Tuesday, June 22, 2010

That Guy, Or Human Southwestern Eggrollipede

This weekend, I'll be eating at TGI Friday's. Or at the very least drinking there. I made a reservation and am very excited! Because it's one of maybe two restaurants near where my friends are getting married, the pre-wedding pre-party -- after which, as you know: hotel lobby -- will be held there. And I'm totally fine with that, because I love whimsical meat appetizers my friends and they do in fact serve beer there.

And in all honesty, I actually have always really loved potato skins -- even though I don't really know if I've ever actually enjoyed eating more than one of them -- and as far as I know TGI Friday's still serves those. They might be filling them with fettucine alfredo now or something, but I believe they're still on the menu. No, the only real issue here is that I could, in some fashion, be seen as supporting Juggalo-ish human photo negative/"food dude" Guy Fieri by patronizing the restaurant chain for which he does commercials. At least, I assume this was intended to be an advertisement for TGI Friday's.

Kind of wound up being an advertisement against hairstyling products and tanning beds and humanity in general, though, no?

Fieri has always been a tough case for me, because the idea of his Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," is actually pretty cool. Or I should write, the idea of his first Food Network show, since he's now bringing his burnt sienna magnetism to his own cooking show on the network (I should really start another blog just to detail what that show's set looks like, but in the interest of time: imagine a taxidermied crocodile wearing Oakleys that is also somehow a hubcap with a clock on it? Then fill a whole set with shit like that and proceed to make, like, "Guac Caipirinhas" there) and to a network game show so guilelessly cleavage-leering and sub-retarded that it would stand out for its dumbness on contemporary Italian television. And while there are periodically interesting places featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," Fieri is always there to ruin it -- barging onscreen dressed like a fucking hot rod, sunglasses at the ready on the back of his head, taking some gigantic ketchupy bite of something and robustly high-fiving the startled-looking Greek guy who runs the diner, drive-in or dive in question. The whole weird '90s-fetishizing-the-'50s/"Cruising Night In Upland, CA" aesthetic of the thing is a turn-off, too: the show's general vibe, despite all the interesting restaurants (and, to his credit, Fieri will go to some interesting places and mash some interesting food between his ghastly orange jaws), is that of a nostalgic Route 66-themed commercial for McDonald's. It takes a lot to make me not want to eat a sliced-meat sandwich, but dude does it weekly and still finds time for extra work.

Extra work like designing the menu at his own restaurant, the currently closed-for-remodeling Tex Wasabi's Rock-N-Roll Sushi BBQ in Sacramento, CA. (In re: the website, you should beware of sound effects, nauseating cowboy-on-carp animated .gif, everything else) Beneath the exhausting good-timey tone of the menu -- those aren't really koi fish tacos, j/k! -- and the misspellings and the weirdnesses is a really baffling food sensibility. It's one thing to grill some chicken and dump it on some salad -- call it "Hidden Chicken, Crouching Salad" if you want (he wants), but it's been done and it can only get so bad. But... okay, I'm just going to cut and paste this:

NEW! Screaming Gobbler $7.95
Roasted turkey, jalapenos, pepper jack, avocados, green onions, mayonnaise and sriracha mayonnaise wrapped in sushi rice and tapioca paper. First you’ll gobble, then you’ll scream.

That is just a different thing entirely. And while it's nice that Fieri's innovating (it's not really nice that Fieri's innovating), there's definitely a point at which one should look at oneself in the mirror -- one's automotive-themed, flame-motif, rock-n-roll mirror -- and just be like, "Dude, just because TGI Friday's pays you does not mean that you are obligated to make TGI Friday's look like Le Fucking Bernardin." One would think that one would do that. One would hope.

Also: Tex Wasabi's drink menu is amazing. It's like a Mad Lib. I mean, this particular drink is like a 15-year-old girl's liquid nightmare:

County Fair
This one will bring out the animal in you. 99 apples, vodka, midori, sweet & sour and sierra mist.

But for the most part the drink menu is like a Mad Lib. As I learned during my stay at a friend's place in Los Angeles, it's easy to play this game at home. Name a food item or two, two liquors/liquers and an ill-advised garnish, then put it in a 64oz. glass and jam a twisty straw into it. To wit:

The Hole Ninety Nine Yards
This one will make you regret that humans evolved opposable thumbs! Real Dunkin Donut donut holes floating on a raft of Sweet Tarts set rock-n-rollingly adrift on 64 ounces of 99 Bananas, Triple Sec, Welch's Grape Soda and Georgi Vodka. Cowabunga!

Try it yourself! I plan to order it on at TGI Friday's and see how it works. I wonder how much Apple Pucker a potato skin can hold.

ALSO: No, still not as much as I hate Papa John.

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