“Bienvenidos!” painted over an arched doorway and murals of presumably Mexican beaches adorned the walls, an effort to transport us from Memphis to Mexico in the blink of an eye, by walking through a single door into Playita Mexicana, my favorite Mexican restaurant in town. We were there for celebratory purposes, my wife, my dad, and myself, enjoying a meal together for my dad’s birthday. For those of you who have never eaten at Playita Mexicana before, you need to quit reading this stupid blog and go over there right now, trust me. So what if you don’t live in Memphis? It will be well worth how ever far you have to drive to eat this food. It doesn’t matter how many times I eat here, I never walk in knowing what I’m going to get because there’s just so many good things to choose from, and last night was no exception, having to send the waiter away more than once while we tried to decide what to order, while munching on chips and cheese dip, the one constant on every visit.
My dad and I both ordered chimichangas, ground beef for him and grilled chicken for me, and my wife got a steak quesadilla. As always the food came out pretty quickly, well my dad and wife’s did, while mine came out a few minutes later because apparently they had to catch, kill, and pluck the chicken before throwing it onto the grill. My chimichanga arrived, and the first thing that came to mind was a bean bag chair because of how enormous it was, not only in length and width, but in height, it was just monstrous, and without a doubt the biggest chimichanga I’d ever seen. A mistake I always, ALWAYS make at Mexican restaurants is eating too much of the chips and salsa/cheese dip before the actual entrée arrives, so by the time it does, I’m not that hungry anymore. It’s not like this sneaks up on me out of nowhere, I know it’s going to happen as I dip chip after chip into the queso and strategically move it towards my mouth so as not to let little white drips of melted cheese fall onto my shirt, but yet I continue to do it anyway. It’s good, yes, but moreover than that it’s just there, in front of me looking completely irresistible, so all thoughts of ruining my appetite are pushed to the side, telling myself that maybe just the once I can eat unlimited chips and cheese dip without it having any impact on my appetite whatsoever, like maybe there exists a day in the universe where the laws of hunger don’t apply, like a supernatural cheat day, and I just so happened to walk into a Mexican restaurant on that very day, the lucky man that I am. I tell you this, expose my utter lack of self control because it happened again, and by the time the biggest chimichanga I’d ever seen was placed on the table before me, I wasn’t exactly full, but I wasn’t really hungry anymore either.
The plate before me was completely filled, the massive chimichanga taking up about half of the large plate, with rice and beans on the other half. In the middle of the plate sat a small bed of lettuce with diced tomatoes, and sour cream, things that would normally be put on the chimichanga or eaten alongside it, but the thought of adding more ingredients to it, daunting as it already was, was completely unthinkable and unappealing given the fact that I wasn’t even hungry anymore. Despite the fact that I was having major doubts about whether I would be able to eat the meal before me, it did look absolutely delicious, topped with a red sauce, melted cheese, and queso. I took a bite, and it tasted even better than it looked, the chicken so juicy and flavorful and the melted cheese and the sauce marrying together perfectly to make it the perfect bite. It was the first time that I’d ever tried the grilled chicken before here, and after having had it yesterday, it’s going to be incredibly difficult for me to get any other kind of meat going forward because it was just that good. The beans which I’ve previously praised before weren’t as good last night. Melting cheese on top of something is a reliable way to improve just about anything, which is normally the case with the refried beans here, but they tasted overcooked and had a bit of a strange aftertaste last night that no amount of cheese could cover up.
I ladled some of the queso onto the rice, taking the cue from my dad who had gotten the idea from my cousin Bailey who has been eating her rice like that for many years, but I really didn’t eat that much of the rice because of how full I was and wanted to fit as much of that glorious chimichanga into my stomach before I could eat no more and didn’t really want to take up any of that crucial real estate with rice. I finished a little more than half before I just couldn’t eat anymore, except for the chips and cheese dip that I continued munching on until it was finally time to leave for no other reason than that they were still there in front of me and no matter how full I am, it always seems like I can eat one more chip, because who can’t eat one chip, and that mentality repeats itself over and over again until absolute misery takes over. The meal was really good, and now that I’ve had about sixteen hours to digest it, the other half of that chimichanga is starting to sound pretty good right about now, and although the meal was great, the real highlight was just getting to see my dad on his birthday for the second year in a row, something I don’t remember happening any year before then, so hopefully this new tradition will stick and be observed for many years to come.
