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Pigging Out

November 13, 2009

I’m no prude.  Sure, I have a bunch of rules.  But every now and again, I let go.

It has been a while since we were talking about restaurant portion sizes, and different levels of satiety.  And I still maintain that the measure of a restaurant should be the quality of what it feeds you, and not how it stuffs you to the gills and leaves you with meals for the week.

That is not to mean that I do not appreciate a good gorging.  Just this week, I had lunch with some fellow bloggers at an Indian buffet, and ate a silly amount of food.  Part of the problem was that I walked into the restaurant starving, having inadvertently skipped breakfast.

For under $10, I walked out having consumed two full plates of food, a small plate of dessert, and a cup of tea.  It was a lot of food, and I really could have used a nice nap.  Still, it was not the most damage I had perpetrated at an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet.

[Note: The following paragraph is graphic and disgusting. You have been warned.]

That honor goes to a lunch in San Francisco.  I ate so much that it felt the food couldn’t make it all the way down to my stomach, and was backed all the way up to just below my neck.  While I was walking back to my office, I choked back a little vomit, and mysteriously a small chewed-up piece of spinach found its way out my nose.

Then there was that birthday, sometime in my late-twenties, when all my friends went to Fuddruckers and I conquered the full-pound hamburger.  That thing was the size of a dinner plate.  And since I was going for the gusto, when they asked me if I wanted that with bacon, I jauntily said, “Sure.”

It was the bacon (and the sautéed onions) that ended up killing me.  The bacon added an extra saltiness and meaty crunchiness that slowed me down and required more actual masticating.  And the greasiness of the sautéed onions mixed with the cheese sauce and made the burger a mess that dripped down my arms.  Yet if I put it down, I knew in my heart of hearts I would never be able to pick it up again.

So I held it.  One hand on the bottom, to raise it to my mouth.  And one hand behind it, to keep the thing from sliding apart.

I ultimately finished that burger, although I did take a break for video games, and another break for dessert.  Yes, I swallowed the last few bites after sharing an ice-cream-topped chocolate éclair with my mates, dubbed the “I do d’éclair” or some such from the nearby Claim Jumper.

There are innumerable feasts I recall.  Complete gorge fests, where quantity was placed over quality.  Although as I grew older, the gluttonous adventures became more and more refined.  Raf once brought over a lobe of foie gras encased in rendered goose fat.  The two of us sat down with some baguettes and a bottle of pommeau and polished off our bounty.

The problem, I suppose, is when the joy of pigging out becomes the only joy one takes in food.  But there is a problem on the flip side too – taking food so seriously that one loses the pleasure of just sitting down and eating tasty cheap crap until all those endorphins kick in and you drift off in a happy food coma.

Luckily for me, the Superbowl keeps me grounded.  More on that later.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    November 13, 2009 11:05 am

    Okay, that paragraph was indeed graphic and disgusting. I gagged a little.

    Timely post with the biggest gorge day of the year approaching.

  2. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    November 13, 2009 12:18 pm

    Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, as you have illustrated. A few years back, I took my young children to Golden Corral, and we still talk about something we saw there: The World’s Biggest Butt!

  3. November 13, 2009 2:28 pm

    hee hee. awesomely gross, Profusser :D

  4. November 13, 2009 5:28 pm

    I ate the seismic meersburger (they serve it in a pie tin) once when I was out in Oklahoma. I was pretty sick.

  5. Ellen Whitby permalink
    November 14, 2009 10:53 pm

    I don’t know about this one…I might not respect you in the morning.

    BTW, where did you go for Indian buffet?

  6. November 15, 2009 4:54 pm

    I really liked the buffet, and my thing with them is that I can stuff myself to oblivion. I like eating a lot, but sometimes I like to space it all out. Buffets kind of make you cram it all in at once. I think it’s partially why I like take out so much – order a lot of food, and then eat it at your own leisure.

  7. November 17, 2009 4:49 pm

    I too would like to know the buffet that would inspire you to scarf down two plates. Are you recommending?

  8. November 18, 2009 12:50 am

    The buffet was Aashiana. And you can read all about the lunch on Albany Eats.

    What can I say, Indian Buffet gets the better of me. When I partake, I let it all hang loose and eat like I am in my early 20s.

    I thought Aashiana was a good representation of the form, and handled the biggest problem of Indian Buffet with charm and grace: What to do about the naan.

    Some buffets leave a basket of naan out on the buffet line, which is not a good plan at all since the bread is only truly delicious when hot. Aashiana delivers and re-delivers fresh baskets of steaming fresh naan as needed to your table. Hot and tasty.

    I would return. But being the fickle little blogger that I am, it will probably take a while to do so. I still need to try a bunch of other local options, and I don’t go out for Indian Buffet very often. If I did, I’d be immense.

  9. kimberlychica permalink
    January 10, 2010 1:08 am

    Just a quick thought on the Indian buffet of my personal preference at the moment..located LITERALLY two or three doors down form Aashiana, my old love, is Lazeez. Absolutely delicious, so friendly a staff( never the case in Chinese buffets, they always glare at you after plate two ) and the food was quality, plentiful, and piping hot. Drinks were refilled quickly and it was $6.99 each. Not only that, they have a “buy 10, get a free buffet” card that they give you on your first visit, and stamped not one, not two, but four lunches on my first time eating there. I don’t frequent buffets often because I leave there looking like I’m in the end of the third trimester of a (non-existent) pregnancy. But I think I might be visiting soon, I’m already craving a plate of the vindaloo chicken and pappadums!! Try it out, all!

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