was a new kind of nouvelle cuisine, and we were not sophisticated enough to appreciate it.

  • Aliens (in the sense of outer space, not immigration) have taken over the restaurant, and are using it to control the world via mind-control drugs put in the food. They don't realize that the drugs alter the food such that no one will eat it.

  • The restaurant is owned by dolphins. They wanted to have only raw fish on the menu, but the human support staff convinced them to go for something more conventional like Mexican. But dolphins don't know how to cook Mexican food.

  • The restaurant owners invented a new fryer which runs on ocean power. It's powerful, economical, and environmentally friendly. The only catch is that if you stop it, you won't be able to start it again, so you can't change the oil.

  • You get the idea. So, now, it's your turn. Think of a bad restaurant food experience from your past, find some creative excuses for why it was so, and then tell me about it. I look forward to hearing what you come up with!

    7 kommentarer:

    Daphnewood sagde ...

    hey I 've eaten at that restaurant owned by dolphins! you're right, they don't know how to cook mexican food.

    I love that game. hopefully I won't have to use it in the future but will keep it tucked away just in case.

    Chibithulhu sagde ...

    The food was bad because the restraunt is merely a cover for the worship of Hastur, like the church in Kingsport, Mass. No cult cooks as well as the cult of Cthulhu.

    portuguesa nova sagde ...

    Lol!! That is the best idea ever. I just had a horrible chile relleno at a horrible Mexican restaurant...must think of a reason....

    kimananda sagde ...

    daphnewood - my condolences for having eaten in that restaurant. ;-) And, I must confess that, fun as it was, I hope I never have to play the restaurant game again either.

    chibithulhu - I've just learned about the Hastur cult, so cannot say if the restaurant was in their cult. However, I firmly believe what you say about Cthulhu - I can't see that he would save for later snacking if the snacks weren't properly cooked.

    portuguesa nova - Oh, no...more condolences are in order! I'm sure you'll come up with a good reason. Remember though, that just as a cigar is sometimes just a cigar, sometimes the food is bad just because it's bad.

    Sangroncito sagde ...

    I hate it when I get my food before the drinks! I need the drink in order to appreciate the food. My worst restaurant experience...there are so many I wouldn't know where to begin....
    And I'll be back on your blog in a few weeks when I arrive in Salvador (I'm making some stops on the way down)....come visit me (on my blog) in Salvador starting on Oct. 4th...and if you want to come visit in person...we will have a couch for you to sleep on and you will love it!

    kimananda sagde ...

    Sangroncito - I look forward to hearing all about Salvador, as it's the city in Brazil that most fascinates me. As for the couch, be careful what you offer because you never know who may show up! ;-)

    Chibithulhu sagde ...

    The cult of Hastur was long an obscure one favoured by decadents in certain French families until the nineteenth-century publication of R.W. Chambers' The King In Yellow, based on an early play of which no full script survives. It was the inspiration for Lovecraft's rendition of the Necronomicon