After last night's show, a bunch of us, as we are often wont to do, went out for a bit to eat or tasty beverage.
I decided to try the Chicken Pita wrap, which sounded generally good. There was a reference to "tabulae" in the description, but everything else sounded delicious: chicken, tzatziki, feta cheese... Yum. I must admit that I felt like a bit of a loser for not knowing exactly what "tabulae" was. Then I realized that those around me didn't seem to know either.
So I asked the waitress about it and she assured me that everyone likes it or, in her own words, "doesn't even notice that it's there". So I went ahead and decided to take a risk on it. Again, she didn't seem to be able to give me a clear description of it, just that everyone seems to like it or doesn't realize it's there.
So my wrap arrived, and it was filled with chicken, tzatziki, feta cheese ... and onions and tomatoes. I wasn't thrilled, truth be told, but figured that's what I get for trusting in the ambiguous nature of this mysterious "tabulae".
Then I took one more bite.
Or tried to.
I chomped down on something in my sandwich. Something hard. Something wooden.
So I pulled it out.
What had I had almost inadvertantly consumed was a four-inch length of bamboo skewer. FOUR-INCHES of skewer which was apparently overlooked. How does one not notice a four-inch piece of wood in a sandwich?
When the lovely waitress returned (and she was lovely, to be sure), I asked, "What exactly is in tabulae?" which she responded, "It's chopped parsley and stuff."
"Are you sure it doesn't mean onions, tomato, and WOOD?"
Now there are a few things which must be addressed regarding this whole adventure.
1. Waitresses are funny.
Since that what they call "tabulae" (see below) is pretty much onions, tomato, and a pinch of parsley, calling it "chopped parsley and stuff" and completely glossing over the tomato and onion content, is sort of like saying, "I had a lovely rosemary dish last night" when you really mean the chicken.
2. Wood in a sandwich gets less reaction than you'd think.
The waitress returned from the kitchen following my near-fatal bite of the wrap, and reported back that the bamboo skewer is just from the way they cook it. At least it wasn't random. REALLY? The chicken skewer was in my food because the chicken was on it? Thank you for that amazing revelation! I had no idea! Again, she was quite lovely, I just found it a curious report to be given. Also to her credit, she did not charge me for the salad and 1/3 of a wrap I'd eaten following the traumatic experience of unexpected tomato, onion, and tree product.
3. "Tabulae" does not exist.
Well, it does, in that it's Latin for "tablet" but that's about it. Having gone online to investigate further, I've discovered that they really mean "tabbouleh", "tabouleh", or maybe even "tabouli". Yes, there are three variant spellings, none of which are "tabulae". I had been intrigued by the word in the first place, since I desperately wanted to pronounce it in the Latin way, but knew that "tabouli" existed (despite not knowing exactly what it was) and figured that's what they'd meant, which they did. Furthermore, having now looked at what it really is, it's a bit of a misnomer for them to be calling what they put in that sandwich "tabouli", no matter the spelling.
On the upside, chick peas made no appearance in my meal, for a change. Whew!