How Many More Nights and Weird Mornings Can This Terrible Shit Go On?

I’m packed, checked out, and have my 4 am wakeup call scheduled for my flight home to the real world. I had a final meal of a double double and a strawberry shake, and once again encountered one of the enduring culinary mysteries of our time- How can In and Out Burger have mastered the shake and the burger, yet make such terrible french fries? It’s nothing but a potato fried, and they’ve fucked it up.

As usual, I’m out of sync with the city. I’m winding down while the city is gearing up for the weekend. Lots of fresh meat with fat wallets is skipping through the lobby doors, rushing to check in and hit the town. I hope they have as much fun as I did.

The terrible news of the day, yet another fucking mass shooting of Americans, was plastered all over the television screens of the hotel restaurants as we had lunch, and no one flinched. Either they didn’t notice the television, they didn’t want to think about it WHILE HAVING THE BEST TIME OF THEIR LIVES, or, more likely, they don’t know the people and Obama is right- we’ve become numb to it all. Another odd contrast- I’m in the gambling capital of the country, but the stakes here are far less than they are in any classroom in the country on the wrong day in the NRA’s hellish nightmare that America has become. At least here, you get to choose to gamble and evaluate the risk of your bet. Out there, it’s all or nothing, and no one is a winner.

Fuck these gun humping sociopaths who keep allowing this to happen.

It’s been a good trip. Learned some things, saw some things, came to peace with some things about myself, ate some great food, made one atm withdrawal the first night and then paid cash from my winnings for everything else, and I’m going home with a couple hundred in my pocket. If I didn’t hate to travel so much, I’d do it more often. At any rate, I’m heading home to the hills and the dogs where I belong.






201 replies
  1. 1
    Pogonip says:

    With what things about yourself did you come to peace? Are you quitting Nude Moppers Anonymous?

    Also, who has Thurston?

  2. 2
    john says:

    Next time order your fries well done. It makes the 10 times better.

  3. 3
    Olivia says:

    I have only been to In & Out once in my life and I thought the fries were fabulous. I wonder if they have changed over the years or if you just got the Las Vegas version.

  4. 4
    kindness says:

    We want video of the pups saying ‘Hi!’ to you when you get home.

  5. 5
    kdaug says:

    Howdy to the dogs.

    You see this?

  6. 6

    Get the fries animal style.

    OT: seeing The Martian tonight. Excited.

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I’d do it more often

    If this is about the winning part, mathematics says that the more often you did it, the more of your money you’d give back. You had a lucky shot. You’re unlikely to have another. This is why slot machines, state lotteries, etc. are referred to as “a tax on people who are bad at math.”

  8. 8
    Botsplainer says:

    Can we create a registry of mentally ill people, so each one can be shipped a Bushmaster with 3 full magazines, maps showing the best route from their home to NRA Headquarters, and enough gas money to get them there?

    Thanks…

  9. 9

    @Major Major Major Major: Matt Damon sucks, Interstellar was good till he appeared.

  10. 10
    beltane says:

    Right after hearing of the massacre in Oregon, I had to go pick up my son from school. On the way there I passed the scene of a recent multi-vehicle accident involving several casualties. I just feel sickened by everything.

  11. 11

    @Pogonip: Did you get rid of the fleas?

  12. 12

    @schrodinger’s cat: neutral on Damon, loved the book and love Ridley.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    cmorenc says:

    I have the bad luck that one of the key workout stations I need at the Y for a 20-minute set is directly in front of the one teevee in the bank of ’em turned to Fox, mitigated by the fact that the sound is off but closed-captioning of the dialogue is on..

    NEVERTHELESS, AN ASTOUNDING THING HAPPENED when Megan Kelley had Charles Krauthammer on commenting on today’s mass shooting: KRAUTHAMMER ACTUALLY SAID SOMETHING INTELLIGENTLY SENSIBLE RATHER THAN HIS USUAL OFFENSIVELY TWISTED, STUPID SHIT. That happens about as often as a total solar eclipse. He essentially said, that the United States was one of the most libertarian countries in the world with respect to both how difficult we make it to involuntarily commit mentally ill people, and how resistant we are to restricting guns. He said that any significant progress in preventing mass shootings would require a sacrifice of one or the other of these libertarian ways in this country….and his commentary piece was done.

    I’m quite sure he’ll be right back to being the offensively twisted prick he usually is tomorrow night, but I was shocked he didn’t take the opportunity to instead build on Fox’s meme Kelley was harping on, emphasizing: 1) the campus where the shooting took place was supposedly a “gun-free zone”, and 2) Obama launched into a tirade about gun control before we even know the facts about the shooter or how he got the guns etc etc…it’s all about mental illness, not guns.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    We spent the day traveling to LA with a 4am wakeup in Athens and the a full day in the air and, finally, visiting with family. We didn’t know about the shootings until we got back to the motel just now.

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @cmorenc:

    KRAUTHAMMER ACTUALLY SAID INTELLIGENTLY SENSIBLE RATHER THAN OFFENSIVELY TWISTED, STUPID SHIT. That happens about as often as a total solar eclipse.

    That would make Krauthammer saner than 99% of his fellow conservatives.

  17. 17
    Joel says:

    @john: This is the correct answer.

    I think the “standard” fries suck in large part because they are cut fresh and only fried once?

    On the other hand, the McDonalds fry is blanched and partially freeze-dried before being fried; that reduces some excess moisture, especially on the fry surface.

  18. 18
    Calouste says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Can we create a registry of mentally ill people

    The NRA already has that, although they might call it their membership database.

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    I’m kind of missing Jon Stewart right now.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Calouste says:

    @cmorenc: Owning guns is an indication of mental illness. Lots of gun owners suffer from paranoia.

  22. 22
    PhoenixRising says:

    Get the fries well-done. The vanilla shake is the best of 3. And Vegas baby…we don’t go there ever since the Mrs quit drinking, for reasons you’ve articulated better than I ever have tried to.

  23. 23
    Mike in NC says:

    @cmorenc: I was a bit astounded by the last Kathleen Parker article posted in my local paper, where she railed against the nutjobs in the GOP House Freedom Caucus who “care more about whining than winning”. But I’m sure she still loves some Marco Rubio, that hot Cuban stud.

  24. 24
    Jeffro says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    This is why slot machines, state lotteries, etc. are referred to as “a tax on people who are bad at math.”

    We just call it The Stupid Tax around here. Even my kids get it.

  25. 25

    Animal fries, mate. Animal fries.

    And yes, we would at least be fucking honest if we came out and admitted that, as long as it’s not someone we personally love, we all don’t give a flying fuck as a country about the victims of gun violence and they are the human sacrifices we are willing to make so potential gun owners don’t have to be slightly inconvenienced.

    Fuck it all. Fuck the NRA. Fuck this fucking stupid shit.

    I fucking hate it.

  26. 26
    Jeffro says:

    @cmorenc:

    it’s all about mental illness, not guns.

    it’s remarkable how the discussion is shifting to this rather unsatisfactory “out” for politicians, isn’t it?

    I’m glad Obama brought up Australia today, even if it was briefly. They seem to have hit upon a solution that works.

  27. 27
    satby says:

    Another odd contrast- I’m in the gambling capital of the country, but the stakes here are far less than they are in any classroom in the country on the wrong day in the NRA’s hellish nightmare that America has become. At least here, you get to choose to gamble and evaluate the risk of your bet. Out there, it’s all or nothing, and no one is a winner.

