EppsNet Archive: Restaurants

A Close Encounter with Burt Reynolds’ Legacy

I’m having dinner at a Japanese restaurant . . . in the booth behind me are a couple straight out of Sons of Anarchy. The man is about 45, large, with a shaved head, tattoos and a motorcycle jacket. Same description for the woman, except for the shaved head. Her jacket is emblazoned with PROPERTY OF TROG (or FROG or ????, couldn’t make it out clearly), which I assume is the name of either a motorcycle gang or the gentleman sitting across from her. Midway through the meal, Trog wonders aloud if Smokey and the Bandit is available on Netflix. To his chagrin, the movie doesn’t seem to register with his girlfriend, so to jog her memory, he pulls up the “Eastbound and Down” song on his phone and plays it loudly enough to be heard by everyone in the vicinity. He then launches into an analysis of the film… Read more →

A Bite of Nostalgia

I drove through Carl’s Jr. today for lunch . . . “Would you like to try a Western Bacon Cheeseburger?” the girl asked. “Yes, that sounds good.” The Western Bacon Cheeseburger was a favorite of mine when it was introduced in the early 1980s. A taste of nostalgia! I was tempted when I got to the window to ask why she’d recommended a Western Bacon Cheeseburger and not some new-fangled menu item as is customary, but I was afraid she’d say they just had a couple lying around and needed to get rid of them . . . Read more →

Management Tips From the Pros: Put the Best Employees on the Drive-Thru Window

If you manage a fast food restaurant and you’re reading this, I beseech you to put your best employees at the drive-thru window to mitigate problems that wouldn’t arise in a face-to-face transaction. For example, I drove through Del Taco today for lunch . . . after the obligatory “Hi, welcome to Del Taco, would you like to try our new Queso Something-or-other,” I said “No, thank you, I’d like a Spicy Grilled Chicken Burrito and a large Coke Zero.” “Would you like a churro or something sweet for dessert?” “No but thanks for asking.” “OK, your total is . . .” After several seconds of silence, I decided to pull forward, give her some time to work through the math, and get the total at the window. After I’d gone about 10 feet, I heard her say “Wait, you wanted a burrito?” The car behind me hadn’t moved up,… Read more →

One Thing I Can’t Tolerate is Intolerance: Yelp at Yale Edition

According to the New York Times, June Chu, dean of Pierson College at Yale, lost her job after calling people “white trash” in Yelp reviews. Here are some of (former) Dean Chu’s hot Yelp takes: Regarding a Japanese restaurant: “If you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you. . . . Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese.” On a local movie theater: “So what they have is barely educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese and also try to add $7 plus $7.” A mochi establishment: “Remember: I am Asian. I know mochi. . . . To be honest, you’d be better off getting mochi ice cream at Trader Joe’s! I guess if you were a white person who has no clue what mochi is, this would be fine for you.” Remember: I am white. I know racism. This is not racism… Read more →

EppsNet Restaurant Reviews: Pea Soup Andersen’s

I’ve driven past Pea Soup Andersen’s many times in my journeys from SoCal to NorCal and back . . . finally decided to give the split pea soup its day in court. The waitress seemed to be always teetering on the edge of exasperation, at my table and at others as well. She said things like “Let’s do this” instead of “Are you ready to order?” I don’t know if surly waitresses are part of the Andersen ambiance or whether that was just the luck of the draw. The soup was delicious though, served with bacon bits, croutons, diced ham, scallions and grated cheddar cheese, all on the side so you can customize the soup any way you like it. Rating: . . . no deductions for the waitress as I feel she was within the normal bounds of surly coffee shop waitress comportment. Read more →

The Art of the Meal

We Guarantee You There’s No Problem. Product Name of the Day: "Trump Footlong" https://t.co/KDi9gkH3Io… #naming #startup #trump #chicago pic.twitter.com/JCkST0ZAS6 — Igor Naming Agency (@igornaming) March 13, 2016 Read more →

Tony Robbins’ Wealth-Building Tips Seem Pretty Useless

Tony Robbins has 6 tips for Building Wealth Now. Let’s look at each of the tips and apply the “would anyone advise the opposite?” filter to assess the value of Robbins’ advice. Don’t lose money. I’m not kidding, that’s the first tip. Would anyone advise “Lose money”? No. So this “tip” is useless. Look for investments in which rewards far outweigh risks. Would anyone advise “Look for investments in which risks far outweigh rewards’? No. Robbins recommends using “the 5-to-1 rule,” in which the potential returns on an investment are 5 times greater than the potential losses. Why 5? Why not 10? Or 100? Where do you find these investments? I have no idea. Don’t overpay taxes. Would anyone advise “Overpay taxes”? No. Diversify. Would anyone advise “Don’t diversify”? Possibly. There’s a couple of schools of thought on diversification: 1) Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; and 2)… Read more →

See You in Hell

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Greetings from the underworld! Friends have asked my opinion of the new Diablo hot sauce from Taco Bell . . . I love the name! You call that hot?! See you in Hell . . . Read more →

The Day is Off to a Disappointing Start

After I already ordered and paid for my breakfast taco and extra large Diet Pepsi at Del Taco, the girl informs me that they’re out of extra large cups. “I can’t believe it,” she says. “And I already charged you for it!” “Hmmm . . . just give me a large then, if you have any large cups around.” “I’m so sorry. Next time you’re here, I’ll give you a free one.” “The extra large soda really holds the whole morning together for me.” “I know, I’m a big soda drinker myself. My boyfriend is too and so is my dad. He lives on extra large sodas.” “Drinking extra large sodas is one of the great pleasures of life, in my opinion.” “The large cup feels small in your hand, doesn’t it?” “It does. I like things that feel big in my hand.” Very disappointing. This never happens at Taco… Read more →

