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pizzaman883's Profile

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McDonald's Selling Books to Kids

Calling Happy Meals "evil" is needless hyperbole, but I suppose it's fashionable to do so. I ate Happy Meals growing up in the 90s and somehow I survived. And yes, I enjoyed them. And no, I'm perfectly healthy today. Is that what we consider evil these days?

I hate to echo the conservative mantra but it's really about parental responsibility. If we police fast food, these parents will just find some other unhealthy food for their kids. We cannot possibly police everything. Freedom has negative consequences, but the solution is not to curtail it.

Jan 13, 2012
pizzaman883 in Features

Eating in the Age of Shame

Everyone needs to take a step back and realize that ultimately it's all just fuel for your body so you don't die. Anything more than that is just language to pretend we can rank or categorize things as better or worse.

I enjoy haute cuisine, but I also enjoy the occasional Big Mac. If you feel ashamed of your meal, it's your problem, not an inherent problem with the food. We ascribe values to calories, not the other way around. It's all social custom and nothing more. I feel no need to create religious ecstasy around mere food. I'd rather eat a bag of Doritos and read a great novel than feast on foie gras and steak tartare surrounded by a bunch of boorish food snobs all claiming to have found enlightenment in a scrap of meat.

If you feel guilty about your food you're really feeling guilty about yourself.

Jan 13, 2012
pizzaman883 in Features

McD's, BK, KFC, and Taco Bell: Worst Fast Food in America

I've never particularly liked McDonald's or Burger King, but I very rarely have a disgusting experience. They're consistently mediocre. McDonald's is great for cheap calories after, say, helping someone move into a new apartment. It's utility food. I've never felt like I didn't get what I paid for.

KFC, on the other hand, has supplied a few of the only experiences where the food was so stale and yucky that I couldn't finish the meal and instead left and went to another place to eat. Perhaps KFC is just unpopular in Minnesota, but I've never been to a good one. Maybe they're marginally better in the south...?

Jul 14, 2011
pizzaman883 in Features

Taco Bell Previews the Dark Future of Public Dining

*Demolition Man, not Judge Dredd. Your mixing up your Stallone dystopia films.

Jul 14, 2011
pizzaman883 in Features

What's your fix when the Heat Index tops 95 degrees?

Nothing like a properly made Gin & Tonic to beat the heat. Also, a Dark 'n' Stormy, Margarita, Mojito, Tom Collins, or Gin Rickey. Basically, any well made cocktail of white rum, gin, or tequila. You don't want anything too strong. A good session beer is always an alternative.

As for food I prefer something that goes with the patio drinking. Grill up some sausages from Kramarczuk's, throw on some mustard and fried onions.

Reform School for Tightwad Tippers

Also, if you can't afford the tip, you can't afford the meal.

Jun 05, 2011
pizzaman883 in Features

Reform School for Tightwad Tippers

I enjoy going to a restaurant that recognizes me as a big tipper. Suddenly, reservations aren't necessary, freebies come my way, the owner enjoys chatting with me, and I always, always receive fast and loyal service. The dick at the bar that under-tips is left scratching his head, wondering why it's taking so long to get a drink.

First, I recommend going to a restaurant or bar during an off-hour on a weekday. Sit at the bar and chat with the bartender. Usually the hostess is bored and sitting at the bar, too. Chat with everyone. Maybe the owner makes an appearance. Smile and be interested. Make some jokes. Talk about sports. Order a few respectable cocktails, like an Old-Fashioned, a Gin & Tonic, and a Manhattan. Be sure everyone gets your name. Then leave a fat tip (crisp $10 or $20 bills only). Something around 30-40%.

The next time you go there you'll receive the best service. Do it a few times and you'll be treated like an insider. Quality restaurants love loyal customers, and they'll side-step other customers to make sure they retain your satisfaction. One time I tested this out by making a friend call for a reservation at a particular French restaurant in St. Paul. The hostess said, "Booked solid. Sorry. You might get lucky if you just show up." Then I called and made sure I said my name... "We'll have a table ready." It makes you feel like you're a mobster, but it takes nothing more than being friendly and generous. You can grease your advantage even more by making sure the hostess receives a twenty when you leave.

Jun 05, 2011
pizzaman883 in Features

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

I think you missed the point, James. The argument in the Slate article is that Sbarro is the worst restaurant because it lacks a definite purpose or culture. Although KFC and White Castle certainly offer sub-par food, both chains enjoy active "cult followings," if you will. We all know the stereotypes so they're not worth repeating. But nobody goes to Sbarro—it lacks a fan base.

I'd nominate Hardee's and Taco John's as uninspiring fast food chains. Very bland. No real identity. And they both fail in every category when you compare them to their competitors.

May 05, 2011
pizzaman883 in Features
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Can I Use a Coupon on a Date?

The problem is that for many people the word "coupon" has negative connotations. I always think of someone diligently cutting out newspapers to save 25 cents on a pound of bananas. It's not a sexy trait to showcase on a date. I realize it makes rational sense to try and save money—but a date is certainly not a time for rationality.

