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The merits of chain dining in the Heartland


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Bakers Square has a soup-and-half-sandwich item on their menu.  One of the half sandwiches is a plain turkey sandwich.  I ordered a whole turkey sandwich, and they charged me for soup-and-whole-sandwich.  When I brought this to their attention, they said it was "impossible" to order just a sandwich and no soup, but that one could have soup and a whole sandwich.  The manager ended up charging me only for the soup-and-half-sandwich, even though I had the full sandwich and no soup.

::Hangs head in shame and waits for eGullet Police to confiscate eGullet card::

Isn't there a scene in some old Jack Nicholson movie where he can't order what he wants in a diner so he has to order a sandwich and then have them leave most of the ingredients off? My memory is very fuzzy on this.

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Isn't there a scene in some old Jack Nicholson movie where he can't order what he wants in a diner so he has to order a sandwich and then have them leave most of the ingredients off?  My memory is very fuzzy on this.

Yes, it's from Five Easy Pieces :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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Isn't there a scene in some old Jack Nicholson movie where he can't order what he wants in a diner so he has to order a sandwich and then have them leave most of the ingredients off?  My memory is very fuzzy on this.

Yes, it's from Five Easy Pieces :biggrin:

=R=

"And hold it between your knees," as I recall. A classic illustration of why this thread (or many of my replies to it) exit(s). :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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  • 1 month later...

Bump. In a former life, I must have kicked puppies and grandmas. That's the only karmic explanation I can come up with for having been invited to my child's best friend's birthday party...

At Cheeseburger in Paradise AND T-Rex out by KC Speedway. T-Rex, it seems, could not guarantee they'd be able to accomodate a group this size for dining, so the meal will be at CiP. The entertainment will be at T-Rex. At least I have an excuse to have a digital camera with me and capture the horror to share with you all.

Edited by chicagowench (log)

What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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Bump. In a former life, I must have kicked puppies and grandmas.  That's the only karmic explanation I can come up with for having been invited to my child's best friend's birthday party...

Not at all, Wench. You vaguely threatened to stuff me in the trunk of your Volvo a while back and it's that coming back to haunt you. :raz:

Have a great time and don't forget to tip your [singing] waiters and waitresses. :laugh:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I am so hoping my child starts interrogating a waiter as to whether it's asiago or parmesean.

I hate to burst your bubble but I can't think that the parm/asiago conversation is likely; rather cheddar/velveeta.

I have been to CiP twice (to listen to live music, she hastened to add) and I don't recall seeing anything on the menu that would involve either of the formaggi Italiani. Now I bet your are REALLY looking forward to it, eh? :wacko:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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See, I know that. However, the 3 year old does not recognize velveeta as cheese. Cheese falls into one of 6 camps: cheddar, asiago, parmesean, goat, blue, or (and I quote) ''spensive an' tastee'. I'm looking forward to his expression of horror at the concept of plastic-as-cheez. I've got to have something to look forward to in this nightmarish scenario.

Oh wait. Dinner at Cassis that night. THANK YOU GOD.

What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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I'm looking forward to his expression of horror at the concept of plastic-as-cheez.  I've got to have something to look forward to in this nightmarish scenario.

Did you ever consider that your evil intentions may backfire and he may actually like the p-a-c?!? :biggrin:

Happened to me. Liam went through a phase of always wanting "Daddy cheese" - Kraft singles (you can guess from the name who eats those in this house). Now, to be fair, he was still scarfing down blue cheese and goat cheese when we had it around, but his palate is pretty non-discriminating at this point, it would seem.

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I'm holding out hope since every 2 weeks, like clockwork, he gets in trouble at school for peeling kraft singles off his sandwich at lunch and throwing them against the wall with a look of utter disdain.

Digital camera has fresh batteries and a clean memory card. I shall capture every precious moment of the horror of T-Rex, for YOU, the readers of egullet.

Edited by chicagowench (log)

What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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Good luck! I hope the strobe lighting and other "scary" special effects in the restaurant don't break your camera's auto light sensors!! :laugh:

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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I'm looking forward to his expression of horror at the concept of plastic-as-cheez.  I've got to have something to look forward to in this nightmarish scenario.

Did you ever consider that your evil intentions may backfire and he may actually like the p-a-c?!? :biggrin:

Happened to me. Liam went through a phase of always wanting "Daddy cheese" - Kraft singles (you can guess from the name who eats those in this house). Now, to be fair, he was still scarfing down blue cheese and goat cheese when we had it around, but his palate is pretty non-discriminating at this point, it would seem.

