Youʼre a long way from Wall Street
Thursday, August 31st, 2023 Alive 19,119 days
I shall work here today. But first, lunch.
I shall work here today. But first, lunch.
Iʼm starting to think that my doctor is completely untrained in what to do when someone puts the lime in the coconut and drinks it all up.
Today at Home Depot, I was surprised to find that you can buy french fry seeds.
I am very glad to see an ice cream truck prowling downtown Houston.
I will be very sad when a Metro train turns him into soft serve for parking on the train tracks.
This morningʼs promenade in the garden revealed a sleeping bee and a baby pepper.
What did one burrito say to the other burrito?
“Aaaaahh! Oh, holy shit! A talking burrito! Aaaaahh!”
One of Appleʼs edge servers is called “Croissant.”
If a supermarket comes out with a new flavor of ice cream named after the sportsball club that plays a few blocks away, Iʼm required to eat it, right?
It turns out this is a quality product. Very pronounced flavor. And in what may be a first for store-brand anything, I think it might actually have too much going on inside.
It turns out my eight-dollar fish sandwich is actually a $63.11 deluxe fruit tray.
Thatʼs what I get for buying lunch at a liquor store.
I told Pizza Hut I do not want text message updates about my pie.
Forty-four minutes later…
Thanks for completely ignoring my choice, Pizza Hut!
Show me an ordinary spud, and Iʼll show you a commentator.
Show me a green onion that can rhyme, and I'll show you a rapscallion.
Such a happy little pizza poof. Just birthed from the Totinoʼs bag, heʼs enthusiastic and engaged and ready to explore a new world of possibilities and hope.
He was delicious.
The bakery down the street serves a mean Turkish coffee, but I didn't expect a 15th-century Ottoman invasion to remove the faces from all of the gingerbread men.
The same train stop takes me to the cathedral for church, and to McDonaldʼs for McRibs.
I do not think this is a coincidence.
I decided to make my own frozen burritos. For the filling, I had two choices:
Naturally, I went the hard route.
I only rarely go to McDonaldʼs; maybe three or four times a year. So I was surprised and delighted to find itʼs McRib season!
The McRib is the finest fast food sandwich there is. Better than a double Fisch Mac. Better than Starbuckʼs Thanksgiving panini. Yes, better than Chick-fil-a.
Itʼs never McRib season in Las Vegas, so for the seven years I lived there, I had to make my own — Driving three hours across the Mojave Desert to the nearest McDonaldʼs that had them, in Barstow, California. I never did find out why the McDonaldʼs franchises in Vegas donʼt carry McRibs.
Here, in Houston, McRib does exist, so I grabbed a loaf of that sweet, smokey, salty, crunchy, sesame seeded goodness.
Pro tip: Serve the sandwich on top of a pile of fries so that the sauce drips onto the fries, and you donʼt waste any of it on the plate.
Hope is that human condition that compels us to continue eating barren Cool Ranch Dorito after barren Cool Ranch Dorito, just in case the next chip out of the bag is one of the five lucky chips that are laden with the seasonings promised in the picture on the outside of the bag.
Today I learned that you can get Chick-fil-a to set up shop at your festival in the middle of nowhere.
By the time I got there, the chicken had run out, and all that was left was a folded-up tent, and signs advertising all of the chicken I couldnʼt eat.
A neighbor I’ve never met before knocked on my door tonight and gave me this. She’s moving out, and found it in her refrigerator. She’s admired the garden on my balcony, and thought I might take care of it, since she’s leaving.
Over my wife’s objections, I have put it in a pot with some dirt, and we’ll see what happens when it has sunlight to work with, and not just the dim bulb of a refrigerator.
I can’t imagine what the rest of her refrigerator looks like.
What kind of a person eats pizza from a vending machine? Well… me.
Thereʼs a pizza ATM across the street from my home now, so I tried it for lunch, and it wasn't bad. It wasn't excellent, but it's pizza from a vending machine, not a bistro in Ischia Porte. I don't think anyone who knowingly buys pizza from a vending machine is in a place to complain about quality. Not even on the internet.
