Sunday, October 19, 2008

O'Chain-ey's

Last night I had the pleasure of hanging out with some of my most beloved people and their fam. We were going out for an early-ish dinner, since the eldest of the elders doesn't like to eat past 6 pm. We decided on Ground Pat'i, a cornerstone of the Lafayette diner scene. Driving in separate vehicles, the elders led the caravan and us young whipper-snappers were holding it down in the S00B, trailing behind them. Stopped at a red light, we began talking much shit about the restaurant that was blocking our view of what we thought was to be our final destination. It went something like this:
O'Charley's? Why would anyone want to eat there? I think they give you a free steak and drink on your birthday. O'Henry's does that too. Oh, right. That's O'Henry's, not O'Charley's . . . they're so different, obviously. It's a wonder how I could get them confused, etc.
Suffice it to say, the general sentiment was that chain restaurants suck ass and are never truly an option. For us young people, anyway.
We got a call from the elders, to the effect of: Hey! You guys wanna go eat at O'Charley's?! . . . It's Irish!
We acquiesced, but not without letting it be known, in a passive-aggressive kind of way, that we were not enthusiastic and were, minutes before, approximating O'Charley's level of Suck.
And did it ever exceed my expectations; though, not by being bad, but by being comPLETEly mediocre, which is effing depressing. Because: This is actually appealing to middle America.
That friggin place was stuffed to the gills and this perplexes me: I don't understand how someone could have a rumbly in the belly paired with an urge to eat out, and arrive at O'Charley's as a real, for cereal option of sating both. But there I found myself presented with an enormous menu, filled with page after page of crap that I didn't even bother reading the description of, much less think about eating. The first thing my eyes landed upon (which is, admittedly, the inspiration for this post) is something that I've yet to wrap my brain around: the Cotton Candy Martini. I scoured the restaurant's website for a picture of the drink only to find nothing; I, therefore, resorted to a google image search to find to my horror, that this is an actual thing beyond this chain restaurant. Diabetic coma, anyone? Have a cotton candy-tini. Because life's too short to never go into insulin shock.
So, now that I've established that I am a bitchy elitist, let me redeem myself by saying this: I had the cedar plank tilapia with fresh asparagus, and I have to say that it was pretty OK. The fish was burned around the edges, but apart from that, had a wonderful, smoky flavor and the asparagus was cooked to my liking, i.e. a little al dente. Oh. There was a side salad too, but it was romaine and other such forget-ables. I also want to give props to our waitress. She was on top of her shit, polite and generally awesome. I never wanted for lemon water.
I don't think I'll be going back to O'Charley's any time soon or, you know, ever again. However, the company was high-spirited and enjoyable and the elders paid for my meal! I was shocked at first, cause I never would have ordered a thirteen dollar entree had I known they were picking up the bill. But then I was touched and appreciative, since they certainly didn't have to do that. I bet had they known what an ungrateful trollop they were comping, they'd have thought twice. Luckily for me, though, they can't read minds and don't read bloggies.

2 comments:

Novella said...

When I was younger, my parents would take me and my sister to Ground Pat'i all of the time. I loved going there and ordering the baked potato with everything on it. I loved the windows in the place too. Maybe I'll go there when I'm in town for Thanksgiving. You've ignited my nostalgia for the place!

Tino said...

O'Chaineys!!! HAHA!

Chains are depressing. My family was ALL about Outback Steakhouse when we were growing up, though.

Leif and I ate airport Chili's on the way back from Aspen this summer. I got chili and a salad. The chili tasted like Hormel (which I secretly like), but with completely bland chunks of beef, and the salad was wilty iceberg with some seriously sad slivers of carrot and white croutons. Leif had a greasy burger that was also oddly bland.