Sunday, August 30, 2015

Awesome Twosome

Have you ever wondered why sushi restaurants still have things on the menu like chicken and beef? It's because of people like me. I'm "that" guy who refuses to divulge in anything that was conceived below sea level. So likewise in my recent venture to Big Bang Sushi, I was the only schmuck at the table who ordered something that grew up among the dirt and trees:

Not only did I NOT order sushi, but I ordered BOTH chicken and beef

99/100 times I'll probably go for the combo plate. To be honest, this was just okay. Not bad, not great. Just okay. To be honest it actually left me really hungry as these are decently small portions. But hey, combo's a combo.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Karl Strauss Farmhouse

I love menus that get creative. Granted, sometimes it's just one dish out of fifty but still. I can't tell you how many places I've been in even the most obscure tiny towns where the menu features cheeseburgers, turkey clubs, and seafood salad. It's obnoxious. Karl Strauss Brewery Company is a hot spot in San Diego and I had the opportunity to venture to the joint in 4S Ranch for lunch not too long ago. The menu had the basics, had a few items that took a different spin on the basics, and then there was...THE FARMHOUSE:

What appears to be a smashed pile of corn-infused dogcrap atop my burger is actually a fried egg. Beneath the fried egg there's a slab of pork belly. Beneath the pork belly is a cheeseburger. I was expecting a beautiful mess but because the egg was overcooked it kept everything together. Whether that was intentional or not, I don't know. For some reason over easy eggs seem to be a struggle for restaurants these days. 

But overall it was a pretty good burger. Not sure I'd order it again but it did the job. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

All American Dessert

As is tradition, here we have the delicious, the luscious, the supremely patriotic ALL AMERICAN DESSERT:

The problem with this dish is it's so big it's actually hard to get a good shot of it given the dimensions and lighting of the table/room. But alas, this was probably the best All American Dessert I've ever made. Unlike in previous years, I used ALL of the cake and ALL of the Jello and ALL of the strawberries. Usually I have some left over but this time I packed it all in tight for an epic dessert experience similar to an unguided tour through Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

A little late given that it's a 4th of July post but hey, whatever. And how about Joey Chestnut losing in the Hot Dog Eating Competition? Wow. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Carl's Jr. American Burger

Hot dog and potato chips on a cheeseburger. Why? Because America. That's why.


Yeah, I had to try this and the results were lackluster to say the least:

It's like a barbecue on a bun

This is one of those ideas that's brilliant in philosophy but the execution leaves much to be desired. It's kind of like the Wendy's Baconator which is all kinds of processed sludge that seems like it should taste delicious but in reality tastes like moldy gym socks. 

Now, this burger is more edible than the Baconator but it's just...weird. You got the softness of the hot dog contrasting with the crunch of the potato chips plus the cheeseburger. I finished it. It was okay. But that's all. 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blue Buffalo's Sweet Little Lies

Do you feed your dog Blue Buffalo? Yes? THEN STOP.

Here's the thing: a lot of people are oblivious to the kind of crap that large conglomerate dog food companies put into their products. Brands like Purina and Hill's bask in the nonsensical glory of telling you that decomposing chicken beaks are good protein for your dog or that Chupacabra blood is an essential nutrient.

But then you have a company like Blue Buffalo that comes along promising to be the "healthy" and "holistic" alternative to all these silly conglomerates that produce food with the nutritional equivalent of a bubblegum wrapper. Instead, Blue Buffalo promises to be the company that packs its food with HEALTHY and WHOLESOME ingredients. But you know what I think? This:

Here's a company that strives to create an image of a clean and trustworthy entity when in reality they're like Sarah Michelle Gellar from Cruel Intentions and snorting secret vials of crack when nobody's looking.

By now you've heard of Purina's smear campaign and LAWSUIT against Poo Buffalo which included the findings that their "poultry byproduct free" food actually contains up to 22% poultry byproduct meal. In case you're bad at math, that's a FIFTH of the ingredients that are made up of slaughterhouse poultry parts that aren't used for human consumption. Dog Food Adviser, a non-partisan website that reviews the quality of commercial dog food, lists animal byproducts as feet, heads, and undeveloped eggs. For a complete list as well as some educational reading, click here for the entire article.

Blue Buffalo in its human form

The disgusting part about poultry byproduct, other than it being low quality protein, is the fact that it's defined as "poultry", which means they don't actually KNOW what animal they're feeding your dog. Poultry can be defined as chicken, turkey, duck, fowl, etc. Imagine a large vat at the slaughterhouse that contains the feet, beaks, feathers and other unmentionables of the birds already chopped up for processing. THAT'S what Poo Buffalo was putting in their supposedly "byproduct free" dog food. Aside from blatant false advertising that's gonna cost them millions, it's also really disgusting. 

