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Bannana Pudding


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A true story I heard last night.

Several summers ago, a group of lawyers took a summer clerk to lunch at Big Ed's in downtown Raleigh. At Big Ed's, they have a strange tradition. As soon as you sit down, they bring out dessert (typically chocolate or bannana pudding) and sit it on the table. The table is also provided with an assortment of bread, butter, etc. Well, the summer clerk had not yet had the pleasure of dining at Big Ed's and was evidently not too familiar with bannana pudding. As the group waited for the waitress to come by and take their orders, he casually reached across the table, selected a piece of cornbread, moved a bowl of the bannana pudding for closer access, and proceeded to spread a healthy portion of the pudding onto the cornbread, wolfing it down with vigor. The poor clerk was none too pleased to learn of his "error" and became a lunch-time legend at his law school.

While I have never tried this surprising combination of foods, I suppose it does beg the question--bannana pudding: dessert or bread-spread?

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I think the larger question this begs is: why do they bring out dessert before you even order? I think to the vast majority of American restaurant goers this would qualify as unexpected and even bizzare.

There's a pho place here in Seattle that does the same thing, but with cream puffs. They're great cream puffs, but wouldn't it make more sense to bring them with the check if they are included with every order? Most of the friends I've eaten with there have wolfed them down before the soup arrives, but I saved mine until after the meal.

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Is this the same clerk who thought the blackstrap mollasses was thick soy sauce?

FYI, Big Ed's is a Raleigh institution -- a great "meat and 3" place. They have 2 choices of dessert each day which comes automatically with your lunch. They bring it out first so they don't forget it.

As far as banana puddin' is concerned, it just is. Spread, dessert, facial cream -- use it as you please. It's nanner puddin', and it's always better the second day, once that nice film has formed over the top and the Nilla Wafers have softened up a bit.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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