23 April 2012

Why You Shouldn't Mix Genres


We're in Panama City Beach this weekend for my daughter's cheer competition. That means we get to try out new restaurants, one of which we braved this morning. It wasn't a franchise such as Denny's, Shoney's or even an iHop. We ate at Captain Joe's. Better yet, it was advertised as Captain Joe's Breakfast Buffet, MmmmmMmmmm!

We were greeted by a Chinese lady. I have not a thing against the Chinese. As a matter of fact, I absolutely love Chinese food, and fully expect to see a staff of Chinese folk on duty when I eat lunch at The New China Super Buffet on North Monroe St., but that's another story.

After the waitress brought our drinks, she invited us to observe the buffet by bowing in the direction of a stack of plastic plates and a variety of silver trays, one of which contained an assortment of sushi. Say what? We passed on the sushi because we had stopped in to have breakfast, a good old American style breakfast as promised by…Captain Joe, right?

Anyway, we head toward the trays which contained a variety of cooked eggs, from omelets to fried red eye specials. Yep, fried eggs on a buffet. Some were over well, some over medium, and the two I picked were over easy, but they were somewhat gelled on the inside from having sat for a while.

The French toast was burned and the pancakes were cold. The biscuits were not made from scratch. They were the kind I buy out of a cylinder shaped carton when I'm in a hurry and don't want to make a mess in the kitchen. I couldn't begin to tell you about the concoction which was supposed to be sausage gravy. The only things prepared the way I expected were the pre-cooked, "Heat N Eat" sausage and the bacon, since I like mine extra crispy.

The point in all this? Don't delve into the business of pandering to a market that's starving for an all-in-one solution. Don't be a Jack of all trades and a master of nothing. The most ironic part of this dining experience was when the bill arrived on a small orange tray with two plastic wrapped fortune cookies.

Listen Attentively, you will come out ahead

Now, I'm all about learning new things. But, I'm not about to sell my experiments to the public under the disguise of a traditional brand. Maybe I wouldn't have been so offended if the restaurant name was something like Chu Chen's Breakfast Sampler.

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