Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Do Le Cirque And A Sourth Daktoa Middle School Cafeteria Have In Common?

Bad food.

Pat Powers points to a KCCR report of Kristi Noem's visit to a middle school where she learned that middle schoolers don't like their lunches:
Some of the students, after talking to Noem, said they told the Congresswoman they didn’t like the lunches. One said the food was “too healthy” and others said they never got enough to eat and threw away most of their food.
Meanwhile, Rod Dreher points to New York Times review of Le Cirque, "one of New York’s fanciest and most expensive restaurants." The review makes it seem as if most middle schoolers would throw this food away too:
Nearly everything lacked seasoning. The kitchen gave the impression that it had stopped reaching for excellence and possibly no longer remembered what that might mean.
I don't know if middle schoolers would consider beef carpaccio"too healthy," but it sounds as if they would be unhappy if it replaced their salad bar "because some of the salads and puddings exceeded the calorie standards."
Beef carpaccio, the chilly maroon flesh stretched out below a scattershot application of radish and celery slices that had started to curl, tasted of refrigeration and surrender. In what was meant to be a salad, a white flap of flavorless squid was pulled over a length of octopus leg like a shroud; it sat next to frigid white beans that were crunchy at the center.
The most important comparison between the classy eatery and the middle school cafeteria seems to concern that staple of all cafeteria food, the fish stick or an allegedly more elegant substitute:
A long log of Dover sole under a sheet of bread crumbs had neither the texture nor the flavor that might justify charging $49 for a fish stick.
On a positive note, English teachers everywhere would rejoice if their students would turn in paragraphs like this one:
Soft green bell pepper and watery peeled tomatoes had lost all memories of their days under the hot sun by the time they were draped like old newspapers over and around a chunk of striped bass. Summer corn soup was the color of winter squash, which may be why it tasted almost nothing like corn. Anyone with a bottle of olive oil and access to a supermarket produce aisle might easily prepare an heirloom tomato salad that surpasses the one I was served at Le Cirque in August.
Apparently both the food critic and the middle schoolers are experiencing the discomfort of "smaller portions, not as good as food being offered, more food being thrown away and [leaving the table] hungrier."

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