Falling Off the Wagon, Into a Big Vat of Warm, Gooey…

Falling Off the Wagon, Into A Big Vat
So then…a tiny window of time pops up during my role as Chauffeur to the World’s Youngest Passengers Who Never Tip, Sometimes Fart, and Always Giggle. I have an hour before my next pickup, so I’m alone, right outside Universal City Walk on a beautiful sunny winter day.

I can either walk around this lovely outdoor complex, burning up some calories – or listen to my rumbly tummy and eat up some calories. The latter, please.

But I want to be health-conscious, so I walk to the left, looking for a nutritious salad place when suddenly what to my wondering eyes should appear? TONY ROMA’S.


Well, protein IS one of the requirements of my new diet healthy lifestyle torture regime.

And ribs are protein.

And it’s right here.

And I’m hungry.

And ribs.

So I ask for a table near the window and vow to keep this simple and healthy.

When the server asks for my order, I say primly, “Baby back ribs, please.”

She asks, “Roma Rack or Full Slab?”

“Oh, just the Roma,” I say. (No need to be a piggy about eating this piggy.)

She jots it down, then asks, “What side would you like?”

“Hmm, what is your vegetable of the day?” I ask, conscientiously.


“Lightly steamed?” I ask hopefully.

Snort. “No, microwaved,” she replies – then laughs and laughs and laughs.

I’m not sure if she’s laughing at the expression on my face when she said “microwaved” – or laughing at the very idea of her establishment “lightly steaming” anything! It is, after all, an unabashed rib joint.

She imbued that snort with the unspoken barb, “Whaddaya think – you’re havin’ tea with the Queen at the Ritz?

Either way, her laughter is infectious and I find myself joining in.

“Fine,” I finally say, using my tone of voice to indicate that “microwaving” the broccoli simply won’t do.

I glance at the menu, then make the only other logical healthy choice, “Bacon Macaroni and Cheese.”

She grins wide, nodding in deference to a truly brilliant side selection.

And now, the ribs and the warm, gooey Bacon Macaroni and Cheese arrive – and let me tell you, it is deeeee-licious.

— Darcy Perdu

P.S. And yes, I do know Tony Roma’s also offers grilled salmon. What’s your point?

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(Have you fallen off the wagon this holiday season yet? What’s YOUR kryptonite? Mine is obviously ribs & bacon mac & cheese – but I also go weak-kneed for warm chocolate baked goods smothered in cool ice cream. So ‘fess up – if you indulge this holiday, what’s your tempting treat?)
Falling Off the Wagon P