On our last night in Williamsburg, we left the kids with a babysitter at the Lodge and headed out to eat. The first place we looked at, Oceans and Ale, was disqualified for “smelling like french fries.” I’ll have to admit, smelling like french fries is typically a draw for me; in fact, I have been known to go out of my way to seek out restaurants with a powerful french fry scent. If someone were to say to me, “Hey, you smell like french fries!” I would take it as a compliment and probably take such a comment as a come-on.
At any rate , we ended up at Berret’s, which fortunately (unfortunately?) did not smell at all like french fries. Here, everything seemed to be going fine until Laura’s filet mignon was served. There was some sort of reddish sauce of an indeterminate flavor served with the steak. As Mark pointed out, Laura’s displeasure was made incrementally more apparent:
- “This is an interesting sauce!”
- “Is this barbecue sauce?! With steak?”
- “Has anyone ever seen this type of sauce with a steak before? I haven’t!”
- “Ryan, do you like this sauce?” (spoons a liberal portion onto my plate)
- “Waiter, could you replate this food to completely remove the sauce. Also, remove any food items touched by the sauce”
The sauce ordeal was overwhelming enough that Laura didn’t finish the meal, leading her to make another special request of the waiter: box everything on the plate except the tomatoes (again, a reddish food was her target). The waiter did box the food, but shaped the foil around the box as a crab. All of the other boxed meals had been swans. Some people might wonder to themselves if the crab shape was a metaphor for the crabbiness Laura had shown in asking for the removal of a dinner sauce and for a special boxing of food. Other people might even wonder out loud if there was some meaning to the crab box. Only Laura, though, would address her wonderings to the waiter, who, at this point, was clearly wishing that we had stayed at the french-fry smelling restaurant.
I thought the night at Berret’s would be the most unusual eating out experience of the week, but I was wrong. We went to Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que on the way back, even though this restaurant smelled strongly of french fries. Since Rita is a semi-vegetarian, she understandably avoided ordering a barbeque sandwich, instead ordering an interesting array of side items.
Green beans, mac and cheese, baked beans and cole slaw were among the approved items, while several other sides did not make the cut, in spite of the absence of meatiness. Maybe next time for you, sweet potato sticks.