CM Interview with ex-Black Angus FunBar-tender

by janet on December 2nd, 2007

Because she is sick and tired of slaving over food that her extended family doesn’t appreciate, James’ mommy took everyone to Black Angus for Thanksgiving dinner. I was excited, because (a) I had never been there and (b) I was getting there on one of the last days that our friend Brian (co-founder with James and Mocha of the excellent music video blog Shots Ring Out) was working at that very Black Angus’ Fun Bar.

As Brian is going on to bigger and better things, we took the opportunity to conduct an interview about his experiences at Black Angus.

Brian: [Places pomegranate margarita onto the bar.]

CM: MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMmmmmmm.
Brian: You like it?
CM: MMMMmmmmm.
Brian: Good.
CM: Okay. First, what is the best thing on the menu?
Brian: There are two best things on the menu. There used to be a lot, or maybe I’m just tired of eating them all. Either way, if you go into Black Angus tomorrow, order either the bacon burger or the filet. You can’t go wrong with either of those and by “can’t go wrong,” I mean they can’t really mess it up. Get some asparagus and rice with the filet, or fries with burger (and some bbq on the side). The burger is surprisingly delicious. I know the stigma that the restaurant burger holds.
CM: BACON! MMM! Okay, then, what’s the worst thing on the menu?
Brian: Worst thing on the menu would have to be the salmon. No taste whatsoever. If you have had good salmon before, this will disgust you. If you don’t know what salmon is supposed to taste like, then you might like it. My advice, just stay away and stick with steak.
CM: What’s the best cocktail?
Brian: The drink of choice when I visit a BA is the margarita. Many people don’t realize the deliciousness of the margarita depends not only on the tequila, but the margarita mix as well. The BA actually has a great mix, so as long as you order a decent tequila, you will love it. A little secret is that you can make it a midori or raspberry margarita for no extra charge and you get an extra little shot added to it.
CM: Worst cocktail?
Brian: Worst cocktail by far is the mojito. It taste good because it has your daily intake of sugar, all in one gulp. Also the drink is pretty weak and a pain in the ass to make. The mojito was the trendy drink 3 years ago, but now it’s on the housewives’ radar at the BA and every other restaurant, so beware. If you really want a mojito, go to a mojito bar. Duh!
CM: Or, make it at home with fresh mint. For CM readers who don’t live in Black Angus markets, what major restaurant is Black Angus’ main competitor?
Brian: Probably Outback for a direct rival in the mid-range steakhouse market, but in my views the BA is its own worst enemy. Some of the decision they make are downright ridiculous, plus they flip-flop on every single one.
CM: Like what?
Brian: About two years ago when the company went bankrupt and decided to start making some changes, they decided to quit the coupon business in hopes of salvaging what was left of the old Black Angus image — that image being a classy occasion type restaurant rather than a bring your kids and coupons and eat for (relatively) cheap type restaurant. Well, what do you know, about six months in, when the supposed final date of the coupons came, they decided to extend them another three months. After the three months, they decided to just give in and go back to the full-fledged coupon route. I understand that they had become known for that and it accounted for the majority of their business, but obviously that path was flawed and the proof is in the bankruptcy. The plan already failed once, so why go back to the same song and dance? They had a chance to start over and re-introduce a new image, but that dream was short lived and now the same Black Angus is with us today, on a crash course for failure once again.
CM: Juicy! Any other scandals?
Brian: The only real scandals that go on are all the underage drinking and frivolous hooking-up/sex that occurs. Trust me, the restaurant business is full of alcoholics, drunks, smokers and whores. It’s a great place to work.
CM: …for Britney Spears! BOOSH!
Brian: [Silence.]
CM: …for Lindsay Lohan? BOOSH?
Brian: [Silence.]
CM: Anyway, any last things you want to add?
Brian: Here’s a tip: When you ask your server for you steak cooked somewhere between medium and medium-rare, we will tell you sure thing, but then we laugh at you with our other server friends and then just put it in as medium-rare, because you can always cook it more!
CM: [Shudders] I am so paranoid about servers laughing about me. Sigh.

