Veronica is addicted to adventure the same way that some people become addicted to narcotics. I can’t really say anything bad about this because her idea of adventure is having a long weekend with me (her husband), seeing new and interesting things, and eating good food. It isn’t like she is forcing me to go sky diving or punching sharks in the face while riding a tiger; at the moment she seems to be completely at peace with just going around and exploring New England to the fullest extent.
Recently this desire took the form of us finding an all you can eat hot pot restaurant. But, of course, not any would do; this needed to be slightly more than just a jaunt down the road (I am pretty sure that we have one not twenty minutes down the road from us), and she found one that was very highly reviewed that was “just outside of Boston”. I use that one part in quotes because it will be important for the story later. For me this seemed entirely acceptable, as she had already found a nicely priced hotel and arcade a short distance away. Basically, everything sounded great.
The problem, then, becomes when we try to go to the restaurant and my wife continues to insist on how it is very much “outside” of the entire “Boston” area. I love my wife, but she isn’t great with directions, maps, or boundaries of any kind. Granted, at this point in my marriage this is firmly on me, but sometimes it still surprises me—such as when she kept insisting that our destination was outside of the city when we were passing a sign that said we were passing the turn for Logan International Airport. Sometimes it is fun to play along with her to see how long it takes her to realize stuff.
The establishment itself was called Spring, and on sitting down we were informed that we had a maximum amount of time there before we would be asked to leave. In hindsight I understand why they would say something like this, but in the moment I thought that it was kind of haughty of someone working between a Petco and a Bank of America kiosk to say. Granted, the place was inexpensive enough that I didn’t say that. Also, my parents raised me not to openly be a jerk in public. Me being an openly hostile annoyance is something only my friends and family get the pleasure of experiencing.
After the announcement of time allotted we were given menus to look over, all of which had a selection of “platters” that we could choose from. There was a per person price to get in, as the all you can eat applied to the buffet, not the meat –which you had to order. Strangely, all of the platers were 8 dollars. I ordered the sea food and fatty beef (because I have good taste), and my wife wanted to go with the chicken, because when eating food that you only having a passing familiarity with the important thing to do is get the one that you might get salmonella from.
After we ordered we were off to the races, which are what I kind of thought of the buffets as given the amount of people gathered around and picking at things. The last place that we went to the waitress was kind enough to help us out with the sauce mixture, because she could tell we were clueless. This time we had to figure it out on our own. Needless to say mine came out better then Veronica’s, but it was nowhere near as good as the one’s that we had had prepared before. I constantly look back in life and wish I paid attention, even a little. Who knows what I could have learned.
Aside from the sauces there were insane amounts of veggies to pick from, which I kind of gather is the bread and butter of most hot pots. Considering that I had both a seafood platter and beef back at my table waiting for me to go back to, I very much went overboard on the selection; it was hard not to when corn was included in the same sentence as wantons and fish balls. I mainly went for mushrooms, because they are the closest thing to meat that eat dirt, but I think that my wife tried to vary it a bit.
On sitting down at the table I quickly realized something, I am pretty unaware of the requirements to cook most things in life, I probably shouldn’t have order the seafood platter seeing as how I have no idea how long any of it cooks for—let alone how long any of it cooks for in a boiling cauldron of broth. Fish? Well the beef is like 10 seconds, so that must be like… not that? I know you cook clams until they open, but then you get into the tricky stuff. The worst part is that as I was making my way through the selection my wife, happily, pointed out to me that there was an octopus on my plate. I did not go in knowing that, but I also wasn’t going to back down and show weakness to her either.
Neither one of us managed to finish the food that we had gathered, which I believe means that we failed the basic test of hunter/gathering. I did much worse that Veronica, mainly because I ordered more, but also because I was stopping to take more pictures and fighting with my food. It turns out that cephalopods are rubber and take mouth effort to eat.
All this said, I would go again, and I would eat more mollusk brain.