Before we even start with this write up, lets just say this:
Becca does a terrific job with the little bistros, late night eateries and other (legitimate) eating establishments in our fair district.
But every once in a while, you just need to go somewhere that YOU know, YOU just know is not where you SHOULD eat.
So, we devote this edition to that rare beast that does not seem to even exist in DC: a chain restaurant.
And we’re not talking Thaiphoon or The Lebanese Taverna here (both loved, both local, both chains)….we’re talking the down and dirty, should be in a strip mall kind of restaurant.
The downtown has no Chilli’s, no Applebees, no non-rat infested Johnny Rockets…but on the corner of 21st and Pennsylvania it does have a TGIF.
(yes, yes…who would have thunk it?).
So one sort of rainy Saturday, thanking God it’s not Friday we headed over ready to face whatever sizzling “goodness” was in front of us.
Now, in this time of micro breweries, lychee martinis, veggie sliders and tofu steaks going to TGIF requires a certain state of mind and a definite attitude adjustment.
So, repeat after me:
-We are here to eat some meat
-We are here to eat some (processed) cheese
-We are here to drink some frozen drinks (which come in regular or 14 oz glasses, which is really WHAT you need to get in order for your beverage to look like it looks on the menu)
-Taste the (goddamn) rainbow (there are NO colors found in nature here, so don’t even look)
-And don’t be afraid to love it. (bcse as someone once said: “If people didn’t like it…it wouldn’t be a chain now, would it?)
That just means now you’re ready to truly rumble.
A quick scan of the menu soon revealed that we needed some drinks to even begin to tackle the food:
Some berry daquiries, Electric (blue) lemonades and Sangrias (sans fruit mind you) later we ordered: fried mac and cheese (with cheese sauce on top….which is basically the mother of all processed cheese foods), the jack daniels sampler plate (which involves not only ribs and shrimp but ribs, shrimp AND chicken doused in some sticky sweet supposedly whiskey sauce….) and some sizzling chicken/shrimp/steak main plates (bonus: not only do all entres come with cheese ABOVE and BELOW the meat but all the salads are marked as “LOW PHAT” options).
A new, freshly colored line of beverages followed (and preceded) every course (if there is a color in the rainbow, it exists in the TGIF mixology drink menu), culminating in Kahlua martinis for dessert (6 martinis for 4 drinkers), and just as you start complaining the alcohol is not kicking in, you realize IT IS. It is like being a child in a candy store (with grown-up benefits) and that is saying something since we are definetly of the grown up mixed drink persuasion (a jack and coke or a vodka soda always beats out anything with cranberry or pineapple in our book)
The food was good and fried, which is what we expect is necessary to survive the drink menu. The atmosphere priceless and the staff well meaning if a little bit bewildered (at least 4 additional plates of something or other cheesy and fried arrived to our table unordered and only our innate honesty prevented us from keeping them).
For special (vaguely self-ironic, fully indulgent) occasions only.