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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ballard's on Block Island

When you visit Rhode Island, part of the agreement you sign when you cross the border is that you will ride the ferry to Block Island at least once during your stay.  I have no idea why this rule is in place, but I suspect it has to do with justifying the electricity that Block Island uses.  At least the Grunion was super-excited to ride on the ferry.

GRUNION: So there's dolphins and whales and sharks and stuff in this water?
GIBBY: Yuppers.

GRUNION:  Can we catch one of the sharks and one of the dolphins?
GIBBY:  Why?

GRUNION:  So we can watch them fight.  I heard that dolphins can whip up on sharks.
GIBBY:  Okay, that's not-

GRUNION:  Or maybe we could get a whale to swallow us so we could hang out inside.
GIBBY:  You are so weird.

This is the side of Block Island you see when you're pulling up.  Nice.  Not thrilling, but nice.

Ballard's was established in 1952 by the late Paul Filippi, Sr....blah blah blah. 

Whoa.  Kinda dead for lunchtime.

Beach view-check.  Appropriately over-priced($4.95) fries-check.  Let's do this!

Not bad looking.

Not bad looking at all.

Real potato skins still attached, crisp and hot with a fluffy interior.  And sea salt.  A nice touch.

I gotta say, in this setting, these fries are totally worth it.  9 out of 10.

The beach at Ballard's totally sucks, though.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Smart Fries!

Scientists have been searching for a super-drug to make people smarter for centuries.  There have been countless examples of chemicals, plants, herbs, spices, foods, devices, techniques, and diets that are supposed to make you smarter.

They have all been foolish tragedies.

On a recent trip to Rhode Island, I discovered the secret to unlimited smartness:
SMART FRIES

Who would have guessed that for just two dollars paid at the dirtiest discount store I have ever seen I could gain so much?  And look at all these benefits!
 

Let's have a look in the bag.  That's a crapload for two dollars!

Hmmm.

Strange disease-like texture.  Warts?  Well, they never said self-improvement was easy.

They taste really bad.  Like, disgusting bad.  But maybe my yet-unevolved brain doesn't recognize the taste as good yet.  Maybe after I eat the whole bag my smartness will make me understand that the disgusting texture and gross taste is the embodiment of total intellectual enlightenment.

I ate the whole bag and waited.  I wonder how long it will take until I'm smart.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wendy's Baconator Fries

Okay, so I guess Wendy's is 1 for 1 with their specialty fry offerings this summer.  A while back I tried their Ghost Pepper Fries, and they rated pretty high.  Not so with the recently released Baconator Fries.

The initial view was promising.

Not sure why they felt the need to sprinkle some of the salad cheese on them since they already have the cheez whiz stuff, but ok.  Fork for scale.

Let's take all the bacon pieces off and take a look....AHA!  Just as I suspected!  It barely equals one small slice of bacon!

The fries are fine overall, and $1.99 is fair for this amount, but they are definitely not worthy of the "baconator" moniker.  5 out of 10. +1 for even trying new fry stuff though.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Drive In Movie Fries

The Grunion demanded to see the new Pixar flick at the drive in this last weekend, so off we went. 

The drive in where we live shows double features (and it has to be dark to start the movie) so that means that the first movie STARTS AT 9PM.   The second movie started AT 11PM.  Craziness!  The flipside is that you are seeing two movies for $8, which is pretty good.

You'd think that hipsters would love drive in movie theaters cause there's so few of em left.  Not so at our drive in.  It was mostly WT.

Off I went to get the fries from the snack bar.  Right when you walk in, the smell of funnel cake sugar blasts you.  Got a few photos before the old witch in charge told me that there were no photos allowed.  WTF?  What are they hiding?


I found out pretty quick what they were hiding.  Crappy fries.

They cook the fries in the same oil as the funnel cakes, deep fried twinkies, deep fried oreos, deep fried deep fries, etc.  So guess what the fries tasted like?

Also, they were $4.00.  This make them the 5th or 6th most expensive thing on the menu!  And you are not fooling anyone with the old "fry boat on a larger plate" trick.

These things sucked so bad.  They gave me a bellyache.

0 out of 10.

Cool speakers though.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

TULSA = Anniversary Weirdness

Since it's customary to celebrate your 10th wedding anniversary by traveling to Tulsa, we decided to use our super-luck powers to ensure that we went on the hottest weekend so far this year.

We always stay downtown cause that way we don't have to drive so much and also there's a chance you'll run into some famous person who is playing at Cain's or the Brady Theater only a few blocks away.  Plus they have all these charming signs.  I really wanted to call Rusty Roberts and try to convince him that my donkey got busted but Amy pointed out that he probably gets calls like that all the time.

