Thursday, December 20, 2007

Straight Talk Express!!!!

The world needs more people like Robin, who are not afraid to speak the truth and stand up to those Veggie bullies that are out there. You know who you are.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another Veggy Conspiracy

This article claims eating meat can cause lung cancer. Hello, isn't that meat they're talking about called cigarettes?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Fatal Attraction

Ms. Dee, is it really necessary to put pounds of pastrami on your Reuben? Right, stupid question.

We all do things we shouldn't do. Some people compulsively steal, lie or take drugs. Others, like myself find themselves in unhealthy relationships.
I have an unhealthy love affair with the Reuben. And the worse thing is, I know the Reuben not only doesn't like me, but actually hates me with a burning, artery clogging passion. (And sometimes a tingling sensation on the left side of my body). It lets me know the depth of its hate every time I even catch a whiff of cured meat. In fact most people start searching for baby aspirin and a defibrillator when they start experiencing what I do every time I chow down on the heaping mass of succulent hot pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing stuck between two golden brown, butter soaked pieces of rye bread.

I'm full after about two bites and have the constant worry that my jaw may lock as I struggle to wrap my lips around the mountain of meat. Beads of perspiration begin to form about a minute after I start experiencing shortness of breath. When I'm just a few bites away from putting down the first half of the rube and the bread is all but disintegrated - fusing the sandwich into one greasy mass of goodness - the dizziness sets in. This is the moment that truly tests my meddle. Light headed, gasping for air and starring at the second half of the sandwich through blurred vision I know I have an uphill battle in front of me. Do I set the second half aside, set up base camp and go for the summit in the morning? Or do a forge ahead and finish the rube off right then then and there?
I'm not ashamed to admit that at times, I stand the sandwich up so the bread doesn't get too soggy on either side and it finds its way to my broiler at home before eventually making its way to my stomach. Other times, usually egged on like by my colleagues like I never left the junior high lunch room, I take a deep breath and go to work on the remnants of the rube. It reminds of me when my friends and I would create impossible challenges involving large quantities of food and a 30 second count down for Nate who couldn't turn town a challenge involving food.
I get a sense of the triumphant joy of accomplishing the impossible, the joy that Nate never felt but always went after, each time I finish a Dee's Reuben. It's a small victory in my day. That victory is short lived though as the dizziness gives way to fatigue. I end up feeling like a bear that has just spent months gorging in preparation for hibernation and all I want to do is find a warm dark place and sleep until winter ends. But Instead of sleep I jump start my heart with a near lethal dose of caffeine and head back to my computer.
So why do it? Like my friend Nate who could never beat the clock or Charlie Brown who always has the football snatched away at the last minute I go back the Reuben. I guess the most simple answer for this inexplicable and self destructive behavior (and coincidentally the reason why the bulk of Americans are obese) is simply because I can and it always seems like a good idea at the time. That, and damn Dee makes a good Reuben.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Long Live the King of Lunch

Have you ever met a happy vegetarian? No. How about happy steak eater? Hell yeah! Why are they happy? Because they're about to eat a frickin' steak, that's why. And unlike lettuce, they can have that steak a variety of ways. Whether it's a medium rare center-cut wrapped in bacon, smothered in caramelized onions and cheddar cheese or a plain old T-bone broiled in its own juices, meat eaters can't make a wrong choice when it comes to steak.

Except maybe at lunch time. Why? Because not many people have the luxury or time to have steak for lunch, causing a hit or miss situation where wrong choices are sometimes made.

That's why there's Burger King. You can't go wrong with their "Angus," a round ½ pound of ground sirloin goodness.

The Angus was actually one of Burger King's specials, destined to appear only briefly before disappearing, sadly, into the annals of fast food once-upon-a-time land. But not this bad boy, the Angus proved to be so popular they eventually had to make it a permanent part of the menu or face the wrath of angry carnivores everywhere.

And now, lo and behold, The King may have outdone itself once again, with the "Bacon Double Homestyle Melt."

Ye Gods! What a sammich! Like the Holy Grail or Jesus, it may be a bit hard to describe, but I will try.

What the King did was take two all-beef patties and put them in between two slices of primo sourdough bread. But he didn't stop there, no. He added caramelized onions, sharp American cheese bacon and mayonnaise. No lettuce, tomatoes or any of that boring stuff. But here's where things get interesting. Eating this Sandwich of the Gods is quite the experience. Just like gunpowder, the ingredients by themselves are harmless, but combine them in a small enough area (like your mouth) and you get something entirely different; a taste explosion, if you will. Something about how the grease from the beef and the buttered bread combines with the fat in the mayo and the tanginess of the onions just sets off a chain reaction of juicy goodness that goes straight to your brain. Yes, The King has definitely hit upon something here.

Though slightly smaller than a Whopper, the taste explosion definitely makes up for its size. If you think that may be a problem, I've found ordering two or three usually solves it.

Hopefully Burger King will decide to make this gem a permanent part of its menu. Signs are that may be the case. They've recently come out with their Honey Butter Homestyle Melt. Can't wait to try it.

-Tristram DeRoma

Forbidden Fruit

They say love can lead to butterflies in the gut. Whoever said that is wrong. Love leads to chest pains, and I have the honor of owning that feeling every week. It wasn't love at first sight that is for sure. There was a lot of her. It was really intimidating, but I knew I was man enough for the challenge that lay before me.

Summoning up enough courage, I approached "my lady," and went for the direct approach. I opened my mouth and took one bite, and I was hooked for life.