There are seven pizzas to choose from. I went with pepperoni because it's a good basic benchmark.
After three minutes, the machine ejects a pizza, like a 1981 Sanyo VCR. The result is not perfect, but it's perfectly edible.
There wasn't much pepperoni flavor. Perhaps some of the other choices are a little more pronounced. But the crust was quite good. Overall, it reminds me of pizza from the California chain Pieology.
The downside is that all you get is a pizza. If you don't already have a drink, that might be problematic. I happened to have a bottle of water with me, just like I knew what I was doing.
I took my pizza to the Harris County Employee Smoking Lounge (a.k.a. the alley by the sally[port]), and it managed to stay hot and crispy the whole way there.
I suspect the vending machine isnʼt doing too bad. I saw someone leaving with a pizza as I was walking toward it. When I was waiting for the bake, someone asked me about it. And when I was coming back from eating, there was a young couple waiting for their Hawaiian pie to cook. Thatʼs three customers in about 40 minutes. Not bad for an out-of-the-way location with zero advertising.
There's a slot on the machine that has cello-wrapped plastic knives. Take one. The crust is pre-sliced before the pizza bakes, so the cheese runs across the seams, and you'll have to cut the cheese to get pie-shaped wedges out of it.
Remember back when McDonaldʼs mascot was a convicted felon? Everyone knew it, and nobody cared.
Societyʼs tolerance and forgiveness has since been replaced by internet outrage.
When H.E.B. says the grocery delivery person is 17 minutes away, thatʼs how I know he's standing outside my door unloading his cart. It's always exactly 17 minutes. I get the text message, look for the cat acting up, and can see the shadow of the delivery person outside my door.
Consistency is a good thing. And “consistently wrong” is a type of consistency, right?
An object can be both well done, and not good at the same time. To wit: “Holiday Stuffing” favor potato chips from H.E.B.
The San Antonio supermarket chain has leapfrogged pumpkin spice season and landed firmly in the fuzzy, nostalgic quagmire of Thanksmas season.
Opening the bag, I took my usual deep breath of snackmosphere to preview what was ahead, and I nearly gagged. It really does smell very much like Stove-Top stuffing. It also tastes more like stuffing than a lot of brandsʼ actual boxed stuffing does these days.
So H.E.B. gets an A+ for execution, because when someone said “make stuffing-flavored potato chips,” someone else made it happen. But as food goes, itʼs just not good, because when you eat it, you expect one thing and get another.
Iʼll still finish the bag, though. And let the “Holiday” term slide because stuffing is traditional for both Christmas and Thanksgiving.
The delightful thing about the Fresh Stacks version of Ritz crackers isn't that by putting the crackers in smaller sleeves, they stay fresher longer. It's that you never know how many crackers there are going to be in each sleeve.
In the photograph above, you can see that one sleeve has 14 crackers, while the other has 11. It's all the fun of a food lottery, but with a bonus side of vaguely feeling like you're being cheated.
I havenʼt lived in Texas long enough to consistently remember that some items in the supermarket are cheaper if theyʼre labeled in Spanish.
For example, here are two packages of bulk pumpkin seeds from H.E.B. The ones I bought on the 17th were the Spanish-labeled ones and cost $6.98 per pound.
A week later, I bought more pumpkin seeds, but accidentally got them from the English-labeled bin, so I ended up paying $7.98 a pound.
I initially noticed this while in the store because the two bins are near one another, which is why I picked the Spanish ones last time.
I suppose there are plenty of ways to get all angry and political about this, but Iʼm not. I find it amusing, and yet another one of the quirks of living Lone Star.
Today I learned that there are both “ridged” and “wavy” potato chips, and theyʼre not the same thing.
Clearly, there are people who prefer one over the other, or both wouldnʼt be on offer.
This H.E.B. frozen cheese ravioli is “ready to cook.” Is there another option? Does H.E.B. sell “some assembly required” cheese ravioli?
Iʼm old enough to have lived in a world before “pumpkin spice” everything.
