I asked for my food to stay — I did ask for everything to stay, right? I ask my best friend when I come back to our table, carrying a bag of our food in takeaway containers.
Yeah, pretty sure you did, she says, and I never like this mix-up because it’s such a waste of containers that just get trashed. There’s nothing I can do about it, though, so I start pulling them out and arranging them on our table, wondering, as usual, if I really ordered this much food. I don’t know why I’m still so surprised by my ability to order food and, then, eat it all when it’s not that excessive, not really, not most of the time — sometimes, I wonder if it’s something left over from constantly being shamed for my body and my love of food given my overweight body, a remnant shame that I still have to quell and force down every so often, reminding myself that that’s bullshit, I’m fine, my value and worth aren’t defined by my body, and fuck that, anyway, I know food.
Want half the biscuit? my best friend asks, and I nod, handing over a slice of toast in exchange.
As we eat, she says, I kind of forget how good the food is here, and I agree — it’s simple café food but flavorful and delicious, the eggs perfectly soft-scrambled, the brisket in our breakfast tacos tender, the triple-fried potatoes crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. The house-made sausage is the only thing we’re not that keen on because it’s weirdly sweet this time, though it never was before — it used to have more spice, more chewy, meaty texture, and I wonder if it’s just a fluke this time or if they’ve altered the recipe. If it’s the latter, I think they should go back to their previous recipe, just like I think they should bring back their fried chicken and waffles and their cornmeal pancakes.
Now, they have oatmeal pancakes on their menu, and I thought about ordering them, too, because I do love their pancakes — between the cornmeal pancakes and the oatmeal pancakes, they had buttermilk pancakes that were slightly savory and perfectly fluffy, so I figured their oatmeal rendition would be just as good — except I thought that would actually be too much food, what with our protein plate breakfast and our brisket breakfast tacos and our biscuit and toast and side of triple-fried potatoes. My best friend tells me, Yeah, you probably made the smart decision, when we’re done with our meal, picking at the remaining potatoes, but I don’t know — I still kind of want pancakes.
We also got a doughnut. I was going to get a croissant, but the dude at the cashier insisted we get the doughnut because it was so much better than the croissant — so I did. It’s a lemon cake doughnut with a light citrus glaze and matcha powder, and the texture of the doughnut is perfect — not too dense, not airy or sweet, but that perfect softness that just seems to melt in my mouth. The outside has the right crispiness, and the glaze brings a light tart sweetness to the doughnut, the matcha powder a subtle detail. I love it. My best friend does, too, and she’s not a doughnut person at all.