Patty Canedo is a chef in Palm Beach. She writes frequently about her kitchen exploits in this column, Half-Baked.
SoBe queens, Atkins disciples, Jenny Watchers, and Craig Weighers all dine among us. Working the line, it seems I try to satify these malnurished paletes more so in the summer months when everyone's in their scantily clad beach gear. Everyone has been at a table with that person--agonizing over calories, disparaging carbs, and sermons on the evils of the food they deprive themselves.
"Who am I bothering?" after sending the line into an upheaval with their caloric corner cutting and portion chaos requests. This homage is not just for the people I cater to (and who annoy me) everyday ticket after ticket but for those who lurk at my table disguised as my friends and family. I present--The Many Reasons Not To Sit Next To The Dieter At The Table!
1) I have to sit away from the weight watcher because the eye roll has become an automatic reflex to their ordering.
2) Who wants to get the look when you order a pasta, extra cheese or dessert?
3) For that matter, who wants to hear things like "wish I could eat like that"?
4) In So Flo, some places you have to order by number (it's the cost of eating authentic fare). This should be a red flag--not the place for a diet adapting creation! You don't want to be sitting by the already underfed and cranky when the order comes out wrong. Watch the knives on the table!
5) Dinner conversation. Not all but some extreme dieters partake like they've joined a cult. The more convertions they make, the more food points they can consume?
6) Table real estate is scarse on that side of the table because there's a scale sprawled out. At least it comes in hip colors with a matching carrying case-- what's the literary equivalent for :p?
7) Seriously, don't care who you are but if you utter the words "iceburg isn't really lettuce; it's more like junk food," you need to get back handed. Just saying.
8) The first bite is the best moment of any dish. This isn't the moment you want to hear about how many calories or carbs are in what you're eating.
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9) You won't have to worry about sharing your dish but dieters are always hungry. It's not your imagination, your napkin and hand are getting sized up for fiber and protein value.
10) It's easier to sit on the other end of the table than risk getting splattered during the shoveling down of the scarce portion.