Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Are You High Claree?

I don't get it. I really don't. What's wrong with me? I must have either been having an acid flashback or I liked the St. Paul Chatterbox pub despite all evidence to the contrary. It'd be easy to say it was the drugs. The entire music play list was swiped directly from my college years. Apparently they don't play anything from before or after 1995-2000. Seriously, it was all Black Hole Sun this and Social Distortion that. The Dead Milkman delivered while the Red Hot Chilli Peppers spiced things up. And all of this is impossible to ignore because it's at peak dorm room decibel. My companions and I could barely hear one another. There were so many TVs blaring and Ninetendos bleeping (and booping depending on how Mario and Luigi were faring) that I felt like a kid on the verge of a Pokemon-induced epilepsy fit. There's just so much going on.
While I was waiting for my people the waitress never came over to ask if I wanted anything to drink. That was okay, because I had MTV and the Simpson's going on two of the six TVs. I could barely stop staring long enough to look at the menu anyway. I mean, there's a TV right there. I've got to watch it!
My people finally did show up and we were able to flag down one the waitresses, but for the rest of the night I'd be hard pressed to call anyone working there a "server." They did bring us stuff... eventually.
Oh, and the food! Seriously, if I had been high and I did have the munchies this place would totally be da bomb, yo! But I wasn't. In fact, I was sadly sober considering the puny little wine glasses and the slow delivery of said glasses. So the food was a rollicking disappointment. Matt ordered the "loaded" fries, which were, in fact, not loaded with anything. Upon further reflection the "loaded" was probably a joke on the beer used to make the "fondue" that comes with them, but it was missed by all of us. What do you think when you envision a loaded fry? Not a hammered or boozy fry? I want cheese and crap all over it. Instead, he got Sysco fries tossed in some kind of ill-conceived spice blend (salt, pepper and oregano?) And a little ramekin of cheese sauce that was bad. There was the skin that had already formed on it before he was served, and then there was just the overall taste. The beer flavor had not cooked out at all. Here's how I'd recreate it: Old Dutch nacho cheese, beer, pepper. Done. All of these things separate, but together might be good, but together as one.... not so much.
I ordered the soup and salad combo. The soup of the day was curried butternut squash and I asked for the salad with Fiesta Ranch dressing. Gah! First, the salad dressing did not arrive, so that was another 10 minutes of trying to find a waitress. The soup was still chunky. It hadn't been pureed enough to get rid of the stringy texture of the squash. And then there was a faint curry powder flavor and lots of black pepper. It just did not work. It was pretty inedible and I tried. (and when I sent the uneaten soup back, I received no question and paid for the whole mess.) The salad dressing was abhorrent, too! Imagine fat free sour cream with cumin in it. Way too much pungent, gritty cumin. Also inedible.
Andy was the only one that got a decent meal out of the place and that's probably because she didn't order off the menu. She built her own pizza of black and green olives, roasted garlic on focaccia. That was finally pretty good. Not exactly great, but compared with everything else on the table, I was happy she offered to share with me. The focaccia had a lot of flavor and there was just a little cheese on there to cut the creamy, pungent garlic. It was a briny salt fest on bread, but at least it was palatable.
As we were leaving the overly-enthusiastic DJ was trying to guilt us into staying and playing music bingo (I so would have kicked ASS!) But we could not convince a waitress to serve us any more wine, so we left.
And although I was hungry, I bopped out of there smiling at the girls playing Duck Hunt on a nearby couch. If I was in college, I would totally love this place, even if I could never afford it.


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