jump to navigation

D-O-H May 31, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in current events, funny, humor, movies, photos, pictures, random references, television, world news.
11 comments

This just in…National Spelling Bee Favorite Samir Patel was knocked out in the 5th round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee this afternoon.

Samir tripped up on the word “Clevis”, which is some sort of type setting device.  He spelled the word – “C-L-E-V-I-C-E”.

Samir, for those who don’t follow the “spelling bee circuit” was in his 5th national competition and was the favorite coming in. However the 13 year old will now go home empty handed for the 5th year in a row.

Perhaps he should change his name to “Samir Nagonnaspellhereanymore”. Ouch. The rest of the bee will continue this afternoon with the finals aired lived on ABC this evening. I’m predicting Akeelah to win tonight.

null
Akeelah’s sass and cold, calculating demeanor should land her the Spelling Bee title this evening

Advertisements

It’s all been done…. May 31, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in celebrities, football, music, new york city, NFL, nostaglia, opinion, photos, pictures, random references, sports, white castle.
18 comments

Ooh ooh ooh…it’s all been done…ooh ooh…it’s all been done, before…

That Barenaked Ladies song popped into my head when I read an article this morning that Mark Cuban, the much ballyhooed owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, wants to launch his own professional football league.

http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ap-newfootballleague&prov=ap&type=lgns

Cuban’s idea centers around taking lower round draft picks to populate the league, which will save on having to pay high salaries to players. I actually thought about that point after the recent draft. How many NFL players drafted below the 3rd round actually get a chance to play? I mean not to say you don’t have “gems” later in the draft (i.e. Tom Brady) or guys that weren’t drafted at all (i.e. Tony Romo), but by and large most guys drafted end up on practice squads or playing in Europe. So conceivably this idea of another league, which if they do it right should be positioned as a development league, could stick. Not to say it’ll be popular as NFL football on Sundays…but if minor league baseball works…then why not “minor league football?”. People love to tailgate. As long as they kept ticket prices down and did some zany local market promotions (like the minor league baseball team in Sauget with the deep fried White Castles at their concessions) they can get decent crowds at games.

I honestly think this could work though. I was an avid and rabid fan of the New Jersey Generals of the USFL in the early 80s. Mainly because it gave me a local team to root for since I was a Dallas Cowboys fan.

null
Walker hitting the hole for the Generals

Plus Herschel Walker ended up getting a “promotion” to the “big league” a few years later landing a spot on the Cowboys. But it doesn’t just end with Herschel. Look at all of the great NFL talent that came directly from the USFL:

null
Future Super Bowl Champion and MVP Doug Williams of the Redskins

null
Future 4 time Super Bowl participant Jim Kelly of the Bills

null
Future Super Bowl Champion and one of the greatest scrambling QBs in NFL history, Steve Young of the 49ers

null
Reggie White would become arguably the greatest defensive end ever to play in the NFL for the Eagles

null
Without the USFL, we may never had been introduced to Flutie Flakes and longtime fan favorite Doug Flutie of the Bills

Other players who made an impact in the NFL coming from the USFL include:

Mel Gray – RB/KR Lions
Mike Rozier – RB Oilers
Bobby Hebert – QB Saints
Albert Bentley – WR Colts
Anthony Carter – WR Vikings
Ricky Sanders – WR Redskins

So when done right, an alternate league can yield some great undiscovered talent. Even the short-lived XFL contributed to the NFL by giving them Rod Smart of He Hate Me fame. Plus the NFL also stole the XFL’s roving field cameras and started using them during games (despite the NFL saying these were once-in-a-lifetime revolutionary cameras which as anyone who watched the XFL know was complete bullshit).

So even though I hate Mark Cuban because he’s a meddling pompous asshole who complains and whines about everything (hmm…remind you of a Mr. Steinbrenner?), I wish him well with this new league. After all, I’d love to see the next Herschel Walker or Doug Flutie in action before they hit it big!

