Feeling Poor on Park Avenue

I’ve never been a Ringside kind of gal. IMG_2392Even before I started this group, I’d been eating out quite freely since my teenage years, certainly more than average, but for one reason or other, the Ringside never drew me in (maybe it’s the name, somehow sitting next to an elevated platform where two guys are beating the daylights out of each other, with spit flying, just doesn’t sound overly appetizing to me.) We all know I love my beef though, so it’s hard to figure out. I’ve never been a fan of those sporty guy or corporate sort of places, so maybe that’s the issue. We did go to “nicer” restaurants though, so why the Ringside never came into the mix is a bit surprising, maybe it’s because we BBQed steak at home quite often, so wanted something different when we ate out.

I was only at the Original Ringside (of course now we have the totally revamped Original Ringside) once in fact, right around the turn of the 21st Century. Wow, that was a miserable experience (not due to the cooking or decor at the Ringside that evening, although those upscale prices did not help.) The guy whom I had been hanging around with forever, had a father who was having some big birthday (65th, 70th?) and as this was a nouveau rich kind of family, Dad’s favorite eatery was that Old Boy’s Paradise, the Ringside. It was decided that almost the entire family would come, all four sons and their spouses and me, the arm accessory of the middle brother. Although I balked at having to pay for a Ringside dinner, as this whole family and I always seemed like we were from different galaxies, I was assured that if I went my meal would be paid for, as the birthday boy was going to be paying for everyone’s meal, via the family matriarch. Of course lots of expensive grub was ordered, with starters, and big honkin’ steaks. When the bill came, third brother is line decided that it was tasteless to have daddy pay for the birthday extravaganza (duh) and that everyone would have to split up the bill, including payment for mom and dad. It’s funny how when it came time to pay the bill, all of these brothers, who had been talking about virtually nothing the entire evening but stocks and expensive houses and cars, had no money on them and few credit cards (but plenty of rancor towards one another.) Plus, the brothers with the families that had eaten the most food wanted to pay the smallest part of the bill, or have mommy pay for everyone. Anyway, as you might guess from this quaint little story, innocents like me were the people caught in the crossfire and ended up emptying their wallet when the check came. It’s true, I was paid back for a portion of what I put out, but the entire evening was so idiotic, it hardly gave me reason to ever want to return to the Ringside.Over the last couple of years I had read many comments online, alluding to the fact that the Ringside was starting to show its age, that it was way behind the times, was full or tattered decor, and ofter smelled of mildew. Also, many comments were made that the steaks were only about the fourth best in town. The other thing I always remembered about my evening at the Ringside, besides the three ring family circus I was dining with, was how dark, dank, and old fashioned the ringside seemed. It was like crawling inside a pair of old flannel pajamas for a nice dinner, not you wearing pajamas, but the restaurant trapped inside some old fragrant jammies. (more…)