Behind the Yellow Door- A Western Romance
A Novel by Gary Tayles
If you ask any foodie for an opinion (which they are willing to give) , I think they would compare a Charles Khabouth restaurant empire to a romance novel. Romance novels are pretty on the outside, using bare-chested, robe wearing, chiseled men with flowing manes who embrace buxom babes with their eyes closed and mouths open. The interior, however, often lacks substance, with predictable themes of forbidden love and turgidity. The Khabouth empire, on the other hand, have beautiful decors, characterized by trendy themes, hardwood accents and big, well-stocked bars. Yet, in the opinion of some, the menu is often overpriced and lacks taste and substance.
Chapter 1- I Must Have Her
I opened up the large door and entered the saloon called Weslodge. Smiling damsels greeted my group and we were sat beneath the watchful eye of a stuffed ptarmigan. The holster wearing waitstaff were rag proper; with coifs and pressed shirts who asked me to choose my lotion. There were 4 or 5 pints of purge available on tap but I opted for an orange spiced old-fashioned. The bourbon was nicely complemented by strong bitters which flirted with my eager tongue.
Of the number of tantalizing smalls offered on the bill of fare, the scallops were anything but tiny. I was seduced by the ample cleavage which was accented with iberico crumbs and placed atop tender, firm lentils. They were tender and had a taste as fine as cream gravy.
As I did at Patria, Weslodge’s equally attractive sister (I musn’t tell her to avoid the family drama), I gambled and opted for shishito peppers; each was breaded and salted delicately. This dish was flirtatious in that one out of every 10-15 are extra hot. It took only two to find the spicy vixen I was seeking.
My search for a sweet piece of calico succeeded in the form of a sticky pudding. She was traditional, with a simple beauty and a presentation that was highly desirable.
Chapter 2- Maybe Baby
I liked her buns…they looked nice beside my pickle. The burger itself was decent (I would call it average among the many burgers in the area) and a few more of the delicious fries (to go with the tomatillo ketchup) would have been nice.
The chickpea panelle is one of the only truly vegetarian items on the menu (many things are sprinkled with chorizo or iberico). This bella donna is a sexy side with the mouth feel of a voluptuous set of lips.
The dessert menu is elusive, so I inserted a pistareen to get a look at the Weslodge peepshow. Two sisters emerged; one was a prim and proper chocolate toffee bar donning gold (well..gold leaf). The other was a bit more a hot mess, speckled with meringue pieces (I really don’t get this trend), strawberries and sweet biscuits and cream. I can’t remember the exact name of these two lasses (I didn’t write them down in my black book), which is ok because what happens at Weslodge stays at Weslodge. In the end, after the sticky pudding, I felt a bit adulterous consuming these sweeties anyway.
Chapter 3– Ugly as a Mud Fence
The Squash taters tots arrived as cold as an unpaid wag-tail. They were sent back and the second batch arrived only slightly warmer. Regardless, they wouldn’t have been that good even at the right temperature.
The arctic char was a bit flimsy, underseasoned and wasn’t exactly charred. I had to look up Henry Moore (to ensure he was not some sort of jilted lover who would come back carrying a peacemaker and a frown). It turned out it’s a South Carolina plantation which grows rice and other grains. Whew! The grits were tasty and creamy but a bit mismatched with the oils and the char itself. The $26 price tag was steep. Honestly, I would have liked to see the grits without the char on the sides menu for a more reasonable price.
In the previous western romance, a group of schrunchers enters the yellow doors of Weslodge looking for sheconnery. The decor, from the large central bar to the quincy, is adorned with trinkets and taxidermy that would appease Ernest Hemingway. The bar is without any sheephearder’s delight and instead offers high end and often house made firewater. The service had fits and starts, but the holstered staff were welcoming and the flow of food was reasonably steady.
Weslodge possesses a definite culinary sexuality which relies on attractive decor combined with delicate feminine dishes and desserts coupled with the masculinity of 3o+ ounce chucks of bone-in meat to feed testosterone-driven cravings. Charles Khabouth may in fact be the equivalent of Fabio in the restaurant world. Nobody will admit they like him but his popularity remains unquestionable. I would be remiss if I said that Weslodge had the substance of a Harlequin romance (or let’s say 50 shades for those who have no idea what I’m talking about) but it does have a few things that left me a bit mitten.