Thursday, June 30, 2011

Prices slightly higher in Times Square and Hell


Whilst recently watching some network TV (probably the Bachelorette, God help me, that feels like my fucking job half the time), I happened to see an ad for Red Lobster's special Seafood Feast, wherein one might get a 4-course dinner for $15!!! THAT'S A HELL OF A DEAL. I couldn't find the ad online (because, what, there is nobody in the United States uploading all Red Lobster ads on YouTube? FUCK YOU AMERICA GET TO WORK. Sure, we have this one - FROM 2009 - or this one - FROM 1986 - but nothing for the Seafood Feast? WEAK.)

A N Y W A Y, there is a curious disclaimer at the end of the ad, reproduced here in their online advertising thing:

Now, ignore, if you can, the prospect of some signature New England Clam Chowder followed by some Shrimp-and-Scallops Alfredo and look there at the bottom. See it?


Now, Hawaii I can understand. It's very expensive to ship frozen processed seafood to an ISLAND CHAIN SURROUNDED BY AN OCEAN FULL OF FISH. It must take tons of fossil fuels to deliver each savory bite of parmesan-crusted tilapia to your table in Honolulu.


If you are in New York City, and you go to eat at Red Lobster, KILL YOURSELF. And not just because prices are higher in Times Square! But because you are in one of the greatest dining destinations in the World and you have chosen to drop off your hard-earned dollars in one of the crappiest chains there is. I don't eat a lot of seafood and I don't live in New York, but I will bet you ANYTHING there is a better seafood within walking distance of Times Square that's either comparable or cheaper.

Now I'm not some "Oh, I wouldn't dare eat at a chain" kind of snob. When I'm in the South, I loves me some Cracker Barrel and don't even get me started on Krystal. I want to open a Krystal here and CLEAN THE FUCK UP. I have been known to partake of In N Out, although I fail to see its mysterious allure, and fuck it, I'll throw down at McD's when the time is right.

But here's our standing deal: When we're traveling somewhere, NO CHAINS. C'mon, you've gone 500 or 1000 or 5000 miles away from home and the best thing you can think of is to have lunch at the same place you can hit while you're waiting for your car at Jiffy Lube back home? COME ON MAN.

[DISCLAIMER - I've never really traveled to the Far East and I guess if you went to China and all you had was squid eyes and catfish roe and dirt patties for a week, I could cut you some slack on posting up at KFC. But you're on an Intra-American trip, I'm pretty strict on this. NO CHAINS.]

[Second disclaimer - In the interests of exploration and reportage, I did hit up Supermac's last time I was in Ireland, which is like the Irish equivalent of McDonald's. Terrible. But none of the food in Ireland is any good. Well, there was this vegetable soup at this pub in Gerrykennedy that was really really good. But that's about it.]


Anonymous said...

I went to Chico State, and that town lost its damn mind when a Red Lobster and an Olive Garden opened. It was crazy. People waiting for HOURS for a table. Of course, that town is full of drunks, so their food choices are questionable.

And, I'm not a big supporter of chain restaurants, but I'm not made of stone. I do love me some Chili's.

Stephen said...

Part of the fun of going to China is eating dog and sea cucumber and pork stomach. Actually, that was part of the fun for me 25 years ago, I'm less adventurous now, not to mention vegetarian.

I have never heard of this Krystal, which seems strange given that there are 380 of them. Solidly non-coastal?

TK said...

Krystal wouldn't be of any interest to you since you're vegetarian, but it's like a really good White Castle. Little square burgers. I can eat 4 easily. Or 5, if we're hitting the drive-through at 2:30 am after drinking all night.

Soooooo good.

Jessica said...

Ah, this brings back so many childhood memories of family vacations spent at a series of Dairy Queens, Denny'ses, and Planets Hollywood. My brother's strict adherence to a french fries–only diet dictated our tendency toward establishments least likely to host a parsley-related a tantrum.

Of course, Olympia, WA, was probably the most cosmopolitan place we ever visited, so I suppose I didn't miss much.

periqueblend said...

In the South, fast food is different, and barely less healthy for you than what is served in most restaurants, now that Paula Deen! has taken over your tastebuds hon!

Krystal is fine. Cracker Barrel is nasty. The recipe for their grits is add water. No thanks. All you Yankees, if you ever see one keep on moving down the highway.

Citer said...

My wife and I are going to Louisville next week. She has never been to the "South" and I wanted her to experience the White Castle, Waffle House, Chik-Fil-A three headed monster. But you're saying when traveling never hit up a chain, how is she ever going to get to experience these fine establishments? It's not like we'removing to the South anytime soon!

TK said...

Periqueblend -

I can't vouch for the grits at CB, because I never get them. Their fried okra is awesome though.

Citer -

Hmmmm, you bring up a good point. I guess I can make an exception for chains that (1) are important and (2) are not available in your local area.

Waffle House is godawful but it's also such an institution that you need to hit it. Like we did.

I don't know where you are, but aren't there Chick-Fil-A's everywhere now?

Also, I see there isn't a Krystal in Louisville, but there is one in Bowling Green. ROAD TRIP.

inger said...

I think Ireland requires a bit of legwork to find the great stuff. I did a fair amount of searching for well-recommended places before we went, and was blown away by how good it was. Then again, fish and seafood was basically all I ate, so there is that.

The set on flickr if you're curious:

subframe said...

We just got back from China, and trust - it's easier to eat incredibly well for incredibly cheap, without resorting to chains, than anywhere else I've ever been. And you don't even have to eat insect pupae or fried sheep penis, you can just get some noodles or savory crepes for like $.75 and you're good.

We did go into a McD's to escape the heart-of-the-sun heat, and I got a smoothie from the McCafe. But I've never been to a McCafe here and probably never will be, so it was sort of adventurous in that way, right? right? Actcually, I feel ashamed now.

Gone To Guam said...

Speaking of islands surrounded by fish, this crap happens all the time on Guam. We are tricked by television commercials into actually thinking that, hey, 89 cents might be a good price for the Double Mega Melty Burrilupa or whatever crap Taco Hell is selling these days, when OH the voiceover comes on: "Only $1.89 on Guam." Then I remember that I don't eat there, even though it still bugs me that they double the price for tubes of powder they just add water to anyway. Then I go to the Co-Op, get a big hunk of mahi for like $5 and call it good.

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