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Charleston DaveCharleston Dave Posts: 571
edited 7:20AM in EggHead Forum
May I vent?

Fellow Eggers, I have sinned. A family member's hospitalization yesterday meant that I missed lunch and dinner. Heading home around 10:30 I realized as much and that I had few choices left for dinner out. With a sense of foreboding I enter the only restaurant I can find with table service at this hour: Applebee's.

Because I am dining alone, I'm seated at a two-top near the front door, so I get blasted with cold air whenever anybody enters or leaves. This is also adjacent to the bar, so my technically non-smoking seat is well-infused with smoke. All of the surrounding tables are filled with single moms with screaming infants in tow. At 10:30 PM. Apparently I missed the memo on Girls' Night Out.

I order onion soup for starter, then a medium rare "Bourbon St. Steak" that is described as Cajun spices with mushrooms and onions. Standard sides are a "California medley" of vegetables and a baked potato on the side. Server insists on my showing a driver's license to order one ale despite my not having appeared under 21 for decades.

I am on my third sip of my onion soup when a sizzling fajita-style platter is dropped in front of me with a plate of broccoli and carrots and a third plate with an oversized baked potato.

By the time I finish the soup, the steak has more than stopped sizzling (in fact, it's room temperature [must be those Arctic blasts from the front door] and greasy). The steak might once have been a sirloin but at this point in its afterlife only a CSI: Charleston forensic DNA test could tell. It's a zombie steak, an echo of a shadow of sirloin that would not die despite multiple freezings and unspeakable abuse. Thickness varies from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch. Doneness is medium well, except for the line of gristle running transversely that seems quite raw indeed. Texture is pretty much wet cardboard. Taste is burnt chemical with burnt garlic and burnt pepper gurgling atop an underlying taste river of burnt. The mushrooms and onions are fresh, so I would give points for that--except that they're not cooked. Broccoli and carrots taste like garlic and grease. Potato is both underdone and overly dry; the syntho-butter poured over it and the miserly dollop of genuine imitation sour cream can't hide the mealy texture any better than the loud music hides the sound of crying, tired children who should be home in bed or the sound of servers bickering with the floor manager about tip policy.

Including tip, $25...and I drive home wondering what I could have cooked on my Egg for that.


  • AzScottAzScott Posts: 309
    Yikes! That sounds horrible. The only places I frequent any more are typically Thai, Vietnamese, or Mediterranean. I guess I'm also intentionally not learning to cook those foods so there will be a few places I still want to go. Any steaks, bbq, fish, chicken, and burgers are always a no go for me in a restaurant.
  • I picked up 4 choice ribeyes about 2'' thick from costco for about 27$ Friday. There are two left for tonight if your interested. B)
  • It used to be that the reliable go-to on business travel was prime rib.

    After a recent experience at O'Charley's I'm not even sure that's true any more! :blink:
  • Brett, that's just mean. :angry:

    On the other hand, what's your delivery fee? :unsure:
  • SGT BBQSGT BBQ Posts: 190
    Moral of the story is nothing beats an egg cooked steak. Hopefully the french onion soup was good.
  • I have two rules for eating out: #1 Only order steak if "steak" appears in the name of the restaurant. #2 don't order anything you know you can cook better.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Next time eat something else at AppleBee's
  • WokOnMediumWokOnMedium Posts: 1,376
    I took my family out to dinner at Applebee's (before the egg). When my sister drained her lemonade glass the server came over and asked her if she wanted refill, informing her there was a $.49 charge to do so. I decided then that I was done with that place. But I agree with AzScott, I never eat steak, burgers, BBQ, or chicken out anymore.
  • nmsg
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    As bad as I'm sure it was, at least your disertation was enjoyable. The last steak I ate at a restaurant was Steak & Ail, the night before the 2007 eggfest. It was pitiful!
  • GrumpsGrumps Posts: 182
    I virtually never eat steak at a restaurant because it is NEVER as good as mine on the egg. The only exception is Stoney River Legendary Steaks. Their steak is the best I've ever had. Mine are #2 (ahead of Fleming's and Ruth's Chris IMHO)
  • :( dropped some dough for son and friends for bad burgers today, too :blink: at least the soup and salad bar was good :side:
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Dave - you should have dropped into Grill 225 at the Market Pavilion.

    Quite possibly the best steak in my life was eaten there last month. You really should try their 60-day aged strip sometime. It will make up for this bad experience.

    FYI - it pairs very well with the '03 Tassinaia super Tuscan.
  • Thanks for the suggestions, Fidel.

    I think that option might run a bit more than the $19 check total for this meal, but quality is worth paying for. On G225's .pdf winelist, Tassinaia 04 is $88 a bottle and not available by the glass, so dining alone I would have struck out there. Also, I was about 20 miles north of downtown, at 10:30 PM, and dressed too casually to head there for something upscale.

    As much as I like the Charleston dining scene, we do not have a surfeit of restaurants with late-night service. College sandwich shops, and, um, that's about it. My favorite tapas bar closed. No sushi places after 10, which is puzzling. After 10 PM the best bet might well be Waffle House. Which, come to think of it, is a far more honest place than this one was.
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