Monday, May 11, 2009

Chuck-A-Rama: Tribute.

I have not been to Chuck-A-Rama, commonly referred to as "Up" Chuck-A-Rama, or "Puke Your Guts Out" A-Rama, for at least three years and my bowels thank me. Chuck-A-Rama is a Utah tradition, an establishment so to speak. When the pioneers crossed the plains, their dream included a place where they could settle peacefully and practice their religion. Their secondary dream was to establish a place in which they could gather and gorge themselves with mediocre (at best) chicken wings and giant, soggy french fries. Thank goodness, Brother Chuck A. Rama made it through across the treacherous plains with his oxen. He may have lost a toe or two in the bitter cold, but his legacy has endured.

During my visits to the Chuck Wagon, I have come to realize that there are four different types of people that eat there: Rednecks, Polynesians, Redneck Polynesians and people that have been dragged there by Rednecks, Polynesians or Redneck Polynesians. Most of my visits of the Crusty Crabcakes have come because my extended family members are in a white trash sort of mood.

I've never been to Samoa or Tonga, but I imagine there must be a Chuck Town on every corner there. I bet they just build them into the back of their Mormon churches and that is why they like to go there so much on Sundays.

The thing about the Chuck Fest that I find very irritating is that the owners have a strong belief that food is best served under ultra hot heat lamps. In fact, it seems that they believe that the longer the food is under the heat lamps, the tastier it must get. I am of the personal belief that the only good thing that ever comes from heat lamps are baby chicks. And even then, when the adorable chicks hatch from their sharpened shell, they are flabbergasted to find that their mother is actually really hot - and even though their mother is smoking hot, the babes soon learn that she is no chick.

The heat lamps at The Chuck are turned up so high, I am fairly sure that if science allowed it, you would find a hole in the ozone above the building the exact size of every one. I hate wandering around, trying to find the least shriveled up food item to plop on my plate. The worst are the rubber band hamburger patties. Who are these people that spend all that money to eat at Chuck-E-Vomits and they waste their tummy space on a dried, crusted hamburger patty that has been sitting under the egg hatchery for over an hour?

Rama-Of-Chuck is one of the few places that I will actually load up on the salad. Of course, their salad is fresh from the garden. I know this because there are ice chips surrounding the lettuce. Anything that has ice chips around something HAS to be just picked at the farm hours ago. If not, why even bother surrounding it with ice? That would be such a waste of ice! Think of all the African orphans you could feed with that ice! I also know the salad is fresh because when the salad guy dumps new salad in the bowl, the bag it is in is clearly has only been used once.

When I am going through a salad bar at any place, I am always surprised to see the chocolate pudding and gummy bears at the end of the line. I find myself thinking, "Ah, perfect, some Ranch Dressing (not fat free of course - why would I want to ruin a perfectly good salad?), some croutons, bacon bits, and what's this? Chocolate pudding? Gummy Bears? Who exactly is eating at this joint? Oprah? Kristie Alley? Susan Boyle?"

I don't know what is more disgusting, the thought of gummy bears on a salad or topping it with those red, slimy, syrupy beets that clearly came straight from the can. I do, however, always grab one of the miniature corn on the cobs so I can reenact that scene from Big. One of these days, I will need to wear a white tux when I go there.

Kids love Vomitville. Where else can they mix 30 different kinds of soda, hot chocolate and icees?
"What is that black drink you're drinking, junior?"
"Oh, it's my own special concoction. I call it "SpriDewsi Beer... It's delicious!"

I think that over the years I have had at least two, maybe three siblings vomit in the restroom of a Chuckville, Utah resort. On several occasions, I have been there with friends that have also had to visit the porcelain goddess of chunks. Food that utterly distasteful and dried up should never be consumed in such mass quantities. In fact, so often have people thrown up at the Chuckwagon, I believe they should install a specially designed vomiting bidet in every restroom. This bidet would be specifically designed so that you may throw up into it, relax for a second and then have it squirt your mouth out with fresh water. Actually, now that I think of it, it wouldn't need to be specially designed at all! A regular bidet would work just fine!

There is one item that does stand out amongst all items at the Chumbawomba. One item so intensely pure, so immensely delicious, that it almost, almost, ALMOST makes your trip there worth it. I am sure that you, my buffet loving readers, know exactly of which I speak. I am talking, of course, about the much beloved, much ballyhooed, fantastically delicious SCONE!!!

The Chuckle Huckle has the best scones in the world. Not only are the scones delectable, but they allow you to top it off with a couple scoops of toothsome, dripping, honey butter. I was once invited to a bachelor party at the Stonechuck. (I have some very strange friends) I promised myself that in order to keep myself from getting sick, I would only eat scones the entire night. And that's exactly what I did. I must have eaten fifteen scones that dreadful night. I ate so many scones, I went and sat down in the corner, rolled around like a dying seacow that had been washed ashore and moaned loudly "Too many scones! TOO MANY SCONES!" (I also might have done this to get a few laughs, but that is beside the point) I had the eyes of every Polynesian man, woman and child in the place on me.