After months of research involving 1,0000 Splenda packets, 400 H.E.B. “Sweetener” packets, and 1,640 cups of coffee, I can personally confirm that it takes three H.E.B. packets to do the same job as two Splenda packets. You're welcome.
Big city mayors like to talk about promoting the health and welfare of their people. Then they allow the airport to sell passengers hamburgers for $4.00, while the healthy snacks cost $17.50 plus tax.
If you see an advertisement for cooking oil while on the subway, you might be in the Middle West.
I was surprised to learn recently that a good number of people in Chicago donʼt know what this is. And many people donʼt even notice that theyʼre there.
Iʼm old enough to remember when these underground kiosks thrived at CTA stations all over Chicago. Some were newsstands. Some were Dunkinʼ Donuts shops. Some sold other kinds of food to passengers. I always thought that was funny, because at the time, you werenʼt allowed to eat or drink on a CTA train. But the CTA was happy to sell you both inside its own stations.
I remember lines at the Dunkinʼ Donuts kiosks would sometimes be long enough to block the turnstiles.
Today, theyʼre all boarded up with stainless steel plates. Some, like this one, are decorated. As if to pretend that they never existed at all.
I used to live in a state where prostitution is legal, and even Iʼm not sure what a “ham quicke” is.
The last time I bought Orca Bay salmon fillets, the package weighed a pound. Now it's just ten ounces. Thatʼs 37½% smaller.
Either my supermarket switched to carrying the smaller package and kept the same price, or the fish company is putting fewer fish in the package.
Since thereʼs a different photo on the package, it doesnʼt seem like the fish company is trying to pull a fast one, so I blame the supermarket.
Dessert tonight is some sorta chocolate mousse cake. Amtrak makes a fine sorta chocolate mousse cake. If my wife wasnʼt sitting right there, I would ask this sorta chocolate mousse cake to marry me.
Wait, I found the description:
Flourless Chocolate Torte: The perfect paring of bittersweet chocolates, topped with semisweet chocolate truffle ganache and drizzled with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
I donʼt know why it has a hole in. Maybe thatʼs where the calories go.
Tonightʼs Amtrak appetizer is going through an identity crisis.
“Lobster crab cake: Pan-roasted lobster crab cake served over a Farro, butternut squash and craisin salad with Sriracha cream.”
So itʼs got lobsters pretending to be crabs, and cranberries pretending to be raisins. Doesnʼt matter — it was really good.
I am sad to report that time, economy, and pandemic have not been kind to the place. It seems to have lowered its standards in order to bring in more foot traffic.
There are dinner specials. The wait staff is spread thin. Tourists are allowed in all dining rooms not only without a jacket, but in T-shirts and sockless. Any of this would have been absolutely unthinkable not that many years ago.
The food remains solid, if smaller. On the plus side, the baked Alaska remains among the best I've tried, even if it's been tarted up for the Instygram age.
Then again, when Iʼm 182 years old, I will probably make some concessions, too.
I donʼt know if lunch at Galatoireʼs was the finest meal Iʼve ever eaten, but it is certainly in the top two of all time.
Part of it was the food, which was excellent. But most of it was the people. Both the staff, and the other customers.
The wait staff were the most professional Iʼve ever seen. They have mastered the art of being exactly where they should be at exactly the right time. Of being invisible, yet always on hand. Of being friendly, while being anonymous. Of putting the “serve” into service. And not just the ones attending my table. Watching the others around the dining room, I could see similar attention being given to everyone.
When the entire staff from the butter-and-rolls guy to the manager visits a pair of regulars over the course of an hour and greets them like old friends, it shows why those people keep coming back.
And thatʼs just it — this was a room of regulars. Each part of an individual knot of friends, but in a room full of friends new, old, and not yet met. And everyone so interesting to look at and listen to that my wife were silent with each other as we eagerly devoured multiple conversations from multiple tables at the same time.
Plus a scattering of people who looked like writers, playwrights, bankers, fashion designers, and a 30ish woman eating alone that the staff ensured was never lonely during her meal.
