the Senior Cat, and yours truly do not come together very often. We aren't the sort to spend a lot of money on a single meal like that.
I look at menus and think, "I could feed an entire family for the price of that one dish for one person."
I know that other people don't mind at all. They enjoy choosing, chatting, waiting to be served, eating their elegantly served food with fancy names and strange combinations of flavours.
The Senior Cat and I were invited out to lunch at one such place yesterday. It was a very special occasion. It was the actual anniversary of the 60th Wedding Anniversary of the couple the party was for on Sunday. They had organised it because, as I mentioned in that post, they thought their children had forgotten the occasion. There was also the small matter that the Senior Cat and the other couple invited had been members of the wedding party.
Problem number one: we had to dress up. The Senior Cat growls about wearing a tie so much I didn't mention it. If it was that sort of place too bad. I don't own a dress but I did put on my best trousers and a good shirt that actually, wonder of wonders, goes with the trousers.
Fortunately, when we were picked up by the other couple, I discovered they were dressed much the same way. It was, "lunch" not "dinner" they said cheerfully.
We went up the hill and found the restaurant. It was one of those "little" places with a "theme" - this one claimed to serve only "local" food. We actually arrived before our hosts so we had the opportunity to look at the menu - which was posted outside.
I knew the Senior Cat would be confused. For him, food is what I put on the table. He doesn't read French. I explained what the various terms meant. He gave the sort of shrug a Frenchman would be glad to own and muttered something about, "Why not say that in English?" There was a hint of wickedness in his eye as he said it. He is well aware that menus often use a second language.
A little later we were seated. The place is small. It is bigger than another place we have eaten in but it is still small and I wonder how they keep it open. Perhaps the fact that a single waiter does everything "in front" and there is, I suspect, just one person "out back" makes it possible. Yes, service was "slow".
That was a good thing. The Senior Cat is not a big eater these days. He asked the waiter for a "small serve" of his chosen meal. It came and was still twice the size of anything I would give him. By then he was hungry enough to eat almost all of it. (I managed to clean up my vegetarian option which was, although labelled a main course, about entree size.) The others didn't too badly either.
But I watched the only other people in the place at the time. They had entrees and then full size main courses - and ate the lot. It was more food than anyone would need in an entire day. Another couple came in while we were there and proceeded to do the same thing.
The waiter attended to them in much the same way as he had attended to us. We sat on after they had gone. This was a long, slow lunch intended to be celebratory and the waiter knew it. He refilled water glasses and accepted that the two people driving would only drink a half glass of wine. He didn't question the fact that the Senior Cat and I don't drink alcohol. He just asked if we wanted something else.
We shared dessert and the waiter brought two plates and two spoons for the home made ice cream.
I sensed he was thinking something about our little party and yes, as we left and thanked him, he said,
"Thank you for coming and thank you for doing us the honour of ordering only what you could eat and clearing your plates."
It made me wonder how much food gets wasted and how much it worries him.