Let the record show that ever since the original Casinopalooza, Hick has complained about our dinner the first night. Way back then (in March of this year), we drove to Oklahoma in a convoy of two with my sister the ex-mayor's wife and the ex-mayor. We checked into our hotel in Joplin at that time, and then hit the road to visit four casinos. We started at the one farthest away, and worked our way back to town.
Because we didn't arrive until 3:00 in the afternoon that time, and we WERE there to gamble...three of us were content to grab a quick bite and get back to throwing away our money. Of course the hold-out was Hick. He puts on a good front. He said he'd go along with what everybody else wanted to do. Traveling from one casino to the next, at around 8:00 p.m., we decided to stop by a McDonald's. Hick had even agreed to this before we got in the car.
Ex-Mayor had mentioned a couple of places we could eat. A steak house, which three of us didn't really want that late, or to give up so much time. And a restaurant that was local, not a chain. "Your sister and I ate there one time. It was okay. I can't even remember what kind of food they have." Sis said she hadn't really liked it. So I didn't especially want to go there. Hick said McDonald's was fine. So we ate there. It was quick. And nobody got sick.
EVER SINCE, Hick has thrown that back in my face. "We're going to get a good meal this time. I'm NOT going to McDonald's. We need time to visit with Genius and The Pony, too. We're not just there to gamble." Au contraire. Everybody else thought the purpose of the trip was gambling. Not a family vacation. After all, it was not called FamilyVacationpalooza.
Anyhoo...Hick tried playing that "agreeable old coot" routine again. Like he didn't really care where we ate. But I told Sis and Ex-Mayor, "That's how he acts in front of YOU. But all I've heard about for two months is how I made him eat at McDonald's last time. So you talk to HIM. HE's the one who's picking where we eat."
Hick chose the restaurant that Ex-Mayor had mentioned on the previous trip.
This turned out to be a decision as ill-fated as the 3-hour tour of the S.S. Minnow. Except that we eventually escaped the restaurant. Hick (The Skipper) sat at one end of the table with The Pony (Gilligan). Genius (The Professor) was in the middle, across from Sis (Lovey). And I (Mary Ann) sat at the other end, across from Ex-Mayor (Thurston Howell III). Ginger skipped supper that night, watching her figure.
The waiter led us to the back wall of the restaurant, which was covered with windows facing out on the road. I think. The sun blazing through at 7:00 p.m. was so blinding that I could have probably held my eyelids open, turned my head just right, and performed my own LASIK surgery. The waiter proffered some menus to us, and I guess it was our blind grasping that led him to say, "Oh. I can close those blinds for you if you'd like." We did. He did. But only two of the three. Once he left, Ex-Mayor wrestled with the cord and finally dimmed our dining area to a bright glare.
Then ensued a long debate between Sis and the waiter over what was good on the menu. She specifically asked for a clarification between the cod and the catfish. Waiter said that HE would have the catfish, since it was hand-breaded and fried, whilst the cod came already coated and frozen. Ex-Mayor asked if the fajita was any good, and Waiter said that he himself ate more fajitas there than anything else. But that the skillet was also good. So Ex-Mayor got the blazing hot skillet, which was basically a fajita without the tortilla.
Our drinks came out, and then some small plates and a basket of four rolls. Let the record show that there were six of us. The roll-bearer said, "I'll get you some more. We've been swamped. That's all we have." Of course you know who went without a roll. Val. And Sis. The Pony dipped his in the plastic container of butter, took a bite, and dipped it again. THE PONY WAS A DOUBLE DIPPER! Hick chastised him, but The Pony replied, "How am I SUPPOSED to put butter on it? None of us have any silverware."
Then the blazing hot skillet arrived. No other entrees. Ex-Mayor noticed that he had no silverware. As didn't the rest of us, either. "What am I supposed to do, bury my face in the blazing hot skillet to eat?" He let it sizzle. The roll-bearer came back with four more rolls. Hick told him we needed some silverware. "We don't have any. We've been swamped." And he was gone!
Next, the fish began arriving. Sis wanted barbecue sauce for dipping her fries. I told her to stand in line behind silverware and Hick's salad. Because everybody else got theirs (who ordered one) but not Hick. Not that they could eat them, with no silverware.
Then my grilled chicken with mango and pineapple salsa (though mostly diced tomatoes and something really sour, no sign of pineapple, probably due to the place being swamped) came out, with my sides of rice pilaf and steamed broccoli. Funny how I though rice pilaf had something else in it besides white rice and something that made it mushy.
Ex-Mayor demanded silverware, and Waiter came right back with a round of knife/forks/spoon wrapped in a napkin, enough for the entire table. I spent most of the meal coveting Ex-Mayor's blazing hot skillet, although my steamed broccoli was pretty decent. The chicken was one of those frozen breasts, cooked to the consistency of an old boot sole. I didn't dare ask Sis to share her barbecue sauce so I could moisten it for help in swallowing.
Hick finally got his salad as the rest of us were ready to leave. Genius said his fish was okay. It had taken 30 minutes before the rolls even came out. Lucky I was busy counting up my money with my hand inside my purse, so I only complained about 137 times. I'm pretty sure we're not going to eat there again.
I can't wait to bring it up to Hick every time we talk about Casinopalooza 2 or any future Casinopaloozas. Though I HAVE mentioned that my Quarter Pounder was better than my chicken.