Posts Tagged ‘Restaurant’

Ok, I know, I know–why is a twenty-five-year-old man so concerned with College Park?

No, it’s not to scope out under-21’s and talk to them. I have OKCupid for that. Nor is it to speak on social media and, in turn, create memes out of my fellow Terps. They do that on their own. Since I live a literal hop, skip, and a jump away from UMD, I find myself in the area more often than I like to admit than not. I also still conduct a teeny bit of business in the area, therefore I’m invested in places where I can (cheaply) talk turkey. So, when I heard that a Denny’s was opening in the area, I was both cautious and enthusiastic. Growing up in Baltimore, the only Denny’s within a twelve-mile radius was this run-down spot near North Point Road that’s now a Sudsville laundromat near an almost deserted K-Mart.

This area looks almost nothing like it did when I was younger...but almost exactly the same. Think about it.

This area looks almost nothing like it did when I was younger…but almost exactly the same. Think about it. About five minutes from here resides the Gentleman’s Gold Club. It’s exactly what you think it is.

Suffice to say, I’d heard of it, knew what it was, but I’d never had it. But, I always wanted it. Like some slightly below average Holy Grail, I searched high and low for a Denny’s. Whenever I found one, there was always something a bit…better to do/eat. But, recently, I couldn’t avoid my cautious enthusiasm about the place any longer. So, after a long day at work, the family and I drove down Route One, past the Enclave, past the Taco Bell, to a little slice of Americana: the Denny’s of Greater College Park. While I didn’t expect five-star dining, what I got exceeded my lowest expectations in terms of “SMH.”

When we walked in, we were three of (including the staff) maybe twenty people in the restaurant. I chalked it up to finals, but it stuck out in my mind; the place just opened not too long ago. Ke$ha and Bruno Mars played from the sound system, so the idea of this being a slice of modern Americana was kept intact, albeit a bit glittered and puffed up. Our waiter, a young woman in her twenties, was pleasant but forgot the bare necessities (making sure your tables are properly equipped with silverware, keeping your menus accessible, keeping your order pad on your person, checking back on your customers, making sure your customers aren’t ready to torch the place because the service they’ve gotten has been below sub-par, etc). When we finally did get her to stop and get everything in order, she was quite apologetic for everything (that’s a plus to alleviate my negativity) and took our orders. I had the “Red White and Blue” French Toast. The family had kid-sized spaghetti and the Cheesesteak Omelet, respectively.

About forty minutes later (after a slew of “mishaps”), our food arrived. My “red white and blue” was replaced by butter pecan and cinnamon. My eggs were cold and my sausages were more mushy than my cats food. The omelet lacked, well, most of what it was supposed to have (you know, peppers, onions, taste–that sort of thing). And our beverages were…unique. We got flavored lemonades. The “mango lemonade” was some Minute Made that was (supposedly) squeezed fresh with a giant glob of mango syrup at the bottom. I stirred and I stirred, but they just don’t make water wet enough to dissolve the “mango” into the drink in any way. I’d understand if it’s puree; puree isn’t supposed to flat-out dissolve into things. But, it was literally half-a-cup full of syrup.

The only thing that came out remotely like expected was my kid’s spaghetti.

Upon paying my check, the cashier asked me how everything was.

“Uh, it was…cool…kind of different,” I hesitantly said, biting my tongue.

“Well, it wasn’t no Ruth’s Chris, was it,” the cashier cheekily asked me, sensing my disdain.

And in the back of my mind (and the front of it), I answered honestly.

“No. No, it wasn’t,” I retorted as I walked out, head-shaking family in tow.

Did I expect Ruth’s Chris? Heck no. But, I at least expected something better than what I got. Maybe it’s some post-open jitters that they’re still trying to work out. That’s entirely possible, just like Terrapin Turf before it (expect a part three of that series at some point, probably in the fall of ’14 with my old a**). Personally, I probably wouldn’t go back for a while, but if you’re in the mood to wait around and possibly get the wrong food, check it out.

At least the pancake puppies were divine. Even though by the time they brought us syrup, the puppies had gotten a bit cold.

Until next time, this is your (admittedly cynical) critic Speed on the Beat, the one who endures awkwardness and clusters so you don’t have to, signing off.

Recently, after enjoying the greatness that is Burger King I started to think about some reasons why BK is better than the golden arches. Now that list of reasons can be read and viewed by all. These are the eight reasons, in no particular order of importance as to why McDonald’s is not the greatest of all the fast food restaurants. Enjoy!

Filet O Fish

8. FILET O FISH = TOO PRICEY! Here is my plight with McDonald’s on the Filet O Fish sandwich. In recent years the level of quality in its taste and presentation have decreased significantly. As a boy, the Filet O fish was always one of my favorite items on the menu. But as of recently, it has been slowly but surely losing its once great flavor. Not only is its taste suffering, but the portion size of the actual filet has decreased as well. And let’s not forget the fact they are cutting back on the amount of cheese you get on the sandwich now. Who the hell wants a half of a slice of cheese on their sandwich? Needless to say, I feel that their $3+ dollar price tag per sandwich is too much. I think that the filet o fish should be on the dollar menu. Once or twice a year they allow the filet o fish to sell for a dollar. I think they should keep it a dollar all year ’round. Then I wouldn’t feel so cheated after every filet o fish purchase.

