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When is Too Much Food Not a Good Thing?

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I can be cheap.

When it comes to food, I like thinking I’m getting a good deal…a great bargain…the best bang for my buck. Who doesn’t like getting a hearty meal? But this weekend, I realized that sometimes too much food isn’t always a good thing.

My breakfast buddies and I decided to chance the lines at the Griddle Café on Sunset and really dive into our Memorial Day weekend. We lucked out and got seated quickly (15 min) for a Saturday morning.

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Now, I’m certainly not a light eater, and the two guys with me weigh about two bucks each, so they like their food, too. But when one of them – who’d never experienced the restaurant’s Claim Jumper-esque portions before – suggested we each order an item, we quickly talked him out of it. So between the three of us, we ordered the following two entrees to share:

  1. The “Tis the Season” – which are the Griddle Café’s freaking awesome pumpkin pancakes, which includes pie filling and real whipped cream. Redi-Whip? What’s that?
  2. and

  3. The “Chicago Charlie’s” Scramble, which included sausage, potatoes, bacon, bell peppers, cheese, garlic, basil and oh, about a whole onion. The dish is served with garlic bread.

And this is what was left afterward:

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Now, we could have had two more people with us and we might have been able to finish those two entrees. The amount of food we were served for breakfast could have fed an entire tribe in parts of drought-ridden Africa.

And while we liked the food, the portion size gave us pause. (There’s not an obesity problem in America or anything.) But if the three of us couldn’t finish two entrees, then how much food does a restaurant like the Griddle Café waste in typical day? While there’s certainly enough food left over to take home, how many people actually do? Pancakes and eggs aren’t exactly the best food to eat for dinner.

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So even though places like the Griddle Café certainly give us our dollar’s value and our weight in food -- that might not be such a good thing. Sometimes too much food is just plain wasteful. Thinking about it just gives me heartburn.