Snow Day Survival Tips

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I don’t know where you live, but where I live, in Memphis, Tennessee, we are expected to get quite a bit of winter weather tomorrow morning. I just checked my weather app and it’s saying that there will be some mixed winter precipitation in the early morning hours that will be followed by 1 to 3 inches of snow as the morning progresses, and I couldn’t be more excited. It seems like a lot of people are down on snow, especially adults since the days of skipping school because of snow are far behind us, but for me, I still get that feeling of magical excitement I used to feel as a kid when I would wake up when it was still dark and run to the kitchen to turn on the light overlooking the backyard and seeing that blanket of white while giant fluffy snowflakes cascaded down from the sky. While snow days are great and filled with wonder and beauty, there are still some tips you should keep in mind to make sure that the winter weather won’t affect you in a negative way, so I wanted to share with you some helpful advice to get you through tomorrow should the snow come down in your area.

For a lot of people, driving is a huge concern when it comes to winter weather. We have all seen the horror stories on the news of cars in ditches or stranded along the side of the highway because the weather was too much for them to handle, but that’s good news for the rest of us, because the majority of the people are going to be too scared to get out on the roads, giving us an ideal society where morning traffic does not exist. You might be thinking to yourself that you should probably leave extra early for work, that is if you aren’t too scared to get out on the icy roads in the first place, to give yourself ample time to brave the dangerous roads to make it to the office on time, but there’s no need for that. You can actually leave later than you normally would, because without traffic, the road will be yours, plus the ice will have your car slipping and sliding down the road at breakneck speeds and you will get to your destination more quickly than normal.

It should go without saying that winter weather means that the temperatures are going to be extremely cold, so you’ll likely need to take additional measures to keep your home warm, because snow days are only fun, if you can come in from the cold and warm up. In preparation for this, it is advisable that you go ahead an increase your insurance coverage to pay for the fire that will likely devour your home in an attempt to keep you and your loved ones warm. You may think my scenario is extreme, but trust me, when you’re out of firewood and anything else that will fit into the fireplace, and you have to choose between your family freezing to death or lighting the couch on fire, you’d be stupid not to choose the latter. Prepare yourself. Up the insurance.

Lastly, and most importantly, don’t murder anyone on a snow day. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t kill anybody anyway, but it would be particularly unadvisable on a day like tomorrow, because the weather completely eliminates all the good ways to dispose of a body. Bury it? The ground will be frozen solid, so good luck with that. What about the ever popular disposal method of dumping the body in the lake? The temperature will be below freezing all day, which means that all the lakes and ponds in the area will be frozen over, and I’m no homicide detective, but I think a body shaped hole in the ice will be fairly easy to spot, so make getting away with it easier on yourself, and wait until the weather is more cooperative. You know what, on second thought, just don’t kill anyone ever; it’s a really terrible thing to do.

Hopefully my advice will lead to a problem free and enjoyable snow day that you can look back on fondly for years to come. Pass this along to all of your friends and loved ones, so they can make sure to have a good day too.

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The Breakup

You know what it’s like when your parents aren’t getting along? They are still together, but it’s obvious that they’re miserable, constantly bickering with each other, taking subtle shots at the other, and generally just in a bad mood. Eventually there comes a time when the family can’t continue on in that way, when it becomes too much of a strain for the household to function normally, so drastic action has to be taken, which is where divorce comes in. You love both and the two of them being together is what you’re used to, so when the inevitable happens and they split up, it seems devastating. Sure, eventually most people find a way to get over it and the divorce becomes normalized to the point where one almost seems to forget the way things used to be, but until that point there’s usually sadness following the breakup, and well, that’s how I’m feeling today.

They say that time heals all wounds, but whomever “they” are, probably meant longer than four days, which is exactly how long it’s been since I found out the terrible news, so forgive me if I’m not completely over it yet. I was at work, Monday afternoon, just getting ready to leave, and the message popped up on my phone screen. If you’re going to receive bad news, at work, or anywhere in public for that matter, is not an ideal location, but since I was about to leave anyway, I was able to hold myself together until I got to the car. David Fizdale, head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, was fired Monday afternoon, not even two months into his second season with the team, and it was all because of my favorite player on the team, Marc Gasol. Apparently the coach and star player hadn’t gotten along for the majority of Fizdale’s tenure in Memphis, and by the end it was reported that the two were barely even speaking to each other. It all came to a head Sunday night, when in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Brooklynn Nets, Coach Fiz kept Gasol on the bench. The All-star center, the best active player on the roster, was benched for the entire fourth quarter of a game that the Grizzlies had a chance to win, and that was the final straw.

