Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chains, Chains, Shackles, and Chains

As twitter increasingly becomes my photoless-in-the-moment medium, I've become neglectful of my non-twitter devotees. My sincerest apologies. Anyhoo, nothing specatacular to report except maybe a post-childbirth class Chili's excursion (I saw one of those giant red chili peppers sitting on a gurney in the hospital, so we had to go). In these economic times (which are still totally going on), the chain gangs are now offering meals under (insert piddly dollar amount that will only serve to make you drink more) bucks. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise, because cheaper chain food means smaller portions means not having to ask, "Why did I eat this?" after eating a giant burger with bacon that looks more like roof shingles than food. In fact, our expectations were so low from the post-it's a girl Chili's excursion that we were pleasantly surprised with our tiny little burgers and buffalo chicken sandwiches (although my Miller Lite was miles away from being crisp and refreshing). Buen provecho.

We went to the Chili's on City Ave. Service was okay. One appetizer, two $7 meals, and a brew doggie came to $33 including tip. I hope Chili's doesn't sue me for using the image above

Friday, May 15, 2009


If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then El Fuego must really want to impress Chipotle. Then again, maybe they just want to capitalize on the silent-but-deadly cash cow that is the burrito boom, which, by all accounts, is alive and well in Philadelphia (we took the detour to El Fuego because the Qdoba line was out the door). There were a few missteps, but the next time D-Tron says, "You're coming with me to get burritos. Pick a place," I'll probably pick El Fuego.

Decorated and set up almost exactly like Chipotle, El Fuego has the same spacious and minimalist feel without the "hurry up and eat so others can sit down" vibe. I probably could have stayed there all afternoon (they serve beers, so I may have to make this happen one day). Going down the burrito assembly line, you have your usual suspects: grilled peppers and onions, grilled chicken, grilled beef, stewed beef, chorizo (I suppose they have to separate themselves somehow), and hot, medium, and mild salsa offerings. I went with the chorizo and immerdiately regretted it. I have a very specific idea of chorizo in my head and it's not the kind that looks and tastes like Hillshire Farm smoked sausage. Same foil, same basket, same price (same rice!), but when I peeled back said foil, the damn thing was cold, and the tortilla was brittle. The flavor was as you'd expect from the other guys (a very good thing), but eating a burrito is no fun if it falls apart on its way to your mouth. I'm hoping the next time will yield much better results. Until then, I'm going to tuck into the burrito lethargy that is par for the course with such a huge lunch. Buen provecho.

El Fuego is located at 2104 Chestnut St. and also at 723 Walnut St. I got way too much much food for $7.50. The tap water was free. And yes, that's a crappy picture.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

These Economic Times

Looks like McDonald's has scaled back on sesame seeds. Too bad they haven't scaled back on how disgusting their food makes me feel. Buen provecho.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Why Did I Eat This?

This has been a very long time coming, and it took plenty of whining on my part to convince Mrs. Gastro to give in, but finally, months after the ad where all those (paid) idiots gush over how deliciously non-pizza hutty it tastes, we ordered the Tuscani pasta--one half Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese, one half Chicken Alfredo, one whole piece of shit.

With that, the bad news:
1. The "chicken" is of the hyperprocessed-and-molded-into-strips variety. I'm surprised that it's not breaded, but the release of the Domino's Bread Bowl Pasta may just be the boost Pizza Hut needs to up the ante in the "kill you faster" race.
2. The rest of the Chicken Alfredo mess had a 10:1 ratio of garlic flavor to everything else.
3. The pasta is a bunch of diminutive spirals that are better fit for spooning than forking.
4. You're eating pasta from Pizza Hut.

But there is a silver lining:
1. Bacon (or the bacon flavored chewy chunks of who knows what) truly does make everything better.
2. Since you're getting half portions of each, you feel slightly better about eating the whole thing in one sitting.
3. Delivery means that the work effort involved is reduced to walking from the couch to the door and calculating the tip. Even better, the pasta's congealed enough that you could probably eat it with your hands, eliminating the need to use any utensils whatsoever.
4. I have managed once again to line the pockets of the ad men (good news for them, at least).

If those people really were convinced that this pasta came from a fancy restaurant, I feel sorry for them, but I feel even more sorry for myself. I knew that the pasta was coming from Pizza Hut, and I still ordered it. To my darling Mrs. Gastro, I'm heartily sorry. I should have heeded your warning. Buen provecho.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Cheesesteak Tally

Pat's: 6
Geno's: 0
Delassandro's: 2
Steve's: 1
Street Meat: 4
Other: 8.5
Total: 21.5

One must lower their expectations when it comes to ballpark food. Case in point, the Tony Luke's in left field at Citizens Bank Park. Steak-umm quality meat that tasted boiled, not grilled, and less salt than a sugar factory. I wish I would have opted for "The Heater" over at Campo's (cheesesteak with hot sauce and pepper jack, I think), but by the time I saw the 6'x3' airbrushed sign, the cheesesteak runners were already pretty far up the line and not very patient. It's a very good thing, then, that the night would inevitably lead to multiple cabs to Pat's, where the line wrapped around the building almost twice thanks to the Dead concert (aren't hippies supposed to be vegetarian?). Entirely worth the wait, especially when you're brown bagging Schlitz and discussing with Al Roker's brother whether or not you think touring without Jerry is sacrilege. Buen provecho.