I’ve come to the conclusion that ordering at a new take out place is one of the most stressful experiences. When our office moved to Santa Monica, we had to stake out new lunch places. No more egg salad sandwiches from Cafe Alexander or Salmon salads from Cafe Flore. Now I have multiple more options to choose from, all of which seem to have massive menus that leave me perplexed and stressed when trying to order lunch.
Case in point:
Jen and I walked to the Water Garden today because Jen wanted a salad from Mrs. Winston’s. While everyone raves about this self serve salad & sandwich place, I’m not really a fan. Instead, I chose to head next door to Trimana, which I have only been to once before. I walked in and not only are there hand down 20 people crowded in the small shop, all in various stages or ordering or waiting, but their menu is also MASSIVE. With the pressure on and the servers continually asking “Next!” to the sea of people all staring up at the massive food selection, the panic set it. What the hell do I want for lunch?
Do I want the tuna melt? No, I had that last time and I don’t want to get stuck in my ways. Do I just want soup? It is cold outside, soup could be good. Oh, but it’s not filling enough. What about a burger? Nah, too heavy. Oh look, they have mac and cheese as their featured side today. I love mac and cheese. Mental note to get anything that comes with that. What about a salad? Oh wait, it doesn’t come with mac and cheese. Club sandwich? No. Insert someone elbowing me aside so they can look at the menu. Fuck, I need to figure it out. Ok, slowly start walking up to the register like you know what you want but actually don’t. Keep looking at the menu. Oh turkey Parmesan sandwich could be good. I wonder if I could get that with the mac and cheese. Oh wait, they have chicken pot pie SOUP. What the hell is that and why the hell does it sound delicious? Oh, they have a Philly Cheeseteak sandwich. I love those things. Fuck, fuck, fuck. The server is staring at me like I’m crazy. Oh crunch time, hurry up. Ok fine, I’ll have the turkey Parmesan sandwich, but can I get it with mac and cheese as the side. Silence. Oh shit, am I not allowed to do that? I’ll pay extra! That stuff looks amazing. Oh no wait, it’s allowed. Ok, good. Hand credit card over, take drink cup, and breathe a sigh of relief. Crisis averted.
Now…to wait in the claustrophobic line to get my soda. Wait, what kind of soda do I want? Or do I want tea? Or juice? Oh god, here we go again.
I really should just eat the lunch I bring every day.