Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Red Lobstah

Everyone loves to complain about chain restaurants. Maybe it's trendy to say you hate Olive Garden ... or it's cool to make fun of Cheddars.

But here's the thing ... when you go to a chain restaurant, you know what you're getting. It's true that, for the most part, Applebees equals Bennigans equals TGI Fridays. But that's not always a bad thing.

Let's take New Year's Eve for instance. (my ex-husband) and I had planned to go to Red Lobster for dinner. It's kind of a tradition ... and we were both looking forward to it. As unbelievable as it sounds, at 4:15 in the afternoon, there was almost a 90 minute wait for a table. Even if I'd been willing to wait, it would've been exhausting to stand that long only three weeks out from the surgery.

So, we decided to try something new ... and drove over to Copper River on Jefferson. Oh ... my ... god. It was the worst meal I've ever had ... and that's really saying something cause I've had some pretty craptastic meals over the years.

I don't even know where to begin. First, Copper River doesn't know what it wants to be. Is it a family buffet? Is it a high-end seafood restaurant? Who knows? But with the prices they're charging, they better decide quick.

I'd heard on the radio that they'd totally re-designed the old Maverick ... and that's the biggest disappointment. They haven't. They have the same small buffet setup as before ... so there's not a lot of selection.

Have you ever been to Phillips Seafood out East in D.C.? That's what I was expecting ... and I'll admit that my expectations were probably set too high. But common ... an all-seafood buffet? Wouldn't you expect fried shrimp? It's Illinois ... hell, it's Springfield. So maybe some catfish? How about a crab cake ... or scallops?

And soda? If you order a Pepsi you get a Pepsi ... a 20 oz. Pepsi to be specific. You know the plastic bottles you buy at Quik N Ez? Oh yeah ... they hand you a glass with ice and a bottle of soda. Here's the thing ... they just opened, so maybe their CO2 tanks weren't installed yet ... but why not pour it in my glass in the back? I'd never know!

Enough ... I could go on all night. It was just a bad experience all the way around. And, (my ex-husband) and I decided it was inevitable ... a crappy ending to a crappy year.

But alls well that ends well ... we treated ourselves to Red Lobster today ... and it was heaven on Earth. If I ever had to choose a "last meal" ... Red Lobster's Ultimate Fondue would be the only thing to pass my lips.

So screw the epicureans of the world. We tried a local restaurant ... and it blew donkey. The world can make fun of me ... but from now on, I'm sticking to the cookie-cutter restaurants I've come to love.

Victoria's Secret
Well their stuff's real nice
But I can buy the same damn thing
On a Wal-Mart shelf half price
And still look sexy, just as sexy
As those models on TV
I don't need no designer tag
To make my man want me
Well, you might think I'm trashy
A little too hardcore
But in my neck of the woods
I'm just the girl next door

Gretchen Wilson - Redneck Woman