Soooo… after shopping last night my better half and I were feeling the familiar pang of hunger. Seeing we were close to several restaurants we decided to eat at Jack Astor’s.

Yah, this is the place….

It’s “okay“. My ideal time to go there would be if all the other restaurants in a 400 mile radius burned down and it was the only one left standing. That being said, it has been probably 2 years since I’d last eaten there and who knows, maybe it improved.

I was wrong.

The bubbly waitress comes over and is so over-the-top in excitement that I’m in sensory overload. She’s super loud in welcoming us. “And how are we todaaaaaay? I’m (whatever her name was) and I’ll be your server toniiiiiight. We have new menu items and they are super dooper delicioussss! So I’ll give you a few minutes to look all this over and can I get you anything to drink while you do thaaaaaat???”  She was really nice, and so sweet she made my teeth hurt. I just couldnt’ stop staring at her big teeth. But anyway, enough about her. Nothing on the menu really appealed to me, which is strange because A) I love food, B) I never have a problem finding something to eat no matter where I go, and C) I was really really hungry. I mean, with the right amount of ketchup, the brown paper that they put on the table was looking really good at this point.

I ordered the nachos and my boyfriend ordered the hamburger platter. I ordered the nachos because so far in life, I’ve discovered that like a peanut butter and jam sandwich, it’s pretty hard to screw up nachos.

I was wrong.

The nachos arrive on a huge round cookie-sheet sized pan, probably 18 inches in diameter and about 4 layers of chips deep. So far, I love the portion size. What I don’t get is that there is probably about 90 nachos in front of me and one teeny tiny bowl of salsa in addition to yet a second teeny tiny bowl of sour cream. Are they serious? The little bowl had about a tablespoon of salsa. That’s it. Like what??? Where the hell’s the rest of the salsa?

Looks good and all, but is that all the salsa I get???

The waitress saunters by and says loudly, “And how’s everything going heeeeeere?” I smiled and said, “I could have some more salsa please? I’m gonna need way more than this.” She smiles and says, “Oh for suuuuuure!” She disappears and a minute or two later a different waitress comes over with a teeny tiny silver bowl of salsa on a plate and puts it down in front of me. “Here you go!” she says proudly as if she’d just placed her olympic gold medal in front of me and I’m supposed to be impressed. I pull the plate closer and looked in the little dish. This second portion has even less than the original one — it’s only half full.  At this point, I suddenly realize that the cost of salsa must come out of the staff’s wages and hence the pauper’s portions in front of me.

It doesn’t look that small until you compare it to my fork right beside it.

I now wished my mother was with me simply because there would be a good chance she’d have a spare insulin syringe in her purse and I was obviously going to need it to ration out the salsa for all the chips I had, either that or I should go buy an eye dropper so as to apply a drop to each chip. This was ridiculous.  When I eat nachos I usually have a tablespoon of salsa per chip, not per platter. With what I had, I was obviously going to have to be very frugal with my condiment consumption…. no putting salsa AND sour cream on each chip… no way… I couldn’t spare it. I had to choose… either a pinhead size drop of salsa, or a pinhead size drop of sour cream. Suddenly, this meal was going to have to take some serious planning and honestly, I was far too hungry and too tired to work out the mathematical equation necessary to ensure I had enough for the whole meal.

Suddenly I feel like the idiot of a man on last year’s Royal Caribbean cruise who sat with his wife in the buffet restaurant and while sampling the ENORMOUS plate of food in front of him, had something bad to say about each thing. I should mention that this man looked like an ornery Santa Claus… weighed a considerable amount and didn’t look like too much of a fussy eater at any time in his life. He’d take a bite of something on his plate and then tell his wife, “This bread is too dry”, followed by, “These sausages are tasteless”, then “This beef is too salty”, then “This rice is far to bland”, followed by, “These patties are overcooked.” He did this for all 20 or so items he managed to fit on his plate. And then finally he got to some item on his plate and said, “Well this is the only thing with any taste on here.”  He ate everything on his plate, pushed it away from him and after reflecting for a moment he said, “This music is making my ears bleed.” He got up from the table, and when he returned he announced to his wife, “I told them to change this music, it was giving me a headache.” Suddenly as we sat there, sure enough, the music went from the bouncy tunes of the Top 40 to a lull-you-to-sleep-on-your-plate type of elevator music. We thereafter referred to him as the Food Critic whenever we saw him. Must be nice to have the world revolve around you… but then again… he could very well have had his own gravitational pull… so there you go.

Back to my lack of salsa situation…. I got about 80% of the way through the massive platter when my boyfriend decided to help me out. He takes some chips and I say to him, “Put some salsa on them.” He shakes his head and doesn’t say anything so I said it again, “Here, put some salsa on them.” He shakes his head and says, “No, I’m too scared to use any of your salsa.” I couldnt’ help but laugh. He could clearly see how this whole situation was taking a toll on me. I must’ve looked frazzled as I dipped each chip and if it had too much salsa, I’d shake it off so as to only have a mere hint of the condiment before eating it. I couldn’t waste any of it. I suppose I could have asked the waitress for a more reasonable size dish of it, but I didn’t want to hear her bubbly voice draw out the last syllable from everything she said even once more. It was bad enough she was going to come back with the bill soooooooon.

I wish I were a professional restaurant critic because this experience alone would get the restaurant a big fat fail. A big fat zero on my satisfactory scale. Zero. Zero as in the same amount of salsa I was served. Zero.

There. That’s my rant. I feel better now and might just go indulge myself in a whole punch bowl full of salsa right now.

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