|Want a western-themed dining experience? Well, you can read all about the one shared my Daniel, Lizzy and I in today's article!|
I don't do it as often as I'd like, but I LOVE eating out! I love all kinds of restaurants, especially the ones that get their supplies from local, organic farmers. Last Saturday, a new restaurant opened up at Mary's Mall (that's the mall on the property of Animal Adventures Inc. where a lot of the residents like to go shopping). The restaurant is called the Mary's Western Dining Experience. I wanted to check it out, so my trusty, junior photographer, Daniel P. Smithwater, Lizzy the Lizard and I went to go check the place out.
Upon arriving, I was immediately immersed into the western theme of the place. Literally everything in the restaurant is geared toward the wild west of the 1800's (these were the day of cowboys, native Americans, herds of bison stampeding over the prairie and cattle wrangling); everything from the tables, to the cash register, to the menus, to the entrance door, to the kitchen itself. When we entered the establishment, we were greeted by a friendly waiter (who's also the owner of the restaurant chain). He was dressed in an elegant sheriff's outfit, and even had a cowboy hat!
Later, after our meal, I had the opportunity to interview the owner of the restaurant chain, named Sheriff Bob Walker. He has the title of sheriff not only because that's what he's dressed up as in the restaurant, but he's actually a retired police officer! “I wanted to create a unique dinin' experience for the whole family,” says Sheriff Bob. He also explained that he'd always been a lover of the old west. “My great, great granddaddy was a rancher in Arizona with hundreds of cattle on the prairie. He used to go out everyday and keep 'em in line . . . [it was] an exciting time for him. So I decided to take my love of the wild west and restaurants and put 'em together to make something great.”
Sheriff Bob says he had a hard time trying to find recipes that reflected the wild west theme he wanted for his restaurant. “But we finally rounded up enough recipes to hopefully make this restaurant a success.” Take it from me, the food is fantastic! I had a delicious dish of barbequed chicken ribs with a side of cheesy baked beans. Yum! Daniel ended up eating some sort of cheese, corn and tomato taco and Lizzy had large turkey bacon strips with a side of french fries. All the food they get to make the dishes at the restaurant come from Mac Dee Dee's Organic Farms, not too far from Animal Adventures Inc.
The restaurant has other things to offer besides a great theme and a great décor; it's customary in the restaurant to throw your peanut shells on the floor (though a girl sitting next to us did the same with her chicken bones . . . don't ask) and every few hours there's a special performance from Mr. Tumbleweed, a plant with a hilarious personality. “Mr. Tumbleweed is a very unique character,” Sheriff Bob explains. “He's really an animatronic, but the computer software he's built with enables him to randomly select certain phrases or jokes and tell stories. Sometimes the computer is able to mix up certain stories to give them different and funny endings. We spared no expense in this restaurant.” Sheriff Bob also told me about a chicken eating contest. The goal is to eat an entire chicken in and hour and the winner receives a free tee-shirt. But there's a catch: “You have to eat it without your hands!” Sheriff Bob exclaimed. That sounds like a . . . very . . . “interesting” (and somewhat unattractive) event. I'll pass!
The funniest thing that happened while we were at the restaurant was when Lizzy got “arrested” by Sheriff Bob, apparently for using too much ketchup on her fries (it appears there's an unwritten list of rules in the restaurant and if you break one of them the sheriff “locks” you up). Lizzy was placed in the prison (yes, there's actually a prison cell) and Daniel and I got a good laugh. Lizzy wasn't too appreciative, but oh well. The cell wasn't locked so she got out of there pretty quick, fortunately.
All in all, Mary's Western Dining Experience is a great restaurant to go to and enjoy some quality time with your family, that's full of great food, décor, and a talking tumbleweed . . . just don't get arrested when you're there!
Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond
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