Friday 21 August 2009

Orlando Speedworld Bathroom Seems to Be (Unintentionally) Modeled After Surgeries Found in Horror Films

Orlando Speed World
19164 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32820-3701

Where is it?

After paying admission, walk up to the main track along the main walkway there. As you do, you'll end up heading through a paved divide between two white single-story buildings. Both of these are concession stands: The one on your left (with your back to the parking lot) is where you can get hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks and the like; the one on the right is where you get beer (from what I saw, only Bud and Bud Light -- Budweiser gets a lot of signage here).

Just past the building is the main walkway, running left to right, and in front of that is the main seating benches, which stretch about 50 feet in the air. The place's quarter-mile track is on the other side of the benches; go left or right, to the edge of the benches, and then climb up to get a seat and a view of the track. (There are some other seating areas further long as well, if you follow the perimeter of the track.)

But at the junction, to get to the bathrooms, you must turn left and pass the concession stand there. Keep going to the next building, which looks a lot like that first building, and you'll see the entrance to the restrooms there, which large painted signs indicating which room is for what.

What's it like?

Tucked away in the near-rural environs of Bithlo, east of Orlando, this is Orlando's version of NASCAR's minor leagues. The complex is large and contains two distinct race tracks: One for drag racing and one for Florida's NASCAR league, called FASCAR, which includes races from stock cars, modifieds, and the like. Behind the main track is a pit for mechanics and drivers to prep for races.

It's an old complex and certainly looks like it needs some upkeep in spots. The seating areas are sketchy and shaky at best. There's lots of cracked concrete and trash. Yet at the same time it's homey and got character. For Orlando, a city that's always rebuilding itself, this place is old and worn down and a bit backwoods in appearance, but the people are genuine friendly and tend to be enthusiasts of the sport. Not exactly a place for everyone but certainly surreal and enjoyable in its own right.

The bathrooms are unique as well. My visit occurred at the start of races, so the toilets were empty and mostly unused. On the surface, they look like concrete cousins to the mass-market toilets experienced in England, like the ones at Bicester Village or across the way from the Tower of London. They are large, filled with many urinals and have lots of concrete. But those were also a lot nicer than these. (And I've been told that if I visit at the end of the evening, the toilets are truly horrifying. Glad I didn't do that!)

There is a strange, horror film clinic feel to this place. The walls and floor are concrete, as stated. The walls are white and with plenty of dust and dirt on them. The floors are painted deep red and have several spots where the paint has either been worn off or the concrete has been chunked out.

The red color plays a major role here. In addition to the floor, its the color that trims the supply cabinet closet door and is the color of the sign for the restroom outside. The red provides a sharp contrast to the whiteness of the rest of the place and really makes you feel like you've stepped into some haunted house or similarly scary environment.

The bathroom is set up in three distinct sections. The front area includes the entrance, supply closet and sinks. The sinks are the standard white porcelain fixtures you'll find at most semi-outdoor bathrooms, including many of the U.S. national parks, like the main station toilets at Arches and the Yavapai Point bathroom at the Grand Canyon. These were somewhat clean when I arrived, but they weren't exactly the cleanest sinks I've seen. The sealant on the edges was worn, and there were plenty of mildew stains. Also, for what was about five total sinks in all, only one of the sinks had a soap dispenser on it, and it was one of those generic supermarket brand soap pump containers (a red soap, no less).

The middle section is where the urinals are. Like at the Tower of London, there are two rows of them, each on opposite walls of one another and facing one another. No privacy barriers. Lots of chipped paint and gouges in the floor. No automatic flushes. Really, kind of creepy in its attempt at sterility.

The back area is where the toilet stalls are, as well as another row of urinals. The stalls are made of drywall and have bright yellow curtains for doors. This, of course, also adds to the clinical feel here. I know the designers were aiming for an old-style garage feel (like what's seen at Cruisers Cafe), but given the worn out state of the rest of the place it just ends up looking like you're walking into a black market doctor's office for an operation you really don't want but are being forced to get. It's creepy. The toilets aren't really that clean either (reminiscent of the ones I saw at Catherine Palace in Russia), which doesn't help either.

