If You’re Not Tippin’, You’re Trippin’

Reviewed March 10, 11, 16, and 17

I’m 31 years old and, until recently, had never been to a strip club. I’m not a prude or anything, it’s just that platform heels, home-bleached hair and bad boob jobs don’t do it for me. I mean, I can watch shitty porn at home for free and not get in trouble for touching myself, at least not from a big scary guy who might kick my ass out back. So, when the good people at SLUG asked me to check out the menus at a few of the titty bars around town, I was a little less than enthusiastic, but I figured “what the fuck? Tits, ass and a burger or two––how bad could it be?”

The first stop was Trails on 921 South 300 West. It was a Wednesday night and I went down with my wife and a few friends. We grabbed a seat a little back from the stage and asked our waitress for menus and a couple of pitchers of beer.

The menu reminded me of the Carl’s Jr. ad from a couple of years ago with Paris Hilton in a bikini gorging herself on a burger. There were pictures of scantily clad dancers devouring various menu items. There was an assortment of burgers ranging from $6 to $8, the usual bar stuff like chicken strips and hot wings for about $8 and nachos for around $7. They also offer daily specials for $3. I had heard that the Philly cheese steak sandwich was good and was disappointed when we tried to order, that they had nothing but burgers and fries that night. The cheeseburger I had was ok. It was a little soggy with ketchup and a little overdone, but pretty much tasted like the burgers at almost any chain restaurant I’ve ever been to—all char and condiments. After seeing the large sign outside advertising their lunch specials, I decided that next time we’ll try lunch instead.

A few days later, a whole grip of us headed down to The Show Club on 3420 South and State although the entrance is on Main. While I never visited The Million Dollar Saloon that used to occupy the same space, I could tell by lack of grime and wear on the furniture, poles and floor that it had been recently remodeled. We sat ourselves by one of the larger stages and ordered a round of drinks. The menu was substantial and had three price points. The rib eye steak and bone-in ham were $9, nachos and sandwiches were $6, and appetizers and breakfast items were $3. There were also free, yes, totally free, daily specials including breakfast from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., cheeseburgers and fries from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a regularly changing dinner from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. I ordered the bone-in ham, but the place was out of it, so I got the steak instead. I was surprised to find that it was really good. It was cooked medium rare and with a nicely seared crust, but was still tender and moist (unlike the girls). The salad and steamed vegetables that accompanied the meal were a bit on the bland and overly soft side—I like my veggies crisp and fresh. A few people in my group ordered the nachos and the consensus was that they sucked. They were basically just drenched in cheese sauce with some random shit that looked like peppers, tomatoes and onions thrown on top. Another buddy of mine got the grilled ham and cheese sandwich and was disappointed to find out that the cheddar cheese described on the menu was actually just a slice of rubbery American that was not quite melted.

The last place I went was Deuces Wild, a dive bar on 2750 South and 300 West. This place was more like a neighborhood tavern that happened to have a stage with strippers than it was a strip club. If I were a little more grizzled and tough, I would have no problem hanging at this place. There were pool tables and a couple of arcade games and it was actually pretty well lit. The dancers were a little more mature, but they seemed to enjoy the catcalls from the few other guys there at lunchtime on a Tuesday. Everybody seemed to be having a good time. It was St. Patrick’s Day, so I opted for the corned beef and boiled cabbage which was the special for the day. I got a Guinness to go with it. They had a menu that offered daily specials ranging from Friday’s burritos for $4 to Sunday’s ribeye steak, eggs and potatoes breakfast served all day for $6 as well as an assortment of burgers, fried fish and fried snacks, all under $9. The food was edible, but nothing to write home about.

Basically, the food at a strip club is no better than the food at any shit-hole bar and it would probably be best if I just went to drink and drool and maybe eat before I got there. I say that, not just because the food was mediocre across the board, but also because eating anything while seated in front of a girl on a raised platform with nothing but a g-string and pasties on has got to be one of the strangest ways I have ever dined. I had a real problem knowing what to pay attention to––my food or the ass-clapping in front of me.