Never in my life have I ever had my debit card declined at a restaurant, but there’s a first time for everything unfortunately, and Saturday it happened to me. I was out to lunch with my dad and his mom. We had been at the hospital that morning, visiting with my uncle Brett who had been in there since Monday due to an ulcer that had been building up unbeknownst to anyone and finally had to be operated on in emergency surgery. It was good to see him, and although he was still in a little bit of pain, he was doing and feeling a lot better, and only had a couple more days left in the hospital to make sure he didn’t get an infection. We were there for an hour or two, and by the time we left it was nearly one, so naturally we started talking about getting something for lunch. The only thing I could think of in the area was Huey’s, so that’s where we decided to go.
It was crowded when we arrived, a fact that always brings me comfort in Huey’s, and is the only restaurant I can think of that has that affect on me. Normally crowded restaurants mean a long wait, either for a table, your food, or both, but here it just seems right that it be crowded. Despite the fact that the restaurant seemed packed to the brim when we walked in, we were immediately ushered to a booth, somewhere amongst the many voices of the cheerful lunch goers surrounding us. I looked briefly over the menu, which always seems to be a waste of time since every single time I eat at Huey’s, I get a burger, but I like to browse nonetheless, and float some ideas through my mind, putting them in a head-to-head matchup with the burger to see if anything can beat it out. This time I thought about nachos, or just getting a basket of the new tater tots with bacon and cheese, which sounded delicious, but the more I thought about it, the less it sounded like a fulfilling meal and more like an appetizer. The nachos sounded good, the perfect football food, which was fitting since TV’s lining the walls were showing all the college games that were currently going on, but I saw somebody else’s plate of nachos, and decided against it. There is a huge difference in nachos that have shredded cheese and those that have cheese sauce, and as a person who prefers the latter, I decided against the grated cheese version offered up by Huey’s, and went with the always reliable burger.
There is a vast selection of burgers to choose from depending on your preferences and mood, and after glancing at the numerous options, I decided on the Bluff City Burger, which is one of my favorite burgers in the city for which it is named. A thick patty topped with bacon, barbecue sauce, fried onion straws, lettuce, and pickles, the Bluff City burger is a in a word, fantastic. My biggest hang up on Huey’s in the past has been the side dishes, because I don’t like their steak fries which in my opinion are too big and devoid of flavor, and I don’t like their onion rings, which are literally the biggest onion rings I’ve ever seen, and the fried batter on the onion doesn’t stay attached very well so inevitably you end up munching on a big chunk of hot onion, but now Huey’s has stepped their game up with the new addition of tater tots. I got them as a side, and this was the first time I’ve ever eaten at Huey’s and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the meal, so it’s definitely going to have a place on my short list of favorite restaurants to go-to because everything from the burger to the tots was perfect. PERFECT. The only bad part about the meal had nothing to do with the food or the restaurant itself, but with me, or rather my debit card, which was declined when attempting to pay for my food.
I had enough money in my account, so I couldn’t understand what could have possibly gone wrong. The waitress had the good grace not to announce to the table that my card was declined, and instead told me that the machine couldn’t read my card, but we all knew what was going on. Thankfully my dad stepped in and handed back his card, saying that he would pay and we could settle up later, or else I wouldn’t have had any idea how I would come up with the money because the only card I had on me was the one that wasn’t going through and I had absolutely no cash on me. I pulled up my banking app at the table, just to make sure that money hadn’t been taken out of my account without my knowledge, and, as expected, my account still had the balance that it should have. The problem ended up being that my card was locked, something my wife did as a precaution last weekend after our other account was used fraudulently to make unauthorized purchases, and my wife just forgot to unlock it again. I was embarrassed that for the first time my card was declined at a restaurant, and that it happened in front of my dad and Mimi, but at least there was a logical and reasonable explanation for why it happened so I guess that was kind of a relief. Despite that one misstep, everything about the meal was great, and I would one hundred percent recommend you checking out Huey’s ASAP to get a fantastic burger and to try their new tater tots, just make sure before you go that your debit card hasn’t been locked by your wife or you might end up having to wash dishes at the restaurant, or possibly getting your dad to bail you out.
