Thursday, February 28, 2013

Free Advertising

At this time I'd like to make a call for some free advertising if anyone is interested.

With Gordon Ramsay's prime time shows, Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef, about to return to the airwaves, I'll be updating this page a lot more.  Expect nightly recaps of each episode with plenty of personal insults, fart jokes, and other nonsensical nonsense that will most likely result in me pondering why I'm even watching this show anymore because it's gone so far downhill.

If you have a page or an organization or a blog or something you'd like listed on the Links page, simply drop me a message and we'll make it happen.  Links page here:

For some reason I'm actually looking forward to Hell's Kitchen.  Not sure why because last season was a train wreck.  I guess watching British people get angry is just funny to me.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Delusional Breakfast

This may shock you, but I really like greasy foods.


Okay, not really a shocker, but I do appreciate non-greasy food as much as the next jerk who's trying to put a tax on sugar, potato chips, and everything else that tastes remotely good.

The other day I attended this place called the Coffee Cup Cafe in La Jolla, CA.  While I was meeting someone for breakfast at 8, I wanted to get there plenty early since parking in La Jolla can always be a problem.  Naturally I forgot that 95% of downtown La Jolla is completely deserted until 10 AM so like a jerk I parked far away because I took the first spot I saw.  Oh well.

Anyway, unlike most breakfast places that I've featured, this joint actually prides itself on ingredients other than bacon, hash browns, and deep fried cow liver so immediately I'm put into a position to order something I don't usually order which wound up being the Roast Beef Hash and Eggs:

Greens on a breakfast plate?  What is this?  Has Greg's Gourmet gone soft?

Okay, so steak and eggs isn't exactly out of my league, but the freshness, the quality of the ingredients, and the overall presentation definitely put this plate a step above the stuff I usually feature.  So what we have here is seared sirloin with rosemary potatoes, sauteed tomatoes, and green peppers.  At the top of the plate we've got grilled rosemary bread sitting on top of a couple scrambled eggs. 

Really, this was good.  It's not the stuff-your-face crap you get your Denny's or the small-town stuff you'd find at the Hays Street Cafe in Bridgeport, but I tell ya, this is pretty good eating.  The steak was delicious, the seasonings were spot on, and overall it was a perfectly filling meal without wandering into stuffing territory.  We also came right at opening so the food came out in like five minutes.

For the win. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dude, Really? II

So I received a response from Cella's regarding the chocolate cherries whose texture was the equivalent of a dried out piece of dogcrap.  Susan from customer relations sent me a response and the following explanation for the cherries:

"Please be assured that when the product leaves our plant, it is in the most perfect condition possible.  From your description though, it would seem that after the cherries were shipped, they suffered heat damage.  Temperature is extremely important in maintaining this fine confection.  Unfortunately, we have no control over how our product is stocked and stored once it leaves our facilities."

Again, here are the cherries:

It seems rather strange that a subsidiary of the mighty Tootsie Roll company would have problems informing retailers on how to stock and store their products.  I also found it annoying that I provided the link to the previous post with all of the pictures and it appears they didn't even take the time to look at it.  I did receive a coupon for a free box of the cherries that came accompanied with the following letter written by Janet:

"Please be assured that when the product leaves our plant, it is in the most perfect condition possible.  From your description though, it would seem that after the cherries were shipped, they suffered heat damage.  Temperature is extremely important in maintaining this fine confection.  Unfortunately, we have no control over how our product is stocked and stored once it leaves our facilities.  Nevertheless, they are our product, and they do represent us."

Susan and Janet must be Siamese twins because they apparently thought up the same response word-for-word, save that part about the product representing them.  This actually really annoys me because this tells me that like so many other companies, their customer service is completely a formality and they could really care less about customer satisfaction.  They just assume all issues will quietly go away.

If I had spent more than $1.50 on these then I may be more inclined to create a stink.  But seriously.  What is it about customer service that causes so many companies to struggle?  Hey, buttheads -  your product looks like it just spent the last thousand years mummified in the ass of the Sphynx.  Maybe you should, like, put a little more thought into this?

