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Category: Funny

Al’s Chickenette

Als (1 of 19)

Al’s boasts of having the best fried chicken in Hays, Kansas. I would wager to say, they that have the best fried chicken in most of Kansas, as Kansas is not really much of a state, just one big sorghum and soy farm. Sorghum, that genus of plants from the 10,000 strong grass family (Poaceae) used to make bio-fuel, animal feed, and syrup .Als (15 of 19)

Eager to see the recent remodel, the first since their 1949 founding when the blue and pink interior protected against more soviet red colors (ironically useful in today’s post soviet aggression) we hopped off the mind numbing 70 freeway and headed down to Hays. Kansas cuisine is a reflection of it’s culture – not particularly diverse (86% Caucasian, 76% Christian, and overwhelmingly Republican) and I struggled to find something interesting to eat. The reviews on Al’s found online speak volumes. Makes one wonder why the over 6,000 ghost towns of Kansas continue to increase in number, where are the people going when the chicken is supposedly this good?   

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The Lost City of Camello Gigante

tj (15 of 44)

A great many fantastic adventures in life are conceived in inebriation. The quest for the Lost City of Camello Gigante began like most stories, three young men in search of fortune and glory – yet what we found in the bygone region across the border was beyond our wildest dreams.

tj (24 of 44)

Earlier this month I heard from friend and head Sommelier at Osteria Mozza, Matthew Bostick that he was going on an impromptu adventure south of the border to drink wine in the burgeoning Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California. Not looking to be outdone I decided to drop my own wine key and head south to investigate.

tj (2 of 44)

As I’ve not been to Baja California I knew that I needed to enlist an expert and guide. I got together with good friend and newly minted beverage director for Broken Spanish (soon to debut in the old Rivera space) Michael Lay. With Mike (the fixer) on board, I immediately got down to the business searching for ways to make the trip as absurd as possible. ‘We leave upon the tail of the Hour of the Wolf,’ or something silly like that I recall texting Mike. “Ok cool I’m in, but what time is that?” 5am.

tj (1 of 44)
“The Hour of the Wolf is the hour between night and dawn. It is the hour when most people die, when sleep is deepest, when nightmares are most real. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fear, when ghosts and demons are most powerful. The Hour of the Wolf is also the hour when most children are born.” – The 1968 Ingmar Bergman horror film ‘Hour of the Wolf’
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M. Wells Steakhouse

Every so often I have an experience that just leaves an unsavory taste in my throat. As a foodie i’m supposed to have an acumen that allows me to filter and find the places that are not just wearing the emperors clothes and lacking the emperor; M. Wells Steakhouse was an experience that left me embarrassed and rather light in the pocket book.

Italy (12 of 12)

Everything I’d read about the M Wells was positive, a mecca for meat lovers in a hidden former auto body shop in Long Island City ( A place I had never been, nonetheless) Queens, lauded Canadian Chefs in an eye catching space. I was pumped as this was to be my final reservation on a whirlwind NYC dining trip.

Things started off well, as my companions were impressed at my navigational abilities in finding the virtually hidden space (no sign whatsoever) – we walked in the glowing and warmly lit open space with an almost cathedral like feeling. The walls have elegant wall paper and the ceilings have intricate details.

Our waiter sauntered over after a few moments too long of waiting without greeting, a large heavyset man of some age and experience he began to croon the specials in an old manner reminiscent of the steak houses of yore. My excitement began to build as he overtook the the personal space of the table with his fluid hand motions, swooping his arms through the air describing luxurious cuts of offal and head cheese. I scribbled incessantly in my notebook to keep up.

We decided, as we were probably going to be tieing quite a few drinks on this evening that we should stick with the cocktails (true to form, we ended up in a gay club in the Meatpacking district dancing to Beyonce at 3 am), though I had read the wine program was exemplary. It wasn’t hard to spot the sommelier in a smartly cut suit dashing back and forth across the room. Tragically he never stopped by, but I got a chance to hear him in action at the lovely table of two next to us.

After some deliberation he brought back a bottle of ; I’m guessing this was Malvasia di Candida, and obscure bottle from the Canary Islands grown on mostly volcanic soil. I thought this was a daring pairing for a Canadian styled steak house. He decanted the wine away from the table and brought it back in a decanter, placing it on a pedestal just to my left. I was struck by the fact that neither he, nor any server brought any stemware to the table. Ten, twenty, and thirty minutes went by as the ladies finished their nearly empty cocktails before they flagged a waiter inform that they were ready to drink the bottle. The sommelier didn’t seem all that occupied standing off to the side chatting with a server, never once did he return to the table to check on anything – it certainly seemed he was spending more time on his vertical hold hairstyle than his wine service.

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In The Land That Time Forgot

title is a throwback to an Edgar Rice Burroughs Fantasy Novel of the same name

mojave (39 of 47)

My good friend let me know a few months ago that he was going to be in Vegas for the weekend and suggested that we go out to the Mojave desert to explore some abandoned mine shafts over Veteran’s Day weekend. A fellow veteran of the Armed Forces and an all around good dude, I didn’t hesitate to agree to a camping trip – but the Mojave?Image

Getting to the desert is a pretty easy drive, nothing really to look at on the way out from Los Angeles, except San Bernadino County and it’s high desert boom towns of yesterday. San Bernardino currently has the highest unemployment in California at 10% and roughly 160,000 people receiving food stamps. Image

If you’ve ever had the urge to try a Trucker Shower, or pay over $5 a gallon for someone to pump your gas at the end of nowhere, be sure to check it out. At a train track stop, I literally got out of my car and walked around for a few moments while the endless train of box cars went by.  

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Very few people visit the Low Desert, in fact it is the least visited national park in America. 18.5 Million years ago in the Late Tertiary period large volcanic eruptions occurred fairly frequently in the Mojave Desert blanketing the area in volcanic ash, the most recent explosion was about 8,000 years ago.

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