Sometimes you have to wonder if the vegetarians* are the smart ones...
Last night The Hater took me to try a different local Japanese restaurant and sushi house. We found a sushi place that we liked, but this one was closer to our apartment. We figured that if it was as good, we might as well patron it instead.
Now is a good time to illustrate an important aside that The Hater is more of a seafood person than I am. But I am making efforts to venture outside of my net of safety; pun intended. Even though I'm willing to try sushi, at this point in my life I'm only willing to try the cooked kind.
We ordered a spider roll, which is a cooked sushi with soft-shelled crab, cucumber, avacado, rice, and rolled inside nori. Both cooked and low-key; right down my alley. I also ordered a nice vegetarian avacado roll. We ordered a tornado roll, which ended up having a super hot sauce that I didn't eat and The Hater could barely eat. We also ordered a tiger roll, which consisted of fried shrimp and rice rolled with rice, avacado, and eel. And what followed will be one of our more memorable dining experiences...
The waitress brought our plate out, which looked very pretty with the different sushi rolls on it. We began our novice identification test for the different rolls. The spider rolls looked both scary and intriguing, as two of them had legs coming out of them. Legs with feet.
The legs bothered me, but they didn't seem to bother him. I figured I'd eat other things and leave those to him to eat. I ate most of the avacado rolls. I ate one of the footless spider rolls and ventured to the tiger rolls, even though I hate shrimp. Again, the shrimp swam in my mouth, which grossed me out to the point of not even noticing that I was eating eel on purpose. I was in the special place where you attempt to chew and swallow without tasting anything, except I tasted it all. I tasted the shrimp trying to swim away from being swallowed, and it grossed me out.
Tiger roll: 1, genderist: 0.
I tasted the sauce on the tornado rolls and told The Hater it was hot. He picked up a roll and ate it, saying it wasn't that hot. Then, a few seconds later, he reached for his water and told me I probably shouldn't try to eat the hot ones. His face turned red and he looked uncomfortable, but he continued to eat the hot sushi. I am not a hot-eater and watched him instead.
The plate slowly emptied until only two tiger rolls remained, the ones with the little cooked crab feet coming out of them. The Hater pointed out that I hadn't eaten much. I told him I was suddenly full and couldn't eat any more... and then pointed out for the first time during dinner that there were legs still attached to our food.
He calmly pulled a leg out of one of the rolls and bit it. He made a face and put it back on his plate. We tried to pull the legs out of the rolls with our chopsticks and decided that at least the other sushi place didn't have feet still attached to is food.
We noticed that another person ordered the tiger rolls. He, too, was pulling the legs out of the center and setting them aside. In the car we questioned form and function and the art of serving food - if we were supposed to eat the feet. We decided that fish feet were not something we were ready to include in our diet.
And as we went to bed last night, after the lights had been turned out and moments before we fell asleep, I rolled over...
me: I don't like feet on my plate.
him: That's okay. You don't have to eat them.
We laughed and relived the dinner. He confessed that he noticed the feet being served immediately and secretly hoped that I wouldn't say anything about it. He had plans to avoid them to see what happened.
me: Did you think I'd just pick it up and eat it? Feet and all?
him: No. But I wasn't ready to eat it, either.
me: I don't like feet on my plate.
him: Next time we'll go back to the place that didn't serve feet. Or go back to that place and nor order fish feet. We'll get something else.
me: I think I'll stick with the vegetarian sushi.
him: That's okay.
me: Avacados and cucumbers don't have feet.
* Vegetarians taste like chicken.
** Feet on my plate leads me to question the "culture card"...
I didn't even mention that the whole time we were eating there was a fish in a tank next to us, watching us the whole time. It was strangely wrong. He didn't seem to be bothered by the feet.