It has been a tradition, albeit a recent and short one – eating lunch every Friday at the Comfort Café. Unfortunately, the novelty of having a pseudo “Ladies Who” lunch experience at Fred Segal wore off this week. I can’t go back there. I just can’t.
Don’t get me wrong. It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the food at Comfort Café that has me swearing off the Mediterranean Veggie Salad priced at a totally unnecessary $9.95 without protein, though on more than one occasion I had to remove to a napkin pieces of lettuce from my salad that had decayed into brown slime one one or more edges. No, it’s not the quality of the food. It’s just…the food.
Everything on the menu sounds and reads and feels too healthy. Too. Effin'. Healthy. Normally, healthiness would not be an issue for me, but this is “Friday at Fred’s.” By backward deductive reasoning, you can assume that given lunch at Fred’s is on Friday, it was Thursday night the night before, which just so happens to be the new Friday night for the Delicious, which means I was rocking like a partystar until I fell over not more than ten hours previous. Continuing the logic, if I fell over, that means I am singing to the tune of the Hamburger Helper commercial, “Hangover Helper, help her hangover, help her…eat a greasy meal!”
The last thing I want for lunch, and that’s assuming I have the stomach to consume anything other than two Alka Seltzers dropped into a bottle of Pedialyte, is a salad. Name one lush in your life who craves a salad the morning after. You can't. Yes, I know Comfort Café’s menu has sections called “Sandwiches,” “Burgers” and even “Specialties,” but did you read what’s actually listed? How is an Avocado and Sprout Sandwich not just a salad in a brilliant bready disguise?! “Burger” is misleading because the burgers are either made of birds or vegetables, and do not come with French fries. Yikes. I can forgive Fred for slipping a lentil into my burger, but what kind of rotten tease dangles a burger in front of me without offering French fries?
In a moment of dehydrated desperation on one certain Friday, I ordered a Vegetable Quesadilla with the hope that the cheese would be sufficiently greasy to qualify as hangover helper. Melted cheese always releases sparkling rivulets of triglyceridal goodness, but not when it's overwhelmed by a veritable basket full of vegetables. Even Fred's quesadilla suffered from Salad-Disguised-As Syndrome. It wasn't apparent if the tortilla had been at all toasted. To make matters the worst, the quesadilla cost $10.95. La Salsa would have been better. La Salsa has a salsa bar.
The Turkey Chili served over Brown Rice is not on Comfort Cafe's printed menu, but it seems to have been on the "Daily Specials" board for several months, making me wonder how special it really is. The Ladies with whom I dine make this a frequent order, though I have never ordered one for myself. Turkey chili has always been a mystery to me. There doesn't seem to be enough of a difference in fat and calories to make the very noticeable difference in taste worthwhile. As far as Fred's chili is concerned, the guacamole is also a concern for me. I don't trust nuclear powered green "guacamole" that looks as smooth as lime green yogurt.
Now that can't be healthy.
@ Fred Segal
420 Broadway (@ 4th Street)
Santa Monica, CA 90401
** a year ago today, barney's beanery prompted some unanswered questions about airplane food and taxes **
** two years ago today, i won! i won! li'l delicious moi won! and i drank a medieval-goth-rock-n-roll pinot grigio **