Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Restaurant Review: Carryon Comfort Food

Inspired by a recommendation from Tom Lisk, I had lunch the other day at Carryon Comfort Food. From the red plastic signage to the "Hospitality Counselor" standing near the door, everything about the entrance and exterior gave me the feeling that I was in good, decent hands. A crowd of perhaps 300 people waited in the barn-like architecture of the "Appetite Depot" under glaring halogen lights. Luckily, the wait was not long, and a widescreen television entertained the guests with a documentary film, played at an impressively loud volume, about the history of Carryon. Finally, the hostess seated me. The menu, a touch screen set into the shellacked wooden table, was more user-friendly than most. My server appeared a few minutes later and offered me a non-alcoholic alkaline water, which I declined. Instead, I chose a plot-driven beverage titled "A Stroll in the Park." I demanded that the drink be brought to me in a mug with my monogram etched in the glass, however the waitron politely told me that would be impossible. The drink was, though, served to me in a bread cup, which pleased me. After my appetizer, the excellent fruit-leather plate, I was served the entree, the King's Ransom Platter. This amazing anthology of home cookin' was everything I've come to expect from the Carryon Comfort Food brand. From the Battered 'n' Splattered Pork Planks to the Low-Carb Hush Puppies, this kaleidoscope of flavor was nearly excruciatingly pleasurable. Now let's talk about dessert. The dessert menu itself was a work of art! While the freshly applied oil paint smeared a bit during handling, the menu was beautifully done. I chose the Decadent Rewards Ice Milk and was well-rewarded indeed! Though I ordered the chilly treat to be served to me on a 78 rpm record of "That's a Plenty!" as performed by the Suave Gents, it was merely delivered on a plain plate. Of course I sent it back. The Vera Vulture mascot character was sent to my table to placate me, but all the exaggerated hand gestures and head-shakings of someone in a vulture costume could not convince me that I was in anything but the culinary equivalent of an insane asylum. As I stalked out, the manager jogged at my side, peppering me with nonsensical questions. To make my point, before I walked out I grabbed a handful of toothpicks from the Take One bowl (for my replica of the wicker man). Overall, not a bad experience, but the presentation of the dessert was somewhat lacking. I give this restaurant (the term used advisedly) Two Parsley-Sprigs!

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