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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tom & Jerry's

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About halfway through the South Padre Island Christmas Parade, the teen-ager was chomping at the bit to go eat.  I think it was moving a little too slow for him.  Note to self:  get there earlier - stand closer to the start of the parade instead of the end of the parade :-)

So, I succumbed to his "looks" and said, do you want to leave after the Port Isabel HS band passes by?  YES he nearly yells.  He asked if we could eat at Tom and Jerry's (we were standing slightly north of them) and I said, "well, it's a sports bar...and loud...are you sure?"  He responded yes and so we walked down there and, of course, it was quite empty due to everyone being outside looking at the parade....except for the bar area, of course....several people there watching a game.  So, I told the host we were a party of two...and we were led to a table back by the kitchen...despite the many empty tables by the windows. <sigh>  I will say, they might have been set up for reserved parties.  Later I noticed festive people going to those seats.

The cigarette smell was overwhelming and I really wanted to leave before ordering.  It was so loud, though, I couldn't have discussed it without it being a "top of the lungs" discussion.  I just decided to suck it up.  I need to say I've only been to Tom & Jerry's once before... a couple of years ago.  I got so po'd that I never returned.  The hubby and I went one Fall afternoon - it was nearly empty - the service was slow - I ordered the special of the day, which was the Mexican Plate...and they were "out of salsa" so I had none to put on my taco.  I joked with the waiter that The Blue Marlin was just a couple of doors down, couldn't someone get some since the Mexican Plate WAS the special of the day?  He looked at me like I was a bother and walked away.  I really was so angry with the sucky customer service that I barely nibbled my food and left in a snit.  Never returned.  Wouldn't have this time except the teen had his heart set on going there. <sigh, the things we do...>

Thanks to our outstanding waitress, Emily, I endured the loudness from the bar, the smoke, the Lakers/Bulls basketball game in the background, and sitting at a less than prime table.  A sports bar is just not my idea of fun.  Everyone is different...and I am so past that stage in my life.  We don't even watch sports in our immediate family (well, I watch Longhorn football...but that's it).  We'd rather watch gymnastics or ice skating :-)  Go ahead, laugh it up...that's just the way we are.

Anyway, back to Tom & Jerry's....  Emily was sooo good with the teen.  He tried to order a medium rare "Tom's Big Burger" (he always asks for medium well, so what the heck???) and I said "you mean, medium well, right?"  He gave me "the look" and said "no, medium rare...I want it moist and juicy".  After back and forth about food safety and undercooked ground beef, he got the stubborn look on his face and nearly growled at me...both the waitress and I could see he was not happy about being questioned!  She told him that hamburgers were really better cooked a little more - that it would be better not rare.  He turned on me and started to argue that he wasn't a baby and to stop treating him like one, he wanted it medium rare.  I told him I cared about his health and that wasn't a good idea.  Emily stepped in and told him "I'm 25 and my mom still cares about me and would tell me the same thing - it never ends - she's your mom!".  I don't think he was happy about any of it...a tired teen-ager who hasn't been fed is not the most rational person in the universe.

I ordered a Patty Melt with Swiss cheese and onion rings instead of fries (I knew I would pay for that much onion later, but it just sounded good).  The food came out pretty quickly which was a really good thing considering it was nearly 8:00 and lunch was hours ago.  The teen inhaled his and said it was really good.  I ate a little more slowly...and I had only one very small complaint.  The bottom side of my sandwich was a heel of bread.  I'm not a fan of the heel and I've never been served a heel in a restaurant in my entire life!  Nonetheless, it was an exceptionally tasty patty Melt...perfectly cooked onions, double meat.  So large, I couldn't finish it.  Generous serving of tasty onion rings...also couldn't finish.  It was a good meal.

I probably won't go back to Tom and Jerry's only because of the noise and cigarette smoke.  There are too many places I can go without having to endure that smell.  I think, however, my middle son would like it.  Sports bars are more his thing than mine :-)  Here's a link to the menu.  They seem to have a good variety...and their customer service has certainly improved (and it wasn't just my waitress - I observed good service all around - bar and restaurant areas alike).  There were obviously a lot of locals that night as the parade wound down - big crowd by the time we left...everyone seem to know everyone else.  That has a lot of value to me.  I like going to local "spots" where people are greeting each other (staff and patrons alike) feels very welcoming.  Just can't endure cigarette smoke - previous smokers, we're always the most intolerant :-)

It is hard to rate this using my usual scale...the food was good - so I'd give it a 3 - but I probably wouldn't want to go I can't really say my flip flops would be interested in parking under their table again.  <shrug>  Many thanks to Emily, our waitress...she made the experience so much more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise.  She rocked!

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