Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I know I don't update this site as much as I used to but naturally I have to show off the important meals:

Turkey drumstick, mashed potatoes, stuffing, dinner roll, and cranberry sauce - the meal of champions

Gnarly brownies and chocolate chip cookies - all homemade

All American Dessert - Christmas Version

Okay, so last year I made this same dish but forgot to put the grapes in.  Honestly though, this version doesn't really do it for me.  The grapes just aren't sweet enough, and the canned cherries to match the red Jello aren't exciting enough.  You may ask "well, Greg, why don't you just put strawberries to match the red Jello?  Are you stupid or something?"  Yeah, strawberries aren't in season this time of year, jerk.  I'm not putting sub-par fruit in my dessert, thank you very much.  Anyway, in addition to the fruit and Jello (lime and cherry) you've also got the layers of pound cake and whipped cream. 

Aerial View

The top layer consists of more whipped cream, the rest of the Jello, candy cane shavings, maraschino cherries, and kiwi.  

Christmas Sandwiches!

Hope everyone had a great holiday season.  And ate lots of good food.  Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  Best meal of the year right here:

Giant turkey leg, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and a dinner roll - you can't go wrong

And lest we forget one of the best parts of Thanksgiving: the leftovers and the opportunity to make CHRISTMAS SANDWICHES!!!

CHRISTMAS SADNWICHES!!!

Christmas Sandwiches: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy packed into a buttered dinner roll.  So.  Freaking.  Good.

Oh...oh yes.

Splurging with food is fun.  Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was great.  If you went shopping afterward then you suck.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Why is Blogging so Damn Hard?

It's funny, even after switching things around on this site I'm still having trouble finding motivation to blog about stuff.  About anything.  I was gonna write about how the Detroit Tigers are the biggest chokers in the game, but that's boring.  Then I thought about listing the top 5 worst franchises in Major League Baseball, but that really would have been just a bunch of bashing on the Dodgers and Angels, and everyone already knows those franchises totally suck.  Then I just kinda sat there and picked my nose.  What the hell am I gonna write about?

I have stuff to write about, it's just getting that motivation to open the blog up and get to work.  I guess motivation was really the main reason my food blogging lagged.  So I started thinking about what happened and it's really actually pretty simple: blogging is hard.  I mean, even when I stopped marketing and would only post a few times a month, the website never went to waste.  It's going on three years which is a long time to stay active on a blog.

So I'm gonna do a case study on blogging and today's topic is:

 What the Hell Happened to Basketbawful?

Basketbawful (the best of the worst of professional basketball - and there's a lot of it) was the premiere blog to read up on the daily failings in the NBA.  Every morning there'd be a new post trashing Darko Milicic, the Charlotte Bobcraps, or how David Stern secretly controls the outcomes of all the games.  It was a pleasure to read because Mr. Bawful's writing was cynical, sarcastic, and just damn funny.  Reading Basketbawful was a great inspiration for keeping things entertaining here at Greg's Gourmet.

But then something happened.  Bawful, who had a real job writing about the Chicago Bulls (By the Horns), gradually stopped blogging everyday and it was following the 2012 Finals where he basically dropped Basketbawful and quit.  Since I was a loyal reader since 2007 or 2008, I saw the warning signs early that he just wasn't into it anymore.  You see, the NBA doesn't have much of a middle class anymore.  You've got some really good teams and a bunch of really bad teams and that's it.  Finishing at .500 has really become a mirage.  While it does happen (Dallas finished 41-41 last season), you generally have a huge gap between the 50 win teams and the 30 win teams.  There's just not a lot of middle ground anymore, and it's the big wigs and the player egos that have caused this.  Bawful saw it coming several seasons ago and didn't make it a secret at how dispiriting it was, that basically the NBA just pimps out a handful of "super" teams (where all of the league's best players team up) now and that's it.

So last summer following Bawful's departure, Evil Ted (Bawful's friend and number 2 guy) opened applications for new writers on the site.  Essentially you could write in about anything related to the past season: a season recap, a playoff recap, draft analysis, etc.  With Greg's Gourmet's popularity at an all-time high and being a loyal Basketbawful reader for years, of course I applied.  This is where things got stupid.

ET's plan was to pick through the best submissions and post them on the site and let the public decide who gets to be a new contributor.  Ultimately three writers had their work posted for public evaluation and all three became contributors.  I'm too lazy to go through the comments, but I'm guessing ET liked their stuff enough and may have made them contributors either way.  So obviously I didn't get picked, nor did my submission even make it onto the site for public consideration.  It didn't bug me that much until I saw this posting from ET.

Note: I'm leery of people with their own blogs...while that shows dedication to something, I am seeking someone (or someones plural) to be dedicated to Basketbawful and make it what it once was...a nasty, sarcastic place for semi-literate anonymous people to vent. HA! Kidding. But not really. 

So...one of the qualifications to blog at Basketbawful is that you can't be a blogger?  Oooooookay.  And thanks for the heads-up after the application process, that's great timing.

Anyway, three new writers were brought on paired with ET and a couple writers who were carried over from the Bawful days, so you had about 6 people contributing to keep the site active on a daily basis.  But that didn't last long.  The writers who contributed during the Bawful days quickly abandoned ship, so we were then left with the three new guys and I'm pretty sure ET is pretty let down on how that turned out.

Jason was supposed to be the savior.  His writing most closely resembled Bawful's and he was entertaining.  When he was first brought on he was submitting several things per week.  Unfortunately once the 2012-13 regular season started, Jason all but disappeared.  His posts became majorly sporadic, like once a month if anything.  Another guy who was brought on, Paul, whose submission I don't even think was that great, never actually posted after the regular season started.  So that left Glenn, who gets major props because he went into the trenches to try and keep Basketbawful afloat.  His writing style is much different than Bawful's in the sense that Bawful would make fun and make funny of people and teams.  Glenn just makes funny, and the difference is night and day.

For example, Bawful would refer to underachieving teams such as the Detroit Pissed-ons, the Charlotte Bobcraps, and the Toronto Craptors.  Players who only got to see a minute or two of floor-time were lauded (in a taunting way).  And if a player had more turnovers, fouls, or missed shots than any other contributing statistic then they were praised as Basketbawful heroes for being so horrible.  Basically the more someone or something sucked, the more attention it got.  Glenn's writing just didn't have that fast paced sarcasm to it.  But he still posted nightly recaps every damn day without any help from any of the new writers.  Toward the end of the season and into the playoffs his posts became more sporadic until he disappeared.  He openly mentioned how doing the nightly recaps were exhausting and I don't blame him.

