Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

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The Fancy Plans Guide to the World’s Greatest Restaurants

June 15, 2010

In our ongoing attempt to be all things to all people (like an ambidextrous hermaphrodite who moonlights as a notary public), we are thrilled beyond single-syllable words to present to you the latest in an apparently never-ending series of series: The Guide to the World’s Greatest Restaurants.

With this quick-start guide safely read and stowed away in the part of your memory that used to hold pertinent information, it won’t matter whether you’re a true “foodie” or just someone who ends up ordering “vanilla” when faced with the rigorous menu at Baskin-Robbins. Soon you’ll be able to force your way into conversations at cocktail parties and bore complete strangers with endless details, factoids and homemade felt infographics.

Under Ferran Adria's watchful eye, the chefs prepare the lunchtime "Pizza Buffett."

El Bulli (Roses, Catalonia, Spain)
While potential diners may land at any major airport in Spain, the final approach to Roses must be made by hang glider or hot air balloon so as not to spook Chef Ferran Adria’s homegrown livestock and produce.

Once inside this small town, those with reservations are escorted (by armed guards) via a serpentine path to El Bulli itself. The hoods are to remain on at all times in order to preserve El Bulli’s secret location. The armed escort serves two purposes: to keep wayward tourists on the right path and to fend off jealous locals who are always kicked to the bottom of the reservation list.

Once inside El Bulli, the atmosphere relaxes as diners enjoy some of the finest food in the world. This reverie is only interrupted by some gentle gun barrel prods and the occasional warning shot as the guards remind patrons of the 90-minute time limit and that tipping should exceed 20%.

Kids under 10 eat free!

Ramsay spots something he doesn't like in a random urine test.

Gordon Ramsay at the London (New York)
Diners at this two-Michelin-star restaurant are invited to mercilessly criticize both the food and the staff, thus allowing Chef Ramsay and his omnipresent camera crew to correct these minor issues through a combination of f-bombs and verbal abuse.

If your complaint is petty enough, you may be included in an upcoming episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Shouty Thing. Those new to the Ramsay experience should use the following list of sample complaints to “brush up” on their sense of entitlement:

  • “Rare” steak edging towards “Medium Rare” (or vice versa)
  • Signature dish only “mildly” transcendent
  • Presentation could use more “dots” and “swirlies”
  • Several misspellings on the shooting release form
  • Entrée not salty enough
  • Waiter failed to mention his unsold script
  • Needs more “hell’
  • Dish failed to utilize all available forks
  • Dressing down of staff seemed forced
  • I don’t know where your “bartender” got his or her degree in mixology, but… (trail off derisively)

Fish Fry Thursday Night – $8!

Iron Chef Chen expertly dices the Velveeta.

Kitchen Stadium (Japan)
Chairman Kaga’s Kitchen Stadium does not take reservations, so it is recommended you show up at least 8 hours prior to your possible “dining experience.” Keep in mind that only 3-6 individuals will be chosen as judges and allowed to eat, while the rest will be relegated to the position of “jealously famished onlooker.”

However, being a judge is such an amazing experience that your weeks or months of going hungry will pale in comparison. As you are entertained by Kaga’s off-color tales of sexual conquest and pepper biting, two world-class chefs (or Bobby Flay) will be running their collective hindquarters off in a hectic, sweaty attempt to curry favor with the judges, often with some form of curry.

Once the dishes are prepared, you’ll be given the opportunity to praise or pan each entry with a selection of non sequiturs, malapropisms and one-liners that refuse to cross cultures.

[Note: Be sure to visit the Japanese Kitchen Stadium as the American version has about as much charm and dignity as your local Denny’s, albeit one that traffics in sea bass sashimi and squid ink ice cream.]

当社のブランドをチェックアウト、新しいストロベリー-キウィ-ライムスムージー!

A splendid shot of one of the French Laundry's signature dishes, "Rabid Broccoli."

The French Laundry (Yountville, California)
A misnomer in more ways than one, The French Laundry is Thomas Keller’s bold attempt to turn the world on its stomach through his fearless and endless reinvention of the wheel, gastronomically-speaking. One never knows what to expect when dining at The French Laundry, as the multi-course meals will either come across as a subtle seduction of your palate or a punch right in your uneducated mouth, depending on Keller’s level of playful antagonism. Once thing is for sure: he will not make your whites whiter. (Also: no ticket, no laundry.)

Highly recommended by top chefs worldwide (but not any actual Top Chefs), and if you can’t trust someone who only cooks in front of a camera crew when not signing books or fielding questions at press junkets, who can you trust?

Add Curly Fries to any meal – 99c!

-CLT

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Entrepreneur Magazine Presents: Best New Franchises of 2009

July 18, 2009

Entrepreneur Magazine has release their annual Franchise 500, spotlighting some new (and exciting!) players in the field of “running your own business for someone else.” Here are a few highlighted selections from the magazine’s editors and contributors.