LOL! I'm happy to report that in our house "Daddy cheese" refers to Manchego. That said, we still have the Kraft singles "in stock." :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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Digital camera has fresh batteries and a clean memory card.  I shall capture every precious moment of the horror of T-Rex, for YOU, the readers of egullet.

In a really, really, really, REALLY sick kind of way....I'm anticipating these photos as much as I would photos from Alinea, Manresa, etc. Maybe even more, because people who experience those places actually live to tell about it.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

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So, you know. When you wrangle, like, 16 children under the age of 10 at Cheeseburger in Paradise, lunch takes a really, really long time. I mean really long. So long, in fact, there's just no time to get over to T-Rex with your sproggin before you have to get him home for nap. Gee gosh sorry. egullet, I have failed you, yet I am secretly thrilled to have done so.

In 'find something positive to say' news, I commend Cheeseburger in Paradise for giving me my burger medium rare when I ordered it medium rare, and not being all 'everything must be medium-well' (I'm looking at you, Red Robin).

(Edited to add: we ended our adventure at the big central fountain in Legends, T-Rex is right down from there. From the exterior, it looks like a totally half-assed repurposing job of a destination- like Downtown Disney type size/scope- Rainforest Cafe as opposed to a mall version of RC. LOOK, giant faux mountain! LOOK, vegetation! LOOK, giant t-rex who's really not all that giant if you've ever been to a natural history museum!)

Edited by chicagowench (log)

What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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T-Rex is right down from there.  From the exterior, it looks like a totally half-assed repurposing job of a destination- like Downtown Disney type size/scope- Rainforest Cafe as opposed to a mall version of RC.  LOOK, giant faux mountain!  LOOK, vegetation!  LOOK, giant t-rex who's really not all that giant if you've ever been to a natural history museum!)

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Thanks for takin' one for the team, chicagowench!

Though I'm confused by the distinction between the Rainforest Cafe and the mall version thereof. I thought all of them were in (mostly outlet) malls. Or were you just projecting what Rainforest Cafe would be like if it fell into the clutches of Disney/Times Square/et.al.?

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So, you know.  When you wrangle, like, 16 children under the age of 10 at Cheeseburger in Paradise, lunch takes a really, really long time. I mean really long. So long, in fact, there's just no time to get over to T-Rex with your sproggin before you have to get him home for nap.  Gee gosh sorry. egullet, I have failed you, yet I am secretly thrilled to have done so.

In 'find something positive to say' news, I commend Cheeseburger in Paradise for giving me my burger medium rare when I ordered it medium rare, and not being all 'everything must be medium-well' (I'm looking at you, Red Robin).

(Edited to add:  we ended our adventure at the big central fountain in Legends, T-Rex is right down from there.  From the exterior, it looks like a totally half-assed repurposing job of a destination- like Downtown Disney type size/scope- Rainforest Cafe as opposed to a mall version of RC.  LOOK, giant faux mountain!  LOOK, vegetation!  LOOK, giant t-rex who's really not all that giant if you've ever been to a natural history museum!)

Well, you had an assignment and you failed us. I guess we'll have to send someone reliable next time :laugh: I'm glad you at least got a decent burger for your troubles. Honestly, while I did not eat there during the music-centric visits, those who arrived early to get tables for our rather-large party did eat dinner there (since they ended up being there for about 6 hours, who can blame them?) and they had more good than bad to say about what they ordered. So the lesson is, if you have to go to a recreation chain resto, CiP is probably not the worst choice. And I give them some points for supporting local/area musicians. I guess there's still some good to Jimmy, in spite of his being tossed from a Heat game, recording with Toby Keith and becoming a chain restaurant mogul.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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:laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Thanks for takin' one for the team, chicagowench!

Though I'm confused by the distinction between the Rainforest Cafe and the mall version thereof. I thought all of them were in (mostly outlet) malls. Or were you just projecting what Rainforest Cafe would be like if it fell into the clutches of Disney/Times Square/et.al.?

You often see a tiering between destination versions- like, at Downtown Disney or at integrated resorts/theme parks- and mall versions of the 'immersion' chain restaurants like Rainforest Cafe. The destination ones are bigger and have (god help us) more theming- often more outdoor theming, so it's like you're walking into a big fake mountain/jungle/gaping maw. There's more hardscape and theming OUTSIDE the restaurant, to....begin your adventure sooner! Or something.

