Tuesday, April 18, 2006

TV can ruin your lunch hour

By Deana Nall
Baytown Sun

Published April 19, 2006

This week, I continued my adventures in Baytown’s new restaurant offerings.

On Thursday, my husband Chad and I checked out the new El Toro on Garth Road.

First of all, this place is enormous. You could invite a couple hundred of your closest friends on a lunch date and they’d have no trouble accommodating you. If you need to go to the restroom, though, you might consider dropping tortilla crumbs on the way so you can find your way back to your table.

Next, the food. Like most Lakewood dwellers, Chad and I know El Toro’s food quite well. I have the phone number and menu for the Bayway location memorized. So, at the new location, I ordered my usual: three tacos. With a fork.

(Other than burgers, I have an aversion to eating food with my hands. I don’t know why. If my therapist ever figures it out, I’ll let you know.)

The food was great as usual. But something put a damper on our dining experience, and it wasn’t what was on our plates. It was something on TV.

Each dining room at the new El Toro has a couple of flat-screen TVs. On this particular day, the TVs were tuned to ESPN.

I wouldn’t normally have a problem with that. However, during the lunch hour on this day, ESPN was broadcasting the World Sumo Championship.

Maybe I’m just not culturally educated, but as far as I can tell, here’s what sumo wrestling is: A couple of guys who look like they’ve been sitting on a couch their whole lives watching... well, ESPN while eating truckloads of Krispy Kremes suddenly decide it might be fun to put on giant diapers and fight each other.

Actually, diapers are a lot more modest than the things those guys wear.

“Just don’t look at it,” said Chad, who, bless his heart, never really gets riled up about anything.

“But it’s like driving past a car accident,” I said. “I just can’t tear my eyes away.”

Besides, all 27 flat-screen TVs in the restaurant were showing this spectacle of almost-naked rotund guys. It was hard to ignore.

The announcer had just introduced an especially rotund Polish wrestler when our server walked up.

“Is this making anyone besides me completely lose their appetite?” I asked her.

She glanced up at the screen.

“That is pretty disgusting,” she said. “I’ll see if they can change it.”

I spent a few minutes cupping my hands around my eyes so I could focus on my tacos instead of Dmitri Zbcdhjrtyk’s jiggling backside.

Then all 27 flat-screen TVs in El Toro switched to hockey, a sport that can get bloody, but at least the participants are fully clothed. Salvation at last!

Other than having to look at scantily clad, overweight men while I was eating, we had a nice time at the new El Toro. The food is up to El Toro standards and you can still get ice cream on the way out the door.

Just check ESPN’s schedule before you go.

Deana Nall lives in Baytown with her family.


  • At Wed Apr 19, 07:40:00 AM, Blogger janjanmom said…

    We really could have done without the pic!! I am gonna see that all day. Way to share your misery!

  • At Wed Apr 19, 09:21:00 AM, Blogger Chad said…

    It's better than a picture from behind. Some say a picture is better than a thousand words. I'm not sure what words I'd use for that picture though.

  • At Wed Apr 19, 11:01:00 AM, Anonymous Terri said…

    Before your page opened, I wondered if I would see pink chicks again, or if you had posted a new post. Boo hiss, it's another great picture for us to wait until you post enough to get it off the screen (like the 50's food); the post was good though!

  • At Wed Apr 19, 06:41:00 PM, Blogger Tracy said…

    Tacos with a fork? And I remember way back when you talked about being a germaphobe. Girl, stop paying the shrink and I will figure this all out for free!

    I think you talking about other stuff in this post, but I'm stuck on trying to imagine eating tacos with a fork. Weirdo.

  • At Wed Apr 19, 08:12:00 PM, Blogger ML said…

    Great. 27 flat screen TVs in the new El Toros will make it pretty hard to position Kim so he DOESN'T see the TV. If Kim has TV in front of him, especially ESPN, I can forget about any real conversation with him. I am then dining alone for all practical purposes.
    Oh well, the Lakewood El Toro's is closer to home and no TV. I don't think I like change.

  • At Thu Apr 20, 11:15:00 AM, Blogger WinniePhew said…

    In the pic did you take note of the skinny referee? Do you really think he could part those two hefty participants should they commit a violation? They would just roll over the little guy. Then the phrase, "flat as a pancake" would have a whole new meaning.

    WinniePhew --

  • At Thu Apr 20, 05:15:00 PM, Blogger Heather said…

    I'm going to have nightmares for weeks because of that picture! I can only imagine how long you'll have them after watching them in action.


Post a Comment

<< Home