Worse still, if you're in the stall and a child runs by quickly, then the curtain lifts some in the after breeze and suddenly your assumed privacy is ruined. Not exactly what you want to have happen when you're on the throne and a bunch of drunk FASCAR fans are relieving themselves right in front of you, if you catch my drift.

Also, at the far end of this chamber is an exhaust fan. Not sure why it's there since the place smelled pretty ghastly, but the fan was covered with dust and cobwebs. Ick.

Finally, I was here in Florida's winter time. I am thinking than in the summer, the place is crawling with insects (as evident by the filthy exhaust fan). Top that with the summer heat and this probably makes for one truly horrifying and uncomfortable experience -- one that rivals the horrors of Kappy's, I am guessing.

Marks out of 10:

2. Pretty scary, I hate to say. I feel bad for women, who can't just pee and go.

Comments to the Management:

Definitely needs another coat of paint and some serious scrubbing. This doesn't have to be impeccable, considering it's really just a stadium bathroom, but if an outhouse at 10,000 feet high is considerably more polished than this, then some work is definitely needed. Aiming to equal some lower-end national park bathrooms would be idea.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Never Sit on Nasty Toilet Seat at Nelore

Nelore Churrascaria
5350 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819-9427

Where is it?

To reach the bathroom from the main entrance, first head past the fountain that greets you when you walk in. Turn right and you'll come to the hostess station. From there, snake around the walls dividing the entrance area and the bar, which will be to your left, and enter the sprawling main dining room.

You will be in the back right corner of the dining room at this point. In the center of the room is a large salad bar and beyond that, against the far left wall, is a glass enclosed wine room. Go behind that wine room to find the hallway leading to the bathrooms.

What's it like?

Orlando of late has become home to several Brazilian churrascarias, and while this one isn't my favorite in town (that honor easily belongs to the wonderful Texas de Brazil) this one is certainly dependable and offers a decent variation on the experience.

The meats here are have a stronger bite of vinegar and salt to them and on the whole are chewier in texture, which makes them a little more authentically Brazilian, since South Americans tend to like to chew on tougher (and more flavorful) cuts more than most Americans do. The salad bar here is a smaller but has a few more authentically Brazilian items - a real heart of palm salad, for example, with the toothsome palmito used in Brazil versus the mushy one we normally get in the U.S. The wine list is a more modest, the service a little more detached and the dining room more cavernous (and with lots of slick plaster patterns on the walls).

For a change of pace, and to see how others interpret this traditional grilling method, it's an interesting stop. But seeing that it's about the same price as Texas de Brazil (which is expensive to begin with), I think you may be better served with a better dining experience at that location. Nevertheless, you will leave here stuffed to the gills with meat -- if that's the goal, then you really can't go wrong at this place.

The bathrooms are also similar in spirit and style to Texas de Brazil, although they are also not as ambitious. The chambers are a little roomier and lack that Spanish-prison feel of Texas de Brazil. They are better lit and bright, with fewer decorative accouterments like rugs or sleek tile work. But at the same time they have some style and a neato bit of technology that's hard to find outside of Europe (more on that later).

The floor here is covered with small black and white tiles that instantly reminded me of the patterns seen in more modest surroundings, like at Steak n Shake or Theo's Kitchen. The walls are made of drywall and painted white on the bottom and lime green on top, with a molding line separating the two. (The colors reminded me a lot of the pattern used at Nona Sushi, only in this context they were a bit jarring to see at first, since the dining room is dark and classically designed and this carries a slight tropical vibe to it.)