    Vegas really brought out the eloquence in you, John. Brilliant.

  28. 28
    Jeffro says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    as long as it’s not someone we personally love, we all don’t give a flying fuck as a country about the victims of gun violence and they are the human sacrifices we are willing to make so potential gun owners don’t have to be slightly inconvenienced.

    I think that’s what it’s going to take – calling Reps and Senators out by name, asking them if it were their kid that got blown to smithereens at Newtown, or their adult kid that just got capped in Oregon, or their bright, hardworking daughter who got ambushed in Virginia. That and some reassurance to the non-nuts gun owners and public at large: “You want to hunt, you want to defend your home, fine. You don’t need a full auto assault rifle, massive amounts of ammo, more than X number of guns in your possession to do that. You ought to be able to pass some sort of background check, complete with references from family, friends, and co-workers. And once you buy a gun, you can’t sell it or loan it to anyone else – it’s that big of a responsibility.”

  29. 29
    barbequebob says:

    John,

    have enjoyed your quoting/channeling Hunter Thompson/Raoul Duke.

    That book changed my world view and has left me permanently twisted, in a good way, I hope.

  30. 30
    RSA says:

    If I didn’t hate to travel so much, I’d do it more often.

    Love this Yogi Berryism.

  31. 31
    jibeaux says:

    I hate the NRA and I hate this stupid temp agency that is stringing me along with a decent paying project that never seems to get an actual start date. I need work and I need to hurt some idiots. But I’m unarmed and mostly nonviolent so I just want to throw some fish at them or something.

  32. 32
    kdaug says:

    @barbequebob: Waaaitaminute… you don’t happen to have a brick oven, do you?

  33. 33
    dexwood says:

    Best part of any trip is getting home. Love that feeling, the familiarity after enjoying another place.

  34. 34
    jibeaux says:

    @cmorenc:
    Thing is, the legal standard for involuntary commitment is that you pose a credible threat of harm to yourself or others. It’s true, there are plenty of folks fitting that description who are not committed, but it does give you a fair bit of room. People can be involuntarily committed, for example, if their living conditions are such that the can’t take care of themselves and so they might well burn the house down trying to make soup. Obviously not the ideal environment for them, but it happens, especially short term. The legal way to confiscate a legally owned gun, what I know about it while domestic charges are pending, maybe, and if you’re convicted of a felony. Easier to lock someone up than to take their gun away.

  35. 35
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @cmorenc:

    1) the campus where the shooting took place was supposedly a “gun-free zone”

    The basic response to this is “do you not want certain spaces to be, y’know, without guns?” Or do you want every part of your life, public and private, to have a gun in it?

    And if the latter, what the fuck is wrong with you?

  36. 36
    LeonS says:

    @Olivia: I think the fires are fine too, the only thing is you have like 30 seconds t eat them or they become cold, mushy and horrible. You can extend this a bit by asking for well done. I suspect not eating the fries first is Mr. Cole’s problem.

    Anyway that is to their credit, the fries don’t last because they are nothing but deep fried fresh cut potatoes. Ever make french fries at home (so not worth it)? Same deal, great – for like 4 minutes.

    They also get credit from this atheist for running a christian business in a way that shows the religion in a good light (decent pay, health care, etc.).

    * Actual time values are sarcastic. This must be the internet.

  37. 37
    Fluke bucket says:

    I would put this one in the upcoming book.

  38. 38
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    And if it’s “about mental illness”, have those other countries that don’t have weekly mass shootings cured mental illness? And if so, what does that say about the Best Healthcare In The World?

    Or are Americans just congenitally crazy murderers? Because that seems to be what you’re saying there.

    ormaybeitsguns

  39. 39
    Botsplainer says:

    @Joel:

    I get some truly outstanding fries off a food truck. Dude actually brines them a day before their first dunk in the fryer.

  40. 40
    Ruckus says:

    I’m not sure it’s being used to it as much as being numb.
    I know what needs to be done, most of us probably do. Mental health is important but we just got a path to getting a good portion of our uninsured coverage, and that is still being talked about by about a 1/4 of the country as if it is the worst thing since ever. And that does pretty much squat about mental health. To this day I do not understand why vision, dental and mental health is considered at best a subset of health care. We have a huge poverty problem, exacerbated greatly by the inequality situation which causes jobs to be largely underpaid, we have police who feel they are under siege and seemingly can shoot/beat the crap out of most anyone they want, especially minorities, we have crazy assholes running amok within our legislatures who think that a society of 300+ million people doesn’t need any government whatsoever……
    I just don’t see any road to getting there in any kind of time frame that doesn’t see tremendous suffering in our current political disaster.
    Too many decades of too much bullshit that too many people have bought 100%.
    So I’m calling numb, disgusted, discouraged……..

  41. 41
    Mary G says:

    I don’t like their fries, either. They always seem so tough and chewy. I will have to try ordering them well done next time.

  42. 42
    bluehill says:

    @Joel: Yes. Literally take a whole potato and put it into a press that turns it into strips and into the fryer. Can’t be simpler or fresher than that. However, I think our taste buds are used to processed fries that you get at most fast food places so In and Out’s taste weird.

  43. 43
    Ruckus says:

    John Cole
    To answer your title question, I’m going with far, far, far too much longer.

  44. 44
    Ruckus says:

    @bluehill:
    They don’t taste weird to me. I likey. And all fries taste like crap if they get cold. Every last one of them.

  45. 45
    dww44 says:

    @Fluke bucket: I would too.

  46. 46
    pkdz says:

    “It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily…”-Gary Wills
    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/n.....ur-moloch/

  47. 47
    beltane says:

    @Ruckus: Even with the best mental health care available at this time, psychiatric disorders are almost never curable and are often only partially treatable, if that. The percentage of the population suffering from mental illness is probably relatively consistent from country to country.The thing that distinguishes the United States is that it has been decided that every sociopath has a God given right to own mass murder weapons. The freedom to commit murder-suicide is the only freedom the wingnut contingent of this country give a shit about.

  48. 48
    Morzer says:

    I wonder whether it’s time to start putting NRA members on maps and listing their residences. I reckon if more people made it clear that the gunfuckers are about as welcome in the neigborhood as pedophiles, that might have some salutary effect.

  49. 49

    This “Good Eats” rerun is trying to convince me that cauliflower is tasty.

    I ain’t buying it.

    And, yes, we’re watching “Good Eats” (and “Fantasy Island,” of all things) because we can’t fucking take any more fucking news today.

  50. 50
    JPL says:

    @Morzer: I definitely agree. The religious right has no problem targeting those who disagree with their views,so why not.

  51. 51
    Joel says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Brown’s cauliflower curry is a good one.

    Although Chris Kimball is my favorite — straightforward, unpretentious — Alton Brown has a warm spot in my heart.

    I was big on Kenji Alt for quite a while, but not that he’s blowing up he’s getting a little fancy pants for my taste; pimping high-end gear, etc.

  52. 52
    Joel says:

    @bluehill: Mmm.. processing isn’t really bad — after all, cooking is processing and it’s essential to civilization as we know it. And freeze-drying potatoes hails way back to the Inca times.

    I get In N’Out’s approach, and it works awesome for burgers, but at least double frying the fries would make them a little better.

