seasleepy: (Default)
[personal profile] seasleepy
One day a few months ago, the Outback that was in a shopping center relatively near us suddenly closed up shop. The renovations for the new tenant began shortly thereafter, and they finished...well, last week, apparently.

So tonight, Jerry and Helen and I went out for dinner... to the Lone Star Texas Grill.

And now I have some inkling of what it is like to see your country's pavilion at Epcot.

All the staff are dressed up in "Texan" outfits -- lots of cowboy shirts, a few people with boots, some poor guy in a bolo tie. They have a triangle they pull out to ring to let everyone in the restaurant know there's someone who's going to attempt their 72 oz. steak (this is apparently a Texan tradition, according to the menu .....I guess it's been around for a while at one restaurant that has "Texan" in the name?). The decor has lots of boots and cowboy hats and stars and longhorns and wagon wheels, as you might expect, as well as a giant light fixture shaped like a horseshoe, which... is relatively unexpected. They describe taquitos as "spring rolls" on the menu, and the queso is listed as "con queso", which...what?

But the most seriously brain-breaking thing there for someone actually from Texas? Especially for someone from Amarillo?

They have an item on the menu called Panhandle Tilapia.

Date: 2009-08-30 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What's the big deal? That was just like being at your parent's house at Thanksgiving.



Date: 2009-08-30 04:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When I was in the UK, we went to a place serving "New York Style" Italian food. Uhhh.....yeah, no.

I mean, it was good food, but not at all what I would have called NY style. Especially the Pizza. And the names of some of the dishes really made this born-in-NY girl cringe. I feel your pain.

Date: 2009-08-30 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"And now I have some inkling of what it is like to see your country's pavilion at Epcot"

Wait a mean all Norwegian women don't wear red skirts and ruffly blouses and go around handing out beer? Mexico doesn't exist in a state of constant twilight? Taiko drummers don't spontaneously appear every 20 minutes in Japan?


Date: 2009-08-30 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Actually, the first location was in Ottawa, and they actually have a "ranch" in Ottawa that they do the catering for (yes, I've been there). The restaurant was actually founded by a Texan who moved to Ottawa a few decades ago. I suspect that guy is no longer involved in making the decisions.

I suppose it's much the same as someone from China walking into a North American Chinese food restaurant. I highly doubt they'll find much they'd be eating back home.

Date: 2009-08-31 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I suppose it's much the same as someone from China walking into a North American Chinese food restaurant. I highly doubt they'll find much they'd be eating back home.

I don't think it's actually that bad, as there are very few large 'Chinese Restaurant Chains' (Mandarin is the only one that comes to mind) that cater to the 'non-Chinese' market. Most Chinese restaurants are still run as small businesses by people doing authentic Chinese cooking. There are some concessions to North American tastes, or people like me who are a fusion of Chinese and North American culture, but the differences you see are more regional variations as opposed to stereotypes. (Cantonese versus Szechuan, versus Shanghai, etc.)

What you don't find is the 'street food' that you get in Taiwan or China. Some Dim Sum is converted street food (e.g. pork buns), but, you don't get the deep friend scorpion or random seafood on a stick or the rolled egg pancakes on a griddle sort of thing, for example.

And most 'regular' Chinese meals are a lot simpler than what you would see in North America - almost every meal is boiled rice, some vegetables, a little meat. Some tofu from time to time, depending on region. Nothing fancy.


Date: 2009-08-30 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh lawd.

That is all.


Date: 2009-08-30 01:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just caught something in passing on the Travel channel about a restaurant in El Paso (I think) that is known for the 72 oz. steak. If you eat it all in 1 hour, it's free.

Date: 2009-08-30 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I ate a Lone Star Texas Grill when I was in Toronto for the Bash. When we were leaving, some people outside tried to sell us steak knives. It was very odd.

Date: 2009-08-30 02:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think I ate at that same location (the one just down the street from the hotel?). It was the worst "salsa" I've ever had.

Date: 2009-08-30 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yup, right down the street. I remember absolutely nothing about the food. Which is humorous, because I was sober when we went there. I was completely drunk off my ass when we went to the Keg and I remember most everything we ate.

Date: 2009-08-30 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh wow. Texas Roadhouse doesn't even try that hard.


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