October 14 2005, 5:52 PM
I went to the Westword Menu Affair at Invesco Field last night. My impression? The food was good, but the layout was way too crowded, and the people were frustrated and totally stupefied. It comes down to the fact that people are lemmings sometimes. It's all too easy to just follow the crowd, or at least that was the case last night. At a menu tasting, multiple restaurants set up little tasting stations and serve samples of two or three of their signature dishes. People wander at their leisure, nibbling to and fro, and socialize along the way. That's how it normally works, anyway. Last night, for some idiotic reason (like, maybe the cramped layout?) the crowds ended up forming lines around the two horseshoe-shaped areas where the majority of the food booths were located. Instead of picking one or two booths to sample, and retreating to a table to eat -- as was certainly the intended method -- there was a massively long and painfully slow line that formed at one end of the room, and went around the entire perimeter of the tasting area. Those of us who at first tried to visit one booth at a time -- the way things usually work -- were met with snippy comments and pushy demands to "get in line." How annoying. I realize that we have all been trained since kindergarten to wait our turn, and I'm happy to do so, but seriously, this was ridiculous. However, we were outnumbered and the line was entrenched, and so we got in the line like good like gradeschool kidlets and waited. And waited. And waited. After 35 minutes, we hit the Enstrom's chocolate booth. Fifteen minutes later we hit the gelato spot right next to it. It sucked. Not only was the line starting at the dessert end of the room -- if it was a buffet line, that is, which it was not -- but it took for freakin' ever. And of course, a third of the way through the stupid line, hubby and I finally grabbed a taster of what turned out to be killer BBQ from M&D's, and a little sample of the fantastic coconut chicken curry from Wild Ginger, and we bailed. We didn't care what else the "buffet" plan had to offer. At that point, we wanted off our feet, we wanted to actually eat something substantial, and we wanted to get the hell out of what should have been a really fun event.