The room itself has a standard setup, with a two sink vanity station up front, two urinals beyond that and two toilet stalls beyond that -- with beige metal divider walls. Similar to the setup at Conservation Station in Disney's Animal Kingdom really.

The vanity has some modern style to it -- so much so that you wonder why the rest of the place is so ordinary-looking. The vanity has white basins in place of sinks and metal spigot faucets above them. All of it sits atop a thick black marble counter and beneath a large, well-lit stretch mirror. Some fake flowers sit to the side of it all, to add to the decor. Again, not as classy as the masonry work found at the vanity in Texas de Brazil's vanity but not bad and certainly unexpected. Kind of had the same wow factor I found at Mr. K's Chinese Cuisine -- you expect plain Jane and get a little style and are thankful for it, but not much more than that.

The urinals and toilets were standard white porcelain, nothing too flashy. Except for the "Automatic Toilet Seat Cover" item that was installed on each toilet. We've seen a similar contraption before at the wonderful Sanifair bathrooms found in Germany. Those, I should say, were a little better integrated into the toilet; these look like after-the-fact add-ons (almost like toilet seat booster chairs) and required a little forethought before sitting down.

Still, the concept is neat: Before you sit to do your business, you push a button and a new seat cover (sterile and clean) spins out for you, ready for the next visitor. This ensures it to be as clean as possible (and with all the meat served here, it's definitely a good option to make, since you know these bathrooms get visited often by the patrons -- there's no other way to make room for the food, really).

Marks out of 10:

7. Clean and predictable, with a few surprises, but nothing grand enough to raise the score above the more stylish Texas de Brazil.

Comments to the Management:

Would like to see the color scheme muted some here, so it's not such a rough transition from dining room to bathroom. Also, more decor on the walls would be nice -- right now, you've got an uneven split of style and ordinary. I'm thinking that a little more style couldn't hurt -- your dining room's got it, why not here?

Thursday 21 May 2009

Hands-Free Approach Dominates Bathroom at Massage Envy

Massage Envy - Hunter’s Creek
4101 Hunter's Park Lane
Suite 404 MM# 22422
Orlando, FL USA

Where is it?

A bit similar in location to D-Lites in Tampa, in that you have to walk down a dimly lit hallway to the very back of the place. Only the vibe couldn't be further from that creepy place.

Pass through the front entrance. When you do, you'll come face to face with the greeting counter, which spans the length of the business' lobby area. In the far right corner is a door that leads to an office. In the back left corner is a door leading to the massage parlor rooms.

To reach the bathroom, go through the left door. Once you do, you'll see a tranquility room on your immediate right (essentially the waiting room) and a long, long, long, dimly lit hallway before you.

Follow that hallway to the very back of the business -- about 100 ft, if not more. As you walk, you'll see several hallways and doors to your right, each of which lead to the various massage rooms inside the business. (It's dark in this hallway, so try to avoid any temptations and keep going straight, no matter what.)

At the very end of the hall, turn right (it's the only directly you'll be able to go unless you have a key to the employee break room, which is in the back-left corner of the place). The bathrooms will be on your left after your turn the corner, about two doors down and marked by signs on the wall.

What's it like?

This massage parlor chain offers great deals for rub downs, especially for those who don't like the usual cost of massages and are still looking for quality work. Design-wise, the place looks and feels like a hip cafe, only with more purple and gold in its branding. Think Barnes and Noble, only without the books and cafe and with a look that's more feminine, and with newer facilities and an area that's better cleaned and more simply presented (and lacking teens who who have nowhere else to go).

The setup is simple: Sign a year-long plan and get a massage once a month at a fixed rate of $39 (as of this writing). For those whose bones ache, it's a welcome relief from the usual $120 one gets for a massage in other places. The fact that the massages have quality make the deal even sweeter.

The irony here, of course, is that in a place where you go to get hands-on treatment, the bathroom is nearly hands-free. Not entirely but as close to it as I've seen anywhere else.

