Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Friday's: A Love Affair

This evening, I'm going to my favorite restaurant in the world, TGIFriday's.

I ate there 2 days ago with my life partner and a friend of mine. I ate there 4 days ago by myself (reading USA today helped pass the time). Upon arriving, I always ask to be seated in a booth. You see, booths are a bit more comfortable than tables plus I can stretch my legs out to the side if I wish. Once seated, I take the drink menu that is always placed on the table and put it on the floor (one afternoon, I observed a 10-year old browsing through it before saying in disgust to his parents, "All that's in here is drinks!").

Here's an amusing prank that someone did to Friday's menu a few years ago.

Next a waitress who's most likely seen me before (and knows exactly what I order) takes my drink order, Mello Yello. The only time I drink pop is when going out to eat. One of my favorite waiters is a bloke named Bob who has sideburns that haven't been seen since Ike was President. I like to refer to him as "Sideburns" or "Elvis".

Over the past few years, the only thing I would eat at Friday's for an entree' was their regular hamburger with fries. A few months ago, however, I was turned on the their chicken fingers and now order them about 33% of the time. On most days, I will order a Caesar side salad (sans cheese to avoid unneeded saturated fat) as a light appetizer.

After placing my order, I go to the Men's room and meditate for 4 minutes. No, but this does remind me of a good story. Several years ago, while eliminating, I noticed a poster with ads for all sorts of different crap not 6 inches from my face. I was pissed at this egregious encroachment, so actually pulled the whole thing out and threw it in the trash (no one else was in the bathroom at the time). Thankfully, Friday's no longer has these postings in their restrooms.

There's usually a couple hostesses camped out by the entrance door ready to open it for people coming and going. I sometimes act like I'm gonna go outside and they open the door for me, but at the last second, say that I'm just playin'.

I'm happier than Cheney at an oil "meeting" as I eagerly wait for my food to arrive.

The booths offer a good view of the people eating outside. I have to chuckle because up until about nine months ago, they were allowed to smoke out there, but now can no longer do so. :)

About 10 days ago, I went to Friday's with my youngest brother and his family. His kids were quite pleased when a balloon artist came out to make some animal balloons for them. 5 of the 6 of us ordered chicken fingers.

On the days I order a hamburger (I've never liked cheeseburgers), the first thing I do is cut it in half. Why? So that I don't overdo it with saturated fat or gain too much weight for that matter. I always take the other half home to my beautiful Pomeranian, Zoe. I don't give it to her all at once, though. I spread it out over several days. You see, Zoe barks her head off when I leave in the morning and she is quite loud. I've found that if I give her some pieces of hamburger and/or cheese before leaving and then hurry out the door, she can't bark since she is too busy enjoying the feast.

I usually have a little room left over after ingesting my (1/2) burger and fries, so on most cases, I'll order (or share) a dessert. My favorite dessert was the Oreo cake, but Friday's got rid of it a few months ago. This made me so disillusioned that I sent the following email to the chain's main website:

"I was disturbed to find out that the Oreo Cake dessert will no longer be served at the Rochester location. It's actually my favorite part of the meal and my wife and I go to Friday's at least once a week. We heard that the change is being made because Friday's no longer wants to serve any desserts that have transfat in them. This move strikes me as short sighted. Having the Oreo treat once in a while isn't causing everyone's health to go to shit.

We were similarly disheartened when Friday's stopped selling baked potatoes as well as the French Dip. I love going to Friday's, but will most likely go there less often now that this change is being instituted.

Thanks for the good times.

Tom D****"

I received a reply a few days later that they hoped I would continue to frequent their restaurant. They needn't have worried. I eventually grew to love their Brownie Obsession (though it's only about 71% as good as the Oreo was). I'm actually going there more now than I ever did when they had the Oreo!

About a month and a half ago, I signed up for Friday's "Give Me More Stripes" card. For every $100 I spend, an email is sent good for $8 off. I've already used about 4 of the coupons and after today, will be getting another.

You may be thinking, why are you so obsessed with this restaurant?

Because in there, it's always Friday.


Mags said...

Aw! What a cute new picture of you! (It may have been up a while-I read you in google reader alot at work).


I love this post. It cracks me up. Mainly b/c you're quirky and I love it. I think that this should be an opening in a movie about a quirky guy. Written just the way it is, either you talking or thinking. But talking would be better.

I chuckled quite a bit at this one. Thanks!

Thomas said...

Thanks, Mags. I just added the pic last night.

Good to hear you enjoyed the post. Yes, I is quirky, and I can definitely see someone like John Cusack doing a voice-over of it.

Hope you have a great week!

Go Sox!

Sarah said...

hilarious post. i just wish the subject matter had been a place i could have gotten on board with. i have a hard time believing that fridays is capable of bringing anyone such joy. but that's just me. at least it wasn't chili's!

p.s. nice use of random statistics interspersed. i'll overlook the tgi fridays thing and pretend you were writing about old chicago.

houstonmacbro said...

Hmmm.. I should have seen that last line coming. But didn't.

Good one.

Thomas said...

Just got back from Friday's. Damn, I think I'll need to go on the treadmill for a spell after ingesting what I did. Hillary is scheduled to speak at about 9. Perhaps I'll do it then.

I've actually never been to Chili's. The closest location is about an hour and a half away. I know Michael Scott of "The Office" loves the place.

I heard Old Chicago is in a bit of financial trouble at the moment. Hope they stick around.

Houston, thank you. I do what I can.