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Reckless Abandon at the Diner

November 13, 2017

Making healthful eating choices can be hard. Especially when one really appreciates delicious food. What makes it doubly hard is when a menu is jam packed with options which are all appealing, but loaded with fat, simple carbohydrates, and salt.

For those trying to make good choices, diners are a minefield.

In the past, I would order the old man breakfast of oatmeal and black coffee. And I really did enjoy seeing how different diners treated this healthful and hearty classic. But most were pretty bad. Oatmeal is better when it is salted, and perhaps because this is the default healthy breakfast option, far too many diner oatmeals aren’t salted at all.

These days, I take a more moderate approach, and instead of trying to eat like a monk while out at a diner, I focus more on portion sizes than the milligrams of dietary cholesterol. And that often means an egg and cheese sandwich on a toasted hard roll, or maybe a couple of fried eggs on top of potatoes, hold the toast and hold the meat.

On Saturday, Mrs. Fussy ran a 15k in Schenectady. Afterwards we went out to The Bellevue Cafe in Rotterdam. She ordered something I would never ever get, for a variety of reasons.

The bacon and cheese omelet.

For starters, I’m no fan of diner omelets in general. They typically come in one of two styles, and I don’t care for either the stiff folded version, or the extra thin rolled version made on the flattop. Plus, some diners use an egg mixture for omelets instead of whisking eggs to order.

Beyond that, if I wanted bacon, I would order it on its own, to maximize my pleasure of biting into its crispy stripes of fat and meat.

This isn’t something that Mrs. Fussy typically orders either. To hear her tell the story, she made a quick calculation after reading the menu and looking at some of the pricing. Because really what she wanted, was just a little bit of bacon to go with her eggs.

Given the price differential between a cheese omelette and a bacon and cheese omelet, especially when compared to the price of a side order of bacon, Mrs. Fussy came to the reasonable conclusion that the bacon cheese omelet had only a little bit of bacon in it.

Man, was she wrong.

This thin rolled omelette was little more than a membrane to constrain obscene amounts of white american cheese and fried bacon strips. I only wish I had better pictures of the omelet itself. Because when it arrived, the most striking thing appeared to be the gorgeously crispy, finely shredded, hash browns.

Mrs. Fussy wasn’t going to be able to eat the whole thing, so I was able to snag a couple of bites. Holy, mother of god. Creamy, salty, meaty, and smokey. It’s a decadent plate of comfort to be sure. So comforting in fact, you may need a nap afterwards.

I wanted to sleep so badly, but there was work to be done, including trying to find a mechanic open on Sunday to help me replace the headlight on my car. I know. I should be able to do that myself. But it saves me so much time, frustration, and anxiety, that it’s money well spent.

Anyway, it’s back on the wagon of healthier eating. We’re finally back in oatmeal season, and I make a pretty mean version of steel cut oats. Those are mighty comforting too.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2017 11:05 am

    Those hash browns look glorious. I really hate the home fries you typically find in the diners around here. I like crispy and crunchy and home fries are often soft and soggy with too thick potatoes.

  2. November 13, 2017 11:12 am

    I think your wife deserved every bite she could consume – bravo for the 15K!!!

  3. EMT permalink
    November 13, 2017 11:54 am

    Hash browns! I’m with C – so hard to find hash browns here and home fries are rarely done well.

  4. KingOfBeacon permalink
    November 13, 2017 1:02 pm

    The hash browns look like Waffle House style. And everyone knows the Northeast could use Waffle House.

  5. Benjamin permalink
    November 15, 2017 12:12 pm

    +1 to Waffle Houses, and +1 to the Bellevue Cafe!

  6. April 20, 2018 1:37 am

    Stop! I’m hungry and didn’t bring any breakfast today. Love your reckless abandon and stealing bites from Mrs Fussy. I’m sure me husband sees me in the same way.

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