Duck à l’orange

Clearly, this photo is not one of duck à l’orange. It’s a photo of the salad I made after eating duck à l’orange at Christwood.

Christwood is an upscale retirement community in Covington, La. I met a friend there for lunch on Tuesday. We had been eating at the Fat Spoon Café every two weeks and were getting tired of its noisy crowd. We looked for a quieter restaurant with a soup, salad, sandwich menu.

Christwood popped into my head as a solution. It has a community center with a covered pool, weight room, beauty salon, spa, and restaurant. The restaurant is open to the public and is calmer than the Fat Spoon.

The restaurant has a daily special, and on Tuesday it was duck à l’orange with succotash. I had never eaten duck à l’orange, so I ordered it. My friend ordered a Forever Fit salad: a mixture of romaine lettuce, avocado deviled egg, cherry tomatoes, and grilled shrimp.

My duck arrived first. A loaf of compressed meat covered with orange glaze sat on a token bed of rice next to a ramekin of red and yellow succotash. The duck meat was red like steak but soft like paste when I sliced it. I don’t remember the taste, only the disturbing texture.

My friend’s salad arrived. Its shiny red tomatoes made the the green lettuce “pop.” Its berry balsamic vinaigarette dressing enticed me. I coveted the deviled egg and the peeled, grilled shrimp with the tails left on for effect.

I looked at my duck and back at the salad. I felt cheated and sorry for myself, like a child who didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas. I collected myself and ate the duck.

When I came home, I made a salad as similar to my friend’s as possible. I had no shrimp to top it with, but that was okay. I had eaten my fill of aquatic protein.

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