Thursday, 23 May 2013

Food envy

And so it arrives, that sizzling stirfry, that succulent leg of lamb, that gooey chocolate pudding with creamy vanilla ice cream. The waiter has a little grin at everybodys 'oo look at that!' reaction, proudly carrying the spectacular dish as if he had anything to do with how good it will taste. It arrives, looking and smelling sensational, and it is put down on the placemat opposite you. As you stare down at your comparatively average looking dish which was smuggled in under your nose, you kick yourself for having changed your mind last minute. Your mouth salivates as you imagine feasting on that far superior dish, and the child in your head whines 'I want one!!'.. I call this food envy.
On Tuesday I went for a 'moving out of your boyfriend's parent's house and growing up' meal with (as you may guess) my boyfriend and his parents. We went to a wonderfully quaint little pub in the nearby countryside. When the menu arrived I studied it meticulously knowing that as I wasn't with my sister I couldn't get away with spending 20 minutes deciding what to eat (hey, these are important decisions!) . Feeling the pressure (such a first world problem), I opted for duck with an orange glaze on sweet potato (it was a posh pub). My decision was made with the following guidelines in mind  1.) It's not something I would cook at home. 2.) It's more exciting than the rest of the menu. 3.) When you go out for a meal you're allowed to choose fatty duck over a salad. 
Everybody else went for a classic pub grub style sausage and mash or steak pie, and when they arrived they were huge plates of home cooked bliss. Mine was not. 
My tough duck with its layer of soggy fat was as disappointing as it sounds. To make it worse I did the worst thing you can do in such a situation; I asked to try my boyfriend's dish. Never do this! Even if you are quite enjoying your meal,  trying the superior dish will always make yours taste like gruel in comparison. So here is my advice: When ordering against the clock, or in a place where you can't recite the menu off by heart, stick to the basics, you can't go too wrong with fish and chips (unless your vegetarian).