Tapped out

We’ve attempted on two recent occasions to eat out as a family. Firstly we went to TaPalma. I was very excited about the idea of going out for the day to Palma as we don’t go very often, islanditis has set in and anything further than 20km away from us involves days of planning. We decided to go to La Lonja to do the tapas route. Little Gidg was fine as she had her new Hello Kitty scooter which has changed our lives – she no longer wants to be carried everywhere. However this joy was shortlived when we were told the only thing the restaurants were serving that day were the two tapas they had prepared: so far scallops and foie gras haven’t been on Gidg’s top ten favourite foods, so there was a lot of whinging (from me and her). Come on, I work in the restaurant business, I know that every kitchen has a freezer with something for the kids or difficult eater stashed in it. But we were turned down in three different restaurants because they didn’t have anything to feed a five year old girl on a Saturday afternoon.
Undeterred we thought it might be a fun idea to go along to Octoberfest last weekend. I remember going to see The Student Prince when I was a child; there was plenty of singing, thigh slapping and wenches hoisting jugs of beer around. So I had expectations, as did Oliver who was looking forward to oompah bands and leiderhosen, men with twirly handlebar moustaches and general German campness. We were a little disappointed. Okay, there was a wench singing accompanied by a man with an incongruous electric guitar, there was definate comedy value in that. But let me ask you a question: if you go to a beer festival, do you expect to have to PAY to go to the toilets?
From what I remember of my early (illegally early) pub going days, it more or less worked that for each pint of lager consumed a trip to the bathroom would follow. ‘A pee a pint’ is what my old male friends used to say. Imagine the irritation of having to go outside in the rain, get wet, discover I had to pay for my little girl to go for a wee, not have any money, go back inside, traipse across the glum marquee, get money, pay, take Gidg for a wee and trudge back inside. Not only was the beer expensive (5€ for a half of shandy) but they then make even more money on you when you naturally have to expel it a while later. And it was cold, so of course, there were more trips required…
The high point of the experience was the yard of meat we were served (see photo for my parents in law about to get stuck in). At least Gigi had burgers and sausages on tap, unlike TaPalma.
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(first published on 19.10.10 http://www.euroweeklynews.com/columns/vicki-mcleod

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