A Choice of Seasoning

I am a big fan of food. I’d call myself a foodie but apparently that has become snobby or taboo to say so I will say instead that I want to eat all the things all the time. This means that I go out to eat a lot and have pretty strong opinions about two particular restaurant seasoning practices and my ability to choose.

No Salt and pepper shakers- Okay chef, the food is awesome, thanks for cooking it for me, but nobody is above my right to season. Maybe Julia Child loved this beef bourguignon as is but I want it salty and peppery. Not because I’m insulting anyone’s methods but because I enjoy sodium, spice and everything nice. If these shakers aren’t on the table I will be asking for them and that just makes everything more uncomfortable. Now that I’ve asked everyone knows that I will be using them, whereas if they were given to me from the get go I could shake privately.

Tabasco Sauce- Whenever my waitstaff asks the inevitable, “can I get you anything else” I have created a reflex to always say, “hot sauce, thank you”. I then gauge how I feel about a place based on what they bring me.

  • Tabasco– NO! This is not acceptable unless I am being served oysters. If my food isn’t raw sea-life on the half shell, this is garbage and I will not accept it as hot sauce. It’s not even that I don’t like the taste, it just isn’t very hot and it makes everything all cayenne-y and dumb.
  • Frank’s Red Hot– This is a major improvement. I love Frank’s and I will have it stocked in bulk in my kitchen as long as I live but admittedly it is not the primo best cream of the crop hot sauce. It’s cheap and wonderful but we can still do better.

    A picture of the bottle with a rooster on it in case my Grandmother didn't understand the "cock sauce" reference.
    A picture of the bottle with a rooster on it in case my Grandmother didn’t understand the “cock sauce” reference.
  • Sriracha- Now we are talking. I don’t mind that this cock sauce make everything taste like cock sauce, that is what I want. It’s fiery and magnificent and I know that a restauranteur who makes the effort to stock this in their establishment knows something about spicy food and making customers feel cared for. Sriracha means love people.
  • Cholula- Oh dear god, yes. This is just my personal favorite so I feel a kinship with anyone who has it for me to douse all over my meal. If a place brings me multiple bottles of Cholula in their variety of flavors, it’s all over, I have found the motherland.

    Look at that marvelous woman on the bottle. So happy to be giving me joy.
    Look at that marvelous woman on the bottle. So happy to be giving me joy.
  • Any combination of the above sauces- Even if one of my choices is Tabasco, I no longer mind. Seeing that I have options and that someone else understands a girl needs to have choices gives me faith in people again.

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