Not that the hands-free items all successful either. But they're still nice touches (get it?).

This is a one room chamber that looks like a cross between the toilets at Pearl and Pottery Barn Kids, with a touch of IDC's creativity thrown in for good measure. The lower walls are covered in a rustic brown and white tile, the upper walls in walls are gold-painted drywall (matching the gold in the company's branding colors).

The chamber itself is roomy, on par with what was seen at Pottery Barn Kids or even Golden Krust Bakery. You can really stretch out here.

There isn't much on the walls, outside of the practical things (soap dispenser, paper towel dispenser, toilet seat dispenser), but like Pottery Barn Kids there some white furniture to be found, including a cabinet in the front half of the room to hold supplies. A nice touch. Add-ons like this make this spot very cozy and classy, and it's that sense of coziness, and cleanliness (which is done without a sense of clinic-based sterility, which can sometimes overtake such surroundings in such businesses) that makes it memorable and worth venturing to. (Like IDC, you may have trouble getting back here unless you're a customer, however.)

The rest of its features are good, but the many hands-free automatic items are kind of hit and miss, in that they don't all work well. Good planning and intentions, but half-baked execution in some parts.

The back half of the room is all about the facilities themselves. In the left corner sits the white porcelain toilet with manual flush -- one of three two items in the room that isn't automatic (the other being the toilet seat cover dispenser -- carrying "Tough Guy" toilet seat covers, which I found an amusing name for such a product -- and the sink faucets). In the right corner is the white porcelain sink and plain mirror mounted overhead.

On the floor between the toilet and sink stands the trash can with automatic open lid. It's an item you see here and there (something you might actually find as a tester in a bathroom at Bed, Bath and Beyond) but never actually use. Here, it's supposed to ensure that your hands stay clean after washing them -- sadly, the effect is similar to what you find in that bathroom at Bed, Bath and Beyond, in that the product doesn't really work as well as it should. After drying my hands, I tried repeatedly to get the auto-flap to open and it never did, so I had to manually lift the lid to the can to through my towel away. (It opened after I walked away, of course, making me a further believer in the irony exhibited by the design of the place.)

The paper towel dispenser, which hangs on the wall between the sink and toilet, works just fine -- as well as just about any other automatic paper towel dispenser I've used.

Just below that is an automatic foam soap dispenser. Placement is a little awkward, since I'd prefer it to be closer to the sink in case the soap leaked from my hands, but the effect is nice. The soap foam is soft and relaxing and well-scented and the dispensing is full, not skimpy, and satisfying.

The only other automatic item is the automatic light switch, which turns on the lights to the room once you step into the door (it's on a light sensor similar to the one seen at Nona Sushi, among other places).

Of course, the lights inside the bathroom are far brighter than those that await you in the hallway when you leave. As such, you need a moment to re-adjust to that dimness. It's a bit creepy at first, since you feel how far away from the lobby you are in that moment -- but it's still not nearly close to being as creepy as being in that long hallway in D-Lites in Tampa. Another plus for this place.

Marks out of 10:

8. Great design, even though the hands-free stuff didn't quite work as advertised.

Comments to the Management:

A very comfortable, private-feeling bathroom. Now just make it fully automatic (and make sure the existing automatic items work properly) to close the deal. Auto faucets and flushes should be easy to install (not a hand drier because the sound of it would disrupt the quiet of the place), and how about an automatically opening door (inward, not outward into the hallway, which may cause an accident), like what was seen at Stonewood Grill?

Wednesday 20 May 2009

IDC Bathroom Does a Lot With Very Little

International Diamond Center
1453 W Sand Lake Rd #A
Orlando, FL USA

Where is it?

Easy to find but not so easy to get to.

First, to get into the building, you have to pass through a double-gated security door that's covered with magnetic locks and security cameras. It's a bit tricky to get through because once you pass through the outer door, you have to wait until you're cleared by the place's security to come inside. Only then will the lock for the interior door be released and you will be allowed to enter.

