Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I Can't Say No to French Fries

Every time I go to someplace that has french fries as a side item on offer I just can't say no! Even if I know they're going to be crappy or make me feel bad I can't say no. Even if I'm getting something like a grilled cheese sandwich, which already has plenty of grease I can't say no. The other day I went to this place in my neighborhood called Jack's. I ordered up a fresh mozzarella sandwich with sun dried tomatoes and pesto. I ordered this because I wanted to get something sort of healthful, but when the waiter asked if I wanted a salad or fires with that, do you know what I said? "Fries, please," is what I said. I just pictured the fries and pictured the salad and I had to get the fries. Maybe I do it because at restaurants there's usually ketchup bottles sitting on the tables in plain sight. Maybe I see the ketchup and remember how much I like ketchup and then remember that I can only use the ketchup if I order french fries. Another factor is that I usually don't like salads unless they're made out of things that look like weeds and have things like goat cheese, fennel, capers and in them. I have to admit that I also like salad bars, but that's only because I can make an all topping salad, which I love. Anyway, I'd like to think that next time I'm faced with the salad or fries decision I'll order the salad, but I'm pretty sure that I'll go with the fries.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Love a Good Egg Salad Sandwich

As I said in the headline of this post, I love a good egg salad sandwich and that's exactly what I had yesterday at Junior's. Junior's is a restaurant known for cheesecake located on the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb in Brooklyn, NY. The decor looks to have stopped evolving sometime in the late 1960's. Now, I'm always a little cautious when ordering an egg salad sandwich for fear that a bad egg salad sandwich might poison me. However, I put this fear aside and decided that if anyplace would have a good and non-poisonous egg salad sandwich it would be Junior's. I was right. There was plenty of egg salad and a little lettuce between two slices of rye bread. Brilliant. I loved it. Maybe it wasn't the best egg salad sandwich of all time, and it certainly wasn't groundbreaking in any way, but I wanted a delicious plain egg salad sandwich on rye and I got a delicious plain egg salad sandwich on rye . Afterwards I felt great, rather than poisoned. Also, every table is provided with a bowl of pickles, which I enjoyed.

Egg Salad Sandwich: A-
Not Being Poisoned by Egg Salad Sandwich: A+
Bowl of Pickles: A-
Decor at Junior's: A+
Overall Experience: A

Friday, June 09, 2006

Plain Slice of Pizza

I was really hungry as I walked to the subway from a friend's house this afternoon so I decided to grab a slice of pizza at a standard neighborhood pizza place. I ordered up a plain slice at the cost of $1.90. An odd, but fair price it seemed to me. At this point I had an internal debate that I frequently have when ordering pizza. The issue is this: The guy sticks your slice in the oven to warm it up, but it usually ends up scalding hot. I always wonder if I should mention that I'd like it just warmed up a bit, but not too much. The problem is that this request often leads to confusion.

"Not warmed up?" the pizza man often asks.

"No, no," I often explain, "I do want it warmed up, just not really hot."

About half of the time things work out and I end up with a nice warm slice of pizza. The other half of the time I give up once it seems too complicated and end up feeling bad for confusing the guy in addition to having a scalding hot slice of pizza. In any case, I decided not to mention it today because this particular pizza man didn't seem to speak English very well.

After about a minute the guy got my pizza out of the oven and handed it to me on a paper plate. I took it and thanked him. I walked over to the things to sprinkle on pizza counter and looked over my choices. This is something else I am troubled by. For one thing there's usually one shaker jar that's empty and for another you almost always you have to ask for the Parmesan. I like to shake pepper flakes, oregano, and Parmesan onto my pizza. I was in luck in regards to the first two. The pepper flakes and the oregano were there, on these weird chains like pens at a bank, but they were there. However, as expected, the Parmesan was not. I don't understand the reason for this. Are they afraid that it might be stolen? Are they afraid it would go bad? Is it more expensive than the other toppings and they are therefor trying to conserve it? Whatever the reason it's rarely there and I hate asking for it. I always feel like the guy behind the counter thinks I'm trying to scam him or get more than I paid for or something. So this afternoon I did not ask for the Parmesan.

I walked out of the place, pizza in hand, and began once again to walk towards the subway. I could feel through my paper plate that my pizza was too hot and so let it cool down for a couple of blocks. As I got to the park that I go through for a shortcut I decided to give the pizza a try. I took a little bite. It seemed to be a good temperature so I took another bite. The second bite was too hot. I guess the little tip of the pizza that was hanging off the edge of my plate must have cooled faster than the rest of it. As I passed a trash can I threw away that little paper that they put between the pizza and the plate. I hate that thing. It's totally pointless and it's always flopping around under my pizza and it's also wasteful. I think it's supposed to protect your plate from grease, but there wasn't that much grease dripping off my slice and if there was I don't see how that piece of paper would make much of a difference.

Anyway, once my pizza was at an acceptable temperature I ate it and it wasn't very good. I won't say it was bad exactly, but it wasn't good either. I'll admit that the sauce was okay. Still, a big negative was that despite being slightly burnt on parts of the bottom it was a little squishy elsewhere. I ate the whole thing and was left feeling unsatisfied.

Plain Slice of Pizza from Neighborhood Pizza Place: C-
Initial Pizza Temperature: D
No Parmesan on the Counter: D
Overall Experience: D+

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mexican Omelet Burrito

I had a Mexican omelet burrito from this place called Castro's for lunch today. I have had this same item many times from this same place. It is delicious. In fact, it's so delicious that I am rendered incapable of knowing when enough is enough. The thing is that the Mexican omelet burrito is huge. Way too huge to eat the whole thing. Today I ate almost the whole thing because I was enjoying it so much. I stopped with a couple bites left because I was starting to feel unpleasantly full. I wish I had only eaten about 75% of what I did eat, because then I would have still been enjoying myself afterwards rather than feeling a little sick. The thing is that I can't help it. How can you stop eating something that's so delicious?

Mexican Omelet Burrito: A
Amount Eaten: C
Overall Experience: A-

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Too Much Hummus

Not enough pita bread. That was the problem with the hummus and pita bread that I got from The Hummus Place this afternoon. The hummus was really good and it came with these little pickles that I liked, but by the time I was about two thirds done with my hummus I was out of pita. I've had this problem before when I purchased hummus and pita from the same establishment. I was very careful this time to be conservative in my use of the pita so as to stretch it out as much as possible. Seemingly I either had more hummus than previously or I wasn't being as conservative in my pita use as I thought. I ran out of pita at the exact same place as before. In addition to the pickles I mentioned earlier there was also a chunk of onion as a side item. I tried dipping pieces of onion into the hummus once I was out of pita, but that proved to be not so good. I tried eating a bite or two of just the hummus with the provided fork. That also was not so good, mostly for texture reasons. Next time I guess I'll order an extra pita, though I hesitate to because it costs more.

Hummus: A
Pita: B+
Hummus to Pita Ratio: D
Overall Experience: B-

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Yogurt and Grape-Nuts

For breakfast today I had a 6 oz. cup of Stonyfield Farm's All Natural fat free strawberry yogurt. I also had some Grape-Nuts, which I put into the yogurt. It turned out pretty good. At first I poured a few Grape-Nuts in prior to mixing the strawberry part into the main yogurt. This was good, but not sweet enough. I mixed the yogurt up and continued to add Grape-Nuts as I went. All in all I really enjoyed this combination due to the contrast in textures between the Grape-Nuts and the yogurt.

Yogurt and Grape-Nuts: A-