High hopes but let down when delivered.


Well-Known Member
Norfolk, VA
This can apply to anything really but this was my recent experience food related. My wife and I wanted something quick and easy for dinner last night. Both of us are simpletons when it comes to food, nothing fancy required. So after passing KFC, Cook Out, Taco Bell we ended up at a Waffle House. I normally get the grilled cheese with hash browns but for some reason a waffle caught my eye. When said waffle was brought to our table I put syrup on it and munched away. What a bland and blah waffle. No flavor at all. So for now on I'll just stick to the grilled cheese. I just find it kinda funny the the word 'waffle' is in their name but they can't make a good one. Who else has had a bummer experience like this?
In the fifties and sixties Arkansas and Mississippi were road food deserts. Mississippi had the Crystal chain which had only a poor hamburger patty and a blah bun. No mayonaise or mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion, spice, nothing. No BLT or pulled pork. No chicken or fish sandwiches. Arkansas had a similar chain without even a name, only a logo of a hamburger on wheels. Last time Greyhound routed me through Meridian MS, the only retaurant within walking distance of the station was a Crystal. No change by 1995. It took 3 days before interstates to travel by auto from Houston to Madison WV. We were so glad when we got east of Memphis where one could buy barbeque and cole slaw without slogging through the 50 traffic lights and parking meters of downtown.
When I make a pancake, I use only self rising flour and water. Real pancake mix has sugar in it, which I no longer eat. The flavor comes from the bacon grease in the pan. Waffle House in the era of heart health probably does not use bacon grease on their griddle. The flavor at Waffle House is in the hash browns. On a pancake at home I use olive oil flavored margerine. Maple ester is a cheap artificial flavoring added either to fructose corn syrup, or what I use, sorbitol
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I actually like a frozen White Castle burger once and awhile, the kind you get in a six pack at the grocery store. Microwave heaven! Anyways, the first time I ever saw a real White Castle restaurant was when I drove 18 wheelers. I was told they were called "Bum Palace" for a reason and sure enough, a bunch of bums hanging around. But no one really bothered me, I picked up some bum dude's meal tab and actually enjoyed the food and talking to the guy who's tab I picked up while eating. I hate eating alone and the guy was honestly destitute. Never ate a a Crystals burger joint but if I see one I'll try it.

One of my wife's sisters husband cooks EVERYTHING in bacon grease! He's a retired cook at a truck stop. He must have a strong metabolism because he's skinny but his wife is huge.
My cousins and I call White Castle burgers Ham_purga
Purga is Italian for purge and is often used as a synonym for laxative.
If you've ever eaten more than just a few, you know well what I mean.
The topic title could apply to just about any really high-end restaurant my foodie wife's ever dragged me to. The food's seldom bad, but also seldom worth anywhere near the price. With a few notable exceptions, walk out feeling fleeced every time.

Fact is, plenty of great restaurant food to be had at far under $100 or even $50 a head.

Now I just refuse. I tell her she can go by herself, and I'll spend an equal amount on something durable — like more bike stuff or LEGO. That usually takes care of it.
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My cousins and I call White Castle burgers Ham_purga
Purga is Italian for purge and is often used as a synonym for laxative.
If you've ever eaten more than just a few, you know well what I mean.
We have a Mexican restaurant chain called Plaza Azteca, but us in the know call it Plaza Asswrecka. The Burger King by my work is lovingly referred to as Booger King and our Taco Bell is known as Taco Smell, depending on what manager is working. If the big scary guy with the soft voice is working you'll get good food.
My experiences at Taco Bell and Dairy Queen have been very consistent: I've always been disappointed and sometimes felt ill after the meal.

High end restaurants are an odd thing. For every one worthy of the prices and food there are two dozen that are going to disappoint you. You can't know unless you try. And unfortunately the worst thing that can happen to you is that you get lucky and have one or two fantastic experiences in a row and spend years of your life chasing that experience.

There used to be this Moroccan restaurant in Portland where, with a few days notice, they would butcher and barbecue a goat for you and have all of the sides for about $100-$150 per person. We'd do it every now and then, swear it was too expensive and we were never doing it again, but then whenever we were all in town, there we were. The food was fantastic and you ate it all with your hands.

