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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Smitty's Garage

Ok, so here's the thing: you can waste time reading this review, but you should IMMEDIATELY GO TO SMITTY'S GARAGE AND GET THUNDER FRIES RIGHT NOW!

Smitty's Garage is in the space that used to be Louie's.  It's a chain, but there are only 5 or so (mostly in Oklahoma).

The place has a (surprise) old-timey car/service center stuff vibe.  Visually noisy, but cool.

There was a huge line to order so we sat at the bar with no waiting.

"Thunder Fries"?  Yes please.  Also, some regular ones as a control for you, know our experimentationalistical (new word I made up) purposes.

While I waited I noticed two cool things:  they have skee ball machines.

And a sweet poster in the bathroom of the O.C.A.

The regular fries came out first.

Good amount for $1.99.  Hot, fresh cut, and crispy/non slimy.  Seasoning was tasteful and savory without being overbearing.  These fries indicate a strong understanding of the complicated process of creating excellent fried potatoes from fresh potatoes via hot oil.  Very good.  10 out of 10.

My buddy Ed ordered the "Tijuana Fries" which are the regular fries with onions (yuck) and jalapenos (yum) on em.  They were pretty good, but not amazing.  I give those a 7 out of 10 cause they ruin em with slimy onions.

But then came the Thunder.  Oh my.

Bacon, blue cheese, and Sriracha aoili make these my new top pick in Fayetteville.  Totally off the charts good.

The waitress messed up and only charged me $2.99 for em (which I didn't figure out until after I left) but they are a bargain even at $4.99.

10 out of 10.  DO THESE FRIES IMMEDIATELY.

P.S.  They have an incredible beer selection as well if you're into that sort of thing.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Puzzle Tots

Hold on to your booties, folks, cause this one is a doozy!  Last week I saw a picture of these "puzzle potatoes" on the web and I thought two things:
1) Why couldn't they get the Tetris people on board?
2) How fast can I find/eat some?

Still waiting on word from the Tetris camp, but thanks to David from The Rail I got hooked up on Friday!

Ah yes...delicious "Papas Rompecabezas"!  Right now they're only available from foodservice giant Monarch, so I am "stuck" with 30 pounds of them.  hee hee.

Another question:  Why only the 3 shapes?  They're missing the block and the long one (the one that always saved your butt).  Maybe tot physics don't allow for blocks and long ones, but they were able to make the "L" one?  Strange.

I bet everyone does this first.

These things are meant to be deep fried, but I was lazy and decided to use the oven instead.  But as an expert fried potato consultantist (new made up word), I know you can't really cook them all bunched up like that on accounta the heat not getting to the sides, etc.  This is how you actually cook them.

20 minutes later.

They are the best thing ever.  I don't know if it's because they're flat that they get super-crunchy or what, but they are AWESOME even from the oven.  I can't wait to deep fry some.

The Grunion was on hand (cause Puckett says he needs to be in every post) to give his thoughts.
GRUNION:  Tasty.  Righteous.  Crunchablicious (he's making up words now too).

In fact, the Grunion stole nearly all of the first batch and ran off with them.

JD was also on hand (cause JD says he needs to be in every post) to offer his thoughts.
JD:  Delicious-even without any salt or anything.  Totally Crunchablicious.
GIBBY:  Where did you hear that word?
JD:  Wikipedia.

These things are a 10 out of 10.  Start lobbying your local restaurant to start carrying them immediately.  And by the way, The Rail has the best wings EVAR!

Friday, July 25, 2014

JJ's on the Lake

JJ's has a bunch of locations around the state, and the one on Beaver Lake is kinda new.  Since we were on the lake last weekend, I asked Captain Chachi if he would swing us by to check it out.  It's in this big marina thing.

I had been in the sun for a few hours at this point, and as everybody who has taken 7th grade biology knows, vitamin D overload produces hormones that compel the body to seek fried potatoes.

The place is actually floating, but since you're not supposed to make big waves with your vroom vroom boats around the marina the thing barely moves.  Probably better for eating anyway (seasickness).  It looked cozy.

Let's see...let's do the hand cut fries, homemade tater chips....

And even though I don't normally do this...the cheeze(sic) fries!  The vitamin D made me do it!  Also, it was REALLY HARD not to order the Buffalo Chicken Cheeze(sic) Balls.

The hand cut fries. 

