Starting a small Tavern in rural Northern California. Barley and Hops Tavern catalogs the trials and tribulations of the restaurant biz, and teaching wine country to love beer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You don't understand... it's ENDLESS


Say you have the most number of something, ever. THEN, you realize "wait, I have more!". Such is the abstract concept of endlessness.

I really hate chain restaurants. I hate the pre-packaged badness, made without love, by people who don't care about food. People who cook at chain restaurants have no vested interest in the recipe. They simply cook exactly the same as everyone else at every location, like a robot. But not the cool Lost In Space robot that's all "Danger Will Robinson! Danger!" although, it should be, because this sort of cooking is danger. DANGER.

So anyway, every year various chain restaurants have a limited time all-you-can-eat special. One of these atrocities is very close to my heart. And you know, it really is painful to admit, as I'm a restaurant owner who has really, really rad food made right by people who really love what they do.

About 14 (holy pancakes that's long), years ago, I met my then-future wife, Jellyfish, whose real name is Mirjam, which you all know and love if you read my blog, which you do, dutifully. So we were in college in New Hampshire which is where you end up if you go northeast until you can't go northeast anymore, except for Maine, which is populated entirely by lobsters. The food in New Hampshire is mediocre, by which I mean awful, except for a few things which are done well (pancakes, fish-n-chips). Everything also closes REALLY early. So at one point we end up at a Red Lobster. Red Lobster is a weird name for a restaurant. Lobsters turn red when you cook them. It's a bit like naming a restaurant "Brown Burger" or "Yellow Omelet" or "Pink Hippo". Anyway, in typical chain-restaurant fashion, they have a large menu which is really about 3 things prepared slightly differently.

That night, however, they had ENDLESS SHRIMP.

And we were hungry.

I'm actually surprised that a marine conservancy foundation didn't contact us with a lawsuit for endangering the... well, most likely, farm raised Chinese shrimp. We ate a few billion shrimp, and have done so every year since. Halloween, for us, brings thoughts of endless piles of mediocre shrimp, served by a teenager, along with huge glasses of mediocre beer. I think, at least, they carry SNPA these days.

We were talking about endless shrimp at the bar last night, and our patrons were equal parts sickened and intrigued. Therefore, we've decided, that next year's Endless Shrimp will be a group effort, complete with video and perhaps team jerseys.

More on Endless Shrimp tomorrow, for we go tonight.

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