In France, we don’t eat out much. 98% of our meals form right in our own kitchen. But when we’re in the States we end up eating out pretty often. I’m normally shocked by the amount of food on the plate in front of me. In France, I’ve never heard anyone ask for a doggy bag and I’m not even sure they exist. So when a huge plate of food is set in front of me, my default setting is – don’t let it go to waste.

One sunny morning in Minneapolis I met my friend Chris for breakfast at Key’s Café. Keys is one of our favorites, with down home cooking, perfect caramel rolls, and pancakes that hide the plate. I was really interested in the 2 pancake/2 egg breakfast, but was concerned about portions. Could I really plow through two pancakes? So I asked the waitress if it’s possible to have a half order. Of course, but it’s only a dollar less. At that point I decided I might as well try my best at the full order.

Now Keys serves both buttermilk and buckwheat pancakes. Can I have one of each? Of course. But when the plate comes out it has just buckwheat. The waitress points this out, offering to bring out a buttermilk if I’d like. No problem, this’ll do fine. But no, she wouldn’t let it go and pretty soon there was a THIRD pancake sitting beside my already heaping plate. I went from being concerned about portions, thinking two might be too much, to having three pancakes!

Imagine the dilemma. I am barely able to cram in two full pancakes and this third buttermilk pancake is sitting there pondering it’s future. Do I ask for a doggy bag for a pancake? Do I leave the waitress’ gesture sitting cold on the table? Should I test to see if pancake will really ooze out of my ears when I’m that full?

Hey, I eat at Key’s Café but once every four years!