Most Common Denominator: Food

Over the last couple of days the boys at work have given me a bit of the business over my hatred of Ruby Tuesday. Well, one of them was and a few others have joined him. It’s all in good fun.

But it was another post I made that inspires this one. I posted of my addiction to potato chips, and a few of us were having some laughs over that as well. They all often eat bags of chips at lunch and I’m occasionally threatening to steal them. One day the joking continued after lunch, and because the young kid I’m training wasn’t in on the joke I had to briefly explain. We then continued to talk about snack food, and when the subject of shelled peanuts came up the kid went wide-eyed. Turns out they’re his favorite.

I love shelled peanuts. I don’t buy them often, mostly because I possess enough willpower to not purchase them. But when I do it’s usually the huge two (or five!) pound bag. Once I bought a huge bag and sat in front of the TV and ate nearly the whole the whole thing. The only reason I stopped was Trish yelled from another room “you’re not eating the whole bag, are you?”. Truth was it was up until that point that’s exactly what was happening. So I put the rest away for later…like three hours later.

The kid, whose English is pretty good but not perfect, mentioned he loved a restaurant “near Tacoma St” where they bring you a huge bucket of peanuts before you order. I know the place he was talking about, it’s Texas Roadhouse. For the next half hour we talked about Texas Roadhouse. It’s one of my favorite restaurants, and one of his also. From the hot rolls with the cinnamon butter to the chicken and steaks between the two of us we’ve likely ordered everything on the menu.

It dawned on me later that day that food was probably the only thing we have in common. He’s closer to my grand-daughter’s age than mine, so we have essentially nothing in common musically, socially, or pretty much any other “ly” you can think of. But when it came to good food we were both squarely on the same page. And perhaps we’ve found a way to help people settle disputes.

Just share a big bag of shelled peanuts.

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday

I know, not exactly an original title. Last week it was announced that the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday was closing a large number of their underperforming locations. That news didn’t shock me in the least. I’ve been to Ruby Tuesday twice, and each time the same thing happened…

They messed up my order.

It’s not like I wanted anything special. Both times I ordered a cheeseburger straight off the menu. In fact, both burgers had pictures of the item on the menu so it wasn’t like I misunderstood what I was ordering.

The first time I ordered some sort of multi-patty burger that was supposed to have a variety of toppings. What I got looked worse than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. What angered me the most was they insisted that was what I ordered despite it not matching the picture or description of the burger I ordered. They seemed oblivious to the fact someone else in our party ordered the same burger as me and ours didn’t look anything alike.

They did finally agree to take it off the bill when I told them to just throw it away. I guess up to that point they thought I just wanted a free meal by complaining.

The second time my mother took us there after a movie. I was not real happy she chose to go there, but she was paying so she gets to choose. And they messed up my order again. Having learned from the first time I ordered a basic bacon cheeseburger. I pointed to the item so the server would be totally clear what I wanted. I also ordered it “medium well”, which is more than I like but gives a wide margin of error.

It’s came rare and without bacon.

From that point on I’ve refused to set foot in their restaurants. There’s absolutely no excuse to mess up in either of those cases. If you can’t remember to add bacon to a bacon cheeseburger you’ve got issues. I won’t even get into how any person could confuse “rare” and “medium well” or make the wrong thing.

I’m not a complainer at restaurants. You can count the number of times in my life that I’ve complained about food served to me on one hand. I’ve always followed the comical mantra of diners, “order what you want, eat what they serve”, and it usually works itself out.

I was just recently reminded of a time at my favorite diner (Lou Roc’s on West Boylston St) when Trish and I were sitting at the counter joking with the waitress when I ordered a homemade hash and cheddar omelet and was served a meat lovers omelet. I have ordered that lots of time in the past, so I just dug in. I was about halfway through when the waitress suddenly realized she wrote the wrong thing down and she felt horrified. I just laughed and kept eating. To me it was no big deal.

To give me something that isn’t remotely compatible with what I ordered and to have it look like crap when I get it is certainly a situation where a polite “Hey, I think this is wrong” isn’t out of line to say. But to then say I’m the one that made the mistake and then ignore that someone else in my party ordered the same thing I did and our food looks completely different isn’t an issue with a server or cook, that’s an issue with management.

So while I feel badly for the hard working people that will lose their jobs over the closings I can’t help but hope the people that run the chain and who set policy like that manager said he was following also find themselves unemployed.

I like to end my posts with a humorous line, but Ruby Tuesday is such a joke I can’t think of anything funnier than them.

Let The Chips Fall Where They May

I have a confession to make. It isn’t really much of a confession because pretty much everyone who knows me knows what I’m about to say, but they say the first step is admitting you have a problem, and it’s time for me to take that first step…

I’m addicted to potato chips.

Yeah, I know. Of all the things someone could be addicted to potato chips are not exactly high on the list of stuff that causes eminent danger, but it still can be a big issue. Although I’m not really certain what any of those issues could be, I need to make sure I nip this in the bud before it gets completely out of hand.

I should also clarify my addiction and mention it’s not all potato chips. It’s specifically ridged chips. Plain is preferred, but some of the cheese flavored are also acceptable. Sour cream and onion are good in a pinch. I’ve never seen a good BBQ ridged chip, so as far as I know they don’t exist. The rest I can easily avoid with no issue.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t go shopping with Trish very often. We inevitably end with a bag or two in our cart. And it’s not like it matters if I go into the store hungry or not, nor if we need to go down that aisle at all, chips end up in our cart.

Lots of folks are into these kettle chips now, but to be honest unless they’re straight out of the fryer like some restaurants do they aren’t any better than normal non-ridged chips. Sure they’ve got some awesome flavors, but make regular chips in those flavors and they’d taste the same.

I once mentioned to my mother that buying those big bags of chips is bad for me because I tend to eat the whole bag in one sitting. She said that it would be a good idea to place some of the chips in a small bowl and just take the bowl into the living room instead of the entire bag. And when you think about it, that’s a great idea…

…now I can get a little exercise while eating the whole bag.