Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A peanut butter injustice!

The Handsome Australian and I had the opportunity to take our little people to lunch at the local cafe today. We don't exactly live in a suburb that is overrun with first rate eateries. In fact, I can't think of a single one in a 2-3km radius. Most of the places near us are typical suburban cafes. Nothing fancy, prices are reasonable and the coffee is generally 'good enough'. As the Handsome Australian is a self professed "food snob", it takes a bit of convincing to get him to eat locally. He much prefers the inspired menus, award winning barristas and slick fit outs of the inner city eateries. Unfortunately, for the Handsome Australian, you can't be cool 100% of the time--especially when you have kids.

Our cafe of choice today is one frequented by the children and I on a regular basis. We pop in to have coffee, milk shakes and smartie cookies at least once or twice a week. It has a real neighbourhood vibe. We always know at least one or two other customers when we arrive. The kids love the place because there is a bucket of toys in a corner in the back and they spend the entire time playing with their mates while I catch up with the other Mums. It's not flashy, but it serves a purpose. It's a good neighbourhood meeting place for the desperate housewives of our little slice of suburban Melbourne.

So when we went today for lunch with the Handsome Australian, I tried to prepare him for what he'd find upon arrival. I told him the coffee wasn't going to compare to the ones he gets from the award winning barrista across the road from his City office. I told him the menu was limited and to be honest, I don't actually eat there, we usually just grab drinks and cookies. I wanted to lower the expectations as much as possible because when the Handsome Australian goes for a meal, he doesn't like to be disappointed. I thought I'd done a pretty good job of lowering the bar...

When we arrived, we found they had a kid's menu which was very reasonably priced (they aren't paying City rents are they?) with many options that our children would find appealing. After a brief discussion, our oldest decided she'd have a Vegemite sandwich and our youngest chose to have peanut butter and jam (or jelly for the Americans out there). The Handsome Australian and I chose a couple of foccacias and then we waited.

The waitress brought out the kids' sandwiches first. They are served on plastic kid friendly platters with cute pictures. They are cut up into bit size squares that kids can easily handle. So far so good. Then I looked over at the little man's peanut butter and jam and my jaw hit the floor. There were piles of margarine oozing out the sides of his sandwich. (Don't believe me? Have a look at the photo above? Large quantities of margarine clearly visible!!) This was a real, WTF? kind of moment. Who puts margarine on a peanut butter and jam sandwich? Isn't the butter in peanut butter implied? Do you need to add butter or margarine? Never in my 30ish years have I ever seen such a disservice done to the humble peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Who knew you could tamper with something so pure and simple? Wow.

Poor little man didn't eat it. I wonder why? I've never understood the Australians' need to put margarine on the bread of every sandwich they make. Surely common sense should prevail in a case like this. From now on I'll be ordering the peanut butter and jam sandwiches WITHOUT the butter!!!

Yes, this is a crazy, crazy place. Or perhaps this particular well meaning suburban cafe is a crazy, crazy place. One thing is for certain, after seeing this crime against peanut butter and jam, the Handsome Australian will never set foot in this cafe again. I guess I just didn't lower the bar could I have known?


mij said...

Suz feel free to eat in my humble abode anytime without the fear of margarine being added to the p&j sanga, master D would have a fit!

emseedubya said...

Aussie don't really do the whole pb&j thing at all, I'm pretty shocked it was even on the menu...way to ruin an institution Australia!!!

Jenny said...

I am still stuck on the fact that they had PB & J on the menu! That by itself is almost as shocking as the marga-reeen they applied to the sandwich!

Lisa in Oz said...

OMG yes! The weirdest thing to me is when they butter up the bread, then whack margarine on top of it (like in your other post). So. Weird.

Laine Moore said...

I just commented on your other post, but... I wish I was married to a food snob Australian! I'm a slightly food snobby American married to a man who's most sophisticated dish is sausage in bread with sauce on top! *sobs* But, he's learning, slowly... :) I still can't get him to even try peanut butter though, but I tricked him into tasting a butterfinger bar... now I'm craving pb!

suzinoz said...

emseeddubya and Jenny--I don't think pb&j was actually a choice on the menu. It read something like this: Kids sandwiches: vegemite/peanut butter/jam $3.50 So I'm guessing they meant the pb to be separate from the j, but we ordered it together. If that makes sense.

Lisa--yes, weird is the word. Very weird.

Laine-food snobs are nice, but expensive to keep! =)If your husband eats vegemite, there is no reason he shouldn't try pb. It's so much nicer!!

barbara said...

As an Australian peanut butter and margarine yuk! Peanut butter and butter Yum!

Becca said...

I have actually seen the butter on teh sandwich from one person ever!! My sister-in-law put it on the jelly side of the sandwiches. Her reasoning behind this is that when she sent them with her girls off to school - it kept the bread from getting as soggy! It was a first for me - but in my own twisted mind - it kinda makes sense. But - granted - it wasn't oozing out of the sides of her sandwiches!

BUSH BABE said...

Have to say I too am amazed that peanut butter (we call it peanut paste up north!) and jelly/jam is on the menu.

Have to admit I put butter (not margarine) on pretty much all sliced bread offerings... my hubby's favourite is Peanut Butter and honey... with butter!!!

Vive la difference!!

PS Hope the school things smoothes out - how about making plans for your return with some of the more friendly locals? Keep 'em thinking about you. x

suzinoz said...

@BB--I will never get used to the butter/margarine on every sandwich, I think it is something you had to grow up with. You know, like vegemite. =) I'm sure the school thing will be just fine. We've been there before, we're becoming old hats! =)