Making Me Nuts: A Two-Step Process

Step One

Write a newspaper article about how all the restaurants in your city are serving fucking enormous portions because if they don’t, the Milwaukeans used to the ol’ 96er-fer-96-cents will go up the street to stuff their fucking faces at O’Bigportionnigann’s. My reaction to the article: the Journal-Sentinel’s veiled attempt at calling Milwaukee a City of Fatties.

“The greatest way for a casual, mid-scale restaurant to improve the diner’s experience is to increase portion size,” Guilfoyle said. “A secondary benefit is often the consumer will take food home with them.”

The takeout container reinforces the restaurant brand and becomes a second chance to instill customer loyalty, he said.

At some restaurants, the big signature item may not make it to the doggie bag, but tongues still wag nonetheless.

The Outback Steakhouse has its Bloomin’ Onion, which starts out tipping the scales at about 1 pound but, with coating, ends up at your table weighing closer to 25 ounces. It’s supposed to be feed four people, but couples like to order it, and polish it off, said Ross Steger, proprietor of the Outback Steakhouse, 1260 S. Moorland Road, Brookfield. The chain also has locations in Fox Point and Greenfield.

“We never labeled it as giant food,” Steger said. “It kind of grabbed people’s attention as we walked through the dining room and so forth. It’s more of a visual thing.”

The eyes have it.

“We pretty much sell one at every table, if not then every other table,” Steger said. On a weekend, the restaurant will sell 100 to 150 of the colossal onions at $6.29 a bloom.

In the land of the free and the home of the value conscious, big sells.

So, the reason these restaurants sell fucking enormous portions is so when people take them home, they’ll see the take-home bag in the fridge, and while stuffing their face will say, “I LOVE O’HEARTATTACKS FOOD, LET’S EAT THERE AGAIN!” Except that’s not the reason, because as we see above, two people rountinely sit down and shove 25 ounces of onion in their fucking mouths before they ever get to their dinner! I was almost nuts at this point, but then the newspaper followed it up two days later by running another article off a wire, so on to…

Step Two

OK, so two days after Milwaukee celebrated the fact that the majority of their city won’t buy any food in a restaurant unless it’s less than 20 dollars but more than 20 ounces, they run an article blubbering about how a bunch of shows on TV are about fat people. Oh boo-hoo, lady. From the article:

And coming soon is “Thick & Thin,” an NBC sitcom about a young divorced woman who has lost 60 pounds and struggles to fit in with her chubby family and overweight friends. In the opening scene, we see the woman’s mother topping a mountain of cheese with butter as she makes nachos.

“Mexicans invented butter,” explains the mom, played by real-life weight-battler Sharon Gless of “Cagney & Lacey” fame, to raucous guffaws.

That IS pretty funny, considering that slathering nachos in butter and cheese doesn’t sound all that different from two people eating a gi-fucking-gantic deep fried onion meant for a family.

So why is fat such a big joke these days? Are fat people the last minority deemed acceptable to ridicule? We’ve gone through racial and ethnic jokes, gender jokes, gay jokes – even jokes about the handicapped. Fat is our final frontier.

But with studies showing that as many as 65% of Americans are clinically obese – and obesity is now recognized as an official disease – why is this suddenly fair game and funny?

I’ll tell you why. It’s because it’s difficult to watch someone bang on their dinner table demanding the buggest fucking steak in the house with a one pound side of fries, then inhale it and complain about the $9.99 price, then squeeze behind the wheel of their car and go home to watch TV for the rest of the night and complain that they’re being picked on by a glowing box without breaking into gales of laughter. Fucking gales and peals of laughter, after which you shoot yourself because the world is full of self-righteous ham-creatures.

i’m back

16 thoughts on “Making Me Nuts: A Two-Step Process

  1. i don’t see the contradiction in step one. the bloomin onion is an appetizer. most people will order a main course as well. after they stuff their face with their share of the 25 ounces of deep fried battered onion, they’ll probably have left overs on their main course. so the bigger appetizer portion AND bigger main entre portion worth together in all but guaranteeing a take home box.

  2. You can defend it from that position, but you can’t defend the fact that an appetizer for four people is being consumed by half as many… with relish.

