Two Stars for a Five Star Restaurant

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I have been in such a slump lately doing the same things day in and day out and not having any fun whatsoever. Since I have MS it is much easier for me to keep to a pretty strict schedule but boy oh boy that can get really old really fast.

So my daughter whom I live with and who was also affected greatly by me having this godforsaken disease MS had decided to do something about it. She made all the reservations and did all of the planning for just the two of us to go to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Dallas Texas and go to Guy  Fearing’s five star restaurant.

Bless her heart, she called for the handicapped bus ride to pick us up at five o’clock and bring us home by eight o’clock. Perfect. We were both so excited to do this. To do something wonderful, out of the ordinary, and to finally be able to get out of the house for something other than going to a doctor’s office. Lara helped me to get dressed in something pretty and get this guys; I actually put on makeup and transformed myself ,from a frumpy sad looking creature in a wheelchair into a beautiful woman. No easy feat. It’s amazing what a little lipstick will do to to perk up and attitude.

The phone rang at exactly 5 o’clock and informed us that the usual handicap van was going to be replaced with an SUV cab  suited for wheelchairs. This is a new system that the Department of Transportation is trying out and Lara and I were going to be one of the first guinea pigs in this new program. I cannot tell you how happy we were to hear about this. I am going to tell you anyway, we were not happy. We were nervous and disgruntled not knowing what kind of situation we were going to have to adjust to.

Finally the bus arrived 25 min. late which had something to do with the new trial period. The bus driver taking us to the restaurant was a great guy and very funny and personable. I wish they were all like he is. He was telling us about this new system and some of the problems that they had been having that day and the day before. So we really didn’t know what we were in store for when we were coming home. He wished us a lot of luck and and then voile’ , there we were at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Neither one of us had been there before and we were both thrilled to be among the rich and famous. my daughter’s boss at work had told her about this place and stated that it was the best meal that she had ever had so we had a fine recommendation.

The restaurant itself is lovely and we were seated immediately. Luckily at home we had looked up the restaurant online and knew what to expect in the way of food. Of course we got there and totally changed our minds. Deciding to be brave, Lara ordered the foie gras which is raw duck liver. I tasted it and it was actually good. I had the tortilla soup which is supposed to be one of their house specialties. I wasn’t that crazy about it. Not wanting to spoil Lara’s dining experience I didn’t complain about the food right off the bat.

Let me just say that we watch a lot of food television programming. Chopped, Top Chef, Hells Kitchen etc.and we know food preparation; how the food should look what kind of sauces to use, consistency and of course taste. We both consider ourselves aficionados. We came prepared to critique.

The next course I had was the halibut with the medley of vegetables. The fish was very dry.The vegetables looked like they came out of the can. There was no sauce to make it all come together as a cohesive meal. Lara had been salivating all day waiting to taste the fried lobster with a filet mignon. BZZZZZZ. Have you ever chewed on a tricycle tire? You know how rubbery they are? That was the texture of the fried lobster. I took a bite and chewed, and chewed and chewed. I had to finally just take it out of my mouth as I don’t think my intestinal system was up to taking care of  that.

We were now talking about our meals. Not good. Disappointing. Not up to standards.  Sucky. We wanted to love this meal and it just wasn’t happening. The reviews on the restaurant website for all four and five stars. Lots of them. And then one that gave them one star with a review that said “Guy, pack your knives and go.”  At the time when we were reading this we were laughing hysterically thinking how clever that was but after eating there it really wasn’t that funny. I have been reading some articles lately via twitter telling people to beware of the ratings at restaurants and other establishments kept because they are in fact loaded by restauranteurs and their family and friends.We thought we were safe because of the recommendation that we had from a real live person.

Now the waiter brought over small dessert glasses with a watermelon infused coconut milk drink compliments of the Chef. It was so sweet, so terribly terribly overly sweet that it could put anyone into a diabetic shock. I took one swig and almost fell over. Lara drank all of hers and immediately got so tired she almost fell asleep in her chair. I am not kidding. She could hardly keep her eyes open and she passed up dessert which was astonishing because she had waited all day long for their banana pudding. She had had two margaritas over the course of dinner. But I don’t think that it had anything to do with her reaction to that toxic concoction that came compliments of the chef. Thanks chef!

And still, nobody was going to keep me from ordering a desert. I came here for a full meal and I was going to get. I wanted at least one course to make it all worthwhile. The peach dump cake is what I ordered and that is what I got. It looked disappointingly unappetizing and really looked like somebody just took some spice cake punched a hole in it and dumped some caramelized peaches in it. Again, waaaayyyyyy too sweet.

I asked the waiter to take the desert off of the tab which he did with kind of a disgruntled look on his face as if to say “How dare you, you are nothing to me .Phew!”

So Lara got out her credit card and paid for our overpriced not so fine dining experience.

We finished so early that we still had 45 min. to wait for the bus so we went out to the lobby where there were couches and chairs for our comfort. By this point Lara could barely walk and when she went to sit on the couch she actually slouched down so far that she could put her feet on the coffee table and tried to go to sleep. She literally could not keep her eyes open. I was really afraid someone was going to come over her to her and tell her to get her damn feet off of the table. There were actually people coming and going and other people sitting farther down in the lounge area. Her behavior was really not quite appropriate. She really wanted to completely stretch out and take a nap.

Our taxi finally arrived and it took a little figuring out to get my wheelchair in. My chair is rather large so my toes were squished the whole ride home. And it hurt like hell. Meanwhile Lara had laid down on the backseat and went to sleep. We were so wishing that we were done with our adventure and doing the same things that we always did in the comfort of our home sweet home.

Next time we will go someplace local and have a lot more fun with a lot less stress and about a quarter of the price, maybe even less. The good thing is the ice was broken and we’re moving on. Lesson learned. Don’t believe everything you read.

Check out the link below to hear the radio interview that I have done concerning Potty Mouth, a memoir of a woman with multiple sclerosis who copes with obstacles in her life with courage, wisdom and a profane sense of humor.

http://www.thepottymouthbook.com

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2 Responses to Two Stars for a Five Star Restaurant

  1. Lori says:

    Bless your heart. I feel for you.

    • renaeclare says:

      Don’t worry Lori. All is well. Onward and upward. It’s just good to experience new and different things although this was terribly expensive it was worth it just to get out the slump Until next time lol.

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