Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's kraut!

After visiting the MIL (who was totally in LaLa Land) we went to dinner.  First the MIL update then the funny dinner story.

The MIL was talking to people who were not there.  She was very clear talking to those people.  Kenneth (who was her boyfriend 55+ years ago, before she married Bud) was there, she wanted us to get ready to go to dinner, she also asked him about his knees and then told me hers were shot.  She also asked me (out of the blue) What ARE they doing to that chicken?  I was afraid to ask.  In any case, she didn't really have any idea why we were there.  She knew who we were but not that we suddenly appeared (no reaction like, Oh hi!).

Ok, so we left to eat dinner.  We decided upon El Torito.  The daughter ordered Chicken Sopas.  The waiter repeated, "Chicken sour cream?"  The daughter corrected him.  Ok, he got it.

I ordered Vegetable Enchiladas.  Roasted fresh asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, yams, potatos, red bell pepper and onions, jack cheese, and fire roasted tomatillo sauce.  Ok, sounds fab to me.

I get my meal.  I start to eat one of the enchiladas. It's weird.  There is something really tough in there.  I eat about 1/2 of it and begin to tear it apart because I cannot figure out what the heck is in there.  There is a huge bunch of dark green leafy stuff that is unrecognizable to me.  It's got light beige veins in it.  It's not kale, it's not spinach.  It's packed in there.  Layered and layered and sort of raw but not.  It's extremely chewy and I don't like it.  The texture is leathery.  There are very small pieces of zucchini in there.  It's mostly green stuff.  I make the husband and BIL eat some of the green stuff.  They suggest it's kale but it's not kale.  I've had kale and that ain't it. 

I walk over to the hostess station to get a menu.  I see the ingredients on the menu does not jive with the stuff on my plate.  I open the second enchilada and out springs a bunch of green stuff.  And there are baby carrots in there too.  Carrots are not on the menu.  So my veg enchilada is leafy green raw stuff, some zuke pieces and some carrots (like a total of one baby carrot, one half was minced finely, the other half was a single chunk of carrot about an inch long with a rounded end.)

The waiter sees me inspecting the food.  He asks if everything is ok.  No, this is not what I ordered.  What is this green stuff?  And why is there carrots in here?  There is nothing in here but a small amount of zuke, it's nothing like what is on the menu.  

He says it's kraut.  I said, what?  He' says, "It's kraut!"

Now, I didn't just fall off the turnip (or cabbage) truck this morning.  There is no such vegetable as kraut.  I know saurkraut. And I know what saurkraut is made of.  This is not cabbage  of any kind, fermented or not.   I look at him and say, "No."

He backpedals a little  and said he'd go talk to the "chef".

He comes back and says the chef has to improvise because he didn't have any spinach.  Well, spinach isn't listed as an ingredient on the menu so what's up with that.  


Then he tells me the *carrots* are not carrots but yams.  No, I know yams, I know carrots and those were not yam pieces - they were carrots.

Then he tells me the chef is making me another dinner.  No, I do not want another dinner...what the hell is he gonna put in there if I get another dinner.  Ohhhh, ok, you don't want another dinner?  No.  Ok, I'll take it off your bill.  

It turns out the dark green leafy veggie is swiss chard.  Swiss chard is not german saurkraut and it's certainly not spinach, nor it is anywhere near asparagus.  They didn't boil or steam the chard because it was raw.  I've never eaten swiss chard but I know it's gotta be cooked into submission.  Not like kale or spinach where you can steam it and it wilts into tender greens.

So if you go to El Torito, don't let the waiter try to give you a "kraut" enchilada.


Anonymous said...

why didn't they just say that particular dish wasn't available? Weird!!! I'm sure the chef was not a "Top" one so improvising was probably a scary thing. ewww!

VO said...

I dunno, freaky eh? So simple for the "chef" to tell the guy he didn't have the ingredients (although not having ALL the ingredients but zukes is suspicious).