Friday, September 13, 2013

The Two Whitest Things I Heard at Last Night's Philly Feastival

If you weren't at last night's Philly Feastival, you missed an opportunity to sample ridiculous food from all the restaurants you've ever wanted visit if you could ever manage to find a last-minute babysitter willing to watch two kids on a weeknight. You also missed Jesse Rendell stumbling through the auction items once again (if you need an emcee/auctioneer/hype man for next year, I'm your guy), heaps of dancey performance art that sort of made sense, and these two gems that you could only hear at such an event:
  • "Oh my God, I didn't recognize you without spinning clothes on!"
  • "I can't wait to check out Stephen Starr's restaurant row."
White people are amazing. Buen provecho.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Regular Ass Guy Bullet Point List to Being a Man

While indeed thoughtful, Business Insider's "Unofficial Guide to Being a Man" appears to be written for a narrow audience. After all, we can't all be overworked and miserable millionaires with no life skills at the ripe old age of 28. With that in mind, I've curated my own list for the rest of us, because being a man today is basically the same as it was when our dads were on their grind, just with tighter clothes and a lot more fantasy football.
  • If you're gonna talk about where you went to college, make sure you went to a sports school, but if you played sports, stop talking about how you could have gone pro.
  • Khakis are both comfortable and versatile. The best ones come from Kohl's.
  • Pee outside. Just not in the middle of a busy intersection.
  • Tattoos are fine as long as they aren't on your face or neck. Plus, they look wicked hardcore when you're on the Tough Mudder course.
  • Join Twitter. Follow Karl Welzein, Zoo With Roy, and Deadspin.
  • If your house and your office are both relatively close to the bus stop, there's little shame in the bus game. However, the monthly payment on a Scion or a Ford Focus is about the same as a bus pass. The jury's out on which one's more depressing.
  • Do your laundry while watching football on Sundays. Make sure the entirety of your business casual wardrobe is non-iron/wrinkle-free. Life's too short NOT to multitask.
  • When the bartender asks, Miller Lite.
  • If you perspire, make sure that you're the first to point out how disgusting it is, then continue to sweat like the pig you are. Hope everyone laughs.
  • You have to like baseball. This is America.
  • When people don't invite you to a party, it's probably because of your perspiration problem. Those people are high falutin' and can suck a fatty.
  • It's always better to be the funny drunk guy than the angry drunk guy.
  • Brunch is for hipsters. Hipsters are anyone different from you and who like things other than sports.
  • There's always another level. You just won't get to it, unless you're referring to video games.
  • Place-dropping is cool so long as it's the Super Bowl, the World Series, or one of the majors. Nobody gives a shit how many DMB concerts you've attended.
  • If you're not driving and it's free, whiskey away.
  • You can't afford cocaine.
  • If it's got velvet ropes and lines, you're at the wrong place. Buffalo Wild Wings is down the street.
If you need a little more clarity, this song ought to help.

Monday, September 09, 2013

The Greatest Top Chef Season 11 Pre-Cap Song You've Ever Heard

I blame (thank?) Buzzfeed for the self-serving title of this post, but if you can get past the shitty Garage Band recording and poorly-timed slideshow I made using software that dates back to the invention of the abacus, the results are pretty spectacular. Here's hoping this season of Top Chef will be a lot better than the previous two. Let me know if I should waste my time doing this every week in the comments. Buen Provecho.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why Did He Eat This?

Been way too long, folks. Way too long. Seeing how the laziness doesn't subside with old age (duh), and taking into consideration the fact that Philadelphia wasn't one of the chosen few test markets for the Taco Bell Breakfast (even though we are a lovely amalgam of actual fat people (me) and skinny fat people), I enlisted the help of a good friend in Nebraska, who was gracious enough to snap a few pics and offer his take on what is sure to be a disappointment once it lands in our fair city. Behold, the taste test results of Taco Bell's attempt at breakfast.