Following the game, Gasol was not shy about how he felt and was very vocal about it in the post game press conference, which had a lot of people both on the radio and on social media, talking about it the next day. By that afternoon, Fizdale was fired. Seeing that really was a blow to the gut, something that took the air out of me, because it came as a complete shock to me. I knew that Fiz and Marc weren’t on the same page, but I one hundred percent believed that they would get together and work it out for the sake of the time, something you would expect of two mature professionals, but apparently, for whatever reason, the relationship was irreparable, at least in the eyes of the Grizzlies ownership and front office. Since taking over the team last year, I instantly liked David Fizdale, both because of his coaching and because of the way he was outside of basketball, being very active in the community here as well as being very outspoken about social issues that people are facing in this community and around the country. I didn’t know the man personally, never met him, but he genuinely seemed like a good guy, the kind of person who always seemed to not only be focused on basketball, but was also focused on the city of Memphis, and we he could do to make it a better place, and for that, he will be greatly missed.

So now that the divorce is done and the Grizzlies have parted ways with David Fizdale, it hurts, but we must move on, but it’s not so easy to do so. I hate that Gasol and the coach weren’t able to work things out so that this split didn’t have to happen. I hate that now Gasol has been labeled as a coach killer and given a reputation of someone who is difficult to coach, because he too seems like a really good guy, and I’d hate for his legacy, both in Memphis and around the league to be diminished whatsoever, because I don’t think he deserves that. Anyway, this breakup sucks, but hopefully things will start to seem normal again for the Grizzlies before too long, and coach Fizdale, wherever he ends up, I hope that everything works out great for him as well.

Free Doughnuts

IMG_4504Mondays are never the greatest day of the week, what with an entire work week looming ahead, but I thought today was going to be especially bad. Friday, just before quitting time, two of my three coworkers informed me that they wouldn’t be at work on Monday, leaving only me and one other coworker as the only tellers on the second busiest day of the work week, so I decided that I would do something positive this morning to try and combat the negativity of the impending situation, and bring donuts for everyone at work. I left the house extra early, to make sure that I would have plenty of time to stop and pick up the doughnuts and still arrive on time for work. Luckily, I work fairly close to Gibson’s, undoubtedly the best doughnut shop in Memphis, so it wasn’t really out of my way, and I arrived there just before 7:40, with plenty of time to spare.

It was fairly empty for that time of morning, with only a couple of cars in the parking lot and one customer at the counter ahead of me. The doughnuts sitting behind the glass all looked delicious, silently urging me to pick them, but I was only there to get a dozen, so not every variety would be selected today. I knew for sure two kinds of doughnuts that I was getting, red velvet and maple bacon, of which the former is my favorite while the latter is one of the most popular and was specifically requested by a coworker. Being in the holiday spirit, I decided to get a couple of chocolate frosted pasties with red and green sprinkles on the top, an edible wreath, the most festive doughnut of all. Rounding out the dozen was a few of the original glazed variety, a tasty classic, though a bit uninspired.

When I first walked in, one employee started helping me, but when the other employee behind the counter, a girl I recognized as a customer of the bank where I worked, saw me, she took told her coworker that she was going to help me, so she boxed up my dozen doughnuts for me, all the while making small talk, asking me if I was taking the doughnuts to the bank, which I was. She pulled the box to the register and I pulled out my card to pay, but this person, whom I’d only spoken to a handful of times, told me that the doughnuts were on her, and handed me the box free of charge. I was taken aback, surprised by the generosity of this person that I hardly knew, but I thanked her profusely, again and again, vowing in my head to return sometime in the near future to repay the kindness to her. I woke up today expecting it to be a bad day, but it turned out to be a lot better than I could have imagined, largely in part because someone that I barely knew, made an incredibly kind gesture, which completely changed my outlook on the day. If you take anything away from this blog, that is oftentimes goofy and meaningless, learn something from the girl at Gibson’s doughnuts, and be kind to everyone, whether you know them or not, because you never know how big of an impact your actions can have, because in some cases, like mine, you might just make someone’s day.

