I’m eggsasperated!

Dear America,

Please learn how to cook fried eggs.

Yours sincerely,

People who like fried eggs.

Now, who do I send this letter to? Who is responsible for the sad state of affairs when it comes to correctly frying a bloody egg?

Probably someone by the name or Sam, or Nella.

(get it?)

Anyway, bad puns aside, when it comes to the simplicity of frying an egg, there seems to be 4 choices available:

Sunny side up – 90% raw white, mostly cooked yolk (although who knows; raw and cooked yolks look pretty much the same)
Over easy – 50% raw white, cooked yolk (but the yolk is never as good as sunny side up).
Over medium – See ‘over easy’.. It’s the fucking same. Don’t tell me it’s not.
Over hard – 110% cooked (rubbery) white with a dry, overcooked yolk.

Mmmm, delicious. Oh, wait, no they aren’t.

Frying an egg is simple, Dennys/IHOP/any breakfast diner in America!

All you’ve got to do is NOT be in a rush to get it out to the customer and let the white of the egg actually COOK. We can wait an extra 45 seconds; just cook the bloody whites will ya! Then you wouldn’t need to add a disclaimer at the bottom of your menus telling us that eating raw eggs can be harmful.

It beggars belief that this is a thing, and that it’s completely acceptable! Are you telling me I could be POISONED by your eggs?

Imagine getting your tyres [tires1] replaced, but the mechanic only half bolts your wheels back onto your car, and then hands you a disclaimer telling you it can be dangerous to drive with unsecured wheels?

Dangerous? It’s practically lethal!

Just put the wheels on properly, I mean….you’re RIGHT there! Just bolt them on fully!

My wife is in her thirties and has never liked fried eggs. I couldn’t understand why and I pleaded with her to let me cook her a proper fried egg. She finally agreed, and I fried her an egg the right way. I watched as her pupils dilated while her brain rewired her feelings about fried eggs. She had a look on her face that was somewhere between confusion, disbelief and utter joy; she loved it! And now, three decades into her life, she’s finally enjoying fried eggs, as long as they’re cooked by me.

So please, America, learn how to cook eggs! I’m sick and tired of sending them back to be finished, or having to order scrambled eggs when I don’t want them.

Sincerely,

Patient 319,
ICU – Poisoning ward,
Las Vegas County Hospital.

1 – It’s ‘tyres’, not ‘tires’. The latter is a verb.

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It’s all a matter of choice.

Yesterday, during a drive from Las Vegas to Riverside California, my wife and I stopped at the famous Peggy Sue’s diner for lunch.

We took a seat, ordered a couple of drinks,and perused the laminated menu full of 50’s puns and references to see what took our fancy.  Soon enough the waitress came over in her 50’s diner uniform and asked us what we wanted to eat.

Mine was easy; I wanted a cheeseburger.

When my wife ordered it highlighted another big difference between the USA and the UK.

Below is an almost exact word-for-word account of the conversation my wife had whilst ordering her meal.

Waitress – “What would you like?”

My Wife – “Steak and eggs”

Waitress – “How do you want your steak?”

My Wife – “Medium”

Waitress – “How do you want your eggs?”

My Wife – “Scrambled”

Waitress – “Do you want hash browns?”

My Wife – “Yes”

Waitress – “Toast, biscuits and gravy or English muffin?”

My Wife – “Toast”

Waitress – “White, wheat or sour dough?”

My Wife – “Sour dough”

If that had been in the UK, the conversation would’ve gone something like this:

Waitress – “What would you like?”

My Wife – “Steak and eggs”

Waitress – “OK”

America 1, England 0.

too many choices

United Steaks of Hamerica

I’ve been in the U S of A almost 5 days, and already I have SO many notes compiled on things that I’d love to blog about.

That said, I don’t want to blow my load on one post, so I’ve decided to drip feed them in an attempt to look like I’ve thought long and hard about each and every post.

I probably haven’t, just so you know.

Today’s entry is food related.

Last night my wife and I went to a restaurant called Brio in Tivoli Village. Great restaurant with the usual oversize portions and suspiciously joyful staff.

When the waitress (I don’t like the word ‘server’ [1]) took my order, she said “super salad?”

“What?”
“Super salad?”
“Is it?”
“Is it what?”
“Super?”
“Is what ‘super’?”

“The salad?”

There was a pause….

My wife tapped me on the arm and said “Soup or salad”

Yeah, that made more sense.

It seems that choice with your meal is a big thing in the United States.  If you want eggs, you can have them sunny side up [2], over easy, scrambled, boiled, poached or the waiter can bring the chicken out and you can suck the egg directly from its arse.

If you want chips (fries) you can have them regular, curly or seasoned.  Alternatively you can have them boiled, baked or mashed; not to mention the option of hash browns, wedges or having them peeled and inserted rectally to save yourself the calories.

And if you’re having breakfast you can have pancakes, waffles, French toast, English muffins and all sorts of artery clogging carbohydrates….with or without cinnamon frosting or powdered sugar.

Oh, and by the way America,  French Toast isn’t French; nor are English muffins English.  Both are American.

Crepes are French, but oddly you don’t call those French pancakes.

Also, smothering anything with Marinara sauce does not make it Italian.

But I digress.

Going back to the subject of choice when dining, you also get free refills on a lot of things.  Having visited America a lot in the past I am fully aware that you get free refills on coffee and soda (yes, I use the word ‘soda’ now)…but imagine my disappointment when I once declined another bowl of delicious soup at Olive garden only to find out afterwards that it was, in fact, a free refill.

