Weekly Check In: Random Thoughts on Artisinal Ketchup & Chocolate Milk

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I consider myself to be a super chill restaurant customer.  I understand that more often than not, the slow service has nothing to do with the competence of the waitstaff serving me.  I also understand that everyone has an off day, so if my order is screwed up, or a drink gets spilled, I don’t blow up.  Unimaginative menus don’t bother that much, and I’m usually fine with paying for add-ons or substitutions.  That all being said, there two things that really incense me if I’m out for a meal.

The first chocolate milk made with syrup.

I consider myself to be something of a chocolate milk connoisseur/advocate.  It’s hands down my favorite beverage, and I’d even go ahead and put it into my favorite foods as well, just because I consume so much of it, and depending on the brand/density, it really could be a meal.  So nothing grinds my gears more than ordering a chocolate milk, and getting a cup of 2% with a mess of syrup on the bottom, and a spoon. Now, I realize that chocolate milk isn’t that popular, and that ordering one for dinner is downright weird, so my outrage has some caveats. I get annoyed at restaurants who eschew the superior, pre-blended chocolate milk only if they have it listed as a viable option on the menu. I realize that most places  will simply keep a bottle of Hershey’s syrup on hand in case a child would ask for chocolate milk. I don’t expect a gastropub to keep small cartons around for the one weirdo like me who orders it with dinner. However, if you list chocolate milk as a beverage choice, especially if you are a breakfast/brunch menu (really the only times I order it out)  I feel like you should be giving me the superior version.

This happened to me two weekends ago at a great little cafe up in the Adirondacks.  I wasn’t pleased. I’ll return there obviously, but it’s been noted.

The second thing that makes me turn up my noise at an eating establishment, is artisinal ketchup.

This is a much more egregious act that the chocolate milk. I should also say that I’m a big ketchup fan. But I want ketchup to taste like ketchup. I don’t need you to doctor it up. There’s a reason Heinz more or less has a Ketchup monopoly. I mean, I’ll have a Hunt’s, or store brand, and not complain (or even be able to tell the difference), but my point is that unlike mayo, or mustard, or salad dressings, which have so many variants and brands, Heinz is a standard.  So I get incensed when some farm to table joint, or gastropub (the two biggest offenders in my opinion) serves me an organic, locally made version of what the call ketchup. Like I said, ketchup has a very specific taste, and I’ve yet to have a “artisinal” or home-made ketchup that hasn’t offended me.  I’m doubly offended when they try and do something messed up like put siracha or curry in it. I don’t want to put curry ketchup on my fries, and I’ve said before I find Siracha extremely overrated.  I’m tripley offended when the spell it “catsup.”

These are the pressing issues I’m currently dealing with in Trump’s America.


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