Things that make you go hmm…. May 30, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in bathroom humor, comedy, common sense, funny, humor, opinion, pedestrian behavior, photos, pictures, sarcasm, sex, signs, travel, weird.
29 comments

So Juliana sent me this link yesterday to a picture posted in a Belgium playground.

null

Innocent enough playground description right? Children holding hands. Playing on swings. Fucking each other up the ass.

I guess that’s what they call the Belgium Dip? I mean really though…I know sexual rules are less stringent in Europe than they are here but starting at the playground…that’s a bit too early, no? You can say, oh, they’re just describing a wheelbarrow game. But honestly, how close do you get to the person who’s legs you’re holding during the wheelbarrow? Close enough to have your dick in their ass? I think not. You’re holding by the ankles…maybe the calves. Unless you’re hung like Ron Jeremy I don’t think you’re getting close enough to penetration. Could you see this picture in an American playground? Bad enough kids are having sex starting at 13 these days. Don’t need to be giving them new positions to try out!

Anyway…it reminded me that I forgot to share a few silly pictures from my London adventures with y’all. Oops. Here’s some more pictures/signs that will hopefully make you laugh a little on this “hump” day (Wednesday is often called “hump” day since it falls in the middle of the week – for those a little slow on the uptake).

null

null
Nothing says entertaining your guests like a little “cockfighting”

null
Remember, people with chlamydia feel healthy, just like you do!

null
Take me to Cockfosters, pronto!

null
Taken in a London “loo”…”Sir, would you care for a hot towel, mint, condom?”

Southern Hospitality May 29, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in celebrities, critique, dancing, eating, food, humor, opinion, photos, pictures, rachel ray, restaurant, television, travel, video.
41 comments

So spent my weekend in rootin’ tootin’ Nashville. Cool city – fun filled and action packed. We had our Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challege at Bass Pro Shops in Nashville on Saturday so that was entertaining watching these guys compete. Unfortunately didn’t get a chance to visit Graceland to bust out my Elvis impersonation, but an Elvis impersonator did come into the bar on Saturday night. Although he was wearing a red plaid jacket. I turned my head to the group I was standing with and said “Elvis didn’t wear plaid, did he?” Need to investigate that a bit more.

We stayed at this 5 star hotel called The Hermitage. Awesome place. Everything in the place was treated with white glove service, right from the top hat and coat tailed bellhops to the marble encased bathroom counter and floors. The lobby was exquisite with a huge arched ceiling and chandeliers galore.

null
The lobby of the Hermitage

The bedroom was awesome as well, with a king sized bed with at least 800 tread count silk bedsheets and soft down comforter and pillows. The bathroom was huge as well, with a sunken tub and separate glass doored standing shower. They even had a separate room for the toilet. Yep, a separate little room. Cool stuff. Just an awesome hotel all around and just a few blocks from downtown Nashville. And affordable too…my room rate was only $249 a night (which for a 5 star hotel is really good!)

null
The down comforter and silken bed sheets await

I happened to grab dinner at the hotel one night at their bar (The Oak Bar). I of course went for the traditional Fried Green Tomatoes which were outstanding. They looked and tasted just like crab cakes. Delicate enough to cut with a fork but meaty enough to withstand the breading I can tell you “FGT” is definitely worth all of the hype!

null
Just like the watching movie, I cried tears of joy eating some Fried Green Tomatoes

I also treated myself to some Fried Quail in a Jack Daniels demi-glaze. It tasted like a sweet and sour fried chicken – unreal. The bartender said their fried quail dish is their answer to chicken wings down there. I’d have to agree. I think I would’ve eaten the bone if it was edible – it was that tasty! Paired with a local brew called Yazoo – and you had yourself a great dinner worthy of a Rachel Ray Yum-O (more on her in a bit).

