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Tiki Central Forums » » Beyond Tiki » » The Horror That Is Margaritaville
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The Horror That Is Margaritaville
Satan's Sin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 729
From: Imperial Beach, CA
Posted: 2005-11-26 6:09 pm   Permalink

Just got back from business in Orlando, where a gracious and well-meaning client decided to celebrate a job well done by taking me and my colleagues to a no-holds-barred din-din at … Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.

Margaritaville is at Universal City Walk, which is some sort of weird combination of half-rides and half-stores, full of sour young men prowling the grounds like watchful soldiers on combat patrol and raucous young women in the coarsest state of drunkenness, complete with shrieks of delight at their comrades’ falling-down antics.

I thought Margaritaville would be a refuge from the noise but no, it was even louder inside this … well, I don’t know if the word “restaurant” applies. It was more like a gigantic pin-ball machine and we poor humans the pummeled and knocked-about orbs.

The din was incredible. Thundering voices, braying hillbilly laughs, police whistles, popping balloons, televised sports events, and underneath it all, the faint but constant strains of one Jimmy Buffet standard after another.

Every square inch, floor to ceiling, was covered with some doo-dad or gimgrack, be it a float plane or a surfboard or an alligator’s head or brightly-flashing lights. As if the interior decorator came from the three-ring circus school of design, and lived in dread that the customer’s eye might find rest and relaxation during the course of “dinner.”

But worst of all were these – well, I don’t exactly what they might be called – but there were these men on stilts – stilts! – prowling about the “restaurant” like Tripods from War of the Worlds. At first I thought their function might be to make balloon animals for the child guests but no, their greatest and grimmest joy was to discover a hapless guest who might be celebrating a birthday, for then this news was bellowed out to the “restaurant” at large in the harsh and angry and menacing voice of a Marine drill instructor, while an accusatory finger was pointed at the mortified “guest.” This was followed by the piercing blast of a police whistle, to no purpose.

Many balloons were blown up and many a balloon popped with a sharp crack. This went on throughout the “evening,” and I was reminded of that scene in Boogie Nights where the central characters go to make a phony drug deal and their victim’s Bennie Boy is continually lighting off firecrackers in the background, driving everyone up the wall. Same exact deal here.

And looming over all, on jumbo football-stadium style monitors, was Mr. Buffet himself, sittin’ on his front porch swing and strummin’ his six-string, one famous music video after another, celebrating the (well, duh!) joy of sticking one’s toes in Caribbean sand and having a good, stiff drink. The dichotomy between this sentiment and what was going on inside his “restaurant” was about as sharp as piping jolly Christmas carols into an execution chamber along with the cyanide.

Food. Well. I had the coconut-fried shrimp, and it was sort of like a super-crunchy and super-sweet Almond Joy with a dab of some meat-like substance at its center. The drinks were at least honest. The Margarita I ordered had plenty of bite, I’ll give it that. But what I really wanted was a Mohito, and the waiter was only too happy to inform me that drinks not on the menu were forbidden. Why, I could only imagine. Perhaps if they made an off-menu drink then Orlando would burst into flames, the men would be bound into slavery, and their wives would be made into whores. That’s the only logical explanation I could come up with.

Good news dept: there was not one single tiki or moai anywhere. And I thank God for that. I really do. I don’t know if I could’ve taken such a desecration with any sort of grace.

I hope I’m not coming across as a snob, but that’s not for me to judge. To tell you the truth, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t like big fancy dinners at big fancy restaurants, however nice they are. For me a memorable dinner is two or three tasty things straight off the grill from a street vendor in Bangkok, consumed at a rickety plastic table while a monsoon rain thunders just outside the stall. That’s what I call tall eatin’.


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[ This Message was edited by: Satan's Sin 2005-11-26 18:10 ]


 
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foamy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 589
From: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posted: 2005-11-26 10:14 pm   Permalink

I dislike the new big chain restaurants. I don't get it. They're always full. Full of mostly obnoxious people. I get the same type of meal out of my grocer's freezer. I just don't put it on a plate and fluff it up. They're killing the unique places. The places where food, service and atmosphere mattered, or didn't, either way... the world is going to hell in a hand-basket.

I was travelling with some friends and we stopped at a Hooters (I had no say in the matter). I went in and was astounded. Hooters marketing must really work. Like your experience, I couldn't hear myself think. A gazillion TVs blasting every different sport you could imagine. Conversation was difficult at best. A lame menu, 90% of which you could find on any of the other chain restaurant menus. Or in your grocer's freezer. What really got me was the crowd. Of course there were the guys, guys you would expect to find there. But wait! There's guys bringing their dates there (which I don't get), there's groups of girls there. To be where the guys are maybe? Senior citizens, husbands and wives. The topper: A family brought their 6 or 7 year old son there for his birthday party and of course, invited all the relatives. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

For a long time, I've wondered... is it just me? I just went X-mas shopping and I'm coming to this sad conclusion: it may very well be.


 
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Tangaroa
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Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1555
Posted: 2005-11-27 08:01 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-11-26 22:14, foamy wrote:
I dislike the new big chain restaurants. I don't get it. They're always full. Full of mostly obnoxious people....