The night before last was my mimi’s birthday, so last night, Friday, my wife and I took her to the movies to celebrate. For those of you who don’t know mimi, she loves horror movies, which might be surprising to you if you’ve ever met her, because she is truly one of the sweetest and most mild mannered people in the world, but she absolutely loves everything scary, from the books she reads to her favorite movies, so that is how the three of us ended up at the opening night showing of Flatliners at the Memphis Paradiso theater. We bought our tickets and the obligatory snacks that enhance the movie going experience tenfold, then settled into our seats, smack dab in the middle of the movie fairly empty movie theater. Personally, especially when it comes to scary movies, I prefer to sit in the back of the theater for two reasons, one so nobody sees me jumping out of my seat in fear, because that is very embarrassing, and secondly, to prevent a monster from sneaking up and attacking me from behind, but on this night I decided to put my fears aside to give mimi the ultimate movie viewing experience. The lights went down and the previews started up, me growing more nervous as each one passed, knowing that very soon, I was going to be terrified, which shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has read this blog because as you know, I’m scared of just about everything.
If you continue reading there will be spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.
The movie started with a car accident, like the very first scene, which made me think about how if only I’d been in a car accident on the way to the theater, I would have been mercifully spared the horror that was to come. So these doctors that allowed themselves to be killed briefly so they could experience the afterlife, were haunted by people from their past after they were brought back to life, people they were harboring a guilty conscience for, because they felt they had wronged them for one reason or another. Ellen Page, the lead in the movie and the only cast member that I recognized, was killed first by her demon, her little sister that had died in the car accident in that first scene of the movie. The other doctors that had flatlined were haunted by people that they had actually wronged and did terrible things to, so it seemed a little silly that the first and only death in the movie would be that of the character who’s only fault was having a car wreck with her sister in the car. The story was pretty dull but it did deliver a few scares, which I was not too fond of. The thing I hated most about it was the buildup to the scary moments, when fast paced music would play, then everything would go silent, and that is when you knew that something was going to suddenly appear with a loud noise and I would inevitably jump in my seat, despite the fact that I knew it was coming, a monotonous and predictable pattern that the director followed throughout the course of the entire movie.
Out of five, I give Flatliners a two, only because as a horror movie, it did deliver some actual scary moments. For me though, it is the lowest on the totem pole in terms of horror movies, because I really don’t think it’s all that hard to scare an audience when you incorporate loud noises and disfigured faces suddenly appearing, and it’s certainly not the type of horror film that haunts you once you leave the theater. The dialogue was dumb and unconvincing a lot of the time, punctuated by random bursts of laughter throughout the theater during some of these particular moments. Despite it being a bad movie with a bad plot that didn’t make much sense, it was a fun night because of the people I got to spend it with, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend going to see it, not unless your mimi wants to go, because if she’s anything like mine, she will have fun no matter what you’re doing together.
It’s Friday, so you know what time it is right? Yes, it’s time for the weekend and doing whatever you want since you don’t have to work for two whole days (I apologize for my insensitivity for those who do have to work on the weekend for my blasé attitude of generalizing what the weekend is like for everyone), but it’s also time for my weekly book review, which let’s be honest, is the single greatest thing about Friday. In all seriousness, I can’t think of a better way to unwind after a week of work than curling up on the couch with a good book, and reading the night away. The book I’m writing about today is one I would highly recommend, and if you’re so inclined, I would definitely go pick up a copy at your local bookstore to devour this weekend. “Theft by Finding” the published diaries of David Sedaris is interesting and captivates the reader from the introduction, where Sedaris explains how he landed on the title, which is absolutely perfect. The diaries span the years 1977 to 2002, years in which he wrote daily, whether it be a lengthy entry or a sentence or two about something interesting he saw on the street that day, and he compiled all of his favorites into this five hundred page masterpiece that I did not want to put down.
