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  • Taco Tuesday…is it really from 1989? Or 1949?

    Posted on March 20th, 2018 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    biggest taco ADOn a random thought, and today being Tuesday, I decided to Google the origin of “Taco Tuesday”. I assumed I’d find a few dozen guesses on social media and question/answer sites, with things like “Taco Tuesday was invented by my friend Phil one Tuesday night when we were drunk and went to Taco Bell”.

    Surprisingly, I found out that “Taco Tuesday” is actually a registered trademark, owned by the chain Taco John’s. They came up with it in the 80s, supposedly, and trademarked it in 1989.

    But this doesn’t ring true to me. I remember “Taco Tuesday” being “a thing” when I was a kid…in the 70s and 80s, in South Jersey. So I did a little more digging. What did I find? That in 1979, 10 years earlier, a restaurant in bar in Somers Point, NJ (near Atlantic City, and a place I’d been to more than a few times) trademarked “Taco Tuesday”. Yep. Taco John’s didn’t make it up after all.

    But let’s think about this for a minute…if Gregory’s actually trademarked the term in 1979, wouldn’t that probably mean they’d been using it for a while? I mean, they opened in 1946. And you don’t just come up with a promo like that and say, “Hey! This is going to catch on…I’m spending the dough to trademark it right now” the minute you come up with it…especially when I know for a fact they didn’t enforce that trademark too hard in the 80s, as Taco Tuesday was everywhere.Gregory's Bar in Somers Point, NJ

    My thinking is that in the history of Tacos and Tuesdays and bars, it seems unlikely that those two, wonderfully alliterate words would not have been put together until 1979. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that some form of Taco Tuesday was being enjoyed as far back as the 1950s…maybe even earlier.

    Why not? They had tacos in the 30s. They had Tuesdays in the 30s. And they had tequila in the 30s. Pretty much all you need, right?

    Tiki Chris’ Sorta South West Drunken Chicken Taco Recipe

    So here’s what we do at the Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar on Taco Tuesdays. I’m not even going to pretend this is in any way Mexican. Call it more of a South West kind of thing. With Tequila.

    Start with fresh, boneless chicken breast and a very sharp knife. It’s easier to slice if the chicken is partially frozen…just enough to stiffen the meat but not destroy it. On an angle, slice/shave pieces off the breast about ¼” thick. Slice into strips and small chunks.

    Heat oil on high in a big pan. Add garlic powder, cumin, ground pepper and salt to the oil and stir lightly. When the oil is real hot, carefully add the chicken, more of the spices, and stir. Then add about ¼ cup tequila. Turn it down a little. You’re going to have to stand there and keep watching and stirring as necessary, as the tequila cooks down. Don’t let it burn.

    As the chicken is cooking in the tequila, add more garlic powder and cumin. Keep stirring. When it’s cooked down, turn down the heat and add the taco seasoning.

    Note: It’s easiest to use pre-made taco seasoning, or you can make your own. Because I’m too lazy to go into all the detail of what’s in mine, just use your own or get a packet of Old El Paso. Oh, ok fine…I use garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, chipotle powder, salt and ground pepper.

    Add a little water with it, a few teaspoons at first, and stir. Then add some more tequila until it looks like taco meat should look. Let that cook on low for a while…at least 15 minutes…stir it a lot and add more tequila as necessary. You have to let it cook long enough for the tequila to infuse.

    Your final result should be chicken in an almost paste-like base. You don’t want this to be too watery.

    Heat your soft or hard tacos and pile them up with the chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, chives, pico de gallo, sour cream, or whatever floats your boat. Serve with refried beans, cheesy Mexican rice and fried Mexi-Corn. Yum!

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the kitchen at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Lounge, Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • Happy New Year from Tiki Lounge Talk!

    Posted on January 3rd, 2017 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    Happy Tiki New Year!

    Hope you have lots of fun stuff planned for 2017. Here’s a look back to New Year’s from 1957-58 with Guy Lombardo!

  • Visit the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, get a Great Deal on Dinner!

