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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Grunion and Z Philosophize

On a recent trip about town...

GRUNION:  Yo, Z!  Let's hit the playground and then eat some cheese dip and ice cream.
Z: 
WordHmmm.  This fence looks locked or something.  Are we allowed in here?

GRUNION:  Totally.  Watch me lock pick this piece.
 
Z:  Doesn't this violate the social contract?
GRUNION: 
Free will, dude!
 
Z:  Free will is a myth cause our minds are made up of atoms and molecules that behave in probabilistic ways.
GRUNION: 
Dude, don't tell me you're a determinist!
 
Z:  Don't label me, bro.  I just know that I know nothing.
GRUNION:
Don't throw Socrates at me!  Besides, RUSH settled this in 1980.
Z: 
RUSH is overrated.

GRUNION: 
So you're saying that everything we do is predetermined?
Z: 
Pretty much.

GRUNION: 
Even though we just decided like five minutes ago to get cheese dip?
Z: 
Yup.


GRUNION: 
But what about when we do crazy stuff?
Z: 
What?  Like put a chip on my head like this?

GRUNION: 
Yeah!  How is that predetermined?
Z: 
Cause I was destined to put that chip on my head precisely at this time and place.

GRUNION: 
I dunno dude.  I think that fact that not deciding still indicates a choice pretty much proves free will.
Z: 
What about the recent studies in neuroscience that indicate that our brains make decisions even before we're conscious of them?
GRUNION: 
Too weird.  Makes my brain freeze.  Or maybe it's the cream.

Z: 
Face it.  You gotta just go with the flow, man.  Everything is planned out.
GRUNION: 
So why can't we just  go with the flow by eating cheese dip and ice cream every day?
Z: 
The social contract, dude.  And also parents.

GRUNION: 
Rousseau said it best, my man.  Man is born free, and is everywhere in chains.

Z: 
You said somethin' there, brother.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tulsa Fry Madness MEGA POST

Tulsa gets a lot of crap.  It seems to be the go-to city to use in the punch line whenever a late night talk show host wants to make a joke about hicks or the south.  That's kinda sad too, cause Tulsa is downright fancified these days-especially the recently rejuvenated downtown.

A pack of us slid over to T-town to see Cake play at Cain's this past week, and as usual I made some appointments to check out the fry-fare.

Right off the bat we knew it was gonna be a weird trip cause there was a prom for boxers (the breed of dog) going on in our hotel.  Yes, grown men and women dressed their boxers up in tuxes and gowns and had a dance.  They even took photos of what we assumed were the members of the "court".  Merica!

Our first stop was Fassler Hall in the Blue Dome district.  I saw ahead of time online that this joint was a German beer hall-type joint and that they had duck fat fries.

Indeed it was a beer hall.  I ordered the fries, the pretzels, and the potato pancakes.

The fries arrived.  Hot, sufficiently crispy, and fresh-cut.

The amount was okay for the $5.50 price tag, but they lacked.....something.

Although the fries were a point or so short of perfect, I'm giving em a 10 anyway cause Fassler Hall is so awesome.

The pretzels were standard, and the potato pancakes were worth it.


More on Fassler Hall later.  But first, we were off to McNellie's Pub, which was just a few blocks away.  It's funny to me that McNellie's has only been open since 2004, cause pubs usually tout how long they've been around.

Anyhoo, it's got the standard pub ambiance.

I ordered the "pub chips" and the fried cheese curds.  While I waited, I tried the beer that the Hanson brothers make (yes, those Hanson brothers).  It's called "MMMHops-get it?  It wasn't bad, but there was a weird aftertaste.

Oh.  Maybe that's it.  Why are the Hanson brothers making a beer that's 7.5% alcohol?

The cheese curds arrived.

Nice.

Hot, crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

$6.99 for these cheese curds is a good deal.  10 out of 10.  Do it.  The pub chips (British for fries in a pub) arrived next.

I don't recall how much these were (I think they were around $5) but the amount is worth the money.  They're a hybrid of potato wedges and steak fries.  Pretty good.  9 out of 10.  I wonder how British people would react if they got a plate of these things delivered with those two huge vats of ranch dressing plopped on each side.  MERICA!

McNellie's is worth a visit, but don't get too loud/rowdy in their downstairs dining area or the waitress will get snippy with you.  Apparently being loud/rowdy is what the UPSTAIRS dining area is for.

Later that night, we needed a fry-cap (and to watch the Razorbacks game) so we checked out the bar/restaurant in the hotel.  It was called the Daily Grill

Fries for $3.00 in a hotel bar?  Bring it on!

Whoa!

A great amount of hot, fresh, tasty fries for a good price.  Heaven.  It made watching the Razorbacks lose another game bearable.  10 out of 10.

The next day we went back to Fassler Hall to check out their Sunday brunch.  We got there right before they opened and decided to pretend that we were a gloomy goth acousticore band taking a promo pic.  I think they turned out pretty good.

Once inside, we dined like kings of Bavaria.  Behold the chicken biscuit.

And the breakfast tacos.

And the bratwurst.

And the venison/buffalo/pork sausage.

And the Gibby hosing it all down.

I realize that these brunch things are not fries, but I felt it was necessary to show how awesome Fassler Hall's food options are so that you would understand how important it is that you try it out.

Later on that night we tried to check out the fries at the Hunt Club, on accounta it was close to Cain's.

We sat down, the waitress handed us menus, and......then she didn't return to us.  She passed us 3 or 4 times, but never returned to take orders.  It was not packed.

I guess she hated us.  After about 10 minutes we left, so no review for you!

Obligatory concert photograph of group taken by random stranger.

This is where things get serious.  The next morning we hit Brownie's Gourmet Burgers, which is in the schmanzy Utica Square mall.  Brownie's has several locations which are basically like fast food/diner joints but this is their "gourmet" location.

It kinda looks like a sushi joint.

And boy are they are bringing it on the fry front!  If you count the sweet potato fries and the thick cut potato chips they offer 8 different fry things.  Astounding.

I ordered 5.  The Cherry Pepper Cheese Fries (you know, for an appetizer), the salt and vinegar, the bacon ranch, the buffalo, and the truffle parmesan.

This is what the table looked like when they all arrived.  Heaven on earth!

The Cherry Pepper Cheese fries had a spicy BBQ sauce that send them into the stratosphere.  10 out of 10.

The Buffalo fries are amazing.  The pieces of bacon were huge!  10 out of 10.


The Truffle Parmesan fries could have had more truffle, but great overall. 9.9 out of 10.

The Salt and Vinegar fries could have had more vinegar, but they were still great.  9.9 out of 10.

The bacon ranch fries were the most "boring" of all the fry offerings-a victim of the greatness of the others.  9.9 out of 10.

There were so many fries, that this is what was left when we couldn't eat any more.

If you're serious about fries, this is one of those places you have to go before you die.  They are killing it! Overall this place is a 10 out of 10. 

Check out the burgers.



And the pie.

Tulsa brings it on the fry tip.  DO IT.

P.S. The Bandit ordered a salad and ate most of my buffalo fries.