I’m still having technical issues here, but won’t go into it today. I’ll spare you. But I think you should know that I’ve officially reached the hand-thru-the-hair stage. That threshold was achieved this morning, around 2:20 am.
I’m about to lose it, man. And when I say it, I mean shit.
Anyway, the younger Secret has a birthday this week. He’s turning 11, and on Saturday Toney told him he could pick a restaurant and we’d go there for dinner that night.
He said he wanted to go to Texas Roadhouse, which sounded good to me. It beats Ret Lopster, which is the way he usually goes with it. Both boys enjoy the novelty of using tools to dismantle creatures from the ocean floor, but I’m not much for the crustaceans. Never have been.
So, we went to the restaurant around 5:30 on Saturday, and it was complete pandemonium. The parking lot was full of cars, and people were standing outside with vibra-boxes in their hands. Grrr… I thought the economy was in a shambles?
I wedged my heft through the crowd inside the front door, and one of the three(!) hostesses told me it would be at least a 35 minute wait. I told her to give me one of them boxes, dammit, and we’d be standing outside. Incredible. At one point I think I had ugly strangers pressed against me on all four sides of my body. And I can’t have that.
Of course, they were playing shitkicker music in that place. You know, because the word “Texas” appears in their name. But Pantera was from Texas, as were the Toadies and the Butthole Surfers. I would’ve much preferred some Butthole Surfers, if you want to know the truth.
And to make matters worse, their CD player kept skipping. The volume was blasting, and the songs kept getting stuck: “I think my son is a faaaaaag, because he drives a Toyota, ota, ota, ota, ota…” And they’d let it go for a long, long time before they’d correct the problem. Then it would happen again.
Toney stayed inside the holding pen, but it was too claustrophobic for me. It was a little cold outside, but the Secrets and I waited on the sidewalk and looked for “celebrities.”
Do you ever do this? We like to spot movie stars and famous musicians, amongst the general public. On Saturday night we saw “Jerry Seinfeld,” and “George Lucas.” They were also standing outside, with vibra-boxes.
Finally, we were summoned — almost exactly an hour after I’d been told it would be 35 minutes. And some chick with a BB stuck to the side of her nose led us to a table inside the bar area.
And the noise level in that place was amazing; I’ve been to Major League baseball games that were quieter. It was just a sustained din, making it nearly impossible to have a conversation.
Our waiter spoke in a voice completely devoid of inflection, and I had trouble understanding him inside that maelstrom of high-volume. At one point he asked what I wanted on my baked potato, and I answered, “Yes.”
But once we were finally seated, and had successfully conveyed our orders to the robo-waiter, everything went from irritating and unbelievable, to fantastic. I got a beer the size of an umbrella stand (Yuengling Lager), and the food was nothing short of excellent.
What’s your opinion of Texas Roadhouse? Have you been to one? I’m no expert, that was only my third or fourth visit, but I think it’s better than it has a right to be. You know, for big-ass mega-chains.
And I’m sure we’ve been through this multiple times, but in the comments please tell us your favorite chain restaurants. Everybody likes to trash ’em, but what are some good ones, in your opinion? And I’m talking about national, or well-known regional chains — not Jim’s World of Curved Sausage in Montana, or whatever.
I’ve been ordered to work thirty minutes early, so I’m going to have to cut this one short. Here’s an especially funny Mockable from Metten, to take up the slack.
And I’ll see you guys tomorrow.
Five Guys for burgers
Cracker Barrel for breakfast
McDonalds for the best Coke
Outback for steak
Jersey Mike’s for subs
Diary Queen for ice cream
Steak and Shake for the best fries
Cheesecake Factory for dessert
Celebrity sighting story and I’m not making this up.
