Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 25/07/96

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.

Facing the Lone Star challenge

Last night, I ventured into a territory where few have tried, and even fewer have succeeded: the Lone Star Amarillo Cheese Fries Challenge. If this means nothing to you, be somewhat grateful.

Lone Star is a chain of restaurants with a vaguely Texan theme, which means they play country music, serve big chunks of TexMex food, let you throw peanuts on the floor and charge too much for the drinks. One of the menu highlights is a dish known as Amarillo Cheese Fries, which consists of huge, gluggy French fries, coated with a suspect kind of cheese (let's just say I don't think Good Living's Ruth Ritchie would go near it), selected clumps of something alleged to be bacon and a tartare sauce/sour cream thingy. This $7.50 plate of cholesterol is designed as an entree for the entire table (even the waitress tells you not to order more than one). The Lone Star Amarillo Cheese Fries Challenge is to eat an entire plate of the things yourself.

Goaded on by two colleagues who claimed that even my legendary stomach of iron couldn't face this particular concoction unassisted, I wandered out to Lone Star Parramatta last night, accompanied by said sceptics and a second challenge contender (to be known hereafter as the Lachster). One of the sceptics (hereafter known as Team OS/2) had once tried the challenge, and failed just three chips short of the final goal. The other (hereafter known as Mr Modem) had more sense than to attempt it, or so he claimed. Other sources familiar with Mr Modem cited an almost inhuman lack of energy as the real reason for his avoidance. But I digress.

I'd like to write about my facing the Lone Star challenge as a kind of High Noon shootout, with each chip slowly entering my mouth in a tense atmosphere filled with ominous portents. Basically, though, I just shoved greasy food down my throat until I'd cleaned the plate. The Lachster took slightly longer to complete the task and was forced to call in dollops of tomato sauce, but still met the challenge. We then proceeded to cement our superiority by eating the brownies (described by Team OS/2 as "pure stodge") as well (although admittedly this was after a break during which we watched the challenge failures eating a main course).

This morning, I feel almost fine, apart from a stronger-than-normal desire to drink Coca Cola and a lack of urgency in getting breakfast. But then that's not so unusual anyway. I could imagine returning to Lone Star; it was fairly cheap, the service was great, and the menu had several options worth further exploration. I don't know that I'll ever eat the fries again, though. Why taint a perfect victory?

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