An in this age when too many American restaurants think “hospitality” means putting a time limit on your visit so they can “turn” the table for a new revenue source, my wife and I never felt rushed. We were there for two-and-a-half hours, and could easily have stayed longer. That was also true for everyone else. Most of the parties were already seated when we arrived, and when we left were still there talking, reminiscing, conspiring, and engaging in fruitful human-to-human contact in a way that has been largely lost elsewhere.
As a restauranteur, when a hundred people gather in your room, and nobody takes out their smartphone, you know youʼve done your job right.
Museum cafes are almost universally overpriced. I figure that Iʼm paying a premium for the convenience of giving my feet a break, having a snack, and then resuming my mental stimulation with minimal delay.
A lot of museums think their food has to look like art, cater to waifs, and embrace the ”less is more” cliché.
But the New Orleans Museum of Art is different. Portions are large, prices are reasonable, and its fried chicken sandwich is quite good.
Also, thereʼs paintings and stuff in the other rooms of the building.
My wife and I had dinner at The Court of Two Sisters. I got the pork chop, with came with a side of cornbread and a drizzle of pecan syrup.
O.K., maybe not a drizzle. More like a deluge. Perhaps a flood.
There was so much syrup in the dish, that I couldn't taste the pork, so I canʼt even say if it was good. With the cornbread absorbing the syrup puddle, it was more like breakfast than dinner.
I have a rule about meat: The only reason to drown it in sauce is to hide a bad cut of beef. I donʼt know if that applies to pork, as well.
All that said, The Court of Two Sisters deserves credit for at least being open. The pandemic has ruined dining in New Orleans. If you don't want fast food, or to eat in an ear-splitting bar, or something made of alligator, there are startling few options. Of those that remain, very few are open during the week; and even fewer on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays.
The Sisters isnʼt excellent, but itʼs open. And when everything else is closed, that makes it the best restaurant in New Orleans that night.
It doesn't have to be good, but it is.
The bar at the Hotel Monteleone puts out quite a nice meat-and-cheese tray. “Charcuterie” if youʼre trying to be fancy-schmancy.
There are a dozen reasons to waste four to six hours in the Monteleone bar: Watching the people on the carousel; watching the tourists perambulate outside; absorbing the art, music, and food New Orleans proffered throughout the morning. But the smörgås-on-a-board encourages you to linger, to sip your drinks slowly, and to chew as often as youʼre supposed to.
I wonʼt pretend to know or like every item on offer, but thereʼs enough variety for both me and my wife to find things we like, and we have very different tastes.
If you were a child in the 1970ʼs, you may recall the crispy, chewy, vanilla taste of good old-fashioned lead paint chips.
People on the internet like to complain about things. Itʼs an inclination I suffer from, as well. But of the dozens of meals Iʼve had on Amtrak, I havenʼt had one yet that was worthy of complaint.
Here we see “Amtrakʼs Signature Flat Iron Steak.”
8-oz Black Angus steak with a cabernet reduction sauce, served with baby green beans, Parisian carrots, and your choice of cheddar polenta or a baked potato
I went with the polenta. Yummy.
I donʼt think I have ever turned down an offer of carrot cake. Amtrakʼs is a solid player.
An old family recipe made with raisins, pineapple, and walnuts, frosted with a cream cheese icing and drizzles with white chocolate and caramel sauce
Amtrak makes a better cheeseburger on a train than I can make in my car. Almost as good as I can make on a grill. It's a hefty sammitch, with good char and flavor. Chips, though, not french fries. I guess vats of boiling oil are a bad idea in a moving conveyance.
If I had an Instagram account, I could tell the supposedly Texas-style Howdy Kolache company that saguaro cacti donʼt grow in Texas. They only grow in southwestern Arizona, hundreds of miles away.
Iʼd tell them myself, but like many hobby companies these days, the only way to make contact is via the one random social media app of their choice.
Me: “I'll start with the seafood gumbo.”
Waitress: “Shrimp, crab, sausage, okra, rice.”
