By Erica H.
I have been taking pictures of my food for far longer than I have been writing about it online. I've been documenting my cooking successes since before they started happening. I like to look at vacation photos and recall specific meals just as much as specific sights or activities. (Dining is an activity, right?) Extended family, politely viewing pictures from my New England honeymoon, were probably confused: "Oh, that's the lobster roll. Okay, this one is the first clam chowder, at that place with the blueberry beer. Oooooh, that ice cream was maple-flavored, you guys."
But even though I will shamelessly whip out the camera every time someone sets a pizza in front of me, there is a point which a restaurant crosses a line into being "nice." Napkins = linen, servers = overly attentive, wine list = exorbitant. And at that point I become too embarrassed to call attention to my very important culinary photojournalism. Or at least...I used to.
Exhibit A: Aureole restaurant, Las Vegas, NV, 2007. We had a seven-course tasting menu. I discovered that I like scallops. It was the most exciting restauraunt experience I had ever had. This is the single picture:
After which I hissed at my husband to put the camera away. Happy anniversary, honey! And lest you think maybe I just wasn't in the meal-documenting swing on that particular trip, here is a picture of the barbecue we ate at the airport on our way out of town:
Exhibit B: Biga on the Banks, San Antonio, TX, 2010. Granted, this Riverwalk establishment is not quite as hoity toity as Aureole, and we probably spent about a quarter as much money on this meal, but it's still a nice place. A dark place. A discretely crumb-scraping place. Clearly I have become bolder, quickly snapping some blurry pics of multiple courses before hiding my camera back under my napkin.
Looks like I definitely ate something in a bowl!
And some...plant matter!
Exhibit C: Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth TX, 2012. Clear pictures of every course, in decent light because I took multiple shots. And I tweeted about it while sitting at the restaurant. And then I blogged it.
Oooooooh just when you thought we were getting through this post without an egg.
This tower of steak deserves to be remembered.
Clearly, my self-consciousness has waned. Perhaps having two small children has done irreperable damage to my sense of propriety in public spaces. Soon I will be involving the waitstaff, having them adjust the light or move the other patrons around in an effort to get the perfect shot. Will you be giving me the side-eye? Or an approving nod?