Florida in the Storm

And so to Florida for work, lovingly known as the California of the East, specifically Orlando. And hopefully not again for sometime. Orlando is as charmless as your mum’s boyfriend and 8% more joyless than wartime Warsaw. Orlando is what happens when you have excess of land and no imagination. Mile after mile of chain hotels and franchise restaurants all hosting visitors to Disney and Universal Studios and the many other generic attractions which are cheaper and more depressing. The dining is especially depressing. Discounting the ubiquitous Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendys, KFC and Taco Bell, there is a blinding array of venues offering the fast-track to early onset colon cancer: PopeyesIhopTGI FridaysChuckECheeseRed RobinTilted KiltApplebeesTony RomasOlive GardenDenny’sSenior FrogsPF ChangsPanda ExpressChilis etc all with ample parking and serving their processed, reclaimed, non-free-range, genetically-modified, high fructose corn syrup loaded, vitamin-free, deep-fried, battered brown or yellow offerings by heart-breakingly impoverished immigrants who presumably pad out their meagre diets with the tasteless pabulum that are legally allowed to claim is food, if not necessarily nourishment. A conspiracy of negligence is being perpetrated on an all-too-compliant American people. If ISIS truly wish to bring the great Satan to its knees then they should focus on opening up more Arby’s. There is an irresistible pressure to franchise success and when a corporation answers to share-holders and not customers this is what happens. I know I sound like a Brooklynite hipster, but I shall be committing suicide later today by going to TGI Fridays in recompense.

Still, my honkingly big steak at Charley’s (http://www.charleyssteakhouse.com/) was delightful. Charley’s is no Ruth’s Chris, but the steak was ginormous and served with an exquisite Williamette Valley Pinor Noir called Etude.

I was able to stop off in Miami, an altogether more tolerable dining landscape, on the return leg and was favoured with a night out in Wynwood and Brickell, supper being at the Wynwood Kitchen and Bar which offered excellent fusion tapas. The Hamachi Cerviche, Vaca Frita and Tuna tartare were highlights though I somehow managed to drop a dollop of piquillo puree on my crotch leaving a kidney-bean coloured stain which only came out with some pretty persistent rubbing with baby wipes. They invited me never to return again and you can’t say fairer than that.

FLORIDA!

Charley? What hell of a kind of way is that to spell Charlie?

Charley? What hell of a kind of way is that to spell Charlie?

I love a display cabinet of meat. Once I have a display cabinet in the living room I'm going to throw out all the porcelain and family photos and just present steaks to my many visitors and well wishers.

I love a display cabinet of meat. Once I have a display cabinet in the living room I’m going to throw out all the porcelain and family photos and just present steaks to my many visitors and well wishers.

Our waiter Don presents the steaks on offer. It's kind of like on of those Nevada brothels where the prostitutes line up and you take your pick. Don't make me choose! I'll have them all!

Our waiter Don presents the steaks on offer. It’s kind of like on of those Nevada brothels where the prostitutes line up and you take your pick. Don’t make me choose! I’ll have them all!

The steak. The cork is there for perspective. It's jolly big is my point.

The steak. The cork is there for perspective. It’s jolly big is my point.

A bit blurry, but they make claims that few other restaurants in Orlando can.

A bit blurry, but they make claims that few other restaurants in Orlando can.

I had the Kansas City Strip. I wonder if Don will ever call me back.

I had the Kansas City Strip. I wonder if Don will ever call me back.

How's them for some VIP side orders?

How’s them for some VIP side orders?

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