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What's sad about not eating

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There's a place called the Old-Timer's Restaurant across the street from the Lake Street screening room in Chicago. I love that place. No fuss, no muss, friendly, the owner stands behind the cash register and chats with everybody going in and out. I've ordered breakfast at lunch time there. "You're still serving breakfast? I asked. "Hey, an egg's an egg."

I came across this sentence in its Web review, and it perfectly describes the kind of place I like: " A Greek-style chow joint replete with '70s wood paneling, periwinkle padded booths, a chatty wait staff and the warble of regulars at the bar. Basically, if you've ever had it at any place that starts with Grandma's, Uncle's or any sort of Greek place name, you can find it here." Yes. If a restaurant doesn't serve tuna melts, right away you have to make allowances.

So that's what's sad about not eating. The loss of dining, not the loss of food. It may be personal, but for me, unless I'm alone, it doesn't involve dinner if it doesn't involve talking. The food and drink I can do without easily. The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments and shared memories I miss. Sentences beginning with the words, "Remember that time?" I ran in crowds where anyone was likely to break out in a poetry recitation at any time. Me too. But not me anymore. So yes, it's sad. Maybe that's why I enjoy this blog. You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now.

That's Roger Ebert, on losing the ability to eat food. You should read the whole thing.

Photo credit: By Jonathan Ernst/The Washington Post

By Ezra Klein  |  January 12, 2010; 8:04 AM ET
Categories:  Food  
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Comments

He also mentions Frances' which was a pretty good steam-table joint in the late 70's/early 80's.

In any case, incredible post.

Posted by: leoklein | January 12, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Ezra. Beautiful post.
Michael Pollan works a similar theme about the social value of eating into his work.

Posted by: utec | January 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

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