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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 face, 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.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Scholz Beer Garten - Austin TX

Scholz Beer Garten (yes it's spelled that way) is a bar, live music club, restaurant, beer garden, bowling alley, and event center.  It's also one of the oldest joints in Texas, in operation since 1866.  While we were in Austin, my buddy Jack and I had to schlep it 2.6 miles every day from where we were staying to the convention center cause the cabs wouldn't come pick us up.  SBG was almost exactly at the halfway point between downtown and where we were staying, so we stopped in for a rest.

Let me start off by saying that this place is amazing.  You really should go to the website and read all the stuff about it.  It's like Chuck E Cheese for adults.  The front bar is cozy.

With tables made out of old bowling alley floor.

And a really great selection of awesome German beers.

 There's a great beer garden (duh).

And THIS GUY will bring you beers and food until you say "uncle".  His name is Jamey and he is just about the most perfect beer/food host I have ever had.  Go figure that he has family in AR and when we walked in he immediately commented on my Ozark Beer Company shirt and we became like peas and carrots in 2 minutes.  Shoot.  He was even in a band with one of my buddies in Florida for many years.  Small country.

Anyhoo, Jamey was like: "Try this bratwurst!"

And then he was like: "Try this BBQ sausage!"

And then he was like: "Palate cleanser pretzel with German mustard, queso, and horseradish sauce!"

We were pretty full, but Jamey insisted we try Scholtz' trademark "Texas" schnitzel.  It's a classic schnitzel WITH QUESO and PICO on it!  Sooooo good.

After all this, I was like: "Hey..*burp...I need some fries to do a review."  Here is the basket of fries.

To be honest, I was physically/mentally incapable of conducting a proper review at this point, but I know even if I was I would still give them a 10 out of 10.  Scholz Beer Garten is so unbelievably over the top awesome in every way, that Jamey could have brought me a basket of phlegm-injected grubworms cooked in poopy toilet water and I would have been happy.

If you are ever in Austin, go to Scholz.   And do it Sun-Wed cause that's when Jamey works.  And tell him I sent ya.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Southside Flying Pizza - Austin TX

This is a public service announcement.

If you're ever in Austin, go to my buddy Andy's joint Southside Flying Pizza in the SOCO district.  The pizza is super good, and the staff if super cool.  They don't have fries, but sometimes you need a palate cleanser...

Oh, and they also have beer.

The pizza is so good you'll eat them two at a time.

And also...


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Grunion and Z vs. the Model Train Swap Meet

Last week the Grunion and Z went to (what was billed as) a model train festival.  What it really was (a bunch of grumpy model train collectors trading/selling stuff) did not exactly meet their expectations.   After being scolded by a few of the "enthusiasts" for touching stuff, the Grunion and Z finally found the one guy in the whole convention center who seemed to actually like kids.

GRUNION:  So, whatcha got here gramps? 
TRAIN DUDE:  It's the smallest scale model train in the world!

GRUNION:  Yo, Z!  Check this out! 
Z:  Whoa!  I've eaten hard candies bigger than that.

GRUNION:  Hey train dude!  Are we allowed to touch this train?  Cause those guys over there got pretty grumpy when I touched their stuff.
TRAIN DUDE:  Why don't you touch the trains behind me on our train tower instead?

Z:  Train tower, dude!
GRUNION:  Sweeeeeet!

GRUNION:  This is the most beautiful sight these eyes have ever seen.

Victory: The one nice dude at the model train grump-fest.