Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Am A Fraud.

TGI Friday's1500 West Lake Cook Road,Wheeling, IL 60090-2249(847) 459-1273

When you cultivate a certain reputation, it is hard to admit enjoying something that is violate of all your efforts.  If people view you as an intellectual, it is difficult to reveal one’s love of videogames.  If you are a conservative congressman, it is probably hard to come out of the closet and reveal you like shirtless Abercrombie models.   If you are a literary bookworm, how does one reveal one’s love of all things Twilight?  You fear – nay, you dread the reprobation of your peers.  You become a fraud if you enjoy laser tag, while you discuss Socrates and Mill; a drag queen wearing the cloak of large wordy books.  But what is worse, is looking in the mirror. You want to be an adult, you need to be a member of the ivory tower, you see yourself achieving something that only status can bring.  And dejection comes, as if examining your sides looking for that extra layer of fat, you are not as smart as you think, not as good looking as your profile indicates.  Dear Reader, I am not an academic, nor am I terribly good looking.  I do not suffer illusions of grandeur.  But I always thought - I really believed I was a foodie.  Then I looked in the mirror, then I realized I liked TGI Fridays!

It was a dreadful week at work and I was ambling towards either Gomorrah or the weekend.  Salvation would come at 4:30!  Only. EIGHT more hours to go.  SHIT!  It was only 8:30!  WHATTHEFUCKAMIGOINGTODO? It is still the morning.  I went to Jennifer’s desk, clutching onto a mug of caffeine as if it was the Holy Grail. 

“It is only 8:30.”

Jennifer lifted her head, “How many projects are going out today,:

“Hell if I know, Happy Hour?”

“Absolutely.”   She grunted as if speaking the language of Mordor.

1:16 – What the fuck one minute.  Is the clock broken? 

4:00 comes around and I am as giddy as a little school girl sitting in line for an autograph from Zac Efron.  I call Jennifer – well, first I have to be transferred to her (I have no idea how to use these Cisco phones). 

“Where are we going.”

“Let’s go somewhere cheap.”

I think apprehensively, whenever we have tried cheap it normally turns into some cataclysmic event with me sulking at a table. 

“Well, I saw TGI Fridays running a three course special for $10.99.  What do you think?”    
Before Jennifer answered, I added that “I wouldn’t expect much though – I mean $10.99.” 

She said she would ask Candice.  Within 10 minutes I was at TGI Friday’s opening a door that Dante and Virgil would have been loath to open.  Jennifer and I got to the restaurant first.  I demanded that we sit at the bar (always thinking about you Dear Reader). 

The greeter an unbelievably faye male talked about the $10.99 specials; “Well there are liiiiiiike 275 different combinations you could create.”

288 I thought to myself.  He sashayed away. 

Our waitress came over to ask us for drinks.  Jennifer ordered a large Sam Adams, I asked for water.  Yes, I am a pussy.  But after awhile I noticed I was beginning to become really hungry, and when I enter starvation mode, any little social grace I may have disappears.  Deprive me of carbs when I become famished, and I become a craven bitch.  Seeing that I was beginning to bite my lips, Jennifer inquired if we should order first.  I flag the waitress before Jennifer could complete her suggestion. 

It took me 30 seconds to order.  “I would like the Fried Green Beans, “The Cheesy Chicken” and the cheesecake.  Jennifer ordered the pot stickers. 

I hear YAY” ejaculated at the table next to me.  WTF! Is it New Years?  I glare at the table.  Middle aged women doing some sort of martini that involved cotton candy.  I don’t know if I was in either suburb hell, or jealous that I was not menstruating.

The waitress brings the Fried Green Beans, and Jennifer’s pot stickers over.  She also brings a bevy of wet-naps, napkins, plates, and refills our drinks all in one trip.  I was impressed.  She should open a restaurant in my neighborhood. 

The Fried Green Beans - they look like the fingers of a leper.  But what was even more off putting was actually handling them, aside from the oil slick that they left on the plate, which could power an entire fleet of SUVs, the green beans were coated in this rough fried coating.  I was going to regret this - $10.99 wasted.  I could have used it to download Castlevania!  With a sense of foreboding I dropped one into my mouth and started chewing.   Bernini, sculpted the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, depicting the saint having an orgasm after being pierced with the love of God.  Dear Reader, I still can’t get a dry cleaner to get the DNA out of my pants.  The green beans were unequivocally one of the best things I had this year! No joke, get thee to a TGI Fridays and order the Fried Green Beans.  The coating was sweet and crispy, the beans had a crisp fresh taste to them.  Sure they were probably frozen (green beans and peas freeze quite well, unlike say broccoli), but I would have ordered a second helping if our group was larger.  Each bean provided me a scintillating pleasure that I have long forgotten.  To think frozen appetizers could be so good. 

As I was in the middle of ravenous frenzy, Candice came in and gave me a look as if she discovered a zombie feasting on the dead.  She stared. 

“Get your own woman. $10.99. 275 combinations.”

The waitress comes by and Candice orders one of the cotton candy martinis.  The waitress swings on by constantly with napkins – apparently I was a greasy mess.  Beans were probably in my hair and fingernails. 

The one hiccup in service involved Candice after receiving her drink, she wanted to order, but the waitress just dropped off the drink.  Unfortunately, it took Candice a good 7-10 minutes to order her meal.  Satiated and in a green bean coma, I wasn’t even appalled by the waitress' negligence.

“The Cheesy Chicken” was next.  Now I have been trying to reduce my consumption of meat, especially chicken.  I just have a problem of killing animals for a meal, and I especially think chickens are treated poorly, but I really wanted cheese so “Cheesy Chicken” it was.  The entrée was served on one of those cast iron dishes that was placed into a salamander before service, so it not only serves the purpose of becoming a rather dated spectacle (the sizzle and pop was amusing in the 80s), but it creates this burnt cheese on the sides.  The entire entrée was a salty gooey mess.  If you have a “loved one” who has hyper-tension, serve him this meal, I want half of your inheritance for the referral.  I should have avoided for health reasons (but I was already here), it was glorious.  I peeled the cheese as if there were chips in a Super Bowl party.  The chicken wasn’t bad either, screw morality and the new world order with the coming of our Lord, if violence to birds could create this dish, cull away!

The service with the cheesecake was kind of odd.  When it was presented, the waitress said “This has to be the saddest strawberry I have ever seen.”  This was quite a turn off, if you know I am being served some berry that is essentially the offspring of some hybrid VD, don’t give it to me.  But as with the other items above, I was actually quite surprised with the cheesecake.  Now, classical adherents to cheesecake would hate this bastardized concoction.  I couldn’t taste much cream cheese, but there was a lot of heavy cream.  It was rich, sweet, and smooth - I surprisingly liked it.  

I may have to turn in my foodie card, you can find me at TGI Fridays to claim it. 



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