Monday, August 18, 2008

Late Sunday Misadventures In Eating .....


Rupe had a feeling. Rupe knew it from the time he eye-spied the restaurant they were headed to: Boston's.

And it was situated next to a Chili's as well, another few paces further. More bad news. (Rupe knowers will know of Rupe's "fondness" for Chili's. There isn't one.)

Nothing good could come of that, he thought. But then .... Rupe was doom-saying even before he walked in the door.

So, instead, Rupe put on his "silver-lining, happy-happy good-time" hat and ventured in.

With a party of five in tow after our jaunt to the Aquarium Of The Pacific wherein lots of slimy and sandpapery creatures were felt and ogled over, everyone was hungry and ready for something good to eat. (Rupe was naturally hungry for seafood, prolly 'cause he had walked past a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant on the way to Boston's .....)

The hostess of Boston's led us through a bar area crammed with television screens full of sports programs and through a door to an outside patio. There were a few patrons outside and a couple waiters were busily cleaning a few hastily joined tables for our use. (Rupe won't harp on the fact there were still crumbs remaining on several of the chairs after the waiters' hurried wiping. Oops. Too late. Rupe already did.)

We sat and perused the menus. After a quick first glance, Rupe realized Boston's menu was reminiscent of Chili's menu: not much substance to tantalize the pallet. Rupe sighed once more and adjusted his "silver-lining, happy-happy good-time" hat that was slowly going askew.

"Drinks, anyone?" an almost-fresh-faced male waiter called out to us unexpectedly.

We ordered. The girls (Rupe's wife and her sister) ordered strawberry mojitos in an effort to try something different, the daughters were treated to virgin margaritas to make them feel grown up and Rupe ordered a monster-sized Tecate with lime.

"I'll have to check if the bartender can make virgin margaritas," the waiter announced. Rupe's wife looked at him, quizzically.

"Oh, I'm sure whoever's bartending can come figure it out," Rupe cajoled the server whilst rolling his eyes skyward for his wife's benefit, sharing a personal joke with her.

"I'm only eighteen, so I really don't know," the waiter confessed.

Uh-oh. Rupe smelled trouble. Rupe, again, adjusted his hat. The waiter went off puzzledly and disappeared.

"Disappeared" being the operative word here.

We scrutinized the menus further. And continued to do so for ten more minutes.

Rupe finally announced: "They might be aquiring the water for those virgin margaritas via osmosis, I think. And, luckily, the beer will be fresh, 'cause they're obviously growin' the hops on premises. S'long as it's cold, I'll forgive him."

We pondered our food selections another few minutes when "Sparky" finally arrived, refreshments in tow.

All seemed right with the world. Finally. And after our first few sips, it was. Food was ordered, the conversation continued.

Mere minutes passed when the littlest daughter announced she was getting cold. The al fresco atmosphere and cold virgin margarita had gotten to her, no doubt. Rupe and daughter traipsed off hand in hand to the car to get her hooded sweater. A bit hurumphingly, we passed Bubba Gump's once again .....

On our return, we saw our orders had arrived. The specialty pizza the girls ordered was the wrong one, but Rupe's wife and sister had explained it was fine. Sparky had tried to cover it up and intervene, but it was all right they offered; they'd have it anyway. Rupe - having struggled over what to order and still dreaming of the seafood delights across the street - tried mightily to keep a straight face at the sad specimens of potato skins that were placed before him. Rupe's daughters were presented with burgers and fries.

"May I get some hot sauce?" Rupe asked. Sparky said he'd be right out with it.

All seemed in order. But Rupe noticed one daughter's face after the first bite of her burger.

"This tastes funny" she offered. "It's kind of weird."

Rupe took a nibble. The taste was indeed weird. And difficult to explain. The meat was reminiscent of ground beef, but with added extras to "enhance" the flavor. It was as if it had been deep fried, seasoned with floor sweepings and seared quickly on a grill that hadn't been cleaned in a month. The taste wasn't necessarily unpleasant, but it wasn't indicative of any burger Rupe'd ever eaten.

Sparky appeared a few minutes later to check on our order. "The burgers have to be exchanged for something else," it was explained. "They taste goofy and my daughters can't eat them." Sparky tried extracting a reason out of Rupe, but was stopped in mid-sentence with requests for replacement orders of spaghetti. Sparky at least got the hint. He took away the faux-burgers and was off.

Rupe apologized to the girls, stating this happened from time to time at restaurants. It wasn't the waiter's fault, Rupe 'splained. Rupe offered the girls potato skins slathered with cheese and onions and sour cream and jalapeƱos; they refused.

Sparky came back out and said their spaghettis would only take a few minutes. Rupe nodded in understanding. Sparky apologized and Rupe told him it was fine, not to worry about it.

It was under five minutes when the spaghettis arrived. The girls seemed pleased. But ..... Sparky failed to give'em forks. Spoons alone don't work when you're eating spags. Forks were ordered. Sparky huffed off quickly.

Meanwhile, the girls began eating with their spoons. Unsuccessfully, of course. "Use your fingers, that's fine," Rupe surrendered to them. They were happy to be doing so with Rupe's approval.

Rupe noticed there were huge meatballs accompanying the orders. Uh-oh. More trouble.

But the little one grabbed a golfball-sized meatball and took a hanker out of it, oblivious to the fact her burger was ousted a few minutes prior.

"Do you like that?" Rupe queried.

"It's pretty good," she said.

Rupe tried one. Yup. They were pretty good. Obviously, they were not prepared by the same cook that came up with the failed burger recipe.

Sparky reappeared. Forkless.

Rupe kept control: "Sparky? Forks?" He apologized yet again and ran off at an exaggeratedly frantic pace.

"I think Boston's needs to reassess their Wait Staff Preparedness Program," Rupe commented.

A few missteps more and we were out of the place. Rupe could finally take off his "silver-lining, happy-happy good-time" hat. A mental note was jotted in Rupe's super secret little black book: *Boston's: Just Say No*

Rupe and Company once more passed Bubba Gump's on the way back to the car. The neon lights mocked Rupe with their warm glow. A passing garbage receptacle was awarded Rupe's hat.

Rupe sighed, put the "dinner" behind him, shunned the neon lights and enjoyed the company of his family instead .....

................................ Ruprecht ( STOP )


  1. Poor Rupe! Why didn't you just go to Bubba Gump's? I've never heard of Boston's.

  2. Wait a minute... does that mean there's a Bubba Gump's in Long Beach, near the Aquarium of the Pacific? Here I thought you were in Monterey!
    We dined al fresco at Islands last night. Much, much better. At least they know how to cook a burger there!

  3. Rupe has never heard of Boston's until yesterday and barely tolerates Islands, but would've gladly succumbed to Islands last eve .....

  4. It's kinda funny that a restaurant named "Bubba's" would be the referred option. If I didn't tknow better, I would think they'd have squirrel and grits on the menu.

  5. I am very sorry - such a missed opportunity for them and for you. ((hug))

    I hope your next adventure is tastier.

  6. Oh why, oh why didn't you veer into Bubba Gump's? Yum yum yum! Boston's? Yuck, yuck yuck!

    Sorry Rupe! Next time go with your gut and force the herd into Bubba's!

  7. Twasn't a gut thing. Rupe was overruled.

    You really think Rupe was gonna get family, one and all, into a Bubba Gump's after visiting The Aquarium?!?

    Not a chance .....

  8. I could have sworn I commented on this post already....


    perhaps sparky wandered off with my entry.