Tag Archives: cheeseburger

Allan Keyes Is So Very Stuffed….

4 Nov

November 4, 2013


So as you may know (or may not care) I was recently married. Well, the wife and I took a honeymoon on one of the fine ships of the Royal Caribbean Company. If you’ve ever been on one of these ships, you’ll know that it’s totally unreality. And let me tell you, the wife kept me exhausted all week……..……with the demanding schedule she set for all of the activities we had to do each day.  So for the benefit of you all, let me give you a bit of a rundown of what a typical cruise day at sea was like for Mr. and Mrs. Keyes (actually, she’s a professional gal so she’s doing the hyphenated thing, so she’s Mrs. MAIDEN NAME-Keyes. I totally understand what she’s doing; she’s hedging her bets in case this thing goes pear-shaped anytime soon. I’m pretty sure this marriage is in a three-month probationary period with a formal evaluation meeting soon to come. How romantic! )

 – Wake up absurdly early.

 – Head down to the buffet for breakfast. Now I normally don’t eat breakfast but on cruise I do. I paid for this sh*t, I’m gonna stuff myself! So here’s a normal breakfast for me on cruise days:

                -A bacon and cheese omelet from the omelet bar

                -A side of hash browns

                -A couple slices of fresh ham from the carving station

                – A tongfull of pork link sausages

                -A side of prunes (for obvious reasons)

                -A breakfast Danish

                -A bagel w/ cream cheese, tomato, onion and smoked salmon

                -A bowl of fruit loops

                – Beverages are two large orange juices and 1 chocolate milk

I totally understand the looks of contempt the buffet wait staff gives to passengers, we routinely leave more food on our plates than their average family in whatever impoverished country they come from sees in a week. But again – I PAID FOR IT, I’M EATING MY MONEY’S WORTH


After a good long bathroom session (thanks prunes!) it’s off to wallow in the pool for a while. Which is great, but you know, floating in the water breathing shallowly is hot, sweaty work so you gotta treat yourself right – and you cool off with a nice large cone of cold soft serve (chocolate, strawberry or vanilla) that’s available free at poolside ALL DAY.  So eating that on the sundeck refreshes, and as you head back to the room to change and shower, you pass the poolside buffet, and so what if it’s only 10:30 or so, those corndogs just look soooooo tempting! So go ahead, treat yourself sport!

After another good long bathroom break, change for lunch and back up to the buffet! My average lunch was actually light – for some reason I didn’t have a big appetite. But if you were inclined to eat hearty, you could do so with all the burgers, dogs, pasta or sandwiched you felt like. I heard rumor of a vegetarian option somewhere, but I think it’s like the Yeti – all myth.

So back to the room for another good wrangle in the bathroom (cruise pro tip: bring a good book for the bathroom, a long one) you decide to stroll around the boat and take advantage of the activities.

Now have you seen some of these boats? They’re huge! So walking from one end to the other could be a little draining, so if you need to fortify yourself with a key lime donut from the Donut Hut, or maybe visit the Dog House for all sort of variety of hotdogs and sausages to keep you going, then you make the sacrifice and do so. After all, it’s a busy day! Maybe you stop at the Midship Pizzeria for a pre-dinner slice. So you’ve done your activities, time to go back to the room and change for the evening!

After another bathroom session (cruise pro tip: to avoid chafing, use soothing wipes) you’re dressed in your finery and ready for dinner! Now you could go slumming in the buffet, but there’s all sorts of options to explore, including steakhouses and Johnny Rockets. Most nights though, it’s just going into the regular dining room.


The dining room is a wonderful experience! The waiters perform for you, and the food is highest quality. When you sit you’re presented with a menu, usually 5 choices of appetizer, entrée and dessert. My wife and I usually order 4 of the appetizers to “share” between us. Share is in quotes because at the table we’re like Bart and Homer fighting over the last pork chop, but we don’t have to broadcast it.