Jason has since posted a couple things over the summer, but nothing much and honestly, who really gives a shit?  The site's readership has tanked.  Unless Bawful comes back I doubt there'll be much activity this season at all.  This brings us back to the original idea of this post: blogging is hard.  A team of three new writers couldn't do the job of what one guy was doing.  And seriously, Bawful is a spectacular writer.  And the NBA season goes from late October to early June and this guy blogged about it every single day.  It was a pleasure to wake up to.  But even he got tired of it.

Am I upset that I didn't get a chance to write for Basketbawful?  Not really.  With its readership as high as it was you'll always need to be on your game cause the readers will know if you're half-assing it.  I would have liked to give it a try, but I think like Glenn I probably would have just lost interest, just like everyone else did.  No hard feelings of course, though I'm still baffled as to why ET didn't want someone who was already a blogger.  Like, dude, what?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Everything Wrong with "The Purge"

2022...unemployment is at 1%...crime is at historic lows...there's barely any violence...except for...on one night...DUN DUN DUN!!!

This is the best part of the movie

Forgive my vulgarity in this post but...what a pile of maggot sucking horseshit.  Seriously, how could a movie with such an interesting be so damn horrible?  

First of all, the poster says "from the producer of Paranormal Activity and Sinister", two films made on miniscule budgets that wound up making tons of money.  Sure enough, The Purge was made on a budget of about $3 million with the agreement that profits would be split up accordingly, most notably to lead actor Ethan Hawke.  Let me just say this to Jason Blum or whatever the hell this producer's name is...you've trolled Hollywood long enough.  You've shown you can make huge sums of money without investing a lot.  But it's time to start putting MONEY INTO YOUR FUCKING MOVIES!!

How could a movie like this be so horrible?  Let's go through the list:

1) First of all, the concept of a 12 hour period where all crime is legal is really, really hard to pull off but there's also a lot of different directions it could go.  Why they chose to confine this entire movie to a house, other than the producer being too much of a little bitch to invest some money in this, is beyond me. 

2) What the fuck is this shit?  

???
I spent the whole movie trying to figure out what this Timmy nonsense was and I still have no idea, other than perhaps it indicates that the boy is schizophrenic.  

3) Ethan Hawke plays a security system salesman, selling Purge-specific systems and it's found out early on that he's the number 1 guy for selling these things.  Keep this in mind. 

Hey, Wanda Sykes is in this movie

4) The Annual Purge starts at 7 PM on March 21st and the Sandin family is calmly eating dinner without a care in the world until 6:58 PM.  So shit's about to go down and these people are just like whaaaa???

5) Henry appears out of nowhere and pulls Zoey onto the bed.  Who didn't see that one coming?  

6) What the hell is up with Charlie's hiding place?  What relevance does this have at all to the story other than being a convenient spot to, uh, navigate your remote controlled baby doll tank from. 

7) Okay, so Henry's plan to win over his underage girlfriend is to fucking shoot her father?  Is this guy's head so far up Carrot Top's ass that he actually thinks that's a good idea?  And Zoey doesn't even check on her father after the shootout.

8) Why the hell does Charlie disarm the security system and let the Stranger in?  Like, I get that he doesn't like the Purge (neither do I, it's a shitty movie) but, like, there's some missing character development here to completely buy that he'd let this stranger in.

8b) Why does the stranger decide to stop in the middle of the neighborhood street and scream for help?  If you're being pursued by a Hummer loaded with members of the Manson Family then wouldn't it be best to STAY OFF the roads and RUN SOMEWHERE AND HIDE rather than stopping in the middle of the street and announcing yourself? 

9) Why does the stranger randomly run off after he's already in the house?  Why doesn't he just explain what's going on?  Why is this stranger such a jackass? 

10) Massive Plot Hole: OK, so Mary Sandin (the mom) is very secure in her home but when things start to get a little rough outside she proclaims "Purging doesn't happen in this neighborhood!"  Now, as Ethan Hawke was driving up to his house in the beginning we got a good look at said neighborhood.  Pretty upscale, right?  Like, mansions.  Which means this is likely a pricey part of town, yes?  So then WHY is there a PSYCHOTIC army of zit-popping fuckfaces hunting down HOMELESS people in the same area??? Even Malibu I'm sure has its homeless people but if you're gonna go all Manson Family and "purge" the streets then you're sure as shit not gonna do it in an upscale area where you're unlikely to find a lot of homeless people.  

11) Why the fuck are the zit-popping fuckfaces wearing masks anyway? 

Hey, you let the stranger in, so why not let these fine, friendly individuals hang out with you for a little bit?

12)  Better yet, why the fuck isn't THIS guy wearing a mask? 

I am Cornholio! 

13) Why the hell would it take an hour for reinforcements for breaking into secure homes to arrive?  The Purge starts every year at the exact same time.  Why do you need an extra hour?  

14) OK, so, Ethan Hawke sells Purge security systems, right?  And he's the best in the business.  He's even sold security systems to all of his neighbors en route to being named #1.  But then after the Stranger enters the house and the Manson Family arrives do we find out that the security systems DON'T REALLY DO ANYTHING!  They're a DETERRENT!  I mean yeah, the steel plates in front of the windows I guess help a little bit, but they don't cover "worst case scenarios" as he explains.  Well slap my ass and call me Bob...HEY ETHAN?!?!?!  ISN'T THE PURGE KIND OF A WORST CASE SCENARIO?!  WOULDN'T YOU WANT YOUR SECURITY SYSTEM TO WORK ON THE NIGHT THAT ALL CRIME IS LEGAL?!?!?!?  OUTSIDE OF WORLD WAR II I CAN'T THINK OF ANOTHER SITUATION WHERE I'D MOST WANT THE SECURITY SYSTEM TO ACTUALLY WORK!!!

15)  But it doesn't stop there.  Not even Ethan Hawke's own home has a legit security system.  His own FUCKING HOME!!!  This guy makes millions and millions of dollars and builds on extra rooms to his already massive mansion yet he doesn't think, hey, even though I'm scamming everyone with these half-assed security systems, maybe, just maybe, I should get a REAL one for my family.  I mean, it takes the Manson Family about three seconds to cut his electricity off.  How the hell has this guy been able to sell so many of these bullshit security systems?  Is America really that much dumber in 2022 that nobody sees how crappy these things are?

16) "We have tested the system.  It works 99% of the time.  It looks good.  It's strong.  They'll stay away."  So your entire research and testing method is based off your product looking good and 99% of the time it...looks good?  Did someone really write this shit? 

