July 01, 2005

Contagion in the City. Part 3

See parts one and two here in case you missed them.

Thursday morning I started off with another room service breakfast. This time I had a three egg, ham, cheese and mushroom omelet. It was okay, I was expecting better for the price. Fortunately, I was not the one paying for it. The omelet was bland; it was as if they used no seasoning what so ever. I ended up putting a lot of salt and pepper on it. At least the coffee was good.

I arrived at work early again, I wanted to make sure I could call the office in case there where problems. This time they had screwed up my report generator. Being the ever pessimist, I planned on this happening and walked them through the quick and easy fix I built for it. My peers think I’m some kind of computer genius. This is far from being true, I just don’t underestimate their ability to somehow bypass three levels of security and passwords to delete a table that is needed for the database reports to run.

I again kept ahead of the rest of the class. It was during the down time that I finalized the plans for the Mouse Incident. At the end of the class I was again so far ahead that, I did assignments that the rest of the class didn’t do. I figure I just learned more doing that. After class, I went and played the mouse trick and then went back to the hotel.

After my poor experience with the food at the hotel, I decided to head out to another restaurant. Not knowing the city very well and wanting to eat somewhere that isn’t a major chain, I decided I needed some help. The concierge was more then eager to help me. A problem arouse because I wasn’t being helpful. She would ask me what I wanted to eat, I told her food. Then she wanted to know what kind of food, I told her the edible type. Her face was starting to show signs of frustration, so I explained that I don’t know what I want. I know I don’t want seafood or Indian food. I had Irish the night before and I wanted something that was unique to Chicago. She understood where I was coming from so she asked me if I liked French food. French food… I’d never eaten French food before. We have a winner! Feeling proud of herself, she gave me directions to a local French restaurant that is supposed to be the best in Chicago as she made a reservation for me.

I hop in a cab and head off on my way to see what the surrender monkeys eat. After arriving, I realized that I wasn’t that far from the hotel, so I decided I would walk back after the meal. As I entered the restaurant, I notice that I’m slightly underdressed. I walked in wearing shorts, t-shirt and a decent over shirt. The host is wearing a suit; the wait staff were all dressed with ties, shirts and slacks. The rest of the patrons were either wearing business attire or semi-casual clothing. I was shown to a table, in a corner.

The gayest French waiter I have ever seen in person or on TV came to my table. He had a think accent with a lisp. There was a very feminine style in his posturing and actions. For some reason I found this very amusing. I cannot explain as to why, but I did. After going over the specials for the day, he asked me if I would like anything to drink. Just when I thought, he was never going to ask. I replied with, “Yes I would like a Jack and Coke.”
Which lead to this conversation:
Waiter: “Monsieur, we have a fine selection of wines, I would be more then happy to suggest one for you.”

Me: “No thank you, I’d like a Jack and Coke.”

Waiter, “But Monsieur, a nice wine would be gentler on the pallet and let you enjoy the flavor of the food more.”

Me, “That’s okay; I’ll take a Jack and Coke.”

Waiter, “Monsieur, we offer some of the best wines that are made. You would find them very refreshing. They will compliment the meal better.”

Me, “Do you not have Jack Daniels?”

Waiter, (Somewhat snotty) “But of course we have Jack Daniels.”

Me, “If you didn’t want people to drink anything but the wine. Don’t stock it. Now please go get me a Jack and Coke. I will consider a wine when the meal comes. (I lied) Thank you.”

Waiter, “Very well Monsieur, I shall bring you your drink shortly.”

The waiter leaves and brings back my drink I order my meal and sit and drink while looking at the other patrons. Nobody of any real interest, so I didn’t spend a lot of time watching them. The interior décor was nice enough. I wasn’t too impressed. Before the meal, the waiter brought out some bread with fresh roasted garlic and butter. I love fresh whole clove garlic. Unfortunately that is the last nice thing I have to say about this meal.

The waiter brought out my meal and asked if he could interest me in a nice Chardonnay. I declined and ordered three fingers of Jack Daniels. (I know they don’t really use that term anymore to order whiskey, I still do it just to get a reaction out of the wait staff) For those of you that don’t know what that means. When you place a whiskey tumbler on the bar, lay three fingers horizontally on the outside of the glass and fill until it reaches the top of them. The waiter looked indignant and started to go back through the reasons why a wine would be better. I shut him up this time with, “Just get me my god damned Jack Daniels and a glass of water.” He quickly hurried off to get it for me and I heard not one thing more on it the rest of the night.

I ate what they called Chicken Bocuse. This sounded very good; it was chicken over fresh spinach with a Morel Mushroom sauce. When he brought it out it smelled very good. There where whole mushrooms in the sauce and I thought I was in for a culinary delight. How wrong was I. The food was bland, very bland. It had barely any taste to it what so ever. It was as if they had cooked the flavor out of the chicken, mushrooms and spinach. Then the chicken was kind of stringy and tough. It was a little hard to cut and chew. The mushrooms where also tough, for mushrooms. I was highly disappointed in the meal. I paid and made my way out. It was as I was leaving I noticed that the restaurant was located between the Hershey Chocolate Superstore and the Ghirdelli chocolate shop. As I stood there, I had to call my wife to tell her about it. She is a huge chocolate fanatic.

Then to top of my night, I went back to the hotel and was looking for a movie to watch. Again nothing, I really wanted to watch, and there was nothing on the regular channels. I ended up getting Alexander. Okay, this movie was horrible; it was three hours of pain. May I never be tortured with it again.

Friday went fine, no incidents and I was able to leave Chicago around 3:00. That means I missed most of the traffic. Especially since they had Taste of Chicago, A free concert at the new park that used to be Meigs field and the Cubs played the White sox. I was able to get home rather quickly. There was a bad accident just north of Rockford that caused a delay. Fortunately, I was only stuck in that for about 2 miles.

Posted by Contagion in Tales from the Work Place at July 1, 2005 06:05 PM | TrackBack

Karma... funny practical joke and you end up with a bland meal. GRIN

Posted by: vw bug at July 1, 2005 06:56 PM

It's your own damn fault for encouraging the French :-)

Posted by: Harvey at July 1, 2005 10:28 PM

Your food would have been better if you would have just had the damn wine!


Posted by: Sissy at July 1, 2005 11:28 PM

Did you get chocolate for the wife and take it home as a gift???? It's ALL ABOUT the chocolate!!!

I like French food, but have found I typically leave hungry as their portions are very small, while very expensive, and I have to be careful of some of the sauces as they are too rich.

Posted by: Bou at July 2, 2005 08:53 AM

I have always been a bit disappointed in French food - just like you say, a bit bland. Oh, there are a couple of dishes I like, but nothing I'd search out, that's for sure.

But at least you tried it. I love tryin' new stuff...

Glad you didn't get caught in that mess for too long - traffic wise. That was a bad one from what I heard.

Welcome home!!

Posted by: Tammi at July 2, 2005 09:19 AM

LOL dammit, somebody beat me to the "The food sucked cuz you didn't have the wine with it" joke :P

Posted by: S at July 2, 2005 10:50 AM

Didn't they have any Tabasco?

Posted by: That 1 Guy at July 2, 2005 10:59 AM

You should have thanked the waiter every time he brought you a drink by saying Merci Boucoup (pronounced Mer-key boo-coop).

They appreciate that. Really.

Posted by: Graumagus at July 3, 2005 11:44 AM