Tuesday, February 26, 2013

36. Cafe Gratitude

It was a beautiful Monday morning and I was feeling especially responsible, so I got an early start and filed my taxes with months to spare. It went a lot quicker than I expected. So despite having a work meeting soon after, I found myself with about an hour to kill. I figured a coffee and a snack would be the adult thing to do in a situation like this. I looked around and assessed my surroundings - I had two options. One was "Lemonade", a uber-expensive deli which has great food at cringe-worthy costs. The second was "Cafe Gratitude" which I've heard is an earthy all-natural cafe. Seeing as it was 9:30am, I figured it too early for heavy deli food, so I treated myself and my wallet to Cafe Gratitude.

I'll begin by saying the hostess did not seem very gracious for me walking in - despite the cafe's name. Whatever, no big deal. I was seated and perused the surroundings. I have to say from what I've heard people say about Cafe Gratitude, I expected the decor to be a little more... ahem.... bohemian. There was nary the scent of nang champa nor a single book exchange shelf to be seen. Very curious. The decor was very corporate, all the tables and chairs matched and I'm pretty sure the place had been mopped using industrial grade chemicals as it was spik n' span. And my hostess did NOT reek of unshaven armpits seasoned by a week's absence of bathing.

It was only when I received my menu that the good old fashioned hippy freakout began. The first thing to jump out at me was the menu items. Everything at Cafe Gratitude is named with the prefix of "I am" followed by some dumb-ass hippy adjective like "Grateful" or "Blossoming" or "Centered." ...Shit.

I'm sure the brain-trust at Cafe Gratitude, Incorporated all enjoyed their massive circle-jerk when some vice-president pitched this idea. But all it serves to do is make you read the entire goddamn menu top to bottom trying to figure out what each menu item is. Oh, you want an omelet? Instead of looking for omelet on the menu you now have to engage in some perverse word-search in hopes that some paragraph in there somewhat describes what could be an omelet.

This pretty much sums up Cafe Gratitude.
Oh and here's the real nut-kicker - even if you read the ENTIRE menu an omelet would not be on there anyway as the whole fucking place is vegan. Surprise!

I should also mention that today just happened to be the day I wore my hockey trucker hat and my "Franklin BBQ - King of Texas BBQ" T-shirt...oh well. Despite sticking out like a turd in a punchbowl I decided that I am not above vegan cuisine. And I would show this faux-hippy corporate eatery that I would smile, order, and eat whatever shit they could concoct. I ordered the "I am Peace" with a cup of "I am Courageous".

For the human beings reading this, that loosely translates to a bagel with cream cheese, lox, capers, tomato, onion, and sprouts, and a cup of coffee.

Now here's where my idiocy comes in. I somehow naively thought vegan meant vegetarian. So here I am thinking "Oh sure, I can try a vegetarian version of lox, heck, I'm adventurous." Me so stoopid! So you can imagine my shock when my abomination of a meal arrived.

So out comes half a "bagel" which is literally as flat as an iPhone and has the texture of a deflated balloon. It's covered in "cream cheese" that looks and feels like coffee froth. And the "lox"? Well, that was seaweed. Literally, like 4 squares of seaweed. Any Jewish person who saw this would schvitz. Especially since you don't even get a full bagel. I don't normally take pictures of my food but you all should see this shit-show:
Not pictured: A bagel.
My coffee was served with almond milk and agave sweetener. I tried putting almond milk in my coffee once and it pretty much turned out the same way that you'd imagine jizz would if you put it into coffee. I learned my lesson, but apparently cafe gratitude thinks its totally normal to have white chunks floating around in coffee. I passed on the agave, the coffee was totally ruined and frankly it tasted like shit even without the milk.

The problem with Cafe Gratitude is not the fact that it's vegan. Rather, the mistake they make is thinking they can serve vegan alternatives to normal food. Vegan cream cheese? How the FUCK do you rationally think you can pull that off? You can't. And based on my meal, you didn't. The bagel felt like I was chewing on an old sock.