Words and pics courtesy of Matt Biggins, to whom we owe a debt for the intestinal discomfort:

I'm fine with the admission that I do enjoy Taco Bell. Of course, late at night, it's a no-brainer. But even daytime, 3 or 4 crunchy tacos are great. Like a couple cheeseburgers at McDonalds, even the fast food giants can do the simple stuff well. 

A few weeks ago, I made a run for the border. The marquee out front read "Breakfast Coming in August." Having seen nothing on TV or anywhere else, I was a bit surprised. Come to find out that Omaha is a test market. OK. Taco Bell and breakfast. Anything's possible, right? For the uninitiated, there are 3 main offerings being tested:

• Breakfast "Taco" - sausage and egg with a "shell' made of a small waffle. 
• A.M. Griller - Looks like a quesadilla with eggs, cheese and bacon or sausage. 
• Breakfast Crunchwrap - Also, looks like eggs cheese and bacon or sausage. Maybe a taco shell inside? I can't tell from the picture. 

I ordered one of each. The Taco looks like it has a big 'ol slab of sausage, so, anticipating the digestive activity of the next several hours, opted for the slightly lighter bacon on my Griller and Crunchwrap. 

First off, the Taco. This is the one I'm most excited about. I love waffles. Love 'em. And with sausage, giddy'up. The waffle is thick and tender, but oily. First bite, oil. Slightly stale oil. Not a promising start. The next couple bites improve, as the sausage flavor takes over. I was expecting some sort of maple crystals in the waffle, like a McDonalds McGrillers. That or some kind of maple-y sauce. But there is none. Pretty disappointing. 

Next up, the A.M. Griller. It's like a soft taco, filled with breakfast. The bacon flavor reminds me of imitation bacon bits. Not a bad thing, but not great. With a bunch of hot sauce, this one is totally decent. 

Finally, the Crunchwrap. A hash brown(!) replaces the tostada shell. There's also a slightly spicy sauce that tastes like their quesadilla sauce. It's a lot smaller than the normal Crunchwrap, so there's more tortilla per bite. And the potato adds some heft to this. Pretty heavy for a breakfast, but tasty. Again, the bacon flavor tastes artificial. I'm sure sausage wrap is better. 

Having eaten halfway through each item, my stomach is not pleased. This is certainly one of the greasier breakfast meals I've had. While I can get down and enjoy a greasy pile o' fast-food, morning is a rough time to do so. Perhaps to nurse a hangover, a Breakfast Crunchwrap and a big-ass Mountain Dew may hit the spot, but I'd rather spend the junk food points on a big plate of biscuits and gravy. 

Caveat emptor, readers, and as always, buen provecho.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The 2013 Philadelphia Wine & Food Festival in Really Bad Pictures

Loafers without socks, leathery faces, and the quiet discomfort of being in a room where everybody makes more money than you. That basically sums up the 2013 Philadelphia Wine and Food Festival. Not that it wasn't a good time. There were some stellar pours, including a perfectly balanced sherry imported by P.R. Grisley Co.* and a sauvingnon blanc from Casa Patronales that drank like a high octane double or triple-IPA (imagine a boozier Double Jack or a less-syrupy Hop'solutely). Plus, it was all you can drink, although I did my best not to render myself useless for the next day's kid party doubleheader.

At the end of it all, I had the opportunity to catch up with a high school buddy of mine who dropped serious knowledge on the challenges of importing wine (P.R. Grisley is only available in 13 states), the effect of the E.U.'s disdain for austerity (It's no secret that Spain and Portugal, where many of P.R. Grisley's imports come from, are kind of fucked right now), and how wine's a whole lot cooler if you're not snobby about it. Check back shortly for a couple videos featuring a real-life Geico caveman and a drunken Spanaird. Buen provecho.

Update: Here's the Spanish bull (toro?) I was talking about. Foreign accents are so cool:

And here's the IRL Geico Caveman:

Dude, you've got some mango salsa in your beard.