However, what pisses me off about Blue Buffalo is their refusal to accept any responsibility. You see, I think deep down Purina and Hill's know their foods are crap. For example, Purina likes to tell you that grains are actually good for dogs and that canines have evolved from carnivores into omnivores (they eat meat and plants). They also use this cute little graphic on their website that even Stevie Wonder could see is a load of poultryshit:

It's like I'm trying to figure out one of those Magic Eye pictures

Yeah, okay, those molars are clearly made for CHEWING MEAT. If you need any more clarification that your dog is a carnivore and NOT an omnivore, simply look in their mouths. Do those molars really look like they're built for grinding corn? I don't think so. 

Next week Purina's gonna try to convince us that Predator is an omnivore too

As I was saying, Poo Buffalo has refused to accept any responsibility for this and instead they pass the buck onto their suppliers. See, the SUPPLIERS were being dishonest, therefore THEY'RE the ones to blame and are being dragged into this as well. Now, maybe on some distant planet or galaxy that may be entirely 100% true. But lest we forget that a short three years ago, Poo Buffalo announced a voluntary RECALL of their foods for containing a surplus of vitamins that could potentially be damaging to your pet. Their response at the time was eerily similar:

2012 recall:
We came to this conclusion after discovering that our ingredient supplier had made a scheduling error and produced a Vitamin D supplement immediately prior to preparing the ingredients for the BLUE products that are in question.
And just today on their Facebook:
Given all the misinformation out there, we would like to give you a quick update on the legal front. As we had informed you on May 9th, today we formally brought claims of breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment against the parties responsible for the intentional mislabeling of certain ingredients that were shipped to us and other well known pet food brands through May 2014.
First of all, these clowns went SILENT on Facebook for FIVE DAYS prior to this statement. The company that cares SO MUCH for YOUR PETS had NOTHING TO SAY as developments continued to roll out and when they finally broke their silence...they passed the buck. I mean, think about this for a second; intentional mislabeling? What kind of suppliers are you in bed with that they're INTENTIONALLY mislabeling your product??? Even so, let's play devil's advocate for a second: HOW DOES IT GET TO THE POINT THAT 22% OF THE INGREDIENTS ARE MADE UP OF POULTRY BYPRODUCT? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN, HUH???

Seriously, what's Poo Buffalo's quality control strategy? Don't they do any sort of internal audits to ensure that their food is as high quality as they claim? Especially after their supplier kind of screwed them over just three years ago? I'm sorry, but I don't buy any of this. Actually, I'm not sorry at all. My second dog, Cara, ate Blue Buffalo and she had allergic reactions to it that were never diagnosed because vets aren't trained in canine nutrition. Because of my history with this company, even though my current dog Jenny isn't on it, I still find this blatantly offensive, disgusting, and I think these guys are in general just a bunch of buttholes.

Looking to switch your dog's food? DO YOUR RESEARCH! Purina and Hill's have gajillion dollar marketing budgets and they're extremely effective but they're incorrect. RAW is always the best diet for your dog. Avoid grains, wheat, corn, and soy. Canines are NOT omnivores and their bodies are NOT designed to digest that kind of stuff which is why you see a lot of allergic reactions. Is your dog neurotically licking its paws? Look at the ingredients panel. The best kibble out there, far and away, is Orijen and Acana, both of which are produced by the same company, Champion Petfoods. Both are rich in protein that use REAL meat and are chalked full of supplemental super foods. Further, the company is EXTREMELY TRANSPARENT ABOUT WHERE THEY SOURCE THEIR INGREDIENTS FROM. Orijen and Acana: Greg's Gourmet approved.

Jenny, basking in the glory of grass and tennis balls

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rob's Jalapenos: Best Burrito in San Diego

After non-rigorous trials and next to no actual test meals at other restaurants, I have finally uncovered the greatest burrito in San Diego: The Carne Asada burrito from Rob's Jalapenos in Carmel Mountain Ranch:

Downing one of these bad boys generates enough power to measure on the Richter Scale

Hooooly guacamole. I don't even LIKE guacamole but this burrito is seriously outta site. The only thing that's possibly better is the Carne Asada plate which throws in lettuce, beans, and rice so you can make your own. But if you're out and about looking for the greatest burrito in San Diego, don't stop at Taco Hell or Hell Taco or El Pollo Stupido; check out Rob's Jalapenos. Oh yeah!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Smart Ones Deflated Frozen Desserts

Got another example of how food photography is the greatest thing in the world. Smart Ones, which specializes in somewhat healthy frozen entrées and desserts (and is owned by one of the major conglomerates) has seriously upped the bar for the most superficial packaging pictures I've ever seen. I call this...Deflated Dessert:

It's like an oatmeal and spit dessert or something

No, that dessert was not altered in any way, shape, or form. That's exactly how it (as well as the other three) came out of the box. And Smart Ones will likely say "oh, something went wrong during manufacturing which is why it looks so strange." Yeah, this isn't the first box of these things I've had and are you really gonna try to tell me that under NORMAL circumstances it's really gonna look like a sundae that comes out of a five star fine dining restaurant? I don't think so. 

The best part of all of this? It actually tastes really frickin' good!