When you make the leap into a vegan diet, you're just going to have to face the fact that you're going to eat mostly vegetables. To think that you're going to enjoy a bacon-wrapped steak with cheese on bread that tastes exactly the same but magically without animal byproducts is insane. And do you think the owners of cafe gratitude give a shit about the planet? There's plastic galore in that place, along with god knows how many cleaning chemicals needed in order to meet the health code. Not to mention air conditioning a massive brand new building in the heart of Larchmont. But hey, it's okay, because you're eating vegan and that's all that matters. Who cares if it tastes like goat feed.

Name: Cafe Gratitude
Genre: Vegan Cafe
Value: Expensive considering you're entire meal is made out of rhubarb and air.
What You'll Need to Enjoy Your Meal: A personal stash of bacon.
Rating: 1 / 5

Saturday, January 19, 2013

35. The Bagel I Had This Morning

It was pretty good - cream cheese, tomato, onion, lox, black pepper, etc. I give it 5 stars. What I really want to talk about is what I had to suffer through on my television this morning. I have Netflix streaming on my TV, which gives me regrettably poor discretion on movies that I'll watch. I've watched some pretty bad films, from the documentary about Monopoly to Wild Things: Foursome. Today though, I witnessed probably the worst movie that's ever been made - not just by man, but the whole of intelligent life in the universe.

Have you ever been playing on the internet and come across some link you knew was trouble? It has a title like "ManStepsOntoTrainTracks.gif" and tags which read NSFW or NSFL all over them. Then, lo and behold, you click it and it's a recycling clip of a man stepping onto some train tracks and getting hit by a train and his entire body explodes into a pile of guts and gore? You naturally get grossed out, then fumble to find your "back" button to exit, but haplessly miss it? Then all of a sudden the clip plays again. And again. And again. Then suddenly realize you're transfixed on this morbid display of human mortality? You're literally watching every second dissecting the events which could have led up to this horrible tragedy and quite simply you cannot surmise the strength to stop watching this man die? Pure, unadulterated fascination overtakes you as to who would film this, and why would they feel people needed to see it? Well, that's kind of what this movie was like.

The movie is called Monster Brawl and it's quite literally the biggest piece of shit I've ever seen. I could almost smell the shit smell while watching it.

 "But if it was so bad, why did you continue watching it?" You're probably asking. Good question.
It was, as mentioned above, like watching a car wreck. I was SO fascinated that someone would put so much effort into something that is so clearly bad. Centered around a wrestling ring in the middle of a graveyard, historic monsters battle it out WWE style - complete with clotheslines, body-slams, and the since-forgotten smack talk in front of a green screen. Really? REALLY? Yes, believe it.

The "story" if you could call it that, drags on. Each story-arc follows the same basic premise:

1) Introduce the two monster fighters via a short origin story (probably the best part of the film) For example, during the Frankenstein segment, they show a Russian scientist working on old Frankie, bringing him to life, and getting him prepped for his big match.

2) Show some hokey graphic of their vital stats as explained by two ring announcers who have some of the worst written dialogue I've ever heard. I'm just like, What the Fuck? Why is R. Lee Ermey talking to the Texas Oil Tycoon from the Simpsons about how The Cyclops has 10 more victories by way of knockout then does Zombie Man? I kid you not.

The best part of the film.
3) Have each creature slowly lumber into the ring and do their man-dance for the crowd that doesn't exist (never mind the cheering noises). This is commentated by WWE's own Jimmy Hart, who's standing next to two chicks in bikini's each holding a banner for their specific monster. I stand corrected by saying this was the best part of the film because you can see underboob on the model on the right. Each monster does this and it takes like 15 minutes. Plus it was on Netflix so it was pretty hard to pause the film and see prolonged underboob.
4) More badly-written announcer dialogue.

5) The worst choreographed "fight" in a "ring" that looks like it's been purchased 2 hours before shooting from a boxing gym. I'm no production designer, but wouldn't a ring that looks somewhat archaic be a little better than a black and red UFC training ring? Also, every time a monster would land a punishing hit, the voice from Mortal Kombat would boom out, exclaiming things like "EXCELLENT."  and "BRUTAL HIT." Oh, did I mention that these monsters are fighting for the coveted Monster Brawl Championship Belt?