We went out on Broadway in Nashville on Saturday night, which is almost like a Carson City meets Times Square meets the Vegas strip. It’s basically a three block radius filled with bright lights, street performers and bars galore. Downtown Nashville is hoping on a weekend night, with most of the bars having long waits just to enter. Each bar has their own band playing and for the most part they are no-frills kind of places with people drinking, dancing, hootin and hollerin as the band cranks out country rock and blues classics. We visited both Lola’s Bluegrass Inn and The Stage in Nashville. Both places were hoppin but The Stage was truly packed. There must have been 300-400 people jammed in their. Looked like a Frat house party with an open pit of people rocking away and a balcony for those who wanted to oversee the action from above. Although I’m disappointed we didn’t hit any Honky Tonk bars so didn’t get to see any line dancing or any boot scootin booging going on. But nonetheless, I’d definitely recommend visiting Nashville if you’re looking to spend a fun weekend away.

null
The Stage in Downtown Nashville

And about that whole stereotype about people marrying young in the South. I had known it has existed but to see it first hand was eye-opening. Literally everyone over the age of 18 was married down there. The 24 year old worker at Bass Pro Shops was upset that it took her that long to get married since she looks “old now”. Are you kidding? Then again compared to everyone else who was married down there she did look old. Out at the bar there was a bachelorette party. The bride to be was maybe 21 at most. All of her bridesmaids were around the same age as well. Not one of them didn’t have an engagement or wedding ring on their finger! Unreal. I’d feel bad for anyone over the age of 25 who was single down there. It would probably mean you’ve either been divorced, widowed or you’re really the runt of the litter. It’s like in Kindergarten they tell you: Ok Billy Bob, you’re gonna marry Peggy Sue when you turn 18. Or else no grits for you. Understood mister? Crazy stuff especially coming from the Northeast where people by and large wait till they’re at least old enough to drink before we get married.

Anyway, back to Rachel Ray. Came across this hilarious video on YouTube of a montage of Rachel Ray from $40 a day. The video is cut closely so it shows her “orgasming” on camera about the food she’s eating. Pretty funny stuff if you have 2 minutes to spare while you spill your Chinese food all over your keyboard during lunch.

View Rachel Ray’s “orgasm”

Fuckin Hysterical May 25, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in bathroom humor, comedy, funny, humor.
21 comments

So I have to leave on a plane to Nashville, in oh, about 6 hours from now. But I know if I go to sleep I might not wake up…but if I don’t sleep, tomorrow will be a miserable day.

Ugh…hate decisions like that! Anyway, wanted to share something hysterical with you before I head down to Graceland for the weekend.

Go to: LaurieKendrick.com and read the story about the Clothes Hamper.

Let’s just say Laurie told a true story about a friend who was stuck in a clothes hamper in the bathroom in her house while her father was taking a shit.

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

Yeah…you read that right. Her friend basically got dutch ovened. In a clothes hamper. In the bathroom. While someone was taking a shit. Hysterical…I read it like four times over just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

Basically I can’t top that story at 1am EST, especially after downing about 6 beers earlier. So for your daily humor fix…at least for those stuck working during a 90 degree day tomorrow, please visit Laurie’s blog. It’s good shit (no pun intended).

I’m off to Nashville to find Elvis…enjoy your weekend everyone!

null

By the way…that’s me doing my best “skydiving/flying Elvis” impersonation a few years back. I’ve done better…but pretty funny considering I was about to go skydiving. Although a white suit with sequins would have been more appropriate. But you get the point.

Lady…it wouldn’t kill ya… May 24, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in American Idol, asshole of the day, common sense, critique, current events, dancing, eating, food, funny, humor, new york city, opinion, pedestrian behavior, racquetball, random references, sarcasm, stupidity, subways.
14 comments

So last night I got on the uptown 4 train at Bowling Green and at Wall St. this rather “weighty” (to say it politely) lady sat next to me. She sat down with a bag of McDonalds on her lap and starting eating. At this point I was starving having just played racquetball for almost 2 hours so the smell of fries and burgers was making my stomach grumble. She opens the bag and I peer in. She had like 4 quarter pounders with cheese and an overflowing portion of fries. I tried not to stare as she devoured fries and burgers.