17) For a while there's a whole lot of nothin' going on.  Ethan Hawke sneaks around armed with a gun, Mary sneaks around armed with a gun, Charlie picks his nose, Zoey is off doing who the hell knows what, the Stranger is snooping around the house when he should be hiding, and for whatever reason the Manson Family are making violent gestures at the security cameras because they're totally insane and make no sense. 

18) So the anti-climactic last third of the movie consists of the Manson Family breaking in and bullets go flying, Ethan Hawke gets stabbed by Charlie Manson himself, but then, THEN, the big twist comes.  See, the NEIGHBORS enter the house packing heat and take out the rest of the Manson's and for a second we think they're the heroes but no, they're actually just there to murder the Sandin's themselves so, naturally, they had to get rid of the fuckfaces.  Does that make any sense?  Of course not, because it's so damn dumb.

19) Okay, so, while Ethan Hawke is badly wounded, the neighbors for whatever reason tie the mother and children up.  Why?  I don't know.  They're about to murder them but apparently they've just gotta be tied up because that buys some time.  But duh, of course they don't get to murder them because the Stranger comes in at the last second in, like, the third saved-at-the-last-second sequence and saves the day.

20) Why do the neighbors want the Sandin's dead?  Well, because Ethan Hawke sold them security systems and that made him wealthy so he was able to build more rooms into his house.  Yeah.  Seriously.  They buy his shit and make him rich and are mad about it so they kill him.  Right.

"I baked you some cookies and, oh, I'm gonna kill you later!"

As I mentioned, this movie was made on a budget of about $3 million but it may as well have been made for strips of regurgitated pork fat.  Generally if you've got a smallass budget then your strengths should be overwhelmingly placed in your script and/or your acting.  The acting actually wasn't horrible here, but the script is just, well, it's dogshit.  Too many plot holes, too many cliches, too many questions of "wait, why did that happen?!"  

The problem is that the otherwise big concept is contained entirely into this small budget, single location movie.  That's not necessarily a bad thing but you've gotta be more bold about it.  For one night all crime is legal.  Obviously the movie touches on murder, especially murder between acquaintances.  But what about rape?  Arson?  Vandalism?  Terrorism?  Drug trafficking?  Human trafficking?  What about the collateral damage that would come from the Purge and inevitably effect the other 364.5 days in the year?  What if all of Downtown Los Angeles is blown up during the Purge and there's nothing left?  I know the movie states nothing higher than a class 4 weapon can be used (which is a made up phrase for the movie, so presumably class 4 is probably a shotgun or assault rifle or something), but since all crime is legal, why the hell should anyone follow those rules?  Who's gonna enforce it?

These are the kinds of questions that should have been approached but instead were completely avoided.  Obviously the budget doesn't indicate how good a movie is going to be, but for something like this I think it should have been a much bigger production than it was.

So, to producer Jason Blum: IT'S TIME TO START INVESTING IN YOUR MOVIES AGAIN!!!

The Purge - what a horrible movie.   

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Changes to the Site

Hey, so, here's the thing: I know I haven't been as active on this site as in the past and I've also found that there's a lot of things I want to talk about but don't because I don't really have a platform for it.  For example, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to talk about why the Blu-ray/DVD/digital download combo packs are a waste of resources because, you know, this is a food site.  Food blogging (and vlogging) has been a lot of fun but I'd like to make this website a little more personal.  You can still expect food pictures and stories, but there are other topics I want to talk about.  Stuff you may see in the near future includes:


  • Stories from the kennels.  I do a lot of work with the County animal shelters which produces a wealth of stuff I'd like to talk about. 
  • Writing.  I do a lot of other writing, but I seldom ever talk about it.  
  • Things that annoy me.  There's a lot of stuff out there that's really stupid, like the day the government shut down I still received my student loan bill.  I mean, seriously? 
  • Sports.  10 year, $300 million contracts are stupid and it's amazing that no baseball club has figured that out yet.
  • Neat stuff.  I dug up a picture I took a couple years ago of an eight track/cassette adapter that had been sitting in my family's LA storage locker for about 30 years. 
Basically I'd just like to turn this into a regular blog.  I still want it to be entertaining and interactive, but food won't be the only thing I'll be posting about.  

The general layout of the site will remain the same.  The banner may be tweaked a bit, but otherwise I'm happy with the appearance.  The sections of the site are gonna change, so "Gourmet Videos" are probably gonna go and possibly "Gourmet Models".  The "About/FAQ" section will be updated, as will the "Links" section.  I'll also update my social media links to include my personal Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.  

So there's gonna be more posts, more fun stuff, and of course more pictures of food.  But this is all just FYI.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Curious Case of Barry Zito

On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 29th, Barry Zito walked in from the bullpen in the top of the 8th, the score 7-6 Giants over the Padres.  He struck out retiring veteran Mark Kotsay on three pitches and then walked off the field to a roaring ovation.  You'd think Zito had just thrown a perfect game or was retiring as one of the most dominant pitchers in San Francisco history, but you'd be totally wrong.

Such is the case with Barry Zito who, after signing a 7 year, $120 million contract in December of 2006, went on to become one of the worst free agent signings in baseball history.  The strikeout of Kotsay marked the official end of Zito's tenure with the Giants and a merciful conclusion to the behemoth nine figure contract which saw Zito go 63-80 with a 4.62 ERA.  Yet Giants fans were ecstatic for his token appearance.  Is it because his contract was finally coming to an end and he wouldn't be paid $20 million to go 10-15 anymore?

No, it's because Barry Zito is a frickin' champion.

Six of Zito's seven seasons in San Francisco saw him put up sub-.500 records.  He never reached 200 innings like he had in his 6 full seasons in Oakland (not counting his rookie season).  He was constantly scrutinized, criticized, and booed loudly for a great portion of those seven seasons.

And he never, ever, NOT ONCE, complained about it.

Zito didn't pitch like a $120 million man but he did his part and acted like one and did everything professionally.  He never blamed the front office and never blamed the fans for his struggles.  He simply blamed himself and took all of the criticism like a pro and continued to go out and do his best every single start.  Some may think that he just dogged it after signing that massive contract but I don't believe that's true at all.  I mean, here's a guy whose fastball is in the low 80s now.  Even fuckin' Tim Wakefield's knuckleball can go faster than that.

For five years this guy was the punchline of all jokes, the pinnacle being that he actually really did help his team win the 2010 World Series by NOT pitching.  Plus with guys like Lincecum, Cain, and Bumgarner shutting down the National League, suddenly Zito's struggles weren't all that apparent.  But then 2012 happened.  Zito went an amazing 15-8 as the Giants cruised into the playoffs.  They fell behind 0-2 to the Cincinnati Reds in the first round when Zito was given the ball to try and extend the series.  He didn't even last three innings before being pulled for ineffectiveness, but the Giants managed to win that one as well as make an epic comeback to win the series.