    Posted on July 25th, 2016 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    It’s not often you come across a huge discount for some place as great as the Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant and Tiki Lovers’ Dream. Right now, they are offering a LivingSocial deal: $25 gets you $50 towards dinner. Since most of their dinners are in the $25 range, it’s like getting a buy-one-get-0ne-free entree!

    No doubt they are offering this because summer is the “slow season” here in sunny South Florida. Which means you’ll probably be able to enjoy your dinner in quiet semi-privacy in one of the themed dining rooms (the offer isn’t available with the show).


    If you haven’t been there before, for under $20 I would suggest the beef or chicken teriyaki, the lobster bisque, the Hawaiian rice (ask them to add some pineapple to it), or any of the meats prepared in the Chinese ovens (the steaks are very pricey, but worth the unique taste). Actually we’ve eaten there dozens of times and have never had a bad meal, so anything on the menu is sure to wow. Note that everything except the prix fix menu is ala carte, so plan your bucks accordingly (I’m not sure the offer is available with the fixed-price menu). Also note that they change and update their menu often!

    Tiki Cocktails

    Of course drinks are not included in the offer, and you’re going to want drinks. There are always half price drink specials. Tiki cocktails start in the $10 range and average around $13-15 for a strong drink (like a Mai Tai or Jet Pilot). Considering you’re getting the absolute best cocktails made from the original 50+ year old recipes, that ain’t bad, kids.


    The Mai Kai has loosened their attire requirements over the years. When we first went in 2001, they wouldn’t even let you in if you had on shorts and a T-shirt. You couldn’t wear a hat, even in the lounge. Men were expected to wear a jacket.

    The last time we were there, there were people in the lounge wearing the same thing you’d wear to go to McDonald’s. It’s a crying shame that people don’t appreciate the special-ness of getting dressed up to go to a fancy joint like the Mai Kai, but that’s our society today. However, if you’re hep to dressing to the nines, you won’t look out of place there. A common theme of course is to wear Hawaiian shirts; some of us old time hipsters swing an Aloha shirt with white linen pants and a casual sport coat like they did in the 1940s and ’50s. I’ve seen the ladies wear anything from Hawaiian print dresses to evening wear, and of course vintage outfits. It all goes, and it all goes great!

    The Mai Kai offer is good for 120 days after purchase, and has some fine print…the basics are the usual stuff:

    • Limit 5 per customer, additional as gifts
    • Limit 1 per table per visit
    • Reservations required and subject to availability
    • Valid only in non-show dining rooms
    • Valid only for dine-in
    • Not valid on Saturdays
    • Excludes happy hour, early bird menu, BOGO, and in combination with any other discounts or promotions

    To get the offer go to LivingSocial here. Remember, these offers only run for a limited time, so you’ll want to buy yours quickly…I’m posting this on Monday, July 25th, 2016, so if you’re a time traveler reading this in the future, you’ll know when to set your machine to.

    Cheers, and see you at the Mai Kai, kids!

    -Tiki Chris, reporting from the lanai at Tiki Lounge Talk


  • The Maltese Falcon – Back In Theatres This February!

    Posted on February 9th, 2016 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    maltese-falcon-poster75 years ago, John Huston unleashed onto an unsuspecting public a film that would become one of, if not the most iconic gumshoe detective mystery movies of all time, The Maltese Falcon.
    You can’t utter the words “Film Noir” without The Maltese Falcon coming to mind. From Bogart’s portrayal of ‎Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, to the multiple twists and turns, to the bitter ending, this slice of the dark side of peoples’ lives has become the standard by which all other films of its kind are measured.

    And now it’s back on the Silver Screen, in glorious black and white, for its 75th anniversary. Now that’s the stuff that dreams are made of.

    Click here for showtimes, locations and tickets through Fathom Events.

    Click here for the Tiki Lounge Talk’s take on The Maltese Falcon for Noir Movie Monday.


    Tiki Chris, reporting from the screening room at Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Go See “Hail, Caesar!” As Soon As You Can! The Best Mid-Century Era Movie in Years

    Posted on February 8th, 2016 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    hail caesar brolin Once every few years a new mid-century period movie comes out that has the perfect blend of nostalgia, wit, and entertainment. Here it is, kids…

    Hail, Caesar!

    for Mod Movie Monday at Tiki Lounge Talk, starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Alden Ehrenreich, Hobie Doyle, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton.

