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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Crabby Joe's Revisited

So a few years ago I reviewed Crabby Joe's in Daytona Beach.  They didn't fare too well and even though I go there at least 3 or 4 times a year I haven't been paying much attention to the fries since that first time.  Wouldn't you know it?  We were there a couple of weeks ago and there were some surprises.

First things first.  The Grunion saw this on the menu:

AND DEMANDED THAT WE TAKE THE CHALLENGE.  We've taken on some big burgers in the past, so I was not excited about it, but I didn't want to look like a wimp so we went for it.  In the meantime, I ordered some fries just in case the burger wasn't big enough.

And this is what came to the table.  Wha???

Lightly battered, hot, fresh, cripsy/fluffy.

Excellent!

And look!  You know they are made from real potatoes cause there is this green stuff on one of them.  Sweet!  They changed the fries and now they are really good.  $2.99 is still a little steep for this amount, but you have to consider the real estate so I gave the price a pass.

While I was basking in the afterglow of the new, better fries, the "Whale Sized Surf and Turf Burger" was delivered.

It's mildly impressive, but also really weird.  It has 3 regular burger patties, 4 or 5 fried fish filets, 8-10 (crappy) pre-cooked pieces of bacon, about a pound of lettuce, tomatos, pickles, and onions, a couple of pieces of what they call "Texas Toast" (which was regular sized), and a MASSIVE burger bun.

The Grunion and I destroyed this thing with no problems.

We shared a little bit with Amy, but really the only tough parts were the giant leftover salad items:

And the MASSIVE bottom bun, which was basically a bread bowl.

Now here's the weirdest part.  See the fries on the side of the burger plate?  Take a closer look.  WTH?  Those fries are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT/CRAPPIER than the fries I had like 5 minutes earlier.

Boo.  It appears that the fries are a crapshoot at Crabby's.  I really don't know how to give a rating to a place without a consistent product.  Weird.  I guess I will just suggest that if you ever go there, ask for the "good" fries.  ? out of 10.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ore-Ida Easy Fries

Strolling through the market recently (what? you don't "stroll"?) I noticed these things.  Normally I wouldn't go anywhere near a product that claimed to create anything even remotely resembling good fries in a microwave, but the fact that they were only $1.00 piqued my interest.  Also, the package claimed that the fries would be "crispy" and "easy" and "extra".

The instructions seem simple enough.

Did you know that the Ore and Ida in Ore-Ida means Oregon and Idaho?  Also, the company was founded by two brothers named NEPHI and GOLDEN Grigg.  Fascinating.  Anyhoo, the thinking-cap folks at Ore-Ida might be on to something here cause this package has that silvery (surely non-carcinogenic) stuff on both the top and bottom of the package.

The idea is that you take the top silvery part and smash it down on the fries so that when the microwave starts nuclear bombing them the tops and bottoms of your fries get crisped.

In they go for 3 and 1/2 minutes.

While I waited, I prayed to Maneki-Neko that the ghosts of Nephi and Golden would deliver on their promise of crispy, easy goodness.

Ding!

Let's see...

Fairly.....crispy!  I'm impressed.  For $1.00 and the easiness, this is a total bargain.

The Grunion approved.

These are a great fry-emergency staple to keep around the house.  8 out of 10.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tomoka Brewery - Ormond Beach, FL

Most of the time small craft breweries have great food (if they choose to serve food).  I'm guessing the reason for this is because if someone is into "crafting" complex beers, they're probably into "crafty" foods as well.  Thus was the case with the Tomoka Brewery in Ormond Beach, FL.

The place is tiny, and on the day we went (Thursday@5pm) there were only two people there.  I hope that is not the norm, cause it turned out to be great.

House-made-to-order klondike rose waffle potato chips topped with your choice of four different cheeses?  YES PLEASE.

BOOM!

BAM!

POW!

These things were "chips" in name only.  They were slightly pliable, not crunchy.  Which makes them more like waffle fries in my book.  We chose nacho cheese so the Grunion wouldn't freak out.  He loved them.

In fact, he loved the waffle "fries" so much he totally ignored the fried mac and cheese we got him.  It was meh anyway.

Tomoka Brewery: DO IT.  10 out of 10.  And also they have beers that they make.  And a "beer garden" out back.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Grunion and Z vs. Philosophy

On a recent "warm" day...

GRUNION:  Whoa!  Check out this worm, Z!
Z:  Hmm.  I'm not really sure I believe that worm exists.

GRUNION:  Why not?
Z:  Well, in Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes theorized that we may all just be brains in a jar or something.  So, everything we experience might not actually be real.

GRUNION:  Wha?
Z:  Everything and everyone we ever interact with may just be implanted stuff from a weird scientist or something.

GRUNION:  Dude....
Z:  Yup.

GRUNION:  So...I should totally not worry about getting hurt or sick anymore cause it's all fake and since I'm just a brain in a jar I can totally do whatever I want and I won't get in trouble if I eat a whole gallon of ice cream and drive a semi to Disneyland.
Z:  No.  It's just a philosophical though experiment, man.

GRUNION:  I'm confused.

Z:  I know what'll make you feel better.

GRUNION:  Is cheese dip fake too?  Cause that would make me super sad.

Victory: Cheese Dip

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MoMo's Pizza - Tallahassee, FL

Every 100th batch of fries or so, I like to cleanse my palate with something light, healthy, and refreshing.  This not only allows me to fully appreciate the next batch of fries, but also keeps me in tip-top shape.  I had the opportunity to cleanse said palate recently at a lovely little bistro in Tallahassee called MoMo's

This particular little bistro SERVES SLICES OF PIZZA BIGGER THAN YOUR HEAD.

Here is the Grunion's hand to show scale.

Here is the whole Grunion and Amy to show scale.

Did I mention these slices of pizza only cost $5.95?  The three of us split just the one piece and it was plenty.  It was so light and refreshing I lost 3 pounds.

They also have this monster-sized pizza that you can order if you are angry at your stomach (or if you are a whole rugby team).  These two guys claimed they were gonna finish it, but I could tell they were weak (and they were not a whole rugby team).

Here's the box the monster pizza goes in.

MoMo's also brews their own beer, which is pretty good.

Go to MoMo's.  It's good.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Banger's - Austin TX

Went to Austin last week for work and decided to see if they knew about fries yet.  Our very first stop on Rainey Street (which is cool) was this joint called Banger's.

Let's see, tons of great beers on tap...check.

Lots of sausage.  Check.

Obligatory outdoor live music beer garden.  Check.

"American Fries"?  Hmm.  And why are the fries grouped on the menu with salad?

Yowzer's!  Maybe we should have ordered the "not as large".

Very good.  Six bucks is kinda steep for fries, but when you factor in the amount it's still pretty impressive.  9 out of 10.  I also want to note that all the servers and bartenders at Banger's are apparently REQUIRED to be Cicerone-certified beer servers, which is a big deal.

P.S.  This is the brat.  It was really good.

P.P.S.  Saw this cool EVH "Jambulance" on Rainey street as we were leaving.