What Zito will be most remembered for is his next start: Game 5 at St. Louis with the Cardinals leading the series 3-1.  The Giants needed something, anything out of Zito and what they got was 7+ shutout innings that set the stage for a winning streak that would win them another World Series.  The second thing he'll be most remembered for is his Game 1 of the World Series start vs. the Detroit Tigers where he out-dueled Justin Verlander to take the victory.  Barry Zito won his second championship, but this one he earned with grit.

He was horrible in 2013, but so was the rest of the team.

So that brings us to last Tuesday where he received a huge standing ovation in his final Giants appearance.  Honestly, had he not won those playoff games I still think he would have received it because he was a professional every single day and an all around good guy.  Not sure what his future holds, but I predict the A's will bring him back on a two year contract worth the league minimum.  Book it.

Click here to see the amazing ovation he received following the strikeout.  His teammates in the dugout even shoved him back onto the field so he could be applauded.  And he actually laughed and smiled.  In that moment he was an A again, where it doesn't matter if you succeeded or failed, but just as long as you tried your best.

Zito kinds reminds me of another left-handed curveball guy named Shawn Estes.  Most people will remember Estes as a journeyman and for hitting a home run off Roger Clemens, but Giants fans remember him as a guy who was electric at times but otherwise unreliable.  He went 19-5 with a 3.18 ERA in 1997, his first full season in the majors.  In 10 seasons after that, he never had a sub-4 ERA again.  He had a couple decent seasons here and there, but could never replicate the stuff that won him 19 games.  I think it's a case of two guys who relied so heavily on their curveball that once guys figured out how to hit them then that was it.  Or if they couldn't get their curve to work then they were just sitting ducks.  Granted, Zito had far more success than Estes, even winning a Cy Young award, but if the curve wasn't falling then all he had to fall back on was an 81 MPH fastball, and that's not gonna get the job done.

Shortly after Zito signed with the Giants he set a career goal of winning 300 games but it's pretty obvious that unless he turns things around and pitches well into his 40s, that's not gonna happen.  But I think he could still be a serviceable player without the weight of $120 million on his shoulders.  Each season I always thought "okay, this is the season he turns it around!" and likewise almost always drafted him to my fantasy teams.  Wherever he winds up next season I'll probably do it again because I think he can still somewhat resemble the pitcher he once was.

Even if he can't he goes out of San Francisco as a champion, and a well deserved one at that.  Thanks for always being a professional, Barry.  Keep it real.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Welcome Back, Michael J. Fox

So I caught Michael J. Fox's new sitcom, The Michael J. Fox Show, the other night.  Honestly, I didn't even know he was making a return until the second I saw him on TV.  I was like, wait, that's Michael J. Fox!  Admittedly I haven't seen a lot of Marty McFly since he retired from acting, so naturally the first thing that drew my attention was his involuntary muscle spasms due to his Parkinson's.

But what's so cool is that Fox used his handicap as a strength for this new show, about a retired news anchor with Parkinson's who decides to give it another run.  And both of the first two episodes ended with him poking fun at his disease and making light of it.

And just because everyone's interested, Back to the Future II's future projection is kind of hit and miss.  The wrinkles are there, more-so if you watch the show, but the hair they were totally off on:
"Well, what are you lookin' at, butthead?"

Honestly, I don't see this show lasting very long.  It had a few ha-ha jokes, but there were too many characters that were too much alike which made chunks of the show feel like filler material.  I mean, when you watch a TV show it's either got it or it doesn't.  This one will hook you in initially because it's Michael J. Fox's big comeback, but once you watch the show it's like...hmmm. 

And let's not fool ourselves.  The main character's name is Mike Henry, but we all know this is pretty much a fictionalized autobiography.  The big positive is that, again, the show spotlights Fox's handicap as a strength and I think we're probably going to start seeing more of this; actors that have handicaps will play characters with the same issues.   

It's great to see him back, though.  I also watched about 30 seconds of Junior MasterChef or MasterChef Junior or whatever the shit they're calling this show.  Needless to say, it looks like a piece of shit and is obviously just a launching pad for a bunch of child actors.  Watch - the kids on this show are gonna be seen in future Fox programming - book it. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's the Deal with Google+?

Seriously, what's the deal with Google+?  Why is this crap always being forced upon us?  Why is it that only like 2% of the people who have Google+ actively use it?

Normally I'd just shrug it off as another failed social media network, but Google's insistence on competing with Facebook has seriously damaged their reputation in my eyes.

So for the last year or so YouTube has asked me at least once a month about changing my account name from "gregjbaldwin" to something more, uh, professional I guess?  And every time they do this I tell them to F off and they're like "okay, we'll ask again later!"  Well, a few days ago it finally happened: they forced me to change my user name but they did it in such a way that I'm still not sure exactly what the hell happened, but this is the result:

Uhhhhhh???

So here's what these knuckleheads did.  Because Google refuses to acknowledge that Google+ is a failure of Titanic proportions, they've been finding ways to force feed it down our throats.  What they've done here is basically connecting your YouTube account (because Google owns YT, of course) to your Google+ account that you kind of sign up for by default whenever you sign up for Gmail.  So now I have, like, two YouTube accounts: one as my original gregjbaldwin account that I've been using since 2006, and a new Greg Baldwin account that's linked directly to my Google+ account.  

WWWWTTTTTTTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF???

Mind.  Blown.  Seriously.

I don't get it.  Like, at all.  What the hell is the point of this other than what I've outlined above?  Has Google invested so much into Google+ that they just refuse to eat the losses?  I mean, other than Google Hangouts, what features does Google+ even have?  It's basically a less populated Facebook, that's it.  Remember when it first came out and you needed an invite in order to use it?  It was super exclusive and everyone was anticipating a rival to Facebook.  Then when it officially launched everyone was like ???

Two of my Google+ connections regularly use it; one is Rich Samuels of The World According to Rich who uses the hangouts frequently.  The other is Mark Cuban, eccentric billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks.  That's it. 

I guess the good news is that now I have two YouTube accounts for some reason:

If you think about it, this kind of encourages trolling

I do get what Google is trying to do by connecting all of their services so you just need one account to e-mail, watch videos, chat with friends, etc.  But the way they've done it is so sloppy that even Honey Boo Boo would ask them wtf they're doing.  And really, the continued forceful use of Google+?  This is what I say to that:





Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Everything That's Wrong with "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"

OK, I needed a place to vent about this movie and since sucking blood can be considered a type of gourmet, it's appropriate to vent about it here.