  53. 53
    Keith P. says:

    Next time you’re at In n Out, ask for your fries “McDonald’s style”. Way better.
    Seriously, though, fries are super-easy (shoestring, fry twice) yet I’ve had some bad fries at places. McD’s does them right (blanche, freeze, fry). Burger King is OK, but they were better IMO (vastly differing opinions on this) a few years back when they were coating them in something for extra crisp. Wendy’s is no good, but the real worst are Krystal’s and Church’s (although Church’s fries are better when they’re with fried chicken).
    Also, I think Popeye’s fries are outstanding but different.

  54. 54
    Bodacious says:

    I wish we could get it right, just once.
    I wish that whoever the sick f*ck who did this never ever ever ever gets named on TV or papers. For once, let’s do something that might actually have a future impact. It’s what they do in Europe. Quit tabloid-ing the hell out of these mass murders, and stop giving other sick f*cks the hope of blazing glory based on bloody murder.

  55. 55
    jibeaux says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:
    They explain away massacres at “gun-free zones ” — which by caselaw, it wasn’t — because a mythical Chuck Norris would’ve always been there to save the day if it’s a gun-happy zone. Doesn’t matter if it’s a church, preschool, or fireworks factory, they want it gun happy.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Keith P.: A lot of people (not just you) seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time critiquing fast food fries.

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    Was Obama’s statement already hashed out in some previous thread? I just saw it and I was impressed.

  58. 58
    Warren Terra says:

    I will never, ever understand the reverence people have for In-n-Out. Their hamburgers are … not terrible. They’re not noticeably better than those at any other mid-grade chain (that is, excluding the bottom feeders: McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, etcetera).

  59. 59
    🚸 Martin says:

    @cmorenc:

    1) the campus where the shooting took place was supposedly a “gun-free zone”,

    It was not. Universities in Oregon lost that case and are required to allow students to conceal-carry on campus. One student interviewed on Chris Hayes said he was carrying and that many students at that school do. It made no difference.

    @beltane: Don’t buy into the mental illness argument. It’s bullshit. These are generally not people with documented mental illnesses. It’s not just the easy access to guns but the cultural fetishization of them as the solution to problems that the US constantly broadcasts. How many fucking politicians center their ads around shooting legislation, effigies, or just cooking food on their guns. Our culture – leading from the top, from our presidential candidates is that if you have a problem, shoot it. You don’t need to be mentally ill to respond to that message, you just need to be part of the roughly 100% of the population that is susceptible to advertising.

  60. 60

    Here, I think everyone could use this, I sure know it made me laugh…and laugh. A Great Dane (not mine) on a trampoline. At least I hope it’s a trampoline.

    I can’t do anymore tragedy this week.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @catclub: Yes. It has its own thread.

  62. 62
    Morzer says:

    There’s a report out there that the shooter asked people about their religion, killed the Christians and shot the others in the leg. I don’t have a good, solid source for it, but I really hope it isn’t true.

  63. 63
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Warren Terra: But they are good burgers at bottom-feeder prices, and widely available. Put another way, the risk/reward equation bends heavily in favor of In N Out. There are lots of burgers at twice the price that are worse, and few if any at the same price that are as good or better, so why not go with the reliable option?

    Good company as well. They pay their workers very well with benefits.

  64. 64
    Joel says:

    @Warren Terra: Much better sauce than most. They keep it simple, and cheap.

    I prefer In N’Out to pretty much any chain burger; that includes Five Guys and Fatburger.

  65. 65
    Morzer says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    I remember square-jawed heroic Joe Manchin waving his NRA-endorsed death pe.nis around in ads back in the balmy, palmy days of 2010.

  66. 66

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): No. I don’t care what you do to it, mash it, fry it, roast it, it’s just…ugh. For a while everyone was making cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and trying to convince me they were so good.

    That seems to have finally burned itself out.

  67. 67
    jibeaux says:

    @Joel: five guys is not very good, and their fries are worse.
    I haven’t found a really good local burger near me, we don’t have in and out or shake shack. Cry for me, Argentina! There’s a place called BurgerFi that is ok, is that a chain? I don’t think I’ve seen them anywhere else but they look chainy. And there’s a Smash burger now, that I havent tried.

  68. 68
    beltane says:

    @🚸 Martin: Ours is a diseased culture. I’m not sure if it’s always been this way, but it really feels like this country embraced evil after 9/11.

  69. 69
    PIGL says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I liked Mr Damon in the Bourne movies…he was sort of a younger, more articulate Terminator. With slightly healthier relationships with women. Not sure the persona would wear in other contacts.. And I guess according to you it doesn’t .

  70. 70
    Fred Fnord says:

    The fries are the way they are at In-N-Out because they make them from fresh potatoes, not frozen. It is a completely different flavor and texture. I happen to like them better, but obviously not everyone agrees.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @beltane: I tend to wary of broad brush, blanket statements. Especially ones that sound like they could have been outsourced to mclaren.

  72. 72
    🚸 Martin says:

    @jibeaux: They claim every place is a gun-free zone because its the only explanation for why some conceal-carry coward didn’t do something. Columbine had an armed security guard who exchanged fire with Eric Harris at the start of the event. You had the event just this week at a mall in South Carolina where an armed and trained officer was killed. You had the Illinois officer a few weeks ago that was killed with his own weapon.

    They keep trying to spin this fantasy that conceal carry will change things. It doesn’t stop any of these shootings – it just sells more guns, ammo, and accessories for the gun industry. That’s it. That’s why they keep advancing the lie. Calling every location ‘gun free’ is how they snow people into believing it might be true. That the media is so eager to repeat the lie is disheartening.

  73. 73
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Fred Fnord: And you can ask for crispy fries if you are of that variety (as I am). Nom.

  74. 74
    Cacti says:

    @bluehill:

    Yes. Literally take a whole potato and put it into a press that turns it into strips and into the fryer. Can’t be simpler or fresher than that. However, I think our taste buds are used to processed fries that you get at most fast food places so In and Out’s taste weird.

    Basically this.

    The average American palate is accustomed to processed, previously frozen french fried potatoes.

    Freshly cut fries have a completely different mouth feel, and some people are really put off by it.

  75. 75
    seaboogie says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Hey Mnem…I generally quite like cauliflower (I roast it at a high temp drizzled in fresh EVOO and tossed with a but of nutmeg, super easy and delcious. Roast it until you get a few browning bits and make it into a cream soup – super yum.

    However I did have a completely revelatory cauliflower dish at this place just down the road from me: http://www.sfgate.com/restaura.....773481.php

    Much of the menu done or finished in a 600+ degree wood oven. Instead of the salsa verde treatment mentioned in this review, I had another one that just blew my mind and palate, and is perfect for fall. Seated at the counter, I asked them how they did it.

    First they took about 1/4-1/3 head of cauliflower and par-roasted it. To finish, they drizzled it with EVOO and popped it in the wood burning oven (you can just do all of this at once at 425 and then 500 degrees) and drizzled it with a fairly liquid tahini, sprinkled some za’atar on it and topped it with roasted slivered almonds. Slightly sweet, smoky and nutty – it was nothing short of magical! It’s going to be a frequent dish for me this fall and winter.

  76. 76
    redshirt says:

    @beltane:

    Ours is a diseased culture. I’m not sure if it’s always been this way, but it really feels like this country embraced evil after 9/11.

