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post #203
bio: jen

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Bad Food

Saturday was not a good day. Actually, let me be more specific. Saturday started off as a good day, but then disintegrated into physical and mental despair.

I was having a good day, then the Dodgers lost. Yep, they were swept. It wasn't pretty, but that's the cruel game of baseball for you. Somedays, the lucky little hits and close calls go your way, and sometimes, they don't. Sometimes the umpire doesn't see you get hit by a pitch. The Dodgers have been streaky this season. Unfortunately, they chose to go on a losing streak in the national league division series.

Okay, maybe they didn't choose to lose---although the two outs at home plate in game one didn't help matters. It was just not meant to be this year. I do not look at the Dodgers as a ‘sad failure' unlike a certain team owner speaking about his own team.

As I sighed at the Dodger loss, I turned to my boyfriend, who I will call Joe this time around (in honor of the Yankee manager who should not be fired---it's only been six years since you won a World Series, Yankee Nation, it's okay, some teams have waited a bit longer between championships). Fortunately, Joe is not as emotional about baseball, and his team, San Diego, was still in it (they were out of it on Sunday). Joe suggested we go out to dinner on Coronado.

Coronado is a little island in the middle of San Diego bay. One can easily get to it by the Coronado Bridge which does not allow for pedestrians. On the island is a navy base along with old expensive homes and several hotels and restaurants. Coronado is for the more mature tourist or vacationer who does not want the wild loud keggers atmosphere of Pacific Beach (PB) or Ocean Beach (OB) or Downtown (DT) or Orange County (OC). In the three years that I've been going down to SD, I've never once set foot on Coronado.

On Coronado is the Hotel Del Coronado. You might remember this Hotel from the Billy Wilder classic movie, Some Like It Hot. Yes, this is where Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis romped around in dresses. It's more wooden castle than hotel.

As you walk up to the hotel, you can see a large room with an arched wooden ceiling as if someone had flipped over a ship and turned it into a ceiling. There is a giant hanging chandelier that looks like a crown, so anyone sitting under it can be king for an hour. As I looked in the room, I wondered if this was the restaurant. It turned out, no, that room was only for banquets and private receptions.

We found the restaurant, The Sheerwater, on the backside of the hotel. It had wicker chairs and a large patio with old time fans and new time heat lamps. We asked for a table outside and sat down at a little after nine. I asked for a dirty tanqueray martini and Joe asked for a gin and tonic. We ordered soups for appetizers. Joe ordered the ribs, and I ordered the spaghetti with tomatoes. I was in a veggie pasta mood, and Joe was in a meat mood.

The soups came. Joe's vegetable soup had vegetables, meatballs, and seemed tomato based. My seafood bisque was overflavored with too much sherry. It was mediocre at best. Still, we were relaxing and enjoying the ambiance.

Our waiter had a slight shuffle in his step. I could hear him approach if he was coming from behind me. He reminded me of Igor, the lab assistant in the Frankenstein films. He was nice and although he kept pushing the wine with dinner idea even though we were happy with cocktails.

Then, the main course came and ruined our evening. Joe's ribs came on a large platter with thin French fries and string beans both covered with melted cheese. His ribs were drenched in a thick brown barbecue sauce which he immediately started scraping off with his fork.

My spaghetti did not look much better. I was expecting spaghetti with chunks of vegetables. Instead, I got spaghetti covered with tomato sauce and tomato quarters on top of that. When I tasted it, the spaghetti tasted bitter like vinegar. It was also overcooked. I've had better pasta at Dennys.

When I tried one of the ribs, the meat was tender but had no flavor. It was as if the ribs had been cooked without anything added to them, then they were drenched in sauce to cover that up.

I looked at Joe. Our food was inedible. Even though I'm not a picky eater and I don't like to send food back, this stuff was gastronomic bullshit. Right on cue, the waiter shuffled back.

‘And how is everything?' he asked.

‘Not too good.' I said and proceeded to calmly yet firmly explain the inadequacies of the food in front of us.

The waiter was polite, apologized, and took the plates away. I tried to kill the bad taste in my mouth with the last of the martini but some tastes can not be killed. Poor Joe was getting over some bad seafood from a few days before, so he was definitely miserable.

The waiter came back and said they were working on it in the kitchen. We told him we just wanted our check, so we could go. The waiter said he would get the manager.

I could tell Joe was starting to get antsy. He wanted to just go and smoke a cigarette to get that bad taste out of his mouth. Since I do not smoke, I was longing for a breath mint---preferably altoid although a tic-tac would do.

‘Hello, I'm Michael.' The super-young manager said shaking my hand and expecting me to tell him my name.

‘Hello Michael, nice to meet you.' I said. Yeah, I'm a bitch after bad food. I proceeded to tell him exactly why dinner was unfit for human consumption.

He told me that the kitchen was closing down, but he would be happy to give us desert and coffee. I looked over at Joe. He was getting ready to explode. I can always tell when he's losing his temper. He purses his lips together and slowly squints.

When Michael the manager offered free breakfast the next day, we jumped on that if only to get the heck out of there.

‘Yes, great, that sounds great.' We said even though we both knew there was no way in heck we would be coming back to Coronado between seven and ten the next morning to have breakfast cooked in the same kitchen as that dreck.

Joe paid the bill for the soup and the cocktails. It came to about forty dollars. He also tore up the manager's card. He was really raging now. We left quickly. Joe was out the door in a minute and I was trailing after him. I couldn't walk as fast because I was in heels. He had that cigarette in his mouth and lit in a matter of seconds even with an ocean breeze. Sometimes, smokers amaze me.

We walked back to the car along Main Street Coronado.

‘That was such bullshit!' I exclaimed. Bullshit was definitely the word of the night.

‘That was such bullshit. What kind of high end kitchen closes at 9:30 on a Saturday night and sends out plates of crap? I might not be a gourmand, but I've seen the food channel. I've eaten in good restaurants. Your last plate out should be just as good as your first plate out. Right? Am I right here? Is what I'm saying making sense to anyone?' I vented a bit while Joe puffed away.

Near the car was a French Café which appeared to still be open. Yes, espresso will save us. Espresso will get that crappy taste out of my mouth.

‘We're closed, sorreeeee.' The lady behind the counter said as she tried to look busy. We turned and walked out without saying anything.

‘I am never coming back to Coronado again.' I declared as we walked past a half dozen Coronadians drinking coffee. We got in the car, drove across the damn bridge, and straight to the 7-11 where we got tums and tic-tacs. Like most bad things, bad food too shall pass.

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