Thursday, September 29, 2011

Schtickle of Flouride

Last night was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  It's a time for review, a time for self fulfillment, and a time to think of what we can do to make ourselves better.  Or, in this case, a time to eat a lot of good food and then review, self fulfill, and think of ways to make ourselves better.

This dinner had a lot going in it.  First off, I cooked.  Sort of.  But not really.  The mashed potatoes were mine, though.  There's also this:

Oooooh yeaaaaaah

This was the core of the meal; a giant turkey leg, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and kugel.  Kugel is basically a Jewish pudding.  And there was this:

Hey Jared, my matzo balls are bigger than your matzo balls

The turkey.  The full bird was 12 pounds

Hallah aka "really good Jewish bread" provided by Charlie's Best Bread, which shaped it as a circle to represent the cycle of another year

My mashed potatoes.  I thought I put too much milk in but they were reportedly really good

The stuffing and the kugel and a couple different gravies

But the thing that we all eat dinner for...DESSERT:

It was so beautiful I didn't want to cut into it, but after I did I couldn't stop eating it

Terrific meal and Happy New Year to my Jewish family and friends!  Just remember - "it's our sense of humor that's sustained us as a people for 3000 years."  "5000."  "5000!  Even better!"

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Three Foot Triathia

Happy birthday, Dad!  And many more!  I love you!

It's my father's birthday today and for dinner I made everyone a sandwich to share, dubbed the Three Foot Triathia.  Observe:

Hey Jared, stick this in your pipe and smoke it

That's three feet of awesome.  Here it is from another angle:

My three footer is bigger than Jared's six incher

So what we have here is two pieces of French Bread combined together with melted butter spread in it for extra flavor.  It includes honey roasted turkey, black forest ham, tomatoes, lettuce, onions (on one side), a thin layer of mayo, mustard, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.  And those tooth picks you see are these awesome swords that my grandparents picked up in Toledo, Spain in the 60s.  

Oh yeah

You know how car companies come up with these names for their vehicles that are spin-offs of words?  Integra.  Maxima.  Pinto.  Triathia comes from Triathlon, a series of three events of physical endurance.  When one of the halves of this sandwich was cut, we then had three epic pieces, and hence the Triathia was created.  

It's so big it doesn't even fit in the picture

Helloooooo baaaaaaby

It's such a badass that it actually bent one of these metal sword toothpicks

And here's a brief video.  I was trying to make a joke that I thought made sense but I later learned actually didn't make sense at all.  

Here's another picture just to get a sense of its epicness

Happy birthday, Dad!  And many, many more!  I love you!  

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday Night Lolz

Here's something I came across at Albertsons the other day.  Either a great coincidence or the workers just said screw it because of the then-impending strike:

Hahahaha banner fail

The full banner

I got a good laugh out of that one.  Thanks, Albertsons.  But anyway, here's some lunch I picked up:

Buffalo chicken wings, potato wedges, and egg salad

That egg salad tasted like a fish mutated with a jar of mayonnaise - it was disgusting.  Mayo is one of those foods that you have to be careful with.  Too much can easily overpower the other ingredients and make whatever you're eating taste like the thought of Justin Bieber being successful.  The wings were pretty good.  Wedges were, too.  

And here's a most impressive work of construction by a relative I had lunch with at the Great Plaza Buffet:

Holy Guacamole!  This must have been the Big Salad that Elaine was talking about

I actually forgot to take pictures of all my plates, so here's the two I had:

A plate of 5 different types of chicken

A salad/fruit plate

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Polish Chorizo

It was a reunion of sorts for the squad formerly known as the Murray Crew as we ventured to Lake Murray Cafe as a group for the first time since last year.  I hadn't been there since starting a boycott after they gave me a dozen half-baked rolls that subsequently nearly ruined Thanksgiving dinner, so I was expecting a great meal.  It was Josh in Japan, LandonWhereBrandon, What If Featuring Amar Pawar, and myself partaking in the Feats of Strength to see who could down what used to be really large portioned meals.  First up is my Chorizo Scramble:

Scrambled eggs with Spanish sausage and a half plate of home fries

So when this came to the table I thought it looked and smelled really good.  The egg portion is still smaller than what it was once but it's adequate.  What really bugs me is this:

You.  Have.  Got.  To.  Be.  Kidding.  Me. a bread plate.  Those...are tiny, tiny pancakes.  Those are the sizes of what frozen pancakes used to be before companies like Eggo and Krusteaz decided to make their mini pancakes the normal size.  Because I didn't match this plate up against the regular sized plate, it may be hard to see the significant difference in size, so instead check out this picture of the pancakes I had at the Mission Valley Cafe, a satellite of San Diego Homecooking.  That's the size they SHOULD be, but once again Lake Murray is cutting portion sizes but maintaining the same price and what's really stupid is that MVC is only, like, 10 minutes away and you can see the dramatic size difference.  Unbelievable.  

