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(KING 5 News)   Picturesque town of Oak Harbor, Washington is overrun by fast food franchises, including a possible third McDonald's, and yearns for better dining choices. Like... an Olive Garden   (king5.com ) divider line
    More: Amusing, Mcdonald, Dairy Queen, Olive Garden, Burger King  
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1985 clicks; posted to Business » on 15 Jun 2013 at 6:32 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-15 03:02:57 PM  
They sounds like incredibly rotund people.
 
2013-06-15 03:45:14 PM  
I live in a small town. Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu), McDonald's, Arby's, Sonic, and a Chinese restaurant whose owners were exiled from China for MSG poisoning and crimes against cuisine and humanity.  I've gotten really good at cooking.

You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.
 
2013-06-15 04:04:46 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I live in a small town. Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu), McDonald's, Arby's, Sonic, and a Chinese restaurant whose owners were exiled from China for MSG poisoning and crimes against cuisine and humanity.  I've gotten really good at cooking.

You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.


At least you've got Mexican food though.
 
2013-06-15 04:36:08 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I live in a small town. Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu), McDonald's, Arby's, Sonic, and a Chinese restaurant whose owners were exiled from China for MSG poisoning and crimes against cuisine and humanity.  I've gotten really good at cooking.

You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.


I'm curious, are eggs difficult to cook there? I remember reading something about airlines having all sorts of problems cooking them (in cabins pressurized equal to about 8,000 ft)
 
2013-06-15 04:46:58 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.


You must live in Flagstaff.
 
2013-06-15 05:07:29 PM  
I'm so embarrassed.  I like the breadsticks at Olive Garden.
 
2013-06-15 05:22:28 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I live in a small town. Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu), McDonald's, Arby's, Sonic, and a Chinese restaurant whose owners were exiled from China for MSG poisoning and crimes against cuisine and humanity.  I've gotten really good at cooking.

You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.


Before they became wmd, pressure cookers were a handy way to do cheesecake.

/sea-level
//impatient
 
2013-06-15 05:45:32 PM  

MisterTweak: ecmoRandomNumbers: I live in a small town. Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu), McDonald's, Arby's, Sonic, and a Chinese restaurant whose owners were exiled from China for MSG poisoning and crimes against cuisine and humanity.  I've gotten really good at cooking.

You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.

I'm curious, are eggs difficult to cook there? I remember reading something about airlines having all sorts of problems cooking them (in cabins pressurized equal to about 8,000 ft)


Scrambled eggs are great at high altitudes because the air in them makes them super-fluffy. But that's a problem when you add eggs to a cheesecake. You have to mix them without incorporating any air. It's a delicate process. And you HAVE to have a water bath because there's very little humidity.

make me some tea: ecmoRandomNumbers: You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.

You must live in Flagstaff.


Flagstaff is 3 hours away. I'm in the White Mountains in Eastern Arizona.
 
2013-06-15 06:47:06 PM  
I saw this earlier in the week. That guy REALLY likes Olive Garden. Can't say I blame him.I'm not sure that there's a restaurant as good as Olive Garden on the whole damn island.
 
2013-06-15 06:48:40 PM  
Quick, franchise a Panera in Oak Harbor, roll naked in your obscene profits like a Burmese drug lord.
 
2013-06-15 06:52:10 PM  

MFAWG: I saw this earlier in the week. That guy REALLY likes Olive Garden. Can't say I blame him.I'm not sure that there's a restaurant as good as Olive Garden on the whole damn island.


Italian is incredibly cheap and simple to do in an independent restaurant, **if** you have enough space in the kitchen to keep about 50 gallons of water at the boil and 5-10 pounds each of 8 different parboiled pasta types ready to finish.

Given that it's a big Navy town, they should be begging for the Koreans and Vietnamese to open up shop too.

Must be really poor if they can't support a Pho restaurant.
 
2013-06-15 07:00:31 PM  

FrancoFile: Must be really poor white if they can't support a Pho restaurant.

 
2013-06-15 07:11:11 PM  
Oak Harbor supports the Navy population. I guess in their infinite wisdom they thought a Navy town should have a bunch of really bad junk fast food places and along with shiatty box stores and other 3rd world type corps *cough Walmart *cough*.

