Do We Crave Foods or Memories?

bobtailI don’t crave ice cream. Let’s start there.

Last Saturday, the wifey and I thought we’d grab a quick glass of wine and some snacks at a newly opened bar by our house.

I was in the mood for a big red wine. Luckily, this intimate bar focuses on wine, charcuterie, cheese, and has a smattering of carefully selected craft beer and a couple signature cocktails.

Apparently, everyone else wanted to do the same thing, at the same bar, at the same time. It was going to be at least a 30-minute wait to get a seat at the bar or a table.

Instead of waiting, we decided to go to another bar that had no wait, where we could get some dinner. There was a good chance we would return to our original spot afterwards for a late-night glass of wine.

At the pub, I put down some mediocre fish and chips with a cab/shiraz blend. Not the greatest pairing, but damnit I wanted some red wine.

Like many places, this Chicago pub had no real personality and could have just as easily been in Pittsburg. It wasn’t bad, but I would honestly forget the place ever existed if I hadn’t written this blog post.

Time for dessert?

I was happy to see Bobtail Ice Cream (a local favorite) included on some of their desserts; however, I wasn’t really in the mood for something sweet, and frankly wanted to have another glass of wine somewhere else.

We walked back to the original bar, only to find it busier. Grasping for patience I thought, “so much for the wine idea.”

Plan B: Bobtail Ice Cream’s parlor was just down the street.

While I could care less about ice cream, the wifey LOVES it. Specifically, she loves peppermint stick ice cream; it uses bits of candy cane and is typically only around for the holidays.

The second we entered the parlor, I knew we had made the right choice. Waffle cones and tastiness hit my nose as we walked in and the smells instantly brought me back to my childhood. I got giddy and it wasn’t from the one glass of wine.

I opted for vanilla bean, which some may consider boring. I consider it classic. I would have probably chosen a different flavor if it hadn’t been for their toppings. Hot fudge and marshmallow toppings were what I wanted… and it was heaven.

Again, do I crave ice cream? No. But do I crave memories? Apparently so.

The ice cream was awesome, even in 25 degree weather. What made it the best culinary experience of my weekend was the experience itself and the feelings it evoked – not just the food.

I think this is why comfort food is so appealing. It’s not the actual food that we crave, it’s the memory of how we felt the first time we ate it, and every time since then.

Lesson learned: Take a break from the local craft beers and blah-blah vintage cabernets and hit up some childhood favorites like Bobtail’s Ice Cream Parlor. At least for a night.

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