Thursday, January 2, 2014

No Bread For YOU

Happy New Year!

I don't feel like waxing poetic about the new year and new beginnings and all that. I don't make resolutions, and some blogger pretty much said everything I could say but better in her viral entry called This is 39. Maybe I'll tackle all that is the new year and turning 40 this year some other time.

All I want to talk about right now is bread. Yes. Bread. I love it. B, E and I go out to dinner every Saturday night unless we have some other commitment. Or sometimes B and I can get a sitter and go to the movies or out to dinner alone. But most Saturday nights, I am getting dinner out and I want to go to somewhere with a hearty bread basket. No Parmesan flatbread or some other weird crappy cracker. I want a warm bread basket with butter.

I know I'm a weirdo. I live in Bergen County and prefer chain restaurants. Reason being- I'm picky. I like a giant menu even though I'm always ordering the grilled salmon. Doesn't matter where I am, I'm ordering the grilled salmon, two sides, and I'm eating my way through a bread basket. If there is any bread left, I'm like an old lady. I have baggies in my handbag and I just throw my bread right in. Anyone that really knows me, knows how I live for bread and butter.

Joe's All American Grill has the best bread, hands down. It's like a bread masterpiece. Hot, crumbly on the outside, soft like a cloud on the inside. I've eaten a whole loaf by myself. The food- eh. But the BREAD. We used to go there so much we had our own waitress who would send me home with an extra whole loaf. And the bread thing is why we really don't go to Paparazzi there- who wants some cardboard, crunchy breadsticks?! Blech.

Cheesecake Factory comes in second- that brown bread is amazing. It's some kind of brown wheat or whatever. But you get a brown and white and I'll eat them both. Grand Lux also has some kind of white and wheat sourdough I think. And then there is Houstons. Houstons always HAD bread. It was like a small, white, holy (as holes in it, not religious bread) loaf. Usually only 3-4 small pieces and a triangle of butter. They didn't bring it out automatically but they'd bring it if you asked for it. It was never enough butter but I'd just ask for more. But it was served warm most of the time and really good.

We hardly ever get to go to Houstons, even though it's definitely my favorite in terms of the food. The grilled salmon is always amazing and for whatever reason, it's SO much better than anyone else's grilled salmon. The vegetables are always really fresh and prepared well. Problem with Houstons is that it's almost always a ninety minute wait. We can't do that with a small child. Every now and again we try and it works out but I SO look forward to it.

Sometime during Black Friday weekend we went. Oddly enough the restaurants around here are less crowded because I guess people go looking to buy gifts in the morning and don't come back to the malls to eat later. Or they're eating Thanksgiving leftovers all weekend. I don't know. We were able to get into Houstons. I'd not eaten much that day so I could eat my way through the bread and my meal. Then pop next door to Barns & Noble to get dessert to go. As an aside, that B&N Starbucks has THE best desserts ever. They have stuff from Cheesecake Factory because it's next door and other awesome stuff. Every other Starbucks has the worst desserts, but not this one. Anyway...

I asked for bread. I got this answer: "We no longer have bread service. We have a new thing....focaccia bread in olive oil....with..." Now I heard almonds, but I think she said olives. Either way, it wasn't what *I* wanted to hear. I don't want your focaccia and I certainly don't want it drenched in some oils. I'm ignoring the almond/olives part because I don't even want to think about those. Neither belong with my bread. OH, and they want to CHARGE $3 for it. No "free" bread. Nevermind that their prices went up but now they want to charge for bread as appetizer?

B just looked at my face and he said later he got scared. I said to him I was going to write an email to Houstons. And I did. In the scheme of life, will I live without my bread? Sure. Is it a #firstworldproblem? Of course. But this is the thing... We own a retail business open six days a week. We work hard. We don't get sick days, days off, or vacation. We haven't been on a vacation since 2007. What we do like to do, and what we do often, is go out to eat. It's pretty much neck and neck with going to the movies for me. So as you can see from my previous entry about movie theater etiquette or lack there of, I don't like when either of these experiences are ruined in any way for me. All I want is my damned bread! And if Houstons really wanted to fulfill a fantasy, they'd put their sweet summer corn on the menu from spring to the beginning of fall. Because THAT was another real favorite of mine that seems to have gone missing for some time now.

I really love Houstons. I don't care if it's a chain, I don't care if I have to wait an hour or more to sit down. I've never had a bad meal and I've never had a better house salad. Omg, the house vinaigrette! I'm going to keep going there, but I might decide to opt for Cheesecake Factory now if their wait is shorter. Bread tips the scales, sorry. Good bread. And my beloved butter. We just recently went back to Houstons, so I was reminded of my bread problems.

If you really want to make me happy, and get bread back for us all, just click on the link below and tell them you love Houstons but just want your bread back. Let's start a bread and butter REVOLUTION! It will take a literal minute or two to become a Bractivist!

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