Archive for September, 2009

The following is a review of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, where our presence was requested by someone Dominic knows from the intarwebs. Sacramento is only about an hour and some change from SF, longer in traffic. I didn’t mind making the drive initially, but if I’d known the night was going to suck so hard, I’d say a walk up the street would have been too far out of my way.

As written on Yelp: This place wasn’t worth the 30 minutes my man and I spent cruising the block for parking, let alone the $80 it cost to have an appetizer, two entrees, and two top-shelf margaritas.

When we arrived, it was so crowded, we could barely find standing room, let alone a seat at the bar. They didn’t want to seat us when our name came up on the list because the two other people in our party were late. This would be understandable if we hadn’t watched them seat three couples in front of us at four-top tables.

Since no one else was behind us, they reluctantly seated us at one of the many four-top tables. A few minutes later we received chips that tasted like scraps of discarded shoe-boxes. The two salsa choices were burning hot but not flavorful.

We ordered a tiny quesadilla appetizer for an entree price and the third person in our party showed up. A self-proclaimed native to the area, she said she chose this restaurant because she’d had drinks there before, but not food. Then she spent most of the rest of the time on her cell phone because our fourth person was having trouble getting there and she’s a vapid moron.

Even though I ordered two chimichangas ($16.50), they did me a favor and served me just one small overpriced chimichanga ($11.50) accompanied by mediocre beans and plain white rice. I left more than half my food on my plate and refused a to-go box, it was such a disappointment.

My man reported that his carne asada was flavorless and the onions had given him a stomach ache. The top-shelf margaritas were good, but you’d have to be a moron to screw that up.

We were having a really awful time, so we asked for the check. When it was brought to us, it was immediately taken back because they didn’t want to do separate checks. They could have said that before dashing off.

The owner stopped by and made a big production of clearing the table and grabbed our third wheel’s phone while he was at it. He said it was a joke, and it would have actually been funny if he’d dumped it in the nearly full water pitcher that they were kind enough to bring us long after we had finished eating.

While he was at our table, we told him that the onions made my friend feel sick and the owner didn’t care at all. I guess that was no surprise, since the staff was rude in general.

The lateness of our self-involved third party and her friend coupled with the slow, rude service could have made the hellish evening last forever. Lucky for me, my man was all over it and had faked his illness to get us out of there with some of the evening left to salvage.

All in all, this dark, cramped restaurant has nothing going for it but tequila, and they’re obviously not the only game in town. But if you’re into lousy food and fat, pasty white chicks or you yourself are a fat, pasty white chick, this place might be for you.

Addendum: Since this was written for a public audience, I kept the colorful language about our dining companion to a minimum. Despite my best efforts to make friendly conversation about things we had in common (traveling, music, employment, fitness, etc.), the whole night ended up being about hearing this person’s boring life story and us not getting a word in edgewise. At one point, she asked Dominic, “Do you have any questions about other people from Fark that I’ve met?” IOW “Let’s talk about people who aren’t here… and how they pertain to ME!” She’s 39 years old. Then she asked Dominic about his work and interrupted him when he tried to answer.

But I’d say the one-sided conversation really hit its stride when she went on about how she was driving to LA the following day to meet this guy. Yes, Miss Interrupter Jones is buddies with Long Beach Guy, which some of you may remember as The-Dude-Who-Threw-a-Shit-Fit-in-a-Wine-Bar-Because-I-Interrupted-Him.

Well, I’m sure fun was had by everyone… who matters. That horrible restaurant and obnoxious talking head brought my man and I closer together, along with a short trip to Walmart for liquor and bad horror flicks.

Well…? This lawn isn’t going to mow itself.

It was Saturday afternoon, and the boy and I didn’t have shit to do but chase hangovers and watch Black People Acting Stupid marathons on MTV. We needed an activity. Downtown Sac is dead on weekends and all the brunch places in San Francisco were filling up fast, so making fun of hipsters was out.

Thus, we stopped short of America’s smuggest liberal hotbed to visit Fairfield’s ticket to family excitement, the Jelly Belly Factory. We exited the highway and zigzagged through a sprawling office park at a whopping 5 mph, thanks to the blind Asian cunt driving a Mercedes in front of us. We spent a few minutes watching her learn how to park before ramming her Jew-frying ass into a nearby ravine.