6) 10 minutes of pointless follow-up usually involving the redneck announcers.

Sound boring? Well don't worry, you get to watch that exact same thing like 5 times. Then the movie abruptly ends and you've lost two hours of your life minus the 3 seconds you saw some underboob.If there were a contest for who could snort the most cocaine and come up with the worst movie idea, I still don't think the winner could top Monster Brawl.

The bagel, as mentioned, was good.

Name: The Bagel I ate while watching Monster Brawl.
Genre: Jewish food, Z-list film.
Value: An utter waste of time. 
What You'll Need to Enjoy Your Meal: A fast forward button.
Rating: 0 / 5

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This F@cking Lady...

I thought I would share with you a recent review of my local self-serve frozen yogurt place. It's called Twist! and for the past 2 years it has been serving the community by employing 16 year-old kids from all walks of life. Let me begin by saying there's nothing special about Twist!. This is just like any other frozen yogurt place out there; you grab a cup, fill it, top it, pay for it, and eat it.

Anyway, I was in the mood for some late night frozen yogurt and looked on Yelp to see if it was still open. I was a bit taken back to see that a couple people had given this place 1-star reviews. The place practically runs itself, the only reason the poor kids are even working there is to make sure nothing catches on fire. Why did someone give this only 1 star? I read the following from "Stephanie P. from Los Angeles":

I eat fro-yo EVERYDAY. There's not a day I don't get fro-yo...and usually it's the carbolite brand. Last time I went to Twist was 3 years ago, before they moved. I got a coupon in the mail saying the new Twist carried carbolite fro-yo so I thought I'd swing by to check it out. Before I went, I called ahead to ask when they changed flavors. The lady who answered said "It's hard to say, I don't know...(some weird excuse)...it's hard to say." What exactly is hard to say??? Omg... that's a sign of a great yogurt place, right?

Anyways, I get there and immediately see the two flavors labeled "sugar-free". I ask the guy working there if those were the carbolites. He said "No, we usually carry at least one carbolite...but (long pause followed by him sampling yogurt himself) doesn't look like we have any today." So I asked when they will have it. Of course he has no idea but says, "Get the sugar free, there's like no difference in calories."

Are you kidding me??? The nutritional content of a regular sugar free yogurt and a carbolite are like night and day! This guy is seriously looking like an idiot now. There is nothing I despise more than when an establishment feeds its customers false information.

But since I drove all this way, I thought it would be a shame to walk out empty handed. So, I sample the belgium chocolate fro-yo (my favorite flavor). It was the MOST DISGUSTING fro-yo I've ever put into my mouth! It tasted like yogurt gone bad. How do you f*** up frozen yogurt??? I don't know how they managed to make chocolate taste like fishy metallic cocoa tap water, but they did! I walked out with a cringe on my face. Never ever ever ever coming back!

Ok seriously? What a fucking bitch. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT $3 FROZEN YOGURT. This pretentious cow has to be the most audaciously entitled idiot I've ever heard in my life, and that's coming from me which really says something. Class, grab your scalpels and let's dissect:

Firstly, let's look at here profile picture:

Immediately, three things jump out at me. The first is that this guy want's nothing to do with her. This sycophant looks like she begged this guy to take a picture with her - who as quickly as possible leaned down, let the shutter pop and got the fuck out of Dodge. She's basically doing a terrible job of making it look like she hangs out with moderately attractive people instead of her cat she so hilariously named Justin Tim-purr-lake. Second, she's in a club, which is a hotbed of faux entitlement. Clubs are where the poor pretend to be rich, and the assistants pretend to be the bosses. Simply put, she probably likes to be a bitch on Yelp because no one listens to her opinions in real life. Thirdly, it's a shitty photo, get it together girl.

So on to her review. She begins by stating "I eat fro-yo EVERYDAY. There's not a day I don't get fro-yo..." A little lesson for you girl, that's NOT a good thing. I don't know what planet you think you're from where you rationally think eating frozen yogurt with candy on top everyday is healthy, but it's not Earth. Remember that movie Supersize Me? Where Morgan Spurlock ate the same damn thing for a whole month and nearly died? Well, you're proving your idiocy by doing the same, then expecting that by demanding some variant called "carbolite" is going to save you from coronary heart disease? Please lady, eat some more and die faster, because your logic is killing me.