In Europe I've had fantastic meals at remarkably low prices from roadside stands and on one memorable occasion a gas station market. The market also deserves mention because their four euro table wine was probably the very best red I've ever had. On the other side of it I once paid US $65 for two fizzy waters, two toasted cheese sandwiches, and a pickle (Montreux, Switzerland).
My boss always tries to get everyone together from our department and meet up outside of work. 'Bonding' he calls it. Last few times he's gone to this "Bourbon Bar" at our local oceanfront, in the $nazzy part of town. I pass every time. I don't wanna sit around with rich people drinking, not my scene. I keep suggesting a pool hall on the other side of the oceanfront. Free parking, something to actually do (play pool), normal drinks (even though I rarely drink now) and good bar food. Heck, I've even mentioned mini-golf as a group activity. And bowling. Anything other than a bunch of rich people sitting around in suits talking about money and politics. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

We used to have a bar/venue at the oceanfront called Shaka's. Outside of seeing many great shows at this awesome venue they had the best cheeseburgers! Just flat out yummy! When I celebrated my 20th year at my job they took us to lunch at a "famous" seafood place on the oceanfront. I got bacon wrapped shrimp with green beans. I nibbled on the green beans and when the lunch was over I got a carry out container for the shrimp and hauled butt over to Shaka's! I got a killer cheese burger to go, hauled butt home, gave the shrimp to the cats and enjoyed a great cheeseburger!
Burger King Whopper is a good imitation of a real Houston ChuckWagon Wheelburger circa 1957. Just delete the mayonaisse and ketchup and add mustard. Lettuce, onion, pickle, tomato, seeds on the bun, all the good stuff. Every time I get within 200 miles of Texas I get a Whataburger, which since 1960 has been the icon of Texas burgers. Nearest Whataburger is in Little Rock I believe, although I ate at one in Broken Arrow OK coming back from Hovenweep Nat Monument 2 years ago. Whataburger has a great chicken cobb salad now also.
The one thing that makes a White Castle slider bearable is the onion flavor. I have one 6 blocks from my city house. I ate there at 3 AM 20 years ago when I was working 3rd shift, was off on Sunday morning (rare), and nothing else was open but Denny's. I find the holes punched in the slider beef patty hilarious.
I like Tex-Mex food, growing up on a Dallas chain so long deceased I can't remember the name. I loved the beef enchilada+tortilla+taco combo plate. I last ate at one in Jackson TN 25 years ago. Rice without the jasmine. Best imitation now is San Pedro in Charlestown half way to my summer camp. Rice has peas, lima beans, corn, no jasmine. Tony's in Houston on Ella Blvd has a good lunch fajita+cheese enchilada combo. Taco Bell is I believe LA food. They had a low fat taco I could bear 20 years ago but they cancelled it in 6 months. Wife makes me take her there occasionally. If I eat more than 2 Bell tacos I belch for hours. No sour cream picante or guacamole on the taco, like I can get at San Pedro.
I had some great seafood in Houston last November on my brother's dime. Guido's off the beach had a great redfish with asparagus. Nico's next door had good toasted oysters, although I found the bed of salt crystals weird. At age 73 I don't need all that salt. I had some decent redfish at Angleton Tx 10 years ago but you had to have it fried in garlic butter. I had a great seafood lunch at Pascagoula MS 14 years ago. 8 different police agency cars were in the parking lot, a sign of good food. Near the creek that runs through town. There is no fish worth crossing the street for in Indiana. People in Louisville swear by Mike Lennox fried fish, which tastes just like the stinky stuff you get at a Friday church fish fry here. You can smell the ancient oil from 2 blocks away. Not even cod or pollock.
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For burgers we have Five Guys. At work we call it Five Hundred Guys because you pay each "guy" a dollar to eat there, as its expen$ive for a burger chain, but I've never been bummed with my order. We also have Smash Burger that pretty much ties with Five Guys. To bad my beloved Shaka's is gone.

