Thevictorians are in Norman, Oklahoma for an orientation camp at the University of Oklahoma for incoming freshman The Pony. It's a three-day affair that's occupying us for five. He's all hyped-up about meeting new people, as much as The Pony gets hyped-up, and as much as he shows interest in people. It's kind of like turning your heat up from 72 to 73.
Of course the trip has already been fraught with blog fodder! Val, like Tina and Ike, never does anything nice and easy. Let's begin our travelogue with today's tale of The Last Night's Supper.
We got into town late. It was about a 10-hour drive from Backroads, accounting for our bathroom/leg-stretching stops and lunch. We rolled into town at 5:30, gathered our wits and belongings, checked into the Holiday Inn Express, and headed out for supper at 6:15. The Pony and Hick chose Saltgrass Steak House, having eaten there before on their campus visit trip. I was eager to see what fine dining lay in store for me, as I watched us pass up a perfectly good Outback Steak House.
Well. Let the record show that Val was not impressed. Come on! Did you actually think there was going to be any other scenario? That Val would feast upon succulent meat from an establishment where no animal was harmed in the making of her meal? An eatery which served bottomless, free tankards of unicorn milk, and provided fluffy kittens for petting while dinner was being prepared? No. You knew what you were in for by the second paragraph.
Hick held the door open for me to enter. Alarm bells! Let the record show that during the entire trip, Hick never once held open any other door for me. Not at rest stops, not at convenience stores, not at Steak N Shake (where we had lunch and saw that tattoos were a requirement for the waitresses), not at the hotel. He only does this when he does not want to be the one to enter and make a decision when accosted by the greeter.
We were escorted to our table and left to fend for ourselves. Which was a problem, what with me forgetting to bring my miner's lamp. I swear. It was darker than McDougal's Cave after Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher burned their last candle. I thought it was a joke. That surely that seater was going to turn on a light. But no. As she laid down the menus and left, I said, some might say passive-aggressively, "Thanks. I'm not sure I can read in the dark." Hick picked up his menu and told me my eyes would adjust. They did not. I held that menu seven ways to Sunday, trying to catch a glimmer of the sunset coming through a window on the periphery. No luck. I asked The Pony to read it to me. Even he had to twist and turn and catch an errant sunset beam to make it out. I decided on the marinated chicken breast with seasoned vegetables, and a Caesar salad, since The Pony read off my choices and said I was allowed a side and a salad.
It was quite hard to hear him, even though he was sitting at my right hand. There was a raucous family group led by a boozy floozy to our right, and an obnoxious 3-man, 1-woman group next to them led by a raging bore. I don't know why people in Oklahoma (Val, the questionable artist, paints with a broad brush) have to bellow each word at the top of their lungs, like calling a cowboy in from the north 40,000 when the dinner bell in broken.
As the evening progressed, Raging Bore grew more and more vociferous. I saw him accept the server's offer of another margarita. That was the third he'd had since we came in, and from the sound of him, he'd imbibed before our arrival. Val does not begrudge a patron his liquor. But his good time should stop before her bad time begins. He was telling stories about picking up girls, and not describing them in a very good light (which had nothing to do with the darkness within that dining area). His buddies roared mercilessly with mirth. The gal went along with it, making me wonder how he was going to talk about her later. It was like a middle-aged frat party. At one point, Raging Bore bellowed, "And then she threatened to knock me out!" Leading Val to declare, "I'D like to knock him out!" and Hick and The Pony to comment, "WHAT?"
Our drinks (of the soft variety) arrived, and a plate of bread. The Pony was on it like a locust on the Heartland. He had sliced off 2/3 of it, slathered his hunks with butter, and devoured them before Hick could pick up the knife. Hick finished it off, leading Val to declare, "That's okay. I didn't want any bread anyway." And Hick to reply, "WHAT?"
The side salads and my Caesar arrived after a bit. Hick and The Pony's were in large bowls with ranch dressing (what ELSE would you choose in Oklahoma?), and mine was on a square plate. Let the record show that the temperature of that plate was approximately -272 degrees Celsius. (A science aficionado will get that reference.) I think they must have chilled it with liquid nitrogen. Caesar himself was limp, and thus unsatisfying. But the croutons were like 3/4-inch minus, the stones of which driveways are made. Quite a contrast, between breaking my teeth off to nubs, and trying to swallow Caesar, who clung to my tonsils like Dracula wrapping himself in his cape to avoid the sun's rays.
