Tuesday, October 18, 2011

29. Chipotle (in Brentwood)

(This review isn't for Chipotle as a restaurant, as I'm sure they offer the same food and same basic decor in every Chipotle nationwide. This write-up is for the Chipotle located on San Vicente boulevard in the Los Angeles community of Brentwood.)

Ok, so it's the middle of the day on a Monday. I really want to stress this. IT WAS 1:12PM ON A MONDAY. There was no national holiday, no free giveaways, just a regular Monday. I walk into Chipotle and immediately I smash into the back of a guy waiting in line. The line was around the entire F'ing place!! This sucks!! Thankfully Chipotle does fast work so I manned up and took my place. I decided it was a dandy time to people watch. Here's what I noticed:

1) Everyone was on their phone/PDA.
I don't know about you, but people don't call or text me THAT much, and I consider myself pretty dang cool. But the people in Chipotle were staring at these things like they had porn on the screen. We've all done that thing in a bar where you pretend to get texts so you look like you're busy, but this is a freaking Chipotle people, no one is going to judge you if you're just standing in the line without looking busy.  People couldn't detach themselves from their phones long enough to even put in orders. Seriously a guy got so bored between the steps of choosing rice/beans and then his selection of meat, that he got back on his phone and started staring and texting. The lady had to yell "Sir...SIR!!" like 4 times before he goofishly looked up to reply "Oh...uh...Chicken." and went back to his phone (no apology given, either.)

2) Everyone was wearing Tom's.
I'll be fair, not everyone. But 12 people in one place. That's a whole lotta Tom for one building. Tom's shoes basically look like a house-slipper knitted by a Mongolian sheepherder. The gimmick with Tom's shoes is that for every pair purchased, a pair of shoes is given to some poor kid somewhere without shoes. Not a bad deal, I suppose. But you know what's an even better charity then that? Actually donating time and money. But the yuppies in Brentwood don't do that because they don't get a pair of trendy-ass Tom's shoes with that deal. Here's an idea, asshole. How about buying a pair of basketball shoes and just giving it to a kid in need. That way the kid has something he can actually run around in and not look like he's some douchebag in a Brentwood Chipotle. Everyone wins.

3) Everyone bought burrito bowls.
For the people who aren't familiar with these things (normal people), its a burrito. But instead of the edible holder called a tortilla keeping your burrito together, the contents are dumped into a bowl, covered with an aluminum lid, and put into a plastic bag with a plastic fork and knife. Way to go, dipshit, 10,000 Tom's shoes aren't going to replace the oodles of garbage you've just created because you think that by removing a tortilla  you're going to get skinny. Hey Jillian Michaels, you do realize that just because you've cut 18g of carbs  doesn't mean you're carnitas bowl with sour cream and a handful of cheese is going to make you fit into that dress. It's called exercise, and it's not an app for your iPhone.

4) Yup...Yuppies!
Every single person in there was a Yuppie. Yuppies of today aren't your Growing Pains' Alex Keaton types of the 80's. They take on many varieties but can all easily be classified under the same umbrella. Here are the types I saw:

A) The I-Mean-Business! Yuppie:
 These guys always seem to be named "Chaz", "Chet", or "Ryan", and are forever trying to attain the unattainable look of "I dress up for work, but I secretly keep it real on the weekends." They make lame attempts at coolness by wearing ironic sunglasses, loosening their ties, putting a surf sticker on their laptop bag or producting their hair into some sort of faux-hawk. Their life solely follows the almighty dollar and they always want people to think, "Look at that guy on his phone, he must be closing a big-time deal." The irony is that most of these guys make less than we do and don't actually own a surfboard.

B) The Stressed-out Lady Yuppie:
These Yuppies are probably the most hilarious. Despite the fact that their parents pay for the majority of their Brentwood rent and that because they don't hold a steady job they can spend all day in yoga pants traipsing around San Vicente, they act like they have the hardest life on the planet. Everything they do is an incredible inconvenience for them. They will talk to one another about the 3 errands they have for the day like it's equal to a full day of manual labor on the railroads. Also, they are incredibly anal about everything, from their Chipotle order, to their reusable coffee cup they always carry, down to their yoga mat which they don't use because they just wear the pants because they're comfy. Watch their eyes, they are always jittery, its creepy. The world and it's populace are just accessories in their little Sex and the City reenactment they like to call their lives.

