Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dining At the "Kids' Table": In Which Izzy Baffles The Server

We recently found ourselves at a restaurant dinner party, in which the kids were seated together at one end of the table. This is not a practice I whole-heartedly embrace but when in Rome... As luck would have it, I sat beside Izzy and was privy to the goings-on, on that end.

Although there were menus, it had somehow been decided that the children would be offered specific items, unlike the adults who could select whatever they pleased. I listened in as the server came around to take the kids' orders. I overheard the offerings and wondered how Izzy would respond when it was his turn, knowing that he expected to read the menu with me and then decide.

On offer was pasta. The server rattled off the choices. Pasta with tomato sauce? No. Pasta with butter and cheese? No. I imagine she thought she was dealing with the pickiest of picky, and so she then offered up what I am sure in her mind was the ticket, plain pasta. Izzy shook his head sadly, looking rather baffled and I intervened...

"I think he would like something else on his pasta..." Then I stopped myself for I was suddenly at a loss. What was the protocol here? Had the hostess decided on the pastas offered or were they simply chosen for their supposed "kid-friendliness"? If I had ordered duck ragu or lamb would I have completely flummoxed the server?

Not knowing how to proceed I said, "I don't think he would like any of those. (What I wished to say was "No, he does not want pasta with tomato sauce. Or pasta with butter and cheese. And certainly not plain pasta. Just because he is five does not mean he wants bland food. How about pasta with chicken liver?") Instead I politely inquired if it would be possible to have some pasta with vegetables. And of course it was.

As the server walked away, Izzy still seemed confused as to why he couldn't choose from the menu and he wanted to know what I would be ordering. I assured him that whatever it was, he could share it with me.

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