Well, you had an assignment and you failed us. I guess we'll have to send someone reliable next time

*sobs*. I promise I won't fail you on the dinner at Cassis tonight, how's that?

What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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:laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Thanks for takin' one for the team, chicagowench!

Though I'm confused by the distinction between the Rainforest Cafe and the mall version thereof. I thought all of them were in (mostly outlet) malls. Or were you just projecting what Rainforest Cafe would be like if it fell into the clutches of Disney/Times Square/et.al.?

You often see a tiering between destination versions- like, at Downtown Disney or at integrated resorts/theme parks- and mall versions of the 'immersion' chain restaurants like Rainforest Cafe. The destination ones are bigger and have (god help us) more theming- often more outdoor theming, so it's like you're walking into a big fake mountain/jungle/gaping maw. There's more hardscape and theming OUTSIDE the restaurant, to....begin your adventure sooner! Or something.

Yeah, I was in Chicago for the opening of their River North location (many years ago). The line wrapped around the block - thrice! Four more times and a trumpet blast and they could have had them walls a'tumblin' down! :laugh:

I just walked by them, shakin' my head... on my way to the now-re-done "Rock & Roll McDonald's." :wink:

Can't wait to hear about Cassis!

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Just wondering if anyone has ever eaten at a Space Aliens they started in North Dakota and now there are 2 in Minnesota (Waite Park and Albertville) just looking for opinions

I have never heard of it, but with that name, I would be in line early to check it out.

edited to add the link clickety here, could be a road trip. I have always wanted a reason to go to that part of the world.

Edited by joiei (log)

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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I have to add the Capital Grille to this thread and give it my vote for “best KC chain restaurant when someone else is paying”. My company and the client chipped in for a “thank you” dinner for about 20 of us the other night. Out of all the company sponsored dinners I’ve attended, this would definitely rank at the top. As far as their banquet/private party services go, they set it up so that an assortment of their appetizers come out family style (same with desserts), and you get a fairly large selection of entrees to pick from (three or four steaks, lamb, fish). The service was outstanding. My only complaint and word of warning if you have an event there is that the private rooms are pretty narrow, which makes socializing before dinner kind of awkward.

I’ve always liked the Capital Grille and have lamented the fact that a chain steakhouse gives all the others in our meat n’ taters town a run for their money. I’ve never liked the Hereford House, wasn’t blown away by Plaza III the two times I’ve been there, The Golden Ox’s quality was so hit and miss as of three or four years ago that we quit having regular gatherings there, and have had such bad experiences w/the service and management at The Majestic that I’ve sworn it off for life. I do like taking out of town guests to Jess & Jim’s because I’ve usually had really great service and it's just a cool, rustic out-of-the-way KC kind of place. However, when I’m either paying for dinner or have a say in where we go, steak isn’t very high on my list. I do like the fried calamari and hot peppers at Capital Grille enough to go in and have some at the bar, and they do know how to whip up a mean Old Fashioned.

So after all that I guess what I'm saying is if anyone here wants to pay for my dinner and it HAS to be steak, I'm willing to go with you to Capital Grille (but I really hate the Plaza so it has to be during the week unless you're driving, and I'll never go while the Plaza Christmas lights are on).

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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So after all that I guess what I'm saying is if anyone here wants to pay for my dinner and it HAS to be steak, I'm willing to go with you to Capital Grille (but I really hate the Plaza so it has to be during the week unless you're driving, and I'll never go while the Plaza Christmas lights are on).

I am SO sorry to hear all of that. I had booked reservations to take you and the little woman to dinner there for the holidays. Oh well.

If it makes you feel any better, while Capital IS a chain, there is some local skin in the game. I'm not sure exactly what the arrangement is, but I was ragging on an author friend for having his after-book-signing 'thing' there and was told that a manger or partner or managing partner is, in fact, a local and in our circle. Who knew? So you only have to wear your hair guayabera for a day after you eat there :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I have to add the Capital Grille to this thread and give it my vote for “best KC chain restaurant when someone else is paying”.  My company and the client chipped in for a “thank you” dinner for about 20 of us the other night.  Out of all the company sponsored dinners I’ve attended, this would definitely rank at the top.  As far as their banquet/private party services go, they set it up so that an assortment of their appetizers come out family style (same with desserts), and you get a fairly large selection of entrees to pick from (three or four steaks, lamb, fish).  The service was outstanding.  My only complaint and word of warning if you have an event there is that the private rooms are pretty narrow, which makes socializing before dinner kind of awkward. 

