Shaun Baer

actor - singer - writer

Accidentally Off the Wagon

Captain’s Blog - Stardate 60327.2

The book said that eating out on this plan is tough but not impossible. I’ve already made one concession to minimize the amount of times I have to be “that guy.” I do not ask what oil is being used to cook my food. It may be butter, it may be vegetable oil, but I am leaving that to chance and focusing on the ingredients being served. Still, I am determined not to let this meal choice keep me from being social for the next twenty days.

Breakfast was fine. A lox and egg scramble and then a few nibbles of the hash browns (potatoes are allowed). Lunch was at home, in the form of pork chops and steamed kale.

Dinner…now that was another story. Our friends invited us out and chose the restaurant. It was a Chinese place we’ve been to before and the food is fantastic. This is not a reflection on the restaurant itself. I looked at the restaurant online and found two items that looked as though I could eat them. 

First, the app: LETTUCE CUPS! - savory chicken, toasted shallots, lime zest, peanuts, ginger. I asked that the peanuts be removed. Sounds like a great solution. When it arrived, it was clear to me that the sauce was likely “enhanced” with flour or corn starch. Rather than fuss, I had two and accepted the small mistake. In the grand scheme…it was not likely a huge setback.

Our waitress was sweet, but unfortunately she was in training. It was quite possibly her first day. Asking her for a fork took multiple requests, so getting more information from her, or guaranteeing that the peanuts had been removed…kind of a crap shoot.

But let’s move on to dinner: SALT & PEPPER SHRIMP! - wok-fried with aromatic herbs, spices. On revisiting this, I see my mistake. “Fried.” I think I pictured sautéed because of the “wok” inclusion. I was so confident I had chosen the right dish before hand that I didn’t look at other options when we got there. When the food arrived, the shrimp were breaded and I was very disappointed.

First off, I couldn’t eat it. Second, the steamed vegetables I ordered with it, since I had them hold the rice, were completely unseasoned and there was no salt or pepper on the table. Third, I was mostly irritated that I had to make something of a fuss, at least at the table, and not eat the dish. Which meant being something of an inconvenience (or irritant) to my friends.

Now, they get it. They’re wonderful people. They and I are aware this is my choice to better my health. But, if you’re familiar with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the last thing I want to be is like Yolanda, drawing all this extra focus to herself and her “condition” in public for attention. Granted, I like attention…but I like it when I’m funny or clever or dressed well. Not sulking over a good looking dish I can’t eat.

Our friends were great. I ended up trading my breaded shrimp with one of them for his unbreaded chicken, which I tossed into my flavorless bowl of veggies. I also picked at the appetizer a little bit. I was fine.

Conversation continued and we had a great time. One of my favorite parts of the evening came at the end. For some reason this restaurant has come up with a creative marketing strategy. With your check they give you a pre-printed, pre-stamped post card. The front is a seemingly random piece of Chinese art. The back has the restaurant’s return address and a note that says “Dear _____, Eating at (this restaurant) and thought of you.” I think you’re supposed to send it to a friend or family member who’s street address you have in your head or phone.

We sent ours to Lisa Vanderpump, another Real Housewife of Beverly Hills. In addition to the pre-written message, we added: How are Ken and the horses? Look forward to seeing you again soon. xoxo, The Gays.” We found the address to her restaurant “SUR” online and dropped in in the mail ourselves on our way home. We expect to appear on one of Andy Cohen’s shows next season.

SNBWhole30 - Day Eight: Today is Easter and we're doing a brunch with some friends. Brunch is easier because I can simply order eggs, meat, and fruit. It'll be fine. (Fingers crossed)

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