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Carrot Top

What's THAT on your plate?!

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I have a confession to make.

Last week I ate at an IHOP.

Well. . .there was literally no place else around to eat breakfast.

I ordered an omelette. It said it was a three-egg omelet. It was some variation of a "western" or "spanish" omelet.

Within a few short moments, it arrived on the table. It was hard to find space for the plates, because there were four enormous syrup dispensers (on each table) and two coffee pots (empty, waiting to be filled or not) on each table along with the salt, pepper, sugar, and other sweeteners.

I looked at it. I didn't recognize it. It was the Omelette to End All Omelettes. Actually it did not look like an omelette at all, but rather some sort of stacked layered egg crepe thing. It was four inches high and about eight inches long.

I almost laughed but almost cried, too. My companion said sorry, but that thing looked like a turd from some huge animal.

It didn't taste too great. But it WAS eggs and all the other things that it said it was.

It was just very strange.

I asked the waitress if they had a calorie count on it, and she looked at me as if I was speaking Martian.

Even the IHOP website does not say how many calories this thing has.

It totally astounded me.

Do you have memories of something that was portioned so enormously that it totally astounded you? What was it? Do tell. . . :wacko:

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Do you have memories of something that was portioned so enormously that it totally astounded you? What was it? Do tell. . . :wacko:

almost anything I have eaten (or tried to!) at The Cheesecake Factory was made to serve an entire tribe of starving people in subSaharan Africa ... I just wanted to scream, "Okay, I get it already! The portions make the wait (weight?? :hmmm: ) worth my time and money!" :huh:

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Harold's New York Deli in Edison, NJ is famous (infamous?) for its outrageous portions.

A Jerseyite friend took us there during our last trip back East. Near the restaurant's entrance is a glass display case filled with cakes, each the size of a hatbox. The sandwiches are equally enormous, filled with more than one pound of meat apiece. We wanted to order matzoh ball soup and our friend warned us to order only one portion for the three of us. We didn't believe her -- but then the soup arrived bearing one huge matzoh ball the size of two fists.

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IHOP puts pancake batter in their egg dishes, too. I don't trust anyplace that does that. That's why they won't give you nutrition info.

Big portions--when I was 14 I went to visit my aunt and uncle. We ate dinner at a truck stop. I wasn't very hungry, and ordered a taco for dinner. I got three HUGE tacos, beans, and rice, all in very large portions. Blecch. I didn't know about truck stops.

I think most places serve portions that are too large. I almost always take most of dinner home with me.

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Claim Jumper ... holy crapola. It's about ridiculous :blink:

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The Carnagie Deli Ruben frightened me. I think it was eventually eaten later on that night by 3 very intoxicated friends.

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On the note of IHOP, I found something that may have the nutrition information you're looking for.

http://www.calorieking.com/foods/category...._id=-1&partner=

Whoa. Fantastic site, west2100.

My omelette weighed in at 792 calories. 612 of those calories came from fat. The cholesterol level was 269% of the daily level.

No wonder I felt astounded. And slightly sick.

On the other hand, my friend had ordered the Whole Grain and Nut Pancakes. . .in an attempt to "do the right thing". :biggrin:

And what did his choice weigh in at? Turns out even worse than the omelet. . .a total of 1037 calories in that "healthy" dish. . .585 of them from fat. . .cholesterol 194% of the daily level.

Well. Glad that I haven't missed anything except ruining my health by avoiding IHOP for all these years. . . :blink:

Oh. . .P.S. No, I didn't eat the whole thing. Could only manage about a third of it.


Edited by Carrot Top (log)

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I've only been there once. Thought the pancakes tasted good, felt sick afterwards.

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Last time I was in Phoenix, I met my sister, my best friend, my brother and his girlfriend at some more upscale-ish chain restaurant with a jungle theme (I cannot remember the name. Safari?).

I had a gigantic French dip sandwich, finished about half of it, and then my sister and I decided to share a mud-pie type ice cream dessert thingy.

When it arrived, we burst out laughing. It was, quite literally, a pint or more of chocolate ice cream on a cookie crust with a ton of whipped cream. :blink:

The five of us couldn't finish it.

