Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home From the Cold - A Caribbean Cruise Pt. 6

By Kal-F

The disaster of the soups does not necessarily prevent us from keeping hope alive that the rest of the meal will be an unqualified success, and when we see Alex in the distance pushing a cart with monstrously large plates, our hearts and appetites are indeed lifted to the next level.

The thrill is short-lived. As Alex starts dishing out the salads we can’t help but admire the plates; they are big, heavy even and have wonderful decorative designs but where, we wonder, are the salads? The Ceasar salad that is promised is no more than two pieces of lettuce and three bread-crumbs (perfectly square admittedly), daubed I guess because this is an upscale restaurant, with a fulsome amount of mayonnaise.

For a moment we think that the order has been misunderstood and they are convinced that we have ordered a plate of mayonnaise with two pieces of lettuce and a few bread-crumbs at the side. Likewise, what they present as a Garden Salad we see as two slices of sweet peppers, half a carrot and a pretty slice of tomato. After the second mouthful, all that is left on the plate are the nice decorations.

Some people deal with the disappointment better than others. The people at the table beside us, made up of acquaintances from Orange Hill, St. James, the village where I grew up, have decided that they will leave and advise us to do the same. They are heading for the Sun and Sea Restaurant, where, they tell us, a midnight buffet is about to be unveiled. We decide to stay and sojourn on, discovering a perk that comes with dining in the Universe Lounge: one can order as many plates as one likes. We now therefore beckon to Alex and each of us put in three more orders for salads. We volunteer to help him cart the plates: he bravely declares that it is not a problem and he can handle it.

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