When you essentially live and travel for work 10 months per year you are basically eating two meals per day in unknown restaurants. Thank god most hotels offer some form of free breakfast, unless you wake up after 9:30 am chances are you’re taking advantage of this freebie.
Unless you’re strictly going with McDonalds and other fast foods, the average lunch will run at $10 and the supper (depending on drinks) will run up at about $20. Give or take.
You quickly learn the ropes: how to assess if an unknown restaurant will be up to par and will establish a list of your favorite meals from the known chains. You get to know what to expect, or have a pretty good idea. You build criteria: no more Chinese foods, if Mexican restaurants don’t offer carne asada you avoid them too and Pennsylvania’s mom & pop diners average at an 85% satisfaction rate.
I fell in love with Steak & Shakes Chili Mac Supreme (until I found out it totaled at over 1,100 calories). KFC’s grilled chicken was a close replacement to El Pollo Loco’s lemony flavored chicken and The Waffle House offered the best late-late night entertainment…
My all time favorite meal though was Red Lobster’s Lobster Chop. Just typing those words are activating my saliva glands… Slurp! A lobster tail and a skewer of scallops grilled on open flame, their special rice pilaf and a side dish. The size was perfect for Leo and I to share along with a glass of wine. The instant we’d realize we could park the truck within walking distance to a Red Lobster we’d start chanting and clapping to our favorite tune of “Lobster-chops-lobster-chops-lobster-chops!”.
Then one fateful night, without even bothering to look at the menu, we placed our order. “We’re no longer offering that meal!” was our greeting. WHAT? We begged her to special-make it for us. We asked for the manager, we explained our situation, pleaded and bribed but still had to pick up the menu and pick a new Red Lobster fave.
It was horrendous.
That night I sat on my stained bedspreaded hotel bed, laptop on my lap and logged on to redlobster.com. I found the “contact us” tab and wrote my plea. Thirty minutes later Leo asked what I was up to. He laughed at me. “It’s taking you that long to ask them to bring the lobster chops back???” “Well, I need to give them our backgrounder so they understand why it’s important to us!”
It made sense. And it was a long letter. A long plea. A heartfelt plea. Buggers. Sure they occasionally bring something back, something close to it, but the original version is gone. Maybe even forever. RIP Lobster Chops!
I encountered problems with a computer I bought after my last one crashed. Cause of the crash: excessive plea bargaining. When the new computer proved to be rather faulty “Send them your lobster chop essay!” Leo yelled out.
It became our go-to phrase for any problems or issues. Walmart won’t refund our printer? Send them the lobster chop essay! My recent eBay purchase wasn’t as promised? Send them the lobster chop essay! The brand new sweater from TJ Maxx has a hole in it? Send them the lobster chop essay!
I wonder how the state of Florida will react to receiving my lobster chop essay after it took them that long to count their votes?