Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 8:07 a.m.
Yesterday it was revealed that Randy Moss' exclusionary attitude wasn't the only reason he was cut from the Minnesota Vikings just four weeks after being traded there. Apparently, his finely developed sense of taste was to blame as well.
During a team meeting Friday, Moss blew up on players, coaches, and a catering company owner too after seeing the food that Vikings staff provided to the players.
According to fellow players, Moss walked up to a spread of chicken, ribs, pasta, and other dishes provided by well-respected local restaurant and catering company Tinucci's
, took one look, and launched into a tirade of expletives.
"What the [expletive]? Who ordered this crap? I wouldn't feed this to my dog," Moss yelled. Then, he reportedly walked away from the table without sampling a thing.
Moss was waived by the Vikings yesterday.
A member of the Vikings' staff told the media that Moss "[did] this every time we got food," leading me to wonder: Is Randy Moss just a misunderstood foodie? Obviously, he has a discerning palate with a nose for quality (as does his dog). Can we really fault him for not wanting to eat peasant food?
Here's the catch, though: Moss lives in South Florida when he's not playing. And since he's not playing at the moment, he's likely to find himself wandering the South Florida restaurant scene, bewildered and alone.
So let's help him out: Where would you send a discerning epicure like Moss to eat? Here are a few ideas.
This ultra-expensive Italian restaurant from our resident bad boy of cooking, Steve Martorano, features some of the best pasta in these parts -- pasta Moss assuredly would not snub. The Fort Lauderdale digs are also pretty luxe, and Martorano already has plenty of experience serving prominent sports figures like Shaquille O'Neal and Clinton Portis
. And wouldn't you love to hear Randy say this pasta tastes like dog crap in front of Steve? The buff, Philly-born chef would probably pound the crap out of him.
#4 The Grateful Palate
Known for catering to the socialite yacht set, Grateful Palate might be the kind of high-class environment a guy like Moss craves. As a restaurant and a yacht provisioner, Grateful Palate sells to some of South Florida's most important people. So its servers probably wouldn't even bat an eyelash if Moss were to throw a temper tantrum in the middle of the dining room.
#3 East Coast BBQ
Obviously Moss is a rib purist -- he knows the difference between ribs made by an Italian restaurant and those smoked low and slow using proper technique. So we'd send him to East Coast BBQ, a place we think makes the best ribs in South Florida
. Plus, owner Dave Audet used to be a charter fishing boat captain, and his clients included the likes of Jimmy Johnson. Who knows? Maybe Audet can introduce the two and get Moss an analyst job on Fox's pregame show, which is one place where inanity is always acceptable.
Could a meat-heavy diet of ribs and chicken be to blame for Moss' aggressive tendencies? If so, he should take a cue from fellow NFL player Ricky Williams, a famous vegetarian, and head to Darbster, a vegan restaurant in West Palm Beach. Darbster's faux chicken wings are so good -- and so realistic -- they could fool anyone into thinking they were the real thing. Even someone with as adept a palate as Moss'. Plus, Darbster is named after the owners' dog, Darby, and the place is
dog-friendly. So this is definitely food Randy Moss' persnickety canine friend would enjoy too. I can imagine the two of them sitting on Darbster's waterside patio playing fetch, reminiscing about a time when Randy actually caught balls...
#1 Shula's on the Beach
Expensive, stodgy, and smelling deceptively of cigars and champagne, Randy would fit right in at the former Dolphin coach's Fort Lauderdale restaurant. Shula and Moss have so much in common: Shula coached the 1972 Dolphins to the league's only undefeated season; Moss played wide out for the 2007 Patriots, which narrowly avoided perfection by choking in the Super Bowl against the Giants. Plus, a meal here would be the closest Randy Moss would ever get to becoming a Dolphin. Dream on, South Florida sports fans.