Saturday, July 30, 2011

You Are What You Eat-Nui Nui Coconut Shrimp, Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl & Lemon Garlic Chicken Breast at the Elephant Bar Global Grill & Wok Kitchen

So I finally got the MRI out of the way and was pretty hungry by  by the time I finished.  I actually may have fallen asleep in the giant radiology tunnel of death  because unlike the last time when they scanned my brain, I was able to wear noise reducing headphones.  Since the last MRI was to see how many air pockets were cluttering my brain, I couldn’t use the ear muffs then.  We arrived  at the radiology place around 6:30 and I was out of there by 7:20.

So the girlfriend and I had our usual lame debate as to where to have dinner. 

He:  Where do you want to eat?

She:  I don’t care.  Where do you want to eat.

He:  Wherever you want to.

She:  I don’t care.  It doesn’t matter to me.

He:  Doesn’t matter to me either.  We can go to Hodel’s or we can go to the Elephant Bar which is just up the road.  We haven’t been there for four or five years now.

We opted for the Elephant Bar.  I remember the last time we had eaten there it was with some friends who are now, ex-friends.  That tends to happen when you really get shafted by your so called friends. At least when friends do it, you can ex-friend them.  With family, your always going to be related like it or not.  Sort of like my racist half-brother.  I don’t acknowledge his existence, but we’re still related. 

But I digress.  I couldn’t tell you what I had on that last visit to Elephantitis Food Joint,  but I vaguely remember it as being  really good.  Then again, that could have been the air pockets in my brain conjuring up some false memories.  I’ll have to ask Dr. A.C. Neurologist about that one.

The Elephant Bar & Girl or as they like to call it:  Elephant Bar & Grill Global Grill and Wok Kitchen, sits on the corner of the highway, directly facing the California Pizza Kitchen.  Separating the two buildings  is a fancy shmancy  fountain, which you can opt to sit around and admire as you wait for your table.  And a quick glance of the situation told us we were going to be waiting a while.

Fountain Between the California Pizza Grill and the Elephant Bar

In this case, a while turned out to be about 45 minutes.  The girlfriend and I opted to wait inside in the air conditioning, figuring that if you’ve seen one fountain, you’ve seen them all.  And when the temperature is pushing 100 degrees, you can do without the view unless of course you intend to go wading around in the water and probably get your drunken ass arrested.

The first thing you notice about the inside of the Elephant Bar, is how freakin’ noisy the place is.  After a couple of minutes of waiting, I was ready to drive down to the MRI place and borrow their noise cancelling ear muffs..  I opted for messing with my I-phone instead, thinking I might take some lame assed pictures to throw up on the blog.

Interior of the Elephant Bar

I don’t know how long we had been sitting there waiting  when my girlfriend leaned over and almost shouted in my ear so I could hear her over the din.

“Look at that girl,” she said.

“What girl?” I replied looking up from my serious game of Wheel of Fortune.  There were several

“The skinny girl,” she whispered loudly in my ear.  “The blonde.”

“What about her?” I asked.  I had seen many thin girls in my lifetime, even dated a few here and there, so seeing one more wasn’t exactly a big revelation for me.

“She don’t have any tits!” My girlfriend explained. 

And with that I knew that my girlfriend was really really bored and that like me, she needed to learn to play games on her phone to keep her wandering mind occupied.  Yes, the girl didn’t have much in the mammary department but I didn’t see that it matter much.  I thought she was kind of cute, in a certain Mia Farrowish kind of way when you remember how Mia Farrow looked in the early years of Peyton Place.  No, I won’t put up a picture.  Just Google it. 


What I noticed more was how all the help looked like they were modeling new Wal-mart Uniforms.  Either that or they were going to their night jobs at the all night  AM/PM convenience store down the road,  right after they closed this joint up. I guess conformity rules the days.  I’ve seen better uniforms.  I’ve seen worse.  Hell, I’ve worn worse more than once in my life.  So what does this have to do with our meal?  Not a damn thing. Just killing time.

But after what seemed like an eternity, we were finally escorted to our booth where the noise level jumped another ten decibels give or take a few.  One thing I know is that air pockets in the brain or not, I would have remembered the noise level  if it had been of this magniturde on our last visit.

Then there was the darkness problem.  The Girlfriend had not brought her glasses in with her because generally in good light, she doesn’t need them and who knew that we would be having dinner at  Mammoth Caves.


IMG_0973So she borrowed my glasses and began looking through them as if they were a magnifying glass straight out of Sherlock Holmes.

