Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hot Food, Hot Sun

Like I wrote in "800," I went to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Usually casino grub isn't worth writing about but this one was the exception.

I arrived around midnight and hungry. The great thing about casinos is that they always have a restaurant (or four) open all night long. Mohegan Sun was no different and I went to Fedelia's for a quick bite.

Now, when you go to a late-night eatery, what do you expect? Hot, tasty food served quick? Hardly. You expect cafeteria food at lukewarm temperatures with a long wait. Since it was late but I needed something to carry me through a couple hours gaming, I ordered the Ugly Mug of Roasted Chicken and Corn soup and a side order of french fries.

The food arrived on my table in under five minutes.

Sure, it's soup they keep in a water bath and fries they keep under a heat lamp - how hard could it be? But no, this soup was piping hot. And tasty. The fries were perfect: freshly fried, crisp and hot. Holy smokes, this was PERFECT cafeteria food.

Which made me wonder. Why is it that I can go to a small, supposedly quality-oriented, restaurant and the food is worse? Like the other week at Mama's On The Half Shell in Baltimore - the seafood chowder was tepid at best. Or another trip to Cafe Hon where the gravy fries were limp, lifeless and supposedly covered in a transparent liquid that was supposedly brown gravy.

Here I was, at an institutional monstrosity, in the middle of a weekday night with barely any patrons and the food was just stellar. Exactly the way it was supposed to be and served by a friendly group of staffers.

I wish more restaurants would take their cues from this example.

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