I finally made my way to Ad Hoc a couple of Sundays ago for brunch amidst a healthy downpour from the sky. It was one of those Sundays that should be spent cozied up on the couch with a cup of tea in hand, gazing out the window at the wet. But as it was, I had a reservation and nothing should get in the way of Thomas Keller grub, not even kamikaze raindrops.
Babyfigs and I plodded our way into the restaurant around 10:30am and got a window seat that gave us a good look at idle streets bereft of tourists, a rare sight in Napa. While the weather continued its course outside, the two of us started plotting our next trip while waiting for our meal. With food as the key driver, Portugal had emerged as the top candidate, with Italy a close second (Spain is always a possible side trip. Always).
In between spoonfuls of creamy, home-made yogurt with crunchy blueberry granola, we dissected the merits of Portugal vs. Italy.
I can’t quite pinpoint the exact moment when the gag reflex kicked in but I can trace my dislike of scallions as far back as fourth grade and the last time we had a dark brown carpet. And it was also the last time my parents forced me to eat scallions. Until the day they discovered lumps of desiccated scallions wedded to the twisted strands of carpet underneath the dining room table, I was always instructed to eat everything on my plate no matter how much it made me want to regurgitate the contents of my meal.
Scallions courtesy of nelag on flickr
Back then, the number one enemy was the soft, cloying, disgusting taste and texture of green onions that presented themselves in every dish at every meal. The unpleasantly squishy texture of the white bulb along with the off-putting taste induced an involuntary gag reflex that any bulimic would kill to have. When faced with a dish teeming with those things, I would either swallow the offenders whole to avoid acknowledging tasting or biting them, or I would surreptitiously dispose of them on the carpet below me.