Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/nthmost/lovelyburger.com/wp-includes/post.php:5257) in /home/nthmost/lovelyburger.com/wp-includes/feed-rss2.php on line 8
I didn’t know what the difference between a normal burger and a California burger was when I ordered it, ambulance because there was no description. I figured I would allow myself to be surprised, in the spirit of burgers. Medium mistake! I’m pretty sure the California Burger Deluxe is the most expensive burger on the menu unless you get one with like every topping, but all the California Burger Deluxe is is a normal burger with one slice of green pepper, plus all the normal burger vegetable toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion). The normal burger there is obviously of the frozen patty variety, in the shape of a flower, or the shape of something in a cartoon that has been flattened and splattered, or the shape of a thought bubble. The waiter didn’t ask us how we wanted our burgers done, so they were generically cooked-grey all the way through. It wasn’t bad though. It was a burger. And the roll was pretty good. The fries there are pretty good even though they are also obviously of the frozen variety. They’re battered, and crispy on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside. Ok, but even with the good roll, good fries, and decent size of the burger, why is this meal six and a half dollars, making it like 2 dollars more than the other burgers?! A slice of green pepper. If I were a different kind of crazy person, I would have refused to pay that much.
The drummer was hidden; I didn’t know she was there until the end of the concert. One girl pretty much only sang and one girl only danced. I decided that she must also have made the dresses, and the t-shirts and earrings they had for sale, otherwise she was useless since the other members of the band were also dancing. The music was too slow to get the audience, including me, to dance. If they sped up the music a little more, used more than one voice on the keyboard, and got a manager, they would be really awesome and I would love to see them on MTV or something and say “I love that this is so strange and so popular.” So, fun concept but poorly executed… also in the CD notes they thank God in a serious way for their friends and their song ideas.
I really enjoyed this band. 5 girls, this time: 2 singers, 2 guitars, and drums. 2 singers basically jumped around the stage and screamed, but in a good way. Drummer was really cute. Guitars were good. Kind of reminiscent of Bikini Kill, with the screaming and guitars. But maybe I’m just saying that because it was screaming and guitars and I enjoyed it. I danced.
Well first of all I was surprised when they got on stage. The bassist is kind of pretty? And the singer/guitarist: I was like “I thought there weren’t any guys in this band” for like 3 songs, and then she spoke and I was like “oh. i was right, there aren’t.” But they were pretty impressive. They didn’t do anything very theatrical but whatever, they were fine.
The first 3 times I heard their CD I LOVED it. I usually don’t like new music right away, I have to be convinced to listen to it a couple of times… But the 4th time I heard it I was showing it to someone else and I didn’t turn it up very loud and I was like, “Oh. That’s it? This is like some emo crap with a girl singer, I hate it!” But let’s face it, who’s better than the chick from the Gossip? And I know what you’re thinking. “But she’s a fatty.” Well she kind of is, but she’s still good at dancing and singing and having a concert. She interacted with the audience, she wore a towel on her head for part of it, she owned the stage… but when you get down to it, she is a great singer. She almost made me cry at one point. But mostly, she made me dance my ass off.
The Gossip: http://www.myspace.com/gossipband
Mika Miko: http://www.mikamiko.tk
Erase Errata: http://www.eraseerrata.com
UV Protection: http://www.uvprotectyou.com
The CD starts out with the quintessential–or if not quintessential, sickness most easily recognizable as Loretta Lynn–Loretta Lynn song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” In it, she pays homage to her roots as (you guessed it) a coal miner’s daughter, and it is everything you would expect and want from the song, with lyrics like “we were poor but we had love/that’s one thing that daddy made sure of,” a few cheesy key changes, and a pretty benign melody. Although the song is pretty accessible, Loretta still gets her quirky little belt on, especially when she sings “I’m proud of bein’ a coal miner’s daughter”. My favorite things about the song are that it’s easy to learn and it’s very country-y without being obnoxious (and I don’t care if you don’t believe me about that).
The rest of the CD I can sort of split into two categories. One is obnoxious and/or boring songs and the other is pure country goodness. In the first category are: “When the Tingle Becomes a Chill”–I haven’t listened to this song all the way through ever; “One’s on the Way”, which just sounds like it’s from that one place in Disney with the robot prairie dogs and bears or whatever; and “After the Fire Is Gone”. I don’t really like Loretta’s version of “I Fall to Pieces,” but I can’t really say why, and I feel like I will be met with opposition if I put it in the obnoxious category but I don’t really feel bad about calling it boring.
