Pancakes are my go-to comfort food. They’re light and fluffy, yet incredibly filling. They’re a breakfast food, but they taste like dessert. Restaurants do a lot of different things with pancakes (Footnote 1), but you can’t go wrong with plain buttermilk ones topped with butter and smothered in syrup.
It’s only fitting, then, that last night I went to IHOP for my very last, last meal. This morning, I started my pre-surgery diet, which mainly consists of protein shakes and Jell-O pudding. As it was a special occasion, I ordered a full stack of five pancakes with warm syrup. I also got a scrambled egg, so no one can accuse me of not eating a balanced meal.
I was really stuffing my face. Look at the size of that forkful.
As this was my last day of gluttonous eating, probably for my entire life, I had pizza for lunch, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food as my afternoon snack, and two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for dessert. By the end of the day, I felt delirious.
I’m one day into the pre-surgery diet, and so far I’m feeling fine. I have heard that after a few days, headaches and extreme fatigue set in. I’ll let you know how it goes.
1. The First Watch near Camp David makes a delicious banana and granola pancake. And I once had a pancake as big as a hubcap at Hash House a Go Go in Orlando.
As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, the Complementary Spouse and I are visiting my favorite restaurants and eating my favorite foods before my surgery. I’ve been calling this my “last meals” tour.
I recently heard someone describe these meals as “last suppers.”
So, what does it say about me that I instinctively used a term associated with prisoners and execution?
The Complementary Spouse and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. I had a very light lunch, so I was able to eat a few wings without exceeding my calorie count for the day.
There’s not much else to report about this last meal, but I did get a nice picture:
You can tell it’s my first wing because my hands aren’t dirty yet and there’s no sauce in my beard.
Update: A few hours later, I’d like to report that eating wings was a bad idea.
This is an Orange Freeze milkshake from Steak ‘n Shake. It is probably the last milkshake I will ever drink.
The Last Meal Tour has come to an end.
This past weekend, the Complementary Spouse and I visited New York to eat at some of my favorite restaurants. I know that these calorieriffic meals seem unwise, especially given that I am trying to change my eating habits and lose more weight before surgery. Emotionally, though, they’re very comforting. It’s like saying farewell to a friend that you know you won’t see for a long time.
We began our weekend at Katz’s Delicatessen, a Jewish culinary landmark on Houston Street. Everything on this menu appeals to me. There’s not a ham sandwich with mayo in sight. Even the Complementary Spouse, who grew up on Southern food, loves Katz’s.
I had originally intended to order the pastrami sandwich, but at the last minute I changed my mind to corned beef. We shared the sandwich, a plate of pickles, and a serving of latkes (Footnote 1). The restaurant was crowded, dingy, and loud, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Continue reading
After surgery, I’ll have to forgo alcohol for probably a year or more. Beer is out of the question in the future, as I won’t be allowed to drink carbonated beverages of any type. But wine should be OK, as long as I drink it before I start eating. And cocktails will be back on the menu.
I know cocktails aren’t manly, but I quite like them. The best ones have complex flavors that transform the taste of the liquor used. I’m very particular about what I drink — I always opt for rum or vodka, and avoid anything with tequila as if it were tainted with the bubonic plague. Bourbon and whiskey are OK, but not my favorites.
I don’t recall what this is called, but it’s a very old recipe and the rose-shaped lemon peel is quite cool
The beginning of July is a special time for me. Over the course of four days, the Complementary Spouse and I celebrate my birthday, our anniversary, and the Fourth of July. This year, we returned to San Francisco — where we were married all those years ago — to see friends, enjoy the town, and eat an embarrassing amount of incredibly good food.
There was only one must-do restaurant on my last meals list in San Francisco, and that was In-N-Out Burger, a fast-food chain that’s prevalent in California but nowhere to be found in Florida. I always order the same thing: a Double Double, animal style (Footnote 1), with no tomato, along with a serving of fries.
It seems like 90 percent of the posts on this blog can be broken down into three categories:
1. I have been eating really well.
2. I fell off the wagon for a day or two, and I’m disappointed in myself.
3. The Complementary Spouse and I have been traveling, and I gorged myself on the most delicious food I have ever eaten.
This past weekend falls into category No. 3. Details soon.
One of the things I’ll miss after surgery is ethnic food. I’m a rather picky eater (Footnote 1), but I do like experiencing other cultures through food. I can always find something on a foreign menu that looks tasty.
Eventually, I’ll be able to eat ethnic food again. But it will probably be while before I’m eating any type of solid food at restaurants at all, and with my limited stomach size I won’t be able to sample as many dishes as I do now.
I had three ethnic meals recently, and they were all wonderful. About a month ago, the Complementary Spouse, our good friend Ali, and I went to a local Turkish restaurant. I like pretty much all Turkish food, except for the dessert pudding made out of sweetened shredded chicken breast (Footnote 2). I ordered the most indulgent and delicious entree, the Iskander kebab. It’s slices of lamb, covered with butter and a rich tomato sauce, served on top of soft pita pieces and accompanied with a creamy yogurt sauce. I finished the entire plate. I think I had to loosen my belt at the table.
When I was a kid, my family lived in London for a few years. It was an excellent experience that shaped my life and worldview. One of the issues we faced, though, is that when we were homesick there was nowhere to go for comfort food like hamburgers and fries (Footnote 1).
At some point, a friend of my mother’s mentioned that there was an American-style restaurant in London near Green Park. We went there. We liked it. We went back about once every other month. I remember the blue-and-white tablecloths and a neon sign in the window that said “No drugs or nuclear weapons allowed inside.”
The restaurant was called the Hard Rock Cafe, and it really wasn’t a big deal back then.
Can’t recall when I took this photo, but it was after word got out and lines started forming.