Also... YOU CALLED AHEAD? That's like calling ahead to a McDonalds and being like "Derrr....do you still have Big Macs?" This place, just like every single other frozen yogurt place, has the same damn shit: Fro-Yo, toppings, and a spoon. You should know this by now, everyday-ice-cream-machine. In my experience in life, there's two types of people; ones that want to be healthy and thus go jogging, and the ones who want to be healthy by doing every stupid thing besides exercising, ie eating "carbolite" frozen yogurt and thinking it's making them skinny.

Then, in another display if your idiocy, after calling ahead and asking for your prescription flavor and the clerk (who makes about $5.85.hour) saying, "I don't know, I just make $5.85 per hour and am making sure nothing is catching on fire." you still drive down, assuming your carbolite will be there. When someone says "I don't know", it does not mean "Yes." It means there's literally a 50% chance it will be there and a 50% chance it won't. Did you prepare yourself for possible disappointment? No, instead you drove daddy's BMW down there anyway (God forbid you walk, Ms. Carb-Counter) and throw a fit to the poor kid working there like your time has been ever so wasted. You should be GRATEFUL this poor kid even indulged your ridiculous request and attempted a response to it. JACK LALANNE DOES NOT WORK AT TWIST! Quit asking for health advice from a kid who works at a place that sells cheesecake chunks as a topping.

You think this kid even wants to help you?
I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you at least voiced your complaint to the worker. But I've got a sneaking suspicion that you huffed, got back on your bedazzled iPhone and instead just called him an idiot on the internet instead. That's probably the most classless thing you can do - to a kid even.

I would normally feel bad about totally ripping into someone like this, but these types of people make me sick. The only solace I get is knowing that going to Twist!  is probably the most eventful part of her other pointless day. I'm glad I never have to lay my eyes on your fat arms in Twist ever again.

PS: It's Belgian Chocolate, idiot. Not Belgium Chocolate. Quit feeding me false information.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

34. Hallucinogenic Mushrooms

Sorry to my loyal fanbase of eleven for not updating this blog for quite some time. I'd like to think it was because I had a lot of important things going on, but honestly I just forgot. C'est la vie.

So it's been quite a long time since I partook in the spiritual rodeo of ingesting magic mushrooms. I believe college may have been the last adventure. I always remembered enjoying them immensely, even when things took a bad turn and suddenly your friend wants to call his parents while high as a kite and announce that he's dying. This time I'll try to evaluate my dining experience as I would any other restaurant.

Location: Magic Mushrooms are best taken outdoors as objects such as walls and ceilings have an annoying habit of becoming absolutely terrifying when you're under the influence. My trip took place in Joshua Tree National Park, an idyllic desert just outside Los Angeles county. Joshua Tree is beautiful even when not trippin' crazy balls, so trippin' crazy balls would only serve to accentuate such beauty. Parking was ample though reservations are suggested if you want a campground. My friend Chris and I chose to ride the magic carpet out in the backcountry, where your chosen campground is literally anywhere you damn well please. Chris's friend Isiah joined us for the trip but not for "the trip."

The Menu: When taking mushrooms it's important to bring items essential to survival, but even then odds are you'll feel so connected with Mother Nature that you'll idiotically throw you're pack (and possibly pants) over a cliffside thinking you'll never need such man-made garbage. In the pack you'll be throwing over a cliff, you should have a bottle of water, a compass, a flashlight, and maybe some bread. Instead of all that stuff we just had Isiah to make sure we didn't try and fornicate with a cactus and make sure we walked back towards the car at some point. Long story short, the menu consisted of mushrooms.

The Food: Mushrooms are grown in cow shit, and mushrooms often don't look far different than their poopy-parents. They look like how I imagine a REALLY old guy's penis must look like. To say these things look edible is like saying Julia Childs looks fuckable. I mean sure you could do it, if you REALLY had to, but...ugh. That metaphor is literally the best description of what eating mushrooms is like...it's like fucking Julia Childs. This is where having bread makes all the difference in the world. By making a mushroom sandwich consisting of one mushroom and 12 pounds of bread you might make the taste just a bit less vomit-inducing, but not much.

