Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lawn Darts Are Out/Meatloaf is In

There was some drama over at Doug’s Donuts Diner and it involved a trophy that had been prominently displayed in a glass case ever since 1988. The case was specially built for the trophy which sat on a turntable and had a multitude of spotlights aimed directly at its golden features. The restaurant staff won the trophy when they competed in a town wide event that pitted businesses against businesses and they defeated their rivals at the Pizza Bucket Hut in a fierce lawn dart competition. Weeks after the historic win, lawn darts were banned in the United States because so many children had been maimed by flying, weighted shards of pointed metal. One month after they were banned, Pizza Bucket Hut shuttered. Coincidence? Perhaps, but many folks say that the loss of the competition followed so soon by the banishment of his beloved lawn darts was too much for Pizza Bucket Hut’s owner, Billy Bingelow.

The prized trophy sat inside its glass vault for decades, a reminder of what once was. Over time, as employees left Doug’s Donuts Diner, fewer people remembered the event, and even fewer cared about it at all.

“What’s that old dusty trophy for, anyway?” asked Lucille, the newest waitress at the diner.

“Oh, good lord, some stupid tournament from the 1980s,” replied Betty May. “I started working here right after they won it and you’d think they won the gosh darn Olympics when really it was just lawn darts.”

Lucille was visibly surprised. “Lawn darts? Those things were awful! I have a one-eyed cousin who was injured playing lawn darts. They are pure evil.”

“My God, your poor cousin…What an awful way to lose an eye,” said Betty May.

“Oh, she was born that way. The lawn dart just punctured her left foot. Went right through her sandal, bless her heart. So why’s the trophy still here?”

“I’ll tell you why it’s still here,” a loud booming voice bellowed out from the kitchen.

Rusty was the fry cook at Doug’s Donuts Diner and was team captain on that glorious day they came home with the lawn dart trophy.

“That trophy represents everything! Back in August of 1988, we here at Doug’s weren’t just co-workers. We were a team. We were a family. We cared about each other and when we beat those assholes at the Pizza Bucket Hut, it meant that everyone in this town knew how strong a bond we had. It took lawn darts to teach me the value of camaraderie and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t look at the trophy, wipe a tear from eye and thank God in heaven for giving me that lesson.” He walked over to face Lucille, his beer belly a few inches away from the apron tied around her waist, and glared at her. “You gotta problem with that trophy?”

“Well, it seems kinda crazy that we got this trophy here all in spotlights and it’s for a sport that injured thousands of kids and killed so many people. My one-eyed cousin probably wouldn’t appreciate seeing that trophy there. I mean, maybe it’s time for it to go so we can put something else on that revolving pedestal.”

Betty May, sensing that things could go very wrong at any minute, stepped in between the two, but Rusty shoved her out of the way.

“What could possibly be more important than my lawn dart trophy??” he wanted to know.

“Well,” said Lucille. “How about that plaque we got last week from the newspaper for Best Meatloaf? That’s something that all of us can relate to now. Lawn darts are a thing of the past but meatloaf is our future, Rusty.”

“But that trophy is a reminder of what I had in 1988,” he countered. “What about my history?”

“If we move the trophy somewhere else, is that going to make you forget about how you felt when you won it? Does that outdated relic of the past need to have a spotlight on it in order for you to remember your history? That just seems silly to me. If my cousin came here and saw that trophy with her one good eye, it would remind her of a dark day in her history. Is your history more important than hers? The Best Meatloaf plaque can be something we can all take part in, customers and co-workers alike, Rusty.”

He stood there, shell-shocked that someone wanted to take away his lawn dart trophy, but then her words sunk in. He realized that times change and what was once important to a lot of people might not be as relevant anymore. She was right. He would never forget the joy he felt on that late summer day when he and his co-workers threw sharp pieces of metal through the air and ended up winning a trophy for it. His memories were forever with him and it didn’t matter where the trophy was. Lucille was right. He smiled at her, not realizing yet that at that very moment he was creating a new memory with a new co-worker.

“Thanks,” he told her. “Why don’t you go get that Best Meatloaf plaque and I’ll take the trophy out of its case. Maybe lawn darts weren’t the smartest thing in the world, but at the time it seemed alright, you know?”

Lucile smiled at him. “But meatloaf is forever, huh, Rusty?”

“It sure is, Lucille. It sure is.”

Another 1-Star Review To Shred

Forgive me for doing another post about a stupid 1-star review, but they give me such joy that I simply could not let this review from Ashley pass me by. It appears she gave one star to a seemingly popular and well-liked Mexican restaurant in Sacramento called El Novillero. She did not like their “petty policy” of not allowing outside food and beverages into the restaurant. Ashley, who claims she comes from a restaurant and hospitality background, has never experienced such a “ridiculous policy.”

