Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eating during crunch time

I've been working on a super intense project at work. Although working through the weekend makes it hard to tell what day it is, a big "plus" during times like this is all the free food. The expense accounts just open up and the Chinese food and tuna salad sandwiches keep rolling in. So do the snacks. See what I mean?

You might notice the following items:

  • Chinese food

  • Soda

  • Red Bull

  • M&Ms

  • Snickers bars

  • Skittles

  • Starbursts

  • Bottled water

  • Cups made from corn

  • Who knows?

It really is "crunch time." Pun intended.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Louisville dining

Being from metro Detroit, it's always nice to get out and visit a functioning city with loads of interesting restaurants and friendly people. This past weekend, that city was Louisville. Why Louisville? It's home to Lebowski Fest. Need more reasons to visit Louisville? Ask an old woman. They always act gleeful when I tell them I have been there. Any hoo ... As always, I ate a lot. There were plenty of individual things I could have reviewed, but I was living in the moment so I will let these pictures do the talking.

Beer:30 Light. We stayed with my friend Brennen who is in charge of buying beer for Whole Foods. He gets to try a lot of interesting beers including this one, which he unfortunately isn't carrying in his store. I was told it is only sold in 30 packs. It really hit the spot because on the hot drive down, I was craving a cheap beer and this was the only one in Brennen's 'fridge that didn't require a special glass for proper consumption.

White Russians. The official drink of Lebowski Fest. $4.50 a pop. Last time I drank these in Louisville, they contributed to alcohol poisoning. This round was without incident.

Lynn's Paradise Cafe. This place was recommended to us by a friend back home. Brennen told us that you pay more for the experience than the food. When we got the bill, we saw that he was right, but both were damn good. Lynn's Bourbon Ball French Toast was featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and that's what Jayme ordered. It was rich goodness.

Jayme with her Bourbon Ball French Toast.

My breakfast burrito. I'd never had one in my life. I actually really wanted some huevos rancheros and this was the closest thing on the menu. Not bad, but it got cold pretty quickly. Notice the coffee and $8.95 "gigantic" mimosa.

Inside Lynn's.

The grave of Colonel Sanders. It was an inspiring and emotional pilgrimage. We were told that the KFC around the corner has notoriously terrible service.

Lolita's Tacos. Yes, this is real. No, she is not open on weekends. Unacceptable. It was the first thing we noticed when we got off of the freeway. We were told the food is actually pretty good. 99-cent tacos can be had after 5:00 during the week.

The "Dippidy Do" at El Mundo -- An awesome Mexican place by the train tracks. Dinner here was actually cheaper than breakfast at Lynn's. We ate in the pebble-covered back yard. This appetizer consisted of salsa, guacamole, bean dip (all mine), and salsa verde.

Crispy pork tacos at El Mundo. Notice the bottom of the glass at the top of the photo...

... That glass contains a "Mango Stanger" -- A mango cocktail with pepper juice. It's delicious, with a slight burn in the throat. Drink, get burned. Drink to quench the burn. Get burned. Repeat. Delicious.

Mojitos at El Mundo. The biggest and best I've had. Note the Spanish-speaking adolescent in the background.

"ACE BLT" at Wild Eggs, a little joint in the suburbs with a big wait. The ACE is for Avocado, Cheddar (yes, I ate something with cheese), Egg. The Egg was over-medium, which is a terrible idea for something meant to be eaten with one's hands. All of the yolk went all over my hand with the first bite and my hand reeked for the six-hour drive home. The fresh-squeezed orange juice, however, was delicious -- and available in a pitcher.

If you go to Louisville for vacation, I definitely recommend eating food while you're there. While you're at it, go to Whole Foods, ask for Brennen and tell him to stock Beer:30 Light.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Choward's violet candy

Since I sit by the awesometeria at work, I overhear a lot of conversations. One went like this:

Person A: "What is this?" She was holding up a shiny purple rectangular package.
Person B: "Some sort of candy. It's weird."
A: "How weird?"
B: "Scott brought it in."
A: "Ohhh."
Me: "Yeah it has to be really weird if Scott brought it in."

At this point Scott popped his head over the cubicle wall a few rows down, then sent me an "instant message" to inform me that he brought in some weird candy that I should review for the blog.

He sent me a link to the manufacturer's (Choward's) web site and when I clicked on it, I got a warning saying "Visiting this site may harm your computer." I closed the window.

This would definitely be weird candy. I had to eat it.

Office reactions upon first smell:
"It smells like a bathroom." - Katie
"A freshly cleaned bathroom." -Scott
"It smells like a bathroom and Play Doh." - Me

It definitely tasted like something I wasn't supposed to be eating ... like I was sucking on mom's potpourri, or possibly a scented candle.

Also, it looks like clay.

It tasted exactly like artificial flower smell in a way so intense that I couldn't even keep it on my tongue. I had to spit it out.

Why would anyone buy this?

I asked Scott.

There you have it: Good typography can be in "bad taste." *Ba-dum ch!*

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Buffalo Sticks

Just when I think I am going to be responsible and eat my packed lunch, someone goes and puts a bag of TGI Friday's "Buffalo Sticks" in the office vending machine. Despite the fact that I had a good idea what they were (Flamin' Hot Cheetos), the name still conjured up images of long-forgotten Native American delicacies.

I opened the bag and an odor came blasting out -- one that made me rethink my Flamin' Hot Cheetos hypothesis. It smelled kinda ranch-y (like the dressing, not poop on a farm). I extracted a curved, pockmarked red formation from the back and realized that it was more similar in consistency to a puffy Cheeto, and I wasn't sure if they made those Flamin' Hot. My research suggests they don't. It also suggests that Saddam Hussein loved puffy Cheetos -- yet another reason for me not to like them.

Would I have a reason not to like Buffalo Sticks?

Yes: Ranch dressing.

The first bite was tangy like the sun-ripened buttermilk used in ranch dressing. This rotting milk flavor is followed by the texture one would experience if one were to somehow dry out one of those foam packing stubs that dissolve in water. Next up is a warm sensation in the mouth that precedes a slight burn that diminishes in strength with each log consumed. The flavor "burnt" was also experienced.

If you're still having trouble relating, imagine mixing hot sauce with ranch dressing, allowing it to air dry and get crusty and then eating it.

This ranch dressing thing was really bothering me. I have a friend from Rochester, NY who claims that people in Michigan love ranch dressing and that we even say "ranch" funny. He has not experienced the ranch dressing phenomenon in his home state, and this news makes me long for greener pastures.

Furthermore, why add ranch flavor to the "buffalo" (do buffalo graze solely upon hot peppers?) flavor? Everyone knows that if you're a wuss, you need ranch dressing to cool your palette after eating some hot wings at the local Buffabro Wildchads.

There's not even a picture of ranch dressing on the bag. There is celery, but no celery flavor or celery-derived ingredients are present.

These buffalo sticks definitely missed the mark, but I finished the damn bag any way.