*Full disclosure. These guys were my sponsors. I was pretty relieved, however, when their wines were among the best I had all night. It would have been really awkward if they sucked.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

When Life Imitates Art: A Little Green Eggs Cafe Rodent Levity

More surprising than the lack of puns about the whole Green Eggs Cafe rat conundrum (I'll throw my own hat into the headline ring with "Broken Sewer Pipe Leads to Shitty Situation."*) is the fact that almost a week has passed and nobody out there has compared this to one of my daughter's favorite movies, Ratatouille. I suppose real life rats are far worse than computer animated rats, but perhaps they were just in there trying to whip up one of their favorite classic French dishes. A cassoulet, maybe? The perfect omelet?

It got me thinking about the parallels between the movie and Philly food (with a tiny bit of poetic license for one of the characters).

Monday, May 06, 2013

Burger Brawl 2013 Non-Recap*

It would be nice if we humans could evolve to the point where our collective metabolisms catch up to the amount of food we produce/consume rather than just becoming a bunch of fat shits. That way, instead of only being able to eat nine or so of the burgers at this year’s Burger Brawl, every last one of us at the event could have enjoyed all twenty-four.

Alas, the finiteness of our stupid stomachs brings regret not from eating so much, but from eating so little (relatively speaking). I suppose when you say you’re upset that you only got to eat nine(!) burgers, you’ve got problems. Or you’re American.

Congrats to Fat Jack’s for being the jewel of the judges with their "Memphis Mauler" burger, and to Lucky’s Last Chance for getting the crowd’s crown with their Peanut Butter and Bacon Burger. And congrats to the rest of us for enduring sunburns and meat sweats in the name of competition and philanthropy. Buen provecho.

*Regarding the event itself, I can't stop thinking of Percy St BBQ's offering (middle left), a mouthful of egg yolk and country ham that had the silky texture of prosciutto with vinegar onions to balance all of those riches. I was also quite partial to South Philly Tap Room's Ham-Hamburger, because I hate ham salad (too sweet), but I fucking love SUPER ham salad, something Scott Schroeder came up with while "shooting darts."

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Do You Want Pho?

In case you were wondering, this PowerPoint/decision making masterpiece is the result of two years of business school and the associated mountain of debt. Buen provecho.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Alla Spina, One Year Later

It took a little over 365 days for me to finally get to Alla Spina. Those following me on Twitter know that the reason for the delay could be attributed to beef jerky and/or the fact that I'm usually too drunk to drive, but whatever the excuse, I'm happy to say that I finally made it to the North Broad birreria this past Friday. Since I'm a year late to the party and you probably already know about the grafitti, the pig with leg warmers, and the negronis on tap, I'll keep things short and sweet by telling you what I ate and why you should do the same (or I'll go off on a bunch of tangents about shit that doesn't make any sense whatsoever).

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Why Did I Eat This?

The trouble with gimmicks, even the bright orange crunchy ones, is their inherent lognormal distribution. Out of the gate, Taco Bell's first Doritos Locos taco was in heavy rotation, and rightly so. The "oh shit why didn't we think of that before?" combination of crappy fast food and crappy snack food was a monumental success, but like beating Street Fighter II on one quarter with Blanka for the 30th time, its novelty faded, settling beyond the third sigma where one can comfortably avoid being seen making a run for the border and heard in the toilet immediately following. I lost count of how many Doritos Locos tacos I have eaten since their debut almost a year ago, and it has been at least a month since my last one.  I had all but forgotten about the brilliant combination until Hahri Shin's Twitter feed reminded me that the brain trust at Taco Bell was diversifying their Doritos Locos portfolio with a Cool Ranch shell. And it would be ready a day early. And that day was today (well, yesterday, since you're probably reading this on Thursday).

With curiosity and expectations high, I made my way to the nearest Taco Bell thinking my life would be changed once again. That was my first mistake.