On Tuesdays, The Food is Half as Good

Posted by on Jun 14, 2006 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

The Food Network is one of those channels that you can go to at any time to watch things that are usually not going to do anything for you. They, may, however make you turn off the television because, man, if you can’t even find something about food to entertain you, you better get off your lazy butt and do something. You know, like make a sandwich.

When mom was here for her visit, she and Jud and I played a few games of Scrabble with TFN on in the background. Every once in a while we learned something “Custard is best eaten right away” and “When transferring cotton candy onto a stick, don’t swirl the paper stick in the machine, just stick it in and pull all of the wispy sugar out at one time”, aka The Mysteries of the Universe. So, that got me hooked for a while. I kept watching to see who might deliver the next big food epiphany.

Then I caught $40 a Day. It’s hosted by Rachel Ray and she travels all around and tries food and shows you where you can “enjoy gourmet fare on a pauper’s budget.” Um, something like that.

It’s not the price point with which I take issue. It’s the gourmet food part.

While in Dallas, she went to La Madeline for breakfast. I’ve had pastries from there that people have brought into work and they have been very good. So, okay.

Then she went to Sunny Bryant’s for lunch and she went to the original location and some people totally love that place, so, again, okay.

For dinner she went to Monica’s aca y alla. It is in the Deep Ellum and Tuesdays are half price entree night, so I was all “I’m there” and “That looks delicious” but also “I bet I could make that at home”. Last week I tried to coax Zanna & Wally into busting their budget and eating out with us on Tuesday night, but they were responsible and declined. I then schemed to go on Friday night with girls while Jud drove to Omaha [see post below for explanation]. Last night, I could not be deterred.

Dad and I drove down early and discovered that the only lot for restaurant parking was valet. Okay, fine. We’ll do it. Inside was kind of hip but not especially so. Dad noted that the waiter smelled Brazilian – clean and fresh (good things to have in a waiter…cleanliness and freshness).

1. Drinks & Appetizer: They brought chips and salsa (both were okay but nothing special). Mango tea (a Texas favorite, I guess, since so many restaurants serve it to me even when I ask for just plain tea) was fine.

2. Kim’s Meal: I ordered the Mexican Lasagna (the dish Rachel Ray ordered)

3. Dad’s Meal: He ordered fajitas. He’d originally selected something else but I wasn’t sure if it sounded very good, so when I suggested he get fajitas (the meal you cannot mess up) instead, he agreed. Obviously, my presupposition was incorrect. Fajitas are difficult to mess up, but here’s how you do it: Start with something other than cow flesh…something more gamey…something inedible. My father can choke down just about anything and he SPIT THIS OUT. SPIT IT OUT. The manager came by and asked how our meal was and we told him that while the service was excellent (and it really was), the fajita meat was very gamey and possibly not from a cow. He checked it out, brought new meat, which I sampled (and promptly removed from my mouth) and then he explained that they had recently upgraded their beef through a new supplier and that perhaps they’ll need to switch back.

I shared my Mexican Lasagna, which was fine, but not a wow. Rachel Ray’s eyebrows lifted and her lips smacked and she was in love with the dish, like fireworks were exploding in her mouth. Apparently, I should have her over for dinner sometime.

So, my initial “I could do that” inclination should have steered me away from the restaurant and towards actually making Mexican Lasagna, which I will now do soon. I will let you know if lips are smacked, if eyebrows raise, if anything besides cheese and tomatoes can be tasted.

In the meantime, don’t trust Rachel Ray. She’s cute and perky and all that, but I think her taste buds maybe skewed.


  1. Glad to hear I didn’t miss out on anything. ~Zan

  2. No, nothing was missed. Somethings were to be avoided. So glad you didn’t want to go to dinner! I would’ve been very upset then and tempted to give Rachel Ray a piece of my mind (or maybe just send her an email with a link to the blog).

    We still would love to dinner again. Love ya!

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