F is for Foodles
Foodles Cafe and Restaurant, Kerner Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94901, May 14th 2004 with F
When I first came to work in San Rafael nearly 3 and a half years ago it quickly became apparent that Foodles was a popular and convenient place to eat lunch. However, being a bit of a food snob and after taking offence at the ugly plastic orange Foodles sign adorning the dreary pebbledashed concrete frontage, I determined it would be a locale I would purposely never visit. My resolve faltered a few months into my employment when my friend J from the old country persuaded me to try it out. He spoke with such fondness of the tuna melt, that despite my disdain for tinned tuna, I felt compelled to try one. Ugh, it was disgusting, I never went back again. That was until recently, when F and I, trying to conserve a few pennies, decided we would have to make Foodles more of a regular stop on our lunchtime forage for food.
The first thing to hit you when you enter Foodles, are lots of little grease particles suspended in a smokey film that can hardly be described as air. Make sure you are not wearing your best Dry Clean Only outfit because after less than 5 minutes any delicate perfumes you applied a few hours earlier in your boudoir will quickly be reduced to a stench of grease and fat.
I always make a beeline straight for the salad bar where I kid myself I am going to eat the most healthy meal imaginable. As it is serve yourself, you can indeed make all the right choices. However, as happened today, there are several less holy temptations on offer with which to dress up your pile of spinach leaves and grated carrots. Irresistible pasta salad with ham drowning in a heavy mayonnaise sauce, little deep fried chicken nuggets, boiled eggs halved to flaunt their solid golden yolks and glassy noodles in a sweet and seductive sesame dressing. A little of each cant hurt that much I thought to myself as I crowned my pile of edibles with a large flat square of tofu topped with a tart chilli sauce.
F usually goes for a salad too (a startlingly different selection from mine, always) but today he had an egg salad sandwich, a bag of crisps and a box of marlboro reds. The girl behind the cash register is always pleased to see F because she likes to practice her French on him. Her 'Bonjour, comment ca va?' is almost perfect now. We dive out of the cafe as quickly as possible and eat on one of the little tables outside in order to catch the breeze and hopefully blow away some of Foodle's unique scent from the rest of our day. F is for Foodles