being young has it’s advantages. the best advantage i’d have to say is my metabolism- but even over the past year or so, I’ve certainly noticed a difference in it’s speed. I suppose there are some more advantages- not having to work, having my education paid for, living at home, and so on and so forth. To clarify, it’s not that this sort of lifestyle isn’t what I’m looking for- because hey, up until this very moment, it’s the only one I’ve known, but rather, it’s that I’ve been thinking about the very fact that in a year, I’ll be off to start my life- without the help of my family, my school, or my friends. So now is the time that I should spend enjoying those last few moments of youthfulness. And perhaps the best way to do so is by paying particular attention to the things a kid my age should be.
I’ve never been a fan of high school- I mean, I like learning- but it’s the social scene and the stereotypes that kill me. In fact, as a food blogger, and as a teenager, I often feel heavily criticized by restaurant staff who have generalized what teenagers do when they come to restaurants. I’ve never thrown anyone under the bus before on this blog, but now’s the time to do so, because while dining in Portland is great for the most part- there have been a few instances at different restaurants that made me feel utterly self-conscience and belittled. Street & Co. strikes me as the worst offense. I am a frequent diner there- not as much as I dine at places like Local & Figa, but I go at least four times a year. On the occasion that I vividly remember, I was dining with my really good friend Isaac, and while we were not of age, and rather short (I must add on his end..), our waitress seemed to be overly skeptical of us as diners. She was condescending while reading the specials, annoyed at small requests, and even when our bill totaled $125 + a rather decent tip, she snubbed us at the door. Hospitality like that, gets you nowhere in my opinion, and now Street & Co. has quite a tarnished reputation in my book. Places like the Front Room, Walter’s, District, and Nosh have also yielded similar reactions. It upsets me that many people have a permanent stereotype of teens- and yes, there are a good amount who tip poorly, who skip out on the check, who disturb the ambiance- but keep in mind that adults do that too. It’s unfair to place the blame on every single teenage diner out there, because not all of us can speak to that stereotype. It makes my job a lot more difficult, and also a narrow mind does nothing for one in the long run.
Thankfully, many restaurants do not act like that outwardly– perhaps they have their doubts about me as a diner, but the majority of restaurants in Portland have not treated me in a negative way. Perhaps the one restaurant that I’m most comfortable at- without a doubt, and without bias- is Local 188. Yes, I work there. Yes, I know the staff. But even before I worked there and was acquainted with the waiters and waitresses, I was comfortable. They’ve never shunned me, nor have they ever acted in a condescending manner- and that really adds to their overall great impression that they’ve had on me ever since I started dining there when I was 9 or so. Furthermore, this past weekend, after I got out of work, Local helped aid someone near and dear to me, to give me a surprise that would help me focus on my dwindling time as a youth. Sam & I had visited Nosh for dinner, and while I wanted to go to Sonny’s for dessert, he insisted that we go to Local. I was suspicious at first, because he had been there that day while I was working, but I didn’t think too much of it. We ordered our desserts after sniping a table in the lounge- L3 to be exact, and we got drinks too.
Trent’s Lingoberry Layer Cake appealed to me, and Sam ordered the Mayan Chocolate Mousse, which was DECADENT and perhaps the best mousse I’ve ever had. It was so light, fluffy, rich, and spicy, I can’t even convey what emotions it evoked when I took my first bite. The chocolate was of great quality, and the sugar cookies that came as a side were divine too.
Now for my dessert, Sarah brought, not only the plate, but a gaggle of other coworkers who crowded around our table. I was confused, but when I saw the plate, I understood. Sam had been seeking a decent way to ask me to prom, and this was his chance. Having schemed with Anna and Sarah, he had insisted she write prom in chocolate on my plate. And that’s exactly what she did. Obviously my answer was yes- who could refuse such a lovely dessert? So now, while I’m caught up in the midst of studying for SATs, a short trip to Boston for A+ dining, double shifts, and Easter chaos, I can also focus on something trivial- yet something most kids my age look forward to. Prom. It’s overrated in my opinion- but any occasion to dress up is worth that much. I guess I can deal with being young for the next year or so, especially if it renders such a nice mix of triviality and seriousness.