Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina, drawn with a fine point Sharpie marker, a chisel tip Sharpie marker and a white Prismacolor Premier pencil.
Since I started publishing Cobalt City, I’ve had problems building a buffer of drawings and now my allergies are making my lack of planning a glaring problem.
I do not draw well when I am sick. I make mistakes and get frustrated easily.
I am working on a comic. Here is the text for it:
When Cafe Rio moved to Utah Valley years ago, I went with a group of female co-workers. I had a bad experience. A few years later, I went to Cafe Rio, again. Again, with female co-workers and again, I had a bad experience. During the drive back to work, I complained and one of my lunch partners suggested there was no way I would get it as a man.
Since understanding Cafe Rio is beyond my male ken, I never returned, getting my Mexican food fix from Rancheritos, Mi Rancheritos and Costa Vida. Cafe Rio, however, came up after watching a Fox News clip about restaurants marketed to women. My question: Is Cafe Rio designed for women, where I can’t get it because of Culinary Gender Identity?
Here are my notes:
- Five minute wait in the line corral (better than the one hour & 45-minute waits from before).
- The menu board is wonderfully simple.
- The order taker never looked at me, asking for my order with “next.”
- The expose kitchen is clean and sparkly.
- All the kitchen employees looked grumpy (except the laughing dishpit guys).
- The uniforms (yuck!) were simple t-shirts and ball caps (yay!).
- All the free-range tables and chairs were brightly painted and appointed.
- The no-name pop music was too loud for conversation.
Of course, when I eat-out, the focus is the food. I ordered the Tuesday special, Coconut Shrimp Tacos. I’ve had Coconut Shrimp at Outback Steakhouse and Red Lobster and always like it. The problem with Cafe Rio’s Coconut Shrimp is the absence of shrimp. I couldn’t find any. None. Maybe the shrimp were pureed into the Coconut batter. Doesn’t matter. I couldn’t find any. No shrimp in the Coconut Shrimp Tacos.
How does Provo’s Cafe Rio (2250 North University Pkwy, Provo, UT 84604 — (801) 375-5133) compare to a Denny’s? Cafe Rio is decorated better. The plain-jane stained concrete floor is very clean. The indifferent customer service is about the same. Maybe worse. The music is louder than Denny’s. The food is better, but only barely and is only better because it is fresh.
Coconut Shrimp Food Grades:
- Tortilla — C (flavorful, but burned)
- Meat — D (flavorful, but no shrimp to be found)
- Toppings — A (fresh, crisp and clean)
- Rice side — C- (boring and mushy)
- Black beans — D (flavorless and overcooked)
- Dessert cup — F (burned and I couldn’t identify the fruit by flavor or appearance)
- Coke Zero — B
- Overall — C- and Denny’s +1
So, what makes this a woman’s restaurant? The lack of big-screen TVs. The colorful decor. The very fresh taco toppings. The cleanliness. The lack of male diners in a full house (there was only one other dude–a cop–chaperoned by his wife). However, I don’t think women like indifferent customer service, burned food or long waits. Who knows? I’m a dude.
Is the restaurant:
- good for kids — no (none present)
- good for a business lunch — no (too loud)
- good for a date — yes (but eat something before you go)
- cheap — yes
- clean — yes
- open late — no (until 10pm M-Th, 11 F-Sa & 9 Su)
Wednesday was stressful. It happens. Drawing cartoons has that banjo-playing ant’s sensibilities (and why I deliver pizza) and I was stressing out. The truck broke. The Kinkos guys were being a bunch of tool-biscuits. I had a headache. I was hungry. So, I needed to stress eat. It happens.
Burger Supreme is the answer (map). When I have money and I have a need for beef, Burger Supreme is where I go. Burger Supreme is set up like every other fast food burger bar, except the food is better. Here are a few notes:
- The servers are safely behind the counter.
- The menu is unpretentious, but I don’t ever read it.
- The booths are tightly bolted to the floor, but there are more than enough free-range tables and chairs.
- The big-screen sound is turned off.
- There are plenty of napkins at the table.
- The light is moderate and not McDonalds glaring.
- The floor is clean.
The most important thing though is the Pastrami Burger. Oh, hell yes! As far as I’m concerned, this is the best Pastrami Burger in Utah Valley and why I always choose a booth in case I float away in a euphoric burger high.
The Denny’s across the road can not compare. Burger Supreme has character and I have known many of the employees since I went to BYU in the early 90s. Burger Supreme is still a fast food place, but is a better eat than most other restaurants in Utah Valley.
Burger Supreme is located at 1796 North University Parkway, Provo, Utah 84604, reachable at (801) 373-5713.
- Pastrami Burger — A+ (best burger in Utah Valley)
- Gyro — B (best in Utah Valley, but not the best possible)
- House Fries — C (industry standard)
- Fry Sauce — A (also the best in Utah Valley)
- Coke Zero — B
- Overall — 3.5 Denny’s.
Is the restaurant:
- good for kids — yes (there were many families present)
- good for a business lunch — no (not pretentious enough)
- good for a date — yes (but only if she likes a good burger)
- cheap — sure (but who cares in this case)
- clean — yes (industry standard)
- open late — yes (10a-10:30p M-Th & ‘til 11p F-Sa, closed Sunday)
This is the final comic of chapter one. Monday, of course, will see the beginning of chapter two, The Running Man. I am of course very excited. On my old blog, Our Process, I have posted hundreds of political cartoons and portraits and a few very popular house plans, but I have failed at what has been a goal for four years now, a long running webcomic.
I am quite tired, because to get this done, I’ve had to have many sleepless nights. The nice thing is the art is slowly improving and I am seeing how I can improve my story. I’ve also discovered I do have the internal fortitude to draw on the same subject for three months straight.
For those of you who have been reading for a long time, thank you so much. I am so glad you have been hanging in there as I get it together.
I passed another benchmark: 2000 visitors. I am very happy about this. Now this stat comes from WordPress. I am a little suspicious of the stat because both FaceBook and BlueHost say I have more visitors. Since this webcomic passed the 1000 benchmark, BlueHost reported I had 1,745 unique visitors. I don’t understand the disparity, but I’m not too worried. A conservative estimate is not too bad at all.