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TDG: Foodbuzz: Dolly in Orlando


Fat Guy
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Dolly Parton's continued augmentation.

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Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That has to be one of the most annoying websites I've visited in quite some time.

After I clicked on the "menu" section, I had to wait about a minute while a video loaded. The video included a shot of a man wearing chef's whites and a toque, performing a fire-breathing routine. It also included a couple of pictures of food, a shot of a pair of rough-housing kids, and another of a covered wagon. No actual menu came up, or at least nothing came up in print form.

As far as I can tell, this venue is all about a western-style horse show and a limited-choice dinner, sort of like Medieval Times but without the chain mail. (Yes, I've been to one of those places. Once was enough.) I suppose that for some families it is great entertainment. But I would rather spend my money on a genuine dinner theater experience than something as pre-programmed as this. A decent dinner theater can provide a good meal and introduce people to live theater, while at the same time giving aspiring actors a place to hone both of their skills (on stage and as waiters), all of which I regard as a good thing.

Part of the print information the site does provide suggests that Dolly Parton wants people to experience what she knew growing up, with the friendly competitions and lots of chow. This contradicts what she's always told of her history, that her family was dirt poor and had to scrape hard to get by. This enterprise smacks of sheer exploitation. My respect for the lady has just found a rotted piece of flooring to crash through.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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Ah... Branson. Home of culture and refinement. Where family fun and Yakov Smirnoff intersect, Andy Williams stills sells out the house, and "Osmond" is never used as a swear word.

And Dolly wants to bring a little of Branson to all of us. Bless her little heart. Assuming you can, er...

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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The web site is a terrible design. First it starts with a flash intro - saying, "Please wait for a special introduction from Dolly Parton". On a dialup connection you see 32%.....41%....43%.....45%....

Whenever a web site does this to me I leave. But being curious, I clicked on the "Skip the Introduction" link and up comes a HUGE picture (also bad web design) of Dolly in front of an American flag (why does country music think they own America?) with large ugly buttons. I tried clicking on "Christmas" link, and up comes the flash load again, "Please wait for a special introduction from Dolly Parton", this time with no "skip" link. I was outta there!

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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The food is tolerable considering the mass feeding conditions. A whole rotisserie-style chicken, a slab of pork that looks suspiciously formed, c creamed veggie soup and broiled, spiced (herbed) potato wedges. Dessert is a sort of apple-pie thing. And they will serve second helpings/

No beer.

No wine.

No alcohol at all.

And you have to eat it with your hands.

The logistics are intriguing. Feeding up to about 1,200 people as many as 3 times during holiday season. Imagine the savings on not having to wash and set the flatware. Not to mention people "taking home a souvenir."

Also, consider the number of chickens they go through.

I'm not sure why people go there -- but it ain't for the meal.

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I wonder what percentage of the customers there on any given night could define the word mensch.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Ah... Branson.  Home of culture and refinement.  Where family fun and Yakov Smirnoff  intersect, Andy Williams stills sells out the house, and "Osmond" is never used as a swear word.

And Dolly wants to bring a little of Branson to all of us.  Bless her little heart.  Assuming you can, er...

Hey now. It's Pigeon Forge she's trying to spread to the masses, not Branson. PF is *much* cheesier, dadgum it.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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The soup comes in a cup with, I believe, a handle. It's probably the tastiest thing they serve.

They steal the cups if the servers don't move fast enough.

So far, in Orlando, bulk of the crowds has been locals who love Dolly and expect her to descend from the ceiling and surprise he crowd; Southern bible-thumpers taking their summer vacation who are repeat customers from another location and British tour group members who appear slightly dazed, confused and sunburned (a normal condition for the Brits in Orlando) and keep wondering where the beer is.

Fat Guy, most people in Orlando don't know what a "mensch" is, I certainly wouldn't bet on the odds at Dixie Stampede.

Which reminds me of the old saw. "What has 20 legs and 12 teeth? Front row of a Dolly Parton concert."

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Orlando is almost 10% Jewish so somebody must know what "mensch" means but probably not anybody at Dolly's place.

Every time I hear about Dolly I think of two things.

One is the sandwich at the Stage Deli.

(24) DOLY PARTON......................... 12.95

(TWIN ROLLS OF PASTRAMI AND CORNED BEEF)

:unsure:

The other is the time I was in Hickory, North Carolina, working on my furniture book and got to chatting with the super-friendly hotel desk clerk who eventually after numerous interactions asked if I was planning to visit Dollywood. Not wanting to be disrespectful I turned it around and asked him to talk about Dollywood. "Well I just love it. It's my favorite place on Earth. When I'm feeling stressed out by my job I just go on out to Dollywood and get closer to God."

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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Gee, where we're vacationing in the NC mountains in 3 weeks is only 70 miles from Pigeon Forge. I wonder if I could convince Mrs. Varmint to head to Dollywood, as I need to get as close to god as I can!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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