After that, you will see a bevy of jewelry display counters lining the place, as well as a hallway directly opposite the entrance, along the back wall. Go down that hallway but don't go to the end -- which leads to storage rooms and offices. Instead, in the hallway, look to your right and you'll see the bathrooms there.

What's it like?

This jewelry store set across from the popular Florida Mall, in Orlando's tourism sector, is a lot larger on the inside than its modest exterior suggests. The sales floor is pretty wide and sprawling and the interior is dark and classy but not overdone and pretentious. For jewelry stores, this one felt pretty down to earth to me.

The bathroom is the real gems here, though. It's a one-bagger for both sexes, with a simple set-up that's not very different from other simple one-baggers we've seen over the years (the bathrooms at Long Point Cafe and Sharky's Shrimp Shack come to mind as what these most resemble facilities-wise and space-wise). The walls are white drywall, the floor is covered in a grey-white marble tile reminiscent of what was seen at Cavallari Gourmet or Strollo's. A little less ornate than those, yes, but still in the same ball park -- and just as classy without having to try as hard.

The toilet and sink are your standard white porcelain models -- not different at all from what was seen at places like the recently reviewed Firehouse Subs, to be honest. But the people who've designed this facility take it a step forward, adding small decorative touches that prove somewhat transporting.

Rather than merely showing the sink, they have wrapped a brown curtain around it, giving it the appearance of being a sort of pedestal variety. Rather than simply having a regular trash can, they place a brown wicker basket -- similar to what was used at fancier locales like the J.W. Marriott Grand Lakes, only on a lot smaller scale). Think Pearl, only a little less roomy and without all the marble -- that's what you get here. A lot for a very little.

Other nice touches include the fica tree in the corner, which is one of the few non-corny uses of this item I've seen, and a homey gold-and-wood-framed mirror hanging above the sink (finally, a home-installed mirror that approaches the elegance of American Signature Furniture South Orlando and not a horror show, like at D-Lites). The little shelf below the mirror is another nice touch -- a comfortable place for the soap, air freshener and other knickknacks.

Top it off with the fact that it's impeccably clean and odor free and you really have a hidden gem.

Only problem here is, really, that you have to get past all that security in order to reach the bathroom, which makes it a little inconvenient in times of need.

Marks out of 10:


Comments to the Management:

Nothing to add. You've done a wonderful job with what you've had available -- people should study your work here and take notes for themselves.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Firehouse Subs Bathroom Offers Few Surprises, Lots of Paper on Floor

Firehouse Subs
1455 Semoran Blvd., Suite 295
Casselberry, FL USA

Where is it?

This location of the popular sub chain looks and feels just like the others I've been to: It's along, rectangular store with a sandwich-making counter on the left side (with your back to the entrance) that takes up about 1/3 of the floor space and a dining room filled with two-top and four-top tables filling up the remaining area.

In the very back, against the far wall, is a soda fountain. To the right of that, in the far right corner, is an opening to a short hallway. The bathrooms are down that hallway, with the entrances being on your left.

What's it like?

As far as sub chains go, I rank this one on the high end of the spectrum. The bread here is doughy and fresh-tasting, the fillings are tasty enough and don't taste over-processed, portions are substantially sized and prices are decent. Plus, I like that the place offers a wide variety of subs and also houses a number of designer hot sauces to try (the bottles are lined up on the half-wall separating the sandwich preparation line and the dining room), as well as a decent house brand made by the company itself.

The decor is, as the name indicates, firehouse-inspired. There's lots of reds, blacks and dalmatian-dog-inspired dots, stripes and patterns. Tables covered with back and white polka dot patters. Amusing firehouse-based art (old photos, etc.) and signs on the walls. Friendly enough, and a good, relaxing place to meet a friend for a cheap lunch (like I did on this occasion with my buddy and occasional Where's the Toilet contributor, Ayal Wolf.)