K

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well i dont know about being astounded ...but not too long ago i also had breakfast at an ihop and i too ordered the omlette...but i had ordered a very specific king..mushroom and cheese and that is my favorite even when im at home...but since i was out of town at the time....well it was available..

pronlem for me was...at the same time i also ordered a side of bacon...and i had a hard time understanding the waiter...as he had a somewhat thick spanish or mexican accent...while the place was packed and busy...i didnt think he should have had such a hard time understanding what i was asking for..until he repeated my order back to me and made it sound like i was asking for my bacon to also be in the omlette...so i said no..i just wanted mushrooms and cheese in my omlette..with bacon on the side.so he said ok..and when he walked away i looked at my fiance and told him..i wasnt so sure the waiter would get my order correct

as luck would have it..when myh order was brought..sure enough..the bacon was in my omlette..so i told the waiter it wasnt what i had ordered..i told him i did not want bacon in the omlette..that i had ordred it on the side..so he took it back..and at that point i was sure he got it right that time...i didnt raise a fuss..i was nice and polite...and i wasnt mad...a little later a waiteress brought me back another omlette...and there it was..the bacon was on the side as per my request..and the mushrooms and cheese were in the omlette...but then again so were the ham chunks i never ordered..... :laugh: ..at which point i said the hell with it and just ate it..i was starving ...... :laugh:


Edited by ladyyoung98 (log)

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Clearly, you have yet to chow down on the killer sandwich which markk photgraphed, and then ate, right here!!

Comes with a free autopsy!  :laugh:

Yup! That's the place all right. :wink:

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I remember one time I went to IHOP, and made the mistake of ordering the chocolate chip pancakes. One would assume, as is custom with this household favorite, just normal buttermilk pancakes with a sprinkling of chocolate chips while on the griddle, adding that little bit of magical chocolate to the otherwise delicious pancake, resulting in a little cake of manna from heaven.

Alas, it was not to be, America strikes again.

What I recieved on my table was something resembling a triple layer cake assembled by a fourth grader. Three giant pancakes made with a pseudo-chocolate batter, each roughly the size of a hubcap, and covered in a hail of chocolate chips. This was then flooded with a river of chocolate syrup, and doused in enough whipped cream to resemble some sort of historical blizzard, or perhaps just Alaska. Then came the second wave of chocolate syrup, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, for good measure.

So I glance over at the syrup buffet to my right, and remember the old adage, "Somewhere, a kid in Africa is starving, and you're just going to throw all that food away." Lucky him, I think, and then I take a bite.

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[...]America strikes again.

What I recieved on my table was something resembling a triple layer cake assembled by a fourth grader. Three giant pancakes made with a pseudo-chocolate batter, each roughly the size of a hubcap, and covered in a hail of chocolate chips. This was then flooded with a river of chocolate syrup, and doused in enough whipped cream to resemble some sort of historical blizzard, or perhaps just Alaska. Then came the second wave of chocolate syrup, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, for good measure.

So I glance over at the syrup buffet to my right, and remember the old adage, "Somewhere, a kid in Africa is starving, and you're just going to throw all that food away." Lucky him, I think, and then I take a bite.

That's exactly how I felt. You've made quite a nice tale of it. . .it was rather like a parable, the whole experience.

There was more to it than a big plate of food. It was a way of Being that was being presented at that table. And it made me afraid for more than just myself, for it did say "America".

This breakfast topped off a visit to Gettsyburg which also set my head spinning in a similar fashion. It is a huge place. . .one walks around a lot in groups with (excellent) tour guides from the Parks Service. In each group there were about fifty people. And in each group at least one-third of these people were grossly obese, to the point that they were having trouble walking. And about a third of this third were children under the age of 13.

It frightened me. I can not assume that they felt "good" for that much weight does not make a body feel good.

Yet then when I went to breakfast at one of the places where "America" eats, it was there, the invitation to excess, with almost no-way-to-avoid it.

There is a saying about (can't remember the exact words) how you can tell the health of a nation by the way it treats its old people and its children. In this case, it seemed that that saying could be extended to "how well we treat ourselves".

If we are aiming towards a general trend towards this. . .well I will use the word "obesity" in large groups. . .and the chain restaurants are helping this along, with subtle little winks of the eye as they total their profits at the end of the day . . what a nightmare, really.

Of course, it may be "nothing to worry about". People can do what they want with their bodies. And I even used to (still do somewhat) worry about the fact that as a country, most of us do not speak a second language whereas most people from other countries speak two or three. (It just seems sort of to put one at a disadvantage in a direct way. . .or just seems like a small bit of casual arrogance in an unthinking sort of way. . .)

Well. . .enough for now. :sad:

Sign me,

The Worrier,

Karen :biggrin:


Edited by Carrot Top (log)

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Great post, West!! I could see (and smell) all that oozy chocolate.

Chocolate is one of the miracles of the world, a great gift, a boon to mankind and womankind.

But treated in that fashion---too much of a (good?) thing.

I didn't think I had a "too much" story to relate, but I think the Yorkshire pudding might fit the bill--it certainly fitted the plate. When I went to England for the first time, I had a list of things to try and see and do and buy and experience, quite a few of them food-related.

