Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/food/public_html/wp-content/themes/StandardTheme_20/admin/functions.php on line 229
Fast food | Manolo's Food Blog
Archive - Fast food RSS Feed

Quote of the Day: Coke Head

Sugar Bombs

Sugar Bombs

via Nick Douglas:

Q: What sugary drink limits do you place on your kids?

A: My job as a parent is to guide them through the day to make the best choices. If my son has lacrosse practice for three hours, we go straight to McDonald’s and buy a 32-ounce Powerade.

Coke executive answers questions about sugary drinks – USATODAY.com

This is why we can’t have nice things.

The Food Subway Map of New York City

The New York Sub Culinary Map

The New York Sub Culinary Map

Yes: it’s nothing less than a year’s worth of work renaming each subway stop in NYC for the foodie options nearest at hand.

We spent months doing nothing but choosing the funniest names and moving them around a pencil sketch of the map. We renamed all 468 stations and added sixteen for the Second Avenue line, which may never even be built. We renamed all the neighborhoods, parks, cemeteries and waterways – 650 names in all.

The poster doesn’t exist yet, but presumably someone out there in blogland can make it happen: the poster…and the silk scarf! I have one of those for the London Underground, and how useful is that? Eh? I ask yez!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Chipotle – 750,000 people a day can’t be wrong

Everyone wants a one pound burrito apparently, and Chipotle has the stats to prove it. Today the Denver based chain opened its 1000th store.

I was there on opening day of New York’s first Chipotle, and let me tell you it was a momentous occasion (especially for the couple of Coloradans with whom I was dining.)

And in good news for those on the other side of the pond, according to a source I spoke with this morning, Chipotle’s next stop may be Deutschland, giving this Facebook group what it’s been gagging for.

Play with your food

clemenza.gif

“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

This is sound advice representing balanced good-sense values. Although Mr. Henry was not the first to coin the remark, he heeds its admonition conscientiously.

Proper care must be taken in handling both the gun and the cannoli, and each can be useful in a pinch, but the cannoli is the subtler means of persuasion. As a general rule of etiquette, Mr. Henry advises you to take the cannoli.

foodiefight.jpeg

Do you know who said it, and in what movie? If you do, you’ll triumph at the new parlor game Foodie Fight, a Trivial Pursuit-style competition quiz that the Henry posse finds irresistible –  lowdown fun at high table.

Children are instructed NOT to play with their food. But isn’t playing with food the essence of the  international food revolution? Don’t chefs play both with ingredients and with presentation? Don’t we place high value on such food-play?

fast_food.jpg

Many years ago Mr. Henry climbed the stairs to visit his photographer friend Maggie. On her table under the big umbrella lights that day lay piles of green peppers and bags of black-eyed peas. Maggie was busy shooting How are you Peeling?, another book of  visual genius from  Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers.

Fast Food is the newest one, appropriate for anyone over the age of two. It’s delicious.

Breakfast confessions

Mr. Henry is worried about his country.

It is not enough that we change our party, we must change our pastry, as well, specifically, our breakfast pastry. It’s a scandal.

New York magazine’s cover story this week reveals the frightful selections locals here choose first thing in the morning. Be forewarned. This is not for the faint of heart.

Each picture portrait with breakfast description is a snapshot pinpointing personality and temperament. 60 interviews, 60 lives in brief, most bound for wreck and ruin.

Mind you, there is occasional testimony of oatmeal or fresh fruit. Quite a few sit down to a lumberjack breakfast of every high caloric ingestible known to man – eggs, bacon, grits (with cheese!), biscuits (with gravy!), and so on – not a regime designed for longevity unless you eat little else for the remainder of the day, but a regime that does sustain and nourish. Two men ate a pure breakfast of four hard-boiled eggs, one of whom followed that with two more eggs. What could be simpler?

The overwhelming majority eat sweets. Ick. Nothing good from sucrose comes.

How can we expect to lead the world on a breakfast of pop tarts and Venti? With these beginnings, by 11:00 a.m. even the soberest citizens are ready to dispense collateral damage willy-nilly.

armyofone.JPG

The scariest of all must be the doughnut. Reason itself withers against a fried onslaught of fat and sugar.

Mr. Henry imagines guards at Guantanamo devouring jelly doughnuts and their sticky boxes, too. Wooh wooh wooh. Arggggggghhh! Off they go to force-feed the detainees.

The article revealed many mysteries. Two African-Americans ate turkey bacon. What could be the attraction? Is this a Black Muslim modification of the old-fashioned American standard?

Several people confessed to drinking alcohol in the morning, the very definition of alcohol dependence. Even alcohol, however, beats a breakfast of Coca-Cola.

