The Suitcase Lady


March 6, 2012, 9:30 pm

The air reeked when we opened our car doors in the parking lot. There were no vampires to be seen. Another restaurant had gone viral with garlic.

America is a nation that shuns subtlety and abhors moderation. Therefore, when it comes to garlic, ten cloves are perceived to be better than one.

My husband and I have been patiently waiting for the “garlic in everything” phase of American restaurant dining to pass. It’s not, in fact, it seems to be picking up steam or perhaps stink would be a better word.

I have been accused of being a garlic-hater; I am not. But I am against the excessive and pervasive use of the stinking onion.

Garlic is a culinary sledgehammer. Improperly used, it will mask every other flavor in a dish. Perhaps garlic cloves should come with little stick-on warning labels that read, “Caution, use with extreme care”.

Indulge me in one last tirade. People who have just consumed over three garlic cloves should not be allowed on airplanes unless they wear a Hazmat suit.

7 Comments for this entry

  • Anne Johnston Smith on Facebook

    But don’t you see – almost everything is like a sledgehammer now!!! So many evil spirits to ward off!!!

  • evie

    Dear Mary–Good point. But perhaps you & I should share a serving of garlic fries from Brocach Pub on Monroe Street. OMG! evie

  • Mary

    Anne! You are so very right about that!!!!!!!!!!

  • liz levins

    garlic is lovely when used properly. increasingly it is overused in restaurants. also, it sometimes is not listed as an ingredient. so, you have the unfortunate surprise (along with all who encounter you) of walking around with garlic breath after dining.

  • Peg

    Very funny! I completely agree!!!

  • Sutapa Mukherjee

    Which restaurant were you at? I am in the midst of Reichl’s “Comfort me with Apples” and reading about a delicious garlic restaurant in Truckee. I think in the 70s they were going pretty crazy with garlic in California — even garlic massages :-)

  • Mary

    Sutapa! It was Sonny’s Pizza in San Clemente, CA. Their pizzas are great, but you smell like one for 2 days after you leave their premises. I loved “Comfort Me With Apples”, in fact, I love everything Ruth Reichl has written.