The Spread: Solid Platinum on West T. C. Jester

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All right, I have to apologize up front to regular readers of The Spread (all four of you) because I have to break character. I figured there might unfortunately be a time where this was necessary, but I didn’t expect it would happen so quickly. But I just returned from Solid Platinum (2732 W. T. C. Jester Blvd) and I feel I would be doing a public disservice if I just didn’t tell it straight.

The Spread is a one-joke column, though (we think) a pretty funny one, that relies on the absurd notion that dudes really give a rat’s ass about strip club buffets. Who cares about food when you get to see some boobs during lunch, even if the boobs are not-ready-for-prime-time? The whole point in not mentioning strippers in the reviews is that the reader of course knows that there are strippers present, they’re just not being acknowledged. But is it fair to the reader to perpetuate that joke when the reviewer goes to a strip club where there are no strippers? Let me back up.

I was excited about checking out Solid Platinum because its non-Galleria location suggested an independent spirit, something different than the cookie-cutter Westheimer establishments. I was even looking forward to making a few nods to the classic 1980s show “Solid Gold.”

Solid Platinum offers free lunch from 11-3, and perhaps I erred by showing up around 11:15. The place was completely dark and there were no other patrons. Moreover, there was no music and no girls shakin’ it on stage. Oh, and no waitresses. So I hit the bar and ordered a Corona (no Lone Star, and they were out of Shiner) for $6.25. The bartender was extremely helpful and told me that everything on the menu was free. I was expecting a buffet, but this was nice – standard fare like a cheeseburger, club sandwich, chef salad (‘cause that’s what you want to eat while staring at boobs), buffalo wings, grilled chicken sandwich, etc.

I took the menu back to my table and waited for a waitress. When one didn’t surface, I placed my order with the bartender – and that’s when the waitress appeared out of nowhere. I ordered the party platter, which includes cubed cheese, fried chicken, stuffed jalapenos, fries and buffalo wings. The bartender told me there was no cubed cheese today. I figured I would live.

Forty-seven hours later, the waitress came with my order, which was nice, because the only other entertainment in the joint was a few TVs with ESPN. Ordinarily, I would’ve ironically mentioned watching ESPN at a strip club, but this time, it was honestly the only thing to keep me occupied. (The only other thing that kept me slightly occupied was a display screen that announced, with exclamation points, $6.25 imports and wells – like that’s a good thing. Oh, but during happy hour, it’s only $3.75, which is a freaking steal for a cool, refreshing Miller Lite – how can they make money by selling such a great brew for such a discounted price?)

I immediately knew the fries were of the frozen variety; they had those perfectly square edges and pale color that can only be found in those gigantic sacks of fries in the freezer aisle. Which is fine, as long as you douse them enough ketchup, which I did, except I soon discovered that the red stuff I doused the fries in wasn’t ketchup, but salsa. The other sauce was ranch, which was perfect for the one forlorn wing I got, which was unsurprisingly mediocre. I asked the waitress for a side of ketchup and another Corona, as domestics (i.e., Bud-fucking-weiser) were $5.25 and Coke was $5. (There are only three circumstances in which a sane man orders a $6.25 Corona: he gets to enjoy it with the re-animated corpse of Steve McQueen; he gets to imbibe while taking in some prime T&A; or the newspaper he works for reimburses him.)

The waitress came back a few hours later with the ketchup and Corona, and that’s the last I saw of her until I left, at which point I saw her coming in through the front door with a McDonald’s bag in her hand. “You’re leaving?” she asked.

There’s a banner hanging in front of Solid Platinum that boasts “under new management,” and it certainly is a new type of management – it’s unlike any other business model I’m aware of. Apparently, the strategy is to not actually have any strippers and then charge dudes $6.25 for imports while they eat shitty food and look at a bare stage. It must be making them millions. Ordinarily, one might think if you don’t actually have any strippers, you might sling cheap brew until the talent finally hits the stage, to keep folks in their seats. (And, based on the few dancers who trickled in as I was leaving, I use the word “talent” liberally.)

Of course, it’s entirely possible I’m the dumbass, because I may not be in on the secret that Solid Platinum has the hottest strippers in Houston – several hours after the establishment actually opens.

All right, enough. I look forward to getting back to normal with the next column. Right now, I’m gonna do like the staff at Solid Gold and go grab a Big Mac. -- Craig Malisow

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