Sorry, girl. That’s pretty standard. Typically, restaurants are not going to want you to carry in your own food and drinks. If you have never heard of that before, I question where you go eat. Wait, are you one of those people who take your kids to restaurants and then pull a fucking Happy Meal out of your purse? Yeah, we hate you.

Long story short: The restaurant didn’t want Ashley to come in with her Venti Passion Black Tea Lemonade. She had been sick for a week and it was the first time she had her “normal daily tea” in days, which is the “best part” of her day. (Life hack: if the best part of your day is a freaking tea from Starbucks, aim higher.) Adding insult to injury, the tea was made by her favorite barista and it was given to her for free! And then El Novillero had to come along and dump all over her by letting her know that they don’t allow outside food and beverages.

Needless to say, Ashley is never going back. Not only was she upset by not being allowed to drink the most hipster beverage I have ever heard of, she also disliked the salsa, comparing it to Pace, like that’s a bad thing.

The final straw that broke this insufferable camel’s back was that the tortilla chips were not warm! To Ashley, this tells her that they were not made fresh. Does she think that Mexican restaurants pull chips from the fryer seconds before going to the table? That’s not how it works. I have worked in a Mexican restaurant and the chips were made early in the morning before opening. Otherwise, the fryer would be full of tortilla chips all day and there would never be a chance to make anything else. Them not being warm does not mean they aren’t fresh, Ashley. It more than likely means they were not in a warmer.

Looking at Ashley’s profile, she loves to review on Yelp. In fact, she has 90 of them! You know she is dreaming of the day she becomes a member of Yelp Elite so she can have business cards made stating how very important she is. I also notice that out of the 90 reviews, 26 of them are 5-star while 27 of them are 1-star. This tells me that Ashley may be the problem more often than the establishment itself.

Sadly for El Novillero, they won’t be getting any “word of mouths” from Ashley and with her being a “huge foodie,” that could potentially be devastating to their future business. At least that’s what Ashley thinks. Anyone with half of a brain will read her review and have this response:

Read Ashley G.‘s review of El Novillero on Yelp

Want to Write a Guest Blog for This Page?

Here’s the deal: I am going on vacation soon and therefore, I am looking for guest bloggers who might be interested in writing something for this very blog. I need about 10-12 pieces that will be posted in September while I am away trying to do permanent damage to my liver. You up for it?

All guest bloggers get to choose what they want to write about and I will gladly link your personal blog or any other social media you want attention on, be it Twitter, Instagram or whatever.

Here are the details:

  • Topic is your choice. A personal story, a list, venting, etc.
  • Keep it under 600 words and please do a spell check. (I might edit for clarity)
  • Send it to me at side of mustard at gmail dot com. Subject line “Guest Blogger.”
  • I prefer it be pasted in the body of the email.
  • Give it a title. (I might change it, I might not)
  • Attach a photo to accompany the blog post. (I might use it, I might not)
  • Send the links to what you want me to link to.
  • I will respond to every submission and let you know whether or not it will be used.
  • If your piece is chosen, I will let you know when it goes live on the blog and when it will be posted on the Facebook page.
  • If I get way too many submissions, I might decide I’m too lazy to follow through on this and just drink heavily instead.
  • Deadline is 8/25/17

Okay, make sense? I can’t wait to see what you guys have in store for me!


This Week’s Stupid 1-Star Review is From Kevin H.

In this week’s review of a stupid 1-star review, allow me to introduce you to Kevin who recently dined at Savannah, Georgia’s historic The Olde Pink House. Having dined there myself, I can attest that it is quite lovely. In fact, I liked it so very much that I chose to go there a second time for my final meal on my vacation in Savannah. Sadly, it did not meet up to Kevin’s expectations. In fact, it “just sucks.”

Let me break it down for you. He thinks it was overpriced for the portions, which is subjective. If one is used to “all you can eat apps” for $10, it may be hard to adjust to paying $11.95 for a pan seared jumbo lump crabcake. However, look at the menu before you go and decide if the prices are comfortable for you. Mostly, he is upset that it was his wife’s birthday and they didn’t roll out the red carpet, shoot of the confetti cannons or tickle his taint for the momentous occasion. It seems she wanted shrimp and grits for her birthday dinner, so rather than go to a restaurant that, you know, actually had shrimp and grits on the menu, they went to The Olde Pink House and asked them to make it for her. The waitress obliged, but what came out was a “stupid shrimp and grit CAKE!” Now, keep in mind the restaurant was trying to accommodate Kevin’s wife by making something that wasn’t on the menu. His wife “was not happy at all.” However, when the waitress asked how things were, they told her everything was fine and they ate it anyway. Based on my experience, the staff would have wanted to fix the problem, but if you tell them there is no problem, they don’t know that something needs to be fixed. Your fault, Kevin.