While tripping in Joshua Tree, this is the most awesome thing you'll ever see....

The Ambiance: When these little poison mushrooms finally kick in, get ready for fun. It begins with a loose feeling throughout your arms and legs and slowly evolves into you trying your best to not babble something incredibly insane. Being in nature helps because odds are the only people around you are also trippin' and trying not to say something equally as insane. This usually results in massive giggle fits not dignified for most men. This is pretty much what happened to me. At some point you have profound levels of appreciation for nature, while other points you can't stop crying from laughter because someone said the word "butt." The next 6 hours or so are spent exploring, laughing, staring (lots of staring), falling, laughing, bleeding, walking, driving, snacking, laughing, and questioning the universe until at some point you shake your head and realize, "hey, I'm not high anymore."

...or this might be more awesome.
Overall Critique: For a relative cost of around $10-$20/person, you get a full day's worth of entertainment and you'll eat little to no food. As long as you don't have one of those unstable friends who actually thinks the world is melting, you'll have a great time. Would I do it again? Maybe, once I find my pants.
Name: Magic Mushrooms
Genre: Produce
Value: Excellent. $10-$20 buy's you a full day of retardation.
What You'll Need to Enjoy Your Meal: A cheese slicer in which to scrape off all your taste buds.
Rating: 5 Pink Elephants.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

33. Movie Theater Concesscions

Life used to be simpler in the United States. A family could comfortably sustain itself on a single income, blue-collar jobs were there for people who wanted them, and the American Dream was more so a right then a disillusion. When we think of a simpler American life, we imagine neighborhood backyard bbq's, wives kissing husbands as they leave for work, and teenagers sharing popcorn and sodas at the local movie theater.

While these concepts are mere nostalgia now, movie theater concessions are one of the few things that have hung around...or have they? During a recent boy's night out (plus Brian's lady, bringing the total female tally up to 2, because Brian is a bitch for bringing a chick to boy's night out) we went to go see "The Raid: Redemption."

The Raid is a balls-out action fiesta hailing from Indonesia. Don't like subtitles? Don't worry, my friend, you'll have to suffer through about 4 minutes of total dialogue in the beginning, then the fists do the rest of the talking. Seriously, this was nonstop ass-kickin' the ENTIRE movie. Premise? None. Deep characters? Nope. Riveting plot devices? Nada. Broken fluorescent bulb jammed through a bad guys neck? You bet!

All you need to know about The Raid is that there's this building right, fifteen motherfucking stories of building. What's in this building you ask? Good question. Evil. Evil is all up in this motherfucking building. As it stands, evil has got this big ol' unkicked ass, just chillin'. But do you think the motherfucking Indonesian SWAT team gives a straight FUCK? HELL NO. Indonesian SWAT is so about to run up into this building and kick every single motherfucking ass in there. Evil karate guy? Decapitated. Evil little kid? Strraight up shot through the neck. Evil drug manufacturers? Shattered spine. The list goes on.

I am getting ahead of myself. So anyway, here we are, with like 20 motherfucking Indonesian SWAT just thirsting to kick some ass. At first they all try and be like "Shhhh, let's silently kick some ass." BUT this motherfucking evil kid decides to cockblock that idea by spotting them and going all haterade and screaming to the other evil dudes that the cops are there. Strike one, Junior. Have a bullet to the neck. Anyway, now the jig is up and about 40 minutes of gunplay ensues. A good amount of people die  in this opening battle, both good and evil. This sets up the basic storyline of the film: You killed my homies, now I'm coming to jam a fluorescent bulb into your neck.

At this point in the film all the guns seem to magically disappear. Like literally every fucking gun just up and vanishes. No worries, because guess what? In this building of pure evil, every crackhead, rapist, murderer and reprobate knows 3rd degree black-belt karate. Also, you might be wondering what these evildoer's 2nd-most ideal weapon of choice is behind the M-16 machine guns they usually use? You guess right! The garden machete.

