My roommate and I, intrepid city explorers that we are, picked a trendy restaurant neither of us had tried. We were seated at a table overlooking the kitchen so we could watch everyone else’s food be made while waiting for ours, tantamount to torture when you’re hungry.
Eventually, we got our food and ate our way through three courses very successfully. So successfully, in fact, that at the end, we didn’t have room for dessert. And because of inconvenient food allergies, I couldn’t eat anything on the dessert menu anyway.
And this is where comedy ensues. The waiter handed us the bill for the meal in addition to a crème brûlée on the house. My roommate and I looked at each other as he handed us the dessert; we both happen to be allergic to dairy.
Our shared dairy allergy doesn’t veer into the “life-threatening” category so we occasionally have a bit of ye old cow juice and cow-juice derived products. But only after judging whether or not the food is worth the inevitable stomach ache and digestive issues that follow. However, this was not “a bit” of dairy, it was an entire crème brûlée.
It was culinary blackmail essentially. (Except for the fact that the waiter had no idea, but whatever.) If we didn’t eat it, we’d look like ungrateful jerks. If we did, we’d be consuming something knowing our bodies would ultimately reject it.
We decided to plunge in and eat it because we didn’t want to hurt the waiter’s feelings. He’d been too nice and accommodating to snub him in any way.
The drive back from the restaurant was what could only be expected: misery. My roommate and I exchanged pep talks encouraging each other not to waste our money by throwing up the food we had just paid for. Positive thinking worked! We managed to keep and digest every last cent. We paid for that meal in more ways than one, however.