What To Order At The WhatNext Virtual Cafe?

by Jane Ashley

Some of you might remember Greg, our patient leader, posting what he was going to eat as his last meal before his laryngectomy. His wife asked him what he wanted as his “Last Meal.” Greg received some great menu ideas.

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So we fast forward to two months later, and eating out at restaurants is no longer an option. Depending on where you live, it’s either mandatory or optional to “shelter-in-place.” Our already stressful life as a cancer patient in active treatment or as a cancer survivor is more stressful now as the world faces the coronavirus pandemic.

But one day, life will return to “normal.” And we’ll get to be social again and go out to eat together.

But in the meantime, let’s decide what to order at the WhatNext Virtual Café. We can’t go out; many of us are under order to stay-in-place while most of the rest of us are voluntarily staying-in-place. We, at WhatNext, are a close community — although separated by distance, we are drawn together in our cancer diagnosis. Together, we’ll emotionally support each other throughout this, and we’ll try to destress a bit with fantasies of what our “next meal out” will be when this pandemic is over.

What’s your “Next Meal Out” going to be?

Here are some “Next Meal Out menu items garnered from previous posts.

Steak, baked potato, salad, and pie
Rare Prime rib, roasted garlic red potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, and cherry pie
Manhattan clam chowder and seafood paella with chunks of lobster, shrimp, and crab served with roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted mushrooms, and mashed potatoes
Tiramisu AND pannacotta, a glass of wine and chocolates
Pastrami & Baby Swiss cheese sandwich, no mustard with lemon gelato, & a glass of costly champagne
Steak and cheese sub, French fries and ice cream sundae
Pizza

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Steak, baked potato with butter and sour cream, a Caesar salad, and Key Lime pie
Barbequed ribs
Seafood (lobster, crab, scallops, shrimp) and peach pie
Chinese food
Fried shrimp, stuffed baked potato, and 14-layer chocolate cake
Lasagna and French bread
T-bone steak w/ mushrooms
Sloppy Joes
Bourbon-glazed salmon
Clam chowder

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A big tray of Maryland style blue crabs
Shrimp & grits
Grilled lamb chops, au gratin potatoes, and grilled asparagus
Grilled filet at home
Pulled pork barbecue
Pan-fried shrimp dumplings with Godiva cheesecake and a diet coke with vanilla vodka
Steak fajitas and a frozen margarita with lots of salt
Lobster mac & cheese
Veal Parmesan
Grilled steelhead trout

Did you notice that not one person mentioned chicken? At our house, we eat chicken to lower our consumption of red meat. It looks like our WhatNext community won’t be eating chicken for their first “Next Meal Out.”

Did you save room for dessert?

You bet we did. Our “Next Meal Out” is celebratory. It will mean that the coronavirus pandemic is over, and the world can begin to recover and get back to normal.

Eat the cake! Top your apple pie with ice cream!

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14-layer chocolate cake
Coconut custard pie
Hot fudge sundae
Ice cream, especially chocolate or coffee
Black Forest cake
Warm brownies with ice cream
Cheesecake

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Pound cake with fresh peaches and real whipped cream
Pineapple upside-down cake
Cherry cobbler with ice cream
Key lime pie
Banana pudding

Black Forest Layer Cake

Red velvet cake
Tiramisu layer cake
Carrot cake
Crème Brule
Strawberry shortcake

What will you order from the WhatNext Virtual Sidewalk Café?

We love our casual dining too. We love that “hole-in-the-wall” BBQ joint out in the middle of nowhere. We have been going to that Friday night fish fry for the last 15 years. And there’s our favorite Mexican food truck.

Fried catfish po-boys
Fish tacos
Cheeseburger all the way with a side of onion rings
Chicken fingers with honey mustard dipping sauce
Burritos, enchiladas, tostadas — anything Mexican, including chips and salsa
Fried chicken sandwiches
Sub sandwiches
Philly steak and cheese
Meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Pot roast
Hot dogs, with or without sauerkraut
Breakfast all-day

Each of us has that favorite place we love to go for a casual bite. My husband and I love to dine outside beside a dock or harbor — ordering two different entrees and sharing. One day, we’ll all be able to do those delightful things again. But, for now, WhatNext dining options are all that we have.

So WhatNext?

It is a stressful time for us. But somehow we’ll get through our treatment and this pandemic. But a little dash of dreaming about our “Next Meal Out” might be a good stress reliever for all of us. What else would you like to see on the WhatNext Café menu?

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