So here we are now in this building full of evil machete-wielding karate masters and the like, five remaining Indonesian SWAT are in bad shape and only on the like 5th or 6th floor. And though it seems like all hope is lost... guess what? THE COPS KNOW KARATE TOO.

The star of "The Raid: Redemption"
HOLY. FUCKING. HELL. Shit is about to go down.

Before I go further, I should explain that the cops would clearly know karate because there's a 10 second montage in the beginning where the main cop is doing hella situps, pushups, and knocks around a punching bag. There, now we're caught up.

So anyway, the cops also know karate. The evil guys knows karate. What's missing? Correct. One or two REALLY evil guys. I don't want to divulge too much, but suffice to say, the really evil guy kicks all the asses. God, he is probably the most ass-kicking guy I've ever seen in my life. Anyway, at this point in the movie the really evil guy is busy kicking ass and so are the cops, and at some point you just know they're both going to have to meet up for one ass kicking showdown. But for now, the viewer must relax and enjoy some good old fashioned Indonesian SWAT-kicking-regular-evil-guy-ass.

The fighting in this movie is mind blowing, and I would be shocked if one or two stunt guys didn't break their spines while filming. The rest of the movie is a lot of crazy motherfucking fighting where the SWAT guy engages in some form of disarming the bad guy's machete then brutally killing him with it. It's a classic Hollywood plot device called irony. You also don't feel bad for the guy dying because he's evil and there's lots of him.

So then finally the movie ends with the mother of all fight scenes. I would love to tell you every graphic detail, but it's SO absolutely fucking amazing that even attempting to retell it in text will cause both the author and reader to shit themselves in testosterone-laden delight. It's so freaking amazing. Greatest fight scene in the history of film. Period.

My friends and I left the theater high-fiving, laughing, and attempting to reenact some of our favorite moves from the movie. It was one of the most enjoyable movie experiences I have had in a really long time.

Oh yeah, where was I? Right. The food at the theater was expensive so we snuck in candy from outside.

Popcorn is expensive at the movies nowadays

Name: Movie Theater Concessions
Genre:  Movie Theater Concessions
Value: If you like being sodomized by flaming hot jagged rocks, you might consider this a value
What You'll Need to Enjoy Your Meal:  The Raid: Redemption
Rating: 3 / 5

Monday, February 13, 2012


Yelp, America's one-stop shop where anyone who's anyone comes to be the world's greatest food critic. Waiter looked at you cock-eyed? Yelp that shit, girl. Ordered no cheese and the fuckin' motherfucker straight CAME WITH CHEESE? Oh no, Yelp that shit too girl, fo' sho'.

Yelp was once a glorious website which gave you a general idea of if a place was a must-try or a total skip-out. I admittingly have written over 10 reviews of places and have nearly 6 friends on Yelp. I was in balls-deep. But lately Yelp, not unlike MySpace, has gone the way of "It's so popular it's now uncool to think it's cool."

People on Yelp nowadays loooooooove to think they know more about food then they actually do. News flash, just because you eat a lot of food, doesn't mean you know about the complexities of the human palette or even what umami means. If you got served food made out of day old dog carcass, then yes please, Yelp it and let me know. Do you think the flavors weren't rounded enough to create a sufficient yet luxurious medley of pan-Asian fusion cuisine and are thus giving the place 3 stars? Well, fuck you. You've successfully ruined Yelp.

"My Yelp reviews pertain to your interests."
The inherent problem is that there's no filters on Yelp to extrapolate out reviews which are pertinent to you, the user. A 19 year old asian girl complaining about the lack of a dancefloor or them not carrying slim margaritas is not a review I care to read when I'm trying to find a place to enjoy a cold beer. If Yelp could somehow get better at this then it might be able to return to the glory days of yore. But as it stands entire businesses which might have been serving whole communities for decades suddenly get caste as dives because some idiot thought the place sucked because they "didn't get bottomless soda."

Reality check, people: A restaurant doesn't get negative stars because they don't carry something you like. If your service stunk, your food was cold, and you were overcharged, then sure, write a bad review. Otherwise, understand the unwavering fact that a)you're not going to like everything and b) no one values your opinion.

