Thursday, June 10, 2010

No Validation

I know I'm a little behind over here but it's been a busy couple of weeks so…
Today's post is about food. No surprise there— I blog about food every once in a while. I've never been much of a "snacker." I have no compulsion to graze my way through a day, eating everything within reach. I've never drilled my way to the bottom of a quart of ice cream, although cradling a container of Baskin & Robbins Rocky Road without snarfing the entire thing down is a test of strength.

I abhor the taquitos and hot dogs perpetually running on the food treadmill at 7-11. I don't consider that stuff food. But…to each his own. If I'm going to put it in my mouth it either better taste damn fine or give me a buzz. And when in direct competition with each other, depending on if I have to drive or not, buzz usually wins. So in a contest of Dove Chocolate vs. Wine, wine wins hands down. Give me that "squeak" and "pop" any day.

Anyway, none of this has anything to do with any of that except last week we tried two restaurants that we hadn't visited before. We (carriage drivers) like to try out places before we recommend them to tourists, because it's nasty when you do that and it comes back around to bit you in the ass.

Thursday Ro and I went to lunch at The Sand Bar. It's a place I've passed while working many times but never ventured into. Why? Well, because I'm working and it's so hard to find horse parking these days. Anyway, we entered the restaurant and were greeted by John Stamos's little brother. Or at least he looked like he could be his little brother. So right away the place gets points for hiring good looking staff and not trolls or fugly carriage-driver looking people.

It was easy to get a table because we were the only customers there. The interior was cute with a beach theme and two free-standing bars, plus the patio seating, I can understand why it's a popular spot. We both ordered Buffalo Chicken wraps which were very tasty and reasonably priced. Ro bought lunch because she felt she owed me for delivering flowers to a dance recital for her, and our lunches, with one ice tea, were around $16.00. Ro left a $5 tip because we tip well and the waiter did a good job. Plus, you know, he was cute. So lunch with a view.

On Friday, Ro, MBA and I went to a brand new place that we have been waiting to open with great anticipation. It is located directly across the street from where we stage at Temple Square and is called The Blue Lemon. We've looked up the menu on line, discussed the various entrees and soups we were interested in trying, and made a date to go. And we're very happy because they have a full coffee bar. You might not think this is so special, but I live in Salt Lake, where the predominant religion eschews coffee like it's pure evil in liquid form.

First, when we get there we decide to park underneath the restaurant because the parking signs were plastered with —>"Blue Lemon Parking Here"<— notices.

MBA grabbed the parking ticket, and we head upstairs to the restaurant. It's considered "Upscale Casual." That means you stand in line to order and pay a lot of money then they bring it to your table. You know, like at Sizzler, except with higher prices, and smaller portions, but nicer plates.

MBA and I both ordered the same item: Chicken breast with roasted artichoke hearts and tomatoes, glazed onions, over herb-garlic mashed potatoes with a roasted red pepper and spinach cream sauce. Ro ordered the Blue Lemon Steak which was topped with bacon and gorgonzola cheese on top of a bed of succotash and the herb-garlic mashed potatoes with gravy.

When our meals arrived, mine and Ro's only, Ro moved her steak off of her potatoes (she's on a very restrictive diet) and held up a squiggly red thing that was stuck between the steak and taters.

"What's that?"

Ro displayed it like Vanna White turning a letter.

"Twist. Tie." She said.

Just then our waiter, who was not nearly as cute as the one from the day before, walked by.

"Pardon me," I said very nicely, which we all know is rare for me, "is this a new type of garnish?"

He peered at it and asked, "What is it?"

"Twist. Tie." Ro repeated, doing her Vanna White impression for him.

"Where did you find that?"

"Under my steak, in the succotash."

The waiter, (did I mention that this waiter did, in fact, pale by comparison to the Sand Bar waiter. Not that I'm obsessed or anything) apologized and asked if she wanted a new one. She declined, but put the twist tie in the center of the table as evidence.

Eventually, MBA's meal arrived. She started in on the artichoke and tomatoes and said to me, "These are cold. Are yours cold?"

"No."

"Mine are."

Our (looks nothing like John Stamos) waiter walked by;

"Excuse me," says MBA, who, unlike me, is always polite, "are these vegetables supposed to be cold?"

"No," the waiter replies, "they're sautéed."

"Well these are as cold as if they've come straight from the fridge," MBA advised him.

The waiter apologized and asked if she wanted another one.

Now, people, if I'd ordered a steak rare and it came well done, I'd want another one. But having worked in a restaurant, I don’t send stuff back. I want it taken off my bill. I've never spit on someone's returned order, but I know staff that have.
MBA said no.

So, we finished our meal, and our waiter, who was looking kind of ratty by then, brought us a (that would be one) complimentary slice of carrot cake. Now, not taking into account that TWO of the people at the table had received f*cked up food, both Ro and MBA are on diets.

Die. Ets.

Then, to add insult to injury, they were not "equipped" to validate our parking.

Two things to note:

We told several people who worked there that we were Carriage Drivers. Now, I understand that it doesn’t qualify us as New York Times Food Critics. However, on average per shift, anywhere from four to ten people ask us to recommend a place to eat. Now, the Sand bar is three blocks down West Temple. I'll be sure to send customers there. The Blue Lemon is right across the street. We're going to wait a month or so, and give Blue Lemon time to get their shit together. Because right now, I can't really in good conscience send people to that restaurant.

Not without validation.

8 comments:

Dreaming said...

Sounds like the Blue Lemon was a true lemon!
Uh...did you park underneath with the carriage?!!

Anonymous said...

just wanted you to know I'm reading AND commenting - MBA

Slave Driver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Slave Driver said...

Mmmm, no. We wern't "working". (Ok, Ro was, but to say she was "Working" is really subjective. Some days if MBA and I are at the barn shooting the shit, while Ro is technically on the clock, I wouldn't actually call it "work.")

MBA, YAY!!! But saying you are "reading" doesn't fall under the catagory of "commenting". It falls under the catagory of "Web surfing and Time Suck."

Which, BTW, is ok too.

(This is the same comment I deleted but with the errors corrected. I really need spell check for my comments. And to trim my nails. Sigh.)

Once Upon an Equine said...

It sounds to me like you were doing on the job research. If the restaurant doesn't comp your meal, you should be able to write it off your taxes. ;-) You are doing a service to the public by suffering through a bad meal to spare them the ordeal of being served sauteed twist-ties.

But I'm glad the other place had good food and good lookin' staff. That's a great combination because they say a big part of a delicious meal is in its visual appeal.

Slave Driver said...

OUaE,
Yes, too true. I suggest you go to the Sand Bar and order the "Ryan." He looked really delicious...

RAWR!

Anonymous said...

Surfing would imply I was looking around at all and anything - but I only have 3 favorites marked for frequent checking, and yours is one of those. ---MBA

Nat said...

I know I'm late in commenting, but for fun, I looked up the Blue Lemon to see if they had a website. They do, and it made me ROFL...

"Blue Lemon - pure clean food with a twist"

I think they mean twist tie! :)
http://www.bluelemon.com/Home.aspx