It turns out she wasnʼt asking me what kind of gumbo I wanted, she was listing the ingredients. It has all of those things in it. Lucky for me, she was tactful and didnʼt point out my dumbassery.
The bowl is deeper than it looks, and submerged beneath the sauce is way more grits than one digestive tract can process.
Shrimp and grits at the Grand Galvez Hotel is Gulf shrimp, smoked cheddar grits, andouille sausage, peppers, and onions under a green chili sauce.
Itʼs food that sticks to your ribs. And your pancreas. And all of the rest of your major organs. A good way to replenish your energy if youʼve just wrestled a shark out of the maw of an alligator while snorkeling off Seawolf Park.
Itʼs always a shame when bad people happen to good coffee. That seems to be whatʼs happening at the Canary Cafe location on Fulton just north of Cavalcade.
The store is nice. Good decoration. Good furniture. Even a cozy backyard in which to savor and chill.
The coffee is good. The sweets are excellent. I had something that was something like a cross between a peanut butter sandwich and baklava. Trés scrummy.
But the people running the place donʼt really seem to know what theyʼre doing. Itʼs like they came from another planet where everything they know about serving coffee came from watching reruns of Friends. As if theyʼve never actually been to a coffee shop, themselves.
Maybe itʼs a new location, and these are just growing pains. The newspapers are full of stories about how restaurants canʼt find quality workers, so maybe this is evidence of that problem.
But Iʼll certainly go back. The coffee is solid, and the pastries would make a firefighter bite a Dalmatian. Hopefully, the people problems will be worked out by then.
The egg farmer brought brown eggs this Easter. This is the first year Iʼve died brown eggs. The colors seem richer, but also muddy. It seems to work best with light-colored dyes. Yellow comes out gold, but blue comes out black.
You know what sounds awful? Pizza on a stick.
You know what is really good? Pizza on a stick!
Carnival food can be really awful, but the pizza on a stick at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is really good. Flavorful, moist, and easy to handle without getting greasy. The amount of pizza you get on a single stick is a full meal, so as carnival food goes, itʼs good value for money.
If your local supermarket sells chicken feet labeled “Chicken paws,” you might live in Texas.
This is pretty much the most Texas thing Iʼve seen today.
After a day at the tree museum, I like to stop at Food D'lite on the way home. Itʼs a combination hamburger stand and Chinese food joint.
Itʼs my understanding that in the early part of the last century, it was common for Chinese immigrants who opened restaurants to serve both Chinese and American cuisine, in order to expand their customer base and to ingratiate themselves with the locals. Iʼve also noticed it in a number of old movies from the 1940ʼs, so it seems to be a little slice of Americana that is fading away as restaurants now strive to pigeonhole themselves into a particular category, rather than attract the largest number of people they can.
As you can tell from the picture, Food D'lite is small, old, and garishly-painted. So, naturally my expectations were high the first time I went here.
I have never gotten a hamburger from this stand, but I am happy to report that the Chinese food is excellent. Itʼs very much in the style of the heavy, muddy East Coast Cantonese I grew up with, and very far from the fresh-crispy-sprouts-and-heat of the West Coast Szechuan Iʼve had to make do with for the last decade.
If the Metro Green Line ran just another 4.8 miles eastward, Iʼd probably have lunch here every other day.
I made cookies today. Truthfully, I made about 40 cookies today, but these are the six that donʼt look awful.
A column in todayʼs newspaper suggests, “Try a plant-based sweetener like Stevia” instead of sugar.
So what exactly to millennials think sugar is made from? Rocks? Oil? The dried, ground up bones of boomers?
Annie likes to pull the green peppers and black olives off of my pizza. But only if itʼs from Frankʼs Pizza. If itʼs any other pizza, she just eats the cheese.
My cat eats a lot of cheese.
Today I discovered that my microwave has a frozen burrito function.
Where have you been all my life?
I really should stop this tomfoolery. But I also want to find out if sheʼs dumb enough to get her head stuck in a peanut can.