In the second category: let’s start with “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”, because you can’t argue with that. I’m also going to put in here “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man (feat. Conway Twitty)”, even though it is kind of obnoxious. What it is is sort of a dialog between a horny couple who are separated by the Mississippi River. The melody isn’t very interesting, and it’s probably not either singer’s best work, but the song is just fun. Next, “You’re Lookin’ at Country”. Yep. If you are lookin’ at Loretta Lynn, you’re lookin’ at country, ‘cuz that’s all she is. “You Ain’t Woman Enough” definitely fits in this category. It’s all attitude and strength and charisma. It’s so country.
“Mad Mrs. Jesse Brown”. I can’t decide about this song. It IS pure country goodness. It’s about a guy who goes to bars at night and cheats on his wife. Part of wife sung by Miss Loretta Lynn. Wife hunts him down and takes her revenge on him by grabbing his girlfriend and exposing her for what she is by pouring beer on her head, which makes the girl’s makeup run and ruins her hair. Then wife says to husband “Take a look at what you got now, Jesse Brown / you’ve been foolin’ with a washed up honky tonk clown.” See? The lyrics are awesome. But the music is just annoying. I can’t decide whether I love or hate this song. I always want to skip it because it’s terrible-sounding but how can I?
I don’t really know a lot of Loretta Lynn songs outside of this compilation but I’m going to guess that she has a lot of better stuff. I wouldn’t say that it misrepresents her, though–I totally get the idea: she is country.
3/6 burgers for music, 6/6 burgers for authentic country flavor.]]>
In his book, case Debunking 9/11 Debunking, David Ray Griffin hopes once and for all to set the record straight on one of the most sensitive, guarded, emotional topics in American history. The plane crash into the Twin Towers in New York, and whether or not it was orchestrated by terrorists, or by our government, or by a collaboration by the two, is one of the most talked about, researched, speculated about subjects in the past ten years (besides Lost). Most people do not trust the Bush Administration, and no one in this country was left untouched by the events of 9/11.
Too bad David Ray Griffin is a terrible writer who makes it unnaturally difficult to care about the subject matter. Even though his introduction is written in first person, his language is stiff and dense. He continually refers to thoughts he has previously had, and points he will make in the future; each introduction weakens his ideas and dulls his points—why make the predicate (and the focus of the sentence) “having had a thought” when you could just tell me the thought? Similarly boring and unnecessarily, he introduces his sources by stating the source and how he will use them; for example: “I will illustrate this point by using the essay by Matthew Rothschild . . .” (p. 24), where he could just quote the pertinent information, allowing the reader to draw the conclusions.
Whether it’s simply Griffin’s lack of talent, or that Griffin actually believes that the reader cannot manage to figure out the connections between what he is saying and what Rothschild is saying, I, the reader am insulted. And when I am being insulted by a writer, I hate it when they insist on writing in first person plural, as Griffin does repeatedly. I do not want to be included in Griffin’s “we”. This device (or laziness) is equivalent to McCain’s calling everyone his “friend” throughout his Presidential campaign.
I’m willing to bet that Griffin has done his research and knows his stuff. Unfortunately, his ideas lie trapped in a steel cage of awkward grammar, at the bottom of a pit camouflaged in unnecessary clauses, and gated by inappropriate pronouns. And I’m not trudging through the jungle of boring to get to the bottom of it.
3. DVDs: Rushmore and The Simple Life. 4.75/6 burgers. I don’t need to explain this.
4. Assorted paper items: A placemat from The American Star diner, a letter that was returned to me for insufficient address, a speeding ticket from the state of Virginia, a birthday card from Christiane, a birthday card from my father. I will average the burgers of these items.
–placemat from American Star: It’s not the greatest placemat on its own, but the Magistrate and I circled every word that we could imagine in a dirty context, and then added some of our own dirty words. Now it is the best placemat. Also on the back of it, the Magistrate drew a hot dog (I swear that’s all it is), a scary guy with scary teeth and a top hat eating something, and a giant squid facing a Lobsternaut. 6/6 i love it.
–letter that was returned to me. I wrote this particular letter more to get out what I felt than to let the other person know how I felt. It would be nice for him to have known how I felt, but not important. I think the letter itself is pretty good, but I haven’t bothered to open it and re-read it, and I don’t really mind that it was returned to me. 3/6 burgers, because I wrote it.