I was so psyched for this movie.  It's based on a best-selling novel with an amazingly high concept that put out some absolutely epic-looking trailers.  This should have been a slam dunk summer blockbuster.  And then on June 18, 2012, reality stepped in.  Reviews from critics were overwhelmingly negative paired with bad word of mouth that led to an underwhelming domestic box office performance of only $37 million (based on a $70 million budget).  It did go on to recoup its expenses in foreign markets, but on the homeland people were most unimpressed with the alternate secret life of one of our nation's greatest presidents.

As much as I wanted to, I didn't get a chance to see it in theaters.  It spent only two weeks in the top 10 and by the time I was able to finally go, it was already gone.  So I waited for it to be released on video (or DVD, or digital download, or Netflix, or iTunes or Redbox, or whatever the hell else there is these days).  Sadly, it didn't appear on Netflix.  It also didn't appear on iTunes or Amazon for digital rent, which is what I wanted since I had heard it's so bad.  So I sulked off and didn't think about the movie for a while until a few weeks ago when I decided...I still really want to see this.  There is a digital download available for 8 bucks, but I'm not a fan yet of owning digital movies, so I spent an extra couple bucks and got the DVD.

The DVD, while brand new, came in a cheapass flimsy case, the kind the studios reserve for crappy movies that will one day make it to the $1 bargain bin.  I'll get to my review of the movie in a second, but first I really just want to list...

EVERYTHING THAT'S WRONG WITH 
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER
(Spoilers and some naughty language)
1) One of Henry's conditions for teaching Abe the ways of vampire hunting is "no family, no friends".  Yet right as we meet this guy he's in the bathtub with a prostitute in his lap.  I guess it's more of a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of thing. 

2) The "no family, no friends" issue is contradicted throughout the whole movie because guess what?  ABE AND HENRY ARE FUCKING FRIENDS!!!

3) In the weeks and months following his encounter with Abe, did not a single person in the South notice that this asshole is walking around with a bullet in his eye socket?


3b) Or better yet, why the hell doesn't this asshole just take the damn bullet out?

4) Why is Adam the only guy who can turn people into vampires?  And why the hell is his name Adam?  Shouldn't the King Vampire who's been around for 5000 years have a cooler name like Leonidas or Spartacus or Caligula or something?  I mean, they might have as well just named him Mike or Chris or something even more generic and unassuming.  

5) Silver is a major item in this movie as it can kill vampires and is seen as a symbol of betraying God and subsequently a curse upon the cursed because Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus...but as we're told, vampires (specifically Adam) have been around for over 5000 years.  They were in Ancient Egypt.  They were here 3000 years before Judas betrayed Jesus.  So, what, did the rules of vampires just instantaneously change or something because of this event?  Judas betrays Jesus and then vampires become mortal to silver?  HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE??? 

6) So the thing with being a vampire is that you can't kill other vampires.  BOGUS.  This is demonstrated to us after Adam turns Henry into a vampire and Henry subsequently tries to stab Adam but can't because there's, like, a force field that prevents him from doing so or something.  So you can't stab another vampire with a knife...but you can apparently bite them and beat them to a bloody pulp and seriously wound them.  HOW DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE???  A vampire can't stab another vampire but they can bite them???  What, are there subjective rules on vampire assaults?  Is there an invisible referee that's overseeing these fights?  "Oh, you're just gonna bite him?  That's okay!  I just didn't want you to stab and kill him!"  If this is one of God's rules, as Adam says, then shouldn't vampires be prevented from using their number one weapon against each other???

7) Maybe I missed something, but what was the point of Adam turning Henry into a vampire?  Wouldn't it make more sense for Adam to target people who, you know, actually WANT to be vampires?  Hey Adam, just hold out for 150 years and then go to a screening of Twilight and wah-lah - there's your army. 

8) Henry follows Abe around for the next 30 years and no one bothers to notice that this guy doesn't age.  While Speed grows a Carrot Top afro and Abe turns into Daniel Day-Lewis, Henry still looks like John Stamos hangin' on the set of Full House with Bob Saget and the Olsen twins. 

9) What the hell is up with that blonde vampire chick?

10) Adam is adamant (lolz) about forming a homeland for his fellow vampires.  "All I have ever wanted is to see my kind granted their rightful place."  After all these thousands of years on this planet they DESERVE A PLACE, RIGHT, ADAM???

Okay, guys, seriously?

You're on this planet for 5000 years and the only thing that can kill you is silver and garlic bread.  And just as a side note you've had about 4 millenniums to do it before the creation of the first gun which would have made your task THAT much easier.  I mean, really?  Okay, so, Adam apparently is the only one who can turn people into vampires.  Why that is, I don't know, it's never explained.  But this guy has had 5000 FRICKIN' YEARS to build his army and create a homeland for his people and he still hasn't done it.  Hello, LAZY!!!  How hard is it to go around sinking your teeth into people?  I could probably bite 50 people right now before anyone even has any idea of what's going on but I won't do that because it would be insane.

11) I don't understand this subplot with the slaves.  Like, at all.  So, the vampires see an opportunity in the South to, like, drink the blood of slaves and stuff?  And they can get away with it since they're slave owners and stuff?  What am I missing here?

12) Henry talks about how going to war with the South is a bad idea because slavery is the only thing that's kept the vampires at bay all these years.  I guess this is because of reason 10 where the vampires get their slaves, they get their blood, and if that's taken away then the vampires are gonna smack some bitches.  But again, and I can't stress this enough...THE VAMPIRES HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS!  THE ONLY THING THAT CAN KILL THEM IS A PIECE OF SILVER!  WHY HAVEN'T THESE MORONS JUST ESTABLISHED THEIR OWN COUNTRY ALREADY???

13) How did Speed conveniently get in touch with the blonde vampire chick to tell her of the silver plan?  Better yet, how was it that Henry was conveniently standing there to see this exchange take place?  Or wait, why is it that Abe was conveniently walking down the dark alley as Henry was chomping on the guy's neck, thus revealing himself to be a vampire?  It's like everyone in this movie has a GPS tracking device hanging out of their ass or something. 

14) "A friend in need is a friend of Speed."  Thanks George Jung, I'll remember that.

15) Why did it take the vampires so long to kill Abe's son?  Better yet, why did they seemingly just ignore him and his family for all those years?  Did blonde vampire chick just wake up one day and think, "hey, I'm gonna go bite Abe Lincoln's son!"? 

16) "I suppose some vampires can be trusted."  Yeah, Abe.  Henry has only been following you around for 35 fucking years and still hasn't drank your blood so, yeah, I'd say you're correct in your assessment.

