August 14, 2012


So last Saturday night Earl and I went on a spontaneous road trip to the former Carousel Center in Syracuse, which earlier this month officially became Destiny USA. With the new branding of the mega mall was the official opening of the massive expansion to the place. Banners and colorful signs proclaim all the new attractions that are now part of Destiny USA: PF Chang’s, an IMAX 3D theatre, a bowling alley, a bunch of other restaurants, all wonderful things. Except most of them haven’t opened yet. Right now, the new part of Destiny USA is a whole bunch of empty storefronts. They are making progress, though, and progress is good.

One restaurant that was open was a Mexican restaurant, Cantina Laredo. This restaurant is known for their guacamole that is made table side. You must simply have that guacamole. After a 90 minute wait, we were seated and answered in the affirmative when asked if we wanted fresh guacamole. Earl actually had to answer the question because the exceedingly perky blonde server spoke in a frequency that was shrill enough to open garage doors on command or make the ears of any dog within a two county radius perk up. I couldn’t hear a damn thing she said so I resorted to reading her lips. She asked what we wanted to drink and whisked away the ingredients for the table side guacamole assembly.

Perky came back with Earl’s unsweetened iced tea and assured me that my Corona would be brought by momentarily. She then took our food order. Earl casually mentioned the table side guacamole as our appetizer and when he stopped talking, I barked out my entree choice.

A few minutes later a person dropped a bowl of tortilla chips on our table with two dishes of salsa. No words were spoken. I had a chip and salsa, Earl did the same. Earl then commented that the salsa was very spicy. I was surprised at this, because I found it bland. Come to find out, the silent one hadn’t mentioned that there were two different kinds of salsa on the table. I always love a good mystery.

The beer still hadn’t arrived when a few moments later our entree came out. Earl informed the runner that we hadn’t gotten our guacamole yet when she decided that she must be at the wrong table. Turns out she wasn’t at the wrong table, she just had our food out of order. Earl sent her back with the food.

The shrill one came by with a Corona Light, and expected me to laugh along with her when I read her lips as she told me that she had given my beer to someone else. She wanted a response, apparently. I just looked at her. Her lips made a laughing motion as she sped off.

The manager then came by and said, and I quote, “Fellas, why don’t we skip the appetizer tonight and we’ll buy you dessert instead.” The runner that wasn’t at the wrong table was still carrying around our food, begging someone to take it. Earl said, “How about we have the guacamole we keep hearing about first?” This was a verbal shooing if I ever heard one. The manager, the runner and our food went to parts unknown.

The shrill one came by and wanted us to laugh about the mix up.

As Earl and I compared the nameless salsas that were still on the table, another person came by with another round of chips just as the guacamole table side service cart came up.

They were out of avocados. She’d be back.

She did hurry back but not before the shrill one asked if we wanted our meals yet. We answered in the negative.

The guacamole was made (and I was doused in the squirtings of a lime in the process, that might be part of the gag) and we both agreed that it was quite good. The shrill one had been in orbit around the table and as soon as the first chip with guacamole was consumed, she asked if we were ready for our dinner. We asked for a few moments to enjoy our guacamole first.

After we were done, the shrill one descended out of orbit and asked if we were ready for our meals. We answered in the affirmative and that’s when the runner, undoubtedly using Asbestos gloves, brought our plates of food. These plates had been sitting under a warming lamp for a really long time.

Earl couldn’t cut his steak. I never question anything that is put in front of me when it comes to food for I learned as a child to eat what I have been given, so I sawed my way through the chicken and had a decent meal. Understandably, Earl sent his back, asking if the plates had been under a warmer. That’s when the shrill one went from shrill to a Bea Arthur like sound and stammered her way through a lie, saying “I’m not sure I don’t work in the kitchen.” On her way back to the kitchen, the manager who likes dessert asked what was wrong. No longer shrill said, “it’s like rubber.”

I took the opportunity to order another Corona because quite frankly Corona Light tastes like piss. I asked for “hi-test not unleaded”. I’m funny like that. She didn’t get it. Neither did I, really, because I wasn’t buzzed from that piss.

Not too long later, the shrill one went back to being perky as she brought Earl a new plate. Five minutes later, as she descended from orbit again, she asked about dessert but we passed. The manager stopped by and gave Earl his meal for free, apologizing along the way, and with that, we had our first meal in one of the new restaurants at Destiny USA.

Next time we’re going to try the fondue place. It should be a hoot.