Tasteless Friends

Let me forewarn you of this near epic fail.

The shopping trip started out okay. Beach towels and soda was procured at RI Job Lot. We didn’t buy a kayak paddle at Banana’s. We found freezer packs and jelly fish nets at Wally.

Our next stop was Wareham Crossing for lunch and a “shop by”. A friend of mine had purchased a flat penny in San Fran for me, and PBJ stopped at Borders to see if they had UK motorbike mags.

Then we stopped at the new Friendly’s Express for lunch. The “Express” is how Friendly’s thinks the company is going to make a financial turn-around. They might want to turn-around and think again.

It might as well be a cafeteria filled with vending machines. Actually, the vending machines would be better.

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First step is to order from the limited menu. I picked the chicken sandwich with fries. I asked the girl for honey mustard sauce instead of mayo. PBJ ordered some complicated named burger with cheddar cheese and fries. We both upgraded our soda to include a Happy Endings sundae.

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We were given a number tag, a coupon for our next visit, and our plastic cups. At the counter with the soda dispenser you can also pick up bottles of ketchup, yellow mustard, relish, individually wrapped plastic utensils, and napkins.

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After picking out a table, we put our number tag in the stand that was weighed down by the salt & pepper shaker. And then we waited.

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Over ten minutes later our food arrived. On first glance PBJ immediately picked out that his burger had the wrong cheese. He had yellow American, like Kraft or something, not the cheddar he asked for. We checked the receipt and sure enough, it said cheddar, no American.

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I feared the worse and checked my chicken sandwich. First I noticed my chicken was nearly broken in two pieces. I peeked under the chicken and found… mayo! We checked the slip again. The girl had not put my honey mustard in the order.

I took out the way too think red onion slices, the tomatoes that looked shipped in from a foreign country (red all the way through and not juicy), and the sad piece of romaine lettuce. I kept the chicken and bun, with the unappreciated mayo, together as my sandwich. PBJ took all but one piece of my onion.

I took a bite. There was no flavor. There was no moisture. My chicken was bland, dry, broken, and no amount of mayo in the world was going to save it. I didn’t even eat half.

I asked PBJ about his burger. To me it appeared fresh out of the freezer, complete with those little flower petal edges. He said the burger had no taste and wasn’t even warm (never mind hot) enough to melt the inappropriate American cheese.

While we ate one of the bazillion staff members with nothing to do (there were about 20 staff, with at least 6 sitting at tables at any point in time) asked the couple next to us how their food was. She totally flitted by us like she had somewhere important to go. She didn’t, stopping at the front door to stand and stare across the dining room in some dazed state.

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When someone finally did ask us how things were, I didn’t tell him. It’s not like he was the cook, or had any quality control authority. He was just a guy in a red shirt with an ear phone attached to his head (like all the other staff members). I asked him to bring out the ice creams. He turned our number tag sideways and scurried off. I knew that if the “express” Friendly’s was anything like a regular Friendly’s, we had time.

At this point PBJ inhaled his fries. I told him he didn’t have to. He said that it was the only good part of the meal.

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Eventually our Happy Endings (as in I was happy lunch was almost over!) sundaes were brought to the table. PBJ had ordered strawberry ice cream with hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. I had ordered plain vanilla, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry.

My sundae had one scoop of vanilla ice cream. PBJ’s sundae (also a Happy Ending) had two scoops of strawberry. Overall my sundae had more whipped cream then ice cream. At least the cherry was a whole maraschino.

If I had a star rating system (which I don’t), I would give it 1 1/2 out of 4 stars.

  • “Express” no faster then regular
  • the most expensive part of the meal had no flavor
  • thank goodness the fountain sodas were unlimited refills
  • value would have been good if the food had flavor, ice cream portion consistency complete crap shoot
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In the Happy End, I had a huge portion of take-home left overs which Mr Diezel completely enjoyed. Though I should point out that even he didn’t eat the giant slice of red onion.

Fortunately our shopping trip did end on a high note. At LL Bean Outlet I scored a kayak paddle for exactly what I was willing to spend (not the double Banana’s was asking), and swim bottoms on virtual clearance (only $6.95) that match the swim shirt I picked up a few weeks ago.

Now all I have to do is find a swim top…

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