Thursday, May 21, 2015

mother's day -- cotton style

Tuesday was Mother's Day.

Those of you who celebrated the day on Sunday a week ago may be a little surprised by that news.  But I warned you (happy mother's day) of the Cotton propensity to celebrate holidays on alternative dates.  After all, it is the celebration that matters.  Not some sort of Stalinist cultural conformity.

We toyed with several ideas for dinner.  Darrel, Christy, and I can cook far better meals than are served in most restaurants.  At least, to our tastes.  But we decided taking Mom to a nice restaurant would be a treat for her.

And the evening was a success.  At least, the opportunity to spend time together was a success.

The dinner was not.

We ate at Greg's Grill -- an eatery that purports to be an upscale restaurant with a stunning view of the Deschutes River.  The view lived up to its billing.  We had a table right next to the river.

The food did not live up to the view.  But you know my opinion on food and views.  One or the other can be spectacular; but seldom will one restaurant excel in both.  Greg's Grill falls into the "good view" category.

Darrel and Mom had prime rib.  The portion was a bit slim and Darrel reported the quality of the beef was at best mediocre.  A local tavern sells better prime rib for about a third of the price. 

The telling point that the restaurant simply did not much care about its customers came when Darrel asked for some fresh horseradish.  Our waitress informed him, they had run out of it last night, but she would check.  Sure enough.  No one had bothered to buy any.  In a restaurant that prides itself on its beef.

Christy's seared Ahi tuna was good.  But she had the same problem.  A wasabi mayonnaise was provided on the plate.  She likes her fish with wasabi paste.  No such luck.  We were left with the assumption that the wasabi mayonnaise was not prepared fresh in the kitchen.  Otherwise, where was the paste?

I made the gravest error of all by ordering one of my favorite dishes: chicken piccata.  My friend John espouses an interesting axiom: Piccata could make an old shoe taste great.  The cook at Greg's Grill proved him wrong.

When the waitress handed me a giant steak knife, I joked that I would not be needing that for a dish that requires only a fork.  I needed it.

The chicken had not been pounded to a thin cutlet.  It was simply a hunk of chicken -- chicken that had spent a good deal of its benighted life frozen.  The meat was so tough, I could not cut through it with the serrated knife.

To the waitress's credit, she took it off the bill.  But, apparently ours was not a unique experience.  Darrel told me this was the third time he had eaten there, and all three times the food was little more than Denny's with pretensions.

Fortunately, Mom liked her meal.  And that is all that really mattered.  After all, it was Mother's Day.

Next year, I should have her come down to Mexico for dinner at my house.  I can certainly guarantee her a better experience.

For me, though, there will be no reprise at Greg's Grill.

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