"Well, I don't see how this could be taken the wrong way..."

"Well, I don't see how this could be taken the wrong way..."

Stop and Pop Fertility Clinics
Set up as a competitor for rival Kum & Go.

The Dreamweavery
Mall kiosk franchise, carrying “dreamweavers and shit,” according to founder Gary Wright.

Pimp My 10 Year Old
The tweens’ destination of choice for ass-writing, henna tramp stamps, training Wonderbras, and Little Debbie G-strings. All purchases come with a “pre-Friended” MySpace page.

Mr. Speedee’s Oil Changery and Add-on Shoppe
Our videotape-trained “mechanicians” will drain your oil, stripmine your vehicle of spare change and add inexplicable charges to your bill – all in under 15 minutes!

South of the Border
Overpriced knickknacks, many of them made by actual Mexicans, bring you all the fun of Mexico without the beggars, knife wounds, crippling diarrhea or favorable exchange rate. Our vendors are always thrilled to “play-haggle” and feign amusement at your clumsy cunnilingus jokes.

Another sexually precocious Yorkie deflowers your shoes.

Another sexually precocious Yorkie deflowers your shoes.

Yorkie Pride
Come paint yourself into a merchandising corner with this exciting new franchise! All yorkies, all the time! Our complimentary startup guide will help you answer many common questions, including:

  • Do you carry anything with weenie dogs?
  • Why not?
  • So, this calendar only contains Yorkies?
  • What possible function does your business serve?
  • What do you mean, “you’ll be late with the rent?” This is the mall, not some shithole studio apartment.

Barely Knit Togethers
High-priced cashmere fashions and handmade scarves. Savvy franchisees will start this business up during the Christmas season and shut down shortly after New Year’s Day, taking their profits and bolting before various disappointed sweater enthusiasts realize these goods will fall apart after a single washing. Additional tips provided on:

  • Early returns
  • How many complaints can be filed before the Better Business Bureau drops its endorsement (surprisingly few, actually)
  • Why some people will insist on pronouncing it “barley”

Blademasters
You may think this sword and blade store will give you the chance to rub shoulders with ex-Special Forces members, various Vietnam vets and trained ninja assassins. The reality, however, is that you will be constantly overrun with LARPers, Renaissance Fair rejects and hyper 10-year-old boys. Might as well open a comic book shop and sell the shit out of some “Magic” cards.

Lukewarm Topic
Take the “edge” off in this new boutique, featuring shirts and other gear with near-offensive slogans like “Son of a Beach,” Tyson Foods Breast Inspector,” “Hershey Highwayman,” and “Have you seen Mike Hunt?” Enjoy the soothing sounds of middle-of-the-road rock “artists” such as Nickelback, Rob Thomas and the grandfathers of punk, Green Day. Now nearly 80% emo-free!

Clandestine’s Pub
Meet your secretary, mistress or other “business associate” at our attractive and discreet restaurant with full-service bar. Available as a stand-alone eatery or take advantage of our partnership with Holiday Inn Express and their new hourly rates. All corporate billing and receipts will be labelled with your choice of “Applebees” or “TGIFriday’s” to allay any suspicions. VIP customers will also receive one (1) alibi-supporting phone call per visit.

Kiosk Kiosk
The first kiosk franchise to specialize in helping others get into the kiosk franchise business. Start with your friends and family to build an exponential Kiosk Kiosk network. Founder Rich De Vos says: “So meta, it’s probably illegal!”

OG’s Home Inventory System
Finally, a business that can be run from anywhere, even your SUV or van if needed. Throw surprise parties for homeowners that mix the unpredictability of Improv Everywhere with the adrenaline rush of Panic Room, with a little scavenger hunt excitement to boot! Some involuntary participants have referred to it as a “Tupperware party with guns” and “The most frightening half-hour of my life.”

Yeah, that looks like fun. Let's bring that magic to the public.

Yeah, that looks like fun. Let's bring that magic to the public.

Ye Olde Photo Shoppe
Not to be confused with the Adobe product of nearly the same name, Ye Olde Photo Shoppe combines the fun of family photography with the tedium of selecting costumes, dressing in costumes, arguing over who gets to wear what costume, selecting backdrops and spending 3 hours to take 20 minutes worth of photos. The children will also be thrilled to add new words to their vocabulary including: muzzle loader, petticoat, bowler and head lice.

Quick Pix Standalone Kiosk
Give local teens a jumpstart on drinking with this “passport photo” booth. Coin-operated and unable to tell right from wrong, this money-making booth is the closest thing to buying those kids the beer yourself. Although this will bring in the bucks, the real reward is seeing the smile on their drunken faces as they drive their vehicle through the front window and into your living room. Pro tip: couple with an unattended cigarette machine for more soul-sucking riches.

-CLT

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Starving? Maybe You’re Just Eating the Wrong Food

April 18, 2009
Local green partiers announce that they are "full of shit."