7. THEY DON’T HAVE A DELIVERY SERVICE! As unhealthy as McDonalds food is for an ever-expanding morbidly obese population, I feel that you can not be the king of fast food restaurants without providing something that other fast food restaurants don’t already have. And that of course is the ground breaking fast food delivery service. Of course, I pity any person who would end up having that s%&##! job. I can just imagine being asked what I do for a living and having to respond with a  disappointing, “McDonald’s delivery man.” But hey, someone would want or for lack of a greater opportunity, need to do it. Come on McDonalds! You need to sustain us McNugget lovers  by driving to our homes and providing us with those delectable crispidy, crunchety morsels of cluck cluck goodness in 20 minutes or less at any time of the day. Just imagine what wonders it would do for your average 2am pot smoker.

French Fries

6. SUPER SALTY FRIES! As much as we spoiled Americans crave sodium (Side note: My boss actually adds salt to his McDonald’s Fries. Yeah, he’s practically begging death to come for him like a cast member of Final Destination.) I for one do not appreciate the barrel of salt they dump on my Mickey D’s french fries. That s%&# is enough to give a newborn high blood pressure. (Extra Side note: Never drink Hi-C orange while eating McDonald’s french fries. Your taste buds will not only be confused, they will separate themselves from your tongue, leap out of your mouth and curse you out as they exit.) On many occasions, I have watched in horror as the McDonald’s employee grabs the industrial sized salt shaker and begins their assault on those precious spuds and I almost want to jump over the counter and commence the whalin’ on that unsuspecting french fry Nazi. Yes, I despise the level of sodium those golden brown’s endure after that salt shower. Come on McDonald’s! Just put the salt down and no one will get hurt.

5. CALORIE COUNTER MENU! As much as I am pro-anything that enlightens people of the repercussions of their actions and choices, I do not like the empirical evidence of the pre-meditated damage that is going to be done to my body within the ten to fifteen minutes it will take me to devour my 2600 calorie combo. Nor do I like feeling like a fat ass when I decide to add a 250 calorie apple pie or a 1200 calorie shake to that meal. And the amount of time it takes other people in line to decide what to order so that they don’t appear to look like fat asses is truly slowing down the fast food process. I think I speak for us all when I say that if we have made the choice to eat at McDonald’s in the first place, we could care less about the onslaught of calories we are going to ingest as a result of our visit. Just give me my 10 pack of nuggets with one of those four new dipping sauces without notifying me in advance that I am eating over a quarter of the required daily calories and let me live in nugget bliss.

Hash Browns

4. $1 GETS YOU ONE HASH BROWN! Okay this one has bugged me ever since I first started getting McDonald’s breakfast after work. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that Mickey-D’s hash browns used to be packaged in a two for $1 deal like those ultra delicious apple pies of theirs. When did some bright person get the idea to give us less for the same price? Argh! The plight of the breakfast enthusiast and hash brown connoisseur. The day McDonald’s returns the 2 for $1 hash brown deal will be the day I buy 4 for $2. Come on golden arches, you know you want that extra buck.

3. EMPLOYEES NO LONGER SPEAK ENGLISH! Okay, before I go into what may seem like a racial rant, I would like to inform you that this is nothing of the such. I love my United nations members. With that said, I hate how none of the current McDonald’s employees speak English as their first language. As much as I like puzzles (Side Note: I once took an art of Africa course where the professor spoke with a super strong German accent and if I recall correctly I didn’t do so well in that class. College Woes! Argh!) I do not like having to decipher what the person responsible for my food is saying to me. What happened to the days when you would get to the drive thru box and actually be able to communicate with the person on the other end? McDonald’s you must institute an English-speaking policy. I don’t like realizing my order is messed up once I get all the way down the road because rather than extra queso on my sandwich there is extra lechuga. Ay yay yay!

McGriddles

2. THE MCGRIDDLE! First of all let me start by saying that whoever thought it would be a good idea to put salty, greasy sausage between two fluffy, sweet, syrup filled pancake like pieces of bread is truly a sodium and glucose craving fat ass. As much as I like sweet and salty things, I cringe at the site and taste of a McGriddle. While it may be a big person’s fantasy, I just don’t see the beauty in it. I think it was created by “The Man” as a weapon to give us all high blood pressure and diabetes, better known as population control. But you didn’t hear that from me.

1. W-T-F IS THE MCDOUBLE? Double Cheeseburger= Yes! McDouble=WTF? Whose idea was it to give us half a slice of cheese between two beef patties, giving it an entirely new name and replacing the double cheeseburger with it? Probably the same money hungry mammoth who thought it was a great idea to charge $1 for one hash brown. Seriously McDonald’s just add the extra 1.5 pieces of cheese back to the McDouble, re-name it back to the Double Cheeseburger, stamp the dollar price tag back on it and good times will be had by all.