I watch too much TV, and specifically, too much of Rachel Ray’s “$40 a day” show. How could I not? I’m all about food, and the optimism she shows every time she travels to a new place is paid back to her tenfold in the delicious food she gets to eat there. So it was only natural that I would eventually think that it would be ok to ask a local where the nearest, good, place to eat is. After all, Rachel trusts the locals.
This happened last Sunday in Pike Place Market. I already know a bunch of good places to eat, in and around the market, and I should have stuck to those. But there I was with a couple of visitors, and we were hunting for the Australian Pie Company store which, as it turns out, disappeared about four months ago. Thanks for updating that website, guys. Really. I mean it.
I turned around to the helpful guy in the store where the Pie shop used to be and in a moment of sheer folly, asked him whether he knew of a good place to eat that wasn’t too touristy. He said he liked to go to the Turf, although it wasn’t for everyone; and pointed further up the street. As we schlepped further up the street, my visitors asked if maybe he liked it because it was so close. I laughed it off, but now I wonder.
Turf, truly, has to be one of the most awful places I’ve ever been. I gave it every chance: which means I asked the waitress what was good, and she said everything, especially the egg rolls. I had an egg roll, and it was probably the best part of the experience, but as egg rolls go, I’ve had better and I’ve had much worse.
I also ordered a grilled cheese sandwich which was made from that cheese that you get in packages of individually-sliced cheese. It was served up on bread that seemed to have been painted brown on the outside to simulate toast-marks, because it for sure was not toasted in any way.
My companions ordered hamburgers. The cheeseburger was fine and good. Not as good as Wibbleys, but good, not bad. When the chili burger came out, the look on my friend (the Swiss guy)’s face was priceless. “I thought I was getting a hamburger with chopped up chilli peppers in it, not chili con carne!” he exclaimed in disgust. It just goes to show you that even when you’re fluent in a language, it still finds ways to slap you in the face. Although the chili burger patty was fine, a small bite exposed the chili as being canned, and therefore quite awful. There was a couple of slices of that individually-sliced cheese again, chopped into small pieces and scattered on top. Eventually over the course of the meal they melted on top of the untouched plate of food.
And I’m pretty sure the fries were from those huge packages of frozen Ore-Ida potatoes you get from the grocery store.