He saw the abundance of the Old Country Buffet as being a symbol of his success, proof that he had transcended his old identity as a poor immigrant.
Going to dinner on the https://allfoodmenuprices.org/old-country-buffet-menu-prices/ in Seattle meant a huge night out for my dad and me. By their own admission, he’s not a very good cook. He can only prepare two dishes, both memories of his childhood in Jakarta, where his family lived before they immigrated to the usa through Holland: babi kecap, a garlicky pork dish simmered in ketjap medja (an Southeast Asian variation on soy sauce also referred to as kecap manis) and gado-gado, a salad of cucumber and tofu topped with peanut sauce. He never insisted that I eat Indonesian food, though, only occasionally preparing babi kecap for lunch. All things considered, he had visit America to reside such as an American. That meant indulging in a specific amount of gluttony, a virtue in the mind when it arrived at eating.
His take a look at food was, but still is, admirably uncomplicated: Protein reigns supreme, therefore healthy bodies should take in a nightly serving of protein-rich red meat or fish. He obsessed on the food groups in the dinner table. There must be three different but complementary sections of food on your own plate: a little pile of vegetables (frozen corn or Brussel sprouts, which he dumped into a bowl, and microwaved with at least three pats of butter before serving), a carbohydrate like Fried potatoes or rice, along with a slab of meat. And nowhere was this philosophy made quite so literal than on the Old Country Buffet.
Whenever you walked inside the door, the only thing you had to do was spend the money for host in the front counter something like $11 to become granted an all-access pass to stations piled high with thoroughly American food: Main courses included roast beef, fish like halibut and salmon, baked chicken, pork chops, and steak in the event you got lucky. Greasy heaps of mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and green beans and corn who had a suspiciously similar texture towards the bagged stuff Dad nuked in your own home may be bought at a nearby station. The platter of hot dinner rolls, still stuck together in a neat square, enjoyed a glossy sheen. Globs of congealed sauce stuck towards the meat, dried out of hours within heat lamp. I may only have been eight or nine at the time, but even then I suspected that the food could not come to be as healthy as my dad insisted it had been.
We filled plastic tumblers with water or soda and sat together in a booth; there were no waiters, but we sometimes stayed seated up until the crowds across the trays thinned just a little. While we waited, I wasn’t permitted to drink my beverage, lest I ruin my appetite. When we served ourselves, I stubbornly picked at my food in silence, upset that I had no say in where or what we have got to eat. Growing up in American, I looked down on the old country buffet holiday hours as location for people in need of charity, as he saw such bountiful vcubkg at this type of affordable price as being a luxury. Though I never said it out loud, I felt like my dad was forcing us to consume there while he was cheap, and that he was intentionally depriving people of the experiences of normal families, who ate at regular restaurants with waitresses.
To tell the truth, my dad could be cheap, and frequently with regards to dining out. Provided that We have been alive, they have refused to tip waiters, an insufferable trait which includes occasionally called for any clandestine mission to an ATM so that I could sneak the staff their due as he used the toilet. Once, when my mother is in the final trimester of her pregnancy with me, she took him to a nice restaurant. He opened the menu, then abruptly got up and left. “I couldn’t stomach spending $70 on one meal. That seemed somewhat extravagant,” he told me.