Hanging out at the main bar at the Golden Nuggett with my wife and some friends of her’s that came to town to visit. I’d heard enough about her and Joe (nice guy) and the old days on the road when he was her drummer…so I took a stroll around the bar to see what folks were up to at 3am in downtown Vegas. I wore newer jeans, a black mock turtle neck shirt and my grey micro-suade sport coat. I keep a close cropped greyish beard and a modest hair cut. Raggidey just enough. And I wear glasses with not much of a frame. So I’m walking down the bar, holding my Vodka and Cranberry at the perfect level of elagance. I walked past two very pretty girls sitting there and the one reached out and grabbed my arm and pull me toward her, holding my arm tight next to her. “My God…you look just like Eric Clapton. (I’ve been told that before but I did not want to break the mood). “I love Eric Clapton”, she gushed. I looked for any signs of husbands or boyfriends and decided the waters were safe. The other girl started stroking my sport coat and began to tell me how handsmoe and sexy Eric Clapton is. I looked at the bar to spot any signs as to how liquored up these two were. I saw they each had a Kaluah and cream. I submitted to their pawing and suggestive conversation, soaking it up for all it was worth. Which turned out to be another Vodka Cranberry. Things had gone on long enough when I decided it was time to play my hand. Wife at the bar with friends and me down here with two Eric Clapton groupies. My standup comedian side kicked in. I don’t remember the exact thing I said but it had something to with all of us going up to my room and enjoying a bath together and getting into some hot oil rubs. I guess they didn’t like Eric Clapton as much as they said. And it was a good thing the head of security that night was a good friend of mine. A half assed sax player I woked with twenty years ago. He laughed his ass off.
Sorry…that was kinda long. Couldn’t stop and I’ve never told that story to anyone except my wife and her friends.
On a side note, I am very pleased to announce that shitmydadsays has been picked up for television! But I am extremely dismayed that CBS is the network that picked it up, meaning either Ray Romano or Jerry Seinfeld will be sure to fuck it all up. Plus, how the hell could the dad get away with saying this on CBS?!:
“Remember this: you’re just a lucky fucking guy. If people start telling you your dick looks bigger, remember that it’s not.”
I say put it on HBO or Showtime & you’ve got yourself a viewer!
We pretty much have a policy, support local restaurants over chains when ever possible and that all of those beeper box restaurants get patronized off hours.
A couple years back hubby got a gift card to Texas Roadhouse for X-mas so we went there for a late lunch. The beers are more than ample and if you don’t have a crowd its bearable. they serve peanuts and meat so that keeps the “translucent types” away.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill
Dick’s Last Resort
Any Buffet restaurant
Olive Garden (thanks anyway I’ll be a stranger)
Alice in WV says
I agree, Melissa, that there’s no way CBS can do justice for shitmydadsays. why bother?
I found out last week that a Five Guys is going in within a 1/2mile from my day job! woot! woot! I just hope they hurry the hell UP!
You actually go out to eat on the first of the month? Brave!
Never Ever go out to eat the first weekend of the month.
Never go to Walmart the first week of the month.
I think I wrote this up before on the surf report – the ex and I used to play “celebrity relative” to pass the time at airports, etc.
You start by identifying your “celebrity”, they you give the name and a clue based on how close the resemblance is. So, Jay Leno’s aunt, or Robert DeNiro’s cousin, are good clues. The other person has to find the “celebrity relative”. I have passed hours in public places, often doubled over in laughter, with this game.
I like IHOP and Waffle House for breakfast at 2 pm on a Sunday. Both places make hangovers instantly disappear.
And Outback is excellent – the rack of lamb there is a full rack of NZ lamb, and they often have a nice, relatively bottle of red to go with it. My only beef (lamb?) with them is that sometimes they screw up the cooking. Still, its delicious, something with the herbs they use, I guess.
Been to Texas Roadhouse once while on the road, and it was okay. I had a decent burger but it wasn’t anything that would make me seek it out again.
Several people have told me that on their own personal quests for the perfect burger (in the US at least), the Whattaburger in Russellville Arkansas (off of I-40) is the outright winner. Can anyone here confirm that one? Or another Whattaburger?
I like Ruth’s Chris when I’m in the mood to be pampered. It’s worth it and the wine list is excellent. One of my favorite meals of all time was at a Ruth’s Chris in Raleigh NC, where myself and four other guys got to sit in the “smoking room” for dessert and had big fat cigars lit up for us. I think the tab on that meal was more than $500 ten years ago, but I remember every bite of steak, sip of wine, and and puff of my Macanudo. It was a real sausagefest.
I’ve been to Olive Garden exactly once now, and it was actually pretty good. The portion sizes are out of control, though – that entree was three times as big as it needed to be. I like Ruth’s Chris, but haven’t been to one in 3 or 4 years. The Lopster in my town is mediocre at best.
Seems like I gravitate more to the regional chains like Red Hot and Blue (outstanding BBQ, way better than Famous Dave’s), or Hard Times Cafe (good chili and burgers), or Anita’s (cheap and cheerful Tex-Mex).