Oh well. There's always Flyer's. Amirite?
 
2013-06-15 07:48:28 PM  

make me some tea: At least you've got Mexican food though.


Most Mexican-style restaurants in the US suck.  They're about as Mexican as most Chinese-style restaurants are Chinese.  You have to get to an area with a large enough middle-class Latino population to find good authentic Mexican cuisine.  Or hop a plane to Mexico city.  Or cook it yourself.


/Mexico: One Plate at a Time is damn good for DIY food
 
2013-06-15 08:04:22 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu),


What the hell is it with Mexican restaurants and crappy, identical menus?  I had great Mexican in California, but every other place I've been to looks like they order the same bland canned crap from the same supplier.
 
2013-06-15 08:05:58 PM  

Lsherm: ecmoRandomNumbers: Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu),

What the hell is it with Mexican restaurants and crappy, identical menus?  I had great Mexican in California, but every other place I've been to looks like they order the same bland canned crap from the same supplier.


All the restaurants here are New Mexico style Mexican food. Lots of green chile. Some are better than others, but you can only eat so much Mexican food.

/just had a green chile burrito
 
2013-06-15 08:18:14 PM  

Dinjiin: make me some tea: At least you've got Mexican food though.

Most Mexican-style restaurants in the US suck.  They're about as Mexican as most Chinese-style restaurants are Chinese.  You have to get to an area with a large enough middle-class Latino population to find good authentic Mexican cuisine.  Or hop a plane to Mexico city.  Or cook it yourself.


/Mexico: One Plate at a Time is damn good for DIY food


Funny, I am watching Rick Bayless' show right now.

/I do know Mexican food, I've also eaten at Frontera Grill in Chicago, best Mexican ever
 
2013-06-15 08:23:03 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Lsherm: ecmoRandomNumbers: Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu),

What the hell is it with Mexican restaurants and crappy, identical menus?  I had great Mexican in California, but every other place I've been to looks like they order the same bland canned crap from the same supplier.

All the restaurants here are New Mexico style Mexican food. Lots of green chile. Some are better than others, but you can only eat so much Mexican food.

/just had a green chile burrito


NM cuisine is pretty awesome. Roasted hatch chiles FTW. I've got jars of em in the fridge.
 
2013-06-15 08:51:13 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I live in a small town. Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu), McDonald's, Arby's, Sonic, and a Chinese restaurant whose owners were exiled from China for MSG poisoning and crimes against cuisine and humanity.  I've gotten really good at cooking.

You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.


Growing up, the small town I lived in had three Dairy Queens, a Taco Plaza(that became a Taco Bell) and Pizza Inn(where you waited for 30 minutes or more for your pizza). We finally got a McDonald's in '83 or so. Other than that, we had one sit down restaurant on main Street and another place that had the most amazing chicken fried steaks, but it was located 10 or so miles out of town. We did have a walk up fried chicken shack. If you wanted something else, you had to drive to Fort Worth.

My mom still lives out there, now, and the place is overrun with fast food joints. Apparently, everyone decided to move out there to get away from the city.
 
2013-06-15 08:56:07 PM  

Dinjiin: Most Mexican-style chain restaurants in the US suck.


FTFY.

I live in an area with a large Mexican population. I think I could eat tacos de lengua 'til I popped.
 
2013-06-15 09:02:11 PM  

" When asked about the best place to eat in town, most people answer, Applebee's."


Had to double check I wasn't reading an Onion article.

 
2013-06-15 09:11:15 PM  
To be fair to this guy, I don't think I've ever had Olive Garden's soup, they could be good.
 
2013-06-15 09:15:58 PM  

ProdigalSigh: To be fair to this guy, I don't think I've ever had Olive Garden's soup, they could be good.


The minestrone is decent. Really salty, but pretty good for what it is.
 
2013-06-15 09:15:58 PM  

Bucky Katt: I'm so embarrassed.  I like the breadsticks at Olive Garden.


I like the biscuits at Red Lobster, marginally less embarrassing.
 
2013-06-15 09:19:32 PM  

ProdigalSigh: To be fair to this guy, I don't think I've ever had Olive Garden's soup, they could be good.


