Monday, October 31, 2005

Burger King drive-thru

Has anyone ventured into the Burger King drive-thru on Wheeling Island? As if Burger King wasn't already a poor choice. There are multiple entrances yet it's very tricky to navigate. One of the entrances is a back alley underneath an I-70 overpass. If you can manage to avoid the passed out bum and his bottle of grape Mad Dog, that's one option. The other way in is through the 2 separate parking lots. Just be careful to avoid the multiple cement car stop things. If you make it to the mechanical take-your-order gismo, that's half the battle. Then you've got to scream your order over the roar of the 18 wheelers directly above your head on I-70. Alright, you've managed to order that disgusting new breakfast sandwich which consists of 2 eggs, a slab of ham, 12 strips of bacon, 2 sausage patties and multiple slices of the orangest American cheese you've ever seen. By the way, isn't that child abuse? Selling that crap within 1000 ft. of an elementary school. Alright, you make it to the window, and lo and behold, the B.K. worker is that weird transvestite man-king from the commercials. Feasibly, that could be another violation - transsexual man-king mascot within a 1000 ft. of a school. Perhaps some Wheeling Island regicide is in order. Alright, you've got your breakfast sandwich and now you're leaving the lot. Danger awaits. One of the tightest turns in all of West Virginia is approaching. This shit is like a Formula One track and I'm Michael Jewmacher. If you drive anything larger than a Miata, you're fucked. The entire curb is covered with scrapes, but fortunately, they've put up these plastic/rubberized poles to help you make your way through. I'm not exactly sure what the poles are there for. Perhaps sodomization. I do not know.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

the demise of box of wine

For many years, I have been a strong proponent of the box of wine. I've always gotten the Cabernet Sauvignon box of Franzia. I like to refer to it as "CAB SAV BOX BLAH". The wine itself is mediocre but more importantly, it's convenient and efficient. The box of wine is a tradition that harkens back to the early Village days. The box of wine movement was originally encouraged by Ken D. That's just some irrelevant trivia.
Today, I have decided to close the door on this chapter. No more boxes of wine, only bottles. I have started my very own wine cellar. In all honestly, it's not really a wine cellar but more of a wine closet. I just line the bottles on this shelf-contraption. I'm focusing on bottles priced in the $7.00 - $12.00 range. I'm a big fan of Glen Ellen. I think they're the best of the mid-range winemakers.
On a slightly unrelated topic, anyone who drinks white zinfandel is a complete fucking idiot. Why would anyone drink this shit? I guess it might be acceptable at a Britney Spears/Russell Nesbitt sorority reunion, but that's about it. I'm seriously contemplating this idea where I make stickers that read, "If you like this product, you're a complete fucking idiot". Then, you discreetly put the stickers on all bottles of white zinf. I'd probably hit CVS and Rite Aid and then finish it off with a Kroger encore.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Washington Ave. Coffee Shop

I have been getting coffee at this place for approximately 2 years. It's part of my routine. I wake up, drive to Wheeling Jesuit and snag 2 newspapers (Wheeling Intelligencer and USA Today), then hit the coffee shop. It's a simple, pleasant loop. By the way, someone should bitch to the Whg. Jesuit student life people or the Father Acker man or whoever is in charge of the free newspapers. They don't offer the NY Times anymore. Would it be asking too much for them to renew their subscription? Perhaps I'll handle it through one of those anonymous complaint/suggestion boxes.
Anyway, the Wheeling Coffee Shop has become ingrained in my soul. I always get a cup of coffee. It costs $1.17 and I give the person $1.25. They get to keep the whopping 8 cents. Every once in awhile, I give them 2 singles so that's a little better - .83 cents. Still, it's nothing to write home about.
I don't know what frappacino or latte surprise is and personally, I think it's kind of embarrassing to order these "diva" drinks. So I just focus on a straightforward cup of Joe. I'm not sure who Joe is or why he became identified with the coffee movement during WW II. Regardless, Joe is very improtant.
They're worst coffees are Seattle Blend, French Roast and Italian Roast. The best of the dark coffees are Guatamalan, Brazilian, Mexican and Costa Rican. I guess the South Americans just make better coffee. That Seattle shit is disgusting and the Italian Roast tastes like they infused it with burnt lasagna and asphalt.
They also offer the flavored coffees like Chocolate Truffle or Sugar Cookie or Macaroon Mint. They have tons of these varities and they all suck. Maybe if I coached a male synchronized swim team, these flavors would be more enticing. But I don't.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Metropolitan Grill RETRACTION

