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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dinner for 5 and some Sticky Fingers


Tonight the family went out to dinner, and when we left our house at 7:30,  we were hungry and hadn't a clue where we were going to end up.   First, Bob wanted to try some place on Independence.  Bob is telling me that this is supposed to be a good restaurant.  He's good at trying to convince people with his wit and wisdom.

Bob: "This place is supposed to be great.  I hear the food is great."

Me: "Say's who?" 

Bob: "Says everybody."

Me: "Who's everybody?"

Bob: "Everybody around here."

Me: "And who do you know around here?"

Bob: (Now obviously in a quandary) "I hear it's good, let's try it." 

Me: "There's - like - nobody here"

Bob: "It's usually packed"

Me: "How would you know, have you been here before?"

Bob: "No, - Crap Susan, let's eat." 

This conversation was obviously going nowhere.  So we all pile out of the Suburban. 

Sarah: "Are we here?  Is this where we are going to eat?" (She was in the back ignoring any conversation with iPod plugs in her ears)

Me: "I think so, why?"

Sarah: "Because it looks like a gas station only nobody is here but us and maybe a few other people."

Bob: "Would you 2 stop it please, this is supposed to be a great place to eat."  (Bob is notorious for thinking he is the aficionado on where to eat)

Sarah and I try not to laugh.  We open the door and it was a clean little place.  Then we noticed that there was a menu board overhead of a counter to order, and then we could sit down.  There were 2 other people in the restaurant.  It wasn't what we had in mind.

Me: "Well? Is this what you had in mind?" (Looking at Bob)

Bob: "Let's get out of here." 

  The evening got a little bit better, although not by much. (Note: We have never eaten at this little Restaurant, and I have since heard that it has good food.  We'll have to try it sometime.  It was just not what we were looking for on the night we went out with our family).

So we all pile back into the Suburban and head off down the road with nowhere to go at 4 dollars a gallon and 5 gurgling stomachs.  We like living on the edge.  It builds character.   I suggest we head to Ballantyne where there seems to be a few more restaurants to choose from, a few less tattoo parlors, and hopefully some of these places to eat will still be open by the time our warped and ravenous family arrived. 

Bob: "Do you want to eat there?" (Pointing to some restaurant on the right)

Me: "Naaaa"

Bob: "We could try that one" (Pointing to a restaurant on the left)

Me: "Naaaa"

Sarah: "Oh! Wait!  There's Ruby Tuesday!  Let's eat at Ruby Tuesday!  I love Ruby Tuesday!"

Me: "Naaaa"

Sarah: "Why Not? I'm starving!"

Me: "There's a place.  Sticky Fingers.  Let's try that."

Sarah: "Aw, please Mom, can we eat at Ruby Tuesdays?"  (And by the end of the evening, we are all going to wish we had)

Bob: "Let's try Sticky Fingers"

Sticky Fingers

Suddenly this song comes to mind - "Party pooper, party pooper, every party's got a pooper and the pooper is you, party pooper." 

Me: "Naaaa - just kidding.  Let's try Sticky Fingers"

Having not eaten there before we didn't quite know what to expect, although we had a pretty good idea it was probably ribs, and I could already see Bob salivating in the driver's seat.  It looked sorta like a Ruby Tuesday kind-of place on the inside.  It was clean and we were greeted with a great big smile from the Manager, and an "A-92.5" from the health inspector.  I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly look at that grade on the wall in every restaurant I enter and often wonder what it was that brought this one down 7.5 points from perfection. 

We were seated comfortably, and between the manager, Brandon, and our waitress, the service was top notch.  Please note that there was a full moon out last night, and for this reason, I reserved the right to be a complete stinker.  But hey, I'm an honest stinker.   So far so good.  We're starving and the green towels for napkins were starting to look appetizing.