Thereʼs a weird kind of hybrid bar -slash- epicurean bodega near my home called District Market that gives free coffee to cops and other essential workers. Thatʼs nice.
People make a lot of jokes about cops and doughnut shops thinking that itʼs nothing more than a lame stereotype, but few understand that thereʼs a historical reason for that association.
America used to be littered with all-night coffee shops. This was because people used to stay out later, as they didnʼt have much entertainment at home. People also used to work later because a lot of once-massive industries demanded it. And more people worked overnight shifts than they do now. Stopping at a coffee shop or a diner on the way home at 2am was a perfectly normal thing to do. People also used to work harder, so in some cities there were 24-hour cheap steak joints, but thatʼs a story for another time.
Because these coffee shops were open in the small hours, they were often the targets of criminals. A clever way to attract police officers to your late-night noshery in order to repel criminals was to offer the badged free coffee, and sometimes free doughnuts.
Whether District Market is giving away free coffee in lieu of paying for improved security doesnʼt really matter, because itʼs still a nice thing to do. And the whole notion of “free coffee” which used to be ubiquitous in American society has almost disappeared today.
My apartment building has a Stockwell vending machine in the basement.
Unlike the vending machines of yore, this one is just an open cabinet with a camera that watches what you take off the shelves and uses magic A.I. fairies to send you a bill. That is, if it works. Which it doesnʼt.
I canʼt even get the Stockwell app to acknowledge that the Stockwell machine in my building exists.
I guess Iʼll spend my snack money at the convenience store across the street, instead. Where I can pay by cash, or credit card, or Apple Pay, or even food stamps if I had them. And if something goes wrong, there are intermittently friendly people to help me out, and not some Silicon Valley robot barking, “object has no attribute.”
Not only did DoorDash eat itself, it canʼt even show a legible error message.
Itʼs like the DoubleFail Twins of delivery apps.
No beating around the bush. I will just plainly state right here that Wise potato chips are the best potato chips on the planet.
Every once in a long while something goes terribly wrong with the universe and a black hole opens up, depositing Wise potato chips at a store near where I live. They are the potato bomb.
While most other potato chips aspire to be like Layʼs potato chips, these are the chips that Layʼs aspires to emulate.
The only problem is that theyʼre hard to come by if you donʼt live back east. And occasionally youʼll get a weird, shriveled green potato chip. But I eat those, too.
Oh, good. The milk I just bought at Safeway is only a week past its expiration date. Safeway is getting better.
Considering that milk has a pretty long shelf life, I wonder how long this carton has been sitting in the cooler. A month? Two months?
I used to blame myself and feel bad for not checking the expiration dates more closely when Iʼd end up with expired food from Safeway.
Now Iʼm just mad that Safeway willingly and repeatedly sells me expired food.
Me: “Hey, #Siri, put Hamburger Helper on my groceries list.”
Siri: “Who is speaking?”
Me: “Joe Biden.”
Siri: “OK, Iʼve added it to your groceries list.”
I sure hope the president likes Hamburger Helper.
Hereʼs Darcie sitting in the trunk of the Desert Truckster, waiting for me to set up our picnic lunch.
Now that Iʼve cleaned up after dying Easter eggs, I have to clean up the clean-up.
No Girl Scouts knocked on my door this year. So, thank you, random Girl Scout troop in Utah I found online.
Which should I choose? Fondue, or fondü?
Theyʼre both made in Switzerland. And judging by the date marks, they were made within eight hours of one another.
I wonder if they came over on the same boat, too.
Why is there a door knob on the inside of my pantry door? Do my Froot Loops and Hamburger Helper get claustrophobic during the night and go out for a walk?
Darcie likes when I make her pizza from scratch. I donʼt do it as often as I should because the dough is a lot of work.
But when I do accede to her cravings, I also make myself a “cowboy pizza.” Itʼs made from whatever I happen to find in the refrigerator that is remotely pizza-like. Peppers, onions, tomatoes, bits of random leftover meats and cheeses.
I call it “cowboy” pizza because I cook it in a cast iron skillet, since I only have one pizza pan.
