Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mom, Dad, George and Louis = Great!

Dateline:  March 2011, Albuquerque, New Mexico  along Route 66:
Place:      Monte Carlo Steakhouse and Liquors

As the strong afternoon New Mexico sun shines on the side door of  The Monte Carlo, I go inside to find a kitschy bar/kitchen/dining room of 1960's Las Vegas complete with deep red leatherette half round booths with  dark wood.  As I look around I notice all sorts of interesting collectibles ranging from two old soda machines, a gas station pump and numerous beer advertising memorabilia which I haven't even seen in flea markets.
I was presented with a menu and quickly ordered the rib-eye with dinner salad, baked potato and garlic bread.
After my order was placed, I see some guy walking around schmoozing with the customers.  I waved him over, he sat down and we talked food as I ate my dinner.
That guy turned out to be George Katsaros.  George and his brother Louis, own this "world renowned" restaurant, thanks to Guy Fieri of the Food Network.  George and Louis are the sons of Greek immigrants.  Being Greek, it is in their blood to be in the restaurant business.  How they did not land in New Jersey, the Greek owned diner capital of the world is unknown.
After dinner, I was given a tour of the liquor store, a gold mine of a business and a gold mine of antiques;
toy trucks, limited edition and rare liquor and soda bottles.
Not only is the food here a feast for the mouth and stomach, it is also a feast for the eyes.
I told George I would make mention of the ATM in the dining room, but I decided against it.  Instead, this is one of the soda machines on display.

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