17) At the end, Henry proposes that Abe becomes a vampire so the two can fight side-by-side throughout the ages.  While he doesn't directly say it, one assumes that he's implying they fight vampires since, you know, the movie is called Vampire Hunter.  But what doesn't make sense is that vampires can't kill other vampires so wtf are you talking about, Henry?

18) It's presumed that Adam kills Speed with a bite to the neck during the train chase...but wait...Adam is the one from which others are created.  That means Speed ain't dead - he's now a vampire.  Or is this a plot line for the sequel?

19) Other than Asshole-Who-Walks-Around-With-Bullet-In-His-Eye, did you notice that the rest of the vampires that are among society are perfectly normal people?  They're pastors, pharmacists, bankers; all contributing to society.  Wouldn't it have made more sense if they were all, like, assholes and stuff?  Since, you know, that way there's more of an incentive to get rid of them?

20) How is it that Henry is able to turn people into vampires?  I thought Adam is the only one for which others are made?

21) This face:


An impressive letdown is what I'm calling this flick.  A movie with so much potential that wound up drowning in its own vampire blood.  I don't look at this as a movie that I didn't like because that wouldn't be true.  I actually really enjoyed parts of it.  Regardless of the above issues, it was still entertaining, Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln was fantastic, its style is great, the effects and costumes and set pieces are very well done, and the score is riveting, even sensational in some parts.  But it could have been so much more.  What's more frustrating is that Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of the book, also helped write the script so you'd think some of these major plot holes would be filled but no.  It appears this was the guy's first attempt at adapting to the screen and it shows. 

The main issue that critics and moviegoers alike criticized this movie about was that it takes itself too seriously and there's no humor in it.  I personally disagree entirely as I think all of the humor relies on the fact that one of our greatest presidents, the guy with the top hat and beard, is hunting vampires.  That's the humor!  I didn't need a bunch of L-O-L jokes to get into this since the movie's story itself is a joke.  My main problem, aside from the giant plot holes, is that the characters other than Abe (and Mary Todd to an extent) were all bland and boring.  Will and Speed follow Abe around for decades but they were just...there.  Additionally the movie suffers from a lack of real depth which you can directly relate to the 21 reasons above.  You think of Inception and it goes layers deep.  This movie just barely skims the surface of what could have been a deep story.

I mean, in Jack Barts' three scenes (the asshole with the bullet in his eye) it took me a second to realize that this is the same guy from the opening scene who Abe later shot in the eye.  The movie just lacks that extra zest.  The thing is, I keep watching parts of this thing thinking that maybe something will change even though I know that's not the case.  It is entertaining for what it is but oh so disappointing at the same time.

Still...it's the best Lincoln movie that's been released over the past year.  Yeah, I'm talking to you, Spielberg.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Cookie Head

Because everyone likes cute pictures of dogs:

Cara receives a present from some of her fans

Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Steak Three Ways

This actually isn't steak three ways, but rather steak with three different sauces because a chain like Outback I don't think is allowed to do anything really creative, but I digress:

Why the hell did they give me so many green beans?

So Outback and I have had a rocky relationship.  The thing is, the only time I actually go to Outback is when it's Josh's birthday...or if Josh coincidentally offers to pay haha.  Prior to this visit I had been to Outback four times.  The first two were lackluster.  The latter two were actually quite good with the most recent featuring a combination of ribs, steak, and a baked potato.  Naturally that was only for a brief time and was no longer on the menu for this visit, but instead they had this special of steak with three different sauces on top of potato pancakes served with a side of green beans.

It was alright.  Filling,  yes.  Flavor-wise, eh.  It left a little bit to be desired.  I mean, their regular steak isn't really that good to begin with, so the star of the show here by default is the sauce which I think creates a problem.  I mean, sauce shouldn't really be the show for a steak.  For a Big Mac, sure.  But not for something that actually takes time to cook and, you know, doesn't have all of the nasty preservatives that a Big Mac has. 

Decent effort, Outback.  But eh.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Greatest Candy Bar Ever Part II

A couple posts ago you witnessed the Greatest Candy Bar Ever.  Well, tonight I give you...the Second Greatest Candy Bar Ever:

If your eyes are having an orgasm, imagine how your taste buds are gonna feel

Compliments of Chocomize.  Now, in the last post I praised Chocomize's customer service for replacing the two damaged bars without any hassle that they initially sent me.  Naturally when I e-mailed them a question about this order I received no response.  I had a 10% off coupon code from an e-mail they sent out that was good for a few more days but forgot to apply it to this order.  So I e-mailed them asking if it could be applied and here's the code that I was given.  Of course they didn't respond. 

Since I ordered 3 of these guys the total dollar amount saved would have been only about three bucks so it's not like this is a big deal but...really, guys?  I mean, it's the principal of the thing here.  Of course they did promptly replace the damaged bars so it's not like I'm going on a crusade here but I'm just sayin'.  I could have cancelled the order and just done it all over but that would have been a pain in the ass, that's why it would have been easier if they had just responded.

But we'll call this one a wash.  They're a great company and this particular bar is like whoa.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pastrami on Rye with Mustard

I wanted to post this again, as this is a unique case of something looking really, really tasty but ultimately being kind of a letdown, which is a phenomenon that we here at Greg's Gourmet are always trying to figure out.

Pastrami, the most sensuous of the deli meats as showcased in a famous Seinfeld episode.

The same pastrami that my mother shuns me for eating with cheese and mayonnaise, citing it as the most un-kosher thing anyone can eat.

Thankfully a delicatessen opened up in La Jolla and while it's still not kosher...it's still something.

One of the few restaurants that doesn't lie about "piling it high"

So this is a place called Nosh Delicatessen that just opened a couple months ago.  Has a typical delicatessen menu, good plate presentation, but there's something not quite there with this place and I can't quite figure it out.  Maybe it's the waiters who come around to make sure everything is okay despite the fact that they're not actually waiters.  Maybe it's the fact that the food was actually kind of underwhelming despite its beautiful presentation.  I'm serious, this pastrami must have been lean or something because it was lacking in the kind of flavor that I was expecting from it.

Of course being a new restaurant they need some time to work out certain things to see what works and what doesn't so I'd be interested in returning.  Just looking at this pictures is making me salivate all over my screen.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Greatest Candy Bar Ever

Also known as...Chocomize:

Oh...oh yes

So Chocomize is this Internet company that allows you to customize your chocolate bars any way you like.  They've got countless combinations of spices, herbs, fruits, nuts, and candy that you can pile high onto your chocolate bar like an Alex Rodriguez steroid denial.  

This one has Gushers, Skittles, Junior Mints, pop rocks, and gummy bears on a milk chocolate bar.  It's chewy, sticky, fruity, and absolutely delicious.  So damn good.

