Well, I managed to convince my intrepid team of culinary guinea pigs, M1, M2, J and T to accompany me to the Independence Hall DFAC for dinner last night. This was no mean feat because, as I mention in the DFAC Primer, our previous experiences here elicited such insightful comments as “this place sucks”, “this is shit”, and “whose fucking idea was it to come here”. Yes, they are a subtle and eloquent bunch. We were all somewhat pleasantly surprised in that the food, overall, was pretty good. And J, flaunting his sophisticated upbringing in our faces, noted they have a somewhat higher quality of plastic utensil than the other DFACS.
Now, before I go any further, I should qualify what we, in KAF, mean by “good”. You see, we’ve all been here for quite awhile. Sure we rotate in and out for time off, but we spend a goodly portion of our life in KAF eating KAF food. Our baseline for quality in food and many other areas, therefore, is somewhat different here than it is at home. We will often use the prefix KAF to denote that we are speaking relative this skewed KAF baseline. For example, if I said “mmm…this steak is KAF-good and KAF-tender” that just means “hey…this steak doesn’t taste funky and it didn’t break my plastic knife” in the real world.
I had the Rotisserie Chicken with potato wedges, carrots and gravy. At the self-serve bar I picked up some “Cannan Balls” and a couple of olives. The chicken was only slightly dry but the gravy did a good job of remedying that. The carrots, surprisingly, were not overcooked but the potato wedges had the consistency and, to some extent, the flavour of wet sawdust. The “Cannan Balls” (did they mean “cannon” perhaps?) were large, extremely salty meatballs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like, nay, love salt. I’d be happy if one could order a salt lick as an appetizer in finer restaurants. But these were a couple of extremely salty balls useful only for rubbing in the wounds of one’s enemies.
As we were all discussing our surprise and delight at the the Independence Hall fare with high praise like “not bad”, “not too dry”, “hey, I can cut it” and the lofty “this is KAF-good”, two American contractors sitting next to us joined the conversation. They hadn’t been in KAF long as they were just passing through but one of them (eating the brisket) said “This is the best food I’ve had in KAF”. I added “Yeah, this DFAC has really gotten a lot better”. His companion asked “This is better?”. I nodded. “I’m sorry” he said. He obviously needs to reset his baseline…