The bathroom is pretty much what you'd expect from a place having this kind of design: Kind of kitschy, based in the store's branding, and little else.

It's lower walls have red and white tiles on them, with a black border around the perimeter to separate lower wall from upper wall. Upper walls are just white drywall.

That standard faux-brick-tiled floor we've seen at so many other places -- like Rainforest Coffee Company, Columbia Restaurant in Celebration, Kolob Canyons Visitors Center in Utah, Toon Lagoon Toilet at Islands of Adventure and many more -- covers the ground here. In fact, even the red and white tile (in some variation) has been seen elsewhere, like at Big Boy Diner, Jack in the Box, and Pizoodles. Boorring!

The place also has a red door, though it's not as impressive as the one at Anmol, I should add.

There is a white porcelain urinal, toilet and sink -- none of it with automatic flushes or faucets (the paper towel dispenser is automatic though, but the soap is just a pump). An unframed mirror mounted above the sink and some parlor lights above that.

A photograph print of an old fire station (circa 1920s) hands to the right of the mirror. A novelty sign, badge-shaped, reading "Are you hungry? Call the Firehouse" hangs on the opposite wall. Yawn......

The room itself is well-sized, a standard one-bagger. Comfortable enough but nothing exquisite or memorable. It wasn't remarkably clean -- there was lots of pieces of paper towels strewn about the floor, as well as bits of wear and tear and mildew here and there -- but it wasn't the worst either. Straight forward, predictable, nothing more. On par with the one visited at Famous Phil's Cheesesteaks only with a smaller area.

Marks out of 10:

5. Clean it up a little more and it would be a 6, but nothing more than that.

Comments to the Management:

Needs a little more policing, so there isn't as much torn paper floating around. Also, a little more scrubbing would be good, just to keep the edges clean. Otherwise, it is what it is.

Thursday 14 May 2009

Creepy Bathroom at D-Lites Located At End of Very Long, Long Hallway

D'Lites Emporium
1906 S. Dale Mabry Hwy
Tampa, FL USA

Where is it?

Prepare for a trek.

From the front entrance, head to the back of the store, past the scant number of shelves housing various health foods and, further back, the order counter, where you can get your diet-friendly desserts dished up. Veer to the left of the order counter and head down the long hallway there.

That hallway will literally snake to the very back of the business -- it's a hallway that seems about three times as long as the main store's length. Along the way, you'll pass various supply closets, piles of supplies (both cleaning and food-related), and a number of doors leading to (no doubt) mysterious places.

When you've reach the place's back exit, know that this is the actual end of the hallway. You cannot go on any further down that hallway without going outside the building and ending up in the back parking lot. To the immediate right of the exit door is a white door. In there is the bathroom.

What's it like?

This humble store front, lodged into a slightly run-down strip mall in south Tampa, offers decent tasting frozen desserts (like frozen yogurt, but not) for the calorie conscious. A small, one-scoop serving of its resident dessert concoction has, supposedly, only 50 calories to it. To keep things friendly on the belly, toppings include items like carob chips (instead of chocolate chips) .

In addition, visitors can get iced drinks and shakes, cakes, bulk containers of the frozen treat, as well as items like high-fiber pasta and sugar-free dessert toppings, found on the handful of shelves in the front of the store.

I can't say it's the best frozen dessert I've ever had, but considering that it's not as bad for you as those items it's not too bad either. Worth a visit if you're in the area.

The bathroom here is not worth a visit, though.

As mentioned before, it's at the end of a very long hallway - it's very, very long, abnormally so. You don't really figure it will be that long of a hallway because the store itself is pretty small. But this thing just keeps going on and on, twisting around corners, taking you by all sorts of industrial-looking items like ladders and milk crates. By the time you reach the back, you feel like you're in another world.

At first, I thought this was due to the fitness/diet motif of the place. People are coming here for diet-friendly desserts, so why not make them walk one or two miles to use the restroom.

