Saturday, October 13, 2007

For the seafood lover on you

Da Wife and I had a few gift cards for Red Lobster laying about, so we decided to have a "seniors" dinner at about 2:30 in the afternoon. I was disappointed to find that the shrimp bonanza did NOT include the coconut shrimp anymore (my personal favorite), but did have new buffalo shrimp. I decided to give that a try, and Da Wife went with the broiled special of scallops, shrimp scampi, and some stuffed flounder. The buffalo shrimp were surprisingly tasty, but the other kinds of shrimp were as I remembered: ok but not great. The larger disappointment was what had happened to the broiled platter, which was previously enough to eat on AND have take home. What showed up at the table looked more like a rejected tray from an old style T.V. dinner (you know the ones... in the foil... everything is withered and old). And the portions had shrunk away to very small amounts (not that it's a problem... portions are giant enough in this country but you get to expect some things at regular places... like... leftovers). Since the company was excellent we carried on through linner determined to have fun regardless. Mission accomplished, or so we thought. Before the bill showed up our server was hauling a heavily laden tray to the table near us, when without warning it upended sending its contents crashing to the floor. Now... one might expect a little mess with such an event, and possibly even some spatter, but I am simply amazed at the width and length of the condiment explosion. Refer to the diagram below for the next description.

You can obviously see where Da Wife and I were seated, and where the explosion took place, the 3/4 wall is just that, although it's probably closer to a half wall, but we couldn't see anyone on the other side while seated (and mostly not while standing). The offending condiment in this incident was ranch dressing (indicated in RED). now, for whatever reason the people at the table that ordered the food came away unscathed (as did I for the most part), but Da Wife... it looked like she jumped on a creamy ranch grenade (see photo below). The truly amazing part was that the ranch hit the booth, the wall, the lamp above us, the ceiling trim, and went OVER the wall to land on the patron sitting on the far edge of the booth. A "perfect storm" condition for condiment travel to be sure. That patron on the other side of the wall just happened to be our neighbor across the street, but added to the surreal feel of the whole event.

The shirt mayo may not make it out of the wash. (sorry couldn't help myself on that one) It's not even the splash that made it bad, it was the staffs' reaction that did it. I mean the server was very apologetic and all, and even the service manager came by. The best they did was offer to pay for the shirt to be cleaned, or a free dessert. I mean... how about $5 off? or Take the teas off the bill? or.. something?! Not that we need it, but a better gesture than what was given (remember this even got in Da Wife's HAIR for Pete's sake!)

But looking back at the diagram, and the sheer volume and range of essentially 1 little serving of ranch... it almost seems like a conspiracy theory. A sort of JFK affair with two servers and a condiment cup on a grassy knoll... I wouldn't have believed it, it I hadn't seen it myself.

Maybe next time, we'll just go to Joe's Crab Shack.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chili today

No not the weather, although it is getting colder outside, I meant dinner! Da Wife surprised me with a homemade white chicken chili. It was superb, and I'm a bit particular on my chili in general, and VERY particular on my chicken chili (maybe it was all those years growing up in Texas). It wasn't surprising that it was good, all her cooking is very tasty and she even makes better turkey tacos than I do. It's that she's never made chili of any kind, and to me, chicken chili is a bigger challenge. I look forward to every "leftover" bowl that I'll be able to scrape out of the crock pot! Hopefully some will even make it to lunch on Monday, but not likely. *grin*

Clearly the gauntlet has been thrown for this season of cool weather cooking. Perhaps it's time for another batch of Ken's Chile con Queso, a spicy batch of my red chili, and maybe even a batch of sausage and lentil soup. These all require the appropriate side dishes as well, such as homemade molassas cornbread, homemade bread/rolls, and maybe even some chicken chipotle lime quesadillas. Oh it is ON!

In other news, I recently celebrated 4 years of marriage (where does the time go??), and while we didn't go to Don Pablo's like we did back then, we did have a fun picnic luncheon where we got married. In the very impressive and scenic Great Falls Park. Da Wife had a great post with pictures from the trip. Looking forward to many more years! (just in case she's reading... *grin*)