It Isn’t Fancy Eating


Sometimes I think my maturity level is closely akin to that of Esau. Isn’t it true that Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, his twin brother, for a bowl of hot porridge? He had returned home following a day of working in the fields? You know what they say: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” At any rate, I was hungry last night and couldn’t determine what I really wanted for dinner. I knew for certain that I didn’t want “same ole, same ole”.


My automatic default when it comes to a restaurant in Houston is to opt for the cheese and onion enchiladas at Pappasito’s. But how many times can you do that before you have to let your belt out a notch? No, I should exercise (pardon the pun) more restraint. After all, the General would never budge on her nutritional plan. Instead of enchiladas, why not have a salad? That’s what the General would choose.


When it comes to salad, my favorite venue is Canyon Café in the Galleria area. Their Cobb salad is unbelievably good and twice the size that most people can eat. If you want to feel good about a dining experience, walking away from a meal without eating everything on your plate is psychologically good for you. It provides you the subtle message that you’re being responsible.


Unfortunately, sometime last year or the year before, the Canyon Café in the Galleria area closed. Why not check with Siri and see if there was another location in Houston? Sometimes I can’t believe I am so smart. Presto, I won the prize. There was another Canyon Café located near Washington Street. It wasn’t close to my hotel, but what did I have to lose?


When I arrived, it didn’t look like where I thought I was going even though I’d never been there before. That statement may take some time to process, but isn’t it true? We’ve all been there. You know what I’m talking about.


Okay, so there was only one parking spot available and I drove around the block a couple of times before I ventured behind the building to find it. To exit, you had to back out. I didn’t see that coming when I drove in. Thank God for backup cameras or I would still be there. Even then, it was a close call. That is another story, so I won’t go there.


The restaurant wasn’t at all what I expected. For one thing, the majority of the dining area is outside and secondly the primary menu seemed to be associated to leaded drinks (that is code in Baptist jargon for alcohol). There was a flurry of activity in the bar area and a lot of empty tables inside. The outdoor dining area was filled. There was  no outdoor seating left available. Actually, there was a cluster of people standing in the bar area three-deep. So, was this a restaurant where you seat yourself or did you wait to be seated? I was characteristically clueless.


When you stop to think about it, there are few restaurants anymore where you just walk in and take a seat at a table. Actually, I can’t think of any. Well, if that level of freedom gives you a flashback to the “good ole days”, you can try the Canon Café in Houston. I stood there with a deer in the headlights look until a waitress finally said, “Sit anywhere you want.” I reluctantly did so. No, this was not the Canyon Café I was looking to find.


The signage said “Canyon Café” but nothing about the experience reminded me of my former experiences. It wasn’t just the fact that the menu mostly wasn’t a menu. For one thing, at the other Canyon Café in Houston and the one in San Antonio, the first order of business is being provided a basket of the most wonderful assorted chips and salsa.


Sitting at the table with a pitiful excuse for a menu in my hand, I had the sense that I’d been cheated. In addition, there were no assorted chips and salsa. It was then that the lights came on in my head and I realized I have the Esau syndrome. In addition, despite what I told myself, I really didn’t drive halfway across Houston for a Cobb salad. I drove halfway across Houston for the chips and salsa. By the way, I didn’t get either.


Some of you may have noticed, but were too kind to mention it. I’ve gotten my story about Esau a little mixed up. I said that he traded his birthright for a hot bowl of porridge. What was I thinking? Porridge is mentioned in the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It is not mentioned in the story of Jacob and Esau. How’s that for turning back the clock to one’s early childhood years? How did the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story go?


“Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.  She went for a walk in the forest.  Pretty soon, she came upon a house.  She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in. At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge.  Goldilocks was hungry.  She tasted the porridge from the first bowl. ‘This porridge is too hot!’ she exclaimed. So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl. ‘This porridge is too cold,’ she said. So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge. ‘Ahhh, this porridge is just right,’ she said happily and she ate it all up…”


Real men don’t eat oatmeal. It wasn’t hunger for porridge that brought Esau in from the field. It was subsequently anticipation of the taste of venison stew that seemed worthy to Esau of trading his birthright for a meal. All three of Craig’s children would tell you that venison is a highly prized delicacy. In addition, all three were responsible for helping stock their freezer this year.


Speaking of venison, I’m picking up two of my little deer hunters on my way back home later today. Jenna (age 13) telephoned me on Wednesday asking if I was going home from Houston on Thursday. If so, she wanted a ride. Actually, I wasn’t going to Houston until Thursday and I wasn’t returning until this afternoon.


By mid-afternoon on Thursday, William (age 11 – soon to be 12) also expressed a desire to ride with me to our house. Jake (age 8) has baseball practice late on tonight, so  Craig and Becky aren’t coming to Henly until after the practice. Consequently, Jenna and William wanted an earlier start.


Wouldn’t you know it? The drawing card for this weekend in Henly is Kevin and Andrea’s annual Crawfish boil. I suspect that would entice Esau as well. I anticipate a good time.


All My Best!




3 thoughts on “It Isn’t Fancy Eating”

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