Having been a fan of Sedaris for eight or nine years now, since a professor in my very first class my freshman year at community college introduced him to me in the form of one of his essays, I have read a lot of what he’s written, and I can say without any exception, that his books I’ve read have never left me disappointed or feeling anything other than glad that I read them, and “Theft by Finding” was no exception. I have never laughed harder out loud at anything I’ve read in my entire life harder than have while reading the words of David Sedaris and his newest book was definitely not a letdown. I’m pretty sure my wife thinks I’m crazy because of all the random laughs she heard while I was reading in another room, but it’s definitely worth trading off your appearance of sanity for the pleasure of reading these very funny words. What I loved about his diaries, besides of course the fact that it’s all first hand perspective of a life that I find fascinating and hilarious, is the fact that since I am familiar with a lot of his other writing, I get a glimpse of the moments as they happen that inspire an essay that he writes later. There are entries in the diary about working as a mall elf at Christmas, the stories of which he recounted in great detail in his book “Holidays on Ice”, but it’s just cool to see the raw moments as they happen, looking closely at a single day, without knowing or having any hindsight perspective about how everything turns out. That to me, makes the writing more real, to see the pure emotion as something takes place, and ultimately makes “Theft by Finding” a real treat to read.
On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is the equivalent of reading “Great Expectations” my freshman year of high school and 10 is absolutely perfect, without a doubt in my mind and no hesitation I give “Theft by Finding” a 10. If you like Sedaris, then you will love this book, and if you aren’t familiar with Sedaris, this book is the perfect introduction that will have you eager to read everything else that he has written. Do yourself a favor and push all of your other nagging obligations to the side and go to your local bookstore to pick yourself up a copy of “Theft by Finding” the quickest five hundred page book that I’ve ever read. You will not be disappointed.
When there are so many things that you want to do, it can sometimes be difficult to fit everything in as much as you might like, which is what has happened to me over these past few weeks. It started when football did, and basically all of my other priorities took a backseat to me sitting on the couch watching TV for hours at a time, which has been great, but has also been a little bit frustrating because there are so many other things that I want to do as well, like writing. I was making good progress working on my book daily, but since the start of football season I have pushed that project to the side and haven’t written in it a single time. The same could be said for reading. I was once on track to easily surpass my goal of reading a book per week for this entire year, but now, unfortunately, I have fallen so far behind that I don’t know if I will be able to catch back up, but that isn’t to say that I’m not trying, because I really do want to get back on track; I spent the majority of last night reading, and I’m planning to kick it back into high gear working on my book starting Monday after I get back from spending the weekend in Branson, MO. I say all this to explain why I haven’t written about what I’ve been reading in a little while, which is, simply, because I haven’t been reading much, but yesterday with the finishing of a book, I want to talk about that today along with other books I’ve read recently and what I would recommend.
Yesterday I finished reading “Shine Shine Shine” by Lydia Netzer, and although it took me a while to get through, it is one that I would definitely recommend you checking out if you haven’t read it already. It’s the story of a husband and wife and the history they’ve shared together from the time they were kids, growing up as neighbors, leading up to the moment with the husband in space, and the wife back at home, about ready to have their second child. It’s very well written and keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next, especially once things, in both space and on earth, take unexpected turns that could ultimately lead to a disaster. The characters aren’t perfect, each with their own set of flaws, and while the reader may not be able to directly relate what either of them are going through, we can certainly all relate with trying to keep up appearances while things are falling apart internally. “Shine Shine Shine” is both heart warming and heart wrenching, the complete package on a journey that extends throughout the entire universe, so pick up this book and hang on for the ride, because you never know what might happen.