Also, his mother-in-law only got two scallops in her meal, her spinach was salty and the father-in-law’s pickles were too sour. Kevin and his brood of really great customers told the manager about this disappointment and her meal was comped. But Kevin still left a 1-star review because that’s what over-complainers do.

Finally, the waitress told them there was surprise in store for them to celebrate the fact that Kevin’s wife clawed her way out of a vagina so many years ago. When the surprise arrived, Kevin again had his hopes dashed upon the rocks because all they received was a “little fruit, a little whipped cream, and happy birthday written in chocolate” along with four spoons. Kevin did not understand how all four of them were supposed to eat such a small amount. What I don’t understand is what Kevin expected for free. Did he think they were going to roll out a giant cake out of which would pop Stevie Wonder to sing Happy Birthday? (Honestly, probably not a good idea since he’s blind and all that. Insurance liabilities, you know?) Kevin, if you want something really special and delicious and big enough for all four of you to share, maybe you should pay for it. That way, you can be assured of what you are getting. See how that works? If you don’t want fruit, you wouldn’t order fruit. If you want a lot of dessert, you would order two or three. It’s not the responsibility of TheOlde Pink House or any other restaurant to satisfy a birthday dessert craving for free. When a restaurant brings out a free dessert for your special occasion, it’s a gesture of kindness and not an expectation.

Kevin ends his review explaining that he doesn’t don’t plan on going back to Savannah again, but making a point to say that even if he did, he will NOT set foot in The Olde Pink House which is probably fine with them. Both times I ate there, there was a line of people outside the door waiting to experience the delicious food, wonderful atmosphere and stellar service. They’ll be fine without you, Kevin. And happy birthday to your wife.

Here is Kevin’s full review:

This place just sucks. It’s way over priced for the portions you get. It definitely did not live up to the hype at all. We visited Savannah for the first time for my wife’s birthday weekend and this was the grand finale dinner. I wish we went to any other restaurant in Savannah but this one. My wife just wanted shrimp & grits for her birthday dinner. You would think a top rated restaurant in Savannah would make a great shrimp & grits. WRONG! That is the furthest thing from the truth! I told our waitress we just wanted shrimp & grits and she said “oh yeah, we can definitely do that, it’s something off the menu, but we can do it” and I said “yes we wanted that”. Instead we get some stupid shrimp and grit CAKE! Also, we ordered a side of crab cake. The crab cake was a little ball and it was disgusting. My wife was not happy at all. When the waitress asked how it was, we told her it was fine and we ate it but we asked for regular shrimp & grits and not a shrimp & grits cake. She tells us well there’s something off the menu, that we could have done and I said that’s what we asked for!!! She shrugs and then says wait we have a surprise for the birthday girl. It was a little fruit, a little whipped cream, and happy birthday written in chocolate. Not even a little piece of cake, wow. My wife’s parents were with us and she gave us 4 spoons. We didn’t see how 4 people could eat the little they gave us. Also, my mother in law only got 2 scallops, her spinach was really salty, and my father in law’s bread & butter pickles were too sour. The manager stopped by and my mother in law told her what was wrong with her meal and they didn’t charge us for her meal. We don’t plan on coming back to Savannah but if we do, we will definitely NOT step foot in the olde pink house! Really the only highlight from the whole dinner was the molasses that my father in law ordered but heck that was probably store bought out of a jar. P.S. if you want advice for how to do shrimp & grits correctly, give Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar in Charleston a call and also hire competent waitresses who understand what customers want!

Comedian Makes Waiter Cry, But in a Good Way

Bert Kreischer is a stand-up comedian* who just landed on my radar because of what he does at every single one of his shows. At the end of the performance, he asks the audience to donate money that he uses for a raffle for the wait staff at the club. Having served in a stand-up comedy venue, I can speak from experience that this would be a blessing to whichever server wins it. (Read: some of the people who go see stand-up are some shitty tippers…)

This particular video from February of this year is extra awesome because the audience digs deep into their pockets and the money flows stronger than tequila on Margarita Monday. The lucky recipient is a single dad named Greg who has a daughter with a birthday coming up. Once the audience hears that, the get even more generous and basically start throwing money at the stage. The whole thing is pretty touching and when Greg gets a little bit teary-eyed, even my cold dead heart warms up a teeny tiny bit.

