My apologies again for the late posting of an image for yesterday! I’m slipping. You see, I had a late-ish night attending a lecture over at QUT before having dinner at a certain food establishment. By the time I got home, I was ready to just tumble into bed and call it quits for the night. The rest of this post actually has nothing to do with the sketch, or with art, or anything of that nature at all. It is almost entirely consistent of my grumbling about our dining experience last night, so please feel free to ignore everything I say from here on in. I’m not going to name the place we got dinner at, so that I can tear into them just as much as I please. Let’s call it ‘Foodles’ just so that we have a name to play with, yes?
Emma and I arrive at Foodles, quite expectant of a delicious meal to call our dinner after passing it quite a number of times during our travels around the city before this day. Always it sat there, unassuming yet alluring, a place we’d desired to go but had not yet entered. Having completed out evening mind-expansion, we just wanted something tasty to fill our stomachs before venturing back home to our respective beds. Tonight, we would go inside.
We waited at the front counter, tucked just behind the ‘Please wait to be seated sign’ with polite little smiles on our expectant faces. After a good 10 minutes or so, someone finally deemed us worthy of their attention and wandered over, a bored look dulling their features as they uttered ‘Just the two of you?’ We nodded to them, and followed to our table, still yet undeterred despite the early warning signs. Sliding into our seats, a couple of menus were shoved under our noses and the server wandered away, seemingly fascinated by whatever it was that ticked away (or didn’t, rather) behind their blank expression.
We sat for a few minutes, flicking through, deciding on our meals for the evening – Emma opted for a dish of nachos, I for the caesar salad, with a side order of chips to share between the both of us to finish it off. For dessert, we would get a couple of tasty things just to spoil ourselves.
After a good 15 minutes or so in which we sat there twiddling our thumbs, someone finally wandered over to take our order. The server stood there with a slouch, not bothering to hide the fact that they certainly didn’t want to be there as a pen dangled limply from one hand, the other holding a little notepad away from them as if somehow writing on it would be quite undesirable. We made our orders, including dessert, still believing at this point that the place might stand up on the merit of its food. After all, we’d walked past this place numerous times, always wanted to try them, even heard good things about it – surely it couldn’t be that bad?
It was. Our meal took long enough to prepare that I completed several napkin sketches and went over the details of my sister’s entire trip home (with all the juicy details, high-school ‘she said, he said’s and ‘oh my god, you won’t believe what so-and-so did’s) with time to spare by the time it arrived. One look was enough to urge us to smile politely and cancel any possibility that any more food might arrive on our table with a suitably decent bill to match it. Skipping dessert seemed like a mighty fine idea by that point.
A look of annoyance crossed Emma’s face as she took her first bite into a soggy corn chip – wet towards the centre where the pile of dismal half-warmed meat had made contact, stale and chewy where it had not touched. I, meanwhile, nudged aside a piece of ‘parmesan’ which certainly didn’t seem like parmesan (or properly taste like it, once I’d taken a bite) to reveal bacon startlingly pink on one side yet charred on the other. It doesn’t take much to make a decent caesar salad – it takes someone special to do a brilliant one… it takes real damn effort to screw one up. Even the side order of chips came out half-cold. Oi!
We left, handing over our cash and hurrying from the place just as quickly as we could, with a promise not to subject ourselves to that again. It was more than that though – a dream had been broken, shattered, kaput. Our ‘we really must go there’ restaurant had proved to be an absolute dud, leaving an almost palpable sense of disappointment to follow us home like an oft-kicked puppy wanting to find a family to love it, huggle it and call it Fido. It just wasn’t right.
We had our dessert. Two icy-poles from the 7/11. Our evening was somewhat redeemed, though little could be done to save the sadness that befell our hearts. Tonight we’re eating at home.