Saturday, November 04, 2006

Here's to you Mime Guy!

The sad fact of the matter is that Mimery is a dying art. No longer do we see these painted on, jolly souls entertaining us on the street corners for a few quid each day. No more will you see as he (or she) struggles against an invisible restraint of cube-shaped glass. Children today are growing up in a world that knows not of these white faced street performers. So this blog goes out to you...Mime Guy! (or gal!)

It is amazing what you can find in a simple, ordinary day to write about, especially involving food. First of all, after spending a wonderful morning with Adrienne, I went to Orem with my parents to visit various family members. As things were winding up, my dear friend Blue called up and we went to lunch at our usual spot, the Techotinalian Market. If you are a fan of all things south of the border, and I mean the bland reality of true Mexican-influenced dishes, and not that overly-hyped sauced up jumbalaya that is served at every other "Mexican" restaurant, then you simply must visit this tidy piece of Mexico in Orem. Near the back of the store, encircled about by the carnacita and panderia, you will find a small kiosk-like stand with high benches around it. This is a small cafe where they don't speak English, but the make some wonderful tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Be careful what you order, because "Cabeza" is brain. Anyway, Blue got a quesadilla and I went with the old stand by of beef taco. They have changed the beverage of choice from Pepsi to Coke, but other than that, the food was wonderful. The plain corn tortilla was as simple as always, and the homemade salsas were, (besides muy caliente), fresh and fabulous. I didn't quite finish my second taco because I was getting full, not to mention the artery I found in the last bite. Finding and recognizing various body parts in your food tends to squelch any remaining appetite.

Later that evening, I was spending some great time with Monica and Erik. Erik had recently found Egg Nog flavored Jones Soda. They had bought me a bottle to enjoy. It was actually really good...for anyone that likes egg nog, which I do. Monica made it clear that this was something Erik and I would have to enjoy together, as she was not going to partake of the Jones Soda Goodness. After that they took me to the Iceberg drive in. We didn't "drive in" but rather sat on well cushioned "Sinclair" barstools inside. (Later we moved to a more traditional, albeit taller, table with seat-backed chairs). While Monica and Erik enjoyed meals of the burger variety and classic milkshakes, I enjoyed a simple grilled cheese and fries. Erik ordered a side of Onion rings that were later dubbed Onion Manacles as they fit over our hands and well onto our wrists. They were impressive. As was typical Iceberg fashion, the meal was not able to go the entire evening without hiccup. The hard working citizens of Icebergia forgot the shakes, so those came, pretty much as an after-dinner snack.

I closed the day with Adrienne. It was a great time as she schooled me in the game of "War". On the way home I stopped at Wal-mart to gather the ingredients for something Erik thought of: Chocolate Flavored Egg Nog.

And with that...and a nod of appreciation to all things Mime, good night!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Homeward Bound

So because of my road trip last week, the company was gracious enough to give me a couple days off. These are days that are much appreciated. I decided to do a road trip of my own. Unbeknownst to some people, I headed North, leaving the OC for the UC. (Utah County for those who aren't in the loop...duh).

Most people who know me to even the slightest degree, know that I have somewhat of a unique drive to try foods that can only be labeled as "new", "different" or "scary". In this category of "scary", it is common knowledge that I have consumed a wide variety of staples, from Twinkies of various flavors to "Self-Heating" Lasagna. One of my guilty pleasures in this category would be the Gas Station Hot Dog. I am sure you are all familiar with this particular road snack: fine tubes of "meat" that have been on a never-ending roll across those stainless steel, heated rollers since the first Bush was in office. The buns are typically found below the meat heating device by a wide assortment of storage means. Some places will keep their buns wrapped in the plastic bag and store it in a metal box that claims "Fresh and Hot". Others will adorn them in fancy wrappings of foil and color, thus ensuring the "freshness" value. Personally I prefer to wrap my buns in foil, as those which are kept in the plastic bag tend to develop a thick condensing effect, and the moisture turns various parts of each bun into a soggy remain of its former self. And it doesn't chafe.

But I digress! Or do I? Perhaps this all leads up to a little road side truck stop off of exit 75 between Las Vegas and Mequite. Here you will find one Sinclair station with half the building festooned with all things gas station and cheap souvenier, and the other half bedecked from floor to ceiling with every imaginable firework ever created. Aisles and aisles of carefully wrapped gun powder, all available right next to a very impressive liquor selection.

Tucked back behind the fireworks and booze, you will find the famous "hot dog roller". This particular joint had three varieties of hot dogs: Regular, Large, and Spicy Hot. I'll give you three guesses to figure out which one I went with.

While you are guessing, I will go on to describe the Spicy Hot Hot Dog that I chose. For condiments I put a small amount of Mayo, (much less than Del Taco pastes into their soft tacos), ketchup, and Chalula Hot Sauce, (for that extra KICK). Oh, and these particular buns were of the foil wrapped variety.

I think the Spicy Hot (which was no more spicy than a dash of black pepper on a baked potato), was a poor choice for several reasons. Taste was not one of was actually pretty decent for road side cuisine. However, the texture left one wanting. (Wanting something else). Imagine a balloon, stuff with hard packed ice cream, and take away the cold. Tough to get through that first layer, but the inner-workings of that barrel of bologna were a soft-chewy center. The after effects, (pronounced "fla-tchew-lay-shun"), could have been lived without.

I really hope no one just ate while reading this.

Anyway, my surprise visit to the north had its effect...maybe a bit too well. People were definately surprised. But it is good to be back in the Promised Land, and I look forward to a couple of relaxing days here in the UC. memorium for the death of one jack rabbit just outside of Cedar, I should probably post his demise. I was cruising on the freeway at a steady, computer-maintained clip, when this rabbit came bounding out into the middle of the road. There was no time to react. At 75 miles per hour, my fine German engineered Passat turned Peter Cotton-tail into Road Pizza. May he rest in peace. Or, may she rest in peace. I just hope there is some rest involved...and it is peaceful.