I’ve always liked the Capital Grille and have lamented the fact that a chain steakhouse gives all the others in our meat n’ taters town a run for their money.  I’ve never liked the Hereford House, wasn’t blown away by Plaza III the two times I’ve been there, The Golden Ox’s quality was so hit and miss as of three or four years ago that we quit having regular gatherings there, and have had such bad experiences w/the service and management at The Majestic that I’ve sworn it off for life. I do like taking out of town guests to Jess & Jim’s because I’ve usually had really great service and it's just a cool, rustic out-of-the-way KC kind of place.  However, when I’m either paying for dinner or have a say in where we go, steak isn’t very high on my list.  I do like the fried calamari and hot peppers at Capital Grille enough to go in and have some at the bar, and they do know how to whip up a mean Old Fashioned. 

So after all that I guess what I'm saying is if anyone here wants to pay for my dinner and it HAS to be steak, I'm willing to go with you to Capital Grille (but I really hate the Plaza so it has to be during the week unless you're driving, and I'll never go while the Plaza Christmas lights are on).

I SO agree with you Z. I actually get to Capital Grille quite a lot - a few years ago, I ate there weekly... not, thankfully, on my dime. But, yes, they not only give the "locals" a run for their money - they beat Kansas City steakhouses at their own game, sadly. I think the dry-aging is a plus.

Plaza III is probably the worst (and therefore the most over-priced) steakhouse. Golden Ox is hit or miss, but the atmosphere is really unbeatable (in a certain rough-around the edges way). Hereford has gone too commercial, I'd say it has more of a "chain" feel than Capital Grille.

Have been really needing and wanting to go to The Majestic - for the food, not the hospitality, apprently.

Where is Jess & Jim's? Chain?

Morton's has always been a favorite - they also dry age. Never done Ruth's. Comments?

Oh, and I recently went to Phillips Chophouse, but didn't get steak, so I can't say if it's good or not for that. Otherwise, I'll not be going back to Phillips - for a very long time... :hmmm:

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I have to add the Capital Grille to this thread and give it my vote for “best KC chain restaurant when someone else is paying”.  My company and the client chipped in for a “thank you” dinner for about 20 of us the other night.  Out of all the company sponsored dinners I’ve attended, this would definitely rank at the top.  As far as their banquet/private party services go, they set it up so that an assortment of their appetizers come out family style (same with desserts), and you get a fairly large selection of entrees to pick from (three or four steaks, lamb, fish).  The service was outstanding.  My only complaint and word of warning if you have an event there is that the private rooms are pretty narrow, which makes socializing before dinner kind of awkward. 

I’ve always liked the Capital Grille and have lamented the fact that a chain steakhouse gives all the others in our meat n’ taters town a run for their money.  I’ve never liked the Hereford House, wasn’t blown away by Plaza III the two times I’ve been there, The Golden Ox’s quality was so hit and miss as of three or four years ago that we quit having regular gatherings there, and have had such bad experiences w/the service and management at The Majestic that I’ve sworn it off for life. I do like taking out of town guests to Jess & Jim’s because I’ve usually had really great service and it's just a cool, rustic out-of-the-way KC kind of place.   However, when I’m either paying for dinner or have a say in where we go, steak isn’t very high on my list.  I do like the fried calamari and hot peppers at Capital Grille enough to go in and have some at the bar, and they do know how to whip up a mean Old Fashioned. 

So after all that I guess what I'm saying is if anyone here wants to pay for my dinner and it HAS to be steak, I'm willing to go with you to Capital Grille (but I really hate the Plaza so it has to be during the week unless you're driving, and I'll never go while the Plaza Christmas lights are on).

Where is Jess & Jim's? Chain?

:laugh: Definitely NOT a chain!! It's in Martin City, sort of close to the original Jack Stack's. It is for sure rustic, but it's the best steak I've had in town! Just good meat, no fuss about it. And the baked potato... now that is the way god intended a baked potato... would you like a little potato to go with that sour cream, butter, cheese, and bacon?!?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about Plaza III! So, I shouldn't give them the benefit of the doubt since the one time I went was a banquet event with a pre-chosen menu?!

Edited by Katie Nell (log)

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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