But then the hallway itself, and the bathroom at the end of it, aren't exactly pleasant places to be. They feel isolated and makeshift, almost ruse-like, as if they were constructed not for a purpose but as a place where lesser elements might take victims. I am exaggerating to an extent on the purpose here, but YES, IT'S THAT SCARY.

After a long journey, you expect to find a place that's at least a little bit welcoming. But instead, you find a place better suited to John Wayne Gacy. I mean no disrespect to the owners here, but it's damn creepy down that hallway and in that bathroom!

I mean, there are bars on the window in the bathroom! WHY?!?!?

The room itself is a small one-bagger chamber containing a number of pieced together parts, like a toilet that looks like it was picked up in a yard sale, a white, wood-framed mirror that looks like its frame was once another color, and a standard white porcelain sink with ugly chrome faucets.

The walls here are basic white drywall, the floors covered in basic rectangular tile, slightly off-white in color. The walls are pretty bare, save for a lone poster advertising the place's diet-friendly frozen treat. The poster reads: "Add a new twist to your lifestyle." Given the creepy setting around me, I must admit I felt pretty uneasy about the implications of that statement.

The toilet itself has some pretty sharp water stains in the basin. The unit itself sits flat on the ground but right behind it is a little lip in the floor, about two inches up, that offers a solitary home to the plunger. It's a similar concept to what I saw at Westminster Abbey, only that (and its FEMBIN can) the lip there was much larger and less purposeful.

A little strange to offer a shelf entirely to a plunger, I think, but then again I've seen stranger in a toilet, like Fixodent, hydrogen peroxide, and foot cream. And even with the oddly placed shelf/lip, it's still a more user-friendly setup than what I found at Bloomingdale's Orlando.

Also strange is the proximity in which the toilet paper holder is placed to the toilet. It's practically jammed next to it, making it all but impossible for anyone sitting down on the toilet to not slam into the thing while trying to get up. To not do so, you literally have to slide into position from the side, which is not as easy as it sounds, believe me.

The sink itself also has its share of hard water stains, and its faucets don't work correctly. The left faucet produces a spraying stream of water from the spigot (as opposed to a clean stream -- you kind of get it all over you here). The right faucet produces only a tiny trickle of water, not even enough to get soap off your hands easily.

Another oddity is the paper towel dispenser: It hands on the wall in the back left corner, beside the creepy poster for the business and above a lonely looking stainless steel trashcan that's maybe about a foot high. The dispenser itself is a large, translucent plastic cylinder in which you tear off bits of paper from the bottom. On it, you'll find a homemade sign reading: "Please help save the trees."

Now, I'm not sure why it says that. Is it implying that I should not dry my hands? If so, then what other alternative to I have? There is no air dryer here, only toilet paper, which, if I use, is the same as killing another tree, isn't it?

And then I thought: Perhaps the sign was a bit of advice, implying that if I left the bathroom with wet hands, I could use that water for sustenance on the long trip back to the front of the store. I wasn't sure. I used a towel regardless and then hurried back, for fear that someone might burst through the bar-covered window if I lingered too long.

Easily the creepiest toilet -- much more so than others I've been in, like Teramok in St. Petersburg, Russia, Holopaw Restaurant and Kappy's.

Marks out of 10:

3. Very, very creepy.

Comments to the Management:

My first priority here would be to make the bathroom a place that welcomes visitors more. Put some fun decor on the walls, paint the walls friendly colors (like the same colors as some of your friendly looking diet-friendly treats?). If you can't remove the bars from the window, then cover the window up -- we don't need to see that.

Then start working on making the passageway more friendly to wall through and not such a wasteland of cleaning supplies and other forgotten trinkets. If you can, bring the bathroom closer to the main store so as not to make it feel so detached from the rest of the place. And clean the place up some -- lose the water stains, get the sink working properly.