    It’s especially disheartening because we had a neo-hippy thing going in the 1990’s that was brutally crushed and obliterated forever by 9/11. Spin Doctors RIP.

  77. 77
    🚸 Martin says:

    @beltane: We were pretty fucked up before 9/11.

  78. 78
    beltane says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The fetishization of guns has gotten much, much worse over the past decade and a half. It’s as though we have allowed ourselves to be held hostage by a small minority of raving lunatics. They say the percentage of the population that owns guns has gone down, while the number of guns owned has grown dramatically. One can hope that membership in this particular cult will shrink to the point where it can be dealt with effectively, but who knows if we as a society will ever have the courage to take them on.

  79. 79
    lamh36 says:

    Uh huh…it was clear you were having a much better time than your continuous bah-humbug post from Vegas…lol.

    Glad to see you had fun.

  80. 80
    lamh36 says:

    Uh huh…it was clear you were having a much better time than your continuous bah-humbug post from Vegas…lol.

    Glad to see you had fun.

  81. 81
    Mike in NC says:

    @jibeaux: BurgerFi is a chain. They have one in Myrtle Beach but we have not tried it.

  82. 82
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Mclaren would produce a two-sentence post, even for an outsourced gig? As if.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @beltane: This is a far cry from your first comment and far closer to something I would agree with.

  84. 84
    beltane says:

    @🚸 Martin: We were pretty fucked up but the pants pissing has gotten much, much worse since then. Way too many Americans took the Bush administration’s warning to “be afraid” to heart.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: “Especially ones that sound like they could have been abstracts of a mclaren. comment?” Better?

  86. 86
    Morzer says:

    @NRA

    It’ll take a lot more than one disturbed individual to intimidate or silence Americans who believe in the #2A! http://bit.ly/1hbfKMT
    4:37 AM – 1 Oct 2015

  87. 87
    lamh36 says:

    I don’t know if it’s because I was born and raised in a culinary town, but I’m a complete foodie when it comes to travelling and visiting. It doesn’t matter where I go or visit, if the food or local cuisine doesn’t cut it, I’m just not gonna like it…I’m too used to good food and I’m a bit of a food snob…lol

    This of course limits the places I’m willing to travel to. If the local cuisine aint’ kicking it (sorry West Virginia) then it’s gotta overcompensate on other touristy fronts for me to travel there.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh36:

    If the local cuisine aint’ kicking it

    Define that, please.

  89. 89
    🚸 Martin says:

    @seaboogie: That was the most awesomely hipster SF post I’ve ever seen here. Bravo.

  90. 90
    beltane says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I was originally responding to Martin’s comment about 100% of people being susceptible to the media’s “guns solve everything” message. The fact that the message is prevalent is a sign of a diseased media environment, but I do not think 100% of us are swayed by that message.

  91. 91
    seaboogie says:

    @Cacti: In and Out does a simple single fry technique, and it took me a while to get used to it, but it also became for me a part of the experience of dining there, like watching them put actual whole potatoes into the fry cutter while I placed my order.

    Typically, though, freshly cut fries are fried at a lower temp until just kind of limp, drained, and then fried again at a higher temp, which is why you usually see a few different fry vats, and fries resting in the basket ready for the next order. Or – in the case of fast food – they come frozen after that first fry, and just need one fry-up.

    Here is a link for those of you who would make them at home. For me a pan full of hot oil looks like a recipe for disaster, and a clean-up not worth the effort. (Cole: Don’t EVEN think about trying this at home!)

    http://www.seriouseats.com/rec.....ecipe.html

    Also, the first time I tried Steak/Frites in Montreal, with choice of sauce for the steak and finding the fries served with mayo, I was like “are you kidding me?!” Fries aren’t fattening enough that you need to add mayonnaise as a dip. And then I tried it, and now I understand.

  92. 92
    lamh36 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: kicking azz! Bland, tasteless.

    As I’ve said, I’ve been spoiled NOLA cuisine…it’s unique,

  93. 93
    🚸 Martin says:

    @beltane: We’ve always been afraid. We’re afraid of women, of brown people, of gays, of poor people, of non-Christians, of almost every fucking thing.

  94. 94
    beltane says:

    @Morzer: The United States must be the only advanced country on earth that has its assorted murderers,weirdos, and freaks represented by a powerful lobby.

  95. 95
    Betty Cracker says:

    Looks like the hurricane track has shifted east again as of the 11 PM update. If the track holds, the US is in the clear, but the Canadian Maritimes will need to batten down the hatches.

  96. 96
    🚸 Martin says:

    @beltane: We not all swayed by that particular message, but we’re all swayed by some message or another. That is to say, messaging works on every one of us to some degree. You don’t need to be mentally ill to buy into a given message. We need to put some of the blame back on the individuals pushing the message that guns are the solution to all of our problems – that should start with politicians and elected officials.

  97. 97
    beltane says:

    @seaboogie: The Dutch always use mayonnaise as a dip for fries. My husband says that in Curacao, they also use satay sauce which sounds like it could be addictive.

  98. 98
    Olivia says:

    Smashburger has the best fries in the universe and I have loved cauliflower in any form my whole life.

  99. 99
    Morzer says:

    @beltane:

    Britain has the pigfuckers’ collective association known as the Tory Party.

  100. 100
    seaboogie says:

    @🚸 Martin: Oh Noes! You made me laugh. Was it the cauliflower or the fries? I am an hour north of SF, but I do know that there has been a whole brouhaha over the techies gobbling up real estate and killing the last affordable rental market in the city, and then that bleeds over into a whole discussion of resto/bistros serving $4 toast – artisanal toast.

  101. 101
    lamh36 says:

    @lamh36: It’s a foodie paradise…IMHO

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh36: I’ll acknowledge freely that NOLA is unique, but if you hold every place in the US to that standard, you will never go anywhere. Here in WI, we have brats cooked in beer and then grilled, cheese curds, and Friday night fish fries – all of which I recommend. And we have the Midwest equivalent of a New England clambake – the Door County fish boil. Again, recommended. As is the clambake. Most places have something interesting to offer.

  103. 103
    beltane says:

    @Morzer: If the NRA limited itself to protecting the right to violate dead swine our schools and movie theaters would be much safer.

  104. 104
    Morzer says:

    @beltane:

    OTOH, the corpse of Strom Thurmond would be pretty damn busy.

  105. 105
    Ruckus says:

    @beltane:
    Mental illness can be treated and people cared for which gives much better outcomes than doing nothing at all. And a lot of the problem is not the actual insane people, but people with poor/non-existent coping mechanisms who never get help with that. They live on the edge of that very wide area we call normal, usually on the wrong side of that edge. I shouldn’t say they don’t have coping mechanisms, it’s just that they cope in ways that are inconsistent with society in general. Also you have alcohol/drug issues caused/exacerbated by this without adequate treatment available. Take John’s saga of trying to get into alcohol treatment. He wanted to go, he was willing to pay, he just could not get in anywhere.
    All of these things are interconnected in one way or another, mental health, drug addiction, health care, poverty, crappy jobs, lack of any real way out of the vicious circle, guns, policing, wealth inequality, privatization of government business……..

  106. 106
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Gin & Tonic: They don’t keep all those lights on with winners.