Anyway, at 14th street, a very skinny and sickly looking homeless man came onto the train looking for some change or food. I actually had no bills smaller than $20 lest I would have given him some change. The lady, seeing that the man was approaching, stuffed a hunk of burger in her mouth and rolled up her bag of McDonald’s. Not sure if the guy saw her or not but as he politely asked her if she could spare some change or food, she shook her head no as she tried to chew her food slowly. The guy stared at her for a few seconds and then walked away.

I mean really…lady…it wouldn’t kill you to spare one of the burgers in your bag. Unless you were bringing it home for your family…which it appeared that you weren’t, I think you could’ve done without an extra cheeseburger. I mean I’m sure the 2,000 calories you already downed with the burgers and fries didn’t come close to filling you up. But if you ever even complained about being fat…well…now you know why.

I looked at her in disbelief and disgust. A guy across from me looked at me and shook his head and we smiled. Cause he was thinking the same thing I was. You fucking fat ass…spare a fucking cheeseburger… (at least I think that’s what he was thinking – it was what I was thinking). Anyway, its a good thing I had my “inner voice” working lest I would have created a messy situation. And that wouldn’t have been good.

Anyway, been stuck in a land of work today so many apologies for the late blog. That and I’m heading to Nashville tomorrow for a work event. Maybe I’ll run into my girl Gretchen and she can show me a rootin tootin good time down there! Although I’ll need to download some country onto my iPod to get me caught up on the latest country hits. And I may have to have Bridget give me some quick line dancing lessons. I wouldn’t want to be the only one not doing the “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” at the bar!


“Oh get down, turn around go to town boot scootin’ boogie”

Anyway…sorry for the short and sweet post for now…I’ll try to give y’all something good before we hit the holiday weekend!

Oh and btw…about American Idol…TOLD YOU SO! America loves a crier!

American “Idle” May 23, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in American Idol, baseball, celebrities, common sense, critique, current events, football, funny, humor, music, NFL, opinion, photos, pictures, random references, sarcasm, television, world news.
20 comments

So I’m probably the only person in America (or the world for that matter) who didn’t watch American Idol last night. Well make that Bridget & I since we went to grab dinner at the Barking Dog. We got back at 9:15 and I flipped on Fox to see some guy giving a monologue type performance on stage. Then I remembered Idol started at 8 not 9. Oops. Oh well…I’m sure I didn’t miss much and I don’t really need to watch tonight to know who wins. Cause I know. It’s Jordin Sparks.

How do I know? Well the two best female singers got knocked out already in LaKisha and Doolittle, and Blake is basically playing the Clay Aiken to Jordin’s Kelly Clarkson winning role. I read online this morning that she even shed a tear while singing the new Idol single – “This is my now” or something like that.

So she pretty much just wrapped it up. America loves a crier.

I won’t be watching tonight. I have better things to do. Like laundry. That and I won’t be voting either. Mainly because I can’t vote for Jordin. Why…because I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan and her dad, Phillippi played for the Giants. Although Sparks did play one season for the Boys in 2000, hauling in 5 INTs. Although they didn’t win the Super Bowl that year and by and large he was a Giants player for his whole career. So can’t root for the enemy and thus can’t vote for her. Sorry Jordin. Although you’re gonna win anyway. Sorry to ruin the surprise for everyone.

IF I did have to vote…I’d vote for Gretchen Wilson.

null
My “Idol” vote goes to Gretchen Wilson

And don’t give me this bullshit that you can’t vote for someone else besides the final two. I’m voting for Gretchen simply because her song “All Jacked Up” has popped into my head more than any other song over the past few months. So I’m basing my decision on that.

Don’t know the song? You should get to know it. It’s a boot stomping, head nodding, rootin-tootin good tune. Great also for working out in the gym and perfect for sculpting those abs for the summer. I think it should be the official song of the Jersey Shore for the summer. Hell, maybe even the MLB should adopt it in a new marketing campaign.

null
Bonds will star in the new MLB Marketing Campaign – “All Jacked Up”

Makes perfect sense, since all of the players have gotten “Jacked” over the past 10 years off steriods and human growth hormones.

