29 May 2005

deepfry, i am your medium-sized soft drink

the other night, at the theater for star wars with a. and some friends, we ordered a large popcorn and a medium diet coke. the guy behind the counter handed over a bucket of popcorn the size of those three-flavored popcorn cans they always have at raffles. you know. the caramel, cheese and buttered flavored popcorn, neatly divided, the metal container decorated with teddy bears or santa claus. the medium diet coke looked like one of those three liter jugs of soda. "Oh no," I said, "I'm sorry. I said medium. I just need a medium." the guy at the counter looked at me with confusion. "This is the medium. It's 40 ounces. The large is 60 ounces."

Okay, 60 ounces of soda? that's FIVE cans! what normal person can drink FIVE cans of soda in a two and a half hour period without having to get up and pee at the very end, thus missing the climax of a movie? since it was there, i drank all 40 ounces (that's more than three cans!) of my drink and had to sprint to the bathroom as soon as the credits started rolling. we also got through the entire container of popcorn probably providing me with 30x my daily recommended allowance of sodium.

are we such greedy pigs that a mere twenty ounce cup of soda can't get a person through a movie?

sigh. it's disgusting.

25 May 2005

almost fingertip

since i just briefly mentioned it at the end of a long and rambling post, i thought i would devote an entire entry to the rubber glove fingertip i found in my 360 Gourmet Burritos grilled vegetable burrito on monday evening while waiting for my plane at the Oakland Airport. given the recent spate of real and faked fast food hamburger fingertip sightings, this would have been comical if it wasn't totally disgusting. the glove fingertip, which, when were it belongs, would have sheathed the top half of a finger down to the first knuckle, was yellowed, having probably marinated in the vat of grilled vegetables for some time. it was covered with little raised dots, the better to hold spoonfulls of beans, rice and veggies presumably.

my first thought, when my teeth first closed around said glove, was that a very oddly textured piece of chicken or beef had slipped into my vegetarian burrito. i considered chewing through the entire experience but quickly realized that no amount of mastication would break down whatever was in my mouth. so, with a pretty big sense of impending dread, i reached in and went about rummaging through the chewed remains of the bite. i missed my mark at first, pulling out some sort of grilled eggplant material. thinking that maybe the eggplant was the offending bit, i took a tentative bite and found, to my disdain, that the questionable material still remained. so i went in again and this time got my target. at first it looked like a chicken skin which is gross, but within the realm of reason. it was only after i'd wiped it off in my napkin and taken a closer look that i realized that no, what i had found in my burrito was not meant for human consumption.

i immediately called a. to ask her what i should do. after being firmly instructed to get my money back, i got off the phone. the two people sitting on either side of me, both of whom had heard the conversation, were both staring at me in horror and requested to see the glove tip. they seconded (and thirded, i suppose) the suggestion to return the food.

so i took the remaining 1/4 of my burrito (i'd eaten almost all of it before i got to the glove) back to 360 Gourmet Burritos. the cashier received the burrito and glove tip rather calmly, as if this kind of thing happened all the time. the burrito makers, however, seemed more interested, though perhaps they were curious to see if the glove tip looked familiar (though you'd think you'd notice if you accidentally cut off a finger of a glove that you're wearing!). they all huddled around the garbage can, peering in and mumbling to each other for a good 30 seconds before going back to work. and i got my money back (though only for the burrito, not the soda). i declined their offer of another replacement burrito. eh. i think not.

so, i have had the very real American Experience of finding something "off" in my fast food. i was worried that they'd think i was faking it, since planting something "off" in your food and trying to sue the restaurant is also a very real American Experience, but this was an honest to goodness nasty "what the hell is in there??" moment. i'm just lucky that it wasn't a human fingertip. or a rat tail. or whatever else it is people find in their big macs. but i think it's probably turned me off fast food for a while.

