Monday, January 15, 2007

Glimmers and Twinkies

Every once in a while, the drudgery and regular disillusionment that are adulthood step aside. Every once in a while you get a glimmer, a little sparkle of something so completely awesome and uplifting that for a while, all the angry noise subsides. I, ladies and gentlemen, am experiencing a glimmer. I am, at this very moment, glimmering.

Let me start at the beginning. First off, a confession. I have been leading a double life for the past month or so. I have been cheating on Sunday Night Dinner… with another blog. Gasp! Yes, I have another blog. It’s a science-y blog on a Nature Publishing Group website. I write mostly about lab life and lab dynamics, sometimes I throw in a post on an interesting paper that I happened to come across.

The editor of the website, the infinitely cool (and ridiculously well-spoken) Corie, asked me to write an article for the website, in addition to my blog. The article would be a monthly feature on a freelance basis, and the subject? Aaah yes, the subject. The article is to be a review of restaurants in the areas immediately surrounding major convention areas in Boston. Five restaurants per area, per month. Yes, you heard right. I am now an official, full-fledged restaurant critic and food writer, with all the inherent bragging rights, pride, and occasional food stains.

This may be the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. I am not exaggerating. Food writing is a dream and I am afraid to wake up. I plan on drinking, gulping, and chugging this glimmer for as long as I can.

I wasted no time in beginning my assignment. This did not involve me going out of my way or modifying my routine in any way, since I eat out at least three times a week as it is. Today, I went to the Linwood Grill for lunch. I have been there a number of times before, but never with the goal of writing it up. I took careful notes, multiple pictures, all while trying to hide what I was doing the best I could – reviewer bragging rights are to be exercised on friends only. There is no point in irritating the wait staff.

The food (barbeque) was good as always, but the best bit came at the end. The meal was large but so was the dessert menu. I kept staring at it. My friend jokingly asked if I would like a deep-fried Twinkie for dessert. Silly girl. I think she was seriously expecting me to say no. So, obviously, we ordered a deep-fried Twinkie.

So here’s the thing – I don’t think Twinkies are food. They are the cockroaches of the food world – they never go bad, you can’t kill them, and they all look the same. They are not made out of food. They don’t even taste like food. This turned out to be empty talk once I tasted a deep-fried Twinkie. It was warm and melty, almost custard-like. The fried shell was a bit salty and crunchy and, well, fried. It was a Twinkie transformed, a reverse metamorphosis from miserable cockroach to the sublime.

I had about a spoonful of fried Twinkie before my body reacted with a “what the hell are you doing to me??” I told it to shut up and had another bite. And then I had to admit defeat. That stuff is potent. I would recommend having an angioplasty scheduled prior to ordering a fried Twinkie. You will be sure to enjoy it all the way to the hospital.

More adventures in semi-professional food writing to come! I am holding on to my glimmer (and my breath).


amanda said...

look at you! ms. professional food critic. how cool is that! okay, i'm offically envious of you! now as far as that deep fried twinkie goes...i've always been quite scared of them! that takes mounds of courage and determination.

JC said...

Wow, that's really cool! Congrats!! Do they even pay for your meals? That would be super-cool!

I can't believe someone in Boston has had a fried Twinkie before I have.

Anonymous said...

you are awesome! I'm so happy for you and am looking forward to hearing more details :)

Ben Chen said...


Anna said...

Amanda - Thank you! I am too excited for words. Twinkie really is a little scary. For some reason, I expected it to be on a stick. Don't ask.

JC - And you call yourself a Texan! Wait, do you call yourself a Texan? Regardless, fried Twinkie is an experience.

Melissa - Thank you! I would be half the foodie if it weren't for you :)

Ben - Thank you!

Alicia said...

Anna :) Congratulations! Don't be surprised if this leads to lots of food writing opportunities and you end up doing that for a living instead of being some kind of science wiz. You should still write your articles as Dr. Anna or think of something even more clever that includes your hard-earned title.