Actually I think I may even go ahead and produce the marketing video for them. Would be pretty easy to do. You could just flash before and after pictures of Bonds, McGwire, Canseco, Giambi, Sosa, etc. You can start out with them as they came into the league, skinny and non-muscular and show pictures of them downing vitamins or injecting the HGH into their asses gradually becoming bigger and bigger. All while “All Jacked Up” plays in the background. Not a bad concept…maybe I should get a job in marketing someday 😉

Juice ain’t worth no two dollars! May 22, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in breakfast, critique, eating, food, humor, movies, new york city, opinion, pedestrian behavior, random references, sarcasm, sports, yankees.
34 comments

So getting breakfast this morning at Chicken Deli on 33rd btw Park & Madison (good for a cheap breakfast if you’re in the hood), a young male grabbed a bottle of juice – one of those V-8 Fusion drink things – and proceeded to hand the cashier a dollar bill.

The cashier responded: “$1.79”

The youth: “$1.79???”

The cashier: “$1.79”

The youth reluctantly pulled another dollar out of his pocket: “God dam…juice ain’t worth no two dollars”

null
Is V-8’s V-Fusion worth two dollars?

I tried not to laugh but you know what – the kid is right. A 10 ounce drink used to be a buck. But not anymore…and definitely not in midtown. But I feel for you son, I agree that juice ain’t worth no two dollars.

And while we’re talking about price gouging…do an experiment and see how much your local deli charges you for Vitamin Water. Up in East Harlem, I can get a 20 oz bottle (regular size) for $1.50. At our little newsstand in my building on Park & 33rd, I can get Vitamin Water for $2. But go to any food place, deli, etc, and you’re paying $2.50-$3.00 for it. Ridiculous. Maybe next time I should complain and say “Vitamin Water ain’t worth no three dollar”!

Anyway, thank you to the Yankees for actually showing up last night. Although they still have this problem with the whole manufacturing runs thing. Runners on 1st and 2nd with no one out, and they don’t score a run in the inning. That’s the kind of shit that’s prevented them from winning championships these past few seasons. Although for the first time ever I actually gave Jorge Posada a standing ovation. Yep (all my friends probably just had a heart attack upon hearing that). I’ve long thought Posada was a bit overrated, mainly because despite being one of the best catchers in baseball, he’s consistantly failed to be clutch when they needed him, especially in the postseason. Anyway, I gave him an ovation when he tried to lay down a bunt for a hit. I couldn’t believe it. A bunt. I turned to the guys behind us and said where was that when they played the Red Sox in 04 in Game 6 when Schilling had his ankle hanging from his leg by sutures. Makes sense right?

Anyway it was like fight night at the stadium last night. Every two seconds someone was being thrown out. Probably cause half the stadium was Red Sox fans and the Yankee fans are getting desperate for wins at this point. Although almost every fight involved a girl. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me though because when you have a group of drunk girls in Red Sox jerseys sitting next to a group of drunk girls in Yankees jerseys…well you can only guess the conversation won’t be where they happen to get their manicures from.

The one thing that kept me “cool” last night were Dippin Dots. You know, the self proclaimed “Ice Cream of the Future”. Although they’ve been saying that for the last 10 years now so maybe it’s time for a new slogan! Anyway, I had never had them before, but Bridget picked me up some chocolate dots on her way back from getting a beer. And you know what, they weren’t half bad.

null
Dippin Dots – The Ice Cream of the Future

The dots just melt in your mouth and they have a crunchy but soft texture to them. Definitely a tasty treat. Although Bridget nearly ate my whole dish of them. So I had to bust out the Napoleon Dynamite on her. “Gosh, get off my dots. Get your own dots. Gosh.” But pretty good stuff if you ever need a sweet treat sometime!