Josh in Japan got the Polish Kielbasa, one of their better breakfast items:

Polish kielbasa, scrambled eggs, and home fries

Now that I look at this the plating actually looks pretty bad.  When we first ordered this they had the entire kielbasa intact and wrapped around the eggs and potatoes.  It looked nice.  The above just looks lackluster.  It's like three sides in search of an entree.  

Next up is BrandonWhereLandon, who ordered a Grilled Mushrooms and Onions burger:

This actually came out as a really nice picture despite the fact that I find mushrooms and onions to be completely disgusting

Oh, and here's his salad:

It's a salad.  Hooray. 

And then there's Amar.  Now, the Murray Crew shares a lot of regularly occurring memes and inside jokes, such as keeping a win-loss record of who finishes their meal (and subsequently those who can't get made fun of), taking shots of cream (seriously), and Amar's carefully crafted ordering process.  In the past Amar has actually requested that his meal be plated in the form of a smiley face.  Other times he's very specific in what he wants, such as separating the biscuits from the gravy or the sauces from the entree.  

Thanks to Josh for recording, we now have video of Amar putting in one of his famous orders.  It's not one of his overly-complicated ones, but notice how he pauses before he says each thing, carefully plotting and thinking about how he wants his plate to look.  The noise you hear in the background is me laughing because I'm a jerk:

Amar's a good sport and the waiter was too since I was sitting there cracking up and making the dude uncomfortable.  Anyway, here's Amar's chorizo:

I guess his order was more complicated than previously thought: he still got all the sauces even though he only asked for one

The meal was good, but the pancakes really ticked me off.  I can't believe they're cutting corners like that, especially when they have one of their other restaurants only 10 minutes away and it serves pancakes the way they should be.  Unbelievable.  Lake Murray has its charms, such as its quiet and intimate location on some neighborhood streets beside the lake, but the restaurant is still bugging me.  

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Food Commercials That I Hate - Volume 2

Here, for your reading/viewing enjoyment, is Volume 2 of the food commercials that I absolutely can't stand.

Subway - Mrs. Jared Fogle

I've ranted numerous times of how uncool of a spokesperson Jared is and how I'd like to get into a fight with him...and this commercial just clinches it.  Check it out:

Sometimes it's hard to put such disdain into words.  First off, hot woman calls you, wants something romantic, suggests French, is lighting candles, is probably wearing some ridiculously hot lingerie beneath those clothes, and your response get Subway.  And not only that, but this guy is so lame that he butts in with "and low fat!"  Wow.  Way to go, Captain Cool.  And seriously - she mentions French, Japanese, and Mexican.  In what world does Subway classify as French, Japanese, or Mexican?  Because it has salsa and jalapenos?  Jared, you're such a dork.

Horrible, horrible commercial.

Mountain Dew - Hoobastink

Mountain Dew put out a series of commercials a few years back where people were doing 360's in the air and performing all these crazy stunts over a can of soda.  This commercial tops them because not only does it exhibit an exorbitant amount of stupidity, but it does it over a song from Hoobastink (yes, I know what I said).

First of all, this driver guy looks like a ventriloquist dummy that came to life and is pondering the idea of becoming a skinhead.  He does a sharp 180 in the middle of the street because he forgot his soda.  Cool.  He left the soda, for some reason, on some guy's car.  He peels out.  He speeds.  He crashes into boxes of...stuff...does a spiraling 360 in the air, snatches the soda, and then, like a total joker, holds the can a few inches away from his stupid face and pours the soda into his mouth, all the while listening to Hoobastink in an effort to be cool.  

I mean, what the hell is going on here?  What kind of garbage is this?  He smashes car into a pile of crates and flings through the air...for a can of Mountain Dew?  This isn't cool, this is just stupid.

Horrible, horrible commercial.  

