What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Elephant Bar Restaurant

My hometown - not the city where I receive my mail or my parents pay property tax, but the town where I attend college - used to boast a Lyon's Restaurant. I use the past tense because the decrepit building that housed the senior's diner beneath its 60s era architecture was given the demolition ball a few months ago. Before the destruction, the Lyon's building had a rusty [Ralph Nader] orange exterior that looked like it would be more at home on a shag carpet than on the outside of a dining establishment. Soon the citrus relic was replaced with wood frame that shouted "what will I be?" for several months.

My hometown has been inundated with a spate of new eateries of late as food businesses try to fatten the otherwise health conscious populous. Restaurants of all varieties have opened their automatic doors and extended the greasy hand of hospitality to diners, a gesture that reflected poorly on my town in Forbe's recent evaluation. Even restaurants that serve trans fat have started doing business which, in an odd sort of way, makes me happy.

The fate of the Lyon's lot was recently revealed as the new owners opened up for business. Decrepit Lyon's was replaced with Elephant Bar Restaurant - An Exceptional Dining AdventureTM. Exceptional is the keyword, as the greasy-spoon experience was also a dining adventure.

The restaurant serves American and Far Eastern food, where, surprisingly, the only elephants are in zoos.

While in theory there's no connection between the name Elephant Bar (An Exceptional Dining AdventureTM) its menu choices, one need not look farther than the portions to comprehend the descriptive nature of the title. The company's website even advertises "elephant sized eats"- a accurate description proven not only by the plate sizes, but by the many heavy customers. Only the dedicated are fed, as the restaurant does not take reservations (much like African watering holes) and the reward for waiting is a salad bar that encourages grazing.

When I entered EBR, I was greeted by a buffalo head, a lion and, of course, an elephant. I asked the waitress, a lady with a few faded 30 year-old tattoos, for a picture with the monkey. I was ignored (I hate it when characters block!) and promptly escorted to my seat where I was handed a large menu, filled with all sorts of scrumptious Asian and American delicacies. Being a true patriot and red-blooded American I ignored a delicious passing Chinese chicken salad and went for the Elephant Burger, a delicacy designed to serve up USA-sized myocardial infarction.

Fifteen minutes later the waitress returned with my drink order, and asked if I was ready to order my meal. Unfortunately, my sarcasm genes kicked in (my buck passing ability was also inherited, in case you were wondering) and I said no. Faster than I can laugh at my own joke, she was gone, and I was once again left alone with my menu.

10 minutes later when she returned, I simply answered, "Elephant Burger, medium-well, on white, no pickles or onions, and light on the fat, please."

30 minutes later when my burger arrived, I finally knew the reason I had chosen this establishment. It wasn't the creepy tattoo lady, or the menu, or the awesome monkey - it was for the "elephant." The elephant of aburger. I could do nothing to fight my heart's desire to eat it, to sink my off-white daggers into its tenderness and explore its juicy flavor. I didn't notice that they had added both onions and pickles or that they seemed to have given me some extra complimentary adipose. That didn't matter anymore; not when you've waited 45 minutes for your food.

I do vaguely remember that the burger was a little pinker than normal, a fact that manifested itself in flu like symptoms the next day. Bother.

All-in-all, I would give EBR a good review. Despite the fact that all the elephants were (big) belly-up to the bar instead of on the menu and my Sprite tasted more like Sierra Mist, I would definitely visit again.


anonymous tech said...


But anyway.... maybe I won't actually go there.

You should do a review on In-N-Out that might be an interesting post seen through you ppls crazy minds.

AMRunner said...

anon tech:

FCN did review In-N-Out here:


Ame said...

I really think the lyons should have been turned into a library. The roof looked like someone had put an open book down.