–speeding ticket. I hate it! 1/6 burgers
–birthday card from Christiane. I love it. It’s a japanesey kind of cat card. Very pretty! 5/6 burgers.
–birthday card from my dad. I don’t really like it. It’s some old ladies in a car and the inside says “Girls just wanna have… what is it we wanna have? Have FUN on your birthday!” I don’t understand what the message is, or why my dad bought it. 1.5/6 burgers: LAME!
Asst. paper items score: 3.3 burgers.
5. Literature: The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel and a pamphlet about the ENIAC. The Purple Cloud is an awesome scary sci-fi book from 1901. The ENIAC is a computer. 6/6 burgers.
6. Music: A Frank Zappa tape, some random cds from the internet, 2 mix cds. 2/6 burgers: I don’t care about this stuff.
7. My monitor. 3/6 burgers: it’s fine, except in my peripheral vision, when it gives me a headache.
Crap on my desk: 2.29285714285714285714etc. burgers!
That’s not so great, maybe I should clean my desk, and put the stuff like my note pad, which gets 6/6 burgers, or the postcard my future husband sent me. Postcard gets 4 burgers.
Shrimp & Avacado Quesadilla – $14
Chicken Enchiladas – $14.50
Fried Ice Cream – probably like $5
Remember how sushi was like the huge food of the turn of the century? All the cool people were eating it, pharmacy and if you had never tried it or said you didn’t like it you were a hick or a thug. Now there’s a Japanese place in every town. Well, recipe those days are over. It’s not cool to eat sushi anymore, unhealthy unless you’re in 3rd grade. I know, because in the waiting room at my dance studio, that’s what all the little kids are eating. Now the fashionable thing is Mexican. If you say it gives you gas, you are ignored. If you say it’s too spicy, you are ostracized. If you say that it’s poor people’s food because it’s only rice and corn and beans and cheese, you’re wrong because now there’s Agave Grill and La Cava in Ambler, and they’re totally for hip people, not poor people.
The first time I went to Agave for lunch, I was kind of impressed by the menu, because there are some really interesting-sounding things on there. I figured they must be good because nothing on the lunch menu is less than about $9. I also figured they must be spicy, because it’s Mexican. So I got my hopes up, and I ordered a shrimp and avocado quesadilla.
After ordering, we received a basket of chips with salsa. The salsa kind of just tastes like generic mild salsa you would buy in a jar, except maybe less gooey. I really wanted it to be spicy. The chips tasted kind of stale, but they’re tri-colored so that’s cute. Then my quesadilla came. It was okay, and I’m biased here because I’m not a cheese fanatic, but I really thought there was too much cheese. And yes, I know, it’s a quesadilla, but I thought I should also be able to taste the shrimp and avocado too, right? After the first quarter I just started picking all the shrimp and roasted peppers out with my fork. That was better!
The best part of the meal was dessert. It was evil! Thank god I had someone to share with me, listen. We had the Fried Ice Cream – a scoop of vanilla ice cream, covered in cornflakes and then fried, sitting on some cinnamony strips of fried tortilla, and topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream. And a cherry.
The next time I went, I went because I really wanted some delicious rice. So I ordered pulled chicken enchiladas. The enchiladas were really good, and a big portion: I couldn’t finish even half. Once again, they weren’t spicy, and that was disappointing. The rice was also disappointing because they add smoke flavor to it, which I personally really hate, but I also kind of think it’s really unnecessary, just like saying “I also kind of think it’s really unnecessary”. The enchiladas also came with warm tri-colored tortilla chips, and they were good and didn’t taste stale but I had already eaten so many of the stale ones with disappointing salsa that I didn’t want to eat these.
All in all, the food here is okay, if you want watered-down, trendy kind of T.G.I. Friday’s food for a disproportionate price.
2/6 burgers – The ice cream was great!]]>
Once again I am writing about something I ate almost a month ago, but I do remember this sandwich pretty clearly because it was really good. This sandwich was kind of like a french dip – it was served with the beef juices but on a round kaiser roll. Maybe that still can be classified as a french dip, I’m not sure. Soon I will be an expert on such matters, but in the meantime, bear with me, because the nomenclature is much less important than what I am about to report to you. This sandwich was approximately 80 layers of thickly cut fresh roast beef with really tasty sharp melty provolone cheese on the fluffiest cloud of kaiser roll you could ever dream up. It was unfortunately served with chips instead of fries, because what is better than being full of hot beef and then also cramming into you smoking rods of hot wet potato covered in bloody meat juice? Come on.