  107. 107
    seaboogie says:

    @beltane: So do the Belgians use mayo to dip their fries – in fact I seem to remember that frites are kind of the French part of Belgium invention. And a real live Belgian taught me how to eat mussels at a Moules/Frites place in NYC. You use your fork to get the first mussel out of the shell, and then you use that shell as a pincers to extract the rest of the mussels. It’s fun!

  108. 108
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    They claim every place is a gun-free zone because its the only explanation for why some conceal-carry coward didn’t do something.

    This. It’s just fucking sophistry. They have their fantasy scenario — Bad Gun Man shot down by Gun Hero before anyone else gets hurt — and anything that doesn’t follow that template is because of gun-free zones or Not Enough Trained Patriots or some other fuckery.

    It’s as fucked in the head as the sociopathy that powers gun massacres.

  109. 109
    NotMax says:

    For future reference:

    How to custom order at In ‘n’ Out.

    (Bookmark it for next time.)

  110. 110
  111. 111
    joel hanes says:

    @Joel:

    Back in the Age of Heroes, when McDonald’s first came to my small town (burgers were a quarter; fries fifteen cents) the management bussed in elementary school classes to tour the facility and be inculcated by free samples.
    At that time, the restaurants started with fresh potatoes, just as In’N’Out does today — but after cutting the fries, 1959 McD’s soaked them in cold water to reduce surface starch (they showed us vats of the potato starch byproduct), and then fried them in 100% real beef tallow.

    And I’m telling you, if you want to taste fries the way they used to taste, get a deep fat fryer and five or six pounds of beef suet, render it out, and do just that.

  112. 112

    @seaboogie:

    My issue is that I’m a bit of a supertaster, which means that a lot of the cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower taste bitter to me when they don’t for other people.

  113. 113
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @LeonS: You do know french fries have to be fried twice if you want them to be crispy, right?

  114. 114
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Low carbers use grated cauliflower as a substitute for rice in dishes like Spanish rice. Being that I share your opinion on cauliflower, it actually tastes really good.

  115. 115
    sukabi says:

    @cmorenc: or the closed caption person decided to put some sensible words on the tv in place of the nonsense he was spewing…

  116. 116
    lamh36 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep, I get that, but as I said, I’m a food snob, but I will visit a place that while it may NOT be heavy on “great” food, IMHO, but it heavy on other touristy things I like to do, then it makes the list of places I’d like to visit, it’s just not at the top of my list.

  117. 117
    NotMax says:

    @seaboogie

    And a real live Belgian taught me how to eat mussels at a Moules/Frites place in NYC.

    BLX Cafe by any chance? All you can eat pots of mussels once a week (Mondays, IIRC).

    Used to be (maybe still is) a Japanese-style eatery way downtown, near Cooper Union, that served the best garlic mussels ever.

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: OTOH, I know and care deeply about a person despite the fact that she once tried to make a shepherd’s pie with mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes as a topper. I’ll note that her confession of total failure and the fact that it was not served to me comes into play here. FWIW, I am okay with cauliflower as a general thing.

  119. 119
    seaboogie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I spent a number of my growing up years in WI, about 50 miles from The Twin Cities in MN. In our small town, the weekly grocery shopping was done in the parts: Erickson’s Supermarket for canned goods, shampoo, and the packaged stuff. Then we’d go to Krueger’s (I babysat for them) for produce and meat at their butcher counter. And THEN we’d drive to the edge of town to Kocian’s, because they made their own bratwurst and other sausages. Brats always fried and then cooked in beer and sauerkraut.

    So several years ago I find myself in Marin County, CA which is very far from the land of good bratwurst – you buy some brand-name in a package of 4 and just hope it isn’t terrible. However my ex (named Tom) spent a fair amount of time hanging out with another Tom who was retired and visited the retail shop where my ex worked. The retired Tom was Tom Snyder, he of the eyebrows, distinctive chuckle, and the late-night talk show. We got to talking about what was for dinner one afternoon, and I told him it was bratwurst, which started him on a reminisence about brats and the beisbol stadium in Milwaukee.

    The next day I ran into him one register over in our local Bell Market. He asked me what was for dinner, and I told him bratwurst (they were 4 to a package, and we were 2) – and he bellowed “But that’s what you had LAST NIGHT!”.

  120. 120
    RK says:

    @NotMax: Saw Dark City. Pretty good premise but not a very good movie IMHO. Any other recs more in the Memento, Ex Machina vein?

  121. 121
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Can make a passable (but not great) risotto-type dish using riced cauliflower. Trickier than preparing regular risotto, though.

  122. 122
    seaboogie says:

    @NotMax: Markt, a trendy place in the Meat Packing district. Nice, though – open windows and tables on the sidewalk in the summer, great beer, mussels – I’d go back again.

  123. 123
    Goblue72 says:

    @seaboogie: I don’t get up that way often lately – much prefer the wine scene in Mendocino – but that place seems like a nice mix of high end dining meets casual down home. May have to check it out on a weekend and use as an excuse for a side trip to Russian River Brewing.

  124. 124
    seaboogie says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): That’s why roasting at a high heat works – it carmelizes the sugars and starches, and sweetens them. Where are you on the cilantro spectrum – tasty or just “soapy”?

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Wisconsin brats are the Johnsonville style things. The cooking is process is what matters with them. Boil in beer, good beer, and then grill. Serve with sauerkraut, onions, and mustard on a hard roll.

  126. 126
    joel hanes says:

    @efgoldman:

    Are basic Wisconsin brats the Johnsonville-style chopped meat, or the (much more authentic and much tastier) pork/veal German style white brats?

    The packaged Johnsonvilles are a mediocre avatar of the Sheboygan style brat, which dominates in Wisconsin.
    Great ones come from Miesfelds in Sheboygan, who have a web site but want to take your order over the phone — order the “Grand Champion Brat”.
    Great Sheboygan brats are great; Johnsonville ones are not.

    Also, Johnsonville is a closely-held corporation, and the wealthy founder is a big supporter of Scott Walker, so there’s that.

    I had wonderful pork/veal brats in Germany ( I was in Nurnberg) and mediocre ones.
    Dittmer’s in Los Altos in Silicon Valley makes wonderful ones.

    I don’t think that the ritual beer-boiling of Sheboygan brats is necessary, nor even beneficial, unless one is too drunk to roast them slowly over indirect heat until they’re thoroughly cooked, without splitting or charring or drying the ends.
    Other people vehemently disagree.

  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @joel hanes:

    Other people vehemently disagree.

    Ahem.

  128. 128
    lamh36 says:

    Guess I’ll go to sleep now…Nothing else to do and I do have work in the morning…so…

    Good night BJ Night Owls.

    Cole…glad to hear you had a good time.

  129. 129
    NotMax says:

    @RFK

    Will admit that Kiefer Sutherland sprinted a dozen steps past the limit of his abilities as an actor. Still, it had perhaps the spookiest little kid ever to make up for that.

    Shall repeat a couple.

    If you’ve never seen it, The Stunt Man. Peter O’Toole leaves no scenery unchewed, and it does include a premise with mystery.

    Even if you have seen it (it holds up lo these many decades later) The Third Man.

    And add a couple.

    Repo Man

    <Man Hunt (Wartime film with Walter Pidgeon, plus George Sanders oozing urbane villainy). Dated, but worth seeing once.

