Monday, July 20, 2009
Zoom Zoom Buzz Buzz!
Last night we got together with my niece and her boyfriend. They stopped in DC after the first leg of a well-deserved road trip. They both were finishing up their first year of grad school. We decided to have a late dinner at Legal Sea Foods (the Tyson's Galleria location) - the thinking being that everyone could find a fish to love.
That was my first mistake. KosherCop did not want fish. Surprise! How is this possible? This child loves fish. Oh well, he was fine with the "Fish Shaped Ravioli".
The other surprise? Oops. I forgot I wasn't really in the mood for fish. No problem. There was a "Vegetarian Box" that sounded light and fresh.
When our waiter came to the table he asked us if we wanted appetizers. We didn't. So he went away and it was a month before we saw him again.
When he came back he asked us if we wanted appetizers - 3 more times. We still didn't.
He started taking our orders. I knew we were in trouble when KosherCook started joking with him and trying to get a recommendation, and the waiter just told him gruffly that he should pick one.
Next was KosherCop. I asked if the red sauce on the ravioli had any meat or meat stock in it - my standard question when ordering red sauce.
He looked at me like I was an idiot and said pointedly, "It doesn't have any fish in it."
"But is it made with any meat or meat stock?" I persisted.
"Why? Is he allergic to meat?" he asked snottily.
"I. just. want. to. know." So he finally agreed to ask the chef.
He came back with news that the red sauce was vegetarian and...did we want any appetizers?
We finished ordering and decided the waiter must have some incentive - like avoiding death - to push the appetizers, as opposed to, say, a short-term memory issue.
And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more.
When KosherCop was on his fourth dinner roll and lolling on my lap whining that "the food was never coming", it finally arrived.
Everything looked great. Until I saw my dinner.
It was a Chinese take-out box, upside-down on a plate. The server (not our waiter) removed the box with a flourish and what appeared to be some MSG-laden vegetables over rice oozed out.
We finally understood what had taken so long. Legal Sea Foods had to wait for my dinner to be delivered from P.F. Chang's on the other side of the mall.
The rest of the dinner went smoothly. We all enjoyed the conversation. We still did not order appetizers.
All that was left was dessert and there was still a chance of getting KosherCop into bed before midnight.
Only KosherCop and KosherCook ordered dessert. KosherCop wanted ice cream - because that was all I offered him. The waiter gave him a choice of vanilla, chocolate, or coffee.
Now KosherCop is an adventurous eater. Unlike his mother, who always went for chocolate no matter how many new and exotic ice cream flavors were offered, KosherCop is all about trying new flavors. So he picked coffee.
The waiter looked shocked. I smiled and shrugged.
Dessert arrived and since KosherCop was eating quietly, I didn't pay him too much attention. After a little while I thought to ask if he liked it, since I couldn't remember him having eaten coffee ice cream before. He said it was good and gave me a taste.
I took a mouthful and after a few seconds realized what my 5 year-old had been eating: ice cream made with what tasted like crushed espresso beans!
I hadn't considered the possibility that coffee ice cream might have actual coffee in it - every time I've ever had it it's been made with coffee "flavor" or "extract".
The waiter wandered by and before he could offer us appetizers I asked about the caffeine content of KosherCop's ice cream. In his droll manner that I had grown to love over the previous 4 hours he said, "Well it has coffee in it, you know. That's why I was so surprised you let him order it."
Ah, that was what that look meant. Too bad he hadn't used his words. I explained my experience with coffee extract and he decided to ask the chef to be sure.
When he came back he asked, "Uh, how much of it did he eat? Maybe you better not give him any more."
KosherCop was fine with this, as the stimulant properties of his ice cream had kicked in and he needed to go to the restroom - pronto. All the way there, and all the way back he explained in his way of magical thinking, where in his digestive tract he believed the caffeine was and when it would leave him.
I was just thanking my lucky stars it wasn't making him too hyper.
As we settled the bill I suddenly realized that KosherCop was running manically back and forth and slamming into the wall with greater and greater force.
I made a pitstop and when I met everyone outside, my niece's boyfriend was chasing KosherCop up and down the corridor - he was being a good sport and trying to tire him out. We then went on a 45 minute spree of chasing KosherCop through the entire mall ourselves. I'm not sure I can describe what a 5 year old with a massive caffeine buzz looks and sounds like. He was racing around and talking really fast and was completely unmanageable. Right, so it sounds like any day with a five year old boy. Just multiply that times 100 and you'll have the picture. If he was a cartoon there would be a zooming noise and smoke in the spot where he used to be.
Eventually, we wrangled him out of the mall and into the car. When we got home and tried to put him to sleep there was a lot of silliness and giggling, and his eyes kept popping open at first. But that didn't last too long and he fell asleep pretty quickly.
Now I could relax. Unfortunately Chinese food ordered by way of a fish restaurant still leaves you hungry an hour after you eat it.
Too bad. I could really go for an appetizer.