They do soup pretty well, all in all compared to chains like Applebee's and Chili's their food is not bad.  There is much better Italian out there. I consider them Adequate Italian, your meal is not going to be great, but I've had much worse.
 
2013-06-15 10:01:41 PM  
I've eaten at chain restaurants as often as your average guy, typically while travelling on the interstates. I'm not here to be a snob. But one thing I love about my town is that we eschew fast food and chains, which allows mom-n-pops to thrive. You wake up, run to the corner deli, and a lady genuinely smiles at you and asks what you want. It's only slightly more expensive than Burger King, but infinitely better in quality. We do have fast food, but it's not ubiquitous, at least in the city proper.

At dinnertime you waltz down the street and grab reasonably priced food that's regional, and the money stays in our economy. Is it as cheap as Applebee's? No, but it's only a few bucks more. And that provides jobs to my people in the city, local farmers, etc. Oh, and the food is invariably awesomeX10. Whenever I go to an Outback or whatever I'll eat, pay, and tip happily, but it's always so farking boring.

Right now I can go to a Subway or pay $2 more for a fresh-fried shrimp po-poy on crunchy/soft French bread made by an old black lady who calls me "sugah" even though she knows my name. And she doesn't skimp on ingredients like Subway does, so it probably comes out in the wash. I just hate eating at places where everything is maximized to screw the consumer and tastes like something I can get in Kansas.

When you live in the suburbs, you have minimal choices but to eat from the same signs you see on every other American road. I understand that, and am not insulting anyone who eats there. But if you ever get the chance to move to a "foodie" town, do it.
 
2013-06-15 10:03:09 PM  
They said "like" an Olive Garden.  What would have been a better answer?  "We need something better.  Like a Tony's Italian.  It's this little place I used to go to.  I know you have no frame of reference since there's only one location, but trust me, it's good."

Besides, Olive Garden IS better than McDonalds.  It's still shiatty chain food, but it's about a hundred times better than anything from McDonalds.
 
2013-06-15 10:22:15 PM  

Lsherm: ecmoRandomNumbers: Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu),

What the hell is it with Mexican restaurants and crappy, identical menus?  I had great Mexican in California, but every other place I've been to looks like they order the same bland canned crap from the same supplier.


The problem is that they're all Mexican!
 
2013-06-15 10:40:24 PM  

dickfreckle: I've eaten at chain restaurants as often as your average guy, typically while travelling on the interstates. I'm not here to be a snob. But one thing I love about my town is that we eschew fast food and chains, which allows mom-n-pops to thrive. You wake up, run to the corner deli, and a lady genuinely smiles at you and asks what you want. It's only slightly more expensive than Burger King, but infinitely better in quality. We do have fast food, but it's not ubiquitous, at least in the city proper.

At dinnertime you waltz down the street and grab reasonably priced food that's regional, and the money stays in our economy. Is it as cheap as Applebee's? No, but it's only a few bucks more. And that provides jobs to my people in the city, local farmers, etc. Oh, and the food is invariably awesomeX10. Whenever I go to an Outback or whatever I'll eat, pay, and tip happily, but it's always so farking boring.

Right now I can go to a Subway or pay $2 more for a fresh-fried shrimp po-poy on crunchy/soft French bread made by an old black lady who calls me "sugah" even though she knows my name. And she doesn't skimp on ingredients like Subway does, so it probably comes out in the wash. I just hate eating at places where everything is maximized to screw the consumer and tastes like something I can get in Kansas.

When you live in the suburbs, you have minimal choices but to eat from the same signs you see on every other American road. I understand that, and am not insulting anyone who eats there. But if you ever get the chance to move to a "foodie" town, do it.


Nice.

We do have plenty of fast food and chain stuff in NYC, but the mom & pops dominate here. Love it.
 
2013-06-15 11:36:15 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I live in a small town. Our only choices are 5 Mexican restaurants (all with the same menu), McDonald's, Arby's, Sonic, and a Chinese restaurant whose owners were exiled from China for MSG poisoning and crimes against cuisine and humanity.  I've gotten really good at cooking.

You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.


Strangely enough, living in NYC, I'm jealous of your Arby's.
 
2013-06-15 11:43:21 PM  
Actually the really picturesque part of Oak Harbor is outside town.