I think they were $1.99.  Fairly good amount, but they lacked a certain something.  Not sure exactly what, but some kind of spice or something would have really helped.  They were good.

The chips were silly.

The cheeze(sic) fries were pretty epic (even with the $7.29 price tag).

The Grunion approved of the fries and chips, but shunned the cheeze(sic) fries.

Everything was going great until JD realized that they have Ozark Beer Company's Pale Ale in cans AND THEN HE WENT CRAZY on them.  He even built a beer can pyramid on the table like a high school kid.  We were sooooo embarrassed.

AMY:  OMG!  That beer can pyramid is sooo tacky.
GIBBY:  Wait.  What's that you're drinking?
AMY:  Nothing.  No pictures!

All things considered, JJ's on the lake is totally worth a visit.  And make sure you have some OBC APAs while you are there!
  Hand Cut Fries: 9 out of 10
  Homemade Tater Chips:  8.5 out of 10
  Ceeze(sic) Fries: 9 out of 10

I spent the rest of the cruise contemplating my time in the ranks of the merchant marine, riding abeam midship on the mighty waterous plain.

Until the Grunion started screaming that we needed to abandon ship in a lame attempt to trick us into going swimming again.

His plan totally worked cause he's a cute 4-year old.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Susie Q - Rogers, AR

Normally a joint that has been open for 50 years is really good at something (or has something unique/special).  We know it's not the fries at Suzie Q.  What follows is no doubt going to be seen as sacrilege by some, but believe me I would have loved if this place didn't suck so bad.  Yeah, yeah, I know you "grew up stopping at the Suzie Q" on the way to something or another.  And I have been there myself over the years a dozen or so times.  But I gotta tell you, if everything else is like their fries then one or two things (or both) are true: 1) there has been some monumental shift in the quality of their fries, or 2) everyone who likes this place is a moron.  I'm hoping it's just #1. Here's the only nice thing I'll say: their sign is still kinda cool.

 Here are the "Suzie Q" fries for $1.79.

Sunglasses for amount scale.

I don't know what they were going for here taste-wise, but they were completely devoid of any taste whatsoever.  They were hot, though.  Does "hot" count as a taste?  By the way, they must have gone to the Ore-Ida plant (in Idaho) to get them cause it took forever for them to come out.  Seriously, there were only like 4 customers there (most of whom got ice cream) and it still took 16 minutes to get two orders of fries.

Here are the "RegFries" with sunglasses for scale.  They were similarly tasteless.

So let's review here.  It took an inordinate amount of time to get two orders of fries which were overpriced based on the amount and that sucked. 

I'm giving both a 0 out of 10.  This kind of stuff really burns me too cause people come from all over and stop at this joint thinking it's a surviving legend of American road food culture, blah, blah, blah and it just flat-out sucks.  Do not go there for fries.

P.S.  I'm throwing this extra shade on them for using THE WORST KETCHUP IN THE WORLD. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mark Philosophizes

Meanwhile (two weeks ago) at Table Mesa...

MARK: I love me some OBC APA on draft in a huge skinny funnel.  It looks like a beer tornado.  Wait...don't they have fries here? 

MARK:  Ah..yes...hot, golden, crispy deliciousness.  Like a strawberry pop tart in November.

MARK:  Leather.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

TENDER-GEDDON 2014

If you're gonna do something, you might as well go all out. That's not my motto or anything but it seems to be America's motto.  So if you're gonna deep fry some chicken tenders for the 4th of July, you might as well have a dipping sauce competition and make the coolest map of America ever. Here's how to do it yourself.

First, you get a ton of chicken fingers MASSIVE BREADED CHICKEN DONUTS.

Then you fry them up real nice.  Extra points if you look super cute/insane whilst doing so.

Then you have your friends and family make A HUGE FRIED CHICKEN AND FRENCH FRY map of the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii of course but not the U.S. Territories cause that would be excessive).  Shirtless kid to show scale.

MERICA!

Then you have everyone try each dipping sauce with the tenders.

And vote for their favorite.

It helps if you make goofy "trophies" for the winners.

Then you award prizes for first.

And second place.

Then lazily float around the pool in a tender/fry coma for a few hours.
GRUNION:  Mom, what's wrong with big Gibby?
AMY:  He's in a tender coma, son.  Make sure he doesn't drown.

And make sure to keep a secret "backup" supply of tenders and fries in the oven for later-you know, for if you get hungry.