Local green partiers announce that they are "full of shit."

Apologies in advance for the length of this post…

You hear altogether too much these days about how far we have strayed from the purer, more organic ways of our predecessors. Let’s go ahead and set that straight:

Although it is widely held that modern food is “less natural” than it used to be, mealtimes in the nineteenth century were a far riskier activity.

Business morals in the British catering industry were never lower than in Queen Victoria’s day. Deliberate food adulteration, with no laws to prevent it, grew to horrific proportions as food suppliers cheerfully ripped off and poisoned their customers at the same time.

Some of the most common frauds included the use of ground Derbyshire stone instead of flour, fake Gloucester cheese colored with red lead, baked horse offal from the knacker’s yard in coffee, lead chromate in mustard and even iron bars baked in loaves to make weight.

People died after eating green blancmange colored with copper sulphate and yellow Bath buns colored with arsenic. Fifteen people died after buying sweets from a Bradford market which were found to be laced with white arsenic.

Beer drinking was possibly the most dangerous activity of all: in one year there were over 100 breweries were convicted for contaminating beer with poisonous substances, including sulphuric acid, which was added to “harden” new beer, and iron sulphate, added to give it a good frothy head.

Source: The Little Book of Bad Taste by Karl Shaw, Robinson Publishing Ltd., London

It’s an indication that life has been far too good for far too long when certain people begin bitching about the steady supply of food. Large parts of the world suffer from food shortages and near starvation, but rather than support the advances made in agriculture, they would rather turn back the clock.

Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug has been fighting an uphill battle against world hunger since the 1940’s. Reason has a great interview with him here. Despite his work in eliminating food shortages in Pakistan and India as well as ongoing efforts in other countries, groups like Greenpeace and the Sierra Club cast him as the villain, due to his support of pesticides, hormones and hybrids.

Norman outlines some of the roadblocks that these self-righteous jackasses have erected to slow agricultural progress in Africa. DDT was outlawed so draft animals die of sleeping sickness meaning that all farm work tends to be human-powered. Pesticides and Roundup-ready crops have been blocked, meaning that native grasses quickly overrun any productive crops. Projects to create roads have been rejected which prevents quick input and output of crops, fertilizers, etc.

As for organic farming being better for human health and the environment?

That’s ridiculous. This shouldn’t even be a debate. Even if you could use all the organic material that you have–the animal manures, the human waste, the plant residues–and get them back on the soil, you couldn’t feed more than 4 billion people. In addition, if all agriculture were organic, you would have to increase cropland area dramatically, spreading out into marginal areas and cutting down millions of acres of forests.

At the present time, approximately 80 million tons of nitrogen nutrients are utilized each year. If you tried to produce this nitrogen organically, you would require an additional 5 or 6 billion head of cattle to supply the manure. How much wild land would you have to sacrifice just to produce the forage for these cows? There’s a lot of nonsense going on here.

The real miracle in our lifetime is that anyone in America, Europe or other parts of the developed world can drive or walk to the nearest grocery store and find all the food they need. Years of development in the agricultural field has taken us to a point that many places in the world can only dream about.

The other miracle? Your grocery store is full of reasonably priced food despite the fact that everyone in the supply chain is out to make a buck. The other great “evil” of our time, the market system, turns a profit and yet you still won’t go hungry.

And yet, these elitists and supposed do-gooders aren’t happy. The produce comes from hybrids, growth hormones “infect” the meat, the chickens are restrained and force fed, the box stores are eating up too much real estate and the supply trucks cause too much pollution.

They have the money to live how they want. And they should. If they want to buy only organic produce and pure, hormone-free meat, then they definitely should.

But what they definitely SHOULD NOT FUCKING DO is impose THEIR standards on everyone else. I would say that they don’t have that right, but since our legislative system seems to more than willing to be abused by every special interest group, no matter how regressive or ridiculous. The extremists are willing to use their wealth, influence and special brand of guilt to tear down the food chain and rebuild it in their own image.

Borlaug again:

As a matter of fact, I think this [lack of perspective] is true of our whole food situation. Our elites live in big cities and are far removed from the fields. Whether it’s Brown or Ehrlich or the head of the Sierra Club or the head of Greenpeace, they’ve never been hungry.

The end result will be an expensive, limited food supply that will cause shortages the world over and price the lower classes right the fuck out of the market.

The arrogance of these groups is astounding. What sort of Marie Antoinette rationale will they pull out their superior asses when the less-fortunate can’t put food on the table? “Let them eat video lottery?”

Perhaps they would be happier with some state-blessed genocide to rid the world of those who are content simply knowing where their next meal is coming from.

-CLT

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Your Window to Weight Gain

March 20, 2009

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The 30,000-calorie sandwich, perfect for dangerously underweight individuals, such as yourself.

Via This Is Why You’re Fat, where everything is either a.) deep fried or b.) bacon.

-CLT