Brandon Jones, how do I love thee, let me count the ways...
I dedicate this post to my boy Jonesey. I've come to realize that it's the simple pleasures in this life that are the ones worth savoring. I've been kickin' it south of the Equator down here in Oz for about three years now. Down here in the land of the BBQ sausage and the meat pie, it is a rare occasion that I'll be able to enjoy a fine chili dog, or a platter of buffalo wings douched in ranch dressing. So, when I discovered that there was a Tony Roma's restaurant here in Sydney, I knew that I needed to pay them a visit.
Australia's big brother (bully) across the drink has exported several things to this laid back, sun baked country; but the Tony Roma's in Sydney certainly ranks up there with Coca-Cola, So You Think You Can Dance, and the Hooters restaurant in Parramatta. As we took our seats in the rustic, warm atmosphere of the BBQ mecca of Sydney, the sight of Australians voraciously gnawing BBQ'd pork flesh directly from the bone brought me back to a much simpler time. I was transported back to Provo, Utah as a young, impressionable, rather rotund BYU student accompanying my roommate, Brandon Jones, to our first of many sessions of "All-You-Can-Eat" night at the Tony Roma's in Provo.
Sitting at my table in Sydney, I deftly motored through my regular slab of St. Louis ribs slathered in 'Blue Ridge Smoky' sauce. I recalled being in Provo, with my mouth full of succulent meat and asking the waitress for another rack of St. Louis ribs, but this time covered in 'Red Hots' sauce. Jonesey, my brother in arms, the only other member of my "All-You-Can-Eat" Army also orders another rack of ribs. We have our orders timed perfectly so that just as we finish our first rack of ribs, our second rack arrives. The second rack is placed on the table next to our uneaten bowls of cole slaw, and untouched bread rolls; for these items are just filler and can only distract us from our purpose of eating an entire farm's worth of pork ribs.
Back in Sydney I have now finished my rack of ribs, I have licked the bones, and sucked the sauce off of my fingers. But a trip to Tony Roma's is not complete until I have gone to the bathroom and expunged the remnants of BBQ sauce from my fingernails. Upon entering the bathroom I notice that each of the faucets have BBQ sauce fingerprints liberally applied. It seems several men have also come to the Tony Roma's bathroom to clean the goodness from their hands. We are all one in our appreciation of BBQ artistry.
So this post if for you, Brandon Jones. It was as simpler time, a purer time. We were babes in the woods. Serenaded by Eddie Vedder we would cruise from "All-You-Can-Eat" ribs at Roma's to the Buffalo Sampler platter at Hooters. If these could not satiate our cravings we only needed look to Beto's for a quesadilla dripping with furniture staining grease, all washed down with an ice cold Jamaica.
Brandon Jones, you're the Clinty-est bastard I've ever known. God bless you. And God bless America.