Lasts

End-of-winter-break dinner at BJ’s Brewhouse, after which the boy headed back to school for his final semester . . . Read more →

I Can Still Eat

Hi everybody! It’s me, Lightning! My owner bought each of us a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A. He’s a fast eater but I ate my whole sandwich before he was even half way done with his! I’m very old now. I can hardly see, hear or walk. But my eating ability has not dropped off AT ALL! — Lightning Read more →

Last Night at the Beppo

The Buca di Beppo restaurant in Irvine is closing tomorrow. We stopped in this evening for a final meal. It was a sad occasion. Buca has been one of our culinary mainstays for over a decade. Here we are laughing to keep from crying: We had antipasto salad and baked ziti, a very close call over the spicy chicken rigatoni. Read more →

Eat Mor Chikin

I like Chick-fil-A. I like that they put people with a mastery of English at the drive-thru, and I especially like that, unlike every other fast food outlet, they never ask me if I’d like to try the latest menu item. Carl’s Jr. is the worst offender in this area. They seem to constantly have new items on both the breakfast menu and the regular menu so no matter what hour of the day I show up, they have something to force feed me. “You have a huge picture of that item right here on the menu. It’s not like I’m unaware of its existence. Why can’t you just let me order what I want to order and stop badgering me?” It’s rude. They don’t do it face to face because they know it’s rude. They don’t “would you like to try” you if you get out of your car… Read more →

Minimum Wage Proposal: $0.00

You can’t make ends meet on 8 bucks an hour? I can see where that would be a problem. When did fast food jobs become jobs for family breadwinners? Fast-food jobs are for high-school kids. You want to make $15 an hour? Simple: get a job that pays $15 an hour. What’s stopping you? Other than your lack of skills, education, motivation and accomplishments? If no employer is willing to pay you $15 an hour, then guess what? You’re not worth $15 an hour. You need to do something about that. Why is $15 an hour the magic number? Why not $16? Or $17? Why not $50 an hour? At $50 an hour, everyone would make a nice 6-figure income and poverty would be a thing of the past, right? If you raise the price of a product or service, the demand for the product or service goes down —… Read more →

Overheard at Subway

“Last time I was here, I decided to have a pink lemonade instead of a soda. Biggest mistake of my life.” “The biggest mistake of your life was buying a pink lemonade?” “Yeah. My whole afternoon was ruined.” Read more →

Overheard at Souplantation

Customer to Mexican busboy: “Great soups today! I love the albo-dingus!” Read more →

Japan, Day 8: Walking in Tokyo

Things you notice when walking in Tokyo . . . 1) There are lots and lots of people . . . 2) Most of them are not very tall . . . 3) Because there are a lot of people in a small amount of space (even though they are small people), Tokyo is built to take advantage of vertical space. For example, I’ve never seen a two- or three-story fast food restaurant in the U.S. but they’re common in Tokyo. Businesses that usually are two or three stories in the U.S., like department stores, in Tokyo are eight or ten stories. Flying back home tomorrow . . . sayonara! Read more →

Japan, Day 0: Floyd Mayweather at Panda Express

We saw Floyd Mayweather at LAX . . . Actually, my son saw him. When the boy pointed him out to me, all I could see was the back of a smallish man in a black hoodie surrounded by half a dozen of the largest human beings I’ve ever seen. You have to get past those guys to get your shot at Floyd. They were all standing on line at Panda Express in one of the food courts. Normally, I don’t envision famous, wealthy people eating Panda Express, and if they do, I don’t picture them standing on line for it. I picture them sending someone to fetch it while they hang out in the first class passenger lounge. Good advertisement for Panda Express. Better than those ridiculous goddamn talking pandas. In other close encounters with boxing legends, I once saw Sugar Ray Leonard and his family at Juice It… Read more →

ADHD in the Making

My family and I are enjoying a meal at a Japanese restaurant. In the booth behind me are a husband and wife and five kids, the oldest of whom looks to be about 12. One of the kids, a boy of about 5, is standing up and running a toy car back and forth along the divider between his booth and our booth. He gets bored with that after a while and starts drumming on the divider with a pair of chopsticks. The boy’s activities don’t bother me much . . . what bothers me is that it takes 15 minutes for one of the parents to tell him to stop it and sit down. He doesn’t do either and nothing else is said or done about the matter. In the near future, this boy’s inability to sit still and follow directions will get him “diagnosed” by a schoolteacher as… Read more →

A $15 Minimum Wage is Not Going to Help You

Fast Food Workers Will Strike On Thursday In L.A. : LAist Fast food workers staged a one-day strike for “living wages.” More specifically, they want the federal minimum wage to be raised from $7.25 an hour to $15. You want to make a living wage? I’ll tell you how to make a living wage. I’ve had a lot of jobs and this method has never failed me. Here it is: Before accepting a job offer, you always ask yourself, “Does this job pay enough for me to live on?” And if the answer is no, then you don’t take that job. If you want to earn $15 an hour, do what I do: get a job that pays $15 an hour. Who’s stopping you? If no one’s willing to pay you $15 an hour, it’s because the skills, intelligence and motivation that you bring to the table don’t allow you… Read more →

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