Tagged nachos

Eat Like Good Friends Do

Believe it or not, there are better things in life than friends who love you endlessly, support you when you need them most and would give the shirt off of their back for you. (Has anyone ever had to apply that theory?)

Friends that eat. A lot. With you.

Now, since I was a young one, I loved food. I might be downplaying this a bit. I didn’t just love food. I had a relationship with food. I married food. My dad was old-school Italian to the max, feeding anyone who stopped by. Every kid on the block had their run-ins with dad. And if you were thin, look out. This was a sign that you were malnourished, and he might just ask you to eat (over and over again), until you finally caved. This was his tactic.

And I was a mischievous, though naive, tomboy with an affinity for Legos, Barbies (whaaa?) and Happy Meals. Imagine a parent (or parental unit) who would fulfill your every food whim–no matter the time of day, the cost or the sincere inconvenience. I had a double cheeseburger at 11 AM, a pizza-parlor style Italian hoagie at 3 PM and then perhaps a heaping plate of spaghetti for dinner. It didn’t stop there; depending on the evening, I might have had French-fried potatoes around 10 PM, or an MTO from Sheetz with a side of Combos. Listen, I’m pretty sure my dad made up the Taco Bell term “fourth meal.” Often, there were fifths, sixths. And if you weren’t hungry, he would ask you until you were, until you were pretty sure you were, at least.

You hungry? How about a Chalupa? Tacos?


Want a Twister? Get you an MTO, if you want?


I’ll get you 20. As long as you eat it.


Hoagie? Sub? Whatever the hell those things are. Want one?


Oooh, I could go for an entire dozen of donuts. Whaddya say?


Boston Cream? Chocolate Frosted? Glaaazed?


C’mon, Animal. You haven’t eaten for an hour.

Between then and now, I have worked hard at losing weight, overcoming about 70-75 lbs. total. It wasn’t easy. I choose salads and grilled chicken. I stay away from mayo and ranch dressing. Making healthy choices is the EASY part. The hard part is the portions, right? Just because I can eat vegetables and prepare my own overly-vinegary salad dressing doesn’t mean I don’t have the FFK appetite. FFK = Former Fat Kid. Though I can keep it in-check most often, I allow myself a day a week to treat myself. This is when having hungry, good-eatin’ friends make all the difference.

I tend to attract (even find attractive) those who can stand up to my appetite. There is nothing worse than going out with someone who picks at their meals, uses take-home boxes and/or claims they are full after what just may be a ONE PERSON PORTION. I spit at that person. For example, my string bean roommate Adam, who considers eating two plates of food at the Panda Buffet “a lot.” (Must I also verify that these “plates of food” consist of 2-3 items, hardly generous.) I remember being unsure of his presence in my life just from this fact.

So yesterday I decide it is time for my weekly pork-out. I put on a pair of loose jeans, a brightly-colored sports bra and refused to brush my hair. This was my moment. Because my friends and I (we’ll call them Teesh & Queen) were already in the Pittsburgh area–the only “adults” without a child visiting the Carnegie Science Center, we decided to eat there. Since none of us had been to Fat Heads on the South Side, it sounded like a nice choice. 4:21 PM.

By the time we skidded through lanes of confused traffic, soggy afternoon drunks in green t-shirts and found an actual parking spot. (In Pittsburgh, we like to “make up” parking spots.), we arrived at our destination, tummies rumbling and ready. And then the heart-drop. How long of a wait? 45 minutes, the attractive, hipster at the counter tells us. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES?! When you’re ravished, 45 minutes might as well be tomorrow. But I turned to see my friends optimistic, shrugging at this seemingly impossible wait.

“Eh, anywhere we go will be crowded, you know?” Right. They were right, logical even. But can we just try, I wanted to ask. There is no logic in hunger. Instead of whining my concern aloud, I puffed up my chest and gave the host my name. 45 minutes. I could occupy my brain for 45 minutes. 4:50 PM.

Time passes at an incredibly slow pace. I doodle. I draw pictures of unicorns and cats and gerbils in plastic balls. It’s fine. Everything is going to be ok, because I know after each doodle, I’m just 1 majestic unicorn away from food. Right.

I’m going to skip to the part to where we actually get a seat, because the dull time in between could be painful to read. But it was nearly an hour (or more) before we actually got waited on, about 6:15 PM. The waitress, bubbly and smiling, brought us our waters. Had she been psychic and could comprehend our subsequent pain, she may not have asked the question…

Can I get you ladies an appetizer?

At this point, we were drooling. Our stomachs had caved in on themselves like raisins. And though we were not starving in a literal sense, the anticipation induced by the unordinary wait time gave us a near-death sensation. So when we heard appetizer, a word, which, in fact, means “before meal,” the question hit us as FOOD RIGHT NOW? And we accepted the offer. Obviously.

While it wasn’t the waitress’s fault, I mean, we could’ve picked something smaller like their Arrogant Onion Rings or something, but we chose Pedro’s Nachos. To put it lightly, this mound of nachos could’ve fed four people as a meal. In silence, other than a few satisfied groans we shared, we devoured it. In fact, we would’ve won an award. The waitress in a moment of shock exclaimed she had never seen a plate of their nachos disappear so quickly.

At this moment, it would also be safe to note that we had no idea what was ahead of us. I believe our stomachs were most likely already full, but we didn’t believe it. Though this should have clued us in, those nachos were just an appetizer. We had burgers and fish sandwiches coming. French fries. Yes. And we had no idea how big these things would be. The prices were reasonable, cheap, in fact. I could imagine anything extraordinary. Boy, was I wrong.

Our reactions were as follows: excited, stunned, worried. But we continued to plow on, as though we hadn’t just ingested nearly 2 lbs. of nachos a piece. It was ok, because it was delicious. It was sooooo goooooood.


Needless to say, the car ride home was a long one. 45 minutes, in fact. And besides the grunts and moans of pain and discomfort, there was a strange intermission of laughter, like we were in some unfortunate food delirium. It was disbelief coupled with pain coupled with disbelief at our pain. Laughter wasn’t the end-all-be-all. All ups have their downs, and suddenly we were pressed with painful, uncontrollable gas, (which then, of course,  resulted in more laughter and more discomfort.) It was a deadly loop of downhill spiraling that ended with the three of us passed out on the couch.