Otherwise, gotta say it's kind of a shiathole. Wouldn't wanted to have grown up there, and yeah eventually we're going to have to deal with the noise and the pollution of the Base, and decide whether it's still a necessary asset. I totally went there.
 
2013-06-15 11:47:25 PM  

make me some tea: Nice.

We do have plenty of fast food and chain stuff in NYC, but the mom & pops dominate here. Love it.

I particularly love the idea that the stuff on my plate came from somewhere within 75 miles.That driver got paid, as did the people who caught, cultivated, or packaged it for fresh consumption. It's not Applebee's where some 'chef' gets everything from Sysco or another commissary. I'm not saying chain line cooks can't do it, but the quality of the ingredients just isn't there.

But it also extends to the little things. Soda, for example. The local brand is Big Shot, which I buy wherever available. We mostly do Rouse's or Breaux Mart around here. By the way, both of those local chains buy local and pass it to us. Of course I buy national brands, but that profit remains either in my city or my state (assuming they pay taxes, but that's for another thread).
 
2013-06-15 11:56:23 PM  

make me some tea: ecmoRandomNumbers: You wouldn't believe how much trial and error it took to learn to keep cheesecake from cracking at 7,200 feet elevation.

You must live in Flagstaff.


Flagstaff has some decent food.
 
2013-06-15 11:59:17 PM  
Yes, but how are they fixed for Starbucks and or Tim Hortons?
 
2013-06-16 12:00:57 AM  

Dinjiin: make me some tea: At least you've got Mexican food though.

Most Mexican-style restaurants in the US suck.  They're about as Mexican as most Chinese-style restaurants are Chinese.  You have to get to an area with a large enough middle-class Latino population to find good authentic Mexican cuisine.  Or hop a plane to Mexico city.  Or cook it yourself.


Wait...so poor Mexicans don't make good authentic Mexican cuisine?
I beg to differ.

Not to mention that you apparently think "Latino" and "Mexican" are interchangeable.

Gabacho.
 
2013-06-16 12:02:13 AM  

make me some tea: NM cuisine is pretty awesome. Roasted hatch chiles FTW. I've got jars of em in the fridge.


The one downside to living in Houston

NO green chilies except when HEB imports them

Though I have found a restaurant that serves New Mexican food, instead of tex mex, now I need to find a good Mexican restaurant by my office
 
2013-06-16 12:02:29 AM  

loonatic112358: Yes, but how are they fixed for Starbucks and or Tim Hortons?


No Tim Hortons, too many Starbucks
 
2013-06-16 12:05:29 AM  

Krieghund: Wait...so poor Mexicans don't make good authentic Mexican cuisine?I beg to differ.


I've eaten mexican food in kansas, it does happen

for some reason once you get away from states that border Mexico, the Mexican food will suck
 
2013-06-16 12:06:06 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: loonatic112358: Yes, but how are they fixed for Starbucks and or Tim Hortons?

No Tim Hortons, too many Starbucks


damn, even detroit could get a tim hortons up there
 
2013-06-16 12:11:08 AM  

loonatic112358: The one downside to living in Houston


No offense, but...the one? I've been there, man.
 
2013-06-16 12:13:04 AM  

dickfreckle: No offense, but...the one? I've been there, man.


Ok, the second is our shiatty public transportation, and the third is rick perry the governor, 4th is the radio stations, and 5th the fact I can't get a good kebab by my house
 
2013-06-16 12:14:06 AM  

Dinjiin: make me some tea: At least you've got Mexican food though.

Most Mexican-style restaurants in the US suck.  They're about as Mexican as most Chinese-style restaurants are Chinese.  You have to get to an area with a large enough middle-class Latino population to find good authentic Mexican cuisine.  Or hop a plane to Mexico city.  Or cook it yourself.


/Mexico: One Plate at a Time is damn good for DIY food


I've had authentic Mexican food (both in Mexico and occasionally in the US), but I love the "Mexican-style" restaurants that are so common in the US.  A lot of them are just okay and a few really suck, but there are quite a few that I would call good or even great.  I don't care that they're not authentic.

I'm not sure I've ever had authentic Chinese food and I'm not sure I'd want to either, but I do like what they call Chinese food in the US as well.

