Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Steak and Chicken Conundrum

The El family ventured forth from the Fortress of Ineptitude for lunch last Sunday to one of our regular places to eat. When it comes to dining out, we know what we like and we like what we know. Wherever we go, we already know what we’re going to order. You can tell us the special if it makes you feel better but we’re not ordering the special. It seems to me the special is usually some bizarrely named entrĂ©e with an incomprehensible sauce or side. “The special today is braised lamb’s butt with a jellied pancreas glaze.” That’s not a meal, that’s culinary science run amuck. 


The place we went to on Sunday is part of a larger chain that in the interest of discretion I will refer to as “O’Fartley’s”.  It’s here that my daughter Miranda orders the “fish and chips” where without fail, we attempt to engage our waitperson with our impeccably practiced British accents. And then my wife Andrea and I will order our usual, a small sirloin steak and chicken tender combo. Let me stress this: we order this every single time we go to O’Fartley’s.  


This Sunday, however, while Miranda’s fish and chips are still on the menu (“I say, old girl! A jolly good show!”), the steak/chicken combo is not. Perplexed, I take this up with our waitress.


Management, it appears, has changed up the menu. But get this, only for Sunday and only through 2:00 PM. Any other day and on Sunday after 2:00 PM, the steak/chicken combo is on the menu. The time was 12:45 PM and it seems we were out of luck for our usual combination meal. 

The waitress thought management was being a bit shortsighted about this and told us so. 


Now I might be a creature of habit but I’m prepared to roll with the punches. Hey, let’s try something new! But Andrea has a stricken look on her face, much like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man when confronted with the concept of getting underwear somewhere other than K-Mart.


We noticed that still on the menu were chicken tenders and a small sirloin steak. So the parts of our combo still existed to be prepared and served. Our waitress amiably agreed to go check and see what she could do to get us our favorite combo. Well, that was nice of her.


But she returned with bad news: no, it couldn’t be done. The computer wouldn’t let them.


Let me repeat that: The computer would not let them.


It appears that the various menu items are locked in to the computer and can’t be manipulated. The computer was telling them, “It’s Sunday, it’s not 2:00 PM yet! There will be no steak/chicken combo! Delete the humans! Delete! DELETE!” 


I guess I could’ve been a real smart ass and ordered the chicken tenders for Andrea and a sirloin steak for me and then when the food was delivered, cut both entrees in half and split between the two of us. But no, I didn’t.  Andrea opted for the chicken tenders but I decided to do something a bit different.


I ordered off the brunch menu a meal that included chicken fried steak. Yep, in my own way, I got my chicken AND steak after all.  So screw you, O’Fartley’s computer overlord. Ha! A victory of man over machine!


And I’m so glad my suffering amuses you.  


Tomorrow (Sunday, April 10th), Bruce Springsteen was supposed to perform here in Greensboro, NC. However, on Friday, Bruce announced the show was cancelled and cited the recent passage of HB2 by the North Carolina legislature as the reason.  HB2 is the "It's OK to discriminate LGTB people" bill. I will post more on that topic either Monday or Tuesday.

Whatever day doesn't get the rant against our state government's shortsighted legislature will get a post about the El family's excursion to the theater. No, not a movie theater but an actual play type of thing with actors on a stage and stuff. The play is A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum and hopefully that'll lead to a funny thing happening on the way to a blog post.

Before either of those posts comes Sunday which is Doctor Who Day here on the blog. Tomorrow, we take a brief look at the Doctor Who spin off series, Class.

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

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