Adventures in Room Service

Dinner is served, Madam.

Dinner is served, Madam.

A few summers ago, my husband and I headed north to take our then nine-year-old son, Jackson, to goalie school in Canada. After delivering him to the rink, Stephen and I, along with our two-year-old son, Benn, arrived at our “resort” hotel in downtown Toronto. Before long we were comfortably settled in our room.

“This is great, eh?” my husband asked, trying out his Canadian.

“For whom?” I responded, a bit prickly after so long without food.

“You don’t like this place?” he questioned, as if his manhood was somehow involved.

Actually, I loved it, but I had recently realized that “resort amenities” and “two-year-old-boys” were mutually exclusive propositions. We clearly had a week of zoos and playgrounds in store for us, not plushing around a posh resort.

“So let’s eat,” I offered, changing the subject to the only thing on my mind. “I’m starving.”

“If you’re too tired to go out, call room service,” my husband offered off-handedly. Shocked, and confused, I turned to stare at him. We never used room service. For 18 years, on every vacation we’d ever taken, my job (aside from planning, packing, plotting, and post-trip bill paying) was hunting the eatery for our next meal. Somehow the process had always appealed to my primitive hunter/gatherer urges, sort of my yang unleashed. And now he wanted me to call room service? Where’s the challenge in that?

“Fine,” I finally replied, a bit disgusted by the whole idea, but too tired to deal with a fussy baby in public. “Room service it is.”

After perusing the menu, we both settled on the pan-seared horseradish encrusted bright water salmon served over a bed of sweet potato leek cakes with caramelized shallot vinaigrette. He called in our order like an old hand, then headed to the shower to freshen up.

In the mean time, I wiped down Benn with a warm washcloth, wrestled him into his pajamas, and then slipped myself into something “more comfortable.” (Yes, I was wearing flannel pajamas…it was Canada, after all.) By the time Stephen stepped from the bathroom, all squeaky clean and wrapped in a showy Turkish robe with the hotel monogram on the front pocket, I was propped up on a large pile of pillows in the middle of the king-size bed, the covers pulled up to my chin, with a Pay-Per-View all picked out. With the tap, tap, tap on the door, I knew food was at hand. But little did I know something life changing was afoot.

The waiter rolled the cloth-covered cart in front of the window and pulled open the drapes a bit more so we could view the city as we enjoyed our dinner. I could hardly wait as he popped the cork on the wine, and offered Stephen the first sip. It was time to eat.

I drank wine from my water glass, used by salad fork for my entree, and spooned in the last scraps from my plate, all without a single sideways glance of disapproval from anyone. Licking the tips of my fingers for a lingering remnant of flavor, I felt like the Queen Mother at a medieval feast.

Completely full, I set my eyes on dessert…a ginger-studded puff pastry filled with crème brûlée, topped with fresh raspberries and a mango coulis. As I smacked my way through the final course, it occurred to me I had been missing out on one of the greatest innovations of the last century — room service. WOW!

Copyright © 2017 Patra Taylor

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