24 May 2005

san fran2

back to san francisco this past weekend. my primary motivation was, and i say it with pride, an Erasure concert. but the concert and the very exciting Tower Records signing only took up so much time. and what does a girl do when she finds herself in san francisco with some time on her hands? well, let's see.

day one after the signing, my high school buddy and i stopped for a quick bite at a taqueria in the mission. after the tofu taco and nachos, we met up with the san francisco branch of the chicago family for a beer at Zeitgeist. we went with a beer that a stranger recommended because "dude, it totally tastes like pot!" or not but it was still nice. zeitgeist was, late afternoon on a beautiful saturday, hipster central. it was stuffed to the gills with beautiful men and women, sporting bike messenger chic of studded belts, cut off pants, tiny tshirts and greasy hair. we barely managed to find a space big enough for the five of us to squeeze ourselves into on the back patio, just up the ramp on the path kegs took from storage to bar. after zeitgeist, we lost one of our members and the rest of us headed to Bissap Baobob for Senagalese food, which was fantastic, despite very, uh, relaxed service. after dinner, high school buddy and i did some breathing exercises and then proceeded to Mitchells for ice cream. i got coconut and avocado; sue got toasted almond and caramel crackel. the coconut was delicious; avocado was sort of tasteless. caramel crackel was nothing special and the toasted almond tasted very distinctly of flea collar. flea collar.

day two was Concert Day. we woke up early, grabbed coffee and snacks and ate breakfast sitting up top of Dolores Park, watching the dogs play. we moved immediately on to the Polish Festival for pierogi, kielbasa, cabbage stuff, stuffed cabbage and rye bread all served with horseradish. sue embraced her polish roots and bought some candy of the kind her grandmother used to feed her -- something you have to grow up eating to appreciate, if i may say so. after polish festival, we zipped over to northbeach for some tiramisu from a place i went to six years ago. it was still fantastic as was my macchiato. finishing the tiramisu, we walked down to Chinatown for a steamed pork bun, and then back into northbeach for gelato (chocolate peanut butter and chococlate something else). we then took a brief break from eating, going down to sit on the beach and then hopped back in to car and drove to the concert venue neighborhood where we got a quick dinner at Herbivore. my papaya salad was okay--too much, though. and then came the concert and i danced.

day three i met with kyle at bugaloo where we both got the desayuno tipico and coffee. poached eggs, plantain cake, black beans and corn tortillas. perfection.

so wonderful. god, i love that city.

oh, except the 360 degrees Gourmet Burrito fast food stand in the airport. i DO NOT like that restaurant. i found a latex glove fingertip in my burrito! no joke! i thought i'd stumbled upon some weird piece of meet but it was a rubber glove!!!

the end.

16 May 2005

exploitation of power

i recently assumed the role of Vice President of our illustrious library faculty association with my main responsibility being the organization of monthly meeting forums. the forums, held immediately after the real business, are to cover "general areas of interest" to members of the library community. i, just now, am returning from an outgoing/incoming officers meeting at which it was confirmed that the new illustrious President and new illustrious Secretary are certified food people. therefore, I Hereby Declare This: Year of the Food Forum. i think it will rock. ideas generated in our meeting:
  • a regular restaurant review/tip-o-the-month
  • coffee tasting
  • how to bbq, southern style
  • cake decorating
  • an introduction to slow food
  • meat forum (we could do an, i don't know, tempeh forum, too, just to be fair)
  • coffee cake-off
Other possibilities
  • Iron Chef style bake-off between Bruce and Karen
  • cheese 101
  • garden samples, in which those who have vegetable gardens are encouraged to bring in home grown produce, prepared in tasty dishes
You see how exciting this is! Yay!! also, we may have more directly related forums like, um, oh!, building culinary history and cookbook collections.

other ideas? feel free to share!

15 May 2005

i have this, well, irritated tastebud on the tip of my tongue. as a result, i have a constant tartness in my mouth. it's strange yet not unpleasant. i wish i could mix it up a bit, though. say, today i'd like a subtle spiciness in my mouth; tomorrow, maybe the slightest hint of chocolate. i mean, of course, there are breathmints and, well, food, but how convenient if it was all produced internally. it would be like halitosis--but good!

that said, things have been very exciting around here. now that a.'s here and not yet started work, i have a little wifey to cook me dinner and bake me pie. i just finished up the last piece of a very tasty strawberry rhubarb pie. i also enjoyed a fabulous mahi mahi dinner, and a whole range of tasty vittles. and there are four stalks of the stuff waiting for round two. in return, i unpacked the apartment and assembled her bicycle. i think it's a fair trade.hopefully she does, too.