I have not visited the Chuck-A-Rama for many years now. It seems that my relatives have de-white-trashed themselves, all of my friends are now married and my Polynesian mafia contacts refuse to take me out. Nevertheless, I am sure that I will one day again set foot in the quintessential, gruesome gorgefest, Zion buffet. And when I do, Brother Chuck A. Rama will look down from the great buffet in the sky and cry. The tear will fall through the gaping hole in the ozone and spread a golden layer of love on the rooftop. It will be a beautiful moment.


Kerianne said...

One of my children barfed up bright green slurpee at the old Up Chuck A Rama, not once, but twice. I wished they would have had the bidet. We have not been back.

Tammy said...

Next time you visit C-A-R you should try the one in Draper. It seems to be filled with young families like yours :)

I like C-A-R but maybe that's because the only thing I eat there is the salad and the wheat rolls. My kids love the jell-o. And it's the closest thing Mike gets to a "home-cooked" meal.

CaraDee said...

My Dad is one of their most loyal customers. He has some "issues" with routine, so he would go there EVERY Friday night. We would say, let's go somewhere that we can choose what we eat and it actually tastes good, but he can never break routine.
On a side note, the last time we were there (for a family Christmas party...can you say DUMB IDEA.), Cameron wasn't feeling too good, and we made a mad dash to the bathroom, which was across the dining room, wiht a ziplock bag and made it just in time for some puke. I will say it wasn't from the food, but still. I could just picture him puking his guts out in the dining room. We were hauling.
I got a sampling of different foods, only to leave it on the plate and try another, and another. Everything is disgusting!!

And Brandon almost ONLY eats scones when we have been with his grandparents.

Charis said...

I have only been to chuck-a-rama once. . . though I do miss the endless supply of jello at hometown buffet. . which I would assume is very similar to chuck-a-rama

Lori said...

In our family, we refer to this place as "Chuck-A-Grandma", thanks to Ryan. That's how he pronounces it, and we've never bothered to correct him because it's so silly!

What is NOT so silly is having your child get that "I'm going to be sick" look on their face, grabbing them from their seat, and then getting up-chucked on half way to the exit. Again, NOT so silly.

sacdaddy said...

I agree with Tammy. The Draper facility is top notch. Join us next Friday night.

Cheeseboy said...

Wow everyone, I am amazed at how many people have actually puked at Chuck-A-Rama! That should have been my poll.

Kerianne- thank you for subbing for me the last couple days. Very cool. When I open a real buffet, I will definitely install the bidet.

Tammy, I apologize. I realized after I wrote this that I totally ripped Chuck-A-Rama to shreds. I should have been more kind to those that may actually like the place. I do stand by what I say though - everything is 100% truth.

Cara - Your story about your first date was touching. I agree with you. I take one bite of a bunch of stuff and they all end up grossing me out - so I just leave it on my plate. I feel so guilty when the "waitress" comes to get the plates and I have a full plateful.

Charis - you must really love jello! And you have only been there once! You are not a true Utahn.

Lori - ha ha... Chuck-A-Grandma. funny because his grandma is who used to take me there the most.

Steve - you have to be kidding. Please tell me your kidding!

Clark Yospe said...

e have never seen so many comments. Chuck-A-Rama must something everyone feels strong about. I personally know the family that owns them and they told me that Pres. Monson use to take Sister Monson there every Sunday for dinner. So it is not all bad. One thing I will always remember about this place came from Frank Layden. When he was speaking to a group of Japanese people who had toured the great places of the United States he asked them "what had impressed them most?" They had been to New York, San Francisco, the National Parks of Utah and many other places. Their answer? What impressed them most about this country?...."Chuck-A-Rama. How can they offer so much food for such a cheap price?" Enough said. By the way Abe you should be careful. Big Budda reads this blog. Your Dad Clark

Cheeseboy said...

Hmm, interesting comments Dad. Are you saying it is okay to go to Chuck-A-Rama on a Sunday?

As far as Big Budda is concerned, I'm sure that he does not read my blog. Even if he does, I am in no way making fun of Polynesians. I am simply telling the truth. I have many Polynesian friends and all of them will admit that they love Chuck-A-Rama. In fact, my I asked my Polynesian aide where she would like a gift card too and the first thing out of her mouth was, "Chuck-A-Rama". AND have you ever eaten at the buffet at the Polynesian Cultural Center?!? It is like a giant Chuck-A-Rama! I am only saying the truth.

Lindsey V said...

Re-enact the scene from Big - HA! I love it.

I have also thrown up at the old Chuck-a-Rama before - it was during my teenage years. I was actually with the Payne family. (All of Mike's family) I wish I could say that I have never been back there but, just like you, my parents and my in-laws love the place for big family gatherings.

Tammy said...

I want to know if it's okay to go out to dinner on Sundays too!

And Lindsey, if you read this, I'm not surprised you went with Mike's family because they still love that place!

Here's a sort of sad thing. I go there with my friend who is bulimic. It's her favorite place.

Kristina P. said...

Hilarious. I was waiting for the scone to be the shining star. Honestly, they are better than the ones Grandma makes. Don't tell Grandma.

Oh, and I have actually eaten Thanksgiving dinner there. I had never had so many things to be grateful for. Like that I wasn't the one who was accused of trying to sneak in my entire family for free, and then cause a scene when confronted.

I will have to check out the rest of your blog.

And for the record, I do accept heathens on my blog too. :)