Great Rides; Not So Great Food

The good news is that Universal Studios has some great rides, including the movie-themed rides that have become popular, but that I have never ridden…until last week. And, because they are indoors, they are lovely and cool, courtesy of a power bill that must be astronomical. The roller coasters aren’t too shabby either. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel on the property, which allowed us the luxury of cutting every line, so it really was a pleasure. I am confident that nothing could get me near one of those parks without that expensive, but fantastic perk.

But on to the food. Eh. And no, I wasn’t expecting anything great, but I was disappointed that the Continue reading “Great Rides; Not So Great Food”

Food Hell

Well, maybe purgatory, but certainly not heaven. I just got back from Orlando. Specifically, Universal Studios, where no food goes unfried. I’ll describe it in excruciating detail soon, but suffice it to say that in the last several days I have eaten enough frying oil to last a lifetime. But the rides are great!


How Long Does Opened Wine Last?

My wife likes white wine. Specifically: buttery, oaky Chardonnays. And I like them too. Just not every day. So we usually have two bottles of wine with dinner. That is not to say that we drink two bottles with dinner. As much as I would like to drink a bottle of wine, my head and waistline can’t tolerate it. Oh, sure, occasionally with dinner guests we will drink lots of wine, but that is usually with a long meal, on a weekend. A more typical meal includes a glass or two of wine. And that is the challenge. Many every-day reds are tough enough to handle 24-48 hours before they begin to decay Continue reading “How Long Does Opened Wine Last?”

Humboldt Fog

Great goat cheese is a rare thing, and we are lucky that Cypress Grove Cheeses exists. And even luckier that they aren’t in France or Italy (the Euro is expensive enough), but in good old Humboldt County, California. I guess some people don’t grow marijuana in Humboldt; instead they make the best cheese in America. These folks make wonderful cheese, but their Humboldt Fog is amazing. It isn’t particularly pungent, just creamy and a bit crumbly for texture. Wonderful stuff. Expensive too, but sometimes it’s worth spending a few extra dollars for the best, and this definitely falls into that category.

Chipotle Marinade

I am not a big fan of strict recipes for things like marinades, because the thickness of the meat* (yes, meat! What else is there to marinate?) and the amount of water in it can affect how quickly the marinade flavors it. For instance, if I were marinating something very thick I would use more salt than if the meat were cut thinner. I speak from bitter…er, salty experience, most recently last night.

Anyway, I have a fallback marinade that works very well with pretty much everything, but because it seems like a summery mixture I tend to use it when I barbecue, and that is usually during the summer.  I love the flavor of chipotle, which is smoked jalapeños, usually found canned in an Continue reading “Chipotle Marinade”

A Chick Drink That’s Actually Good!

A recent commenter mentioned Schiller’s Liquor Bar, and it reminded me of an excellent mixed drink that I had there recently. It was a simple concoction, nothing more than lemonade, lemon-flavored vodka, and strawberries. But the bartender muddled the strawberries so most of the flavor was extracted by the alcohol. Good stuff, and something that I am going to try.

The proportions? I am going to guess, but really, it is all to taste.

3 oz. Lemon Vodka

3 oz. Lemonade

2 oz. Seltzer

3 strawberries stemmed, and then muddled in bottom of glass.

Add ice, pour everything in, give it a bit of a stir, and serve.

Treating The Busboys Like Crap

We have 16-year-old who sleeps, eats and does his laundry (sometimes) here, when he isn’t doing what most kids his age do. What that is, I have no idea. I just hope it isn’t what I was trying to do when I was 16.  Anyway, he mentioned that one of his friends just got a job as a busboy in a popular local bar/restaurant. It’s a family-oriented place, where the focus is the food-drink combination, not the number of shots you can throw back after work. But that doesn’t prevent some of its patrons, complete with kids in tow, from treating this kid badly enough that even I, jaded and bitter, was surprised. This isn’t some professional waiter who should be held to a high standard; this is a kid trying to make some extra money so that he can buy a car, or pay for gas, or maybe even earn enough Continue reading “Treating The Busboys Like Crap”

A Negative Correlation Between Wine Price And Perceived Quality

Wow, another study that says that people are impressed by expensive wine, but that when they don’t know the price, they don’t have any idea of…the price! I’m mocking this paper just a bit, but the point is pretty basic. People tend to choose less expensive wines when they don’t have price information. It’s not a huge difference, and then only if you toss out the outliers.

I don’t think that this is anything particularly newsworthy; people will obviously tend to choose wines they like. Many people choose particular wines because they have found that, for instance, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels have a peppery characteristic that is pleasing. But when you eliminate the more generic wines within the varietal, the remaining wines will be more expensive. Continue reading “A Negative Correlation Between Wine Price And Perceived Quality”