I wanted a bowl of porridge in Scotland (related in another thread), roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, treacle tart, a real afternoon tea with scones and cream and jam, and several other traditional things (all of which were accomplished and enjoyed very much). So the first night on the road, we had dinner at our little hotel, and it was the only buffet of the trip. As I passed the gentleman who was "carving the joint," I asked for the beef. He misunderstood and carved off two hefty, steaming, juicy slices of the pork instead. I just accepted it, went right down the line, retrieved my nice golden pudding with its muffinpan shape, poured the rich brown gravy from the silver boat onto both, and had one of the best dining experiences of my life. It was rich and salty and BEEFY with the essence of the meat.

The pork was luscious and juicy and flavorful in the little puddle of gravy, and the pudding was just as I had imagined; just perfect. What a good start to this trip, I thought--the food is wonderful. And so it was, for every single meal.

Later in the week, we stopped for lunch in the lake district, and Yorkshire pudding was one of the features of the day. I thought I'd try it one more time, and it was a bit different from the first. My plate arrived, or at least I hoped there was a plate under the weight of that huge bowl-shaped piece of browned dough holding its pint of gravy. The gravy was not so rich this time, nor did it have that tang of good meat essence nor the satisfying flavor of anything but browned flour and whatever liquid was used to make it. But it made up in quantity.

It was enormous. It covered a dinner plate, with just room on the edges for the server to get a tiny thumb-grip on either side. It looked as if a brown caketin had been appropriated from the kitchen, filled with brown liquid, and sent to table, its little ridges of sides barely holding in the flood. It sloshed when it was set before me, and the quandary arose: dip a spoon and eat gravy soup until the bread ramparts could be breached, or cut right in, thus granting exit to enough brown sauce to flood the pretty tablecloth and perhaps flow back toward the kitchen. I'm a generous cook, with a lavish hand with the groceries, but I've served MEALS without that much gravy on the table.

Then we looked around us. Whole families were chowing down on plates of the kiddie-pool sized servings. Twig-sized young women were tucking into the stuff with the gusto of lorry-drivers, and small children had their OWN great moats of brown in front of them. It was amazing. This was food for hearty hikers, tramping into the house in Wellies, beaming and rosy-cheeking their way through great trenchers of heavy food and gallons of steaming tea. Flour and water were the order of the day, and we were all consuming enough carbs to bankrupt Atkins two years early.

The pudding appeared to have been baked in a pieplate or cakepan, with inch-high sides which rose up and held its juicy burden, and the bottom just like a piecrust, though springy and tender. I shared spoonfuls of the gravy all round the table; my companions accepted great bowls and saucers of it. One had no receptacle save her plate, so she lifted her teacup to the tablecloth and accepted a saucerful. This stuff could have made a Biblical legend, a story passed down for generations on Friday nights as the gravy which never ran out.

We all dipped and slurped and it made immediate "English dip" for the hearty sandwiches of all others at the table. I managed to down about a third of the rich eggy bready pudding, saturated as it was with the salty sauce, and passed samples to everyone else. When we left to go trekking through Wordsworth country, there was STILL a great moat of gravy left on that plate, with the golden pudding swelling and growing limply pale in the light of the cloudy afternoon.


Edited by racheld (log)

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I had a "too-much" encounter last night, at Ocean Grill on the UWS of Manhattan. I knew I should have stuck with the raw bar when I saw my wasabi-encrusted tuna steak approaching. The tuna looked lovely, but was accompanied by three huge fried wontons, a mound of over-salted cabbage, and some sort of radish salad. The plate was just monstrous. I had no idea what to do with it all.

On a social commentary note, it's fascinating to me that some people just won't eat places without huge portions. My mother's fiance is like that - we went to a brasserie around the corner from my apartment when they were here in June, and he ordered the roast chicken. It came and looked delicious to me (I had steamed mussels, yum) - a half chicken, some mashed potatoes, fresh carrots with dill. He b*tched and moaned that there wasn't enough food. My mother (who was also having mussels) jumped in and offered up my food, her food, everyone's food, which just drove me crazy - enabling him!!!! It struck me as a classic example of the American need to be filled to the brim with food, rather than pleasantly sated.

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Many years ago (over 20) I had breakfast at a small restaurant called "Canadians". It was near City Hall in NYC. We had heard that they served huge portions and went for the fun of it. If it hadn't been so wasteful it could have been funny. Omelets and pancakes were literally falling over the sides of the plates and tables! We should have left when we saw the size of the portions, but like onlookers staring at a bad accident, we just couldn't tear ourselves away. :shock:

We ordered one blueberry pancake. It covered our table for two and then some. It was over an inch thick and over 24" in diameter. We laughed and then tried to eat this thing. It tasted liked an overgrown, no so good blueberry muffin. We took it home wrapped in around three boxes of tin foil. We measured it and took pictures when we got home. Truly one for the books! I think this place also served lunch and dinner. We never went back again. Once was more than enough.

