When it comes to food, I’m a snob. They say admitting something is the first step to recovery. But I have no intention on going to rehab.
See, I’m not a real snob – although what you’ll read below may have you arguing with me on that point – it’s just that since I moved out of the Los Angeles area 7 years ago, where I dined at delicious restaurants and hole-in-the-wall eateries that could knock your socks off and had a wide variety of cuisines to choose from, I’ve been desperately longing for great tasting food. And desperation will make you say and do things you might not otherwise express.
I’m really a very nice, down-to-earth, person. No, really. I’m sure everyone thinks that about themselves, right? But I’m sure I can find a couple of witnesses to vouch for me. I know my mom thinks so. And how can you argue with that?
I do admit to being very picky. So what. Let the picky police cite me AGAIN. I can’t be the only one who thinks serving jarred applesauce as a side with a 19$ swordfish dinner is taboo.
I do tend to gravitate towards items I can’t afford. This can’t be a character flaw, can it? Doesn’t everyone drool over Le Creuset cookware? Bueller? Anyone?
The Birth of a Kitchen Snob
I now live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and two cats. Living here has been a….what’s the word I’m looking for….um…an “adjustment.” See, I’m totally nice for saying that. Here are a few examples of things we’ve had to adjust to as the norm:
- Healthy restaurants are hard to come by here. The first time I ordered a salad in PA, I was asked if I wanted fries on top. Huh? I had entered The Twilight Zone.
- We must have some bad PA restaurant karma. Did I live here in a past life as a waitress and serve bad ice tea to people? Because we are paying for it now with forgotten appetizers and drinks, wrong orders, and sometimes completely ignored, sitting with our menus for so long that we’ve had to walk out.
- The initial culture shock of moving from a big city to Central PA can drive a person to seek refuge in alcoholic beverages. I found myself quickly at the grocery store perusing for beer. After searching every aisle I asked the store manager where the beer was. His reply: “Not in the state of Pennsylvania, ma’am.” Whoa. Wait – whoa. What the heck?! Where on earth was I? You can only buy beer at “beer stores.” And if you want wine or liquor you have to go to the state Wine & Spirits store which, oddly, does not carry beer. But what’s even more strange is I can go to a local bar and buy a 6-pack and take it home after earning a nice buzz on their stool.
- Some of the best restaurants in town are Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and Carrabba’s. On any given Saturday night, they can have an 1 ½ hour wait time. People are lined up outside the doors. Why? Because they are the BEST restaurants in town. And if you want good Chinese, sushi, Mexican, or Indian you’re out of luck.
- I said it before and I’ll say it again: jarred applesauce with a swordfish dinner. Need I say more?
I always had loved to cook prior to moving here but now I would really need to step up my game if I wanted to taste good food again. I was on a mission.
Now, I know I might have offended some Central Pennsylvanians by making such harsh claims. So let me back peddle with a slight disclaimer. Sure, we have found a few local restaurants we like. It’s just when you come from an area that offers so many options, it’s hard to adjust to a new area that doesn’t. And, let’s not forget the most important factor here – I’m a food snob.
How I Became an Official Blogging Kitchen Snob
My husband and I started being teased by our PA friends and co-workers that we were snobs for complaining about the food and the food service. They’d recommend a restaurant with a friendly “trust us, you’ll like this one” and we’d come back with a “eh, it was ok” or, worse, we didn’t like it at all. I think we were starting to annoy the locals.
I was even teased by family for turning my nose up at expired spices during our group family meal-making times. During the holidays, you can always find high ticket cookware, kitchen gadgets, and cookbooks on my Christmas list. I tend to fall for the brand names, instead of generic even when it comes to simple things like canned tomatoes.
It was time to face who I really was: The Kitchen Snob.
It was time to spread the word looking for others like me. It was fate and I’m proud to admit it.
Won’t you join me in admitting that you might be a kitchen snob, too? If it’s too soon to take that step, you can be a closet kitchen snob. No pressure here to come out just yet. You can peruse in anonymous silence. I won’t tell.