Restaurant Week and Cheese
Let’s talk about restaurant week in Boston. First: calling it restaurant “week” is something of a cruel joke on the restaurants of the city, as it’s really TWO weeks long. Two weeks is a long time, and a LOT of three course meals. The deal is three courses for $33.11 (for dinner), which, depending on the menu, can mean a bunch of diners making out like stuffed bandits, or still-hungry, disappointed, would-be bandits. It’s mostly a great deal.
What I really want to talk about is congealed cheese, and how much of it my coworkers and I have scraped off of soup spoons, skillets, and the floor in the past week and a half. Much as I, (and everyone in Boston) love(s) melted cheese, be it in French onion soup, rarebit, or mac & cheese, it’s pretty vile after it’s been sitting, cooling in its own grease for half an hour. Blech.
And yet when a rarebit flies past my nose on its way to a table, the smell is pretty nigh irresistible. What is rarebit? It looks and tastes like melted cheese with bits of bacon and beer in it, but the name “rarebit,” is mysterious to me. Rare Bits? Rabbit? My computer’s dictionary says it’s a “dish of melted and seasoned cheese on toast, sometimes with other ingredients.” Close enough.
The point is: how can a dish that is so enormously appealing when hot, become so repellent 20 minutes later that it must be chiseled from the bed of a bowl with the closest thing we have to a ten foot pole (a fork)? When the dish is brought to the table there are oohs and aahhs and plate envy, but ten minutes later, if there's anything left, the rarebit owner looks somewhat uneasy. Please take away this plate of grease and hardening cheese! cry their eyes.
Ah the fleeting wonder of melted cheese...
Three cheers for restaurant week in Boston!