Before that I read a book called “Five Days Apart” by Chris Binchy, the aforementioned book if you are familiar with the blog that I got from the public library last month. The book stunk, literally it smelled terrible, the product of being touched by too many hands, but despite the fact that my nose objected each time I opened it up, it was actually a pretty enjoyable read. Written by an Irish author that I was previously unfamiliar with before stumbling across his book whose red spine had caught my attention in the library, “Five Days Apart” was pretty enjoyable and I look forward to reading some more of his work in the future. This book was the story of two best friends, one who sees a beautiful girl at a party and falls in love with her at first sight, and the other who actually ends up with her, leaving the other friend in the terrible position of having to be supportive and acting like nothing is bothering him as he becomes the tip in their triangle of friendship, while deep down he is harboring intense feelings for his best friend’s girlfriend. It is well written, funny at times, and you just find yourself rooting for the underdog, the inevitably cast third wheel, to end up with the girl.
As is the case with desert, I saved the best for last, a title I’m sure you’re all familiar with, but a book I bet most of you haven’t read. It’s the inspiration for the hit Netflix show, a book by the same title, “Orange is the New Black.” Written by Piper Kerman, it is her autobiographical look at her year inside a women’s prison, and to say it is fascinating would be an understatement. It has always intrigued me how people who spend a substantial chunk of time behind bars occupies their time and keeps from going crazy, so it was really cool to get an inside look at how she dealt with things personally. If you aren’t familiar with the story, Piper Kerman goes to federal prison on a ten year old drug smuggling charge, one she thought was safely in her past, but when it reappears, she tries to keep her head up and get through her time with as few setbacks as possible, which doesn’t always work out that way. Out of the three books, I would recommend this one higher than the others, and don’t worry if you’ve already watched the show, because it really is quite a bit different, and you will not be bored with it. Whichever books you decide to read, whether it be one of these or something else, the important thing is that you read, continuing to grow your mind and expand your horizons throughout the entire course of your life. I know it’s easy to let other things distract us, like for instance football for me, but I’ve never ever spent time reading and regretted it later, because reading always leaves me with a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment, even if it’s only for a few minutes, so do yourself and your mind a favor, and just read.
I don’t think there’s any better way to start a day than with a big breakfast, although I’m not sure that any productive day has started in this manner, because filling up on heavy breakfast foods makes me want to do nothing but go home and take a nap, but that’s exactly how I started my day today, the first day of being twenty-seven. I met my dad at the Blue Plate Cafe, a local breakfast spot that has varied between hit and miss in terms of quality during the course of my year living in Memphis, but luckily today was a good day, and the food was delicious. I got two eggs over easy, with two sausage patties and hash browns, with biscuits and gravy arriving at the table like chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant, a nice bonus to go along with the meal. Everything was so good, but my favorite part of the breakfast was getting to spend time with my dad, whom offered encouraging words about all of the famous people who died at twenty-seven years of age, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain. Needless to say, if I happen to die this year I will be in good company.
After breakfast I decided to check out the new book store down the street, the one that opened in the same spot as The Booksellers at Laurelwood, formerly Davis Kidd, that closed earlier this year. I love that in this era of mostly shopping for books online that there is still a local bookstore to go to when you want a new book, not a chain like Barnes & Noble, but a place that is unique to the city of Memphis, a place called Novel. I went in and it was rather uncrowded, hopefully because today is a Labor Day, a holiday, and it isn’t like this all the time, because if that is not the case I fear it will go the way of The Booksellers and have to close its doors due to declining business. It was a lot smaller than The Booksellers, but Novel maximizes its space, full of books in a nice and quaint environment. I browsed the new selections for a while, completely alone and unbothered by other shoppers I might be in the way of and found a couple of books to my liking that I purchased from the friendly checkout people at the register. I got a receipt and a Novel bookmark and I was on my way.
I got a lot of good books for my birthday, courtesy of my dad, and purchased a couple more at Novel, so I spent the rest of my day reading, trying to finish the book that I’m currently reading so that I can start on the new ones. I still have about two hundred pages to read, but hopefully I can finish that one either today or tomorrow so that I can start on the many new books that I have gotten over the past few days. The days is not over yet, but all signs indicate a great birthday, and although I don’t feel any differently today than I did yesterday at twenty-six, I am optimistic about the future and hope that twenty-seven will be a fantastic year. Keep reading the daily blog to find out how it goes.
Now 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.