The main course took so long that a different server came out to apologize. Gotta keep those tips coming, you know. I think he apologized. Because I couldn't read his lips in the darkness, and I couldn't hear his words over The Raging Bore Show. When our food finally came out, The Pony had regained his appetite after eating a loaf and a half of bread.
Both Thevictorian guys declared by charade that their meals were fabulous. My marinated chicken was the best fowl I ever ate. The seasoned mixed vegetable, though, were shockingly seasonless. Bland! With the taste of only...are you ready for this...VEGETABLES! I had carrot coins, and green beans, and broccoli. They were passable, as long as I ate them with a bite of chicken. Nobody told me this healthy food quest was going to be so tasteless. And full of roughage. One green bean had an inch-long stem on the end. I tried to eat it. Let nothing go to waste. No need to get the vegetables steamed. But I simply could not chew that stick. Not after the croutons took my teeth.
We didn't get out of there until after 8:30. When we got back to our hotel, I looked up the menu to make sure of the names of our dishes, so I would not violate the Truth in Blogging Law. Turns out those seasoned vegetables were actually SEASONAL vegetables!
An honest mistake for The Pony, seeing as how he was not-seeing in the dark.
I have learned to use the flash light app on the cell phone.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing.Delete
OH! Wait! Were you suggesting a remedy for reading the menu?
Is it an app? I don't know what an app is, but I do use the flash lighty thing on the phoneReplyDelete
App/Schmapp! I wouldn't know an app if it bit me on my a$$/schma$$.Delete
But I'm pretty sure my phone is so old that it can't do that. I'm also pretty sure that my phone is pretty much one step above that crank phone at the top of the telephone pole that Oliver Wendell Douglas used on Green Acres.
There's an expensive restaurant here in Portland where it's extremely dark inside, but the waiters leave a flashlight on the table so you can read the menu. I always wonder how clean that place is when they turn up the lights.ReplyDelete
Well...batteries ARE cheaper than electricity. Maybe it's a money thing, which could explain the expensive menu as well.Delete
My worst dining experience: On one of our early trips to Hawaii, probably around 1968, we went to dinner at Michel’s at the Colony Surf Hotel. Our friends had told us it was wonderful. It was quite upscale--& expensive. It was one of the very few places in Hawaii where men were required to wear a tie. We got there a few minutes before our reservation time & waited--& waited. When we were finally seated, we waited to get a menu. Then we waited to place our orders. When the food came, the orders were wrong. There were chiefs all around, but no Indians. We couldn’t get anyone’s attention. The maître d’ was making a brief stop at every table. When he got to ours, he smiled & asked, “How is everything?” I replied honestly, “Terrible!!” He smiled again, said, “Thank you” & went on to the next table. Bud & I sat there with our mouths hanging open. I just googled it--it’s still in operation. I can only assume they've replaced the maître d’, the chef & the waitstaff.ReplyDelete
Considering their location, they probably have limited competition with the tie-wearing clientele. So that's how they get away with it. Those people won't change their mind and go out for a fried SPAM sandwich.Delete
Boozy floozy...I can't stop laughing. You have such a away with words. I have been to places such as this with people such as these. Maybe it's dark because they do not want you to see what's crawling around.ReplyDelete
The weirdos attracted to my magnetic pull tend to write themselves.Delete
The longhorn skull and pig head and other animal parts on the walls also tend to distract.
I know what fishducky means! We have had that happen to us when asked how our meal was. Like he was only told to ask and say "thank you" no matter what the answer was. Heaven forbid he actually try to satisfy the customer!ReplyDelete
Once, when Hick's older boys were young, we went to have supper at Pizza Hut. We ordered, and they brought our pitcher of soda and breadsticks. No pizza. We must have waited 40 minutes, with Hick emitting more steam out his ears as the seconds ticked by. Finally, he said, "We're leaving!"Delete
We went to the front counter, where he said, "I want to pay for what we got, and leave. I'm not waiting any more."
The manager came, and said, "What did you get?"
And Hick said, very loudly, "BUDDY, I DIDN'T GET SH!T."
The boys and I went to the car with our heads down. When Hick came out, he said, "Well, at least we got the soda and breadsticks for free."