Nachos and Basketball: A Date Night with my Wife

IMG_4476If I ever opened up a restaurant, I think I would call it Nacho Libre and the only thing on the menu would be different kinds of nachos, because nachos are one of the most awesome foods in the world. Of course I would have the traditional Mexican nachos, with beef, steak, or chicken, but I would also branch out and have unique varieties too, like spaghetti nachos, that would be topped with spaghetti sauce, beef, and parmesan cheese. There would be pizza nachos, with pizza sauce, pepperoni, and melted cheese as well as breakfast nachos with scrambled cheese eggs, sausage, and bacon, with or without syrup. There would be seafood and barbecue nachos, which are two of my favorite varieties, as well as others that I don’t feel like wasting anymore words on right now, but you get the point, nachos are great, which is why when my wife and I went to dinner at Central BBQ the other night, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind as to what I was going to order.

I normally get the pulled pork barbecue nachos at Central, because they are delicious and one of my favorite things to eat in Memphis, but I decided to try something new, and got the barbecue chicken nachos, on the homemade chips of course, because I’m not an animal. I’m not exaggerating when I say that ordering the barbecue chicken was one of the best decision I’ve ever made in my life, because it was one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had. The chicken was juicy and flavorful, the chips were nice and crisp, and there was so much cheese, sauce and shredded, that it would have been a fantastic dinner had that been the only ingredient atop the chips. The jalapeños added a nice kick and the barbecue sauce was perfectly portioned throughout the dish. It was so good that I’m going to have a hard time going back to the pulled pork, because while the pork is great, the barbecue chicken was phenomenal.

After dinner my wife and I headed downtown for the Grizzlies game, courtesy of my brother Logan who got me tickets for my birthday. I always love being inside Fedex Forum for a basketball game, which is one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday night, and we had a lot of fun, despite the fact that the Grizzlies were dominated by the Houston Rockets. You can’t win them all I suppose. By the time the game was over and we left the arena to head back to the car, the temperature outside had dropped into the thirties, which was absolutely marvelous. All in all it was a great night, filled with basketball, great food, and nice weather, and I look forward to doing it again soon in the near future, only next time, maybe the Grizzlies will win the game, but given the way they’ve been playing lately, I’m not going to hold my breath for it.

El Toro Loco: A Mexican Lunch with my Wife

IMG_4396I always like eating at places that I’ve never been to before. Each new restaurant offers the possibility of discovering something great, something that becomes your new favorite whatever and your go to place for a particular kind of food. What life is, if we really boil it down, is the never ending search for the best food. If you eat good lobster rigatoni and feel incredibly satisfied by it, but you hear from someone that they had the best lobster rigatoni at another place, you’ve got to try that because we’re always looking for something better. So, when my wife and I were out on Saturday, and the responsibility of choosing something for lunch was handed over to me, I decided to try something new, hoping it would blow me away and become a regular on our restaurant rotation.

Mexican food is the best, both my wife and my favorite food when going out. If you think I write more about Mexican food than other genres, it’s because I do, a direct result of eating at Mexican restaurants more frequently than other restaurants, so it should come as no surprise to you, that when given the freedom to choose where to eat lunch on Saturday, I picked El Toro Loco, which is, you guessed it, a Mexican restaurant. We’d never been here before, and I didn’t even know the name of the place, but as we drove down Poplar, I could see it in my mind, a restaurant on the right side of the road, so when it appeared like my vision becoming a reality, I pulled into the parking lot that was neither crowded nor barren, littered with a smattering of cars.

Inside the place seemed really empty, which didn’t match up with the number of cars in the parking lot, like I only counted three other tables of people while the parking lot had quite a few more vehicles than that. Maybe the cars belonged to the employees of the restaurant, or maybe I should stop talking about the car thing altogether because it really doesn’t matter and it’s making my drift wander further and further away from the intended subject matter. Anyway, someone who looked very much like my father-in-law sat us at a booth and brought us our menus along with some salsa. Now before you jump to conclusions and assume that I’m just some racist idiot that thinks all Mexican men look the same, my wife saw also saw the resemblance between our waiter and her father, so step off!

