Friday, September 3, 2010

A "Nice" Restaurant???

Some people think that Red Lobster is fine dining. These people have no class. This is probably not their fault, because clearly they don't know any better and someone important failed them in this department.

But the stereotype persists because of the way the place is described ever so vaguely by most people. They go:

"Red Lobster, that place is nice. It's a really nice restaurant."

True and false.

True in that your meal there will be satisfying. You know what you're gonna get, the menu hasn't changed in twenty years.

Upon sitting down you will be greeted with the famous cheddar biscuits, produced en masse and made with love by the finest Mexican immigrant chefs who will never see the light outside the kitchen, soft and fluffy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside, blended with cheese and laced with heroin. I would eat those fucking biscuits for breakfast, lunch and dinner and die happily at age 30. In fact, I'm convinced that those biscuits single-handedly kept the franchise afloat over the years. Their seafood is kinda whatever. Nothing to write home about to be honest. The biscuits though, are pure poetry in digestion. But I digress.

It's a chain restaurant at the end of the day, let's be honest people. Sure, it's a nice restaurant if you're only used to carry-out dates or places that have a value menu. And yeah it's cool spot for broke young folks to feel like grown-ups, as well as for families who'd like a change of pace and some ambience for a change. For that we salute you Red Lobster, you're a comforting staple of the American experience.

But to think of it as high class probably indicates you own a couple of the suits we discussed yesterday. And for you guys who can't tell the difference between Red Lobster and a fine dining experience, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Does the place have a corny birthday song?

Is there "Americana" draped about the walls?

Is the menu plastic?

Is a clear teenager your host(ess)?

Do they give you that big ass pager that lights up and vibrates when it's your turn to be seated?

If you answered "yes" to any of the preceding questions, the you are not at a swanky establishment. This excludes, but is not limited to:


Red Lobster

Olive Garden

TGI Friday's


Cheesecake Factory

(The above scenario is pure fiction. Fine Asian chick in cocktail dress across from man in blazer? C'mon son. No one comes dressed like that to a place you have those pagers displayed in the front. Unless of course these people are much more ignorant than they appear and I should judge a book by its cover.)

I'm sorry to burst the bubble. All of these places are "nice" to varying degrees. Cheesecake Factory is the GOAT restaurant chain they're like the Yankees with their all-star lineup and deep team, and menu fatter than Precious. But I digress.

But a really nice restaurant might require reservations, or have an expectation for one's dress. The multiple forks might actually be different sizes, and the waiter might only tell you about the specials verbally. He might even have wine recommendations and then pour it a certain way. You should try it out sometime, of course once you own a suits that fits ;-).

Pause for winking,



MW said...

What do you make of Fogo de Chão?

It's clearly a chain (an international one at that), and they do have those light-up pagers. They also have "set" starters on the menu, like the polenta and those awesome fried plantains. These carbs never stopped getting served to you, which is definitely a chain restaurant-y experience (cf. Olive Garden "unlimited breadsticks").

On their wall are stuffed animal carcasses, I think, which aren't really Americana so much as carnivore status symbols. And the menu is, if memory serves me correctly, made of pure animal leather. No other chain (maybe save Benihana) has such elegant knifeplay either.

Chain restaurant gray area? Maybe. But fuck if I didn't spend a good $150 there on Valentine's Day. I have never dropped anything close to that in a chain restaurant, except Maggiano's (also a "higher-end" chain where you can drop serious dime).

Just my 2¢.

Rock said...

Yea, Touche.

Red Lobster is not cheap. It's actually Quite expensive.

DaBossBitch said...

I've been saying this for the longest but my ghetto friends look at me like I'm crazy. During the planning for a little cookout I said "We should go get a buschel of crabs" Almost in unison these chicks say "I only eat alaskan crab legs" And I said thats cause y'all are some ghetto bitches that haven't been anywhere but Red Lobster. Again almost in unison "What's wrong with Red Lobster? Red Lobster's niiiiiice"