Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Work Caf (Mis)Adventures - The Continuing Story

Visitors to this blog in the past, all three of you, probably recollect my stories of some scary and interesting things my work's cafeteria serves up for lunch. If time, an extraterrestrial brain probe, and/or grain alcohol has stolen these memories from you, feel free to bask in the wonderfulness that is the Dim City archives. Laugh again! Cry again! Say, "Who the fuck is Dim?" again!

So, today, I venture downstairs and after careful consideration, I deduce that my best option is the tantalizingly vague "Oriental combo". Visions of a threesome with Lucy Liu and Kristi Yamaguchi dance in my head before I remember I'm down here to eat some crappy caf food. And before you start flooding my comments section yelling at me that Lucy and Kristi are Asian and NOT Oriental, I know. And hell's never-ending fire awaits you for trying to deny me my threesome.

Back to the Oriental combo later. Let me first detail the caf choices that I inexplicably deemed not as appetizing as this delectable treat.

In the grill line we have:

Grilled Chicken Caesar Sandwich with Spicy Fries.

The sandwich consists of a thin chicken breast that was half-way cooked this morning. They do this, you see, to save time during the unendurable lunch-time crush. That way, when you order a chicken breast four hours later, it only takes a fraction of the time to prepare for you, since it is already partially cooked. Efficiency! Timeliness! Salmonella!

This chicken is about the size of a normal person's palm and is marinated in some indiscernible liquid and rosemary. You may ask how I know there's rosemary. Well, gentle reader, let me tell you. Because these rosemary leaves, the size of toothpicks, cement themselves somehow in the chicken breast so you can't pick them off. Yet, when you eat them, they miraculously dislodge from the poultry and launch themselves, like a javelin, into the roof of the mouth you just burned with coffee that morning.

This regular old chicken sandwich is fancied up by adding wilted romaine lettuce, a sprinkle of powdered cheese, and Caesar dressing and all put in a bun that is roughly the size of an 18-wheeler's hubcap. Voila!

And don't ask what their spicy fries are. They don't exist. It's the same old fries. They pull this shit all the time. Like when they say a dish comes with "saffron-infused herbed white rice" and you get down there and they throw a spoonful of Rice-a-Roni on your plate. The yellow flavor that leaves behind a dye stain on the fine china that only a sandblaster could remove. San Francisco Treat indeed.

Moving over to the deli line, they are also featuring a sandwich. This one is called Sausage Parmesan, which, in thinking about it, would make a great porn name for myself.

This sandwich is built thusly: take a sub roll that is so stale, it could be used as a bunker buster in Afghanistan. Put a piece of freezing cold provolone cheese in it. Add an abnormally large sized Italian sausage (insert your own joke here) and cover with a tomato sauce that's so runny, it looks like Cherry Kool-Aid. Now, that's some gourmet shit right there.

The last option for me is the salad bar. The salad bar sort of freaked me out in the past because I got it one time and there was, shall we say, some undesired protein in it. I have recently got back on the salad bar and it has been bug-free so far. But my problem with it is this - there have about 378 things that you can put in your salad and they charge you by weight. Of the salad, not by MY weight, thank God. Most of these salad items look pretty good from a distance and since it really isn't all that substantive, I really pile everything on. The last time I got a salad for lunch, it cost me $43. No more.

So, you tell me - doesn't that Oriental Combo sound good now?

This combo plate is fried rice, chicken, ribs, and spring rolls. How can they mess that up, you ask? You should know by now that I'm going to tell you.

The spring rolls (2) were the size of my second toe. The one next to the big toe, not the one next to the pinkie toe. So, two of those. They are so small they each contained one matchstick of a carrot and some shredded cabbage. And they had this peculiar, distinctly non-Asian flavor I like to call "freezer burned." And dipping sauces? We don't need no stinkin' dipping sauces!

The fried rice actually relatively OK despite seemingly having about 12 different colors of peppers in it. I'm pretty familiar with the red, green, orange, and yellow varieties of peppers, but once you start getting into the deep cuts of the Crayola 64, I get a little nervous. Periwinkle blue peppers? Is this organic? I did appreciate the nice touch of the scrambled egg in the rice, but knowing these jokesters, this was probably left over from an omelet they cooked two days ago.

Next comes the meat. The chicken was a chicken leg (1) and when I say "chicken leg (1)", I mean chicken leg (1). Not a traditional Chinese chicken wing, but what really ended up looking like a friggin drumstick from Thanksgiving (1) with skin on it that I swear they used to make firemen's raincoats out of. The rib, and I do mean singular rib, was one of those country style rib thingies. The one where the bone is 99.3% of its total mass. That weird cellophane skin on the under side of the rib accounts for 0.2% of the rest. Then, you have the fat and marrow clocking in at about 0.3%, which basically means I sucked on this disgusting thing for ten minutes to get 0.2% of pork meat. At least, I think it was pork.

The collective Oriental combo meat was a horror show in and of itself. Almost instantly upon eating the chicken, I experienced a stomach ache that was reminiscent of getting off a roller coaster someone made you to ride after forcing you to swallow a cinder block. Not helping this was the truly otherworldly colored marinade they used. This thing was an unhealthy pinkish red ooze that would have made Joseph say, "I couldn't possibly have this hue on my dreamcoat. It's far too electric for my taste." And this marinade didn't just look toxic.

Upon taking my first bite of the rib, I felt this marinade indelibly adhere to my face. I went into the men's room and the mirror exposed me looking like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

"Why so serious?"

Well, for starters, because I probably have trichinosis now and look like Donatella Versace tried to put lipstick on me.

I stumbled back to my desk and choked down the rest of the rib and chicken. Upon wiping my hands on a napkin, it burst into flames that couldn't be extinguished by earthly water.

Did I make the right choice for lunch today? You tell me.

Man, I really need to start brown bagging it.


Blogger Jenny G said...

Yay, a post from Dim!

1:59 PM  

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