The salsa, which was much chunkier than what I normally find at Mexican restaurants, was really good and flavorful and is easily the best salsa I’ve had in Memphis to date, despite the fact that I normally prefer a smoother consistency. We ordered cheese dip, obviously, and it was really good. I don’t know if I can say that it is the best in town, but it’s definitely up there and I don’t think there’s any that I would prefer over it. By this point I was very optimistic, great salsa, and great cheese dip, all of the signs pointing to a great meal all around, so when I ordered the lunch special that came with a chicken enchilada, a beef burrito, rice and beans, there were zero doubts in my mind that it was going to be a very good lunch. I was wrong.

Despite what you may think about me, I don’t go into restaurants hoping to have a bad meal, and I know it might seem that way since I tend to write more bad reviews than good, but that would be stupid, to spend my money somewhere hoping to have a bad experience, but for some reason that just the way things have been going lately, and unfortunately, El Toro Loco was not an exception. The food arrived quickly, as it tends to happen in Mexican restaurants, and my first impression of the plate before me was that it didn’t look all that appetizing. For one thing, the sauce ladled onto the burrito looked really thick, almost like tomato paste and was heavily concentrated on one end of the burrito, and secondly, the rice had peas, carrots, and corn in it, something that was a first for me at a Mexican restaurant, giving it a closer resemblance to fried rice than the one you would expect to find on a plate with a burrito, enchilada, and refried beans. Making an effort not to judge a book by its cover, or a meal by its plating as the case may be, I decided to keep an open mind as I began eating.

The rice was pretty bland, and the vegetables weren’t necessary. The beans were overcooked, but the shredded cheese on top was a nice touch, because adding cheese is a surefire way to improve just about anything. The chicken enchilada was not impressive. The shredded chicken was okay, but it wasn’t hot, and tasted like it hadn’t been hot for a while, which should be one of the top priorities of a restaurant. The beef burrito was even worse, but although the temperature was also a too cool, that wasn’t the biggest problem. The beef within the burrito had not been seasoned whatsoever, and was easily the worst tasting ground beef I’d ever eaten at a Mexican restaurant, which is saying a lot because I’ve had some weird tasting beef in my lifetime. The worst and stupidest thing about the entire plate was that mixed in with ground beef inside of the burrito, were little pieces of peas, carrots, and corn, the same atrocities that were in the rice. I’ve never seen a burrito with peas and carrots, nor have I ever heard of that, so I’m not sure what possessed El Toro Loco to do it, but it was just confusing and did nothing for the flavor of the already tasteless burrito.

Aside from the salsa and cheese dip, that I would put up against others that I’ve tried in Memphis, the bright spot for El Toro Loco was the service, which was absolutely outstanding. It’s a shame we couldn’t move that waiter to a better restaurant, that way we wouldn’t have to choose between good food and good service, because although the service is very important, I would ultimately rather enjoy the food I’m paying for than to have an attentive waiter. My wife got a taco salad with carne asada, and the strips of steak were actually pretty good, so maybe this was just a case of me ordering the wrong thing. I believe in second chances, so I’m confident we’ll go eat there again, to give it one more try, to solidify our stance on El Toro Loco and determine if it will play a role in our lives going forward. Overall, I give the meal a five out of ten, with points for the service and the chips, salsa and cheese dip, and points taken away because the entire entrée was bad, and it wasn’t even hot. I wouldn’t recommend eating there, at least not until I get back in there for round two and let you know if I discover something edible, but if you must, I would stick to the appetizers, which if they’re anything like the cheese dip, will be really good.

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Booing Chandler Parsons

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Your home is a literal shelter. It should be a safe haven from the cruelties of the outside world, a place that brings you peace and comfort, a place filled with people that accepts you for who you are and will support you through all times, the good and the bad. Home is, according to one of the definitions in the Random House Dictionary that is falling apart in one of the cabinets at my workplace says that a home is a place of refuge, which is defined as a shelter from danger, or trouble, so that, at its essence, is what a home should be, so it’s reasonable to expect that the home court of a basketball franchise would also serve as a place of refuge for all of the home town players, but last night, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. When Chandler Parsons came into the game last night and missed two consecutive free throws, his first two attempts of the season, which was met with a smattering of boos throughout the FedEx Forum, the home court of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Last summer, the Grizzlies signed Parsons, to a four year, ninety-four million dollar deal, which was in retrospect, a mistake on the part of Memphis. Even when the deal was signed it seemed like we were risking so much for the very slim possibility that Parsons would be the player he was before all of his knee injuries. We got screwed, but that’s not on Chandler, it’s not like he’s going out there trying to play poorly, but he just didn’t look that good and seemed to hurt the team more than help us when he was out on the floor, so he ended his season early and had another surgery, hoping that by doing so he would have enough time to rehab and get back into basketball shape before the next season began, because like it or not, he’s still under contract for three more years. I will admit, last year there were times when I was upset and even took to Twitter on occasion to voice my displeasure, but by the end of the year I decided to let go of the resentment I was feeling, because it wasn’t Chandler’s fault that the Grizzlies had spent so much money on him, and also because I realized that nothing good would come from my negative feelings, so since that time, I’ve tried to be optimistic, hoping for the best out of Parsons and looking forward to the time when he would be a big time contributor to the team and prove all of the haters wrong. I hoped it might be this year, but his preseason play left a lot to be desired, but still I remained hopeful going into the season.