Quote:

On 2005-11-26 22:14, foamy wrote:
the world is going to hell in a hand-basket.



Amen, brother.


Oh yeah - don't forget...

Where is Margaritaville?

Its in your mind, in your heart, and in the music of the islands...
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2124
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2005-11-27 08:43 am   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: Chip and Andy 2009-06-05 17:11 ]


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2005-11-27 09:05 am   Permalink

More bad news...with insurance, the cost of employess, fire-Marshall inspections, Board of Equilibration fees, gas and electric, any advertising you do just to stay afloat...it's going to be a world of HOOTERS and MARGARITAVILLES in the future.

I think the thing that bugs me about it is the lack of spontinaity...like the singing employees at Cold Stone..."This must be fun because they say so"

After horsemeat stir-fry in African kiosks in Paris, Fruit Bat in Timor, or Cuy (Big Rodent) eaten on the roof of a bus driving thru the Andes I don't consider the "Associate" at Chili's asking if I wanna "go wild" and choose the spicy sauce particularly memorable.

On the other hand, I'm a sucker for home made Tacos, and Tamales...they always taste best when a lactating stray dog or chicken is underfoot watching for anything you spill.


 
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Matt Reese
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 1144
From: San Diego
Posted: 2005-11-27 4:11 pm   Permalink

Truly frightening. I actually get scared when I encounter places like this. At least people who I'd rather not run into will have a place to go.

 
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donhonyc
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Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2005-11-27 10:12 pm   Permalink

Don't look now, but Buffett has a 'Margaritaville' channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. Pardon my French but, whatta DOUCHE!!!!!!

I think I'd rather listen to an all Rick Springfield channel before listening to Buffet and his lame tropi-country garbage.


 
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vintagegirl
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 12, 2002
Posts: 542
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2005-11-27 11:38 pm   Permalink

It's seems like more and more restaurants are going for the atmosphere of eating in the middle of a loud nightclub. What ever happened to dinner conversation with low volume music in the background. Now you have to have a dinner yelling match across the table to be heard. I recently went to some Japanese restaurant in Westwood where the lighting was dim and the look was somewhat upscale, but still they had the blaring music. Not that I don't like my music loud once in a while, but I can always go to a nightclub later for that where I can actually dance to it. Not to mention, it's not really conducive to proper digestion. I just won't even go into a restaurant now if that's the atmosphere they have.

 
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Geeky Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 533
From: Las vegas
Posted: 2005-11-28 08:59 am   Permalink

So far, a great thread.

I particularly like the J. Peterman-style self validations when criticizing the other places. "I've eaten gourmet yak pee tea cakes on the Mongol plains..."

For some reason, it reminds me of that blonde robot at the end of Blade Runner kvetching about what it is to be human..."I have eaten meals in places the rest of you can't imagine..."

How about something really scary? How long until NASCAR comes up with a Tiki themed car?

[ This Message was edited by: Geeky Tiki 2005-11-28 08:59 ]


 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2005-11-28 09:20 am   Permalink

Quote:

How long until NASCAR comes up with a Tiki themed car?



I'm sure it won't be long before there are NASCAR cafes, if there aren't already. There is already the ESPN Zone (ESPN cafe) in Times Square. Which reminds me of a little story...

I was in Tuscon, AZ a few years back and went to a Best Buy (because there was nowhere else to go) to get some CDs for my drive up to the Grand Canyon. The cashier asked me for ID and saw that I was from New York. He got all excited and said 'Damn! I wanna go to New York! I always wanted to go to the ESPN Zone!!'

So that's what it comes down to now. When people in other parts of the country think of New York City and all that it potentially has to offer they think of the the ESPN Zone. ....Damn shame

By the way WHY did NASCAR become so popular? Because Dale Earnhardt died. Before that it wasn't nearly as popular. What the hell????


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2951
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2005-11-28 09:39 am   Permalink

you realize that this entire thread could be condensed into 2 or 3 'zippy the pinhead' strips now there's some kveching for you
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Geeky Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 533
From: Las vegas
Posted: 2005-11-28 09:47 am   Permalink

Quote:


By the way WHY did NASCAR become so popular? Because Dale Earnhardt died. Before that it wasn't nearly as popular. What the hell????



I heard that they got the idea after seeing "The Jim Croce" story on TV and then they went out and cut Dale's brake lines.

However, if it were that easy, then Blind Lemon should be riding the crest of a popularity wave.



 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2005-11-28 10:14 am   Permalink

Quote:

I heard that they got the idea after seeing "The Jim Croce" story on TV and then they went out and cut Dale's brake lines.




Wierd...I heard they got the idea after seeing 'The Grace Kelly Story' on TV. Hmm guess you can never rely on those sources..

By the way, I'm confused. When you said 'Blind Lemon' did you mean Blind Melon the band, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Lemon Pie, The Lennon Sisters, or John Lennon?


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2951
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2005-11-28 10:22 am   Permalink

he was probably referring to how blind melon, blind lemon jefferson, blind lemon pie, the lennon sisters, and john lennon all were seen drinking at margaritaville
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Geeky Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 533
From: Las vegas
Posted: 2005-11-28 10:28 am   Permalink

Dang, I was sure I was error free...


Thank you, I meant Blind Melon!


 
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