Jay Fox's Dining Guide

FOX: RANTING, RAVING, RAMBLING AND REPORTING THE NEWS

“He had a paunch so big that he had to lean backwards just to stand up.” — Jim Bishop

LOTSA THINGS GOING ON. With lotsa eateries closing due to the economy, here are two that have been around for over two decades and still going strong:

Luke’s A Steak Place (4990 Kipling St, Wheat Ridge, 303-422-3300;
www.Lukesasteakplace.com) is celebrating 20 years in business the weekend of Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19. If you’ve never been, you’re missing some of Denver’s great steaks and seafood. If you have, come and see the newly expanded menu and wine list. Check out their website. G and I and our kids (except I only invite son Doug when I’m not going) have been frequent diners for most all 20 years. The pan-fried spuds will blow your mind.

Café del Sol 608 Garrison St, Lakewood, 303-238-7999; www.cafedelsolcolorado.com. This neighborhood eatery has been serving great Mexican and American grub for over 25 years. It’s one of those places that I love to go to, but rarely think of. They serve one of the best burgers in town, and some of the best French fries anywhere. The menu is quite elaborate, featuring not only Mexican fare, but steaks, seafood, pasta, (pardon moi for choking) liver and onions, and other American fare. They even serve some mighty fine house-made pies.

I’M BOTHERED BY:

Car phones. I haven’t done this for a while, but it makes my heart pump better. Kinda like road rage, ceptin’ I have car phone rage. If you think the late great comic George Carlin cussed, you ain’t been with me in my car trying to use the car hands-free phone system. One of those products that General Motors made and doesn’t really care if it works or not. Just a simple thing like telling the machine to “call home” and it responds with, “calling Fred Jones” or some such. I have to turn my XM radio to classical music and after screaming, ranting and raving for about 20 seconds, I calm down.

Rugrats in public. When I open my restaurant, there will be no children under age 10 permitted. Sorry, ain’t gonna take the chance. Kids that scream or cry will be fired from a cannon that I will have installed at every table. I know that when we have children, we don’t know a damn thing about how to raise them. After all, what experience have we had? We were born, and that’s about it. But really folks, when the kid cries in a public venue, it’s your absolute duty to see that the little bugger doesn’t bother other people. You don’t belong in a theater with the child, nor do you belong in a fine restaurant. If you can’t afford a sitter, you should stay at home. G and I have six grandchildren that we take out regularly, the oldest since she was 18 months. Has it happened to us? Sure but not very often. Our kids were taught early in life. If they didn’t behave, they couldn’t go again for 15 years. But if it happened, either G or the parent took the child out of the restaurant until he or she calmed down or they went home. That’s it, very simple. Out. G and I were in a theater and some kid started wailing. The mother did nothing. Just sat watching the play. Management finally came and had the little demon removed in handcuffs and chains. Just kidding.

Punch cards. How many of you have punch cards for a restaurant that NEVER gets punched? Seriously. I have a dozen or so of them that I have been offered at a variety of restaurants and bakeries. But they never ever ask if you have the card when you come in to have a meal or buy something.

Gift cards. I know there are now federal and state (not Colorado) protections regarding gift cards. You remember the hooting and hollering several years ago cuz someone gave you a gift card for $50 and two months later you went to use it and it was only good for $44. Of course many gift cards never got turned in, so the issuer made a fortune on just the ones he sold and were never claimed, plus he earned interest on the money until the card was used, plus he sold a meal or a product. Then the sleaze bag wants to suck up some administrative fees to really get into your pocket. There are some partial protections now under federal and some state laws, but it’s still a rip off.

Online coupons. Now the new deal is you buy a deal online for a discount. You print out the coupon. You lose the coupon. You are now screwed. Again. Such a deal. Remember Fox’s rule #47,003. If someone can get into your pocket without even trying, they will.

Cooking to order. I don’t mind when I order a burger rare and the W sez that the restaurant’s policy is to cook it only well done. Fine. Then I understand the rules right up front. Stupid, but it’s their restaurant and I don’t have to eat there. But when the W takes my order, brings me my cooked-to-eternity burger and when asked why it isn’t rare, then tells me the restaurant’s policy is…Why didn’t the W tell me that in the first place? Cuz he or she has a death wish…for me. He really wants me to get mad and scream and then the cook can come chase me with a butcher knife and kill me. Almost happened once, true story, will tell y’all about it someday.
Never order “steak.” I really screwed up. The menu sed, “steak” and I ordered it. What was really dumb was that I knew better. But still, I asked the W what the steak was. She sed she didn’t know. I asked her to ask. She did. Came back, sed the cook thought it was a sirloin but wasn’t sure. I really went ahead and ordered it. You know what happened. It sucked, really bad. Still don’t know what it was after I ate it. Won’t do that again, ever. I felt so dumb I even paid for it.

Cya.

Jay Fox is our restaurant and dining critic and now you know why he’s called “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Catch him on a good day at jay@jayfoxcpa.com.