  130. 130
    seaboogie says:

    @Goblue72: It’s really good, but per the review, the pizza isn’t all that. I really wanted a chewy thin crust, but theirs is kind of soft and light, which just feels wrong, and it kind of sucks, since they are two minutes from my home. If you go on the weekend, make a reservation. They got some kind of Top 10 national recognition, so it’s on everyone’s must visit list. Locals kind of wait for the tourists to dial back come winter…

  131. 131
    seaboogie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I agree with your definitive brat process, and also – aren’t you the same fellow who was lamenting the attention to french fries just up post?

  132. 132
    srv says:

    Hillary lurches to the right of iCarly

    In an apparent break with the Obama White House, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for the creation of a no-fly zone inside Syria Thursday, the day after Russian warplanes started bombing rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

    “I personally would be advocating now for a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air, to try to provide some way to take stock of what’s happening, to try to stem the flow of refugees,” Clinton said in an interview with NBC affiliate WHDH in Boston after a campaign event nearby.

    Triangulating us all into WW III

  133. 133
    Goblue72 says:

    @seaboogie: Problem with the Bay Area these days – as soon as some place good gets a review – SFGate, Eater, some random blog – it’s packed for months and impossible to ever get a table.

  134. 134
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @seaboogie: My objection was to deep concern about fact food fries. Everything at a fast food paces is going to be mediocre. Why fight about 27th place?

  135. 135
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Secret of simmering hot dogs (fork-pierced, natch) or brats (unpierced) in beer is to let the beer go completely flat first, before heating it. Tossing a pinch of caraway seeds in with the heating flat beer elevates the flavor, too.

  136. 136
    Goblue72 says:

    @joel hanes: Your method is my preferred brat cooking method. I make my own sausages – and after working to mix in that right amount of backfat with the meat in my grind, why’d I want to go and boil it?

  137. 137
    seaboogie says:

    @Goblue72: Which reminds me that Yogi Berra passed away this week

  138. 138
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: It helps if you call the German things (which are great) bratwurst and the Wisconsin things, brats. Just don’t put ketchup on them.

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Goblue72: Ever try doing it that way?

  140. 140
    Goblue72 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: which way – slow roast indirect hot or the beer boil then grill method?

    Yes to both and I prefer the former. You have to be careful or it’ll pop and dry out or char to fast, but done right I prefer the texture of the interior meat that way and find the casing gets a better snap.

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Goblue72: Boil in beer and then grill. The beer boil changes the the flavor.

  142. 142
    RK says:

    @NotMax:

    Will admit that Kiefer Sutherland sprinted a dozen steps past the limit of his abilities as an actor.

    Funny. I just thought the movie wasn’t all that well put together, that in another director’s hands it may’ve been much better. Didn’t really like The Third Man; thought it was a film largely of its generation. Will take a look at those others.

  143. 143

    @seaboogie:

    Cilantro is a little soapy to me. I’ve unfortunately grown used to sudden weird or almost moldy flavors in food that everyone else seems to ignore or not be able to taste, so I tend to power through. But I just don’t like cauliflower.

  144. 144
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RK:

    Didn’t really like The Third Man

    Geh?

  145. 145
    mclaren says:

    Notice that we can’t call this “terrorism,” because the shooters are white.

    Meanwhile, the DHS and pentagon and CIA and NSA spend one trillion dollars per year to protect us from dusky-skinned people who have not attacked us since 9/11.

  146. 146

    @NotMax:

    Fun “Dark City” fact — the kid was played by twins, which is common, but it was a brother/sister pair, which is NOT common, to say the least.

    The bratwurst talk is reminding me that we had dinner at the Dog Haus last night. It’s a local chain that I think makes all of its own sausages. The buns are King’s Hawaiian Rolls, which I sometimes love and sometimes find overwhelming. But they do have tater tots. And soda with real sugar.

  147. 147
    Goblue72 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: As I said I’ve tried both methods and find the beer boil then grill method over-rated and prefer the indirect grill method.

  148. 148
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: What was the political motive of the shooter? Terrorism needs that, oui?

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Goblue72: That is wonderful. OTOH the other is the traditional method.

  150. 150
    Goblue72 says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): You might find this article on how the genetic predisposition of some people to experience the taste of cilantro as soapy – and how the palate – really the brain – can be trained to mostly overcome it – http://mobile.nytimes.com/2010.....&_r=0

  151. 151
    🚸 Martin says:

    @seaboogie: It was the the whole thing:

    “600+ degree wood oven, salsa verde treatment, seated at the counter I asked them how they did it, par-roasted, EVOO, fairly liquid tahini, za’atar, roasted slivered almonds”

    Not one of those things would be found in Iowa or at least expressed in that way (EVOO). Asking the chef while eating at the counter? Yeah, that’s pretty hipster.

  152. 152
    Goblue72 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Certainly. Lots of traditions out there – not all of them necessarily the “best” way. Tradition isn’t dispositive.

    In this case, it’s a matter of subjective taste.

  153. 153
    seaboogie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus Ketchup and bratwurst – you just made me shudder in horror. Ketchup has only the following good uses:
    French fries (if they are not great and you can’t get good mayo)
    Scrambled eggs (trashy, yet satisfying)
    Grilled cheese sandwich (which is not complete without ketchup)
    Fried egg sandwich (see above)
    and
    Some Bar-B-Que sauces (but that is another big long argument).

    Mustard OTOH is a sophisticated gourmet condiment. Any self respecting refrigerator will have at least 3-5 various kinds, to be used in many ways.

    And when I am feeling trashy and want a corn-dog, I just park myself next to the mustard pump, and even the bright yellow hot dog mustard works. My corn-dog cravings start with a mustard craving.

  154. 154
    NotMax says:

    @Mnemosyne

    Directed Oliver! one time long, long ago using twins tag-teaming in the lead.

    As their first names began with the same letter, used just the first initial in the program.

    Audience always let out a gasp (and upped the applause) when the second Oliver trotted out on stage from the opposite wing whence the first entered during curtain calls.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Goblue72: You are obviously wrong, but it is time for me to wander off to dreamland.

  156. 156
    Goblue72 says:

    @🚸 Martin: Hipster to ask a chef working behind a counter in a performance style open air kitchen how a particularly tasty dish was made? Not really.

    I know they may not have easy access to za’atar at the Kroger’s in flyover country, but even in the Midwest, you’d be surprised. Lot of little Middle Eastern communities scattered across the U.S. Michigan has a huge one.

    Also, for the record, 12% of the country lives in California. We’re more representative of America than Iowa is.

  157. 157
    Goblue72 says:

    @seaboogie: You left out meatloaf. And, you know, burgers and hot dogs.

  158. 158
    🚸 Martin says:

    @seaboogie:

    Grilled cheese sandwich (which is not complete without ketchup)

    Ugh. Mustard on grilled cheese, not ketchup.

    Kids these days…

  159. 159
    NotMax says:

    @seaboogie

    Grilled cheese?

    Oh, my.

    /George Takei

  160. 160
    NotMax says:

    re: Cilantro, above.

    Doesn’t taste (and reek) like just any soap, but like industrial-strength lye soap.

    Disgusting stuff.

  161. 161
    Goblue72 says:

    @NotMax: ever have real queso frito? With some fried plantains on the side. Mmmmmm….

