Monday, May 11, 2009

Inherited Preferences

Isn't it odd how we inherit certain preferences from roommates and coworkers?

Example #1: Pizza in Mystic, CT

When I reported to the Submarine Officer Basic Course (SOBC) in Groton, CT, I thought I would just live in the BOQ (Bachelor Officer Quarters) on base. It was cheap. I didn't spend anything on gas because I could walk everywhere I needed on base. I was going to a boat out of Groton, so I could stay in the BOQ indefinitely if I wanted to do so.

Then someone explained to me that if I moved out of the BOQ before I detached from sub school and reported to the boat, then I would get paid per diem for the entire time I was temporarily living in the BOQ. That amounted to about $3,000 cash back then. So I said, to myself, "Self, let's just see what's available out in town."

Low and behold, a couple of bubblehead JO's who lived in an old house in Mystic were looking for a 3rd roommate and posted a note on a bulletin board at sub school. I answered the ad, and to make a long story short, moved into the old house in the historic district of Mystic.

We were just a few blocks north of the main drag through Mystic that went over the draw bridge, and there were two pizza places to choose from practically across the street from each other - Mystic Pizza and Pizzaworks.

The very first time I went out to get pizza with my new roommates, they insisted that Pizzaworks was the better of the two and that Mystic Pizza was just hyped up because of the movie with Julia Roberts. I took their word for it and just ALWAYS went to Pizzaworks, even when my roommates weren't around.

It took me about two years or so before I ever actually broke that habbit and TRIED Mystic Pizza for the first time, and ya know what? They have DARN good pizza! I especially LOVE the Greek pizza at Mystic Pizza.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that Pizzaworks wasn't good. I still loved Pizzaworks and would alternate between the two shops after that. I was just sorry I had ignored Mystic Pizza all that time because of the opinions of my roommates.

What brought this up you ask?

Example #2: Sandwich Shops in Crystal City

I reported to my current job, and my predecessor and my new coworkers all walked me through the choice of sandwich shops across the street from our building. There's a Quiznos, and then there are three other non-chain shops to choose from. The lunch rules according to the guys in my office were:

- If you want a sandwich, go to Jefferson Cafe. All the guys in my office swear by the Jefferson Cafe as being the best sandwiches in the building.
- If you want a salad, go to the SoHo salad bar. They have a lower price per weight than Jefferson and the same types and quality of stuff on their salad bar.
- If you want soup, go to the Soup Nutsy. They have four different soups to choose from each day.

Well, like the good little conformist lemming that I am (ha ha), I just took their word for it.

Don't get me wrong! I do LOVE the sandwiches at Jefferson Cafe, but I didn't go there very often because they aren't the most healthy and not very condusive to keeping in shape. A sandwich from the Jefferson Cafe is reserved for once-in-a-while special occasions for me. Plus, they have these wicked coconut brownies that I find hard to resist - all the more reason not to go to Jefferson. I do like soup though, so I tend to go to the Soup Nutsy a lot and do the half-sandwich and soup combo.

For some reason though, last week I decided I needed a change. I wanted to try something different. So I went to SoHo to see what they had on their deli menu.

I have to tell you that my new favorite thing for lunch is the West Village wrap at the SoHo deli. Chicken, avocados, lettuce, pico de gallo... It's sooooo good. I think I've had three or four in the past two weeks.

It gets better though. I was having a craving for some saccarine a fountain soda, so I went to get a soda while waiting for my wrap.

First, they have Diet Coke. Cha-ching! I'm lovin' this place.

But then... wait for it... two words...



I have two deep philosophical questions for all three of you who are still reading this:

1) Why is crushed ice so much better than ice cubes? I mean, why would it matter? Somehow it just seems to make fountain soda taste even better. Maybe the extra surface area of the smaller pieces of ice somehow makes the saccarine sweeter???

b) Since crushed ice is CLEARLY so much better than ice cubes, why do so FEW places serve crushed ice? Do the ice crusher machines cost more in operations and maintainance costs?

So what about you dear readers? Any personal preferences you learned from a friend, roommate, or coworker and later discovered you didn't necessarily agree with?

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