If you're thrifty and want to save money on drinks and appetizers try happy hour.

Apr 27, 2011
pizzaman883 in Features

Margaritas: Frozen or on the Rocks?

I could never drink from those silly margarita glasses (and drinking a slushy Margarita from one of those glasses compounds the error). I don't want to be mentally transported to a wet t-shirt contest in Cancún. A standard old-fashioned glass is the only acceptable glassware. And I agree with kgrote: a blended cocktail by default will always be more watered-down than anything served shaken or stirred. And Limeade? That's a sure way to destroy the essence of high-quality tequila and Cointreau.

I'd point to Jill Santopietro's and Lessley Anderson's competing Margarita recipes as the closet to ideal. I suppose I just can't see myself using a blender and Limeade to make a cocktail. Once you've reached that point you're only a large metal container of pre-mix and a few plastic umbrellas away from opening a tacky hotel bar in the Keys.

Apr 27, 2011
pizzaman883 in Features

Is It Wrong to Yell "Hey, Amigo"?

I prefer yelling out "Hey, you son of a bitch!" like a boozed-up Texan oil prospector at the boomtown salon.

Sep 26, 2010
pizzaman883 in Features

Inviting Vegetarians to Eat Corpse

I'm not a proper observer of etiquette, so I'd invite the vegetarians with the promise that we're eating "a big salad with lots of carrots and leaves," surprise their sensibilities with the corpse, and then signal my co-host to pull a cord that unleashes gallons of nasty innards and pig blood onto them. Sort of like that Stephen King book, only with more friendly laughter and less telekinetic revenge.

In their righteous indignation and utter shock of having been covered in a poor animal's gooey parts, I'd let them know it was just a joke and casually say, "Hey, let's just eat. We got pork."

But again, etiquette is low on my priority list.

Sep 26, 2010
pizzaman883 in Features

When (Overt) Sexism Sold

I'd much rather have fresh baked biscuits than some nasty Hardee's junk which has been sitting under a heat lamp for five hours. That commercial carries a terrible message: it's uncool and emasculating to enjoy cooking for your friends—instead, go get some fast food.

May 27, 2010
pizzaman883 in Features

Deal-Breaker Foods

Only those with the Seinfeldian mentality will empathize with the rigorous upholding of nit-picky deal breakers. I for one cannot stand Doritos, Diet Coke, or Buffalo Wild Wings (or, come to think of it, buffalo wings altogether—but there's something seriously debauched about that specific place).

Ordering a sandwich that comes with bacon and loudly announcing your intention to hold the bacon isn't merely a food faux pas, but an obnoxious social flop. I can almost imagine the glistening sheen of smugness on the man's face. It's like eating your peas with a fork, one at a time.

One cannot stand for such flagrant barbarisms.

May 13, 2010
pizzaman883 in Features

What Wine Goes With Douchiness?

"If you are in a bad mood or hung over, do NOT watch this, as it may tip you over the edge."

That might provide some clue as to this article's spawning.

Mar 21, 2010
pizzaman883 in Features

Old but Not Lethal

According to the Department of Agriculture, only an estimated 1 in 30,000 eggs produced in the United States is contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12...

)

Also, it's important to point out that raw eggs don't breed Salmonella. They are contaminated at the point of production. Salmonella doesn't develop due to spoilage.

Feb 11, 2010
pizzaman883 in Features

Ramos Gin Fizz

I like to pour the concoction into a glass, and then pour the club soda into the shaker tin (onto the sides, to pick up all that spare egg and heavy cream). Then you simply give the shaker a swirl and spoon the foam out of the shaker into the glass. I find this works better for creating a nice, foamy texture than simply pouring the club soda directly into the glass.

Jan 22, 2010
pizzaman883 in Recipes

10 Good Cheap Liquors

I second the Svedka recommendation. I'd also recommend Sobieski as an affordable spirit that easily competes in quality with so-called upper-shelf vodkas.

Dec 27, 2009
pizzaman883 in Features

Old Pal

Those are really amazing glasses.

Dec 27, 2009
pizzaman883 in Recipes

Your Order Is Politically Incorrect

Personally, the only ethical boundary I place on food: no humans. Other than that, all discrepancy is just a matter of personal taste and cultural differences. People who are apt to cause an argument over another person's diet are also apt to cause arguments elsewhere, and I tend to avoid such imposing buffoons. Preference is inherently relative, and the only person's preferences we should be concerned with are our own.

I tend to sympathize with vegetarians who are constantly pestered with questions and accusations from meat-eaters. I've seen vegetarians hassled by meat-eaters more than the reverse; but that's not to say there aren't any self-righteous vegetarians out there. If you choose to be a vegetarian: good for you. If you choose to be a meat-eater: good for you. I don't really give a shit about what you eat—it's a topic in which I hold zero interest.

Sep 09, 2009
pizzaman883 in Features

10 Good Cheap Liquors

You can't go wrong with Wild Turkey. Great value whiskey. Evan Williams is a close second.

Jul 31, 2009
pizzaman883 in Features