What makes this an even better experience is that Chocomize also provides great customer service.  If you've been reading this blog long enough you know how much I appreciate good customer service.  Initially I had ordered two chocolate bars; one for my mom and one for myself, but they came in damaged and freezer burned.  I sent Chocomize a note and even took pictures but they quickly responded apologizing for the issue and saying this happens to about 2% of all the bars that go out and they'd send replacements right away.  Simple as that.  It's seriously amazing how easy good customer service is yet equally amazing how many companies simply don't get it.

Chocomize.com.  Check it out. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hell's Kitchen, Season 11, Finale Recap

HELL'S KITCHEN
Season 11, Finale Recap

Ladies and gents, your Hell's Kitchen Season 11 winner, Ja'Nel!

I don't really want to type a whole lot or get into specifics.  While it's not a shocker at all that Ja'Nel won, Mary really did put forth a valiant effort.  No one took her seriously from the beginning, including myself and Chef Ramsay.  In fact she was the butt-end of numerous jokes on this site throughout the duration of the season.  But she really impressed me and managed her team and menu well.  Mary, if you ever read this - you did really good.

We also witnessed the first ever kitchen ejection in Hell's Kitchen history when Mary kicked Dan out for being a prick.  Man, what's the deal with that guy?

As for Ja'Nel, obviously a very talented person but her ego really bothers me and makes her really unappealing at times, such as when she refused to listen to her team during menu prepping.  Look, yeah, she won, but she's had this extremely cocky attitude all season long that's really rubbed me the wrong way.  It's not confidence or even over-confidence, it's just really annoying and I wonder if that'll affect her during her career.  I mean beef cheeks?  Really?

The second half of the finale reminded me of what Hell's Kitchen used to be.  It was fun, it was intense, it was well cut and a general pleasure to watch.  The first few episodes of this season were similar fun and I actually did have high hopes early on.  But then the To Be Continueds starting coming in all different directions and as the total number of competing chefs began to dwindle, the show's quality just tanked and tanked.  It's really too bad because this show is really a shell of its former self.  

But this finale I will say was entertaining and I'm glad I watched it.  Big congrats to Ja'Nel and Mary!  It's been an interesting season. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Really Big Pastrami Sandwich

Went to a new place in La Jolla last week for mom's birthday called the Nosh Delicatessen.  Now, my mom makes fun of me for being born in California as opposed to her native New York and naturally always hassles me for never having eaten at a real Jewish delicatessen before.  Yeah, I don't fully understand it either.  Anyway, Nosh opened up not too long ago and while it's not a real Jewish delicatessen (i.e. it's totally not kosher), it's still worthwhile to check out.

Naturally I had to get the pastrami on rye with mustard:

"I find pastrami to be among the most sensuous of the deli meats"

The thing is, though...this wasn't a home run sandwich.  It was good but it's almost like the meat was too lean and lacked a real kicking taste.  Obviously it looks beautiful and it's really filling but I'm not sure what was going on with the flavor, cause this is real pastrami here.  They do have lean pastrami on the menu so maybe something got mixed up?  I dunno.  

I would try it again.  Happy birthday, mother, and many, many, many more!  I love you!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hell's Kitchen, Season 11, Episode 20 Recap

HELL'S KITCHEN
Season 11, Episode 20 Recap

Gordon enjoys sucking on a lemon between takes

So we're down to four, and what an annoying four it is.  I can't believe this but Jon is actually the least annoying person there, even though he's annoying simply because he lacks a fun personality.  Ja'Nel is a loud-mouthed mega bitch with a pretty face.  Mary is just dumb and Cyndi must have a Rolodex of cliche phrases that she uses over and over.  Seriously, I know Hell's Kitchen is scripted quite a bit so you'd think the writers would at least give her some better things to say. 

I haven't watched it yet but I'm gonna say the finals will be Jon vs. Ja'Nel. 

Mary, telling the truth: "It sucks that you voted me up but I understand why."

Cyndi, puzzling: "A puzzle?  Seriously?  The last time I did a puzzle was, uh, actually not too long ago."

Puzzle challenge: Okay, they'll complete the puzzle and then have to cook the dish.  Yeah, who didn't see that one coming?

Jon, going with the beef, man: "I'm going with beef filet, man.  I'm confident that's what it is." Holding you to that, pal. 

Mary, disadvantaged: Did you ever notice that whenever Mary says she has an advantage or that she should win the challenge she never does?  

Ja'Nel, here's to hoping: "I'm really confident and I'm hoping that I got it right."  Wow, really, Ja'Nel?  I thought you were hoping that you got it wrong.  Boy was I way off!

Mary, she's just now embarrassed?: "I'm humiliated.  At this stage of the game it's embarrassing!"  Yeah, never mind all the other royal screwups you have, mixing up venison with lamb is the one that sets you off. 

Mary, I hope it's not hers: "Ewww someone's thong underwear here in the corner!"

"I'm going to demonstrate how to give yourself an enema using these two fingers."

The thing is, as much as I make fun of Cyndi for being an annoying female version of Captain Obvious, I think she'd actually do well in an executive chef position.  Mary I don't see it, Ja'Nel I think would annoy her staff, but Jon and Cyndi I think would do very well.  Jon is a shoo-in, but I'm not sure Cyndi has what it takes to overthrow Ja'Nel.  Definitely an underdog.  And I guess I'd rather listen to her cliches than Ja'Nel's loudass voice.

Cyndi, doesn't got this: "I got this, I got this shit alot!" as she's about to serve crab risotto instead of lobster.  Jeez, and I was just pulling for you, Cyndi. 

Cyndi, really funny troll: "Jon, you know we can't special order a no pork in the wellington. They're already pre-rolled!  You want us to, what, break one open and take out the prosciutto?  You serious?"  On the other hand, what kind of schmuck goes into a fine dining restaurant and asks for a pork wellington without the pork?  THAT'S JUST DOUGH THEN YOU STUPID IDIOT!!!  Fire that customer. 

So when it comes to running the brigade, Cyndi struck out with the quality control, Ja'Nel did pretty good, Jon struck out with quality control, and I'd rather shove raw scallops in my ear than listen to Mary scream like a beheaded orc during the battle of Helms Deep. 

Gordon, total liar: "Never before in the history of Hell's Kitchen have I had such a difficult time deciding who are the final two."  Yeah, my ass, Gordon.  It'll be Jon and Ja'Nel and you know it.

MARY IS IN THE FINALS??? WTFFFFFFFF?!?! She's so excited and she just can't hide it.  She can't believe she'd be in the finals AND NEITHER CAN I.