“Open here?” Thanks for the tip, I was about to drill a hole in the side!
I miss having Darcie around to dote on so I can pretend that my real life doesnʼt exist.
Sheʼs still at work, so Iʼm baking her a cake right now. Iʼll probably burn it, like I did with the last cake. And the cupcakes. And the pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Baking is not my thing.
Darcie: “You made a Jell-O mold?”
Darcie: “What flavor?”
Me: “Raspberry failure!”
I wonder if it’s easier to track down the source of food poisoning these days since so many people are constantly taking pictures of their meals.
Each day for the last month, Iʼve included a piece of Halloween candy when I pack Darcieʼs lunch. And each day I notice that the Whoppers always seem to come back unopened.
I think she hasnʼt really given Whoppers a chance. So I made her an all-Whoppers lunch today.
In other news, there is a Hot Pockets heiress. And a Hot Pockets fortune.
I wonder if thereʼs a Hot Pockets mansion. Please be called “Ham and Cheese Manor.”
I think the best recent Thanksgiving invention is the Thanksgiving panini at Starbucks. If you havenʼt had one, try it. Theyʼre a little better this year because they left out the cranberry sauce.
Iʼm so dumb, it only occurred to me yesterday that I can make all of the Thanksgiving paninis I want with my Thanksgiving leftovers!
Only one item in the deli case is labeled “Made in the USA.” So, where are the others made, and why can't know?
Someone should invent a tall and skinny, or a short and narrow cooking pot to deliver us from the tyranny of spaghetti-burning overhang.
No, I canʼt just break the spaghetti into pieces. That wonʼt work for Cincinnati chili.
Lunch is down in that valley. Itʼs a 40 mile detour.
Three day weekend.
Four cans of Skyline chili.
Date night at The Palm with carrot cake. I think Darcie was there, too.
Boss: What is happening at your desk?
Me: Iʼm growing wheat.
Boss: …quickly walks away…
Todayʼs breakfast is the Star Wars of bagels: It has a light side, and a dark side.
Also, I need a new toaster.
Minutes later, the place filled up with hungry tourists. With the white manʼs government shut down, this is about the only food available in this part of Death Valley.
This must be Animal Crackers: Western Edition.
Iʼm not suggesting that In-N-Out Burger put “Merry Christmas” on its bags to imply that Double Doubles are a good Christmas gift. But Iʼve gotten worse presents.
I hurt my back this morning, so when I got home all I wanted to do is sit in the bed, watch TV, and eat a pizza. Now I have a furry little nurse to make sure Iʼm OK.
Half way there!
I think this is the cat equivalent of a dog drinking all of the water from a Christmas tree stand.
I guess Papa Johnʼs thinks Iʼm exceptionally bad at math.
If youʼve ever wondered how peanuts get brittled, this is it.
Behold the peanut brittlers of the Ethel M candy factory.
Youʼre melting welcome.
There arenʼt a lot of women you can take to a candy factory for a date. Darcie is that woman.
Now I can have ice cream for breakfast. Screw you, health and nutrition!
It annoys Darcie when I keep mozzarella sticks in the visor of the Desert Truckster, so Iʼve decided to stop.
Thatʼs a Twinkie.
Iʼm pretty sure thatʼs a no parking zone.
You know the drill.
Weʼve never been to a reservation with a McDonaldʼs. But the big ones all seem to have Burger Kings.
A tart made from local piñon pine nuts. Very good, but awkward to eat because the great big pine nuts roll off the itty bitty forklet.
Darcie was a little startled when the waiter asked her to pick a knife for her steak.
Perhaps it was because he told her, “Choose your weapon.” I shit you not.
Darcie loves road trips. My habit of storing Arbyʼs deep fried mozzarella sticks in the visor is something she is less fond of.
Lunch hour and Iʼm the only person in this Carlʼs Jr.¹ I guess nobody else wants to risk getting shot for a Thickburger.
¹ Read “Hardeeʼs” for you people back east.
Whenever I read my cowboy books at night, it makes me want to use my cast iron skillet in the morning.
