Last week Heather and I had a rare date night, and since we didn’t need to go anywhere with a kiddie menu, we decided to eat at the new Japanese restaurant in town. Heather wanted to go there because she’d heard the food was delicious, but what interested me was their “All You Can Eat Sushi” option. I love a good food challenge (exhibit 1, exhibit 2), and resolved to eat as much sushi as I could. As is often the case in these situations, things didn’t end well.
Upon arriving at the restaurant I looked over the menu briefly, then tossed it aside and picked up the “All You Can Eat Sushi” order form. For $24.99 you could check off as much sushi as you wanted – from simple rolls to their most extravagant ones – and my mouth salivated as I lifted the pencil.
California roll? Check.
Kamikaze roll? Check.
Roll I’d Never Heard Of? Check. (why not?)
Most expensive roll they sell? Check (bring it!)
Lobster roll? Checked twice. (bam!)
Heather looked on with a bemused smile as I continued to mark up the form with a flourish.
“You sure you’ll be able to eat all of that?”
“I fear no sushi,” I told her as I checked off a couple more.
“Wait! Did you see that?!”
Heather pointed to the bottom of the order form where it read:
YOU WILL BE CHARGED TRIPLE FOR ANY UNFINISHED SUSHI!!!
I swallowed nervously and Heather laughed.
“Still fear no sushi?”
The waitress came over and reiterated that if I left any piece unfinished I would have to pay three times what that piece cost when ordered individually. She then added a couple rules: I couldn’t share the sushi with Heather, and I couldn’t take any home.
“Maybe you should take a couple sushis off the form,” Heather suggested. “Don’t you think?”
I narrowed my eyes and handed the form to the waitress. I got this, I told myself. I mean, how hard could be to eat a bunch of sushi? It’s just a little rice and seaweed.
A few seconds later Heather gasped while looking over the menu.
“That roll you’ve never heard of? It’s thirteen dollars, Mike. You’d better make damn sure you finish because we are not paying thirty-nine bucks for it.”
“Fine. I’ll eat it first.”
“And the lobster roll. Oh my God.”
“It’s fourteen dollars. You got one, right?”
Heather thought for a second, then:
“Eight-four dollars?! There is no way –”
“Don’t worry. I’m gonna eat it all.”
Our date – which was supposed to be relaxing – now was incredibly tense. I looked over my shoulder at the sushi chef who appeared to be cackling like Dr. Evil as he prepared my food.
“This unfinished food penalty… Ever heard of such a thing?”
“I have, actually,” Heather said. “It’s to stop jerks from ordering more food than they can eat and letting it go to waste.”
“That’s good. Get those jerks,” I said glumly.
The food soon came and, to my horror, the place had the biggest sushi rolls I’ve ever seen. Each piece was twice the normal size, and the specialty rolls were as big as softballs.
I dug in, starting with the roll I’d never heard of and then moving on to the lobster rolls, and when I finished those I was absolutely stuffed. Unfortunately, I still had a bunch of plates of sushi left.
“I fear the sushi.”
The next fifteen minutes were a battle as I force fed myself roll after roll. At one point I may have even begged Heather to wrap some sushi in a napkin and hide it in her purse, but she refused. Somehow – against all odds – I finished off the last plate. I leaned back, burped, and moaned.
“Well, this has been wonderfully romantic,” Heather said.
I stumbled out to the car, and then, when we got home, plopped onto the couch to whine and moan some more. Heather, bless her heart, only made fun of me a little bit. For that I owe her another date night, one where I order a salad.