Monday, May 17, 2010

not the girl i used to be

sometimes, i get in the mood for a very big meal.

oftentimes, when i am in this sort of mood, the meal is usually so heavy that i know that it will be the only meal i will have that day. the rest of the day will be offset by sipping on beverages (usually with caffeine to combat the post-meal sleepiness factor) and nibbling on very small sweet or savory snacks.

i'm not certain what provoked this mood for a big meal this morning.

perhaps it was the rain. perhaps it was because i was not in the mood to hop on muni to get anywhere to grab a bowl of soup....which is my typical "go to" comfort dish. perhaps it was because i really didn't feel like walking anywhere. or, perhaps, i was looking for a different sort of comfort....the sort that seems really solid and stick-to-your-ribs sort of food. perhaps the sort of the food that is consistent in its homeyness. or perhaps, since i have been processing quite a bit about what it means to live in the city again, i thought i'd add another log to the processing fire.

cause why not?

in for a penny...in for a pound....i suppose.

i've studiously avoided having the typical big american breakfasts in the US for almost three years now. while i typically don't enjoy eating so much first thing in the morning and prefer to have the heavier meal mid day, i've also avoided american breakfasts for the past few years because it was one of B's favorite things to do and something we ate together practically every week for seven years. including the three years we lived together in the city.

B always ordered the same thing. eggs over easy with bacon, hash browns and toast. really, the same thing. every time. for years. he had some quirks about this because it couldn't be a place that did "brunch" per se, it had to be a greasy diner sort of place usually in the outer sunset or outer richmond, because HEAVEN FORBID that we would leave the confines of the foggy utterly depressing outer areas where you don't feel like you are actually living san francisco but some odd suburb that is a mix of a massive asian-asian (as we used to like to call them when i was in school....to differentiate between us asian-americans or hapa...because you know...there is a difference) immigrant population, russian immigrants, hippies, the overwhelming plethora white non-bay area native american guys that reek of locally grown herb or stale alcohol, and betty wannabes that that won't surf themselves but find their identity and values tied to which part-time surfer they are "dating" and how much they could drink.

this got really old for me.

loved ones really worried about me and my sanity being in the outer sunset.

but sometimes you do stuff like that when you are married.

you know, have crappy breakfasts every week and live in outer sunset.

it is called C.O.M.P.R.O.M.I.S.E.

but since the D.I.V.O.R.C.E. (well...technically before the divorce due to california's mandatory waiting period...which is totally suck-o-rama btw....anyway....i should say since our marriage ended), i've pretty much avoided big american breakfasts as much as possible.

oh, yeah, i know that i've had an abundance of big breakfasts in the UK. however, having large breakfasts in the UK are different....because...well, when one is having boiled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, black pudding, baked beans, eggs, cumberland sausage, and fat back rounded bacon for breakfast....it doesn't feel like i am having an american breakfast. not even close.

yes, i realize this isn't exactly rational and a bit wacky. yet,
food is obviously loaded with emotional memory for me.

for better or worse.

ha!

so, despite all of this background, i found myself in front of miller's east coast deli on polk street this morning.

last night, DB had mentioned that this place was really good and DB knows his american comfort food. quite well. so there i was, determined to go inside, have an american breakfast and take another step towards making this city "my city", confronting some of those pesky food memories head on, and creating new memories.....just for me.

one thing i noticed right away was the service was pretty great and attentive. even though there were only 5 people working (including those on the line). everyone was hustling and the place was busy....i mean it was a rainy monday morning and there was a really fascinating mix of professionals in suits, older people, a few tourists, families, students....and of all ethnicities. really.
i was also seated in a place where i was able to see some of the staff show extreme amounts of polite patience toward some of the patrons despite the hustle and bustle going on around them.

so what did i order? i ordered the chicken fried steak with scrambled eggs, hash browns, and rye toast....with a coke. what did i tell you? i was in the mood for a big meal.

and you know what? it was really good. the steak was a pretty substantial piece of meat that was crispy yet tender. the hash browns had a nice representation of black pepper and nicely crispy. i think this was my fave taste on the plate. the eggs were pretty good and had that layered effect that comes with folding them on a large grill. it was all really good.

as i was chomping through the meal that was bigger than my head, i thought about how much things have changed.



and you know, all of this change hasn't resulted in being a bad thing. not at all. because, you see, i'm not the girl i used to be.

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