Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-04-11 Entry: "Restaurant Moron"

The tradition is to go out for a meal with whichever members of the family are available to celebrate a birthday. As I had one about a month ago and the meal got lost in the shuffle of new job celebrations, we went last night.

In deciding where to go I basically had two restaurants in mind - a Mongolian Barbecue and a Mexican. The previous visit to the Mexican (myself, parent, and step-parent) saw me being the only one who managed to pick a decent meal off the menu, and although it was quite a time ago, I plumped for the Mongolian, thinking that I could mix and match the food to my taste on the evening.

Well, I booked a table on Tuesday night. First I dialled the previous number I had for them, to be redirected to a new number. I phoned the new number to find that the previous restaurant had closed and was the new restaurant convenient? Well, it was so I booked a table.

Sometime Wednesday, they phoned the house. Apparently, their oven / barbecue was broken. And they knew about this when I'd booked the table. Huh? They're letting me book a table for a barbecue when they know it's broken? What am I doing to do, eat rice and noodles all night?!

So I had to pick an alternative. Um-ing and ah-ing over the Yellow Pages, I ended up back at the Mexican. So I booked a table. This met with groans of dissatisfaction, but we went anyway.

We had the choice of four tables - all of which had sort of a padded bench seat around some portion of the table, and we picked the corner nearest the entrance, which had the largest amount of bench. Unfortunately, it didn't have a light above it, so as the evening wore on, the corner became rather dim. Their lights were hanging chandelier type affairs with five bulbs set around a central point. I wouldn't have noticed the oddity of the lights if we'd had one of our own, but each chandelier had one bulb that flickered like a flame. As each one had one, presumably you can buy bulbs like that (to give it authentic rusticky charm or something).

And the food was very good... whether they'd changed things since last time or not I'm not sure; I had roughly the same as that night only I'm sure they were King Prawns the first time, and these were sort of Earl or Duke Prawns - not quite up to the size I was expecting, but tasty nonetheless. After a disappointing pint of Stella during the enormous platter type starter, I went for a bottle of Sol as drink for the latter part of the meal. It came with a bit of lime stuck in the neck of the bottle, and I made suitable failed attempts at drinking around / through it. On being prompted that I could use the lime to sort of pump the lager out of the bottle, I succeeded only in losing it inside. Practice obviously makes perfect, but that'll have to wait for another venue.

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