  162. 162

    @Goblue72:

    The cilantro thing is actually different (caused by a different mechanism) than the supertaster thing:

    http://www.theguardian.com/lif.....upertaster

    I don’t hate cilantro, but it does have a little bit of a weird taste to me, so I use it sparingly. I’ve always had extra sensitive tastebuds, to the point where friends in high school didn’t believe me and would do secret blind taste tests on me. They never snuck anything by me, though. Sorry, no, NutraSweet does NOT taste just like sugar. And, as they say in that article, saccharin is horrendously bitter to me.

    @🚸 Martin:

    “EVOO” is what Rachael Ray calls it. You don’t get much more mainstream Midwest than that these days.

  163. 163
    seaboogie says:

    @🚸 Martin: Thanks for the explanation, and I am laughing again. I come from MN, and my grandparents were from IA, so I totally get it.

    My Iowa grandmother used to run rooming houses and cook for the gentlemen residents. She was a great German-style cook. Best gravy ever, and my grand-dad and I were called “bone-schmeckers”, because we like to gnaw on the bony dark pieces of chicken – give me the back every time.

    On one visit my cousins were there too, and I asked what meat we were eating. I thought that the reply was quail, but I was confused because there seemed to be too many legs. Turns out that we were eating squirrel that my grand-dad had trapped. I think they said quail because they didn’t want my youngest cousin to be freaked out about eating her familar neighborhood companions.

    I never knew that my grandparents were kind of poor, I just knew that we had good times and ate very well.

  164. 164
    NotMax says:

    @Goblue72

    Overly salty for my taste.

    Have a very strong sensitivity and aversion to the taste of salt.

  165. 165
    Amir Khalid says:

    @beltane:
    When I hear about satay (or satay sauce) in the New World, I think back to that time, some 20 years ago, when I was served satay in a bar/restaurant in Framingham, Massachusetts. Being Malaysian, I know what satay is supposed to be. The sauce was not quite there: it was like chunky peanut butter, somewhat watered down. It wasn’t as rich or as spicy as I expect real satay sauce to be.

  166. 166
    LeonS says:

    @Death Panel Truck: No! I do know to soak ’em a bit. I’ll have to try that… just cook them half way once? Let them cool before refrying?

  167. 167
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Goblue72:

    Hipster to ask a chef working behind a counter in a performance style open air kitchen how a particularly tasty dish was made? Not really.

    I think you are over-representing the frequency of finding performance style open air kitchens across the country. Pretty standard fare in and around SF, though.

    I fully expect to find za’atar in an ethnic neighborhood, but this is fucking Glen Ellen, man. Nobody got that recipe from their mama. Someone has spent serious hours in a professional kitchen.

    And just to be clear it wasn’t a derogatory comment on my part. SF is a wonderful city (as is the extensive surrounds), which is a quite a compliment from a native NYer. The hipster culture is charming, TBH.

  168. 168
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Not surprising.

    20 years ago, in American eateries paprika was still considered an exotic, curious ingredient.

  169. 169
    NotMax says:

    @LeonS

    The lo temp/ hi temp secret, revealed.

  170. 170
    goblue72 says:

    @LeonS: Yes. Par-cook for about 5 minutes in the fryer, then let them rest on paper towels to soak up the oil. After they’ve cooled down, refry to golden crisp.

    Also, the first fry round you want the oil around 350 or so (lower temp), then for second round bring temp up to normal fry temp range.

    Also, its generally good to soak the raw potato fries in water (or rinse for awhile in cold water) to wash off the surface starch. And then dry them off thoroughly. Helps make the outside crispier.

  171. 171
    Amir Khalid says:

    Interesting, this. In the mid-1950s the Malayan government commissioned British composer Benjamin Britten, among certain illustrious others, to compose a national anthem for our upcoming independence. He turned in a composition and got paid, but then the government rejected his work and went instead with a tune lifted from a French pop song.

    Incidentally, the BBC story refers to “Malaysia” throughout — an anachronism, since Malaysia was only formed in September 1963.

  172. 172
    🚸 Martin says:

    @seaboogie: My grandparents were good cooks but it was all old-country stuff. Really fantastic stuff, don’t get me wrong, but they didn’t stray from what they were taught from their parents and grandparents. Thankfully they never ran down the mid-century dark alleys of jello molds and ambrosia salad.

    One of the things I really liked about living in NY was that you could find pretty much every cuisine on earth no more than two subways away. SoCal holds up reasonably well on that front. I like that we have hipster communities that are willing to rewrite the rules. Sure, the $5 artisanal donuts are easy to mock, or the cereal cafe, but if you want someone to make donuts and live in the middle class, then you’re going to have to fucking pay for them.

  173. 173
    goblue72 says:

    @🚸 Martin: Its just an metropolitan version of an old school diner counter with a guy behind the counter running a flattop. And yeah, not really “hipster” to ask a restaurant “how was this made”. Plus, I’ve been shocked to some degree as to how much the NY/SF restaurant sensibility has spread to the rest of the country. Half the restaurants in the suburbs in other parts of the country these days seem to have “food to table” items on the menu and a “cocktail program”. Heck, my hometown PA factory town even had its own artisanal distillery last time I was back for the holidays. And the hooch was quite passable. They even had a “small plates” menu and the interior design was urbanely minimalist for the most part. Almost feel outta my chair. Course it also reminded me of this – http://www.eater.com/2014/7/24.....looks-like

    And hey, not surprised you’re impressed. The center of the nation’s food scene isn’t in NYC anymore. Its in the Bay Area. Has been for at least last 5 years. ;)

    Even the irascible Alan Richman thinks so – http://www.gq.com/story/best-r.....-francisco

  174. 174
    goblue72 says:

    @🚸 Martin: Cereal cafe? I’m not even gonna Google it, but dollars to artisanal donuts – its gotta be in Silver Lake?

  175. 175
    Origuy says:

    @goblue72: They tried one of those a few years ago in Bloomington, Indiana, to get the student crowd. I never tried it; the next time I was in town it had closed down. I found an article about the Cereal Killer Cafe in London provoking anti-gentrification protests:

    On the weekend, it attracted the ire of anti-gentrification protesters, who surrounded the business with flaming torches and scrawled “scum” on its windows as customers sheltered in the basement. ‘

    Flaming torches! They haven’t gone that far in SF yet.

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    seaboogie says:

    @goblue72: @🚸 Martin:

    I think that you two have kind of nailed it. We – as a country – got very far away from real food that is cooked well, as we became enamored of innovation and convenience. Now we are finally getting back to what is real, and what is delicious and satisfying, The hipsters – with their annoying earnestness and beards and type-faces – are kind of leading our way back to that which is good and real. That said, I can die a happy woman without ever consuming a PBR. A nice craft brew that is not 99% hops (what the fuck is wrong with you people?), would be tasty with one of those brats mentioned up-thread.

  177. 177
    agorabum says:

    @LeonS: You can fully extend the fries by making them well done (or just medium well done – don’t be afraid to get specific with it).
    But the true right answer for in-n-out is…just get two cheeseburgers. Not A double double and fries, but two separate cheeseburgers. Then you can mix it up a bit – get one animal style, and another with ketchup and mustard instead of spread and chopped chiles (or whatever).
    The fries are fine, but burgers are clearly superior – so embrace the two burger madness!