Her scream caused the lens to break right after this

And a TBC.  Blow me, Gordon.  But I will say that with a season of disappointments and poor quality, seeing an underdog like Mary in the finals is a bit refreshing.  I've been bashing her the whole season but hey, I like this.  Yeah, she does some odd things and is kinda creepy at times but she's worked hard.  And she seems like a nice girl at least.

So...there goes my prediction.  Jon or Ja'Nel?  Maybe both, who knows?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hell's Kitchen, Season 11, Episode 19 Recap

HELL'S KITCHEN,
Season 11, Episode 19 Recap

The Ramsay stalks his next television show to rip down in the ratings

Apparently there was a Hell's Kitchen episode last week.  Susan went home.  I didn't watch it nor do I have any interest in watching it.  As you can see, I've completely lost interest.  Expecting another TBC tomorrow.

What a shame this show has become. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

3 Ghost Pepper Challenge

Wanted to share a little challenge that I found absolutely hysterical.  Here my good friend Angelo Mike attempts to down three ghost peppers, which some sources online tell me are the hottest peppers in the world.  Hilarity ensues:



What's so funny is he's so happy in the beginning and thinks this is gonna be awesome and then by the end he's a complete mess, spit and drool everywhere, can't form words.  Just totally awesome.  And what makes Angelo such a badass is that he didn't just down three ghost peppers but actually downed a fourth ALONG with the sauce. 

This has actually inspired me a bit.  I mean, I complain on this blog a lot, I know that.  But one thing I don't feel I do enough of anymore is to really give major props where major props are deserved to people who do badass things.  So Angelo, it is my honor to induct you into the brand new GREG'S GOURMET HALL OF BADASSES.  Congratulations man!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

4th of July All American Dessert

As has become a tradition since the Clinton Administration, July 4th was met with the dessert of all desserts, a cyclone of sugary sweetness, the ALL AMERICAN DESSERT!

The dessert of true patriots

If you've followed this blog long enough then you already know the deal; we've got layers of cherry and berry blue Jello stacked between pound cake, whipped cream, and mixed in with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and Maraschino cherries.  On a hot summer day it's the perfect refreshment following a massive dinner.  

In other news, Joey Chestnut won his 7th straight Hot Dog Eating Competition, setting a new record by downing a 69 dogs.  As Joey put it, 69 is a lucky number.  The next closest competitor was about 20 dogs behind.  I dunno, man.  Other than those 3-4 years that Chestnut and Kobayashi went at it, the contest has really just been a bunch of landslides the last 15 years.  I remember when Chestnut first came to relevance and challenged Kobayashi; it looked like he was about to puke in the last two minutes.  Now he's an unstoppable machine.  I also think it's messed up that Kobayashi isn't allowed to compete anymore because Major League Eating (yes, that is a real league) wanted him to a sign an exclusive contract which would prevent him from entering competitions outside of their League.  Things got so nasty that his likeness is removed from the, I don't know what you wanna call it, the Nathan's Hall of Fame board thingie they've got there at Coney Island.  

In honor of Joey's 7th straight win I tried to down as many hot dogs as possible.  

I got to 5 and had to stop.  

Sunday, June 30, 2013

What's the Deal with IHOP?

Seriously, why do people love IHOP?  I just don't get it.  It's below-mediocre food with even worse service.  Naturally it's one of the places we go in Carlsbad after a long day; that or Denny's.  Yeah, I think we should start branching out.

So here's the thing: my dad and I went to an IHOP for breakfast when I was a kid and it was memorable because the service was so atrocious (I think our regular breakfast eateries were all packed on that particular day, so we tried the local IHOP).  Even as a 9 year old I knew the difference between good service and crap, but my dad being the good tipper he is actually left a buck despite the fact that it was really, really poor.  I don't remember what I had but it was probably bacon and eggs.  Anyway, that one trip was bad enough to keep me from returning to an IHOP for about 15 years, then all of a sudden it resurfaces as a quasi-regular dining establishment out of sheer convenience.

Unfortunately this IHOP in San Marcos is a perfect example of why I avoided this place like the plague for so long; bland food paired with poor service makes Greg an angry boy.  But I digress.  Here's what I ate:

It's like a hot chick with no personality

One of the funny things about IHOP is that they actually have a menu item that has bacon, ham, and sausage; THREE TYPES OF PORK.  That's kind of cool.  But here we have the usual breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, and hash browns and...jelly donut pancakes.  The picture on the menu of this odyssey looked intriguing enough for me to order them but all we really have here is a couple of lightly glazed pancakes with jelly on top.  I was like whaaaaaat?!

Honestly, if the service were better this wouldn't be a big deal.  I mean, In-N-Out for example.  Yeah, the food's good but the service makes it an experience.  It's the same thing at the Denny's across the street from this IHOP; the service SUCKS and for some reason both places seem to take issue with refilling water.  No clue what that's about.  But whatever.  It's really out of sheer convenience and the food is filling so what can I say?

Three types of pork for breakfast does sound intriguing though.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hell's Kitchen, Season 11, Episode 18 Recap

HELL'S KITCHEN
SEASON 11, EPISODE 18 RECAP

Yeah, that's about right

A couple notes from tonight's episode since this show is too poor to write about anymore:

*Nona got kind of hot.
*Rock is still a total badass
*Ja'nel really is a bitch.  She doesn't have the mouth of past contestants but she really is a pain in the ass.
*Paul still yells too much.
*Mary is about as creepy as you'd expect when she's butchering animals.
*Upon further review, I think Nona has also become a bit of a crackhead.

What?!  You mean people are still watching my show???

*No one went home.  We're now 18 episodes in with 5 chefs left.  Basically Gordon Ramsay is trying to make reality TV the new sitcom, where each series is now gonna have 20-something episodes per season.  Consider that there's at least four more eliminations and one TBC, we'll finish up at 23 episodes AT LEAST.  I'd say 24 or 25 is more of a safe bet.  For a frickin' reality show.  Horrible. 

Roar

Susan or Cyndi are going next week, most likely Susan, unless of course we get that TBC.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hell's Kitchen, Season 11, Episode 17 Recap

HELL'S KITCHEN
SEASON 11, EPISODE 17 RECAP

This is now how I feel about my once favorite show

Wait, what?  There was an episode last Thursday?  Ooooh that's right; I opted instead to eat dinner and then watch the Spurs have their spirits broken by the Heat in game 7, then I saw the last three minutes where yet again we are spoon fed a big pile of to be continued.  Therefore I could care less of how this episode went, though I do recall Gordon saying he was only giving out four black jackets and, low and behold, he gives out five.  Again, I could care less as to why.