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Is anything ever as good as you remember it?

Two food disappointments recently. One kind of major. One very minor. But both really hit home. Okay, back story is I'm trying to lose weight so I'm running, lifting weights and trying to watch what I eat. Two weeks ago I was back in my home town/state and had an opportunity to eat pizza at a small hole in the wall joint that everyone knows I LOVE. Obsessively. No one was free to go with me so I went myself. And it was. ...... okay. That made me sad. I realized I've had better pizza than that. :(

Fast forward 2 weeks to today. It may be hormonal or whatever but I suddenly was gripped by the intense need for an ultra crisp, shatter in the mouth onion ring. So I went to Sonic. Which once sold such things. As I'm driving home I pull one out... pop it in my mouth and the first thing through my mind is.... did I just go to Burger King? The breading was completely different. Sweet and not crisp.

Sigh. Do food memories every really stand up to repeat visits? Because if they don't I'm never going back to suck those juicy crab legs in Alabama. I don't want that ruined, too.

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  1. Almost never, an exception being the feta cheese omelet with Greek fries at the Continental on "The Ave" in Seattle. I had it often in the 1970s and it was exactly the same when I went back 25 years later.

    2 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      Why do you think that is? Does quality just deteriorate, or do our minds make them into something more than they were?

      1. re: Firegoat

        Usually, the owners change. Consistency depends on a hands-on owner who has a concept that works and sticks with it. Sometimes good places go under almost overnight when the owners die or otherwise move on. Sometimes it's a slow, painful death. Other times places are spoiled by success, an example being the Red Robin in Seattle.

    2. I just revisited Pizza Joint in Portland, ME, for the first time in 20 years, and it was as good as I remember it. Not your standard NY style pizza, it's thicker with more cheese which I usually wouldn't like as much, but something about it is just awesome and totally takes me back to the Pizza Joint pizzas my parents would order when I was a kid. So, for once, memory was spot-on.

      1. Crab and lobster as I remember it as a child. Also, my first In-n-Out burger after a year long diet.

        1. Oh yeah, Sonic's onion rings are terrible now. I got some last week and they had slightly sweet vanilla taste to them. I hated the breading too. Blech!!!!

          1. The other thing is that if you've been eating healthily, your tastebuds change (figuratively) and fatty/fried foods stop tasting as good. It's really disappointing when you decide to "treat" yourself with something you remember loving, and it doesn't taste good.

            If you have healthy foods you remember liking, you'll probably still like those.