Domino's Pizza - Tate's Chicken

Another guy I can't stand is Domino's Pizza CEO J. Patrick Doyle, and this commercial is the major reason why.  First of all, is this jerkhead trying to give Tate a nervous breakdown or something?  I mean, just look at this Tate guy.  It's obvious this dude is not a stable individual, he's nervous as nuts, and he probably has a stash of illegal drugs in his office.  What kind of CEO does this?  Market a major product onto the shoulders of one guy?  And what's even more idiotic is that Tate isn't excited about this at all.  HEY!  NEWS FLASH!  If this guy doesn't care then why should I?  If this guy isn't confident in his food then why are you launching this huge campaign other than to completely embarrass him?  Dumb.  

Horrible, horrible commercial.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Food Commercials That I Hate - Volume 1

We all love pictures of food.  We also love moving pictures of food.  That's why I'm introducing a new feature to Greg's Gourmet which will (dis)honor the best and worst food/drink commercials out there.  Each installment will include the video (assuming it's online) as well as why this particular commercial is totally awesome like the dream-level logic used in Inception or stinks worse than the Pittsburgh Pirates' soon-to-be streak of 784 consecutive losing seasons.

Let's dive into it!  

Coors Light - Bar Exam

I can't stand this commercial for so many reasons.  See how many horrible things in this commercial you can spot and then compare them to my list:

Okay, first thing's first: Do you really need something to tell you that your beer is cold?  Are your hands so frost bitten that when you touch the bottle your sensory receptors are completely unresponsive to the temperature?  Heineken did a commercial which poked fun at this with the line "there's no special window to discover whether or not it's cold.  You have hands!"

Next thing that's horrible about this commercial: At the end the girl asks "so you're a lawyer?" to which the dude responds "Huh?  No!"  Okay, so let's figure out this guy's home life for a second.  He's obviously been lying to his hot girlfriend since she thinks he's studying to become a lawyer, which is a load of baloney covered in bratwurst.  You can tell by the girl's home (whether or not they live together is irrelevant for this case) that she's got some money and probably has a decent job which means she's probably PAYING for this jerk's "law school".

 The question is, since this jerk is obviously lying to everyone, where's that money going to?  It's not going to school.  It's not going to women since he had the perfect opportunity to pick up that girl at the end.  Clearly this guy has a drug habit since he's lying every which way he can, he's stealing money, and he's barely able to tell the difference between "cold" and "super cold".

This dude is a mess.  He's confused, he's anxious, he's exhibiting all kinds of deceptive behavior.  Get this guy some help.

Horrible, horrible commercial.

Burger King - Wake Up With the King

I've ranted about the King before and, seriously, what's going on in this commercial?  Imagine that you wake up and some guy dressed in a plastic mask and royal robes is laying next to you.  Then the guy in the plastic mask and royal robes gives you a sandwich.  What would a normal person do in this situation?  Yes, definitely fall ill with Stockholm Syndrome, gleefully eat the sandwich, then pal around with the guy in the plastic mask and royal robes like you're old buddies.  Horrible, horrible commercial.

Taco Bell - Quad Steak

This commercial began airing earlier this year and I have such disdain for it because it aired at every single commercial break on every single channel.  There was no escaping it.  I have such malice for this commercial that I actually hum the tune because it subliminally slipped into my subconscious.  That's how bad it is:

The first thing I can't stand about this commercial, other than it being ridiculously annoying, is that Taco Bell is going up against fine dining.  Look, I don't like spending thirty bucks for a steak the size of a jelly bean either but there's a reason it's called "fine dining" and why the other is called "fast food".  Also, freeze it at 9 seconds.  What in the name of Trent Lott is that orange gooey mush in the girl's bowl?  It looks like they served her a bowl of chewed up baby food in decroded oatmeal or something.  What is that???  Dude's got a tiny steak and the girl's got the House Special that's normally served at Mos Eisley to the Star Wars Cantina Band.   

Horrible, horrible commercial.

If there's a food/drink commercial out there you can't stand and want to suggest it, let me know the brand and/or restaurant, year of airing, and a video link if you can find it and it may be featured here.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Jalapeño Love Affair

I don't know why I order stuff with Jalapeños.  The reality is they don't have an overly phenomenal taste and half the time it feels like that scene from one of the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies where the guy grinds an iron-fingered glove against a chalkboard as a form of torture.  But they're an addiction.  I love them.  It was at Moondoggies, located in Pacific Beach, CA where I ordered the Jalapeño Pepper Jack Burger:

There's a volcanic layer of Jalapeños beneath that cheese

Let me tell you - this burger was cooked perfectly.  A rarity of taste, moisture, and seasoning that you seldom get.  The jalapeños actually weren't that hot, but my insides still felt like this the next day:

Still - I love the extra zest and heat jalapeños bring to the table, even if they do make me sick half the time.  

