The tray of sad room service leftovers, discarded on the psychedelic rug of a hotel corridor. The plate covered by a smeared napkin like the latest CSI MIAMI victim. As unappetizing as these trays of culinary decline might be, I do recall a time (long long ago) when a dare ended with me kneeling next to one of these discarded trays, polishing off the remaining pommes frittes and a half eaten bread roll. Dare accomplished, still not one of my proudest moments and a different story altogether.
Let’s be honest, room service is seldom noteworthy or decent, even in the most upscale of hotels. But there’s something so darn seductive about it. A guilty pleasure per se. You know you should be exploring local eateries, diving into the pulsating city life outside the walls of your establishment. Yet sometimes there’s nothing better than closing the blinds, ordering a BLT and a Coke and treating your meal like a Roman food orgy (minus the feather). Messy hair and barely dressed, draped in starchy sheets while zapping through the hotel’s adult channels. The local news channels I mean.
At home, the idea of eating in bed isn’t even an option for me. I’ve tried and failed numerous times, littering the futon with burned bread crumbs, staining the tempurpedic with coffee and tipping the mimosa over the down duvet. I’ve cut myself off. But when away, it’s time to play…
When ordering room service be courageous and try something exotic! Said no one ever! Keep it simple and carby/starchy and stay away from seafood. It doesn’t travel well and the stench doesn’t exactly improve the overall ambience. Same goes for onions. A good ol’ Club Sandwich has a quick turnover, neutral odor and a steady spot on any room service menu. If you’re craving crunchy now’s not the time to expect extra award-winning shoestring fries. By the time your order makes it to your bedside table it’s most likely soggy and limp like the “Best of Yanni” album.
Altitude drains. That applies to food as well as your body. For that reason, skip the warm order if your abode is on or above the 10th floor. Pretend it’s Everest Base Camp and go for a sensible, cold order because even with dedicated delivery elevators the travel time from the dungeons to the penthouse, your steak won’t arrive warm and juicy.
Frankly, very little speaks for an in-room meal, especially not the bloated $18.50 for a bland BLT. Raiding the mini bar is always an honorable alternative, albeit pricey as well. And often a salted nut mix and a mini Toblerone just won’t cut it. That’s why a different kind of room service is crushing it these days: Food Grub, Seamless, Door Dash or Uber Eats!
- Kirstin Winkler