And of course Five Guys is always a winner. I guess they used to be local, but have become national.
On xmms right now: “Electric Worry” -Clutch
O’Charleys is great for chicken or ribs. Ribs especially. They don’t drown them in sauce so you can actually taste the meat.
Red Robin for kick-ass burgers.
Old Spaghetti Factory for pasta. I could eat their spinach tortellini every day. The closest one is 2 hours away which makes me very sad but my ass very grateful.
I hate chains, for the most part. Denny’s is okay for breakfast. I know this may sound sacrigious, but I tried 5 Guys a couple times, and it wasn’t as great as I expected.
Best burger in the world used to be on the menu at the Blenerhasset Hotel in P’burg on the menu at lunch time. Absolutely best Italian food is at Bella Via in Triadelphia, WV.
For a steak, St. Elmo’s in Indianapolis can’t be beat, although this little outta the way place called “Charlie’s Down Under” in Defiance, OH cooks up a superb steak at a most reasonable price.
West Coast…can’t beat Dick’s Drive In or Burgermaster for burgers. Both are mini chains (like 3 places). “Jimmie’s on First” at the Silver Cloud Hotel across from Safeco Field in Seattle does everything good…and at a far more reasonable price than one would expect from their location.
Oh…and for ribs? There was this place called “Jilly’s” in Atlanta that I went to back in the 1980’s. If it’s still there, it is a must.
@RNK…Red Robin used to have the most kick ass nachos! Unfortunately, the changed from putting taco meat on top to topping them with canned chili.
Last chain I remember going to was Chili’s or On the Border. Both were ok.
I hit Taco Bell alot but that’s not what we are talking about, is it?
In cincy I like Skyline and La Rosa’s, there’s also a small mexican chain (2 stores, 3 stores) call Rio Grande which is the best thing ever.
In OKC I don’t go to too many chains. Fast food or local bar and grills. Henry Hudsons has like 11 locations so there’s a chain I frequent.
When I was in Cincy last weekend I had a mockable situation (Todays). Afterwards I wanted to frame it, or at least get my picture taken with it like it was a fish I just caught.
Joey Jo Jo says
Never heard of Texas Roadhouse. I’ve always liked Red Lobster and Ruby Tuesday’s.
Joey Jo Jo says
Jeez, I forgot about IHOP! Their Chicken Fried steak and eggs breakfast is huge and awesome!
@Joey Jo Jo….damn your soul to hell! I’m in Nome Alaska at 12:38 AM, 1900 miles from the nearest IHOP…and I am really hungry!!!!
Melissa, et. al.,
Good heads up, but just to be clear, shitmydadsays hasn’t been “picked up” yet, by CBS or anybody else. The dicks who produced “Will and Grace”, one of the lamest waste of 22 minutes produced in our 4.5 billion years of evolution, have a go-ahead to complete a script, and, given the “success” of W&G will probably get funded by a production company (probably not the network) to tape a pilot.
CBS Standards and Practices (S&P) is soiling their clothing over this one. This is not the same S&P organization the Smothers Brothers had to take shit from daily forty years ago. It’s both better and worse, but still entirely disconnected from the way real people behave and talk.
So, if a script is written, and a pilot gets funded, and if the pilot gets taped, and CBS wants to pick it up, and S&P says they can work successfully with the production company, one of two things happens next:
1) The producers and the production company produce an edgy 22 minutes a week about an economy in which a grown man is forced to live with his father and finds the generation after “the greatest generation” actually has a sense of perspective and a sense of humor or,
2) The dicks produce a weekly piece of shit indistinguishable from Will and Grace, except the gay guy is a straight guy in his 70s and the woman is a guy pushing 30.
Of course, I don’t know which it would be, but I have a strong fucking hunch.
I agree with you, Melissa, that HBO would be the best fit here. Larry Sanders still makes me laugh really hard even though it’s been off the air these eleven years. And it is exactly the profanity and obscenity that take it from funny to gut-busting.
Hooray for Garry Shandling, Rip Torn. and Jeffrey Tambor.
Fuck Will. Fuck Grace.
Senor Kaboom says
I don’t go anywhere called “Roadhouse”. Reminds me too much of that horrible film. Also, don’t go anywhere that plays countree music. What sort of crowd do you think goes to such places? ugh
If you’re talking about the crappy 1989 remake of “Roadhouse” with Patrick Swayze and Kelly Lynch, I couldn’t agree with you more. It lacked charm and, come to think about it, a discernible script.
