If you cringe when you hear the word SPAM, you're probably like I was 6 years ago. It was Erik Kokkonen who changed it all. You've never really had SPAM unless you've tried it Hawaiian-style - lightly coated in sugar and pan-fried. Put it with an egg and throw it over rice, and you've got yourself a sumptious meal.
So that's what we had for a late supper while we were staying at a beach house in Puerto Rico. It was delicious, but I made way too much to finish in one evening. When we were cleaning the house on the day that we were to check into the Ritz-Carlton in San Juan for my work conference, I decided to make that meal into a new one - SPAM fried rice. I threw in some leftover mofongo as well. If you know me, I will to go to all lengths to not waste food and to save money. We were planning to heat it up in the microwave at the hotel and have it for lunch.
When we arrived at the Ritz, however, we found that there was no microwave in our room. I called the front desk to ask them if there was one that we could use to heat up our food. She told me that she'd send someone right over. Shortly after, there was a knock at our door, and the Gentleman (as they call them) asked how long we'd like our food to be heated for. He then said that he'd plate it for us - he told us he wouldn't bring it back in the styrofoam container it was in. I asked him if he could bring us a fork, too.
Well, what we got was much more than our heated leftover lunch and a fork. He came in with a table on wheels covered with a white tablecloth, a setting for two, ice water, rolls & butterballs, our SPAM fried rice on a platter covered with a silver lid, and a carnation. Wow. Now that's how you eat leftovers. Fork, schmork. I'm just glad I didn't ask for a plastic fork, which is what I was planning on doing. I'm also glad we didn't have a half-eaten hamburger and three fries for our leftovers.
The best part was that, when the lady at the front desk called back about half an hour later to make sure that someone had indeed come, she told me that there was no charge for the service. "No, not at all," she assured me. I think you can tell that we're not at all used to this kind of service. Nor should we get used to it...