Each bite of Ms. Dee's succulent Country Fried Chicken wrap takes me back to a simpler time. It reminds me of days gone by when there were no wars, George Sr. told us to read his lips, and gas was $0.99 a gallon, and oh yes my favorite football team the Miami Dolphins, actually had a QB and at least one stinking victory by December 1.

I just look at her, and can not believe those ten pieces of fried chicken, coated with mozzarella, and bathing in a honey Dijon sauce is all mine. At least once, more likely twice a week, I come for her, at my favorite deli, Dee's Deli. For only $7.90 I get to experience the best feeling in the world.

It's worth every bite of bliss. I know its love, as I struggle for air, and the sharp pains radiating from my chest let me know everything I need. As I get halfway through the mounds of chicken I know I should walk away, but she's inside my head, and I know I can't disappoint. I must finish what I started.

Despite the intense nausea that follows I have no regrets. Love is a sacrifice, and who cares if each bite shortens my life expectancy. I know one thing. I can't live without her.

My doctor thinks she's bad for me, kinda unhealthy, but I've never been happier.

As I write this I'm missing her. I think its time for another Country Fried Chicken wrap from the world's best deli, Dee's Deli, on New Haven Avenue in Milford. I'm powerless.

Forever yours,

Brian McCready

If not you, who?

There's a scene in the 1984 classic "Repo Man" where Otto Maddox (unforgettably played by the esteemed Emilio Estevez) is in this bar and there's some punk rock music playing, and he says "I can't believe I used to listen to this."

Emilio, we all make mistakes. Mine was the four years in high school that I spent as a "straightedge vegan." A quick backgrounder: Straightedge was this odd cultural phenomenon that emerged in the mid 1990s, where mostly bored white kids were upset that they had nothing to be upset about, so to fight the system we would draw X's on our hands with markers and pledge not to have anything to do with alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.

Crappy hardcore bands that played in VFW halls was also a part of it, and I recall something in there about not having sex - never really figured that one out. If you've heard Minor Threat's "In my eyes," you've pretty much got it.

As they say, once the pendulum gets going one way it's hard to stop it, and before I knew it my fellow revolutionaries were admiring wackos like the Earth Liberation Front, who as far as I can tell are people who have cast themselves as freedom fighters in whatever movie they're starring in, and think the best way to save the planet is to key a neighbor's Hummer. They also set fires.

So I get it. I've done the tofu, the textured vegetable protein and the soy milk and memorized endless statistics about grain/beef ratios and how livestock flatulence causes global warming (a true argument). God bless all of you and this big beautiful country.

But the fact is that I was a jerk, just like the ALF (Animal liberaton front) and ELF are a bunch of punks, and that so much of this Great Struggle is really just used as a fashionable ego trip, like when regular vegetarians go after vegetarians who still eat fish. And that's a shame, because there are dedicated, intelligent and passionate people in this thing, but you won't find them pelting old women with paint baloons because madame is wearing fur.

At least in my day, animal rights groups also tend to have a heavy membership in the "hot but smart and environmentally-conscious girl" demographic. So not too bad.

Anyway, that's where we're at. Over 10 years later I'm stuffing myself with Rubens and White Castle, have what some might - unfairly - consider to be a minor alcohol problem and am addicted to nicotine (although we're trying to quit; even I manage to at least try and keep up with the times). On more than one occasion this year I've eaten a large quanitity of steaks du Salisbury in one sitting, apparently because I hate myself. I joined this thing as a favor to some friends, and hope to write some reviews, news of the day, etc.

You know what the straightedgers always used to say: "If you're not now, you never were." Fair enough. I went on a once-in-a-lifetime canoe trip in the Adirondacks during this phase and didn't even bring a fishing pole. So thanks a lot, veganism.

-phil helsel

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Wonder of Hog's Feet

So I was just lounging around on a Saturday, just channel surfing when I came across Paula Deen's show on the Food Network. I'm a sucker for her sultry Southern drawl, no-nonsense aphorisms and deliciously decadent pineapple upside down cake (her secret is replacing the flour, eggs, baking soda, pineapple, butter and milk with Hostess cakes, foie gras, cream of cattle and ear wax), but until that show I never knew that she was a health expert too.
Right after they showed a close-up shot of her ├ęclair-like fingers massaging a box of Krispy Kremes into a fine pulp, Paula paused and turned, facing the camera. She had something important to say-- you could sense it. Had her dog died? Was she finally going to The View? Was she going trans fat-free because of yet another massive heart attack? I was giddy with anticipation.
She took a deep breath (which sounded like starting a 1987 Buick Skylark), and pulled out a set of hog's feet from under the counter, "Hunney, I once suffered from that there arthritis. Oh Lord, it was so bad I could hardly move! But these here pig's feet—I rubbed e'm on my body, then drank me some mint juleps. Now I feel oh-so-much better."
Gosh, it must be her old-fashioned Southern intuition. Who knew that pig products could be delicious and nutritious?
I went to like five grocery stores searching for hog's feet. Everyone was sold out because of what Paula shared with the world. But my persistence paid off-- I found a butcher's shop that still had e'm in stock and bought the last six pairs. I was thrilled. I would finally be able to help heal my virtually crippled grandmother.
"Here you go grandma, you can stop your bitching now. What's for dinner?" But I should've asked, "What's for dessert?" cause it was pineapple upside down cake
- chris rhatigan