On soup!

This morning I saw an advert on TV (amongst the many, many, many, MANY adverts) for a restaurant called Applebee’s in which they offer free refills on fries.

FRIES!

But, to be fair, you only got these free refills on fries when you order one of their massive, supersized, over the top burgers that includes meat from every species known to man, topped with 8 cheeses and sugar, or something.

It’s like the Heart Attack Grill found on Fremont Street who give free meals to anyone weighing over 350 pounds.  This is a place where they have a burger called the Quadruple Bypass which totals 10,000 calories.

My wife told me that a guy once had a heart attack in the Heart Attack Grill on Fremont Street and, considering the ‘servers’ are dressed like doctors and nurses, all the other diners though it was some kind of show.

Well, it’s Vegas after all.

But going back to Olive Garden for a second, they offer a “Buy one, Take one” deal on entrees [3].  You order your main meal and they give you another one free.

Seems normal, right?

Well, this second dish isn’t for your dining partner; it’s for you to take home to presumably eat naked and alone in the dark, sobbing with shame.

Lunacy.

But it’s not all bad, they have twist off bottle caps on their beers.  That’s something they’re getting right.

Oh, and they have Spinach and Artichoke dip.

That’s a thing here.

It needs to be a thing everywhere.

Now.

fat uncle sam

[1] Although people in I.T. swear by them 😉
[2] Also known as ‘half cooked, slightly raw and snotty’

[3] Main course

Can I do any better? Surely there’s something I can do?

Here’s a little story…

man with menu

A man walks into a busy restaurant on a Friday night and requests a table for himself and his wife who isn’t with him.  He is shown to a table and handed a couple of menus.  Before the waitress can ask what he’d like to drink, he asks “Is there anything you can do with these prices?”

The waitress looks at him a little confused; “I’m sorry sir?”

He points to the menu in his hand, “These prices, they’re a bit more than I wanted to pay. Can you do anything with them?”

“But these are the prices of our food sir”, the waitress replies, a little taken aback.

“It’s just that I didn’t want to pay more than £20 per person and I’ve seen cheaper prices at other restaurants.  Can you do anything?”

“What do you mean sir?”

“I just want to know what your best possible price is”, persists the man.

rude diner

“I’m sorry sir, but we can’t reduce the prices; these are our prices.”

The man pauses for a moment before continuing, “Ok, it’s just that I’ve had the price of £20 per person at another restaurant and if you can beat their price then my wife and I will eat here.”

The waitress, who relies heavily on tips, starts to get anxious because she has a lot of other tables to wait on and a very long queue of customers outside waiting to get in. 

Restaurant queue

“What other restaurants have you had these prices with sir?” she asks, not that it matters.

“I’d rather not say” says the man, defensively.

“We would need to see a copy of their menus to make sure the dishes they’re offering are like for like.”

“They are” the man insists, “but I’d rather eat with you, so if there’s anything you can do on the price we’d seriously look at eating here”.

The waitress thinks about it for a second. “If you don’t have dessert after your meal it will reduce the price to £19 per person, how about that?” she asks.

The man thinks about it for a minute before he replies “No, we want to have dessert at the end of our meal.  What if my wife and I choose not to have one of the sides, like chips or coleslaw; will that bring the price down any further?”

“I’m afraid not sir, they come as part of the meal”, replies the waitress, “but let me speak to my manager and see what we can do. Are you ok to wait for a couple of minutes?”

waitress despair

The man nods and she promptly disappears into the kitchen.

After a few minutes she returns, “I can offer to discount your meal by 10% if you eat with us right now”, she says triumphantly.

The man pauses again, “Ok, let me think about it.  If I take your name I’ll go and speak to my wife and we’ll come back to you later on.”

The waitress, not wanting to lose a tipping customer, says “We are very busy tonight and this is the last table we have free.  I can’t guarantee this table will be available later when you come back. Why don’t you give her a call now?”

“I can’t”, says the man, “she’s driving”. 

“Ok”, replies the waitress “Tell you what; I’ll hold the table for you”

The waitress suddenly seems oblivious to the ever growing queue of hungry tipping diners eager to get a table.

The man smiles, “Thanks, I really appreciate that.  If we decide to eat here we’ll come back later”

“Great” replies the waitress, “My name is Darcy.  I look forward to seeing you later”

The man leaves the restaurant unfed.

kick out door

This seems a bit unlikely, right?

Yet somehow it seems to be completely acceptable to do this when buying other things like cars, houses and heroin…HOLIDAYS, I meant holidays.

I work in travel and believe me; customers try this on all the time.

What they’re essentially saying to the sales agent is “I don’t believe you.  I think you’re trying to rob me with overly inflated prices. You sound nice but we all know, deep down, you’re a thieving bastard; give me more free shit now!”

We wouldn’t do this when buying clothing, or getting a haircut, or at the supermarket checkout, or with a pimp.

I would love the waitress to say something like: “If you’ve had such a great price elsewhere, then please feel free to fuck completely off to some shitpit and do that. Clearly there’s something about the other restaurant that’s stopping you because you’re sat here, in front of me, giving me shit about our prices.

“So no, you can’t have a discount. This is the price of our food; deal with it.

“Look at the queue at the door.

“Check out the lack of empty tables.

“If you want to eat here and find out what good food is really all about, pay the price we’ve printed on the menu and shut the fuck up.

“Now, what would you like to drink, sir?”

water splash waitress

It doesn’t work in the travel industry.

Unfortunately.