Being dumb enough to grab the hot iron handle is probably not the only way Iʼm not a cowboy.
Shhh! Nobody tell Darcie Iʼm cooking outdoor dinner again tonight. Sheʼll get McDonaldʼs on her way home!
Sure, Albert Einstein was smart. But I bet he never created a new life form inside a Tupperware in the back of his fridge.
Iʼm old enough to remember life before Cool Ranch Doritos.
Those were a rough 15 years.
Every time my wife puts these two items next to each other in the refrigerator, a tiny angel appears on my right shoulder, and a tiny devil on my left.
Under 95° on a weekend? You know Darcieʼs coming home to an outdoor dinner.
I don't remember the bars in Cincinnati serving complimentary apple pies when I lived there.
Itʼs been 28 years since I last had Little Caesarʼs pizza. It has improved greatly in that time.
A hundred people in the stand-by line to maybe, possibly, potentially buy an iPhone if there are any left at the end of the day. Two hundred people in this line for people who pre-paid and have an appointment to pick one up. We get snacks.
Tonightʼs adventure: Chocolate from Hokkaido.
Wilfred Brimley, no!!!
“No, Darcie. Keep eating. I'm just taking a picture of my sammitch.”
Darcie took me to the last Carnegie Deli for our anniversary. Sammitches so big I had to back up to take the picture.
We're not Red Sea pedestrians, but we love matzah ball soup and a good knish!
Irony: The lady at Whole Foods pontificating about the horrors of genetically modified food, while holding a chorkie.
At least the dog knows it wonʼt get eaten.
My well-intentioned ex-pat sister-in-law sent me real Cadbury chocolate from Ireland. +1 for thoughtfulness. But no points awarded for not realizing that a metal mailbox in 120° desert heat in the sun will turn a candy bar into a 360 gram purple bag of goo.
He weighs like 15 pounds now. The little Barbie table inside never stood a chance.
How do we really know this is a “5 Cheese Pizza?” All those little shreds look alike.
Has anyone in the history of everything said, “Wow! I can really taste the Asiago on this frozen cardboard plank!”
Iʼm going to make Chex Mix for Darcie; who is also a Czech mix.
This morning my egg formed itself into a perfect circle. And I donʼt even own a ring mold.
Itʼs also Red Flag week on the other side of town. Coincidence?
Itʼs been a long time since I transferred a file at 300 baud. I think thatʼs how I got fat as a kid. Nothing to do for 12 minutes but see whatʼs in the fridge.
Searching for a new butcher this morning, I was reminded once again that you can get anything in Vegas. Anything.
So if anyone needs any coyote chops, bobcat stew meat, peacock thighs, lion fish filets, or otter steaks, I know a place.
Also, guinea pig nards (apparently suitable for slow cookers) are $19.99 a set. A SET!
You can tell it’s fake news because there’s no way a hundred Americans have ordered a salad at McDonald’s.
They say that Iron Chefs can cook anything.
OK, prove it. Bring on Battle: American Cheese.
Taco Bell makes me happy that Darcie insists I buy the good, fluffy toilet paper.
I ate so many Doritos when I was a teen-ager that I may die, but Iʼll never decompose.
The fact that this is the first photograph I took with my new phone should tell you everything there is to know about me.
If a steakhouse has an oil painting of the mayor and her mob lawyer husband on the wall over their regular booth, itʼs probably a good steakhouse.
If a steakhouse has brass plaques identifying the regular tables of people from Frank Sinatra to Mario Andretti, itʼs probably a very good steakhouse.
But do you know how you can tell if a steakhouse is an excellent steakhouse? Creamed spinach, baby!
Five nuns walk into a pizza shop…
Nope, itʼs not a joke. Itʼs what happened when I was waiting for my wife at Beggarʼs Pizza.
Itʼs good luck when thereʼs a priest on your plane or train. With five nuns in attendance, this is going to be the luckiest meal of my life.
It turns out that not only are Lorentzeseses brilliant mathematicians, we also make fine pepperoni-flavored snack foods.