It's not made of cement...those are rocket barriers. Bon appetit.
As I noted in the DFAC Primer, I had never eaten at the Monti DFAC prior to starting this blog. You know from a previous post that I used to have a very poor opinion (now changed) about the Independence Hall DFAC and the Monti was rumoured to be identical. Loyal servant to my readers and insufferable whinger to my team of gourmands that I am, I dragged M2, J and T to the Monti tonight . M1 had recommended a change to the shift schedule today so was at work…I suspect it was to avoid participating in my blog investigations.
Both Monti and Independence Hall only post their menus in the entrance way so if you forget to look at them on the way in, as I am wont to do, you have to wander around to look at the various steam lines to see what you want. While doing so, I noticed that T had some tacos. I love tacos. I asked if they were in the middle, referring to the short order bar which is in the middle of the service area. He answered “yes” but by middle, he meant the steamline between the two main course lines. I went to the short order bar, unfortunately saw some fried chicken there that looked good and got a piece. But no sign of tacos. I found T again and he pointed out the taco location…right below the sign that reads “Feel like Pasta tonight”? Now, I had seen that sign and answered a resounding “no” to its inquiry (yes, just in my head) so hadn’t thought to seek tacos there. I feel so stupid. I realize my explanation of the Monti’s layout may have been a tad confusing so I’ve produced a reasonable, hand-drawn facsimile of the events described:
Looking for tacos in all the wrong places...
Another vital component of the Monti's green initiative. The bins we dump all our paper plates, plastic utensils and leftover food in.
An interesting feature of the Monti is its evident responsible environmental stewardship in reusing the chairs from a grade 3 class. Anyone who has ever been to a parent/teacher interview knows what I’m talking about. While being green is admirable, the chairs really don’t work too well when you put them at the big people tables. It’s awkward to eat with a knife and fork when the table top is at your chin. It does, however, allow one to eat tacos without having to use one’s hands.
Now, to the food…
The fried chicken captured the essence of KFC in all its greasiness but lacked the je ne sais quoi that allows one to eat up to 1 1/2 pieces of KFC without feeling sullied.
My cherry pie was “store-boughten” good. You can see that I have yet to figure out the intricacies of using a pie-server.
Presentation is not my forte.
J found the tacos to be KAF-awesome whereas I could only rate them as KAF-good. The meat and shells were fine but the melted cheese-like substance was a little off-putting. It had all the fakeness one expects in that nacho topping you get at bowling alleys and movie theatres but lacked the delicious chemical zing I’ve come to expect. And, the sign above it said “cheese” but it should have said “CheezTM”.
J also tried the turkey which turned out to be breaded, fried turkey roll. At least it made my chicken look almost greasless. J gave it a rating of “disgusting”. T was quite intrigued by the colour of the lettuce which was all either white or yellow. Oddly, it tasted ok. I’m not sure if I should be concerned about this.
M2's "pretty good" Sweet and Sour Pork.
Both T and M2 were happy with their meals. M2 pronounced the sweet and sour pork to be “pretty good”. I assume
T liked his tacos but all he kept going on about was the colour of the lettuce. Yeah, we get it…it’s yellow and white. Yes, we know, it should be green.
"What exactly, then, is the ice for?" mused M2
The fountain drink choices were Orange Tang and Mango Tang. I wondered aloud “who knew they still made that stuff” to which J snarkily replied “What the hell do you think the astronauts drink?” Ok, jeez, I just figured they had maybe upgraded the drink selection since the Apollo program. If you’re a Tang oficionado (and apparent space program groupie) like J, the Monti is, perhaps, the place for you…but not if you enjoy your Tang on the rocks.
Overall, the Monti was adequate but, based on an admittedly small sample of one visit, if I’m looking for American fare in KAF, I’d choose the Niagara or Independence Hall first. The Monti probably deserves another chance sometime in the future but it’ll take me some heavy duty whinging to get my motley group of reluctant food critics to agree to a return visit.