Older people seem to have a better grasp of the importance of an appropriate breakfast. They don’t take their digestive functions for granted. The oldest man ate the breakfast best suited to gastro-intestinal happiness – an orange, cottage cheese and fig jam on wheat crackers, with English breakfast tea. This is more than a wise breakfast, it’s a tasty one. This man is clear-minded and well-balanced. Mr. Henry wants to vote for him.

Today Mr. Henry himself began with a small glass of fresh orange juice. While the coffee was steeping he ate half a banana and a large slice of red papaya. Because his noble hound Pepper does not permit a second cup of coffee before walkies, Mr. Henry’s oatmeal with raisins had to wait until after. (He adds a pinch of brown sugar and a splash of cream.)

After a second cup of coffee (french press) with whole milk, he is fully fed and fully caffeinated. Should he feel peckish at elevens, the best remedy will be an early lunch.

Amusement at Disney World

Bridey writes:

Well, it’s just so desperately chic to mock other people’s pleasures, isn’t it? I bet Mr. Henry would come home from Las Vegas with the shocking news that it’s gaudy and vulgar.

I’m not a Disneyphile by any stretch — I haven’t been to Disneyland in years and feel no pressing urge to go again. But geeze. If you don’t like it, don’t go.

waltdisney.jpg
From time to time Mr. Henry has been described as chic, but witnesses of his recent Disney World tour would surely testify against such an accusation. In his broad sunhat, anti-UV sunshirt (tail flapping), and slouchy lightweight trousers – all in clashing shades of greenish khaki – Mr. Henry looked like the youngest recruit of the AARP.

Bridey is partly justified in her objections to Mr. Henry’s anti-Disney screed. Of course, he went for the kids, not for himself, as raincoaster so aptly noted, and he freely admits that overall he had a pretty good time.

However, his feet were killing him, the sun was everywhere, and chairs were nowhere. Although he spent nearly a thousand dollars per day, he admits he had good fun watching Little Henry and posse invade the place. Despite the flow of coin cascading from his pockets and the plethora of eateries at every turn, however, he was hungry – desperately hungry, not desperately chic – and desperately trapped, to boot, deep inside the great Mouse kingdom.

At these prices, Mr. Henry doesn’t feel that to expect one decent meal is asking too much. It’s an amusement park, after all. When you are hungry, you are rarely amused.

Why can’t Mouse managers get with the new food program? Why must every food served be sweet and fried and carry the nutritional content of cotton candy? Is there something NOT FUN about eating fruits and vegetables? As a nation, haven’t we gotten past the notion of vegetables as things eaten only under duress?

In Animal Kingdom there are ersatz Indonesian eateries serving unpalatable foodlike substances. For the love of god, bring over some Singaporean street vendors! Even the Bengali and Yemeni halal food carts from the streets of Manhattan would be a huge improvement.

And to think that the original vision of EPCOT, the Experimental Prototypical City Of Tomorrow, included a vast plan for sustainable agriculture! A planned community in harmony with nature and with man! No, Uncle Walt certainly didn’t lack ambition. Mr. Henry has always admired the sheer scope and scale of the place. Only in America, by golly. The bean counters who inherited Disney’s great city of tomorrow betrayed his ideals and turned back the culinary clock.

hlmencken2.jpg
Lest you suspect Mr. Henry’s peculiar brand of superciliousness and skepticism to be his own original invention, read H. L. Mencken in On Being an American:

To be happy one must be (a) well fed, unhounded by sordid cares, at ease in Zion, (b) full of a comfortable feeling of superiority to the masses of one’s fellow men, and (c) delicately and unceasingly amused according to one’s taste. It is my contention that, if this definition be accepted, there is no country in the world wherein a man constituted as I am – a man of my peculiar weakness, vanities, appetites, and aversions – can be so happy as he can be in the United Sates.

Pure corn

waltmick.jpgWalt Disney World is America’s #1 tourist destination – a vast Orwellian shining city in the swamp brimming with bratty English schoolchildren spitting insults at cowed, permissive parents, with tattooed teenagers trying desperately to pretend they aren’t walking beside uncool parents, and with grinning sunburned, foot-weary pilgrims of pleasure plodding on and on and on.

Four theme parks and a dozen other destinations employ 60,000 cutely costumed refugees from backward countries and failed American cities – gays and unmarrieds, retirees without health care, unskilled veterans, brave loners seeking a new life in the sunshine state.

On the bus, on the everlasting bus, your senses are subjected to upbeat jingles, catchy colors, and corny jokes. Slipping deeper into stupor, you begin to imagine Glare and Blare as two more adorable animated characters.

