Friday, November 5, 2010

Faking Dixie

Finding the perfect restaurant/bar to review when on the road isn't always easy.

I'm usually in town for just a day, so picking the right place out of hundreds can be a task.

That process usually involves googling around on the internet or just walking up to the frontdesk clerk at the hotel and asking them if they were in town for just one night and wanted to get a feel for the local scene, what place would they recommend.

But sometimes it's all determined by the restaurant's name.

And during Suit420s recent trip to Virginia Beach -- that's exactly what happened.

While cruising down the road in between business meetings -- and, of course, puffing on a fresh Djarum Super Clove -- I happen to pass what I thought would be the perfect place to review...

... The Dixie Diner.

After all, Suit420 has a specialized Robert E. Lee license plate, multiple confederate flags and a bumper sticker on my car with a picture of the "bars and stars" that reads "This is my red, white and blue."

So Suit420 make a quick uturn -- illegally -- and headed into the parking lot to review The Dixie Diner.

As I pulled into the parking lot, some red flags immediately went up.

The Dixie Diner had a sign advertising Gyros.

Now, this Southerner -- and most Southerners I know -- can't even pronounce the word Gyro correctly.

So that was red flag number 1.

But I decided to still give it a try.

Perhaps there was a large goat-lover population, also known as Greeks, that the business was catering too.

Skeptical, I finished my clove and headed inside to see what The Dixie Diner had to offer.

Walking in the door, my skepticism grew even more.

I was expecting to see a huge potrait of great Virginians like Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson.

Perhaps an old Virginia Flag right next to the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (stars and  bars) on the wall.

Or just some type of decoration that made the brain immediately think "southern."

But that just wasn't the case.

The walls were dull. The atmosphere was dead.

And there weren't hardly any patrons at The Dixie Diner.

And worst of all, The Dixe Diner -- yes, The Dixie Diner -- had a huge Federal Flag on the wall.

What self-respecting Southerner would ever salute the Federal Flag, much less hang one on the wall of their restaurant.

I mean, this flag represents the same savages that invaded Dixie years ago, burning towns, killing dogs, raping women and just unleashing all-out hell on the South.

To me, this Federal Flag on the wall made about as much sense as walking into a Jewish restaurant and finding a large Palestinian or Hamas flag on the wall.

Disappointed, very disappointed, I took a seat at one of the booths.

After all the red flags, I had already told myself that if The Dixie Diner didn't at least have sweet tea, then I was leaving and would review some place else.

Unfortunately, Dixie Diner had sweet tea -- which meant I would stay after all.

There wasn't anything special about the menu.

I decided to go with Cheese Sticks as an appetizer while I figured out what I would eat.

The choices were, again, pretty typical. Various types of sub sandwiches. Chicken sandwiches. Hamburgers. Soups. Salad. Grilled Chicken. Fried Chicken.

You get my drift.

Since I was going with Cheese Sticks, I decided I'd try the most non-usual thing on their menu, which happened to be a "Pizza Burger."

Dixie Diner's Pizza Burger has meat and cheese like a normal burger would.

But the Pizza Burger has mozarella sauce and a special thick cheese on it.

I was also disappointed at the absence of alcohol on the menu -- something else not very Southern like.

The cheese sticks came out first, and they were good.

But who can't make good cheese sticks?

Hell, the cheap frozen ones you can get for a couple bucks at the grocery store are just as good as any other cheese stick.

A few minutes later, my burger arrived.

On first appearance, it looked damn good.

The mozarella cheese was beautifully melted on a nice piece of beef, and the dipping sauce was embedded under the cheese.

Good so far.

But then I took my first bite.

Not so good.

For some reason it just didn't cut it. Sure, I was already disappointed because of The Dixie Diner having Greek food and a Federal Flag on the wall, but that wouldn't change my taste buds.

There was too much sauce under the cheese. All in all, the burger was crappy.

In fact, I didn't even eat it all.

And worst of all was the fact that the cheese sticks and the burger were ridiculously overpriced.

Cheese sticks, a burger, some fries and a sweet tea cost Suit420 a tad over 20 bucks.

I can get a carton of cloves -- shipped straight from Indonesia -- for 10, including shipping and handling.

But without complaint I paid my tab, left my tip and headed out.

On the way out, I couldn't help but stare at the Federal Flag hanging on the wall.

Rating: Wouldn't wear the shirt if they paid me to.

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