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Monday, November 6, 2006

Would You Like More Meat, Ma’am?

Joe and I "celebrated" our 3rd anniversary a few weeks ago. When I mean "celebrated", I mean we went out and bought a $1 card from Sav-A-Center and hurriedly wrote "I love you" so that it appeared we had put some thought into our marriage. Actually, the celebration would come later since Joe's gift to me was a fabulous night out at the Imperial Palace Casino in Biloxi to watch the Cirque Jungle performance (my gift to him is the Def Leppard/Journey concert we'll be attending on the 17th).

We double-dated (how cheesy) with a couple who married one week before we did. They're fun to be around, and we always have a great time when we do things with them. Can you sense that I'm building up to something really exciting? I am, you just WAIT!

So, we get to the casino around 5 p.m. and meet up with Shawn and Trish. Let's call them "Shish" since the trend seems to shuck the conventional method of actually calling people by their first names and, instead, opts to meld the names together into one stupid sounding name (think Brangelina or Bennifer). We meet up with Shish and walk into the casino together. After we got carded (yep, uh huh, we got carded) we made our way into the casino and decided to stop at the buffet to get dinner before the performance.

We make our way to the buffet and notice that there's a long line that extends longer than the length of a football field. Surely, I thought, this line was not for the buffet. Perhaps they were giving away $10 bills somewhere or maybe David Hasselhoff was signing autographs at the bar. These people would be insane to wait this long for 3 day old meatloaf and crusted macaroni and cheese. I was wrong. I'd have to eat a pre-meal to wait in a line that long. That pre-meal would have to consist of a starch, vegetable, meat, bread and tea (preferably unsweetened w/ lemon). So, in other words, mama wasn't having that. Shish seemed OK with waiting, but after standing in line for two minutes, Shish decided against waiting. We ultimately decided to go downstairs to the "swanky" restaurant in the lobby. When I say "swanky", I mean expensive. I'll explain in a few minutes.

We walk into this really cool place. It's somewhat dungenous in its decor - dimly lit, lots of natural stone on the walls, huge wooden chandeliers hanging from the ceiling with lit candles instead of electric bulbs, fire pits, medieval men bludgeoning crappy tippers with weapons of mass destruction. Still paying attention? Good. I was kidding about that last part. There really were fire pits in the place.

A man named "Ox" is our waiter for the evening. I'm not sure if this is his nickname/stage name or if his mom was cruel and actually named him Ox. I didn't ask to see his birth certificate or anything, so I'm really not sure.

Here's how it went down with Ox:

Ox: "So, have you guys been here before?"
All: "No."
(During this time I'm looking under my napkin, under the table, and under my dinner plate for the menu. No menu, not a good sign.)
Ox: "You guys are in for a real treat." (My first thought, no we're not.)
All: "Great!" (I had a fake smile on at this point because I look to my right and notice huge chunks of meat turning around on some prehistoric fire pit/skewer thing.)
Ox: "This place is all about meat. You see this red/green coaster right here? (Points to coaster on table) You turn it to green and our wait staff will bring you a continuous stream of meat. There's tons of meat to eat. Meat, meat, meat and more meat. I hope you guys like meat!"

(With each utterance of meat, I felt the urge to purge. For those of you who know me, I'm not much of a meat person. I will occasionally dine on cow and chicken, but that's pretty much the extent of my meat eating. It's very hard for me to eat something that was once living, so I automatically knew this wasn't going to be a pleasant dining experience for me - especially since the meat was brought to us in such a barbaric way.)

Shish: "Great, wow, exciting!"
Joe: "Great, wow, exciting!"
Natalie: ""
Ox: "Ok, turn your green light on and let's go!"

And so it began.

Meat, meat, meat. Ox was right. There was meat galore. Lamb, cow, pork, no innocent animal was spared! It was like a meat glutton's delight. Here's the most fan-fricken-tastic part of the whole dining experience - you couldn't even have a conversation because you were constantly interrupted to feast on more dead animals.

Shish: "So, what have you guys been up to (talking to us)?"
Us: "Well, ..."
Waiter: "More meat, ma'am, sir?"
Joe: "SURE!"
Me: ""
Us: "So, Shish, how is the baby?"
Shish: "Well, she's..."
Waiter: "How about a huge chunk of meat, ma'am/sir?"
Joe: "SURE"
Me: ""

So, that's basically how it went down the entire time. We basically said three words to each other the entire night, and Joe got his fill of meat. I ate a small bite of cow and tried to fill up on the black bean soup at the bar. $110 later I walked out of the restaurant more hungry than I was when I first got there. Yes, you read that right. We spent $110 on meat and a salad.

It was, quite possibly, the stupidest dining experience I've ever had. I can see how this may have been a good idea in theory. I just imagine two meat-eating guys sitting on a fraternity couch (half drunk) saying, "Hey, do you want to start a restaurant that only serves meat?!" In my mind, I named these guys Bubba and Bo just because I hate those names and always imagine backwoods idiots when I hear them. At least Bubba and Bo had enough common sense to hire a decorator for the restaurant. I'm sure if they'd had their way deer heads, indian dream catchers, Lynard Skynard t-shirts, and car parts would've been the main focal points of the establishment.

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