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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trader Vic

I had taken several bartending courses and read several bartending books. One of the books I read was published by the World Famous Trader Vic’s. According to the book Trader Vic’s demanded the highest quality in all their drinks and in all meals served.  So, when Suzanne and I went to Kansas City Missouri to a Western Auto convention I was thrilled to learn that nearby the hotel we were staying at was a Trader Vic’s

It was early in 1987. We just had been hit by the second of two very big snow storms. The likes of which were very rare in Upstate South Carolina. I remember well the day before the first of the two storms hit. The town police came to the Western Auto Store and ordered studded snow tires. We called a small tire manufacturer known as “Tread Systems” and they told us the tires would be ready the following morning.
When I went to the Waffle King in Iva to eat breakfast is was looking a lot like snow would soon be falling. Not long after I started eating the snow came down hard. So, I paid my check and went and opened the store.

In the back room we had two stacks of snow sleds. Years before a man had asked my father if he could order a sled for his grandchildren who lived up North. My father noticed that Western Auto sold two types of sleds so he ordered one of each. My father, who was no expert in inventory control, did not notice that there was an order multiple of three for one of the sleds and of 12 for the other sled. So, if you ordered one you got three and on the other when you ordered one you got 12. Through the years we had continued to reduce the prices on these sleds and had finally just put them in the back room to be forgotten. I went to the store room got the sleds, dusted them off and changed the price back to the original price and was sold out of sleds before the official opening time for the store.

Once my father arrived I left the store to go to Tread Systems in Anderson to pick up the studded snow tires. I was not fortunate enough to have the luxury of studded snow tires.
A few weeks later we were hit with another snow. Just after that snow storm we were scheduled to leave to go to Kansas City. A new storm was predicted so Suzanne and I left Iva and stayed at a hotel near the airport so that we would be able to drive to the airport and leave on time.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Crown Plaza (in Kansas City). This hotel was owned by the company that owns Hallmark Cards. Years previously it had made the news just after it opened when a skywalk it had fell and killed many people.

The Trader Vic’s was within walking distance of our hotel and so we decided that we would eat a great meal at Trader Vic’s. We went and we ordered two steaks. Suzanne always orders her steaks well done. I order mine medium. When they arrived my steak appeared to be very rare and Suzanne’s appeared to be raw. I sent the steaks back to the kitchen with the directions to cook them until they thought they were burnt and then cook them some more. The steaks came back looking more raw than they were to start with.
The mixed drinks were no better. A mixed drink is not supposed to taste like you are drinking the alcohol directly out of the bottle. There should just be a hint of alcohol flavor. These drinks were terrible. The total bill came to over $60 and we left hungry.

It appears that the more expensive the restaurant is the worse the food tastes and the less you get to eat. Give me a good old Dud’s burger every day. I am a simple man.
While at this Western Auto Show we purchased a Point of Sale computer system for the store.

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