Been absent here a while since I downsized to a walk-up in an upscale neighborhood. Did you ever notice that when you make one change, soon enough you change everything? New haircut, new purse, new jeans, new bedspread, new published novel.
The biggest adjustment, though, was my diet. I was accustomed to perusing the Treasure Island salad bar and eating out of the container. Dinner was pot pie, or enchiladas at the local Mexican place. Now I live in the land of a thousand restaurants, and I was eager to sample the many choices.
I wanted to start small. I entered a hole-in-the-wall hot dog place that doesn’t serve french fries. When I asked the manager how often he got requests for french fries, he claimed he was philosophically opposed to them. But he serves HOT DOGS!
So I went next door to a California-style lunch place with storefront windows that allow too much light, and artwork that references no cultural preference. They’re open only four hour a day, so I need to set an alarm on my phone. They offer egg entrees at weekend brunch but not at 11am on Wednesday. The menu had five lunch specials, five sandwich choices (one being duck tacos), and four salads.
I was served an overpriced and slimy spinach salad with the stems intact, but no onion slices and no olives. Pine nuts instead of sunflower meats, and tiny globs or what I took to be dried pepper. They need to move back to California.
Just so you don’t think I’m a crudgeon, I did find a steak house that serves real steak with a real baked potato with real butter and even sour cream, not some California soy cream substitute. And there was a line out the door of Midwesterners who can discern value for the dollar.
I need to move to Pilsen where steak burritos come wrapped in waxed paper, pizza by-the-slice is served on a Styrofoam plate, and french fries are piping hot and salted. In this city… In this city, hot dogs come with fries. Spinach salad comes with onions. Attitude is gruff but not haughty. And I can get eggs any damned hour of the day.