  178. 178
    seaboogie says:

    Maybe this is kind of a portmanteau thing, but as we are variously discussing fries, cauliflower and mass killings, I see a SF Chronicle link to a candlelight vigil in Oregon. We cannot seem to figure out how to work out gun control and have no desire to stop mass murder, be we damn sure are getting good at sticking a dixie cup over a taper candle for a vigil. Same for teddy bears and flowers at the site of a domestic killing. We seem resigned to our barbarity. Smashed avocado artisanal toast, anyone?

  179. 179
    Morzer says:

    @seaboogie:

    I think we hold those vigils for the same reason some parts of the left focus obsessively on political correctness online: it lets us feel as if we are doing something and hides our own impotence, failure and lack of willpower from us. The intent isn’t a bad one, but the outcome is minimal at best.

  180. 180
    seaboogie says:

    @Morzer: Agreed, and well said. Perhaps we are the liberal version of the “chairborne” division. Rail in the forum that is safe and responds as we hope, without stepping out of our comfort-zone to effect a greater change. Else we would have to take greater action, and truly engage in our desired change.

  181. 181
    gene108 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    American restaurants often tone down the spice level of foreign foods, because Americans generally have a very low tolerance for spicy food.

    Chucking green and/or red chillies in everything you cook is a truly alien concept with regards to the European derived cousine that most Americans grow up eating.

  182. 182
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @efgoldman: German bratwurst should be boiled and served with white asparagus (weisser Spaergel). :)

  183. 183
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Weird, all of the artificial sugars are bitter or have an icky aftertaste to me. In fact, they started sneaking them into foods that contain sugar and I find out because something tastes gross after I swallow. And I am anything but a supertaster.

    (Bring on bitter! Behold my pantry and fridge full of hot sauce and fresh hot peppers!)

  184. 184
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Amir Khalid: hahahaha I think my mother made this recipe from the Boston Globe

    it was lame

  185. 185
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @NotMax:

    20 years ago, in American eateries paprika was still considered an exotic, curious ingredient.

    Not fair, the dull, half-assed Ashkenazi food at all those bar and bat mitzvahs 20 years ago was painted with paprika (the best part, really).

    So it really depends who you are.

    Pride of Szeged is awful and not from Szeged. I bought a bunch of paprika last time I was in Eastern Europe. If anything, I’m going to regret not picking up more.

  186. 186
    Dave C says:

    In&Out fries are fantastic, mostly because they allow you to choose how much salt you want on them, instead of forcing you to endure a massive overdose of sodium like many other places do.

  187. 187
    NotMax says:

    @Dave C

    For whatever it may be worth, Burger King has always offered no salt fries on request. And little packets of salt for those who prefer just a smidgen.

  188. 188
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Yes, unfortunately except for the directly impacted family and friends, we have become numb with all the mass shootings. The NRA has done a great job of prioritizing gun ownership above everything else, including safety.

  189. 189
    KXB says:

    Don’t expect any consistency of an argument from gun nuts (who are different than ordinary gun owners). Nuts will say that guns are just a tool, no different than any other tool. OK, then let’s regulate the sale & marketing of these tools, as we do certain chemicals. Then the argument changes to “2nd Amendment protects my right to keep & bear arms”. OK – there is no mention of what kind of “arms”, how many “arms”, – and once again, no prohibition on regulating the sale of said “arms”.

    They also cannot seem to make up their mind if they need the guns to protect themselves from criminals or the government. As Aussie comic Jim Jefferies noted about that second argument, “You know the gov’t has drones now, right? You want to bring a gun to a drone fight?”

    I do not expect any action at the federal level. Like gay marriage & pot legalization, it will have to be done on a state by state basis. Like those 2 – there will be long drawn out court battles, legislative attempts to block the efforts. But nothing will happen in Congress.

  190. 190
    LeonS says:

    @seaboogie:

    A nice craft brew that is not 99% hops (what the fuck is wrong with you people?), would be tasty with one of those brats mentioned up-thread.

    Hear, hear! Finally my country has the craft beer revolution I’ve been waiting my whole life for, and it turns out to be 90% hops. Gah! I assume these over hoppers were over inspired by its cousin.

  191. 191
    Jane E says:

    You need to double fry fresh potatoes to get them crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and that takes time. In-N-Out opted for fresh potatoes, but not the pre-processing needed to make them fry up nicely. Order them well done and they are crispier, but drier. Normally they retain too much moisture and are soggy by the time they get to the customers tray.

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  193. 193
    Fr33d0m says:

    You’re probably use to the stuff you get at Micky D’s and BK, which, if they are real, are processed to make them more popular and such. In and out simply peels, cuts and fries (you can watch them do it), so unless you got a bad spud, or they failed to change the oil, you got a good fry that you simply were predisposed to think was awful. I love the fries at In and Out most of all.

  194. 194
    Bill Arnold says:

    @🚸 Martin:
    It’s missing a right banana somewhere, though.

  195. 195
    joel hanes says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    German bratwurst should be boiled

    Ahem. The very word “bratwurst” means “roasted sausage”. That’s what distinguishes them from other sausages,
    such as mettwurst or Frankfurter wurst or rotwurst, which are often boiled or steamed.

    Echte Nurnberg bratwurstchen are roasted before your eyes on a street-vendor’s cart-grill, and served 2 on a brotchen roll, with sharp mustard.
    Beer-boiling is a Wisconsin heresy.
    (Omnes spent time in Germany, and had a chance to learn the error of his ways, but seems to be clinging to the culture of his childhood.)

    I don’t think I was ever served a boiled bratwurst during my years in Germany. Other kinds of sausages, yes; but if they had boiled them, they’d have called them something else, like kochwurst.

  196. 196
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    No one who abstains from alcohol should ever have to spend more than one night in the God forsaken Hell of Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Safe travels, John. :-)

  197. 197
    Cervantes says:

    @joel hanes:

    The very word “bratwurst” means “roasted sausage”

    Misconception — common even in Germany!

    That brat comes from old German for “finely chopped,” as in how the ingredients are prepared.

    The verb braten does mean “roast” — but this is not really connected to the etymology of bratwurst.

    Anyhow, I used to eat the stuff — tasty! — but haven’t done so for a while.

  198. 198
    LeonS says:

    @agorabum:

    chopped chiles

    They do chopped chillies!? Damn, all these years I’ve been wandering blind…

  199. 199
    joel hanes says:

    @Cervantes:

    That brat comes from old German for “finely chopped,” as in how the ingredients are prepared.

    I did not know that. Thanks for correcting my error.

  200. 200
    joel hanes says:

    But wait!

    Roasted whole chicken in the German style is called brathanchen (imagine an umlaut over the second a)

    Obviously I’m not a native speaker, but it does seem a bit weird to me that the “brat” prefix applied to chickens means “roasted”, while applied to sausages it means “minced”.

    I know enough about English and back-formation to see how such a thing could occur in German, but regardless of etymology, if the German populace believes that “bratwurst” means “roasted sausage” ….

  201. 201
    Cervantes says:

    @joel hanes:

    No big deal. It’s just that when you wrote:

    The very word “bratwurst” means “roasted sausage”

    I took it etymologically, hence the following:

    The verb braten does mean “roast” — but this is not really connected to the etymology of bratwurst.

    As for:

    it does seem a bit weird to me that the “brat” prefix applied to chickens means “roasted”, while applied to sausages it means “minced”.

    That’s the thing: they’re really two different prefixes, even if nobody knows it any more!

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