Going out to dinner with my dad is like showing up for class and being given a pop quiz. You haven’t studied, you don’t know some of the answers and you make a lot of sh*t up.
I took my dad out this week to celebrate his birthday. The guy does not really eat meals. I just see him graze during the day on little snacks
like grapes, cereal, hummus, bird seed, that sort of thing.
But he does enjoy a dinner out. I told him we were going to a good Italian place in a nearby town.
So as soon as we get there he asks, “Is this Italian?” as if I had secretly replaced his Italian restaurant with an Indian one.
Yes, it’s Italian. At least I got that question right.
Then came the vocabulary portion. My dad surveys the menu and the questions come fast and furious…
“What’s bruschetta?” he asks.
“It’s like a little toasted piece of bread with yummy stuff on it like tomatoes, garlic and olive oil,” I say with confidence.
“Umm… a grain. Like cous cous. Or grits.”
“Let’s see… Ham I think. Yes, little pieces of ham.”
“What’s a panini?”
“A sandwich. A small sandwich. I’m pretty sure. The bread is pressed. Or grilled. Or toasted.” I can feel my fatigue. I wonder if my dad thinks I work here. Thankfully, the questions seem to be winding down.
Now normally my dad likes to order an appetizer. And that’s it. Nothing else. There are likely waiters living in poverty because my dad refuses to order an entree.
And he often remarks, “I don’t know why everyone doesn’t just order an appetizer.”
I’m guessing it’s because people don’t like to go home hungry.
Since this is my dad’s birthday dinner, I encourage him to go outside his starter safety zone and think BIG. We order bruschetta, a salad and the paninis for appetizers. And then we each order an entree. Okay, it all fairness, my dad only goes with a half order of pasta for his dinner choice but the man is still really pushing his food boundaries.
We ended up with way too much food.
The panini turned out to be a rather large sandwich.
But my dad loved the bruschetta.
In fact, he said he would have been satisfied with just ordering a few varieties of bruschetta for dinner.
Our waiter should send me a thank you note.