If 50 is the new 40… May 21, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in baseball, critique, eating, food, football, funny, humor, lunch, new york city, NFL, opinion, restaurant, sarcasm, sports, travel, yankees.
27 comments

So as they say these days, 50 is the new 40 (largely thanks to advances in “wrinkle cream” cosmetics, botox shots and plastic surgeries galore). Also it is commonly said that 40 is the new 30, due to 40 year olds being more active and looking younger these days (which is largely thanks to the recent explosion of 40 year old “hot” female stars, like Madonna, Teri Hatcher, etc. Read this article for more details)

Drilling down even further, it’s been also widely said that 30 is the new 20. In that case, happy 20th birthday to me! I’ve been waiting sooooo long to turn 20. I mean thank god I can finally put those dreaded teenage years behind me and sound much more “adult-like”. People take you so much more seriously when you say you’re “20 something” rather than being a “teenager”.

To celebrate my “20th birthday” this past weekend we went where any responsible “20 year old” would go: Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse. Being that it’s also my mother’s birthday (yes, I was born on the same day as my mother. And please no more jokes about “that’s the best present she’s ever gotten” or “wow, what a birthday present for her”) we made a group decision to go out to eat. Instead of picking anything in Brooklyn or going to a “chain” like Cheesesteak Factory or Olive Garden, we decided to take a trip out to Staten Island to eat at the good ole’ family fun destination of Charlie Brown’s. I personally had voted for Burger King so I could get a crown, but I was overruled.

null
That bitch stole my Burger King crown

Before you make fun, let me just tell you there’s no knockin the Charlie Brown’s. The fun atmosphere, good food, and fair prices make it the ideal location to celebrate a birthday, as evidenced by the “Happy Birthday to You” songs that seemed to be sung every 5 minutes by the staff (of course we got ours too…but we didn’t get a balloon so I was disappointed about that). But fun atmosphere aside, for a family of 5 to eat dinner, which included appetizer, salad bar, steaks all around (filet mignon’s, porterhouses, prime rib, sirloin and shrimp, etc), two hulking pieces of dessert (including the world’s biggest piece of carrot cake) and 2 rounds of drinks, the total bill was $150 bucks. That’s it. $150. That would have cost like $500 in the city. Our first round of drinks, which included 2 beers, a martini and a jagerbomb only cost $20. That’s like highway robbery right there. They even advertise a margarita night, with $1.50 margs. They also advertised a new “Carlito’s Taco Salad” for just $9.99. Which prompted me to say “Say hello to my lil’ salad”. Although I guess you had to be there to appreciate it. It’s much funnier after a few beers – trust me. But all in all, if I had a car or lived on S.I. or in N.J, Charlie Brown’s seems like the place to be!

The other highlight of the weekend was going to Tea & Sympathy with Juliana and Bridget. Tea & Sympathy is located in the “Little Britain” area of NYC, down on Greenwich Avenue. If you’re not familiar, some of the stores, along with Virgin Atlantic want to rename this area of the West Village “Little Britain”. Albeit there are only a few British shops such as Tea & Sympathy and A Salt & Battery on this one block stretch, so it’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.

Since we had to wait over 30 minutes for a table at Tea & Sympathy, I was starving so decided to get some Fish & Chips at A Salt & Battery. I was especially after craving them after devouring Fish & Chips in London last week (plus I was curious to see what all the hype was about, after seeing Bobby Flay challenge them and lose on one of his Bobby Flay Throwdowns. I got a small order to go with a coke and the total price was over $10. Pretty hefty but there’s not too many places to get authentic Fish & Chips in the city so you’re definitely paying a premium. The fish was deep fried and crispy and the fish was tender. Although it definitely paled in comparison to the authentic British version. The “chips” or fries weren’t that good and we threw half of them out. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate them a 6.5 (with the fish getting a 7/8 and the chips getting a 4/5). The one cool thing was all of the beers they had available to drink, including several British favorites such as Kronenburg, Old Speckled Hen, Boddington’s and Carlsburg. So that’s a bonus. But overall, definitely disappointing as a package though and if I wasn’t starving I probably would’ve been more disappointed.

null
Even if the fish & chips were “so-so”, A Salt & Battery had quite the beer selection

