It’s 2am and I am hungry, but instead of eating something I am going to write a little ranty blog post.
Those who have dined with me should know that I am oftentimes more concerned about portion size than actual food quality. I would just as soon get more than I can eat of something merely adequate rather than a sensible portion of something amazing. I am that guy who’s secretly eying your plate as the meal winds down to see what you aren’t going to finish so I can have what’s left. I am not one to sit and savor my food; I want to shovel it down as fast as I can. I’m the guy who’s sitting there with a plate so clean it looks like I have yet to be served, making it as obvious as possible that I want some of your heaping portion of fries that I know you can’t possibly finish. Many a buffet proprietor has cringed to see me walk in and eat away their profit margin. I have been told “slow down, enjoy your meal!” But that’s how I like to eat! Savoring is for suckers! Heck, Steve Poulter even mentioned this personal trait in his wedding toast about how the first time they met me I wolfed down all the food on the table. When I sit down to eat, the goal in mind is usually to reach the full feeling, because being hungry is no fun. If it tastes really good, all the better! That is how I managed to out-eat Alex at Thanksgiving 2007 and gain six pounds in 40 minutes.
Lauren and I have been reviewing local restaurants for the last couple years, and I run across way more restaurants that leave me hungry than ones that send me away with my leftovers in a box. I can be blown away by certain dishes, but if there wasn’t enough of them, I’m more likely to give a negatively toned review. The places that most accurately fit this description are the trendy natural/organic restaurants that use only local ingredients. The food is usually awesome but the portion sizes are laughable. Tonight Lauren took me out to Common Roots for dinner (very kind of her!) and I ordered this really great tasty dish called the chicken cassoulet, a stew-like dish. I tried my best to eat slowly and make my meal last, but it was no use. I had that platter licked clean in ten minutes flat and wanted more… I really believe I could have eaten a serving three to four times that size! I asked Lauren if she thought it would be reasonable, in the future, to ask waiters for larger portions if I knew how little food there would be. She figured they probably wouldn’t cater to my requests, unless a large tip was promised, in which case I may as well just order two of whatever I’m getting.
You would think that my eating habits would have changed over the last 23 months since I made some lifestyle changes that led to me losing 40 pounds, but one of those changes was not holding back on food intake. An increase in exercise, yes, and choosing more nutritious foods, yes… but not eating smaller portions.I have discovered that the best possible menu item I can order to meet my portion demands is pasta. I am finding more and more places serve me more pasta than I can eat in one sitting.
Does anyone else have the same concerns, or are you the opposite?
UPDATE: I am always embarrassed reading my posts in the light of day after waking up. I think I wrote this half-asleep. I must have been really damn hungry.
You’re just lucky that you are so tall and can absorb all those calories. I thought maybe you had changed since you didn’t finish your pasta the other night, but guess I was wrong! I think they give too much food in a serving at most places. I can’t say that I ever go away hungry.
Ha ha ha… you and me buddy. I guarantee none of my friends have seen me ask for a to-go box. If it’s in front of (or anywhere near) me, I eat it.
I hate big portions. I can never handle all that food, and then I feel stupid for not eating it.
This is not a statement to just be different than you, but I really seriously hate big portions.
My mother has occasionally told me “No one is going to take your food away from you. You can have it. You don’t need to eat so fast.” And yes, to-go boxes are rare.