Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Being Judgmental

The Grand Avenues opened in Kuwait a couple of weeks ago. It's a new wing that's part of one of the existing malls here. There were a few stores that I was really looking forward to finally having here - particularly Williams Sonoma & West Elm.

Aside from a bunch of retail stores came several new restaurants. All of which have caused a lot of excitement among many people I know -- but no excitement for me. The three main attractions are Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and The Cheesecake Factory.

Five years ago, I would have been really excited about having these restaurants here. They reminded me of my time in the States, particularly my college years when a trip to these restaurants was a treat (especially when money was short).

However now, it's a completely different story. All I could think was, 'Great, more new restaurants opened in Kuwait, and still no place for me to enjoy a healthy meal.'

I had/have 0 interest in going to these restaurants. That being said, today I reluctantly met a friend at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. There are lots of things I could say about the restaurant, wait staff, and service, but this is not a review of that ... let's just talk about the food.

Already going into the restaurant I knew that even options that looked healthy would not be -- still, I was going to take a chance. Maybe, just maybe they'd surprise me.

I was debating between a veggie burger (which I would have eaten without the bread, cheese, and fries) and the lunch plate of salmon and vegetables. My friend got the veggie burger and I ended up getting the salmon. There were two types of salmon on offer - herb crusted salmon, served with asparagus and broccoli, and grilled salmon served with broccoli and mashed potato (so I was told). I decided to go with the herb crusted salmon.

When it arrived, the salmon covered in chopped parsley was balancing on a HUGE pile of mashed potatoes with 4 big spears of asparagus resting on the side and some cheesy butter sauce floating at the bottom of the dish. I asked for a separate plate and took the salmon off. I'm just really glad they didn't cover the salmon with that sauce.

Where was the broccoli? Why were there potatoes? Oh, she made a mistake.

I was not in the mood to argue (actually, I was in the mood to argue which is why I held back and just let it go). The asparagus spears, after wiping them down, were good. The salmon tasted like water. The parley looked like it had been soaked and just patted on; there was no flavor whatsoever. I only ate half of the salmon - such a shame. I did try a few spoonfuls of the mashed potato - dangerously delicious. I quickly pushed the plate away because I knew that there was a risk of making an excuse 'Well, I didn't really eat my main dish, so I might as well eat this.' I already felt slightly guilty for eating the bit of mashed potatoes that I did. No need to feel worse.

I was totally unimpressed. My friend said his veggie burger was ok.

Not worth going back for.

As for the cheesecake offers - their feature of the day was a 4-layered cheesecake (2 original cheesecakes and 2 chocolate fudge cakes) plus chocolate fondant in the middle.

I felt sick just hearing that. It irritated me that they'd put together that type of combo. What's more is that it's not even a small taster sized slice -- it's massive. Even sharing it among 4 people wouldn't split the calories in a way that it could be justified ... anyway. We just said no thank you and left.


Food, obviously, is still an issue for me. I've been talking about it a lot lately because it's something I have to deal with on a daily basis. Eating out - restaurant or at someone's house - will continue to be a challenge. I don't want to be a brat and I don't want to be seen as judgmental, but there are somethings that I just don't want to eat.

I've got a dinner coming up on Sunday and I know that the dish of the night will be pasta. I really don't want to eat it. I'm already anxious thinking about it because I know the host will say - it's just one night. But I don't want to eat it ... and I will probably end up packing up a little something for myself and telling her from beforehand. I don't want to insult her, but I'm nervous that she'll take it the wrong way. My body just cannot handle that kind of starch. I don't want to impose my eating habits on anyone else, but I also don't want to compromise all that I've been working for. We'll see what happens.

Great kickboxing session today :)


  1. Cheesecake is my kryptonite. Good thing the Cheesecake factory doesn't exist in my town:)

  2. I had a last minute dinner invite the other night. I didn't make good choices. I would be doomed at the Cheesecake Factory. You are very committed to your way of eating. I'm impressed!

  3. You're doing really well it's just unfortunate that some people see it as judgmental and feel the need to try and convince you otherwise. Stick with it if you feel it's right for you!

  4. Hi Dr. PlumPetals! Well, I'm sorry that you have Cheesecake Factory in your country now. That place is a fat girl hangout. The entire menu is super fattening and so expensive. The only good thing is sometimes there are cute guys serving the food, who flirt even when you are in the process of bingeing!<<which, in the entire context, is embarrassing because they just want a good tip. There's a Cheesecake factory directly across from where I do my banking, so I see it all of the time. But I haven't been to the Cheesecake Factory since about 5 years ago because I respect myself. So I totally get what you are expressing in this post.

    :-) Marion

  5. I remember reading about a salad that the Cheesecake Factory had that sounded so simple and delicious. It included seared scallops and greens and I was amazed that the calories were close to 2,000. We all wondered if they just poured on a half cup of the most calorie dressing possible. Anyway, I'm afraid to go there for sure!


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