Jeff Pearlman

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A weird meal at an excellent place

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So this is my final day in Dallas, and I inadvertently overslept the free continental breakfast at the MGM Elegante. Which is probably for the better, considering two days ago the hotel provided oatmeal, runny eggs and a mosquito in my cranberry juice.

Anyhow, I did the ol’ Yelp search and wound up at the Maple Leaf Diner, a highly-rated joint that has made appearances on multiple Food Network shows. And, to be clear, it was good. Really good. I ordered the pumpkin pancakes, and though they weren’t otherworldly, they were more than tasty. Plus, I wound up sitting alongside Rani Monson, a former journalist with a pretty sweet blog.

Wait. Where was I?

Oh, yeah. The Maple Leaf Diner. So all was swell, save one HUGE issue. Namely, I was located at the bar. And that was fine, except—upon placing my rear atop a chair—it became clear that I (and everyone else seated there) was preposterously low in proportion to the food. I actually went to the car to get some clothing to use as cushions, because eating with any sort of confidence and competence was near impossible.

And as I paid my bill and said farewell to Rani, I wondered aloud, “How is this possible?” How can a killer restaurant with a national reputation and a menu overflowing with goodness fail to realize the only customers who would be comfortable at the bar are named Yao and Shaq?

Weird shit.

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Photo by Rani Monson.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life