  3. Lemme tell you a tale about VALUE. When I was a small, pimply child of 15, I worked at the Marriott restaurant in Racine. At said restaurant, one of the premier specials was the Saturday evening All-You-Can-Eat Prime Rib Buefft for something like $15.95. Many, many large people would come and demand cut after cut after cut of prime rib. A little while later, the restaurant raised prices on the meal because it just wasn’t profitable to serve three bisons-worth of prime rib to 20 people at that price. They raised it to $19.85, still all-you-can-eat, still prime rib. The butter-monsters went nutso and complained and complained and complained. The moral: all-you-can-eat prime rib is a bargain at twice the price of $15, but a $4 increase sent them through the roof. They want 4 pounds of food for as cheap as they can get it. Example Number Two: My dad’s entire stint preventing chicken thieves from looting the Old Country Buffet.

  4. Welcome back, Raj. Glad to see that the world is still driving you crazy.

    I must be from the midwest.

    I like getting a lot of food for not a lot of money. Yes, I take it home and I eat the rest. I don’t think that means that I am brainwashed. K-car and I will order $20 worth of Chinese food and it is typically 5 or 6 meals for us. That is pretty great.

    That said, I don’t mind paying higher prices for reasonable portions of really good food at a nice restaurant. And I wouldn’t mind paying smaller prices for smaller portions.

    I will say this, though… there are a lot of wisco fatties. I really, really hate to admit it, but there are.

  5. Okay. I just read the article.

    1. I would rather pay a normal price for a normal portion.

    2. Did you see that they have a picture of something or other from the pine cone!

  6. From the article – Founder Dave Anderson gives this advice on his menu: “Never eat anything bigger than your head.” Does anyone remember Todd’s roommate Mike Herman stating that he could eat 2 “Burritos as big as your head” from LaBamba’s? His other roommate Loren attempted it to disasterous results. Goddamn rediculous.

  7. 1. First and foremost, ubs, have you ever seen anything that was bluediculous? It’s ‘ridiculous.’
    2. Yeah, I remember that nut trying to eat two burritos. Farcical is how I would describe it.
    3. katiek, by noe means am I slurrying the name of people who order a lot of food and actually take home the remnants. What pisses me off is that, in the article, restaurants are saying one thing (We make big portions cause people like to take them home!” while they are saying “We have dishes that serve four people! These dishes are being utterly devoured by two people!” Those two ideas do not complement each other. Ergo, the restaurants are catering to blubbermobiles by serving enormous food plates while not acknowledging that they are just filling the ol’ trough and letting the piggys at it. And yes, I am saying that a lot of people in Wisconsin are big meatbags, and yes I’m one of them, but I don’t go to a restaurant demanding all-you-can-eat butter, deep-fried onions, and ice cream for $5.99.
    4. One of their showcase items in the article are the pastries served at the Pine Cone. As much as it pains me to say it, I ate one of those gigantic elephant ears on the way back to Madison during my bachelor party. There’s a picture of it here.

  8. Also, for the record, Atlanta is up 7-0 right now in the MNF game, but I have a bad feeling about the pick. As if Cal is gonna be one chalky bottle of liquor richer tomorrow.

  9. Are we going to do a 2nd half survival football? Did anyone pay 20$?

    I paid for me, belly, madd and timmer.

    Cal sent me 10$ and Zach 10$, I think.

    Monkey Wankers paid zach 10$, I think.

    zach is a republican paid zach with a HJ, I think. Unsure of the $ value there.

    Cleveland Steamers skipped town w/o paying, I think.

    QBZ is lost in South America and I have no desire to cross-continent hound him for 10$.

    What is the plan, stans?

  10. 1. The solution to all of this gluttony is the Karl Lagerfeld diet: stop eating anything but an apple and a Lean Cuisine per day. Or go to law school where you are forced to spend your miserable days in the godforsaken law library. Or develop a cocaine habit like Hollywood.

    2. Plus, once you are skinny, clothes are cheaper. The average American woman wears about a size 12, so if you are a little size, head to the sale racks. Ergo, you can never be too rich or too thin. And these concepts are self-reinforcing or something like that.

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