sunday night hunkiest and i made our way over to balboa island for a stock, so-cal, summertime date night.

balboa island shines in the summer. dutch doors swing hello-to you wide; welcoming the wandering and strolling alike. an impromptu patio frolic is a common sight on every block. with beast in tow we ambled through the streets of houses and stores as she chased kitties and taste tested the various water bowls offered to her from shopkeeper to shopkeeper. the main avenue offers up colorful, seaside themed boutiques, non-chain restaurants, a killer candy store and ice cream shops offering the famous balboa bar.

for food we chose our favorite, red-checkered table-clothed, pop & mom, italian hideaway near the bay bridge. dark red cabernet for him, bubble water and lime for me, we cozied in a corner and imagined ourselves on a hot, sticky night in a roman trattoria.

perusing the menu of pastas, pizzas, calzones and secondi, i formulated my list of 4 acceptable items to order. i always choose four selections just in case my first choices aren’t available. oh the miserable dining experiences i’ve had whence a panic order ensued following me not having a backup plan. miserable for me, and for those sharing said meal with me. such non-preparation has resulted in arctic dover sole, the bok choy salad, a watercress sandwich, ratatouille, and the dreaded steamed artichoke {hate those blasted things!}.

although it goes against the rules of etiquette, i almost always ask my man to order first, as if my order is the prize, the grand finale the table has all been waiting to hear, rather i’m still making up my indecisive, monkey mind.

and what will you be having for having for dinner? lisa, the waitress, finally asked me.

i was poised and ready with my 1 through 4: either the catch of the day, steamed mussels, steamed clams, or the caesar salad.

i’ll have the fettucine alfredo, please.


{stunning silence}

yep. i ordered the fettu-muthafuckin-cine al-fatto, otherwise known as heart attack on a plate, and i did with a tone that said if you question me, “lisa”, i’ll take this chianti shaped candle, and shove it down your, up till now, pleasant pipe. i’m quite sure lisa had to check with the chef to see if he still knew how to prepare the pasta; the notoriously unhealthy dish is ordered so rarely. and i can put money on the kitchen running out to the local market for more sticks of butter.

after we found his jaw, and picked up off the ground, hunkiest and i deconstructed the mystery of my tourette order. did i have a stroke? was i possessed by my inner 6-year-old? what on earth had caused me, an exercise professional, a typically healthy eater, someone who likes her pants loose {and her bass down low} to order the most clogging of arteries and highest of fat and calories on the menu; the one item that not only needs to have the price, but also the local cardiac sprecialist’s number listed next to it?

my answer was simple: it was the first thing that caught my eye on the menu, and no matter what i tried to distract myself with in terms of taste and health, i kept coming back to that damned fettucine alfredo! i know myself. had i ordered the fish, i would have eaten without tasting it, finished the whole damn thing and not have been satisfied, because what i really wanted in the first place was that oooeey-gooey white mess on a plate.

the dish came. in i went. literally. coming up for air i looked like i had been in a face painting contest with a benjamin moore windsor cream shellac.

i think there was dinner conversation…..i don’t remember, my hearing was stifled with alfredo sauce that had trickled into my eardrums.

feeling my once, flowy trapeze sundress morph into a tight-fitting, herve leger-like casing for a sausage, i responsibly pushed my plate away even though i could have easily continued to eat the rest of the buick sized plate. when our nosy waitress came back to “check on me” i made her take away my fork; not my plate, my fork. i wasn’t going to begrudge my fellow diner from the six sticks of butter still remaining, but at least without a fork i could no longer partake in the madness. at least not with utensils. you see m’loves, i have zero self-control when it comes to food. torture me, tickle me, beat me down; i can take a lot. but put a plate of cheesy pasta in front of me: uncle!!!

i’m not ashamed. i had a delightful, delicious meal. there’s something about fettuccine alfredo that makes me feel like a kid. i ordered it as a child. it’s typically the go-to order when we’re with others’ children. it made my husband happy too. he gleefully slurped up the creamy noodles with abandon, free of care.

afterward, we kept this caution to the wind mood going with a walk down to the ice cream shop: mint chip for him, cotton candy for me.

yesterday it was back to my delicious regime of salads, fruit, and no regrets. you did not break me mr. alfredo!

tell me loves, what are your forbidden foods? do you give in?

tuesday happy m’loves!