Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Chef's Table

I think I may have found one of the worst dinner experiences for me as a Migraine Chick. This last weekend, some girlfriends asked me to go along to a birthday dinner for a dear friend at Buca Di Beppo. I usually love Italian restaurants because there are many options for me being a vegetarian, so I said I would love to go.

They had reserved something called a “chef’s table.” It sounded interesting. I had visions of dining in a secluded room with the chef asking us what our favorite foods were and he would create a special dish for each of us.

Silly me.

It turns out that the chef’s table at this restaurant is located in a nook in the actual kitchen, which meant bright white fluorescent lights glaring off industrial white walls. You get to hear all the yelling and banging of pots while the food is cooked for the entire restaurant. It was beyond loud. We couldn’t even hear each other speak. Not to mention the smell, this was a combination of giant meatballs cooking next to shellfish.

There were no special dishes created for us. It was just the same menu but eating the food in this atmosphere. Although I was secretly cringing and wincing at every bang of a pot, the glare from the walls searing my eyeballs, and the smells of too many different foods cooked at one time running my nausea ramped, I managed not to let on to anyone that this was killing my migraine brain.

Sometimes when I become trapped in situations like this, I try to tell myself “there is a beginning and there is an end.” For some reason, it helps me cope.

Note to myself. The next time someone special mentions something out of the ordinary like a “chef’s table” do a little more research first.


deborah said...

wait, first question is this;

are these 'close friends?' and if they are, and by the way, especially if they're not, you are allowed to excuse yourself from an atmosphere, such as this, for this very reason. True friends, take into consideration - everyone.

You took them into consideration, by not letting on that your head was killing you; but they declined to take you into theirs.

second question is this; would it have mattered if you had left?

some food for thought for both them and you, I suppose. I've been in the situation, and I usually take it only as far as my body allows. Once i've had enough, I must leave. I'm the one living the nightmare of agony and migraine. Nobody else understands until they're in it. WE know it! don't we.

Migraine Chick said...

I consider them to be close friends, but then again they don't seem to take my migraine pain very seriously. They act like I'm always bringing them down or putting them out when I bring it up, like "you're sick every time there is an event" kind of thing, but with daily migraine, I am always sick.

Sometimes I think I get more consideration from strangers than from some of the people I know.

deborah said...

good friends. good friends. what would we do without them?

Megan Oltman said...

Hate having the heaves in a restaurant - putting my head down in my arms on the table and not touching that expensive meal I just ordered... seems like when this happens I've always just ordered something rich, heavy and completely inedible with a migraine... the chef's table thing you went thru sounds awful...

- Megs

Migraineur said...

WTF? Why would anyone want to eat in such an atmosphere? I would've excused myself, politely or truthfully, rather pissily, by saying that this was not the atmosphere in which a civilized person enjoys good food. I mean, really, people go out to eat at least as much for the company as for the food, and if you can't hear other people talk, what's the point?

If your friends want to go there again, I think you should tell them you didn't like it because you couldn't have a conversation. Then it's just about you and personal preferences, and not about being a drag because you're sick. You're allowed to have your preferences, too, aren't you?