Well, the Old Lady and I managed to extricate ourselves from the Crabshack for our bi-yearly night-on-the-town -- unfortunately, that town was Lansing, Michigan. We decided to hit he streets and see if we could add another restaurant to our Gustatory Greats: 2008s list. Last night's entry -- Trōppo, in Lansing.
Now, I don't know if you've ever been to downtown Lansing -- and if you have, let me be the first to apologize. Fucking depressing as shit. The Old Lady said that it reminded her of downtown Indianola, Iowa, and frankly, I think she's being a bit generous. Lots of boarded up store-fronts, liquor stores and, most notably, no sign of humans anywhere. I guess that's what happens to a capital city when you perform an auto industry hysterectomy on it.
Anywhich, the look of the restaurant seemed nice enough -- it was pretty full, fancy enough and fairly bustling. We were led to a little private room, with only a few tables, and after the other diners cleared out, about 20 minutes later, we basically had the place to ourselves. Which seems nice, but when you go out once or twice a year, hoping to actually interact with other people and feel like you're not completely isolated in the fucking world, you don't always want the place to yourselves, ya know?
Okay, enough fucking exposition, let's get down to bidness...
Portabella Tempura -- Sounds lame but it was kinda good, actually. But there was too much of it. Too much of a fucking gutpack for an appetizer. If you're gonna be serving appetizers that big, Trōppo, at least have the common decency to provide a vomit receptacle into which one can purge before the entree is served.
Cheese Platter -- The cheeses were pretty good, but we didn't ever really figure out what they were, 'cuz the waiter described them, and I shit you not, as, "Cow's milk, cow's milk, cow's milk, cow's milk and goat's milk." Thanks, Johnny Descripto -- very illuminating. And what's the fucking deal with the six crackers on the plate?! What is up with the fucking restaurant bread/cracker rationing?! Was there a bad cracker crop this season? Are crackers up to like $150 a barrel now? Did the Duke brothers corner the cracker futures market? Load the fucking plate with crackers, goddammit, and don't stop loading until they're spilling onto the fucking floor! I want so many fucking crackers on the plate, I shouldn't even be able to see any goddamn cheese. THEY'RE CRACKERS, MOTHERFUCKERS! STOP HOLDING THE CRACKERS HOSTAGE AND HAND 'EM THE SHIT OVER!!!!
I actually had a coupla glasses of a suprisingly tasty blended red by the Magnificent Wine Company called "House Red." It was definitely the highlight of my meal, which really isn't saying much. The old lady had a wine flight that kinda sucked. She said the first wine tasted like rubbing alcohol. I say, never trust a wine from Purell Vineyards.
The Old Lady got lucky with a scallops/mashed potatoes/eggplant thing -- it wasn't bad, but the scallops were gritty, which is kinda nasty. Clean the sand out, people. If I want to eat sand, I'll have a hunk of halvah. (Four people will get that reference.)
I ordered "the special," which I now realize meant "special" as in "rides the short bus to school" instead of "special" as in, "the chef just added this to the menu tonight because it tastes really, really good." It was trout with a shrimp/saffron risotto and snap peas. Here's the exact conversation that followed my first bite...
[I put a big forkful of "the special" into my face-hole]
ME: [chew, chew, chew, stop.] Meh.
OLD LADY: What?
ME: I know this taste...
OLD LADY: What does it taste like?
ME: [pause, pause, pause, pause...] Ah! Mattress.
Which is exactly what it tasted like. Mattress that had been soaking in dead alewives for about a week, that was then piled atop a sticky, overcooked heap of sea-monkey scented Cream-of-Wheat. With greasy, overcooked snap peas whipped at it.
It officially sucked badger balls. Actually, I would rather suck badger balls than have to eat that "special" again. (Note to Trōppo chef -- consider adding badger balls to "specials" menu.)
And, basically, that was pretty much it. I'm getting kinda nauseous just thinking about it, so I don't really want to spend much more time recounting the meal. Bottom line, Trōppo ain't gonna make it onto the Gustatory Greats: 2008s list. Actually, looking at the other dining options around here, I have a feeling that the Fleetwood Diner is going to remain the only fucking entry on the Gustatory Greats: 2008s list. Which is fine with me -- I'll take good old-fashioned diner grub over poorly prepared mattress any day of the fucking week.
My one-word review of Trōppo?