Thank you to Burt Kreischer for always remembering the wait staff at the comedy venues around the country. It’s a great gesture and it makes me want to see one of your shows even though watching stand-up comedy gives me flashbacks to the six months that I thought I could be a stand-up comedian. (I failed…)

* I do not know why he is not wearing a shirt. I think it’s his thing..


I Ate at Applebee’s and Now They Are Closing Down 100+ Restaurants

I just read today that Applebee’s is closing over 100 stores this year and I feel partly responsible. Who knew this blog was so powerful? Maybe you heard, but I had lunch at Applebee’s last week. The popular restaurant chain is often the butt of my jokes and I figured that I should go see what it’s really like before I keep making fun of them. Before going any further, let me remind you that I am an equal opportunity offender and no restaurant is safe from my barbs, not even my own. A simple glance at my Instagram where I share the frightening photos of my shift meals will prove that. Finally, I have never and would never make fun of someone for working at Applebee’s. A job is a job and tips are tips. That being said, I ventured into an Applebee’s in Astoria, Queens armed with my cell phone where I live streamed my lunch. If I would have known that my actions would have caused so many places to go out of business, I never would have done it. But I did and I will always carry that shame with me for the rest of my life.

I entered at 3:15 and was promptly greeted by a friendly young woman who took me to my seat right away. At 3:18, my server Christian arrived at my table where he introduced himself and suggested an appetizer and a drink. “Way to suggestive sell,” I thought. He highly recommended something called a Red Apple Sangria, but I declined and ordered a frozen margarita with salt. (More on that later.) It arrived at 3:23 at which time I ordered a chicken quesadilla which showed up about ten minutes later.

The server: Christian was super friendly and did everything I would expect of a server. He took my order on one of those table top kiosks and it was my first experience with them. It seemed efficient enough and although I was tempted to hit the call button just to see how long it would take for him to come check on me, I never did. I also wondered how dirty it was. (Do those things get wiped down every day?) Regardless, Christian was great, even though I think he lapsed on his two bite check back. Also, he called me “dude” or “bro” a couple of times which was a nice attempt at pretending I’m not a big ol’ flaming queen.

The ambiance: There were about nine other tables when I got there which was surprising, seeing that it was so late in the day. I watched four high school girls come in and sit next to me and they were genuinely excited to be there. I pitied Christian because I knew they would probably leave a shitty tip. As expected, there were TV’s all over the place showing varying programs involving men playing with balls. “Sports,” I think it’s called.

The restaurant itself: My fork was dirty. Like not with water spots, but dried on food like dressing or something. Luckily, there were three other place settings for me to choose from, so I found the one that gave the impression of being the most clean and used it. (I must say, I think Christian should have cleared the place settings I wasn’t using, but whatever. He was busy bussing tables and being friendly, so it’s fine.) So many menus with so many pictures at Applebee’s! My eyes didn’t know where to look. Do people who eat at Applebee’s need photos of the food before they order it? Doesn’t that just set up the restaurant to fail because we all know that the food that comes from the kitchen will look nothing like the perfectly Photoshopped image in the menu.

The margarita: Oh dear. It tasted like Gatorade with a backwash topper. Way too much sour mix. Plenty of people told me via the comments on the feed that I should have ordered a perfect margarita if I wanted a good one. Ummm, so if I want something that tastes good there are certain things to avoid? Good to know, Applebee’s. I didn’t complain because I knew that the next one would taste exactly same. Complaining about a shitty frozen margarita at a chain restaurant is like complaining about Payless shoes being cheap. You get what you pay for. And yes, I drank every drop of it.

Worst margarita I have had in a long time. Still drank it.

The quesadilla: Okay, I liked it. It was crispy and smelled and tasted like butter which doesn’t necessarily mean there was any butter involved in the making of it. The chicken was tasty and I blocked out that it probably came from a sub-par food supplier where chickens are raised in tiny cubes never seeing the light of day. Yummy! The iceberg lettuce on the plate was fresh and crunchy and the sour cream was cold. I didn’t really venture into either of the sauces because… I mean…let’s not go crazy.


Overall, I got what I expected: decent service with adequate food. When I first mentioned on the Facebook page that I was going to do do a live stream from Applebee’s, some folks assumed I was going in there to be a dick. That’s not what I do. I am never a dick to my servers. One person in particular was especially upset with my plan but if she watches the video, she will see that I was nothing but respectful to the staff. So fuck off, Nicole. My only regret is that so many people saw the video and my disappointment with my margarita that the big wigs at Applebee’s felt it necessary to shutter the doors of so many restaurants. For that, I am sorry.

And yes, I left Christian a good tip.