This sandwich gets 5/6 burgers–it was awesome, but I’m still hoping that I will find the ultimate of french dip sandwiches that will blow all others off the charts.]]>
First off, salve Becky and I decided to go to the Ambler Grill not just because it is conveniently located almost exactly at the midpoint of a straight line (not one in actual physical existence) drawn between her house and mine (she picked me up anyway), but because we have been there before and decided it was quaint and wholesome and genuine and good. It is the way a breakfast place should be.
Since then I think they may have increased their prices. Also, they don’t have waffles on the menu. And they have peculiar hours (they are only open for breakfast and lunch; they close at 1p.m.). An actual negative comment about the place is that they have the usually nauseating work of “local artists” on the wall for sale. They vary in media but not in cheesiness or skill levels. There is even a blurry photo of some ugly purple flowers, probably about 5 x 6 inches, in a crappy silver frame that they are trying to sell for $50. My ironic “favorite” is an oil pastel of a sunset, which is essentially an orange circle over a blue rectangle (the ocean?), and then stripes of pretty much every color from the “horizon” to the top of the paper. Wooden frame. $45.
So the meal. Nothing special about the coffee or the juice. Like I said, they don’t have waffles on the menu so I got pancakes. They arrived soon enough, along with some Log Cabin. Pretty amazing pancakes — they had a circumference of like 43286903543in, and they were of a good density, in a way that you might say they “stick to your bones”, but they were still fluffy, not batter-y or rubbery. A “regular” order of pancakes is 3 pancakes and when I ordered them she was like “You really want 3?” and I was like “YES”. I cannot eat three of these pancakes. I gave it a pretty fierce go, but I could only manage 2 + a few bites, and those few bites only because I didn’t want to make it look like I was WRONG about needing 3 pancakes instead of 2. I was disappointed about the Log Cabin. If you’re going to give me log cabin, at least disguise the fact that it is log cabin. Put it in some kind of glass bottle so I can lie to myself. My pancakes also came with butter, but for some reason the pat of butter was sitting on the bottom of the bottom pancake, and had already mostly melted into it. OH WELL GOOD PANCAKE. 4.9 / 6 burgers.
edit: the Ambler Grill is gone
2.) Chick-O-Stick – $.35. So I was at The Pantry, which is a convenience store I’ve only seen in Montgomery County, and only in locations that used to be Wawa. I can’t imagine how there could ever be a Wawa store unsuccessful enough that they would give up on it and give it to the Pantry, which seems to be staying in business even with its reject locations. So back to the Chick-a-stick. It’s a cylinder of orangey peanut butter and toasted coconut flakes, and I bought it because I didn’t know what the heck it was. I was expecting it to have a moist, cakey coconut-y texture, but it was crispy and kind of tasted like a Butterfinger. I have no idea why it is orange: the coconut is pretty obviously the white flakes on the outside, and the peanut butter is brown and kinda swirled around in the orange. What is the orange part? I don’t know. Ok, so maybe I have this thought only because I only ever get Butterfingers from other people on Hallowe’en, but Chick-O-Stick seems like something white trash people would throw by the handful into trick-or-treaters’ pillow cases, and the fact that I can only get it at imitation Wawa doesn’t help its case. 2.5/6 burgers.
3.) Arizona Watermelon Drink – $.99. Again, I got this item at the Pantry because I had never seen it before. I don’t know what to say about this drink. I didn’t really like it very much and I didn’t finish it, but I didn’t hate it. I wanted my complaint to be that it was too sweet, but it really wasn’t. And it wasn’t too watermelony. I don’t know what it was “too” of, but it just wasn’t great. It tasted kind of like a watered-down jolly rancher. 2/6 burgers.
4.) French Onion Soup $4.95 and House Salad $4.95 at Jarrettown Inn. At this point I feel it’s important to point out that I wasn’t the one doing all this spending money on food. My fakedad was, because it is his way. I also feel it is important to mention that I don’t actually like French Onion soup all that much, but it was cold out and we were eating on the porch of the Inn. The soup was pretty good though, except I don’t know what kind of cheese they used. Sometimes it tasted kind of American-y, but it was definitely melty and stringy. I guess it was some crappy kind of cheese, that’s all. The house salad was good–just lettuce and carrots and a few cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Good dressing though! The waitress was nice. 2.75/6 burgers.
