Monday, March 12, 2012

Birthday Binge

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes.  Again, I know I've been lagging so far this month.  At the moment I'm focusing on getting my writing into competition, so that's taken priority.  But as many anticipated, I do have pictures of the stuff I jammed down my throat on the soon-to-be national holiday that is my birthday.  I thought about really spoiling myself, but I have a history of getting sick on and around my birthday, so I elected to not do any permanent damage to myself.

Let's get right into it.  For dinner my family and I went to the 94th Aero Squadron in Kearny Mesa, CA.  The Aero Squadron is usually solid.  Unfortunately, the guy who's usually our waiter, Kevin, wasn't working that night (you disappoint me, Kevin), so that was a letdown right out the gate.  The waitress we had was nice but...Kevin's a total G.  But anyway, naturally I had the prime rib, but also unfortunately the lighting in this place is about as bright as reading under your bed sheets, so it was hard to get good pictures. I did my best to brighten it up:

Got the nice slab of steak, mashed potatoes, and some cream corn.  Now...usually this is a delicious meal.  The potatoes and corn were fine.  But the steak had no flavor.  It was cooked perfectly, tender, moist, but it lacked the flavor that's usually bursting from it.  Lack of seasoning most likely.  Some people may ask "Greg, why didn't you just send it back?"  And here's the thing...I've been in this situation before and the reality is if you're at a restaurant then you're hungry.  You want to eat now.  Sending stuff back takes time.  It throws the whole meal off.  People at your table may be done with theirs and you've barely started because it was sent back.  I don't want to waste anyone's time sending back something for a lack of seasoning.  A chef should frickin' know how to season a piece of beef anyway.  And if it's not then I just complain about it on the Internetz. 

However, one dish at the table did go back.  My sister hates red meat.  Me?  I love it when the steak is still alive.  But she hates it.  So she asked medium well, which should be mostly brown with a slight red hue.  When she cut into her steak it was still moving.  Very red, very rare.  That sucker went back.  That tells me that the usual chef wasn't cooking on that night because those are mistakes that no good chef should make.  Gordon Ramsay would have a pissy fit if that happened on his watch.  And it was too dark to get a picture so you'll just have to take my word.  I don't mean to sound like I'm ripping on it too much - the company was lovely, the restaurant is nice, I had a great time and I'd go back. 

Also included was this beer soup:

There was about a pound of cheese in this

Earlier in the day I was thinking of getting some In-N-Out for lunch, specifically a 4x4 with Animal Style fries. Instead I went to McDonald's.  The reason being is that I knew if I had that In-N-Out lunch then I would get sick with the steak dinner on top of it.  It was a trap.   So I'm saving that for another time.  I also chose McD's because it was a tradition for a while to get McDonald's on my birthday.  It's just a birthday kind of thing.  The last thing is that I guess this ends my temporary boycott of them.  In reality I did what I set out to do.  I resisted a few urges and spent my money elsewhere.  They apologized for the stupid commercial and acknowledged their stupid mistake.  That's really all I wanted.  But anyway, here's lunch:

Pair of double cheeseburgers and fries.  The problem, however, is that the McD's on Balboa seems to have some sort of phobia with salting their fries.  The amount of salt on these things couldn't even cover a jelly bean.  So I had to salt them myself.  Naturally I over-salted them and they tasted blah at best anyway.  Don't underestimate the amount of salt in those little packets.

The day wouldn't be complete without a scone of course from Charlie's Best Bread:

The McD's, the scone, and the steak (with 4 servings of cream corn no less) nearly made me sick that night to no one's surprise.  I think if I had In-N-Out I probably would have gotten sick.  It was also enough to give me a food hangover the next day where I barely ate anything at all. 

I guess I also ended another boycott:

Thankfully I haven't seen any of that "10% Bigger Bag Free" bullcrap since I complained.

All those years of my family asking what I want for my birthday and me responding with "food or drink" finally paid off.  Especially here:

Yes!  A pizza stone!  I am going to make my own frickin' pizzas and they're gonna be FRICKIN' DELICIOUS!!!  New Gourmet feature perhaps?  We'll see.  We'll touch pepperoni, sausage, ham, all that good stuff, but since I like to experiment I'm also thinking fried chicken, strawberries, Skittles, etc., etc.  I'm really looking forward to trying it out.  Also got these supplementary goodies:

Oh yeah!

With easy to read instructions because I get confused easily

Pretty cool, yeah?  I've always wanted to learn to cook.  In fact, on my Facebook it says that one of my hobbies is "pretending I know how to cook."  So yeah, I'm looking forward to this.  Thank you, family.  I love you!

Oh, and I also nearly made myself sick from these:

Bone Crusher always looks out for my best interests with 5 dozen donut holes.  Or she's trying to make me fat.  Either one.  

Great birthday.  Thanks everyone for the wishes.  I love you all!

Thanks for reading!