During the Washington days, a friend’s birthday celebration was held at one of the hot downtown restaurants. The group met and gathered around a large, elegant table, where we perused our small, stunning menus and selected our individual sophisticated entrees.

Apple squash soup seemed relatively safe, so I placed my order with a serene smile and was rewarded with a bowl of bland, carrot-hued sludge.

I masked my displeasure and forced as much of it down as I could, attempting to engage in the soft, elegant conversation with my dinner companions as a way to avoid dipping my spoon back into the toxic mess.

About an hour and a half later, one of my roommates and I headed home in bemused silence until one of us said what was on both of our minds.

“I really would have just preferred Chipotle. You?”

Today, I looked over the collection of “Holiday Recipes from New England’s Top Restaurants” hyped on the Boston Globe website. As I attempted to imagine the sensation of actually ordering, let alone consuming fried cod cheeks with baccala salad, one thought came to mind:

I really would just prefer Chipotle.