Seriously, it's amazing.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dude, Really?

So I was stalking the aisles of CVS today looking for clearance Valentine's Day candy and I came across a box of these delicious chocolate covered Maraschino cherries:

Note the 100% liquid center

Tootsie Roll owns this brand, let's get that out of the way right off the bat.  I've had these things a few times before and they're delicious.  I bought them without thinking twice.  Notice the illustration in the upper right hand corner.  That's how they're supposed to look with a smooth, creamy shell and a syrupy inside.  You can probably imagine my disappointment upon opening the box when I saw this:

Looks like frozen raccoon turds

I'm looking at these and I'm thinking...did I accidentally buy some chocolate covered snail shells? are the chocolate covered Maraschino cherries but they must have been frozen, hence their warped shells.  But I thought hey, maybe they taste okay.  


Now what the hell is this?

This is pitiful.  This is an old stale piece of chocolate with an old stale cherry inside.  The syrupy center has long since dissolved.  And, oh yeah, it tastes terrible.  I mean, if you don't look at it you can kinda taste some chocolate and what feels like a cherry, but otherwise you'd have better luck fishing for dog food in a trash bin.  I mean, what happened here?  Was this frozen?  First of all: YOU DON'T FREEZE CHOCOLATE.  I don't know if it was Tootsie Roll or CVS BUT YOU DON'T FRICKIN' FREEZE CHOCOLATE!  

Second of all, what would happen if a little kid bought these for a girl he likes for Valentine's Day?  "Hi Katie, I bought these for you using my past four allowances?"  "Oh thanks, Jimmy, these look lovely!"  *Takes a bite* EWWWWW.  Guys, IT'S VALENTINE'S DAY!!!  Come on, guys.  But above all else, this isn't even a seasonal item.  You can get these throughout the year.  So what the heck is going on? 

I'm going to write to Tootsie Roll.  I'll keep you posted on what they say.  Very disappointing. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sammy's Woodfired Pizza

What's the difference between a London Broil and a flat iron steak?  Let's get one thing straight right off the bat - flat iron is a cut of beef while London Broil is a method of cooking.  Both come from the same animal.  But what would cause a restaurant to replace the London Broil on their menu with a flat iron?  Not to mention jacking up the price a couple bucks.

So I went to Sammy's Woodfired Pizza the other day.  I hadn't been there in a couple years but all of my prior visits to the La Jolla location had always been positive.  There were only two things on the menu I would order: pepperoni pizza or Grilled London Broil.  I remember at a family dinner I had asked my cousin how the Broil is and he says "it melts in your mouth".  When I tried it for the first time he was right.  So unbelievably delicious.

That's why I was shocked the other day to find that the Broil was conspicuously absent from the menu and substituted in its place was a flat iron steak.  Still came with the potatoes and veggies, but it's a different dish. I asked the waitress what's up with that?  She said they just changed the name.  Flat iron is pretty much the same as London Broil, they just don't cut it up.  But something's not right here.  I had a flat iron steak not too long ago at the 94th Aero Squadron and it really wasn't very good.  Maybe it was the seasoning, maybe it was the fact that it was a little well done, but when she told me that the flat had replaced the Broil I was like whaaaaaat.

Why they would go through the trouble of changing one of their most delicious dishes is beyond me but Sammy's I think tends to operate that way.  I mean, what's the point?  When I was with some friends at the Mission Valley location a couple years ago, the thing I remember most was the food being mediocre and our waiter being an incompetent weirdo, i.e. just arbitrarily stands at our table and quietly stares at us, expecting us to read his mind as to why he's here.  But that was Mission Valley.  The La Jolla one is better.

Anyway, I got the pepperoni pizza because I wasn't about to risk another sub-par flat iron:

Maybe they should have just one big piece of pepperoni that covers the whole top?!

The pizza was delicious and very filling.  But why did they have to replace the London Broil?  I just don't get it.