This week has been lots of fun. Why? My cousins came back from a Sydney holiday and it was catch up time. If you put three of us in a room how can you not have fun, we truly are the life of the party. It was decided that we should catch up over ribs and chicken wings at one of our favourite haunts…Tony Romas. Whenever I miss the USA it’s great to have Tony Romas nearby for a taste of the American south. Another awesome place for ribs is Hippo Creek which has a South African twist. When I am in Sydney I can’t go past Hurricanes for its delicious ribs and where you get to wear bibs. It’s like they know me because five minutes into eating fiery chicken wings at Tony Romas the Hurricanes’ bibs would have been handy. It was my rookie mistake for wearing a white t-shirt to a ribs place. My cousins are the Tony Romas experts, they are VIP customers and arrive to a free mocktail everytime. Yes a mocktail, we are children at heart and why ruin a perfectly delicious berry drink with alcohol. The sugar high is enough for us. Warning Tony is a busy man especially Friday and Saturday nights so even though I was hanging with the VIP rollers (my cousins) we still had to wait thirty minutes for a table. The experts already knew what to order so as soon as we sat down the waitress had our order down without us looking at the menus:
-FIRE WINGS: Jumbo wings in Tony Roma’s famous spicy BBQ sauce.
-GRILLED CHICKEN & FIRE-ROASTED VEGETABLE SALAD: A savory mix of grilled chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, red peppers and chives blended with chopped greens. Served with tomato pesto vinaigrette dressing and toasted cheddar flatbread.
-THE ORIGINAL BABY BACK RIBS: Tender, lean pork loin meat, basted with Tony Roma’s Original BBQ sauce.
The complimentary warm bread with herb butter was gone within seconds of being put down on the table. This does take me back to the USA because most places give you complimentary bread…think of places like Applebees, Outback Jack (to go with the Australia theme they give you damper) and all those chain-style restaurants (there are too many to name). In the small college town I lived in back in 2008, Bloomington had pretty much all the chain restaurants despite having a population of less than 80,000. Names like Cheeseburger Paradise, Steak ‘n’ Shake, Buffalo Wild Wings were few of many chains in B-town. A big shout to my friend Elise who introduced me to the world of Bdubs (Buffalo Wild Wings) and I still can’t get over the side of celery and ranch…so American. The fiery chicken wings at Tony Romas remind me of that day I first met Bdubs, it was also the same day I drove in the USA for the first time. Don’t worry I was in the right lane. The fiery chicken wings at Tony Romas aren’t too hot to handle but still pack in heaps of flavour. I enjoyed it so much I saved some on my white t-shirt for later. The warm chicken salad had that Tex/Mex touch with cheesy tortilla bread and I enjoyed the tangy dressing with the roasted vegetables. It wasn’t amazing but it added a healthy touch to this saucy meal. The smoky ribs never fail to be messy and as such I had my lipstick smeared over my face like a moustache. Another rookie error on my behalf, bright lipstick and ribs do not make a fashion statement. Thank goodness for the wet wipes because I really needed to clean myself up after eating like a caveman. For the final American touch to this meal and please don’t judge us but we do love our 30 cent cones from McDonalds. Ok yes I can see you reading this shaking your head. Just know that a 30 cent cone tastes so much better than a 50 cent cone and don’t get me started on the math for how much you can save. So we went to our trusty McDonalds drive through and for the first time the 30 cent cone failed us. I know why, I went crazy and ordered the 50 cent flake so my cone was now 80 cents. This defeats the purpose and joy of a 30 cent cone. The cones we received were tragic and not generous in serving at all. The creaminess we were used to was replaced with icy bits and in two bites it was gone. I think our 30 cent cone phase is officially over, we finally learnt our lesson. So in a nutshell if you feel like visiting the USA but chickened out on buying $700 return tickets from Perth to Hawaii like I did then head over to Tony Romas for some delicious southern cooking.
THE FOOD JOURNEY