Speaking of signs, Tulsa really wants you to know that you're in "Downtown Tulsa".  There are like 20 of these giant signs all crammed into a 6 square block area.  I wonder how many kids' pre-school tuition or lunch could have been bought instead of these things.

Albert G's Bar and Q (-1 for silly name design) is right next to James E. McNellie's Public House downtown.  I thought it was kind of strange that you would want your joint right next to strong competition but it seems to be working for em.

Heh.  Look at the door handle.  How cleaver.

Albert G's looks like a tourist trap chain joint, but I was struck by the inimitable smell of smoke that had been flowing slowly over meat for a long period of time.  You just know good BBQ smoke when you smell it, and Albert G's has it.

I've started giving extra points for places that put a roll of paper towels on the table since 95% of all restaurants have apparently become napkin stingy over the last couple of years.

Also, +1 for these Victorian England-era Oliver Twist orphanage style metal plates.  COOL.

My prior research indicated that the Debris Fries (with shredded brisket and gravy) were the way to go.  This is them.

They were piping/steaming hot.  Normally I don't like gravy on fries, and BBQ sauce with gravy seemed gross-until I tried it.  It is soooo good.  And they don't skimp on the brisket, either.  I bet there was 3/4 of a pound on there.

Look at that bite of brisket!  Albert G's brisket fries are the bomb.  10 out of 10.

-1 for having "tabouli" on the menu though.  WTF?

The only other thing that sucks about Albert G's is that they have this sandwich on the menu called the "Fat Albert G's" that they tout as this giant thing that is sooo big that you can't finish it and all that.

This is it.  It was tasty, but...

Fork for scale.  I wolfed that thing down like a beagle eats cheese.  #PortionFail

After our BBQ we were hungry for some acousti-rock so we caught Travis Kidd's show at the Blue Rose Cafe down by the river (heh).  I'm not sure everyone knows how amazing of a guitar player Travis is, but you should definitely check him out the next time you have the chance (which is like 30 times a week cause that guy is like a Jamaican with the gigs).  And when you see him, buy a t-shirt.  Here he is playing Cold Gin by Kiss (I was trying to make him laugh).
video

When we got back to the hotel, Huey Lewis was getting out of his car and walking through the lobby but I didn't get to make a fool of myself in front of him on accounta Amy was too slow getting out of the cab.  Dammit!  I made her pay for it the next day at Fassler Hall by making her stay there for FIVE HOURS.  We were watching a Razorback baseball game though...

At about hour 3, this silly crowd of birthday people came cruising up on this giant car/multi-bike thing. They came into Fassler Hall for a beer.  We made fun of them for a while until we realized that:
A) They were drinking while they rode.
B) They were exercising while they were drinking.
C) They were (mostly) younger and thinner than we are.

So we begrudgingly bid them good tidings, and returned to the AIR CONDITIONING.
video

Later that day a LGBT pride parade went right through downtown.  Sweet!

There was the obligatory float with scantily-clad men dancing and... wait...is that Tiffany?

Indeed it was Tiffany, and thanks to Tulsa Pride we were treated to a nice little concert at the end of the parade.

Make all the fun you want, but that girl can sing.  Good for her.
video

Amy got nostalgic during Could've Been.

We had a great time, but I was left thinking how nice it'll be when there isn't a need for these parades anymore and we can just have "people pride" parades.  Soon...

After the parade, we were starving so we walked to Fat Guys's Burger Bar in the "Greenwood" district.  Funny thing about downtown Tulsa is that every other block calls itself a "district".  Look at a map-it's hilarious.  Within a six or seven square block area there are at least five districts: the Blue Dome district, the Brady Arts district, the Deco district, the Greenwood district, and so on.  We walked three blocks and crossed three districts.  Silly.

I should note that by this time it was like 417 degrees with 1,934% humidity and the A/C in Fat Guy's was not cutting it (ironic).  We were miserable sweaty.  I got the large order of spicy fries cause Amy was getting regular ones anyway.  They came in a big sweaty bag.

Super amount, but when fresh cut fries are not cooked right (blanched and then fried) they get soggy-especially when you throw them down in the bottom of a bag to steam.

Only about 30% of them were at least cooked enough to enjoy.  I think they just throw some crab boil and/or Tony Chachere's dust on em.  They are okay, not great.  I think if you asked for them well done they might be better.  6 out of 10.

The burgers were likewise forgettable.  Look how flat.  Meh.

After this we were obliterated.  We were in our hotel bed by 9 p.m.  Such losers.  We felt great the next day for the drive home, though.

When we got home, Loretta was on shrooms.