Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Salt Lake Serviced

On my way home from SLC, I’m incredibly surprised that I wasn’t able to find time to blog while there. I’m currently sitting in the New Belgium Brewing Company restaurant in Denver International… 2 hours ‘til boarding, plenty of time to write. I’m drinking great beer and eating mediocre food; I really just wanted to try their Fat Tire Amber Ale, very impressed. A few more and I’ll be ready to sleep my way back to Toronto.

On a side note I’m struggling this week with my internal monologue, kind of like multiple personalities, Multiple Accents Disorder? (aka, M.A.D.). The majority of my internal monologue is being narrated by my buddy Dexter; to properly read this post I want you to change the cadence of your internal monologue to resemble that of a man born and raised inner city ATL baby. Uh Huh, that’s right. I pick up regional accents quite easily; I’m not quite sure why but I can’t avoid doing it, oddly nobody has ever found it offensive or mocking, it isn’t. Anyway, Salt Lake City quickly became known as SLC; every sentence ended with baby, and no matter what you’re sellin’, pushin’ or hustlin’; pimpin’ ain’t easy… baby... I like it, the new internal monologue that is, not pimpin'; I’ll probably wear this one for a while until it starts to rub people the wrong way.

Salt Lake was outstanding, which really surprised me, it’s a town entirely isolated, save for the smaller towns that surround it (there aren’t many). If you drive west it’s more than an hour and a half to the closest house, forget town, nobody lives on the Salt Flats. Wendover Nevada sits on the state border and it isn’t what I would call civilized. A couple of casino’s, one easy to miss and easy to get ticketed at stop sign, no comment... Reno Nevada is the closest city listed on the road signs almost 600 miles away. Isolated indeed, PS, you’ll never believe this but Charlie Sheen is on TV again… Despite the isolation SLC is under crowded (a huge plus), scenic, well fed, and entertaining.

Salt Lake looked big from my room (Population of 181,743 metro area / 1.2 million surrounding area, thanks Wikipedia) but it has relatively no traffic problems downtown. Their stop lights are lame, really lame, not at all timed lame, as in you’ll catch every red light until one day when you go Suburban Commando on them with your blaster Hulkamaniac. There are fewer cars at rush hour in SCL than there are at 4 am in Toronto. The scenery is second to none, well it depends on what you like, I like mountains, if you like waterfalls live somewhere else. Hitting the mountains for some well deserved skiing was outstanding and dare I say breathtaking, I’m not used to high altitude. Moving on, with epic mountains very close to the city featuring skiing, hiking, climbing, biking and every other adventure active sport available it’s easy to see how cool SLC can be.

By well fed I’m refereeing more to their restaurant scene than anything, I have a few favorites. If you’re ever in SLC I highly recommend Squatters or Red Rock, both have great food and variety on the menu, from fabulous filets to creative curries. To make matters better they both brew their own beer. Pause, Chad’s back, the duty free in Denver sucks, buyer beware LIMITED ALCOHOLIC SELECTION. Check out Settebello Pizzeria, amazing wood fired pizzas even thought the place itself isn’t much to look at. The pizzas on the menu are very inventive, and incredibly delicious, check out the menu. I don’t doubt that you can build your own pizza but there is a lot to be said for a restaurant that makes pizza that they confidently know is great. Hit up Toaster's for lunch and breakfast, seriously, they are slow as beans for a place that just makes toasted sandwiches but the final product is amazing, turkey avocado = delicious. Beware Red Tail Grill at the Canyons resort, perhaps we came on a weird afternoon but it was like an episode of the bad service zone starring us.

We walked in the door, stood in the lobby, didn’t see a hostess nor anyone of the many staff members interested in seating us, so we sat ourselves. The first person asked if we wanted water, sure man water’s good… The second staff member came by and asked if we had a reservation, no, we sat ourselves nobody seemed to be interested in seating us… She said “I’ll be right back I just want to check to see if any other people with a reservation are waiting for this table” Well we had just came from the lobby and nobody was waiting but us, where’s my damn water… The second waitress came by to tell us that she’s busy but will be right with us, great, at least you know we’re here, I was afraid that the fog on the mountain had turned us invisible; which would be pretty cool, the invisible man had it pretty good baby. Eventually after 15 to 20 minutes we got four waters for five people; math – common sense = ???. Carrying on, the manager came back, “yes you can sit here, nobody’s waiting” gee thanks, glad our money’s green too. Her tone warmed “What can I get you folks tonight” One person from my group suggested that Menus, cutlery, and drinks would be a good start, I agree. The busy waitress came back; to my delight she has a voice that can peel paint, in the bad way, use your imagination, I’d rather be ignored than have her serve us, it's bad. As an added bonus she’s also handsy, Chadwich knows how handsy, she caressed his shoulder the entire time that she was talking to the table behind us. She took our order, the menu is small the options limited, this isn’t hard especially since she wrote it all down. The food came with a large side order of more handsy another person in the group this time, why?.. We ordered 3 soup, 2 burgers, a salad, and shrimp tacos… We got, 1 soup, the wrong soup, the tacos, the salad, a burger, and a burger without the bacon and you gotta get the bacon baby especially when you've ordered it. Sweet, the service can get worse…She leaves, comes back as we’re eating and asks if she can get us anything else, we decide we want the soups and ask for them, she swears and exclaims “I'm sorry guys, this service is fucking bad!” No kidding, perhaps the toddlers nearby think the same thing about your language, gotta learn to swear somewhere. She leaves, my friend chimes in “she still didn’t bring the bacon for this burger.” We entertain telling her, agree that it’s a cruel thing to say and that we're going to let the waitress who’s having a bad day finish out her shift without killing herself. She comes back at the end of our service, “How was everything?” We nod as if approving, “This burger should have come with bacon though” and a nice unexpected blindside, not me; she’s more beat down, we say we don’t care about the bacon but she insists that she’s going to give us the burger for free. We pay the bill and get the hell out of there. I think as a group we’re more confused than pissed off, it was a comedy of errors, many errors, so many freaking errors!

That’s enough ranting for now, I’ll write more later, gotta fly.

...I had to cut the laptop blogging short, I'm on the plane now, dead battery, switching to Blackberry. I'm on a role, so keep on rollin' baby, you know what time it is. I found more blind mice. Of the 30 people on this small regional flight, 3 of them did not hear the clear announcements about having your passport checked before trying to board a plane to another country, go figure, that's an awful percentage of idiots if this were a study. I want an Ipad, the guy next to me has one, is nice! He says ten hours of battery life, that's a lot of typing and HD adult movies. Alright, the Stewardess says I'm supposed to put away my cellular device, g2g babies. Ps, some jack hole is romantically blathering on about fathoming the number of newspapers sold each day; I also like dinosaurs they've got words like prehistoric, Goliath, and extinct on their side, buy a computer Jack.

Monday March 7, 2011 - 5:30 Mountain Time