Monday, February 07, 2005

May I have the bitterness on the side, please?

Before you read this post, you should know I'm not a very picky guy, especially when it comes to restaurants. I know that the food business is a tough one and that every joint is going to have an off-night now and again. Ask Debbie and you'll find out I'm downright obsequious to staff and wouldn't consider sending a dish back unless it tried to crawl off my plate and harm someone at the next table.

That said, I think our local T.G.I. Fridays sucks.

And not just our Fridays. I've been to a T.G.I. Fridays in California, Georgia, Illinois and Wisconsin. Each time I've visited the restaurant I'm usually disappointed. The host station is always manned by an indifferent 19-year-old who inexplicably looses the ability to recognize the letters L, E and E (when combined) thereby seating dozens of other patrons who arrive after I've already blown most of my evening waiting for the little pager to vibrate and flash. The wait staff is usually okay but more than once I've been saddled with a server who is obviously going through some sort of career and/or emotional crisis. The table and flatware are usually sticky and dirty. The drinks are almost always heavily watered down. The food is usually presented as if Cub Scout Pack Number 43 was allowed to throw on some aprons and try plating a few entrees during their field trip.

So. Greg. Why do you keep going to T.G.I. Fridays?

For the Jack Daniels Dipping Sauce, of course.

This stuff is great. It takes T.G.I. Friday's mediocre fried shrimp, semi-tough sirloins, rubbery chicken, meatless ribs and past-its-prime salmon and turns them all into dishes of note.

It's like magic. Magic I've only been able to find at T.G.I. Fridays.

Until now.

This evening I looked for a recipe for Jack Daniels Dipping Sauce on the Web and I found one that looks very promising. I haven't made it yet but when I'll do I'll report the results and give you the recipe.

Then, Greg, why swear off T.G.I. Fridays until you're certain you can replicate the sauce?

Because the last time Debbie and I took the girls to T.G.I. Fridays I swore to Debbie that we would never return. Now there's hope that I can make good on my vow and I'm very excited. It's time that I stopped letting T.G.I. Fridays take my money without regard for my satisfaction. I've been too nice and too quiet for too long. It's time to fight back.

I'm officially putting Richard Snead and Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc. on notice. If this sauce pans out, I'm leaving and I'm going to take others with me. . . to Red Lobster. Those little garlic, cheese, biscuit thingys they serve are really good.

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