Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 14/08/96

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Great places not to eat in Sydney, part 1

Gusworld has just one word of advice: do not eat at the Town Hall Cafe at Woolworth's in Sydney. Ever. Let nothing sway you. Be you starving and near death, be you cursed with pangs that apparently only roast lamb can reach, do not succumb. That way lies misery, and madness, and pain.

Gusworld found this out the hard way when he and a few acquaintances (including the normally sage Spanky, The Naughty Little Monkey) decided that indulging in the retro tack of food like Grandma used to make would be a fun way to eat out. In truth, the food on offer is more like Grandma herself: old, wrinkly, and with a slightly suspicious smell.

It was a bad sign upon entering that we seemed to be the only people under 50 in the entire place. At least the really ugly types who inhabit the lower floors at Woolies appeared to be slightly less visible. We grabbed an attractive chlorinated tray, and looked at the "food".

There were lumps of jelly that could probably support tower blocks. There were pour-it-yourself milkshakes. The roast of the day (you couldn't tell what it actually was) appeared to be in popular demand. Eschewing the seafood salad, we settled for sandwiches. How much can go wrong with a sandwich?

Well, you can knock your orange juice over and saturate the sandwich while struggling for a place in the queue with some daft bloke with no teeth. This incident pushed most of the Gusworld party to the brink of near hysteria, and the decor wasn't helping: pastel plastic seats, an identical print on every column in the place, and curtains you'd normally associate with a beachside boarding house gone to seed.

As we ate, incontinent pensioners struggled to push their entirely artificial teeth through the turgid flesh of the roasted meats and urinated incontinently in the corners. There were few napkins to be had, the crockery and cutlery appeared to have been picked up at a jumble sale -- nothing matched -- and the mad old biddy at the next table had suspicious looking blue streaks in her hair.

Spanky quickly spat the dummy -- literally -- and refused to finish her ham and mustard sandwich. Looking at the remains at right, you can probably sympathise. However, we bravely sent Flirt back to the counter for dessert. Mistake number we've lost count. If you thought mock cream was bad, you haven't seen the mockery this cafe can make of it. The chocolate cake had the texture of a slightly soaped loofah and the lingering aftertaste of Pal Meaty Bites.

I could go on, but I think the point is clear. If you must buy cheap food, go to McDonald's.

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