Yelp still has it's value as a hub for people to bitch about places they hate. Which to most, is some good reading. People sometimes write some really funny things on Yelp which I love. I'm also a fan of the anecdotal reviews where the author takes you on a journey through the meal. But outside of a recreational amateur fiction forum, I stopped paying much heed to the star-rating on Yelp thanks to arrogant blowhards who think they can trash-talk a meal that someone has dedicated their lives to perfecting.

You ever notice how Guy Fieri (the bleached hair guy from Diners, Drive-In's and Dives on Food Network) goes into all these restaurants and NEVER has a bad thing to say about the food? He literally loves ALL of it. He would even eat the napkin and compliment the chef on a job well done. That's because he's not an arrogant prick who thinks he's more qualified to judge food then the person who cooked it. He simply accepts the fact that that the chef, through years of trial and error, has created the best possible dish to serve the public. Yelp, on the other hand, does the exact opposite. And that's why all of America loves Guy Fieri and hates your Yelp reviews.

On a small tangent, I tried googling "famous food critic" because I don't know of any. It turns out there aren't any. This includes you, Yelp. 

"BAM! You're an asshole, Yelp reviewer!"

Thursday, January 5, 2012

32. Tacos Por Favor

Tacos Por Favor, to me, is like the Tijuana of Mexican food places: big, dirty, and full of white people. I'm not sure when and how it happened, but Tacos Por Favor has become the entertainment industry's hub for Mexican lunch.  I think there must be a lot of production and post-production studios in the area, because when you walk into Tacos Por Favor you'll feel like you stepped off a plane that accidentally landed in Sweden.

You can immediately tell that the customers here work in TV because they all have the exact same attire. For guys, it's the short cropped hair, ironic/"vintage" T shirt, jeans, and bright colored running shoes as of yet to be used for running. The girls, if not dressed exactly like the guys, are close to it with the exception of possibly thick glasses and horribly unkempt hair. Everyone in line is discussing "Oh...so what's good here?" Like they've never ate a burrito in their fucking life, and once they're finally seated, everyone yammers on about things like "dailies" and TiVo'ing "The Wire."

A tried-and-true method of determining the quality of food at a restaurant is to take the genre of the food (we'll say Chinese for example) scour the place and tally how many people of said ethnicity (Chinese) are in the restaurant eating. If there is a sizable amount, anywhere above 30%, then odds our you've found an authentic place to eat and refer friends to.

Tacos, anyone?
Well... Tacos Por Favor has literally 0% Mexican people. In fact, it has literally 0% ANYTHING besides white people. This indicates two things to me: 1) It's expensive, and 2) It's trendy. Both are true. Tacos Por Favor is in no way a bank-breaker, as an average lunch will cost under $10. The problem is that it's damn near impossible to spend under $7. The higher-up's at Tacos Por Favor know that white people have an unflappable aversion to a la carte items. A normal Mexican dude has no problem buying two tacos and calling it lunch. He's full  and will usually be set back around $2. Good deal. But if you try and buy any a la carte item at Tacos Por Favor, it will be at least $3 per item. Meaning, a two taco lunch at Tacos Por Favor will run you at least $7 after tax. The mexican's say No!

The white people say Si! They don't know any better. And the owners of Tacos Por Favor know that if there's a whitey nomming away at his lunch, he's undoubtedly spent at least $7. The food isn't bad but certainly nothing to write home about. The burritos are small and mediocre. The tacos are pretty decent, but like I said, cost $3 each. Also, since there's literally 50,000 white people both in line and eating, you need to wait for a long time to get your food.

I won't hate on the quality of food, it certainly isn't terrible, but it isn't great. Also, when eating ethnic food, I feel the ambiance has a lot to do with the overall experience. And when you eat at Tacos Por Favor, you feel like you're in a shitty bar in Tijuana filled with white people from San Diego who are trying to find out where to score some Xanax.

"Yo brah, we're totes here for some, like, menudo."

Name: Tacos Por Favor
Genre: Mexican
Value: Reasonable for Whiteys
What You'll Need to Enjoy Your Meal: A sweet pair of Asics and a thorough knowledge of "How I Met Your Mother".
Rating: 3 / 5