Love Bites is a regular column on Short Order. Find other installments here.
Garfield, my favorite fat cat cartoon character when I was just a lass, once said, "Diet is 'die'... with a 't,'" and that's how I've always viewed the process. It's like a slow, painful death, especially for a food writer. Aside from sex, money, and general human interaction, food is the most important thing in life.
Matlock, my beau of just over a month now, may be under the impression that dieting is just a girly thing, But he is wrong, wrong, wrong. I would never deprive myself of any food if my doctor hadn't put the brakes on my carb consumption after South Beach Wine and Food Festival. I can't blame the chefs for presenting me with so much pasta, wine, bread, and chocolate, but I am miffed at World Resource Café and Gigi -- and, yes, even Matlock -- for not being very supportive in the aftermath.
Here's the biggest irony: I'm thin. I wouldn't call myself skinny and, believe me, there's junk in my trunk, but I'm not dieting to lose weight. Matlock, on the other hand, complains that he needs to drop a few lbs. I am a lazy sack who barely works out. He is an avid swimmer. I've been off sugar for nearly a month; he starts every day with a homemade cappuccino loaded with the sweet stuff.
When I headed to Area 31 for a tasting last week and announced I was a no-sugar diet, chef E. Michael Reidt just smiled and responded, "That's no problem. I'm diabetic" and off he went to prepare me a gorgeous three-course meal that totally worked. Bless him.
It's a shame WRC and Gigi weren't nearly as accommodating. At WRC I was stuck with literally one option, which was stir-fry. Snore. Why they couldn't make a few sushi rolls with brown rice for me was disappointing and embarrassing, since everyone else in our huge group got to pound the good stuff. I'm also confused by Gigi, which couldn't throw a few vegetables in my omelette at brunch. Is it that difficult to help a customer out? Geez -- you have a gluten-free menu already. Can't you help a sister out? And the fact they charged twelve freakin' bucks for some plain eggs and mixed greens really gets me steamed. To add insult to injury, our server also made a big deal about telling us she has to charge $1 per glass for water. Things like that cause more trouble than they're worth. Just announce you're putting a freaking surcharge on the bill and give me the f--ing water, lady. Don't make this experience harder than it has to be. Ugh. This dieting has made me ornery.
And the dairy-free, unsweetened icing on this cake was that Matlock was being less than supportive during brunch, which really got to me since we were out with another couple. At various times, I heard him proclaim: "Can't you eat anything on the menu?" "Are you sure you can't cheat, just this once?" "One little bite won't hurt you." And, my favorite, "Do you want to just taste this chocolate bun with banana and caramel?" Now I can see why guys sometimes outweigh their pregnant partners by delivery time.
I repaid him for his lack of support by being a moody monster for the rest of the day and I think he finally learned his lesson: If he wants sugar from this dieting beast, we're both gonna have to settle for saccharine. And as for you chefs--watch out. Having a food reviewer on a diet at your table is a challenge, but those who rise up will definitely get some love. As will Matlock. Eventually.
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WRC & Gigi Brunch/Date Rating
Hip Factor: 3/5