Anyway, it whet my appetite for some tea, scones and tea sandwiches at Tea & Sympathy. After the wait we were crammed into a small area that neither of us could really fit into. I mean I was practically sitting on both Bridget’s and Juliana’s laps at the same time. Plus my ass was practically on top of the table behind me. Definitely not the place to be if you’re over 200 pounds. Especially since their seating capacity is only 23 seats and they use every square inch of their dining area. Plus everything is so delicate, so if you’re clumsy please stay away. The food was ok, although it may have been more enjoyable had the space not been so confined. The scones were delicate and tasty and the claddaugh cream and jam were a good compliment. The tea sandwiches were good too, although a little disappointing compared to the afternoon tea was had at the Ritz Carlton in London. The dessert was good as well, but the pieces of cake were huge and rich and definitely put us over the top as far as fullness is concerned. Overall, I’d give it a 7 out of 10. If they gave you more room to eat the experience would’ve been a lot more enjoyable.

null
Tea at “Tea & Sympathy” couldn’t hold a candle compared to tea at the Ritz Carlton

The other food related highlight of the weekend was seeing a Captain Softee truck. Yes, Captain Softee. Not Mister Softee (as Juliana wittingly said, perhaps he was promoted from Mister to Captain). Anyway I would have taken a picture of the truck but I was told that “I’ve beaten the whole Mr. Softee thing to death on this blog already” – which I begrudgingly admitted too. Although I wonder if the ice cream at “the captain’s” tastes superior? I guess I’ll need to find out someday.

Anyway, it was a good “20th birthday” weekend for me. My favorite present was from my lovely girlfriend Bridget, who bought me a trip to Dallas to see my beloved Cowboys play the Patriots in October. Thanks Bridge! Although maybe this time Romo will hold onto the ball.

Speaking of sports…if the Yankees don’t come out with a “do or die” attitude tonight against the Red Sox I’m gonna be pissed off. I mean, 2 or 3 losses against the Sox can pretty much bury the season. Even though it’s “only May”, mentally its tough to come back being 14 games down. I know its been done before but this team needs to take at least 2 out of 3 from Boston this week, especially with Anaheim coming to town, a team they never beat. So I’ll be there tonight…don’t disappoint me Jankees!

“We made brownies …and I think we’re dead” May 18, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in bathroom humor, breakfast, comedy, critique, eating, food, funny, humor, lunch, new york city, opinion, photos, pictures, restaurant, travel, video, world news.
24 comments

So before I “sink my teeth” into the culinary adventures I had in London, I have a funny video to share with you. Some may have saw/heard this already, but nonetheless still good for a laugh on a Friday.

Basically it’s a police officer calling 911 because he thinks he’s dying from a marijuana overdose.

Go to the Blogger version of this site to view the video

I watched this about 10 times already this morning and I keep cracking up. Love the line:

911 operator: “How much did you guys have”

Policeman: “I don’t know we made brownies. And I think we’re dead. Time is going by really really really really slow”

Hahaha. Great stuff. God bless the internet.

Anyway, onto food. England has long been known by outsiders as a culinary wasteland of sorts. A place where fish & chips was the most salvageable meal and by trying anything else you were taking a culinary risk. Well there has been a culinary revolution of sorts in recent years in England, led by the likes of Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver and friends, who have tried to use their popularity and influence to put those misconceptions to rest.

After hearing all of the negative stereotypes about English cuisine I was excited to put this recent “culinary revolution” to the test. The first order of business was to sample the infamous Fish & Chips.

We stumbled upon a random pub in the Kensington area of London where we had our first meal. Firstly, for those who haven’t been to London before, the pubs are vastly different than they are here in the states. Most of the pubs are smoke filled chambers (although a smoking ban is set to go into affect in July) and most of the pubs (besides ones like The Archers where the brawl took place) are very homey, with couches and comfy chairs for patrons to sit and relax.

null
null
The bar resembles someone’s house with spaciousness and comfort

The greatest difference between English and American pubs is there is no “table service” at an English pub. You place your food order at the bar and inform the bartender where you are sitting. When the food is ready, one of the bartenders brings the food over to you. The other difference is the fact that you rarely tip in a London bar. Unlike the states where you tip for everything, you don’t tip the bartender for pouring you a beer and you don’t tip the “waitress” for bringing your food to you. Bar workers make by and large a higher salary than bar workers in the states, so in essence they’re not really working for tips.