    (NO Spoilers, just some fun facts)

    I won’t go into the basic idea of what the movie is about…you can read about that anywhere. I’m going to tell you why, as one who digs mid-century coolness, you will dig this movie and need to see it on the Big Screen.
    “Hail, Caesar!” takes place sometime around 1950-51, and is set in Los Angeles (after all, it’s a movie about the movie business).

    hail caesar johannson mermaidSo here we are, transported back to the early 1950s. Now you might expect the movie to hit us over the head with imagery and symbolism of that era. Well, the Coen Brothers (The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There) are too good to resort to that kind of shtick. They have their own brand of shtick, and it’s subtle…it’s in the spoofiness of the whole thing, and how every scene is shot in such a way that it reminds you of another movie, one from the actual era.

    The movie starts off in a timeless way, then before you realize it, the nostalgia bits are added in and multiplied. These start out small (an actress taking “dirty pictures” (read: full but skimpy clothing) in the middle of the night, a meeting at the Imperial Garden (“They have the best Mai Tai’s here), and time-establishing shots of Brolin’s wristwatch, which looked like it was probably from the 1930s.

    hail caesar tatumFrom there the Hollywood spoofing takes center stage, with incredibly fun scenes that mimic some of our favorite movies from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. These scenes include an aquatic dance number complete with mermaid (think Ester Williams), a cowboy guitar & song (Gene Autry), and a fully-executed sailor dance number that would have fit right in to “On the Town” (well, most of it). Watching that sequence featuring Channing Tatum, all I could think was, Gene Kelley and Frank Sinatra are looking down and laughing their asses off. Well done.

    And then of course there’s George Clooney’s character, they typical big star, a playboy and the kind of 1950s actor who could bring tears to an audience with one line. Also, not so bright, and easily influenced, which helps carry the main story line to a really fun and cool ending. I applaud Clooney for taking this role, and he was fantastic in it.

    But the real juiciness it that dotted throughout the movie is pretty much EVERY possible nod the era’s nostalgia and movies of the time, including:

    A mid-century modern Malibu house overlooking the ocean (compete with bar)
    Close-up of the Cadillac nameplate on the chrome dashboard of the car
    A lasso-wielding singing cowboy who does his own stunts
    4-button multiline telephones
    Vaudeville/slapstick comedy (where you least expect it)
    Hollywood cover-ups (I won’t spoil it)
    Carmen Miranda-ish character
    Twins routine
    Dance routines out of nowhere
    Actual songs from the era, as background music
    Romans (of course)
    Black and White “artsy” movie within the movie, with odd camera angles
    Over-dramatic, high-society type director who is incredibly serious about his musical
    “Epic” movie splash screen
    Backlot shots of Roman columns next to modern cars
    Stars who’ve had multiple marriages
    The future of aviation (Lockheed)
    The future of TV replacing movies
    Intellectuals sitting around discussing things but not taking action (until they take action)
    Cool Chinese Restaurant/Almost a Tiki Bar
    Finger Sandwiches
    1950’s Housewife (with a line to her husband something like “You know what’s best”)
    One of those old lawn chairs with the plastic webbing
    Atomic Bomb
    Snoopy reporter
    Panel van
    Old movie cameras
    Alligator-skin briefcase
    Dailies complete with cards that say things like “Big Credits Here”,

    hail caesar clooney…and probably a whole lot more I can’t remember, as there’s so much going on it’s impossible to get it all in one viewing.

    The Ester Williams-style number is incredibly fun to watch, as is Tatum’s dance routine (I like that the movie gives us full numbers, not just a 15 second snippet). Even the cowpoke’s song is a hoot.

    So, my recommendation…It’s a great movie, fun plot, exceptional characters, the right amount of nostalgia without it being obvious, unbelievable dance numbers, and laugh-out-loud comedy, plus visuals that will make you wish you lived back in 1951.

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the screening room at Capitol Studios, Hollywood.


    Trailer One:


    Trailer Two: