Thursday, January 31, 2013

Restaurants Prohibiting Photography?

The New York Times released an article last week detailing the escapades of a few chefs who are cracking down on food photography within their restaurants.  Reportedly, food photography has gotten so out of hand that it's become a massive distraction to chefs and diners alike because traditional chefs apparently are against any and all forms of free advertising.

Check out that article linked in orange then come back.

Okay, so, I can understand how people standing on chairs and bringing in tripods to take a picture of an f-ing t-bone steak can be a little annoying to restaurateurs.  I mean, honestly, if you're having to stand on a chair to take a picture of your prime rib or something then chances are you're a crappy food photographer.  Look, everyone knows I take pictures of my food.  They expect me to take pictures of my food.  But if I'm standing on a chair to photograph my roasted cow liver then I'm just coming off as a newb as is anyone who actually does this.  Same with a tripod.  If you need a tripod cause you're greasy hands can't hold a camera straight then you may want to consider another profession.

And you know what?  I'd say at least 95% of food photographers mind their own business and aren't the disruptive assturds that the dude in the article is describing.  I for one have never seen anybody get on their chair to photograph their meal, nor have I seen the jerk with the tripod.  Even flash photography is a rarity because most food photographers are total newbs who don't understand the concept of lighting, but I digress.

But saying things like "some people are arrogant about it" is a pretty arrogant thing to say, or that food photography "totally disrupts the ambiance."  I mean, come on.  Maybe the ambiance of your restaurant wasn't that good to begin with if my stupid I-Phone is really catching everyone off guard.  To this guy's credit, he encourages food photographers to go into the kitchen to photograph their plates against a beautiful marble counter top, which is I think a fantastic idea and good for business.  At the same time, anyone who's prohibiting food photography needs to wake up and realize that William Howard Taft isn't president anymore and times are changing.  I'm just sayin'.

So here's the famous Bacon Slamburger from Denny's, a restaurant that would never prohibit food photography because they're too big of a chain to even do anything about it:

Breakfast and a burger - the perfect combination

I got this burger once before and did not enjoy it largely because Denny overcooked the frickin' egg.  But this here...this was perfect.  One bite and the yolk from the over-easy egg drenched everything in wet goodness.  The taste of the beef, bacon, hash browns, egg, and cheese sauce was just...amazing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Scorpion Centered Lollipop

I've featured a lot of really weird things on here; pigs lips, yogurt soda, a store called Dick's Liquor, so we're obviously no foreigners to novelty items.  I've also shared my first time experiences with all different kinds of proteins such as duck, goat, and octopus, so we're also not foreigners to trying new things.  But this, my friends, I think I'll draw the line with:

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a scorpion pop?

I picked this guy up at Rocket Fizz in Valencia, CA.  I had seen a show on the Food Network that documented the production of these kinds of "candies" but I can't recall the title.  I don't really have any plans to actually eat this but I couldn't resist purchasing it just as a joke. 

The company is called Hotlix and I strongly recommend checking out their website if you wanna be grossed out.  The scorpion lollipop is relatively tame compared to the other things they've got listed including some kind of BBQ flavored larvae snacks.  Insect candy industry - apparently doing well.  But the really funny thing is that I would actually buy a couple of these if some people would be willing to do a taste test cause I'm just that awesome. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Combination: The Best Word on the Menu

I'm notorious for being bad at ordering.  I'm usually the last one to give my order and even by then I haven't decided what to get.  Do I get breakfast or a burger?  Steak or lamb?  Fish filet or filet-o-fish?  It's tough, man.  But thankfully there's one restaurant that diffuses this issue and basically does the ordering for you.  The restaurant is called Kabuki, a small chain primarily located in the Greater Los Angeles area with a couple restaurants in Arizona and Nevada.

Given the choice of Teriyaki chicken or Teriyaki beef I'm honestly not sure which one I would order.  Kabuki, however, makes ordering easy because you don't have to order one or the other; instead you can order both!

I want the Best of Both Worlds 

I love this.  Chicken and beef on the same plate, cooked perfectly and tasting delicious.  It's like two opposite sides of the kitchen have come together in a blend of salt and unity to form the perfect dinner dish.

So.  Frickin'.  Good.

Kinda wish steakhouses would get their act together and start serving prime rib alongside filet mignon.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Top 12 Pictures of 2012

I love recaps.  You know why?  Because it gives me an excuse to dig through all of the pictures on the site and drool over them again and make people go "HOW CAN YOU EAT THAT?!?!?!?!"  But seriously, Greg's Gourmet touched on a lot of new areas in 2012 that goes beyond mindlessly taking pictures of junk food and shamelessly posting them for the world to see.

There's now a game section on the site featuring food-themed Flash games.  During the summer I did nightly recaps of Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef that became pretty popular on the Internets.  It's probably because I was relentlessly trashing all of the contestants, but that's quality content, man.  There were times where I didn't post as much but I assure you I'm eating just as well as I ever have. 

To qualify for this list the pictures needed to be POSTED after January 1, 2012.  I consider a lot with these; the quality of food, the restaurant, the service, and of course if the picture is good enough to lick my screen for.  There are some pictures that didn't come out too well because the setting was too dark so I did not include them.  So without further ado, here are the top 12 pictures of 2012 in no particular order:

1) The Pig Burger from The Prado at Balboa Park:

A pork burger topped with bacon - that's like a hamburger topped with prime rib

You'd think two servings of pork would be dynamite but honestly about halfway through it was getting kinda tough to down.  Sausage is delicious but it can be heavy.  But still, I was expecting that going in and how could I resist something called a Pig Burger?  That's like Newt Gingrich resisting extramarital affairs with pig-tailed women just out of high school.

I had a joke all set up for the whipped cream but I try to keep this site PG-13

I went on a road trip with The World According to Rich in July that took us up the Eastern side of California, into the Sierras, around to the Bay Area, and back down the Pacific Coast.  Along the way we encountered some really good food but I think the Deluxe Strawberry Waffle from Penny's takes the cake.  This is one of those meals that leaves you licking the plate and keeps you full but not stuffed.  The best part about this dish is that it's seasonal - if strawberries aren't in season then it ain't on the menu.  I respect that.

3) New Years Gingerbread House constructed by myself, my mom, and my sister:

Everyone knows the whole point of gingerbread houses is to put as much candy on as possible

On Christmas I was given a gingerbread house kit.  The house fell apart the second it came out of the box, much to everyone's disappointment (imagine if I was a 5 year old).  So we decided to construct one the old fashioned way and while the architecture isn't fantastic, the taste was sweetly delicious enough to make even Michelle Bachmann simmer in her political bitterness. 

The smaller the town the bigger the meals

The weird thing about this meal is that I actually had some stomach pains just prior to eating it, but I didn't let that stop me.  This was SO FRICKIN' GOOD.  Trail this with one of those stupid 5 Hour Energy shots and all of my stomach pains were gone.  Sometimes you just gotta eat through it.  

This was all sitting in my stomach at one point

So here we have a turkey leg, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a dinner roll. It's really the perfect combination of food and anyone who disagrees is a liar. 

6) Duck Breast from JRDN in Pacific Beach:

Duck breasts would benefit from implants; maybe genetically modified foods aren't all bad

This was my first time trying duck and it did not disappoint.  What's more amazing is that there were mushrooms in this dish that I didn't know where mushrooms until someone actually said "dude, those are mushrooms."  Then I realized they were mushrooms and that was the end of that.  Yeah, I really don't like mushrooms.  But that's a testament to the seasoning and flavors on this plate that I didn't even know what I was eating. 

Ironically, Hostess reported record high sales following their liquidation announcement

In an endless standoff between management and the unions, Hostess shut its doors in November, thus ending the 80-something year reign of the Twinkie as America's Snack, shutting down all subsidiary bakeries, and putting 15,000 people out of work (while management collected bonuses of course).  When I heard of the news I rushed to Target and Albertsons to properly salute Hostess by going on a sugary shopping spree.  There's talk that a Mexican company is going to purchase the Twinkie brand and we've already seen replacement imitation items hit the shelves for most of Hostess' products.  But still.  It's just not the same.

Pizza is actually pretty easy to make from scratch, so long as you buy pre-made pizza dough.  That yeast is a bitch to rise

I was given a most excellent pizza stone for my birthday and initially the pizzas were hard to make cause the damn dough would act like a little asshole.  Seriously, you put the yeast into the water and it's supposed to rise and it wasn't.  So pre-made dough is the solution for pizzas that are easy and ridiculously delicious. 

9) Regular Breakfast from Stagecoach in Sacramento:

Yes, this is a REGULAR breakfast

For so long I've searched for a breakfast plate like this and of all places it was located in Sacramento.  FOUR eggs, a half plate of potatoes, four strips of bacon, and a biscuit.  Seriously, look at the size of this!  It's got more calories than the amount of times an average athlete says "you know" during a halftime interview.  Ridiculously stuffing.  So.  Frickin'.  Good.  By the way if anyone from Stagecoach is reading this: get a frickin' website.  Seriously, guys. 

It reeks of staunch patriotism

I love this dessert.  It's fruity, it's cold, it's sweet, it's refreshing, and of course, it's patriotic.  Strawberry and berry blue Jello layered in with angel food cake, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, Maraschino cherries, and whipped cream.  It's the perfect cherry on top following a day of competitive hot dog eating as a way to say Happy Birthday, America.

11) Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda from Rocket Fizz in Santa Clarita:

The sad thing this ranks toward the bottom of the "disgusting sodas I've tried" list

Rocket Fizz is a funky shop that sells a variety of weird candy, toys, and odd sodas.  Oddly, PB&J soda isn't as weird as you may think.  It smells like strawberry kiwi and tastes like...uh...a cardboard sandwich?  There's a funny video of me taste testing five other sodas from Rocket Fizz (Bacon, Cucumber, Pumpkin Pie, Martian Poop, and Cock Cola) but I didn't take a picture, so it doesn't qualify.  

12) Prime Rib from 94th Aero Squadron in Kearny Mesa:

Prime rib is kinda like Visa; it's everywhere you wanna be

The Squadron sometimes has trouble cooking their food at the correct temperatures, but they succeed in service (shoutout to Kevin), decorative aura (WWI era themed), and location (beside Montgomery Field).  And besides, even if my steak isn't cooked perfectly, it's still prime rib.  Plus the potatoes, plus the cream corn, plus the bread, plus the beer cheese soup, plus the dessert.  As you know, I get as excited of the deal as I get with the food.

So there we have it.  Thanks for checking this out.  Stay hungry, my friends. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

From all of me at Greg's Gourmet, I wish you all a Happy New Year!  I hope it's a great one for everybody.  Remember - when someone says it's lame to take pictures of food, just call them fat.  That'll shut 'em up.

Anyway, everyone's talking about dieting programs and weight loss for the New Year, so may I suggest the Greg's Gourmet Dieting Program?

Gourmet Dieting Program Guideline #7: never stop at one

Summer sausage and Havarti cheese atop Ritz crackers - a perfect snack

Turkey Club from Mt. Soledad Market & Deli for dinner a couple nights ago

So once again a Happy New Year.  If you consume some good food and happen to snap a picture, be sure to send it my way.  Always happy to post fan gourmet even if sometimes I'm lazy with posting.