Favorite Birthday Dinner

by Anne Bennett on December 16, 2010

When I was a kid in the early 1960’s my favorite dinner to order in a restaurant was: medium-rare steak, baked potato with sour cream and chives and salad with blue cheese dressing. I remember rattling off these exact words to a waitress, who proclaimed to my mother, “Well, the little lady knows exactly what she wants.”

Indeed, I did. That is probably why I spent the next 40-odd years dieting.

In 1962 on my 12th birthday, Minerva dropped me and a girlfriend off at my favorite restaurant, Ken’s Red Barn, where we had dinner all by ourselves like big girls. (Really big girls.) Steak with potato and salad was $4.95. Some things you just never forget.

The last time I had this exact meal? It’s been so long I can’t even remember. Now I know far too much about the cholesterol and saturated fat in red meat as well as the calorie-punch in sour cream and blue cheese dressing.

Last night after work Champ and I met at Houlihan’s for a late birthday bite at the bar. Their menu now has “Small Plates”, which the bartender said has become one of their most popular features.

I had seared scallops with roasted carrots and asparagus. It came on a long, slim plate and was arranged to create a visual image of volume, which was actually minimal. Why can’t more restaurants do this instead of offering huge platters with copious quantities of starchy carbs? We’re smarter than that now, aren’t we? ¬†We know when we’re being duped into thinking that we’re getting value. Potatoes are cheap, even when they’re “loaded”.

My small plate was delicious, and I felt virtuously decadent. I had two glasses of wine, one for the first 60 years, the second for the next phase, however long. Cheers!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Courtney December 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Happy Birthday Anne! Those small plates are excellent!

Linda December 17, 2010 at 5:20 am

Happy Birthday, Anne!

The small-plates-from-Houlihan’s tip is excellent. Thanks!

We had dinner with friends at Gaslight Grill Sunday night, and Burt had one of their small plates offerings, and I had their Teriyaki Chicken Skewers appetizer and a salad (dressing on the side). We both had more than enough food!

June Cnderson Cassingham December 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I think I’ll have that same dinner on my birthday in January.

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