5.) Left over “favorite” chicken sandwich. In our house we have what is called “favorite” chicken, which in reality is not anyone’s favorite. It’s just chicken that has been dipped in egg and then dipped in Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and then cooked in a little bit of olive oil, then splashed with lemon juice. I think we call it favorite chicken because it takes almost no effort to make and despite everyone’s various food preferences in the house no one refuses to eat it. So I took a piece of favorite chicken, and microwaved it with some shredded swiss cheese, and then with a tomato and some kosher salt put it on a toasted potato burger bun. Not very good for me, but it was pretty tasty. 3.75/6 burgers. It was good, but I’d rather have that smoothie again, is how I figure it.]]>
Kingdom of Vegetarians, if you don’t already know, is “our” favorite vegetarian Chinese restaurant in the city. (I’m not going to qualify that “our”.) If you can put aside your prejudice of vegetarians for one meal, this place is usually really good. The menu features mostly normal Chinese-restaurant-menu stuff but with fake meat, of varying substances. Some of the fake meat they use is deceptively meaty!, but I have had some dishes (some kind of fake duck thing) where it just tasted like cardboard.
On this particular occasion, I had the dinner special, which I think is kind of a new thing at Kingdom. You get a choice of wonton or hot and sour soup, then a spring roll, a choice of entree (there are like 10 choices, with some of their most popular dishes, including walnut imitation shrimp, lemon chicken, phoenix chicken, and a bunch of stuff I can’t remember), and then choice of fried banana or sweet bun for dessert.
I chose the wonton soup. The broth is very good: salty enough to describe it as salty, but still not too salty. Deliciously salty. The wontons are kind of chewy, in a not-great way, and I’m not sure what the filling is. 3.5/6 burgers.
The spring roll was pretty incredible. Perfectly fried, it was light and crispy. Needless to say it was meatless but it was so good I didn’t miss the tender chunks of shrimp or delicious yielding clusters of pork. Ok, so in hindsight I kind of miss it, but while I was eating it I was amazed at how much I enjoyed their spring roll. 6/6 burgers.
Next, the phoenix chicken. I ordered the phoenix chicken because the waitress told me it was the best choice on the dinner special menu. The chicken itself was comprised of two layers of imitation meat, a red level and a white level, each with its own texture. I didn’t dissect the “chicken” to find out what each of them was, but the white one was some kind of starchy vegetable or combination of vegetables. Red level, I don’t know, but it was kind of spongy and palatable. Like most Kingdom entrees I’ve experienced, the “meat” was breaded kind of the way duck dishes are commonly breaded and fried. Also, it came with a variety of chinese vegetables. All this was covered in a pretty generic chinese sauce: not very flavorful. It didn’t do anything for the rice, so that was a little disappointing. 3/6 burgers. Pretty good, but unlike the waitress said, not the best choice on the dinner special menu.
My friend got the lemon chicken. We each were like “OMG Is this accidental actual chicken?!” when we tasted it. Accidental actual chicken would have been more alarming for him, because he is a vegetarian. It wasn’t real chicken, though, it was fake chicken! Covered in lemon and pineapple, with lemony delicious sauce, accompanied by lots of broccoli. I’ll probably order this dish next time I go to Kingdom. 5.5/6 burgers, because I don’t need the pineapples in there.
Dessert – as you all know, I hate bananas, so I didn’t order them. I got a sweet bun, which is a doughy steamed bun with some kind of sweet bean paste in the center. They steam the buns on little pastry papers but I didn’t see the paper when I ate my first one, and ate the paper and I was like “This is really good, except the outside is crusty and hard to chew and I don’t want to swallow it WHY????” So if you order the sweet bun, and you should, remember to remove the paper from the bottom of it before you bite into it. 4.5/6 burgers. I can think of other, better desserts, but this is good, and didn’t make me feel like I was a horrible fat person — and I think one of the primary functions of a dessert is to lie to you and make you feel better.
As for the atmosphere of Kingdom? Well, it’s good. The lighting is good, the service is good. The hot tea is good, but I think they don’t expect you to finish a whole pot of it between two people and I didn’t figure out how to get more without being awkward. The clientele is pretty “hip”, but I’ve never had to wait very long for a table, and I’ve only been on the weekends. If you are the type to eavesdrop on the people sitting around you you are likely to hear people pedantically critiquing some “film”, or complaining about “normal people”, so don’t listen. 5/6 it’s fine.
This experience: 4.4 burgers. I didn’t count the lemon chicken burger score because I didn’t order it. Still, 4.4/6 is good.]]>