This weekend the SP and I went to a pretty nice Italian restaurant for their prix fix brunch buffet. Said restaurant is the offspring of a fairly well-known celebrity chef who shall remain unnamed; the august personage has very little to do with the story, I only mention it to illustrate that it was not the Olive Garden or somesuch.
Y'all are well familiar with my disdain for excess carbs; ergo I can only blame the waiter's seductive tones as he described the pasta special du jour. Spaghetti carbonara, pesto fetuccini, and ravioli stuffed with something.
Corn, as it turned out. Ravioli stuffed with CORN. How %*#^ing redundant can you get? I watched with dismay as the chef brought round a large skillet full of noodles and forked them onto my plate: easily three times as much spaghetti as I would eat in a meal I had cooked myself, and that was only a third of the offering. It had two tiny little bits of pancetta in the mix, and a vague tang of parmesan. The pesto fetuccini was green and basil-y, but also devoid of protein or fiber (I know the waiter said something about crab in the sauce. I know he did; we both heard it). And don't get me started on the ravioli. Limp, slimy, and full of something else slimy that Mom used to dump out of a Green Giant can when I was a kid.
The SP took pity on me. He'd thought it sounded good, too, but our mistake was obvious. He forked some onto his bread plate and handed over a few choice bits from his steak. Luckily for me, there was plenty of salad, cheese and cold cuts on the buffet so I didn't starve.
Oh, the pasta was okay. It was well-prepared and flavorful, for pasta. But I never did and never will understand the appeal of a plate full of three shades of flour. I felt guilty about throwing it out, but I'd've felt worse if I'd eaten it all.
And the most offensive part was, the SP had to pay $5 extra for his steak, but did I get a price break for the pasta? Hell no. Restaurants like pasta and rice for the same reason they serve fries with everything: it's cheap. And you can put a whole lot of cheap on the plate to make the customer feel full and think they got a good deal.
Bah. I am less enamoured with the Italian buffet today, even though they have terrific desserts.