Tuesday, March 9

Solo lunch.....

I was brimming with pleasurable excitement today at the prospect of a brand new magazine (World Sweet World, sadly the final issue…..) and a solo lunch. I actually brought some of last night’s delicious mushroom soup in to work today, but temptation overcame me and I ate it at 11.05am. So instead I trotted over to Atrium on Elliot, planning to have a scrummy Croque Monsieur at the French place. For some reason I got sidetracked by an Italian nearby (I’m sure I’m not the first girl to say that….) and opted for a small plate of Carbonara instead. What a disappointment. While I applaud the attempt to be authentic and not use cream, relying instead on eggs to provide luscious texture to the sauce, those eggs should not be in any way curdled! I managed about a quarter of the plate, but I couldn’t shake the feeling I was eating garlic scrambled eggs……..

Why is it so hard to get a decent brought lunch? One that does not cost a fortune, is tasty and interesting, and won’t send you to sleep for the afternoon. Or leave you feeling irritated and $10 poorer? One of the highlights for me of a trip to Paris a couple of years ago was the respect people have for lunch. We went to several “cafeterias” (for want of a better word,) where you picked up a tray and wandered around to various counters selecting what you want. There were usually various salads, a couple of meats or hot dishes, soup, plated up desserts such as flan, cheese already sliced into wee wedges and plated with butter (you got your bread next to the counter I discovered, after wandering around for several minutes looking for it….tourists eh?) and a little bar thing where you could get a wee lunch sized carafe of wine, or a small glass of beer. It was FABULOUS! At one place I had broccoli soup, bread, a small green salad, and a tiny plate of cheese, with a glass of perfectly nice Rose. It was so civilised, so affordable, and so ordinary, I mean people ate like that every day? And not a curdled egg in sight……

A brief postscript: I have just had an email from my sister, most irate at a work colleague. A box of yet to be iced cupcakes were left in a meeting room, when she returned several hours later to ice them, not only had someone opened the contained and removed one, but had also put the used cupcake wrapper back in the container! Can you believe it?! Not only greedy, and very bad manners, but foolish, everyone knows the icing is the best bit……….

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