Also at our table, Hawk ordered a Roasted Garlic Pizza:

Those are caramelized onions you see there

And Rat and the Female Billy Mays ordered a colorful Shrimp Salad:

A fine combo of shrimp, pita, and pepper

Special thanks to Just A Dog Pit Bull Rescue for the meal!

Also for your enjoyment:

Open faced chicken sandwich topped with mashed potatoes and gravy

Scone from Charlie's Best Bread.  Oh yeah.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

12 Egg Omelet Iron Man/Woman Challenge

There's a place in Pacific Beach called the Broken Yolk Cafe that's home to the "Broken Yolk Iron Man and Iron Woman Special" - as listed on their menu: "A dozen-egg omelet filled with mushrooms, onions and American cheese smothered with our own house-made chili and more cheese.  Served on a 15-inch pizza pan with a generous pile of home fries and two biscuits."  You have an hour to complete it and if you succeed it's free and you receive a shirt plus a plaque on their Wall of Fame.  If you fail it's $24.99 plus tax.

Not only that, but this dish was featured on one of the TV shows that defines Greg's Gourmet: Man Vs. Food; a brilliant program where host Adam Richman goes from city to city to take on these crazy food challenges as well as partake in other delicious gourmet.  For this particular episode, Richman came to San Diego to take on this dirty dozen challenge.  The video is here.  It's 7 minutes and totally worth it:

Notice the close-up boobs shot in the opening 10 seconds.  You know the cameraman was planning that one out

Richman has an incredible appetite so I'm not too surprised that he completed the dish.  I've considered going for it a few times but what prevents me from doing so are the mushrooms and onions.  I greatly dislike onions and mushrooms just creep me out.  Why would anyone eat something that has "mush" in the name anyway?   Might as well name them gastro-intestinal-parasitic-tract-rooms. 

Anyway, onto what I ate:

Eggs Benedict with hash browns

Nothing unique to report here.  It's Eggs Benedict, it's good.  Not much else to say.  Writing this out, however, has made that 12 egg challenge seem more appealing.  Might have to reconsider.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lumberjack Fail

It was a reunion the other day with Josh of Josh in Japan returning to America to take on the recently opened Mission Valley Cafe, part of the San Diego Homecooking franchise AKA the new Lake Murray Cafe.  For those who don't know, Lake Murray was our main spot, pretty much our Monk's Cafe from Seinfeld.  However, small portions became more and more common and then I began a boycott around Thanksgiving when they gave me half-baked dinner rolls which nearly ruined the meal.

But I digress.  Josh in Japan, LandonwhereBrandon, and I decided to give this place a try.  While Josh is still adjusting to American food from the steep transition of Japanese gourmet, I tried to pick up the slack and ordered our favorite dish: the Lumberjack.

Three eggs, half plate of potatoes, four bacon strips, and three sausage links and...

...three plate sized pancakes

Needless to say, this is our most frequently ordered dish due to its size and variety.  I've defeated this dish numerous times before but on this day, my friends, the starch was angry.  The eggs were tenacious and the potatoes were ludicrous.  The Lumberjack defeated me:

Lumberjack Fail

Back at Lake Murray we would keep records of our wins/losses, and by that I mean if someone couldn't finish their meal they would be made fun of and we would all remember it.  I'm pretty sure this is the first time I couldn't finish the Lumberjack, and this is from a jerk who regularly practices at buffets.  But I'll tell you this - that Lumberjack was bigger than any Lumberjack that Lake Murray had served us in the months leading up to the boycott.  I may return to Lake Murray soon, but this place is nice.  

Also, Josh presented me with a bag of Japanese candy, compliments of Kentaro!


Some really interesting stuff in here, including a three foot long gummy worm, some taffy that's the equivalent of a really, really good Starburst, and really, really good jelly beans.  

Snack food

I guess the best comparison for the Big Katsu is fried beef jerky.  This one is actually chicken with sort of a breaded honey glaze to it.  Those long deals you see are kind of like cylinder cheese balls with a variety of flavors, one of which actually tasted exactly like a cheese ball.  Very cool stuff.  Thanks a lot, Kentaro!

Thanks for reading!