Sandwich Envy Taught Me a Lesson

27 Jan

I love sitting down and demolishing a whole cheeseburger and french fries like any other red-blooded American. I grew up on Wendy’s hamburgers, so having my own meal has been engrained in my head since day one. I had my own tray with a kids meal and drink on it. No one else touched it, and I knew that I could eat it all because it was specially packaged just for me.

To me, sharing was always something you did when you ordered an Awesome Blossom or some other huge appetizer from (Insert Name Here) Bar & Grill. But the entrée was off-limits (except those pesky vegetables…my dogs growing up ate a lot of green beans and spinach).

The idea of sharing has changed my perception of eating for the better. There’s no better way to explore the culinary capabilities of a restaurant than through trying a wide sample of the food they offer. I’ve always been one who orders the same thing when dining out at a restaurant we’ve been to in the past. When I find something I like, I tend to stick with it and rarely shy away to try anything new.

Cajun Yard DogFor example, the Cajun Yard Dog does really great…yeah you guessed it…Cajun food. I’m a huge fan of their Fried Oyster Po Boy, so when I looked over at Christy and saw the sheer delight on her face, I knew she had found something she loved on the menu as well. For her it was the Fried Green Tomato BLT.

I was happy for her, but in my head, nothing could beat  my Po Boy. Again…I like what I know, so the idea of ordering a sandwich made up of bacon, lettuce and fried green tomatoes (all great toppings for accentuating a real sandwich), would never occur to me. After a lot of persuasion, I finally took a bite of her BLT and started feeling what can only be described as “Sandwich Envy“.

It was one of the most amazing two bites (yeah…I snuck in a second one) of food I ever had. I was a little sad I couldn’t eat more of it, and I was left staring at my Po Boy with a little resentment and thinking…”Where were you today sandwich? You’re clearly outmatched by your counterpart sitting on the other plate. You’re better than this…”

Since that experience, we’ve made more of an effort to order items from the menu that can be shared. Tapas-style and appetizers are a great way to go when trying some place new – I just have to move past the idea that meals placed in front of me are for my mouth only. Now when we travel to a new city, we end up visiting more restaurants in the course of a day. Two small plates here and another two or three down the road in a couple of hours lets us explore all the great eateries that help shape a town’s identity.

Add in a few friends and the sharing lends itself to a more communal table. The discovery of some great new taste is further enhanced when you can share it with others.  But if it comes on a tray, packaged in a kids meal, and has a prize with it, I can’t guarantee I’ll be so open to the idea of sharing – some things are best left for my mouth only. Christy understands…just ask her about cheese fries!

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