Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Return to Huckleberry Cafe

I couldn't fall asleep. It was 12:25 am and I'd been up since 7 am, but I couldn't get my mind to turn off. Unlike my tired limbs and saggy eyes that were begging for relief, my brain was alive and kicking, whirring away like the spokes on the stationary bike I ride at the gym. I should have been worrying about my upcoming move. I should have been worrying about all the bills I have to pay this week. I should have been worrying about what I am going to do with my refrigerator since the apartment I'm moving into already has one.

Instead, I was thinking about the salted caramel I tasted at Huckleberry Cafe that day.

The one bite my friend Ashley offered me was sufficient in the moment (I'd just eaten half a maple bacon biscuit and a big ole plate of green eggs & ham), but as I lay in bed on Saturday night, my mind was flush with desire for more. I had to go back to get another one.

When I finally conked out around 1 am, I wasn't planning on making a return visit to Huckleberry that day. My intention for Sunday was for church, a brief stop at Joan's on Third for a side container of their righteous tuna salad, a trip out to Mar Vista to collect a clothes rack for my new bedroom (to compensate for the appallingly small closet), and then some quality time with my sweatpants and the DVR. It would be a busy, but pleasantly uneventful Sunday.

Or so I thought.

As I sat in church on Sunday morning, attempting to focus on guest preacher Jesse Lee Peterson's sermon on forgiveness, I was again ravaged with lust for the salted caramel. My mouth watered as I recalled the cool bite of the buttery caramel and the feel of the lustrous dessert on my tongue. I couldn't wait any longer -- I needed it now! Or, as soon as the service ended, and I could make it out to Santa Monica.

When Peterson finished making his point about not allowing anger to control our lives, I tore out of the Bel Air Pres parking and sped down Wilshire Blvd. like a sugar-crazed maniac. I cursed every light that turned red, I pounded my fists against the steering wheel when forced to slow for pedestrians, and I grunted in displeasure when it took me a couple minutes to find an open parking meter. Fortunately, the situation inside the eatery was much less chaotic. The line to order was only a few people long, and allowed me just the right amount of time to decide that I would also be purchasing a small container of their mayo-less tuna salad for $3.50.

When I arrived home, I decided to be a responsible adult and eat lunch before diving teeth first into the salted caramel. I was pleased to discover that the heaping portion of tuna salad made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, parsley, capers, and red onions was more than enough for two sandwiches, and even more pleased to discover how tasty tuna is without the assistance of mayo. Eating it, however, proved to be a bit of a challenge. As I frantically tried to cram the sandwich into my mouth so I could go ahead and eat the caramel already, large tuna chunks kept falling out the middle, forcing me to pick them up and eat them with my fingers. (This is why it is a good thing I am currently living alone.)


After I'd lapped up the final chunks of tuna, I made some vanilla and strawberry green tea and settled down with the true object of my affection. It was just as good as I'd remembered. So good, in fact, that I ignored all the healthy runner instincts that tell me to stop after just a few bites of something that causes my insulin levels to spike, and devoured the whole thing in one sitting. As I licked a stray grain of salt from my finger (again, it is good that I live alone), my mind finally stopped whirring, and a sense of calm descended over my body.

Or at least it did until I remembered that I have less than a week to pack up my apartment.

11 comments:

Esi said...

You're so funny. I know what you mean about something really good invading your thoughts. Glad you made it back to Huckleberry. Good luck with the packing!

The Duo Dishes said...

That salted caramel must really be good. If you write about it one more time, we'll be forced to go get a few!

The Blonde Duck said...

Are you moving?

I don't know if I could do mayo-less tuna. The texture might bother me...

Heather said...

mmmmm. that caramel sounds delicious! a place near me makes one very similar, but it's coated in chocolate, too. mmmm.

Diana said...

Esi - Hah, thank you! Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who does these sorts of things!

Chrystal & Amir - Sooo good. Definitely worth the trip to Santa Monica! :)

Miranda - Yep! I'm moving apartments this Saturday -- eek!

Heather - Oh wow. I think my heart just seized up a little! Chocolate and caramel may be my favorite combination ever.

Kirby! said...

Salted caramels are hard to beat.... and whenever I go to church with my mom over the holidays, I spend most of the time thinking about food (eek)

Melissa Good Taste said...

Mayoless tuna salad sounds interesting... I love mayo and think I would miss it! :(

Futile Sniffer said...

Looks so good! I wanted to go there yesterday for coffee, but they aren't open before I have to be at work :( :(

Jenn said...

I've gotten that feeling, too. You try something once and your mind consumes you until you have another. I haven't been to Huckleberry, but I wouldn't mind the drive for a piece of that delish salted caramel.

Pearl said...

did the thought of moving overwhelm you with panic? then i guess that means another return trip to huckleberry!

Reeni♥ said...

Just the sight of it has driven me mad with desire!! Your a girl after my own heart!