Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Beware of unfamiliar foods

As my esteemed colleague Gary West ventured forth from our office to search for a hamburger for lunch, I decided I should also hunt down some nourishment.

I went to the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant for lunch. First time. Didn't trust it since I heard about E.Coli in that restaurant chain years ago...

Anyway, I learned a valuable lesson. When ordering food for the first time in a new place, be careful. I wasn't. I was adventurous. I thought I would try the "Sample Trio" of some sort of battered food mix. I didn't even ask what might possibly be in the box. Sometimes I think I am too trusting. Or an idiot.

I got back to the office and carefully glanced at the various blobs of battered foods in the container. Different shapes, but with so much batter it was difficult to guess if it was even meat, vegetable or some inedible object a disgruntled employee might have tossed in there for first-time customers like me.

Without thinking, I popped one of the food blobs into my mouth.

Two things then struck me.

First, my tongue was suffering from burns. (I glanced at the box, and in small letters near the bottom it stated, "Careful, the food you are about to enjoy is very hot!")

Note the exclamation mark. Ah, a warning. Ah, a great revelation. Ah, ah, ah.... where's water????

For the second thing that struck me, the second great revelation, was that there might be a dual meaning to the word hot.

I realized my mouth was now on fire from ... the battered jalapeno I had chomped down on.

I swear flames were shooting out my ears as I grabbed quickly for something to extinguish the burning sensation in my mouth. Water. Pop. Fire extinguisher. NOW I understand why the restaurant employee tried to convince me to order the extra-mega-monster-grande sized drink instead of my pathetic medium size pop.

As I write this, I believe my body temperature has returned to normal.

As someone who usually steers clear of any food that ventures past "mild" on the spices, I silently vowed to next time be more wary of new foods and restaurants — or at least drag along someone else as an official "taste tester" to sample the foods first.

I wonder what Gary is doing for lunch tomorrow...

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Gary L. West said...

Try the deep fried jalepeƱos with a several splashes of Tabasco sauce added to the ranch dipping sauce. Everything's better with Tabasco! But Jack's doesn't have Tabasco in the condiment selection. You can use Jack's hot sauce in a pinch, but it's not the same. It does help spice of the ketchup for french fries pretty nicely though. Actually, my standard order at The Box is a less-than-exciting Jumbo Jack with cheese. It has mayo for gosh sakes. It doesn't get more bland than mayo.

Fadi said...

I know ofa great beef jerky recipe


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