When it was announced earlier in the week that he wouldn’t be in the starting lineup and would instead be coming off the bench, I was annoyed. Since we gave up Z-bo and Tony Allen this offseason, it was sad, but it seemed like we were moving into playing a new style of basketball, one where Chandler Parsons would be counted on to step his game up if we wanted to continue having success and make it to the playoffs. We were relying on Chandler to be one of our top scorers, so it only makes sense that it would be in the starting rotation and getting a lot of playing time, but the coach decided to have him come off the bench, so there was nothing to do but accept it, move on, and hope that he would have great success in the role, which is exactly how I was feeling last night when he came onto the court in the first game of the season, hoping for the best, but then he missed those two free throws, and some fans, fans of the team he was playing for, started booing at him. I was upset, not because he missed the free throws but because fans of the team I support, people who live in the same community as me were being so disrespectful to one of our own. I get it that you might be upset that he is being paid so much money and isn’t producing results that are up to your preconceived standards but to yell “booooo” at the man that is on your team, the man that has been training and working hard to help your team, is not only classless but absolutely ridiculous.

We are supposed to be the city that rallies around and embraces our players. The city is one with the team and the team is one with the city, in this together, working hard and grinding, on and off the court, so to ridicule one of our own, at home, booing him for missing free throws, just isn’t what we’re about. We need to lift up the players who are struggling, encouraging them and cheering for them through thick and thin instead of what too many people are doing with Chandler and looking for reasons to dislike the guy. For the record there were a lot of people at the game standing up and cheering for him after the boos started, doing what needed to be done and showing Parsons that we as a fan base were behind him, but it’s just frustrating that there are people out there, who claim to be fans of the Grizzlies, that would treat one of our players that way. I’m still holding out hope that Chandler will start playing at a higher level, but I think that’s a lot less likely to happen if there are fans in the stadium on our home court audibly ridiculing his every mistake while he’s just out there trying his best to be the player everybody, including himself, wants him to be. Maybe we can set aside how we feel individually about Chandler and come together in spirit of unity rather than one of division and support the effort that he is making, and hold onto the hope that it will eventually pay off. It’s a lot more fun being optimistic than it is looking for things to be upset about; I’ve lived both ways, so trust me, I know.

Cheddar’s:Worst Dining Experience Ever

IMG_4141Now I’m not one to complain, but I’m finding it really difficult to hold my tongue on this one, and my therapist told me that I need to open up more, to quit keeping things pent up inside and driving me to do crazy things like make spaghetti with sour punch straws instead of noodles, so perhaps you will indulge me while I vent about my meal last night. By the way, this isn’t just all about me and my experience, no, this is really for you, the reader, my friends, the general public, to save you from repeating the same unfortunate mistake that I made last night by going to dinner at Cheddar’s.  Until I moved to Memphis, I had never eaten at this chain restaurant that didn’t come to Little Rock until after I moved to Florida and was currently under construction in Port St. Lucie, Florida when I moved to Memphis last year, but I’d heard a lot about it and was pretty excited to give it a try. The first time I ate there was not that good, but I attributed that to the menu item I got, and vowed to give it another try, and that paid off with the incredible fish tacos I had on the second visit, so last night, which was our third time going there, I was pretty pumped since the last meal was so good, but unfortunately it was much, much worse than I ever could have imagined.

