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March 16, 2000
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Lunch at Lone Star

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Once upon a mid-day dreary as I pondered weak and weary, I ended up eating a terrible lunch when breakfast was clearly in order. I began describing this sorry state of affairs to you last week as I itemized my short list of weekend breakfast places which are always overflowing with customers and underfeeding me.

On the rainy day in question, I was desperate. My teenage son was doing a fine impersonation of a cranky adolescent and my growling stomach was starting to overrule my finicky taste buds. The situation was becoming so desperate that we resolved to eat in the next place we saw. Unfortunately, that place turned out to be the Lone Star Steakhouse. Steakhouses as a rule tend to be cookie cutter operations. Limited in menu selection and imagination they are a sure fire way for corporate America to bank on your dining-out dollars. No matter how bad they are, the public can't get enough of food that could be made better and cheaper at home. Steaks and potatoes are two recipe-resilient products so all you have to do is throw in a few deep-fried appetizers and a hokey theme and pardner, you have a recipe for success.

The Lone Star is no better or worse than any others, and I even use to love the buckets of peanuts that came with the table for munching and tossing on the floor. Well the peanuts are gone, and so is the quality. If tasteless salads, rubbery chicken fingers, and chili so bland that it could've come from a hospital cafeteria are your bag, then you'll love the pseudo-Texas fare here. Like most mid- and low-range steakhouses, the Lone Star's kitchen philosophy is deep fry it or load it with sodium and they will come. Well, come they do, to a cholesterol-fest that's a waste of time and calories. Food this bad for you should at least taste good, so like Edgar Allen Poe's Raven I must quoth "nevermore" to the Lone Star Steakhouse.

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