However, if you’re refering to the 1948 film noir classic with Ida Lupino, Cornel Wilde, and Richard Widmark, I have to strongly disagree. Lupino is sultry, sexy, and seductive, and Widmark plays a great demented villain. The writing, acting, directing and score are all top notch. Please watch again and reconsider.
Biff Spiffy says
Tried Texas Roadhouses in WV and NC, pretty consistently happy with ’em – but they’re not a destination.
Never had a bad meal at Chili’s.
Outback: Overpriced, not that good, visible cockaroaches.
Applebees: Fiesta Lime Chicken and Orange Bowl Chicken are the only things I’ll order anymore, always good (unlike other things I’ve tried)
We don’t eat out much anymore, and if we do it’s looking for a local place we’ve never tried.
Casey J says
I miss the days of eating out. I have 3 boys, age 5 and under so I don’t leave much except to buy diapers. I have some lists for ya!! I actually hate, hate Applebees. ugh gag. yuck!! also not a fan of Logans Roadhouse, as I did work there and have the worst boss in the history of fucking ever.
I miss Ga and wish I still live within walking distance(next to every gas station and 4 way stop) of a Waffle House. Loves Noodles and Co..but not close to me. Carrabas(also nowhere near me). I have an unnatural lust for Fudruckers. My poor heart. 🙁
Casey J says
I forgot one!! Does anyone remember Schlotskys Deli?? do they still have those?? loved the Pastrami reuben and it served beer…a sandwich with an ice cold corona. Heaven. Also..this was in Atlanta so who knows where they are now.
I am trying to lose a little weight and this isn’t helping. how long does it take to get from Chicago to Atlanta?? ha!!
casey j, not to f up your diet. but it looks like there are about a dozen shlotsky’s in the burbs. not sure wherein the chicago land area you are. google maps rocks.
I haven’t had time to read the comments, so I don’t know if you guys took this another direction or what. I’ll stick with the chain question.
My favorite chains are (in no particular order):
There’s probably more but I have to tear ass. Have a great Wednesday.
Everything at the Texas Roadhouse is caked in salt. OK for a baked potato, no bueno for a steak. I guess they have extra high margins on beer.
Texas Roadhouse started in a stripmall in Clarksville Indiana that pretty much xplains everything!! I guess Indiana roadhouse didn’t quite cut it! Har! Har!
(@tyrosine it seems we have one in Ancaster in the former outback!!)
Fat Secretary says
I am with Melissa and Girlgoyle, I have some serious hate for Olive Garden, have never once had a decent meal there, fortunately the husband shares the hate.
Macaroni Grill has never disappointed, but Cantina Laredo has got to one of the best. Pappadeaux is a fine establishment, also.
Rat Bastard says
Like a lot of you here, I don’t eat at chain restaurants either; mostly go local if I’m actually going to eat something substantial. The last chain I was in (which probably doesn’t count because it is fast food) was Baja Fresh when I was on vacation in California several years back. Driving through the desert with a cooler full of beer, we stopped there and got some tacos. Wasn’t bad from what I remember, except it was crowded as hell.
I forgot to add El Torito for mexican food, which someone else also mentioned. As far as chains go they are consistently good.
There is one in Monterey CA that looks out over the bay – this one brings back good memories, even though a bird shit on me outside in the parking lot on my way in.
cross lanes curmudgeon says
Shiny Rod says
pagan – Yeah, stick Texas in front of it and everybody wants it. Hmmm! Texas Rod. Nope, that doesn’t work for me and my dad is from Texas. They called him Moose, go figure. How many moose have you seen in Texas?
Really? You think Freddie’s hot enough for a countdown clock?
Sorry….. I couldn’t resist. I’ll be sitting in the creepy old guy section, watching iCarly. Later..
Only been to Texas Roadhouse once and it was absolutely fan-f’n-tastic! Haven’t been back because of the crowd, though.
Longhorn Steakhouse is a regular for us. Very good and consistent.
Chuck in Belpre says
Cold Stone Creamery.
WB in OH says
Hell, I forgot about Bob Evans. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal or experience there. Maybe a little bit of a wait on a Sunday morning, other n that, MMMM biscuits and gravy.
Senor Kaboom says
JTB– yes, I meant the 1989 version. I did not know that was a remake, and I will check out the original. Change to South Park voice: “I learned something today!”