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In July, I was in Vegas and ventured out to the Peppermill to see the kitschy decor and take a look at the firepit lounge.

I ordered their fruit salad that came with a mini banana loaf with marshmallow sauce and 3 scoops of ice cream. There was enough fruit to feed an entire family! :shock:

gallery_8338_183_425211.jpg

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As a child, oh, roughly 30 years ago (:shock:) my mother and I went to a diner called The Arch in (I think) Brooklyn, waiting for the car to be serviced.

The tuna sandwich was so big I lost my appetite, 4 or 5 inches thick. They had chocolate chip cookies as big as a dinner plate.

Forget value, I find it just obscene to serve so much food when so much of it must go to waste. Even if you don't care about the apocryphal (and actual) starving children in Africa, there are plenty of hungry people on this continent, and it's a bit of a slap in their faces to be wanton with food that way.

:sad:

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As a child, oh, roughly 30 years ago (:shock:) my mother and I went to a diner called The Arch in (I think) Brooklyn, waiting for the car to be serviced.

The tuna sandwich was so big I lost my appetite, 4 or 5 inches thick. They had chocolate chip cookies as big as a dinner plate.

Forget value, I find it just obscene to serve so much food when so much of it must go to waste. Even if you don't care about the apocryphal (and actual) starving children in Africa, there are plenty of hungry people on this continent, and it's a bit of a slap in their faces to be wanton with food that way.

:sad:

I feel quite the same. Huge portions are off putting indeed. I guess it's an American "super size me" thing but I go for quality over quantity any day. That said, i have to admit to self loathing over the fact that I do watch eating contests on occasion. It's just like a car wreck, can't look away. But the principle is the same.

Las Vegas has huge portions! Looking at that pic I wonder what the hell someone is thinking making it so big. There's no way 4 or 5 people could consume that platter! Then again, in Las Vegas I saw more morbidly obese people on scooters because they'd get out of breath just walking to the buffet. I wonder what visitors from other countries think.

Another playground for Americans is Disney World. I was there in Frontier Land, I believe and just got sick looking at these fat families walking around with turkey legs the size of a Volkwagon. Ick, just ick.

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Many years ago (over 20) I had breakfast at a small restaurant called "Canadians".  It was near City Hall in NYC.  We had heard that they served huge portions and went for the fun of it.  If it hadn't been so wasteful it could have been funny.  Omelets and pancakes were literally falling over the sides of the plates and tables!  We should have left when we saw the size of the portions, but like onlookers staring at a bad accident, we just couldn't tear ourselves away. :shock:

We ordered one blueberry pancake.  It covered our table for two and then some.  It was over an inch thick and over 24" in diameter.  We laughed and then tried to eat this thing.  It tasted liked an overgrown, no so good blueberry muffin.  We took it home wrapped in around three boxes of tin foil.  We measured it and took pictures when we got home.  Truly one for the books!  I think this place also served lunch and dinner.  We never went back again.  Once was more than enough.

I think that must have been the Royal Canadian Pancake House, no?

Friends of ours made an annual pilgrimage there for years on Shrove Tuesday, but they (the pancake house, not our friends) went out of business a few years ago.

I never went, even the idea of that much pancake just made me ill.


Edited by ghostrider (log)

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Every sandwich I've seen turned out at the Carnegie Deli is stacked entirely too high for 99% of human mouths to get around.

I recently ordered my 2.5 yo daughter a pb&j kids meal at Atlanta Bread Co. The portions were entirely adult-sized (I suppose this presents some amount of convenience to the kitchen) -- two large slices of white bread with (I swear) an inch-thick smear of pb and an inch-thick slab of jelly. Then there was the bag of chips, a 12 oz. drink (I usually give her 2-4 oz at a time at home). We were told to pick up her cookie at the pastry end of the counter. I assumed there would be some smaller cookies for kids, but no, she had her pick of any of their 4-inch diameter cookies. Talk about obscene.

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I think portions at most restaurants are entirely too huge... my boyfriend and I will split something often, and then sometimes even have leftovers after that! And when we order, sometimes the waiter or waitress will look at us like we're cheap! It's not about that at all!

My boyfriend once ordered a chicken fried steak at a diner in the middle of Oklahoma and it was on one of those oval plates that's probably about 12" x 8", and the steak was overhanging the plate by about two inches all around! It was disgusting!

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Any Brooklyn or Queens [NY] diner I have ever been in serves food in 'super size' portions.

With the bread and the relish trays and the multiple course dinners and sides ... I think most of the allure of the diner is that there is always something to take home for later or the next day.

:smile:

Erica

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