Monday, December 19, 2011

Birthday Restaurant Battle: Monte Alban vs. Joe's Crab Shack

This okapi just celebrated a birthday and okapis goddamn LOVE birthday week.  Maybe it's because the birthday is so close to x-mas and I historically tended to get screwed on presents (which my mom still says is untrue, and when it comes to her giving me presents she is right).  Or, maybe it's because okapis like being the center of attention.  Who knows? But, the important thing is that Fancy (who gives exactly zero shits about her own birthday) plays along with my childlike birthday excitement.  This year I got to have two birthday dinners: one on my birthday with family and friends at Monte Alban, and one the day after with more family and Ewok, because she is like family and also enjoys delicious food two days in a row.  And so the battle of awesome birthday celebrations began!  

I go to Monte Alban (Irondequoit) every year because their birthday celebration is the best I've seen.  This okapi loves it when the staff comes over singing, clapping, and giving me free dessert.  At Monte Alban they do these things, but also put a (real, and damn heavy) sombrero on my head and place whipped cream from the complimentary fried ice cream on my nose.  Last year they also put it on my cheeks, but this year they spoon fed me my first bite of ice cream after only putting some on my nose.  Hey, I'll take either one, because they are both goddamn AWESOME ways to celebrate my birthday!  I ended up giving the fried ice cream to my dad because I really wanted the Xango: cheesecake filling inside a flour tortilla deep fried and served with ice cream (pictured at the top of this post).  And you know what?  They made mine into a smiley face because Monte Alban rocks at making okapis feel special on their birthdays!

And then the next day we went to Joe's Crab Shack.  As you may recall, I gave it 4 stars back in September mainly because of the atmosphere.  So, when I got an email for a free birthday appetizer, I thought it would be amazing.  Unfortunately, it was anything but.  They no longer scream "I've got crabs!!" when they come out of the kitchen or open your steampot for you saying: "Get ready for your face shot!!"  They now "warn" people two minutes before the music comes on for the waitstaff to start dancing.  This takes away the flash mob vibe and leaves the whole thing a little empty and sad.  The waitress asked if we wanted any desserts and when we said "no," she said "just the singing, huh?"  I thought that this was odd.  It was even worse when they showed up with maracas and little hats for us to wear.  Mexican themed?  Oh, goddamn it.  There is no way they can beat Monte Alban.  So it was that they had us (there were two birthdays at our table) stand up and shake the maracas while they sang.  They didn't give us dessert.  Not a sundae or a shot of pudding or even a goddamn crab shaped cookie.  Nothing.  

Now, I know some of you are saying "But, they gave you a free appetizer!" and you're right.  However, Red Robin gives a free birthday burger WITH endless fries (which I am totally getting this week) and still gives a free ice cream when they sing Happy Birthday.  Just saying.  Joe's Crab Shack let me way down, and Monte Alban is the clear winner.  Also, now you know where to take a poor unsuspecting friend or loved one for the maximum in birthday excitement!  For birthday celebrations Monte Alban gets 5 stars.

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