Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trailer for sale or rent...

A disturbing trend, especially in today’s economy, is the apparent decision by many restaurants, even the mid-level ones, to raise their prices, turning what used to be an average mid-week meal into the equivalent of a big Saturday night out. More disturbing is 1) portions are getting smaller, and 2) the food is just as mediocre as it was when it was cheaper.

Recently, I went to Firefly’s with some friends, though I am generally ambivalent about their food and their menu. It is kid-friendly, and noisy, which is good for the people sitting near us. Perusing their menu, my choices are moderately limited, since we don’t eat pork products. I usually default to one of 3 things: beef ribs, a hamburger or steak tips (I’m a big fan of chicken apparently…). I would have ordered the beef ribs, but the last couple of times I’ve had them there, they have been poorly prepared (very fatty and chewy, which tells me that they haven’t been smoked long enough), with a rub that screams with notes of cinnamon/coffee. Just weird. I was almost willing to take a chance again, until I saw that on their new menus, no longer were they $18.99 (which already pushed the boundary of acceptability), but $22.99!!! GMAB (“Give me a break” for you text-challenged). This is a casual craphole, and I’m paying $22.99 for mediocrity?!? I passed on the ribs, and ordered a fatty and tasteless brisket platter, which only left me with the conclusion that I can do much better. At least the company was good.

I took our daughter and her friend to see “Kitt Kittredge, An American Girl”. It was a feel-good story for the ages: a little girl’s father loses his luxury car dealership during the Great Depression, he leaves home to find work in Chicago and doesn’t stay in contact with the family, all while his wife and daughter are forced to take in strangers as boarders, sell eggs and make sackcloth dresses to pay the mortgage, and hire hobos to work around the yard. Nothing says good family entertainment, or brings a smile to your face, like the Depression!

Actually, the movie was quite good, and very well made. In a small, but important role, Stanley Tucci. I have enjoyed him since his “Ricky Pinzolo” days on “Wiseguy”, and I don’t care what others say, who doesn’t love hobos?

What’s especially nice, in today’s economy, is that it’s a movie without any commercial marketing tie-ins. If only I could find a “Kitt” doll…

You’ve been a great audience. Enjoy Boxcar Willie…

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