Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rats Food Nation

I'm a little disappointed by all of the media hype surrounding the film of rats running all over a New York City KFC restaurant. It feels like there are similar stories released a couple of times a year, if not more frequently. It's just a fact: New York City has rats, and the critters love nothing more than infesting restaurants--after all, there's no more abundant food source. Should the restaurant be closed down? Absolutely. Should the inspector who failed to do so after the rats' droppings were first found be suspended? Definitely--she'll be lucky if she's not fired outright. But stuff like this happens so often, it's really not even newsworthy (although the video in this case makes for good YouTube watching). I've seen some things that are just as bad, if not worse right here in Delaware.

My first personal horror story is also KFC-based--to be specific, the KFC/Taco Bell on Naaman's Road in Claymont. I stopped there with my then-girlfriend to grab a bite one evening. I ordered an extra-crispy combo, sat down, took a bite of my breast piece, and noticed they'd given me regular instead. I took the my plate back and asked the nice hippo lady to correct my order, which she did--then took my original chicken and put it back on the shelf with a nice big bite out of the breast. I did finish my meal, but have not returned to that KFC since.

Even worse than that, though, was my experience in the Subway on Main Street in Newark. I used to patronize this crap shack fine establishment frequently--they're walking distance from my office, and they used to offer their "every 9th sandwich is free" card. That changed on the hot summer day when I went in to find their doors propped open, the lids off all of the ingredients (including the ones the so-called "sandwich artists" weren't using)....and flies crawling all over the meats, cheeses, and "fresh" veggies. This time, I didn't bother staying to eat the food--I beat feet back to my car and went to a local sandwich chain instead. (They deserve a plug--Capriotti's makes the best damn sandwiches in Newark. They're all over the DE-PA-NJ tri-state area, and are starting to expand out west as well.)

In both cases, I went to the trouble of finding the 800 numbers to contact the corporate parents with complaints, and in both cases I got the runaround. I'm sure there are a million other stories like this out there that haven't made the news--maybe we all need to start taking YouTube videos everywhere we go to eat.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


You've probably noticed that I've been rearranging and changing the layout of this here blog, especially all of my sidebar content. Well, I've bought into Google's hype, and I've upgraded this site to the new version of the software. This means it's easier for me to make changes, and easier for me to add new content and features (now with 60% more Red Sox bashing!) Thanks for bearing with me as I sort all of this new functionality out.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Beast's Cookbook: Mustard Garlic Flounder

I realize it's been a while since I did a cooking post, so here's a simple recipe I tried out last night. I adapted it from one that called for dijon mustard and capers, but I think my version came out just fine. This goes great with any vegetable; I paired it with some steamed zucchini.

mustard garlic flounder

2 to 4 flounder fillets, about 1/4 pound each
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard (such as Mr. Mustard)
2 tablespoons garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the butter in a baking dish. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic into a sauce. Place flounder in the baking dish; spoon sauce evenly over both fillets. Bake for 15 minutes or until flounder is flaky.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

2006 NFL Prognostication Review

Time for me to get some cheap content by reviewing an old post--back in September, I made some predictions for the 2006 NFL season. Now that the Super Bowl is over and done with, let's go back and see how I did:

AFC East - I got the Patriots right, but didn't predict how well Mangini would do with the Jets or how poorly Culpepper would do with the 'Fins. I underestimated the young Bills, too, but I still think their QB situation is somewhat shaky.

AFC North - I was wrong about Steve McNair's Baltimore redemption, and Cincinatti and Pittsburgh both underperfomed this season. At least I got Cleveland right.

AFC South - I got 3 out of 4 right here--the Colts, Jaguars, and Texans. Who saw Vince Young having a breakout rookie season to put the Titans on the verge of playoff contention? Not me, that's for sure.

AFC West - I'm way off here, as the rest of the Chargers protected their third-year rookie quarterback on their way to the best record in the conference, Jake Plummer proves he is, in fact, Jake Mistake in Denver, and the Chiefs back into the last wild card berth. Thank God for the Raiders--pick them for last place and you're guaranteed to get one right.

NFC East - The Giants consistently underperformed for the second half of the season, the Eagles won with Jeff Garcia at QB, and Tony Romo got the Cowboys into a wild card berth. Much like the Cowboys, the Redskins give me one team correct for this division.

NFC North - I got the Bears right (but their record very wrong), and I successfully predicted the mediocrity of the rest of the division. Only the Packers did better than I expected.

NFC South - I missed the Saints' rise, but who didn't? Steve Smith and DeShaun Foster didn't stay healthy the whole season, and the Panthers fell short of expectations, and the Falcons did do pretty much what they did in 2005. I completely whiffed on the Bucs, though.

NFC West - I put Seattle correctly in the top slot, but missed on the other three--the 49ers and Rams did better than I predicted, while the Cardinals did worse. When will I learn?

Wild cards - 1 out of 4 ain't bad. Wait, it is. And the one I got right was the Cowboys. Yuck.

Super Bowl - Neither of my predicted teams even made the playoffs. I suck again.