As for myself, I already knew what I wanted.  I wanted some kind of grilled chicken.  That’s all I ever wanted these days.  You see, I’ve been on this diet since early February.  At that time I had ballooned up to 316 lbs.  I am now down to about 235 lbs.  So nine times out of ten you either have a salad of some kind, fish, or chicken. 

The chicken in this case was Lemon Garlic Chicken. The Girlfriend ordered the Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl. She wanted the Ribs but at about 2,000 calories plus, that was a bit much even for her.

We also ordered Nui Nui Coconut Shrimp Skewers as an appetizer. They weren’t all that high in calories and with us splitting them that made it even better.

IMG_0980When they brought the shrimp skewers we quickly found out why they weren’t very high in calories. ThIMG_0976ey were kind of scrawny. Taste wise they weren’t that exciting either. And the dipping sauce was just plain bland. You could hardly taste the coconut either which is probably another reason the calorie count was lows.

They also give you a glob of some vegetable crap with it. The Girlfriend didn’t like the looks of it. But I was game to give it a try, just enough to find out that like the dipping sauce it didn’t taste like much of anything. So I guess they liquefied them to make the sauce. As a matter of fact, the vegetables with this shrimp were so boring, they made the shrimp seem like a major feast by comparison. Maybe that’s the idea here. It didn’t work, but unlike everybody else in the place, we hadn’t down three jugs of liquor either

We had both ordered a side salad at four bucks each.  It was listed as having only 30 calories and we quickly find out why.  It was bad enough that for four dollars, there wasn’t much there, but they used those damn miniature round tomatoes that I absolutely abhor.  And for four bucks, if they  aren’t going to use real tomatoes, you would have thought they could have put more in the way of vegetables in it, like maybe some olives, cucumbers, mushrooms, or onions.  I mean, hell, the salads at Denny’s are better than this and only cost me $2.95.  Now I know another reason why it was so damn dark.  They didn’t want you to be able to see how skimpy some of the food items were.


It took us about a minute and a half to finish our crummy side salads and after what seemed like an eternity, and with the noise level now so bad that The Girlfriend and I were communicating by sign language, they brought our dinners.  I’ll leave you to guess which is which.



If you guessed that the top picture was the Lemon Garlic Chicken, and the bottom picture the Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowl, you win!  Sorry, I don’t give out prizes.  This blog has made all of $30 bucks in 7 years.

My chicken is buried under that big gooey globby solidified lump of rice,  If you look closely  you can barely see it sticking out from under there, like it’s playing hide-n-go-seek.  As for The Girlfriend’s meal, the Teriyaki Bowl at Jack-in-the-Box was more appealing than the mess on her plate.

But we needn’t have worried.  The food didn’t taste bad.  It didn’t taste at all.  The girlfriend tried adding salt to her dish to give it some flavoring but it didn’t work too well.  She took a few bites then started placing the rest of the chicken on my plate.

My Lemon Chicken wasn’t any better.  It had absolutely no flavor either.  Worst was the rice mess.  You would have thought they would have at least added some kind of broth to give it flavoring.  The way it held together reminded me  of some kind of Caramel Popcorn Ball, or worse, those damn Quaker Rice Cakes you buy in the supermarket.  If you've ever dieted, you know which ones I mean.  However, that wasn’t it.  The rice was held together by it’s own bit of overcooked magic and a dash of Elmer’s Glue All.  And the vegetables with it were just like the salad, and just like the vegetables with the shrimp skewers.  Flavorless and unappetizing.  Helluva combination was this restaurant.  Yes, boring and noisy.

The Girlfriend asked me if I wanted her rice and vegetables.  I said no.  I didn’t really want mine that much but seeing as how I needed to eat something, I managed to forge ahead although I did leave quite a bit of it on my plate.  But I really didn’t dilly dally around.  Between the noise, the darkness, and the crummy food, I was ready to go.   So they brought the tab and here are the damages:


The price wouldn’t have been bad if the food had been exceptionally good.  We’ve eaten at Tahoe Joe’s and paid way  more than this.  The difference is that at Tahoe Joe’s, you get what you pay for which is good atmosphere, really good food, and really good service.  I can’t say the service was bad at Elephant Bar, but we got none of the other ingredients necessary for a good dining experience.   We only left the usual 15 per cent tip, probably because it was just a bad all around experience.  I think the problem is, a lot of people go there to drink booze and eating is almost secondary.  From the noise level, I would say that many of the patrons were already pretty well lit up and could care less what the food tasted like.  And if I had known about that, we would have gone elsewhere.  We probably should have done that anyway, but we figured the food would make up for the noise level.  It didn’t.

And normally, I don’t write this much about a meal.  But I guess the worse it is, the more there is to write about.  But I can tell you we won’t be going back to the Elephant Bar & Grill anytime soon.

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