The meal was fine. The best part was Brian’s cocktail and the sampler plate that we had at the bar.

The fried zucchini came with an extremely cool and pleasing “cucumber dipping sauce.” It was verrrry reminiscent of tzatziki, but if you billed that shit as “tzatziki” the crowd at this restaurant would have run away screaming. And, stuffed potato skins RULE in any occasion. Yum yum.

We didn’t stop there, and ordered this glisteny cheesy bread. Apparently this is Black Angus’ standard.

For the actual sit-downey portion, we all ordered the Thanksgiving Special which came with salad/soup, turkey, and pumpkin pie. Up until last year, the Thanksgiving Special was all-you-can-eat but they discontinued it this year. Brian said that if we put up a fuss we would definitely get a second plate as they were told to be “accommodating” this year in anticipation of the complaints.

Salad: Standard. Should have known it would be overdressed. Stupid me.

The turkey plate was actually great! The turkey was moist, and the dark meat part was pure dark meat goodness with none of the scary gristleyness, fattiness, chewiness, or crunchiness. Stuffing: the perfectly prototypical stuffing. Same with the mashies. The green beans were alright – they were fine going down but gave me grumblies later (I know this because James didn’t eat them and only I got ill). Finally, the cranberry sauce – the best part. The cranberries were (a) whole; (b) tart; (c) plump; (d) delectable. Good times.

Various desserts were awaiting us at home, so the entire party declined pumpkin pie (one relative nearly had a heart attack and stroke at the same time at the notion of declining dessert, but he did it).

Good luck in your new adventures, Brian! To get more of Brian’s wisdom, albeit in a musical vein, visit Shots Ring Out. Be sure to check out James’ brilliance while you are there, too. And Mocha’s (a.k.a. The Los). SRO ad revenue helps pay for CM, so do frequent them, and often. Please? Yay.

Black Angus
This one was in Chino Hills
3968 Grand Ave
Chino, CA 91710

5 Responses to “CM Interview with ex-Black Angus FunBar-tender”

  1. James says:

    The best thing on the BA menu was their roast beef dip that they used to hide on the lunch menu. I still haven’t casually come across one that was better. I was mad at them for only serving it at lunch but ultimately I was fine only going to BA for lunch (less hassle and coupon related waits that way). But of course they eventually took it off the menu completely and with that they erased any chance that I would actually elect to eat at Black Angus. Sure the burger may be surprisingly decent, but if I’m going to go somewhere specifically for a burger it won’t be the Angus as there are too many better options. The roast beef dip was their unique thing that I couldn’t get better somewhere else and they threw it away!

    Also: I miss the commercials with that crazy cowboy with the maniacal laugh.

  2. The Los says:

    1.) I thought I was also a Co-founder of SRO?
    2.) Somehow you got the best looking Cheesy Bread and Sampler I’ve ever seen….that or your camera works miracles!
    3.) I find it hard to believe James or his dad declined dessert! Erronious!!
    4.) Damn, that roast beef dip was the bomb! They had one on the lunch menu regular style, but it never compared to the super secret one of yesteryear. Damn James, when you’re done with your Dream Burger Adventure, a French Dip Adventure might be following…

  3. janet says:

    You say you like roast beef dip but whenever you order it at restaurants you never like it. What is up with that? Perhaps all the ones you’ve had with me pale in comparison to BA’s, so that’s why?

    The Los:
    (1) I had you there at the bottom but somehow neglected to do so at the top. Sorries.
    (2) My camera (Ansel) is pretty great. Again, it’s all about the light.
    (3) Your spelling of “erroneous” is erroneous, fool!
    (4) When will James blog about burgers again…?

  4. […] James’ parents took us to Fleming’s the day after Thanksgiving. No doubt his mom thought she was losing her fabulosity cred what with the whole T-day at Black Angus thing. […]

  5. […] after Thanksgiving. No doubt his mom thought she was losing her fabulosity cred what with the whole T-day at Black Angus […]

Leave a Reply