Thursday, April 24, 2008

Where Can You Find Roy's Chicken?

I loved Roy Rogers chicken when I was a kid. I loved it more than KFC, more than McDonalds and more than Burger King.

It was my favorite.

For some reason the clown and his playland never held a candle to a singing cowboy with a fixins bar.

Roy's is still around, but not really in my area.

So, to help me find Roy's Chicken I found this vintage placemat.

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Where indeed.

Let's look clockwise from bottom left.

On Vacation.
Roy's suggests that I bring my chicken on my vacation. That makes sense because so few tourist destinations have food.

At A Birthday Party.
Another excellent suggestion. I recommend that you slip it into your pocket when you are off to attend a birthday party. Then if the food sucks you can sneak into the bathroom and chow down.

On A Picnic.
And they remind you that fried chicken is as great as all of nature. I can't argue with that.

In Front of A VCR.
Then you can adjust the tracking, dim the lights and realize the moron before you was unkind and didn't rewind.
It's enough to make you wish you were invited to that birthday party with the lousy food.

In A Business Meeting.
Is "in church" or "in the emergency room" on this list? I get the feeling they are just naming every place they can think of.

At A Softball Game.
They tell us we can bring the Big Chiller out at a softball game. I assume they are talking about pro wrestler/softball player Sid Eudy.

At Your Neighborhood Roy Rogers.
Well, duh.

At A Family Reunion.
I am not so sure this is a reunion. It might be an intervention. After all, you have been eating way too many fried foods. It's just not good for you. Remember, moderation.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Hollywood Brown Derby in Orlando

I love Hollywood and I love Orlando... at least Walt Disney World.

Oh, and I also love Universal.

Being that I- oh wait, I also love Sea World.

And Ripley's Believe it or Not. And that upside down building on I Drive that looks so cool even though I have never been there.

Anyway, being that I love Walt Disney World and I love Hollywood, the Brown Derby Restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Studios is one of my favorite places on earth.

First, a bit of history:

The Brown Derby was a famous restaurant chain in the "golden age" of Hollywood. The restaurant chain was famous for it's hat shaped exterior... but not the one IN Hollywood.
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The Hollywood Brown Derby, the most famous one in the chain, was not in a hat shaped building. This was done because the crazy scientologists in Hollywood were worried a giant martian might show up on earth and pick the restaurant up and wear it on his head.

The other locations didn't worry about this because derbys are "like, so last year on Mars."

The real Derbys have all closed and the one in Hollywood has been torn down and is now a parking lot.
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Now take another look at this photo from the 1980s:
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Now look again at the parking lot:
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Notice something? "Juices Fountain" seems to have been passed over by the wrecking ball.

Juices Fountains still stands, but the most famous restaurant in Hollywood now has a bunch of Toyotas parked on top of it.

Ahhh well, we always have Orlando.

So, Disney re-created the Brown Derby an it is one of the finest restaurants on Walt Disney World property.

This is what the original interior looked like:
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The most famous thing about the interior was the caricatures of celebrities that covered the walls.

Now here is a photo of the Disney recreation:
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Notice anything?

If you were straining your eyes to see if the staff of Juices Fountain was trying a hostile takeover you may have missed the minor changes Disney has made to the restaurant.

For starters, they have less caricatures and they took out some booths and replaced them with tables. Still, it's a pretty awesome replica.

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Here I am standing in front of a wall of caricatures.

Notice anything?

Yup, I have a Hagar the Horrible T-shirt. Admit it, that's pretty freakin' cool.

Here is a caricature of Roy Rogers:
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He was famous for his fried chicken restaurants. I am told he played a cowboy in a movie, too.

Here is one of Ronald Reagan:
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He was just like Roy Rogers... except with less chicken and more State of the Union speeches.

Here is Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy:
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They were a ventriloquist/dummy act. I tried for like 20 minutes to come up with a good political joke that wouldn't offend half of my readers. I couldn't.

Let's just leave it alone.

This is a cartoon of Lilo & Stitch done by the creators of the film that appears in the guest book of the restaurant:
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And Stitch is right! The food is good. I had the tilefish:
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The "real" Brown Derby was most famous for the Cobb Salad. The owner apparently created it as a midnight snack for Chinese Theater owner Sid Grauman.

Although I have an amazing amount of admiration for Sid, I hate salad so I ate the fish.

The Brown Derby's other original recipe was the Grapefruit Cake:
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I tried that, it was pretty good... although it tasted too much like grapefruit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hooters Air

This is one of those things that you just don't appreciate until it's gone.

Yup, Hooters had an airline, and yeah, it didn't last.

It started back in 2003 and I was very anxious to try it, but it just never fit into my travel plans.

I wish it had.

I would have got to fly on one of the six orange planes staffed by Hooter girls.

According to Wikipedia each flight consisted of two Hooter girls who would assist the traditionally dressed stewardesses.

But what does Wikipedia know? I am going to stick to my fantasy that the plane had dozens and dozens of Hooter girls and they served wings and beer non-stop.

I also imagine that a Hooter girl was piloting the plane.

I can just hear her sexy voice as she giggled something about tray tables. That must have been AWESOME.

In 2006 Hooters stopped flying.

I bet Jay Leno made some joke about flotation devices or something that night.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My Trip to See The Cheers Robots at the Detroit Airport

Ahh, the Cheers Robots.

They were a couple of robots that looked like Norm and Cliff from Cheers. They were featured in a handful of airport bars back in the mid to late 1990s.

I visited one such bar in the Detroit airport a few years back.

It would have been somewhere between '96 and '98. I am almost certain that '97 was between '96 and '98. If so, that might have been the year.

Anyway, my memory is a bit hazy since it's been a while and I didn't commit the details to memory. I was popping jalapeƱo peppers like aspirin that day because, hey, I was in Detroit.

We didn't pick it specifically because it was Cheers, it just happened to be the first place to eat we came to. When I say "we" I mean me and the peppers. I think I held the peppers up and sang that "I'm a pepper" song that Dr. Pepper used have in their commercials.

Then some Detroit airport hobo asked me "why doesn't Dr. Pepper taste like pepper?" I thought for a moment then I attempted to strangle him with my shoelaces.

At that moment, I realized I was probably just high from the peppers.

Plus, how would a hobo get in an airport... unless he got a ticket and then got stuck in there without a place to go.

"That's a good idea for a movie" I thought. "It could star Tom Hanks."

Luckily I never followed through with that idea.

As for Cheers, one wall was completely open to the concourse, probably to lure people in.

Color me lured. In the name of the lured, I need to be colored.

They did have the bar but they didn't let any one sit there. I don't think it was as big as the television version and I think one side was against the back wall.

The rest of the layout was also different from the set. I don't remember there being any booths along the sides. They did have some tables but they also had what can be best described as bar tables. I don't remember if it was one long strip where different parties sat together or if they were broken up to seat 4 to 6 people. In either case everyone sat on the same side and the table was made up to resemble the bar. This was where we (me and the peppers) wound up sitting.

The one thing I do remember was that we sat behind and left of the robots so all we could see were their backs. At least I could see their backs. I poked the peppers eyes out during some rough horseplay.

It happens.

The menu was typical restaurant chain food. Burger, sandwiches, etc.

I think I had a burger.