/have seen that show you mentioned.   It's interesting, even though I usually don't try replicating anything I see in the kitchen.
 
2013-06-16 12:25:54 AM  

gfid: Dinjiin: make me some tea: At least you've got Mexican food though.

Most Mexican-style restaurants in the US suck.  They're about as Mexican as most Chinese-style restaurants are Chinese.  You have to get to an area with a large enough middle-class Latino population to find good authentic Mexican cuisine.  Or hop a plane to Mexico city.  Or cook it yourself.


/Mexico: One Plate at a Time is damn good for DIY food

I've had authentic Mexican food (both in Mexico and occasionally in the US), but I love the "Mexican-style" restaurants that are so common in the US.  A lot of them are just okay and a few really suck, but there are quite a few that I would call good or even great.  I don't care that they're not authentic.

I'm not sure I've ever had authentic Chinese food and I'm not sure I'd want to either, but I do like what they call Chinese food in the US as well.

/have seen that show you mentioned.   It's interesting, even though I usually don't try replicating anything I see in the kitchen.


Having never been to China, but having been to a few Chinatowns, authentic Chinese is a whole different thing. The noodle soups are amazing.
 
2013-06-16 01:05:04 AM  

loonatic112358: dickfreckle: No offense, but...the one? I've been there, man.

Ok, the second is our shiatty public transportation, and the third is rick perry the governor, 4th is the radio stations, and 5th the fact I can't get a good kebab by my house


Rick Perry could be 6th, 7th,8th, and 9th also.
 
2013-06-16 01:25:07 AM  
I love how this thread has turned into a discussion of Mexican food thousands of miles away.

Still, this is a fine place to enjoy said cuisine on the Island, miles away from Oak Harbor, no less. Give it a visit:


s.www.whidbeylocal.com
 
2013-06-16 01:59:24 AM  
I feel for them. I had dinner in one of the nicer restaurants around here and had the most unremarkable meal. I say that but it was remarkably mediocre. I haven't had a green chili cheeseburger in quite some time but the copious green chilies had hardly any flavor. I also had some fried risotto balls that were barely fried at all and the risotto was fairly bland. The sauce was basically store-bought marinara sauce with some added "Cajun" spice. I didn't even bother with it. I'd rather give my money to the local Skeet's where they have outstanding ribeyes for less than $20. Skeet's is better than many high-end steakhouses that I've been to and 1/4 the price.
 
2013-06-16 02:15:46 AM  

Krieghund: Wait...so poor Mexicans don't make good authentic Mexican cuisine?


Poor Hispanic areas around here suffer the same problem as poor Caucasian areas elsewhere - too much generic fast food.


Krieghund: Not to mention that you apparently think "Latino" and "Mexican" are interchangeable.


I don't.  But I do think that they often live in the same areas in the US (unless you're talking about areas with huge populations, like Miami and L.A.), and it requires a certain population level before you start to see Guatemalan and Argentinian restaurants spring up.


Krieghund: Gabacho


Piss off, wanker.
 
2013-06-16 02:45:32 AM  
It could only be worse in Detroit, so there's always that.
 
2013-06-16 03:34:36 AM  
Oak Harbor isn't a "picturesque" town.   It is the town that is supported by Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, and is as a result just like most towns supported by a military base.   It's set up with cheap hotels, cheap food, and cheap beer so off duty sailors have something to do, and somewhere to live.
 
2013-06-16 06:47:29 AM  

Kevin72: It could only be worse in Detroit, so there's always that.


You'd actually be wrong, believe it or not.

There used to be more, and better, places to eat in Detroit, but there are still some good eats there. Sadly a lot of the really iconic places have run down, or closed in the last couple of decades. I remember going to Carl's Chop House back in the 80's and it was still quite good. I went back in 2006 and it wasn't terrible, but you could definitely tell it was going down hill, then it up and closed (presumably for good) in 2008. The sad thing is that this was at one point a relatively famous steak house, not just in the city, but nationally. This is what's happened to it now: http://www.detroityes.com/mb/showthread.php?6605-Carl-s-Chop-House

That being said, they still have The Lark out in West Bloomfield, legitimately one of the best restaurants in the nation.
 
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