A while back I wrote a very complimentary review about this new restaurant in town, The Met Grill. I've returned on 3 occassions and all 3 times this place absolutely SUCKED for a variety of reasons. It took some time but I have learned my lesson and will not be returning. Alright, here comes the onslaught. If you are sensitive to profanity I suggest closing this window immediately.
The first time I went with Amanda, the service and the food were decent. The second time, I invited my friend B.J. Even though there were a few open tables, they sat us in the back corner. Regrettably, no one decided to wait on us. We probably waited for 20 minutes before someone came over and offered to get us a beverage. Our server (I won't use female or male tags becuase there are only 3 servers) explained that they were a little confused because they were "short-staffed" and didn't know whose section we were in. So rather than saying anything at all, they just ignored us. This wasn't that big of a deal as I hadn't seen B.J. in some time and it was good to catch up. Anyway, the server finally came and took our orders and eventually we got our food which was ok. I had the portablla chicken hoagie and she had a turkey melt. Her sandwich was fair and mine was good. Despite the lunch running over it wasn't entirely bad.
The second time I went, I met G Max the day after the Stones show at PNC. Much to my surprise, a woman we all know and love (J.A.D.) sat next to us along with a couple of her co-workers. G Max arrived and ordered a steak salad and I had the prime rib sandwich and a side salad. G Max's food came and then mine arrived about 8 minutes later. Unfortunately, when it did arrive, there was no salad. Instead I received fries. This apparently would become a common theme - the dictatorial power of the servers over their customers. I thought about complaining but opted not to. Most likely because I might have to wait 15 more minutes to get the side salad. I also was afraid the server would get flustered and decide that he/she had to sit down at the table and eat the fries one by one. By the way, their fries aren't that great - odd that they would impose their will with regard to mandatory fries. Maybe they should call them freedom fries and go for the ironic twist. Anyway, G Max's salad was fair and my prime rib sandwich was slightly above average. I did order a coke to drink and it was exceptional. By the way, I neglected to mention that none of the servers have ever come by and ask how everything is. They just assume that things are ok. Or even worse yet, they're afraid that something might be poor and they'll have to deal with it. All in all, it wasn't a horrbible meal. Just more poor service and fair food.
Alright! Yesterday, Heather and I ate there. This was the final straw. I got there at 11:57 and was immediately greeted by our server. He asked if he could get me anything and I said a water with lemon. Within 2 minutes, I'm drinking my water. Heather arrives at 12:03. We would sit and wait for the next 30 minutes with absolutely no contact from anyone. I'm not kidding - 30 fucking minutes. We just sat there in disbelief. Heather wanted to call over the stoic hostess but I urged her not to. I was convinced that things would resolve themselves. I was entirely mistaken. All of a sudden, there's some mini-commotion outside the restaurant. I man comes in and asks for a chair and rushes back outside. Then I watch our server head to the front door. This was the first time we saw him since I got my water - about 32 minutes ago. He comes back in and is helping move this old black lady whose knees are bandaged up. This woman could hardly move - I suspect she had blood clots. Anyway, they sit her down in front of the whole restaurant and get her a glass of water. She was in really bad shape. I thought to myself, maybe if I had a seizure, I could get the attention of somebody and we could at least order the meal and/or Heather could get something to drink. Then the ambulance comes and they wheel her out right in front of us. After another 5 minutes, I signal to the hostess that we're ready to order. The hostess isn't even remotely apologetic or concerned. Strange, because she's been standing next to our inactive table for over half an hour. Anyway, Heather requests a water (from the hostess) and she says that our server will be right with us. 2 minutes later, he appears. Staying consistent, he doesn't even remotely apologize for the wait. He just looks at us with this oafish daze and asks, "So, are you ready to order?" We're exasperated but manage to place the order. Heather got a pizza and I got a chicken portabella hoagie with a side salad. He asks, "What kind of dressing would you like?" and I respond with the balsamic viniagrette. Now, another lengthy wait is ahead of us. I'd say it was another 27 minutes before we got our food. But here's the deal, we really didn't get our food. Heather is agitated becuase she sees her pizza just sitting on the ledge. He comes back over and says it will be a few more minutes. I actually contemplate just getting up and leaving. This is unheard of because I'm never one to complain about poor service, but this was getting ridiculous. In fact, it was so bad it became borderline amusing. Anyway, he brings over the food and, lo and behold, I get the sandwich, but once again, it has fries. I'm blown away that this same incident repeated itself. I politely mention that I ordered a side salad not fries, and he says, "Oh yeah, it comes with fries. Your side salad will be right out." Then, he disappears. I want to look at him and say, "You must think I'm a complete idiot." I figure, oh well, maybe I'll just get the salad to go at the end of the meal and eat it later. Heather mentions that she got her side salad at the end of the meal on a different occassion. I wonder, what the fuck is wrong with this place. I'm pretty hungry, so I'm just like fuck it and start to eat. Heather's pizza is room temperature because it sat on the ledge so long. I seriously doubt I'll even get the salad. Anyway, we scarf down the food (it's about 1:17pm). Our waiter isn't really interested in us. He never shows up to see how things are (the only thing that seems to be consistent with this place - a refusal of the wait staff to function as real waiters). We have to ask the hostess (who incidentally smiles about as much as Mr. Burns on The Simpsons) for a box. She did however refill our water glasses without us asking - a task well outside her specifically assigned duties.
Our waiter finally returns with the check and dorkilly asks, "So, how was everything?" He won't even acknowledge the salad fiasco. I imagine he thought that if he played dumb, I wouldn't remember the nonexistent salad. I look at him and I say, "Honestly" - he replies, "Oh yeah, you can tell me." Before I could get a word out, Heather says, "My pizza was cold." He says, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'll take care of it" and bolts off into the distance. Heather feels awkward about complaining and decides to exit before he returns. He comes back with a check for $5.30. That was the cost of my incorrect meal. He did eliminate the cost of the pizza altogether which was pretty cool, I guess. To be honest, I was surprised he took any action. Anyway, I crumpled two five dollar bills and stuffed them in the bill jacket. I figured that even though the service was atrocious and the order was wrong and the pizza was cold, at least it was entertaining. But then again, a suicide bomber in Gaza could also be deemed entertaining - it just depends on your perspective.
I still think the food is pretty good but the service at this place is so bad, it cannot be overlooked. They just seem to have this deliberate disregard for the customers.
This is important to note - J.B. works at this place behind the bar. He has NEVER waited on us. I don't want anyone reading this to think that he's the waiter I'm referring to. To be blunt, he might be the only one in the entire place who does give a damn.