As you may have noticed by now, I am a bit of a geek. One of my signs of geekiness is I like to collect things. In fact I have a whole slew of Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures along with a few Deep Space Nine ones – but unlike most geeks I took them out of the package (I know there a couple of you that fainted at that). I also have Star Wars, Darkwing Duck, and even a Sheriff of Nottingham action figure from the 1993 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
My most consistent items I collect now-a-days are my Hard Rock glasses from the Hard Rock Cafés. I actually got my first glass from the Orlando Hard Rock Café in 1997 when the restaurant still looked like a Roman coliseum.
Now if your not familiar with the Hard Rock glasses or t-shirts each one has the city in which they were bought printed on them. The glasses are different than my other collection items because I have to earn them by physically going the city in which the Hard Rock Café is located, eat dinner to get the glass. That means ones that I get has gifts don’t count. So far I’ve got ones from Miami, Hollywood, Fl, Atlanta, Gatlinburg, Phoenix, St. Louis, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Destin, Key West, Myrtle Beach, Denver, Washington D.C., Nassau, and even Moscow. My goal is to collect all the glasses in the United States.
The reason I collect the glasses is an excuse to travel. There are Hard Rock Cafés all over American not to mention the world. So I have an interesting excuse to go visit all these cool places in the world.
So interesting thing was that the Gatlinburg Hard Rock had just closed and the Pigeon Forge Hard Rock Café opened a few days before we arrived.
So here was another chance to get a new glasses. The problem is that I was determined to be adventurous.in my dining choices in a place where I’ve been to quite a few times and pick an unusual food items. When I first started visit the Hard Rock Cafés my favorite item was the wings. They changed the wing recipe to smoked wings, which I am sure some people loved, but I am not liking them. Since then my go to menu item was the chicken nachos but now I am in a self imposed position of having to pick an unfamiliar item.
Scanning the menu I came across an item that I realized could be my go to item but still make sure I was trying a new item. It was called the Local Legendary burger. The idea is that it gives leave way to the local Hard Rocks to create their own specialized burger. So I ordered the burger which was called the Red White and Blue Burger which had buffalo sauce and blue cheese on it. Hubster ordered the beef brisket sandwich and my son ordered the Tangy Burger.
I expanded my adventurous palette and ordered a strawberry basil lemonade for my drink. I was very nervous about my dinner choices. I could feel my stomach cramping at just the thought of drinking this drink. While I like lemonade I’ve never had good experiences with restaurants mixing flavors into them. On top of that they were throwing basil leaves into it. ehhhhh
So the drink arrives and a take a very cautious drink.
I liked it. It was really good. The strawberry was made from real strawberry pulp and the basil gave it a good flavor without it being over whelming to the drink. I was very pleased with my drink choice.
You might think that my feeling of tension might have subsided with the success of my drink choice but, you’d be wrong. While I like blue cheese in salad dressings I have found that even small doses of blue cheese can overwhelm the surrounding foods. I felt like I was waiting for a torturer device to arrived. Finally it did. I cut the burger it half, say grace, pour the buffalo sauce over the burger and bite in to it.
It is really good. The blue cheese and buffalo sauce complements the burger without overwhelming it.
Hubster beef brisket was really good. It had a really good flavor in it. I did not like the Tangy burger and I’m glad I only had to try one bite of it.
So once again I learned that trying new foods can actually be likable. Not only does it give me more confidence in trying new items on the restaurants but also makes me feel like I can try these flavor combinations in my home culinary techniques. It is hard for me to believe, much less to actually confess, that I get anxiety at the thought of ordering food that I might not like. It embarrassing because I know the worst that can happen is that I would have to send it back. What I just have to remember why I am doing this. What I am looking for which are flavors that work together and facing these small anxieties because they block me from taking the next steps God is asking me to take.