Once parked, I threw my empty can of Natty Lite into a nearby trash receptacle, took my partner’s hand, and followed several other groups of bottom-feeding tourists into the pristine concrete structure.

I was promised free jelly bean samples and a magical world of mystically sweet wonder and treasures unknown to the outside world. Instead, I was thrust into a cattle herd and moved through one sterile environment to the next, thanks to the formation of OSHA in 1987.

The first 30 minutes of my Jelly Belly Factory experience involved waiting in a line full of squirrelly kids and harried mothers who thought everything would be okay when their mate said, “Just the tip.” While we played my man’s favorite game, “How Many of These Little Shits Could Be Mine,” a Jelly Belly associate informed us that although we’d arrived just 15 minutes before closing time, we’d all get a chance to take the tour and there would be plenty of time to shop at the Jelly Belly store afterward, so we “don’t need to worry about that.”

Well, thank gawd! I was really worried that a glorified “factory” connected to a large specialty store containing superfluous consumer goods might not allow me the chance to process a transaction in which they make a profit. My mind could finally rest at ease.

When we got to the front of the line, we were issued white paper hats and ordered to put them on. I don’t wear hats unless it’s at least -5 degrees Celsius or I’m going white water rafting. The Jelly Belly Factory revealed neither of these scenarios, so I refused headgear. My excited partner wasted no time donning his hat while I mentally recounted my five favorite ways to stab someone my size or larger.

Although I’m well versed in what it takes to play a vicious Veruca Salt, this was no special Chocolate Factory, and the chick running the tour was no Willie Wonka. After ordering the group at large to wear their hats (“No one likes hairy jelly beans!”), she addressed me personally.

“We really need you to put on your hat.”

“I have a head injury. My doctor says I can’t put things on my head.”

“Um… okay… Can you put your hair up?”

“I’m all over it.”

If the requirement had any merit at all, I wouldn’t have been such a lying bitch. It was totally obvious that it was merely a control issue.

First, hats don’t do shit. If it were a matter of hygiene, they would have given us hairnets. They certainly wouldn’t have given us flimsy paper hats that fell from at least one child’s head every 30 seconds. If getting hair everywhere was an issue, the hats were only making it worse.

But it’s clearly not an issue because of my second point: We never actually went into the factory. The tour involved being escorted to a series of monitors strategically placed along an enclosed catwalk situated above the factory. Nothing was happening in there, so we did a bunch of walking, stopping, and standing just to watch 5-minute segments on all things Jelly Belly.

If I wanted to watch a bunch of crap on a TV monitor, I could have stayed home and caught Flavor of New York’s Real Chance at Run’s House. Here’s an idea, Jelly Belly marketing team: Send me a bag of free jelly beans and the factory tour DVDs. I may or may not watch them while I try to figure out why there is a bubble gum flavored jelly bean when we already have a product of the same taste, color and consistency that also delivers long lasting flavor, a.k.a. bubble gum.

The best part of the tour was the end, when I collected a small bag of assorted jelly beans, ripped my hat to shreds, and shoved its remains into the screaming mouth of the nearest toddler. We kicked open the nearest set of emergency doors, when sounded an ear-piercing alarm and activated the sprinkler system. After taking turns doing donuts on their freshly mowed lawn, we got back on the highway and gave the entire office park the finger. (Mine still hurts from being up so long.)

Yep, it was just another lazy Saturday afternoon with an added sugar rush and a healthy dose of spread-fire hatred.

And while you’re there, give it a listen. My favorite channels are Groovesalad, Secret Agent, and Illinois Street Lounge. Commercial-free radio with music that I actually want to hear. Fifteen years ago, I never would have believed this could happen so easily.

The guy next to me in the picture is one of my NYC friends who celebrated my grand exit to bigger and better things at my rooftop going-away party. Bigger and better than NYC, you ask? You bet, it’s possible!

Interior decoration and home improvement projects are probably the most boring things I can think of. A person would have to really be able to tell a good story to get me interested in whatever random to-do item they’re working on. I wonder if I’m disinterested in these activities because they’re boring or because the people who talk about them are boring.

Q: What do you get when you do a GIS for “platkat”?

A: (looks up) That.

I don’t know who made it, but if you’re out there, mystery banner-maker, thank you. I think.

Yeah, I’m working on it. Constantly.