For Tex-Mex we have a Tijuana Flats. Tiny chain, as I have no idea how we ended up with one. Always on point and not stupid expensive. Wife and I ate there so much at one point the manager knew us by name.

For pizza we have a Your Pie. It's a small pizza chain that makes really good pizza.

Finally, for cheese steaks we have Iggles. Philly based (named after the Eagles football team) and always excellent.

So if any of you come to Virginia Beach you know some local recommendations that won't let you down.
When I was in my 20's, all the young people on the north side of Chicago swore by this dinky little restaurant near the L-tracks on Howard street, Everyone loved their starter plate, which was chips, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, and the smoothest taco meat in the world. Health department shut them down for using canned dog food. Yeah, it is protein. And it still tasted great.

This time of year. Chicago has a Restaurant Week, where the major restaurants offer a lunch between $25-45 and dinner between $45-70. We used to hit 3-4 places in 10 days, and never were disappointed.

This was a birthday at a steakhouse on the frozen Chicago River, when the waiter gave us a complimentary slice of cake, about 6" tall.

I love a good burger, I've had Bison, Ostrich, and many other types of beef that they claim make good burgers. All of them were pretty good compared to one I had last year in a local place that everyone in the area thinks is really good food. I got a $17 burger, and was dry, bland and overcooked. I'd rather have eaten at Wendy's that night. Same place has a kid's M&C, what was served was a bowl of Kraft instant M&C that you can get for around $1/box, they charged $7 for it. When we ordered it we thought it was just going to be a smaller portion of the adult M&C, nope, they served crap.
We are in So Cal and there is no shortage of fine dining, but I agree with Jeremy, they now charge an arm and a leg for a decent meal-hell, even the average meals are expensive. I have been cooking at home more lately since I bought my air fryer and I control what goes in to the recipes. I bought 3 big Prime Ribs when they went on sale Xmas time and had the butcher slice them into 1 inch rib eyes. I also bought a meal sealer. Thats my go to. A little garlic salt and 5 minutes later a deelish steak. In a nice steakhouse down the street that same steak is at least $45 US or more. I paid about 5 bucks for mine! I guess we just blame the Covid!
Put me down for White Castle meh. Went to Indiana over 25 years ago and visited one in a sketchy area. Me and my buddy were trying to figure out what the hype was about after eating the first one... and it didn't get better after the 2nd.

Went to TX a few months ago, and Whataburger in TX was really good (or I was really hungry).

Being in the land of In and Out, I think I am a decent judge of cheapish burgers. :)
I wanted glasses that would block the wind but give me good visibility. as a prescription your a little limited but needing progressive (trifocals) really limits the glasses. these work but they are a little weird. not so much the prescription but the curve. my vision is clear far and really close but questionable like computers and such. they work for riding and seeing my computer or phone but its not as nice as I expected for the price.
Put me down for White Castle meh. Went to Indiana over 25 years ago and visited one in a sketchy area. Me and my buddy were trying to figure out what the hype was about after eating the first one... and it didn't get better after the 2nd.
White Castle should only be eaten after 2AM and in an altered state. Even then, Steak 'n Shake is a better choice even if it's the hour in the middle of the night when they soak the entire floor with bleach.
I recently wrote this review. My town has many amazing places to eat and I feel lucky. Even 'American' food can be really good when everything is fresh and local like at the place called Acme Burger. There you can look at the mountain were the steer grazed. They even do an ahi burger. The best deal is Nepalese tandoori. On a sizzling platter you get two huge pieces of free range chicken and one of lamb. It has colorful peppers, red onions, and broccoli. It is served with nan, curried lentils, and basmati rice. Enough for two meals it costs $17.50.

Here is the review of Mr. Mom's:
This is the worst place to eat within 100 miles. I recently had a small overly greasy Rubin, an anemic iceberg side salad, with flaccid extra greasy fries. The bill was over $28.00. They were playing oldies country radio that was not fully tuned into the station. That is the atmosphere! The patrons look obese, abused, and unwell. It is like visiting a time-warp to an early '70's Arkansas truck stop. If you want a break-up this is the place to take someone.