Matthew: "I'll have chicken tenders with French fries and a chocolate milk"

Sarah: "I'll have a hamburger and fries and a Shirley Temple"

Glen: "I'll have a hamburger and French fries and an ice tea"

Bob: "I'll have a full rack of ribs, baked beans, cole slaw and a sweet tea" ....yada yada yada

Me: "I'll have a half-a-rack of ribs with fries, cole slaw, and a sweet tea"

I certainly can't complain about the service, because our server was as cute as a button and provided us "service with a smile."  When the food came we were just a little bit disappointed.  Not completely, just a little bit.  The burgers were good (so says our children, and believe me, they know if a burger is good and they'll tell you if it isn't.)  The Shirley Temple did not make Sarah want to jump off the Good Ship LollyPop - in other words - she didn't like it.  The chicken tenders were "Greeeeat" and I was looking for the tiger in the room courtesy of my son Matthew.  And the ribs and the fries left a lot to be desired. 

I don't know about anyone else out there, but I've never eaten a rack of pork ribs whereby I had to pull off a membrane from the backside of the ribs.  That turned my stomach from the onset just having to mess with it.  The ribs were not the most tender I have ever had, nor were they the most tasty.  Actually, they weren't very tasty at all.   They weren't bad mind you, but they weren't good either.   Hey!  It was a full moon last night people!  Nobody said I had to be decisive!  Let me clarify - I thought the ribs were terrible.  Bob will eat anything and so he thought they were - well - edible. 

The fries were not good.  As in "not bad, but definitely not good."  McDonald's fries are good.  Longhorn fries are great.  Sticky Finger's fries tasted like they had been left in the deep fryer a tad too long and we were eating what was left over from the afternoon lunch.  Then too, it was getting late.  The cole slaw was good.  Not great.  Just good.  As for the beans,  Bob could take 'em or leave 'em. 

I could not eat but maybe 2 bites of the ribs and I couldn't eat another bite.  Bob couldn't either.  There was something about that membrane and the bland taste even with the barbeque sauce that just gave too much significance to our carnivorous cravings and the hog that had to go down to satisfy our palette for pork this night.  Yuk. 

Sarah: "You mean that that is a pig's ribs?  What did they do with the heart and lungs?"

Me: "Do we have to have this conversation at dinner?   I've already lost my appetite."

Sarah: "But what did they do with his guts? Aw, forget it, I've got to go to the bathroom"

Glen: "I've got to go to the bathroom too"

Bob: "Me too, I'll take you" (he looks at Glen and takes a bite of baked beans)

Glen: "Can't Sarah take me?"

Me: "No Glen, she goes to the Ladies room, you go to the Men's room"

Glen: "Oh"

Me: "Can you wait till we get home?" (talking to Sarah)

Sarah: "No Mom, I've got to go NOW."

Me: "Fine!" (so I scoot out of the way)

Glen: "So Sarah are you going to take me to the bathroom?  I've really gotta go!"

Sarah: "No Glen!  Dad is going to take you."

Bob: "I'm coming Glen.  Hold your horses."

Matthew: "I've gotta go too." 

Bob: "Well come on then."

This was turning into a typical family night out.  Give me Peace Dear Lord.  Give me Patience.  Grant me the tolerance to make it thru the evening without garnering another dang gray hair.

So, as I sit there - alone - with my thoughts on this full moon of a night, I decided to howl at the moon. 

Sarah returns.

I call over the manager - Brandon.  A very nice young man with "customer service supreme" written all over his face.  He is truly a very nice young man and a wonderful manager.  Couldn't ask for better.  I proceeded to do something I find very uncomfortable to do - I told him how bad the ribs and the fries were.  He took it like a real man and with a smile too.  Then Bob returned and put in his 2 cents.  Now remember, Bob is the authority on good dining and knows where the good stuff is.  And if I had listened to him earlier we may have had a better meal at the little restaurant on Independence.

Bob directed Brandon to some good Rocky BBQ and I directed him to some great Longhorn fries.  Together they would make for good Sticky Fingers. 

Oh well, it wasn't a complete loss.  The children chowed down on animal cookies as if it were their last meal, and Brandon handed us the check - 0.00.  We were completely unprepared for this surprise from Brandon and suddenly felt bad.  Still, Brandon was the epitome of professional management and asked us to please come back and give them another try.  He told us their wings are great. 

And you know something?  I'll bet they really are great. 


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