In fact, the whole experience is pure American corn in every iteration and manifestation. The food is the worst of it, and that’s the part you literally ingest. After only two days of indoctrination, you become convinced that in order to have fun you must eat garbage. Mr. Henry defies you to escape high fructose corn syrup at Disney World.

Mark Twain, the first modern writer, surely got it right. The food at Disney World is “monotonous execrableness.”

Why were the french fries always the same french fries whether served at the Brown Derby at Disney Hollywood or at any of the sidewalk food outlets?stalin_speech1.jpg

Why, in the midst of orange groves larger than Arkansas, can you not get a glass of fresh orange juice?

Why must Disney food be “theme” food? Their many attempts to serve ethnic foods invariably get dumbed down into Sandra Lee’s semi-homemade. Mr. Henry understands that it may not be practical to construct Cinderella’s Castle walls from genuine limestone blocks, but must the edible be as ersatz as the visible?

There is not a cooked leafy green to be had for love or money. Instead, there are frighteningly snazzy combos like baked salmon on parmesan foccacia. (Mr. Henry shudders to recall it.)

It took Mr. Henry an entire week to recover from the numbing over-stimulation and hypnotic cheeriness of the place.

And the souvenirs! The irrepressible Trudy writes, “The whole thing was just one big retail Venus fly trap for more shit made in China, with that looming castle as the cosmic bait drawing children and their reluctant into its orb.”

There is a hidden ideology here, an imposed classlessness, a Puritan sense of public obligation towards the simple life. Any attempts to seek out fine food are blunted. Carefully prepared fresh food is simply not for sale. Everyone at Disney World eats the same food, rides the same bus, and laughs at the same amusement. There are no individuals. There are only crowds.

Roughing it

Mr. Henry has been roughing it in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, living on Grape Nuts, Eight O’Clock Coffee, bacon, tuna fish, red chard, chips, salsa, and Yeungling Black & Tan.

jaxbeach.jpg

To capture the internet he cruised Third Avenue while his laptop Airport searched for a signal. Parked in the breezeway of the Jacksonville Beach Quality Suites, he logged onto the hotel wi-fi and downloaded the Manolosphere. Across the parking lot the Crab Shack loudspeaker bellowed “Baker, party of six! Baker, party of six!” Even from 100 yards the air was thick with frying oil. He wanted to shout, “Bakers, save yourselves! Don’t do it!” but Mr. Henry does not foist his opinions upon innocent beach people.

To his amusement and delight, during his absence spirited contributors duked things out for themselves without intrusive guidance or editorial assistance. It was a barroom brawl from the Old West, a fair fight in which things sorted themselves out to the satisfaction of the many.

Mr. Henry does not like to apologize. He embraces the old show business adage, “Never complain. Never explain.” Now and again, however, he will do so, if only for the pleasure of breaking his own rules.

The kerfuffle over Michael Pollan’s injunction against more than five ingredients was settled satisfactorily. Yes, Pollan does refer to packaged products, not to other recipes, as Mr. Henry should have noted.

The food fight over pizza was such good fun that Mr. Henry is almost sorry to say he is sorry. He should have specified “American pizza,” the take-out kind. A thin-crust pizza with light tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil like Serafina’s in New York or Mrs. Henry’s home-made is one of life’s irresistible temptations.

Likewise for take-out tacos. A fresh fish taco from Baja California is one of the world’s great treats. Here in Florida Mr. Henry has been imagining just such treats by dipping his corn chips into the tuna fish, watching the Atlantic while dreaming of the Pacific. (There must be a name for such ingratitude, no? Or does the beach air simply render you perpetually sulky and less than satisfied?)

Regarding Mr. Henry’s denunciation of Subway, he just does not trust “cold cuts.”(Chachaheels explained most eloquently precisely why you should avoid fast-food sandwich places.) When he eats a roast beef sandwich, he cuts the meat from beef he roasts himself. In a pinch he will eat the fresh baked country ham from Zabar’s, but if he wants to eat genuine salumeria, he doesn’t put it on a sandwich.marktwain.jpg

Inevitably cold cuts are preserved in some nitrate or glutamate that to Mr. Henry’s nose smells like embalming fluid. Eating cold cuts he gets the queasy sensation of having crashed high in the Andes trying to remain ALIVE!

In Roughing It, Mark Twain reports:

“At the Green River station we had breakfast – hot biscuits, fresh antelope steaks, and coffee – the only decent meal we tasted between the United States and Great Salt Lake City, and the only one we were ever really thankful for. Think of the monotonous execrableness of the thirty that went before it, to leave this one simple breakfast looming up in my memory like a shot-tower after all these years gone by!”

Tomorrow Mr. Henry faces the monotonous execrableness of Walt Disney World, and he must face it like a man, not a mouse.

Page 1 of 212»