Subtitle: Why we ate Italian Wednesday night.
The Tip Top Cafe is a San Antonio landmark and has been in business since 1938. I ate there only occasionally since their original location isn’t near me. I think the last time I ate there was in 2000 or 2001. (It was in that pre-chronic migraine phase of my life. In the days when MSG had no impact on me, at least not that I was aware of.) Last April, they opened a second location that is not too far from where we live. Finally, Wednesday night, we decided to give it a try.
After ordering iced tea (unsweetened), I began looking at the menu. I see that most dishes come with a salad. This always puts me on alert because I know that salad dressings are one of those foods that frequently contains MSG. I usually ask if they make their dressing in house and if they say yes then I know I’m okay, most likely.
For some reason, my ‘spidey senses’ were on high alert. I asked if they made their salad dressings in house. Our waitress said yes but somehow that wasn’t good enough for me. So I explained that I have to avoid MSG because it triggers migraines. She suggested I talk with the manager.
I explained to the manager what I needed to know. She informed me that all of their foods contain MSG. They boil everything in water with MSG in it. Yikes, so there’s nothing here that I can safely eat.
I politely told her that we would simply pay for our tea and then leave. She understood and said we didn’t need to pay for the tea. We left a dollar on the table for our waitress and left.
So now you know why that chicken fried steak from Tip Top tastes so good. It’s all that MSG they put in it.
We went down the street to an Italian restaurant. It was sad because I remember Tip Top’s food being so good. But I am thankful for those ’spidey senses’ that told me to ask a few more questions!
Speaking of MSG, I found something interesting while reading Sally Fallon Morrel’s book Nourishing Broth. Before MSG’s flavor-enhancing properties were discovered, many of our foods were made with bone broth or stock. Bone broth is made by simmering bones along with veggies and seasonings. The result is a broth that is rich, flavorful, and very nutritious. With the entry of MSG onto the food scene, food preparation could be done without bone broth by using MSG in its place. It drastically changed the food industry. MSG is cheap and easily obtainable and so the use of bone broth went by the wayside. One day, I would like to do a study to see if the rise in the per capita incidence of osteoarthritis correlates with the introduction of MSG.
One more factoid from Nourishing Broth: MSG has been used in laboratory animals to induce obesity! I guess it’s good that us humans aren’t laboratory animals, right?
By the way, in case you’re wondering what else I’ve been up to: I have resurrected by jewelry-making skills and started a new line of jewelry at Barbara’s Hearts. Have a look when you have a minute.