Anyway, back to the Fish & Chips. I was excited to sink my teeth into some local caught fried fish goodness and let me tell you I wasn’t disappointed. The batter was crisp and flaky. The fish tender and moist. Even dousing the traditional English vinegar on the fish only heightened the flavor. Normally one to pass on Tartar sauce, I couldn’t dip my fish enough. Fantastic stuff!

null
I would’ve been happy eating Fish & Chips all weekend, but I’m sure my arteries would’ve hated me.

When paired with a Leffe Blond (which by the way was 10 times stronger than the Leffe here for some reason. The bartender even told me apologetically that they only serve Leffe in “half pints” since patrons normally don’t realize how much alcohol they’re consuming) the fish & chips were even tastier! Plus the breading and frying helped absorb some of the alcohol. Despite that, after two Leffe’s I was starting to feel it! Crazy!

null
Just a few Leffe’s in London will give you a quick buzz

Anyway, I was happy to check that off my list as a successful culinary triumph. Breakfast we ate at the hotel since it was included in our room rate. It was the traditional full English breakfast buffet with tea, scones, danishes, muffins and beans, plus other favorites like eggs, Canadian bacon, sausage, hash browns, broiled tomatoes and toast.

null
The full English breakfast in all its glory

Despite the food being tasty, especially the scones, crossaints and danishes, luckily I avoided multiple trips to the buffet since that would have led to some problems later on in the day.

null
It’s a good thing there’s plenty of public toilets in London in case the full English breakfast starts fighting back!

Another bright spot on our culinary adventures was the popular chain Wagamama. Bridget had loved Wagamama when she took a trip to London last year and she was eager to try it again. Wagamama is set up cafeteria style, with long wooden tables in which you could fit at least 20 guests, including being placed next to complete strangers. Unlike traditional English restaurants, there is table service at Wagamama’s, in which the waitress/waiter takes your order on a handheld device and zaps your order to the kitchen. They also write a number down on a large piece of paper that serves as your placemat which is coded so the server knows where to place the dish. Also the food is cooked to order, meaning that as soon as it’s ready, it’s headed to your table, regardless of who got ordered what and who ordered first.

Being that I’m a fan of Pan-Asian cuisine I sunk my teeth into an order of fried Udon noodles with shrimp, chicken and all sorts of veggies. The meal was awesome and the portions were definitely very American sized.

null
The portions are big and plentiful at Wagamama

We were so giddy about our meal that we were thrilled to find out that they opened a few chains in Boston. So unless you happen to be in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Turkey or even Dubai you’re shit out of luck finding them in the states other than Boston. But definitely worth a visit if you happen to be abroad.

The most shocking culinary experience in London came on a whim, when we decided to try a pizza restaurant. Refusing to visit a Pizza Slut or other chain like Domino’s, we were starving and looking for a place to eat. My sister mentioned that this place called Pizza Express was supposed to be pretty good. I was skeptical at first being that Pizza Express sounds like something you’d see in a strip mall somewhere, but being that we were on a culinary roll at that point, we figured to give it a shot. Walking into the place it smelled really good which only added to our anticipation to eat. I don’t know if it was because we were starving or not, but the pizza was actually very, very good. We had this four cheese pizza that was fantastic, especially when paired with this light Italian White wine we had ordered. It was so good that we actually ordered a third pie after polishing off the first two.

null
The surprisingly good pizza at Pizza Express

By and large we never had a bad meal once in London. Even the late night Burger King we got to absorb the alcohol we drank was decent. I’m happy to report that the culinary revolution is well underway in London, and that you don’t need to eat at a top notch restaurant to get good food in England anymore. I don’t think any meal cost us more than 40 pounds in total, and that included three of us with plenty to eat and drink. Converted to American dollars, that would be about $85-$90 dollars, which is still very reasonable considering bottles of wine or multiple beers are involved. Although when you’re only paying 30-40 pounds for the entire meal split three ways, it feels very, very affordable!