For the entrée, we each order one, but since one entrée choice is ALWAYS a pasta dish, we order that one to either share, or use as a backup in case someone dislikes their entrée, which almost never happens. And for dessert, one of the options is always low-fat, and one is always low sugar, so we feel quite comfortable and smug ordering 4 desserts between us. I’m not going to lie though. The cruise is coming, and coming soon where one glorious night I’m simply going to say to the waiter “bring me one of everything”


Back to the room to dress for nightlife! And one last confirmation that the prunes are in fact doing their jobs, and it’s out to the shows! And after the show’s you can disco yourself till the wee hours of the morning. But dancing like the rhythmless portly awkward white guy that I am is hard work (especially dancing like I do. My opening move is the “Thriller” set from Michael Jackson, and then I go into Macarena regardless of what song is playing) So to cap off the night, you head to the promenade for a sandwich and cookie that’s available from the snack bar 24/7 then it’s off to bed, and ready to fight another day!


It’s a huge boat, I didn’t have time to explore all of it but the brochure said they had a few other activities I overlooked such as rock climbing, zip lining, wave riding, dancing lessons, trivia, karaoke, live music, game shows, casino, bingo, a gym, spa and much more. I sure hope I find some time to do some of them on my next cruise!



My Hipster Doofus Lunch

28 Aug

August 28, 2013

Where would you rather eat: a place with an extensive menu and generous portions of good food, or a pretentious place where on Sunday they only have a brunch menu which has as its highlight “warm donut appetizer”?

Now guess which one I got stuck in.

3:45 in the afternoon. Who is still serving brunch at a quarter to four? Better yet- who wants brunch? It isn’t breakfast, it isn’t lunch, you can’t get a T-bone steak (now THAT’S a man’s brunch) and if you go in and order oatmeal you deserve the scorn I will heap on you. The brunch menu was less satisfying than the breakfast menu, less satisfying than the lunch menu, but made me much angrier than either.

Before I name this place, I do have to give it a compliment. The service was good. My party of four had- no joke!- five different people serving us, sometimes three at once. The service was so omnipresent that if my soup was too hot there was someone over my shoulder to blow on it for me.

But seriously, there was one good thing about this place. Out table was in the front and we were right near the window. Just on the other side were outdoor tables and two of them were filled with nothing but cute busty blondes in sun dresses. I LOVE New York!

But the menu sucked.

We were in lower Manhattan and someone in my party who is not to be named because my brother is marrying her and I want to keep harmony in the family, suggested The Odeon. This is allegedly a well-known and very good diner. I call it pretentious because the one-page menu (what diner has a one-page menu?) listed the Executive Chef, whom I will not name due to the fact that he might start crying in his soufflé.

Meanwhile, if I heard someone at the table say that Robert Di Niro ate there once I heard it 34X108 times. Would you take dinning advice from this man?


I have pictures but, due to the fact that I currently have The World’s Worst Cell Phone (I think it was made in pre-war Italy) the pictures came out awful. I’ll post them anyway and try to give you the highlights.


The appetizers included Goat Cheese Salad, Steak Tartare, Mixed Green Salad, and French Onion Soup. The Saturday specials on the sidebar included the aforementioned warm donut. Who in their right mind would call a warm donut a special? In that case my local Dunkin Donuts is full of special donuts (mostly lukewarm, some stale.) My brother and I both had the French onion soup. It wasn’t that good. We both had better french onion in Outback Steakhouse, of all places, and I have no clue if they have an Executive Chef or just pour it out of a bag. And this soup had some dry crunchy things topping the cheese which were especially unwelcome, both in taste and texture.

Note that the menu then has an egg section and a cereal and griddle section. We all skipped that since we wanted food.


The lunch entrees section contained nothing to get excited about either. I will let it speak for itself that our party contained a lawyer in a well-known firm, a director of a non-profit organization, a banker, and me, a high-level supervisor at a Company I Am not at liberty to name, and three of us ordered the cheeseburger.

I ordered mine medium and when I lifted it to take my first bite, the grease dripped out and ruined my shirt.

We are not without class. We are well-educated people, but normal people. We live in New York but not among the hipster doofus hoi-poloi. We wanted food. Cheese curd would not do it.

And that lousy French onion soup? $12.




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