The restaurant was fairly crowded for a Tuesday night, but our small party of two was seated right away. A few minutes later the waitress came over and took our drink order, coke for my wife and un-sweet tea for me. She said she would be right back with the coke and the sweet tea, but luckily I was able to correct the mistake before she walked away and crisis was averted, at least for the moment. She returned shortly after with our drinks and took our order, buffalo chicken wrap for my wife, and a southwest bacon burger for myself, both with fries, and then she disappeared. I started drinking my tea, which was good in terms of restaurant quality tea, but my wife didn’t touch her coke. She is the kind of person that can’t drink out of a glass at a restaurant without a straw because she finds the prospect of thousands of other people having pressed their lips to the glass in front of her to be an utterly disgusting thought that she leaves her complete unable to bring that same glass up to her lips.

The waitress was nowhere to be found and my wife was starting to get impatient after a while of not being able to drink her soda in front of her, so we stopped the next waitress we saw, and she asked her for a straw, to which the waitress replied that she didn’t have any and would have to go get one from the back. There were clearly a handful of straws in the front of her apron, completely visible to us, but for some reason she didn’t want to give my wife one of them, and looking back, that is the point of the evening where everything changed, where everything after that was downhill. If I could go back in time I would’ve brought a straw from home and my wife never would have had to ask that waitress for one, and perhaps things would have been different, better, but our waitress came out of the kitchen a few minutes later brandishing a straw, not the girl who we had spoken to about it, so perhaps our waitress was mad and thought we had betrayed her by going behind her back to ask for something that we needed, despite the fact that she was nowhere to be found, or maybe she was just annoyed that she had to leave the comfort of the kitchen to bring the straw out, but whatever the reason, something within her snapped, and she became the worst waitress I’ve ever had in my entire life.

Our drinks had been empty for a long time when I heard our order being shouted in the kitchen, so I knew one of two things was happening; our food was ready, or they hadn’t made it either because they had forgotten or the order had not be turned in and they were just about to start it. The waitress who was making regular appearances at the table across from ours made a rare stop at our table to inform us that our food would be out shortly, completely ignoring the fact that our glasses were empty. Fifteen minutes later and still no food or drink refills, although we had seen the waitress’s back on multiple occasions at the other table, but she never stopped by to check on us. Finally, annoyed, I called out to her as she walked away, “Excuse Me!” She turned immediately like she had been waiting for me to speak up, and quickly walked over to our table. I asked if we could have refills and she said that she would get those right away, but she did not.

Our food arrived and the fresh drinks didn’t, so I once again asked the waitress for refills, which should be the most fundamental and easy part of her job, and once again she said okay. With our food getting cold in front of us, we waited and waited and still didn’t get our drinks. The waitress finally arrived empty handed, and seeing our full plates of food, asked if we needed to go boxes. She was ready for us to leave before we even started eating. I told her no, but once again asked her for refills and ketchup for our French fries. She again told me that she would be right back with our requested items, however my confidence in her, as you can imagine, was waning at this point. She went to the table across from us and started taking their orders, content to let us wait while to food got cold and disgusting. When she finally returned with the drinks, she asked my wife what she ordered, just to confirm that she’d brought her the right beverage. My wife said coke and she sat down the glass and walked away while my wife took a sip of her diet coke. Finally my wife got her drink and we could begin eating. The burger was overcooked and didn’t have much flavor apart from the barbecue sauce that was added on top of it and the fries were some of the worst I’ve ever had, which is why I left almost all of them uneaten, and that might not have been so bad had I not paid extra for the fries because they didn’t come with the burger.  Out of ten I would give the whole experience a 2, solely because the tea was good; unfortunately the waitress didn’t refill my drink enough to let me fully enjoy the tea to my heart’s content.

As we sat across from each other after the terrible meal, both of our plates still half full of fries we made a pact, that Cheddar’s was going on our list of places to never eat again, because the awful service combined with the terrible food made it one of the most all around miserable dining experiences of my life. I would have loved to do the online survey about my meal to make management aware of how things are being run at their restaurant, but the receipt printer was apparently low on ink, making it impossible for me to read the check number that I would need to enter into the survey, so please take this review in lieu of my survey. I will say this though, with the holidays coming up in a few months, I would highly recommend purchasing Cheddar’s gift cards as gifts for the people you are obligated to buy a present for but whom you can’t actually stand. I guarantee you they will have a miserable experience, which is something you can be happy about, which is exponentially better than I felt after my terrible dinner last night.