C) The Gay Black Yuppie:
 I would imagine in the deep-south of Kentucky, it must be hard to be a black male, let alone a gay black male. But this is Brentwood, and he's not fooling anyone. The Gay Black Yuppie always has 2 or 3 Stressed-Out Lady Yuppies in tow because they both like to talk to each other about how miserable their lives are, despite the fact that they're all in $400 outfits having a social gathering in the middle of a weekday. They spend the majority of their day on social networking sites or in the absence of that, rehashing their past exploits on social networking sites. The Gay Black Yuppie always has a disgusted look on his face and thinks his outfit and life are 1 billion times better than yours. Enjoy your pink mohawk, jackass. I'm going to spend my savings on my mortgage, not a $600 faux Chinese army jacket. He also doesn't have any black friends.

The Metrosexual Yuppie:
The Yuppies are the most anal of the bunch. Meaning, if you get caught behind a Metrosexual Yuppie in line at a Chipotle, give up and go get pizza because you'll be in line all day. These guys will literally make the poor kid behind the counter remake an entire burrito if he see's one bean fall into his burrito, with no regard for the 200 people behind him. The Metrosexual Yuppie will typically be in designer sunglasses, some sort of gay-looking bowling shoe, a v-neck shirt, sporting some awkwardly placed large tattoos, and be holding a PDA and a set of car keys in his hands at all times. To these guys image means everything. If you ever go into a Chipotle and see one of these guys order something that's NOT a burrito bowl with chicken, no beans or rice, no cheese and no sour cream, then watch out, because you're either on Punk'd or the Twilight Zone.

5) Everyone stares you down.
Talk about an insecure bunch. Everyone in their stares at you like you walked in there wearing a Nazi SS outfit. But they do that to everyone, not just you. It's indicative that despite their privileged lifestyles, they still having crippling insecurities about themselves and their outward appearance. Chill out, everyone! It's just Chipotle! Just let me eat my burrito without the leering eyes of 20 people all over me.

There was one guy in line, however, who was in a T-shirt, cargo shorts, and flip flops. He order a steak burrito straight up, paid, and left. He seemed pretty cool.

Name: Chipotle (in Brentwood)
Genre: Yuppie frequented Mexican flavored excessive waste bowl dispensary
Value: Reasonable for a Burrito, expensive for the Tom's you must purchase to enter
What You'll Need to Enjoy Your Meal: Tom's shoes and a smartphone
Rating: 2 / 5

Friday, October 14, 2011

28. The Chill Out Cafe

I was supposed to write about this place probably a good 6 months ago. But due to a bitter, long-fought battle with laziness, it took me this long to finally churn this out.

The Chill Out cafe is a rustic little joint located in the eastside surf community of Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz. Already known for their laid back demeanor, residents of pleasure point are rarely in shoes and wreak of stale ocean water. The Chill Out cafe is not unlike the cafe version of a Pleasure Point local - Relaxed, friendly, and quick to strike up a conversation.

I was making a brief stop in Santa Cruz and decided to meander in for one of their amazing breakfast burritos. I should stop here for a moment to talk about the breakfast burritos. Simply put - these things are more delicious than a bacon wrapped ice cream sundae. They truly are amazing. The burritos are cooked with three different customers in mind:

A) The hungover post-college student who, after a long night of weekday drinking, desperately needs any meal thats burrito sized, cheap, and greasy.

B) The surfer who's regular diet consists of breakfast burritos for breakfast, burritos for lunch, and most likely a burrito for dinner.

C)  Someone who's a solid mix of both A & B.

Basically, you walk into the place and odds are you'll either be greeted with a friendly "Good morning!" or an inquiry about the current surf conditions - depending on how wet your hair is. You'll usually engage in about 3-5 minutes of idle chit-chat before the girl/guy at the counter finally realizes that you've come in to the Chill Out for food. They offer about 35 different types of breakfast burritos here, all of which are fantastic (I've only had about 7 different ones, but I've heard 100 different critiques on pretty much every different one on the menu, all positive.)

I ordered the small.
One of the main features of the Chill Out cafe's Breakfast Burrito is the shredded potatoes. The cook leaves a pile of shredded potatoes on the griddle all day, slowly cooking them to the point where all that's left is crunchy, greasy strips. Delicious! Also what's great about this place is that you can order a small or large sized burrito. But I don't think the cook knows the difference, it's merely a pricing option for those who can't afford the large. Because both burritos are exactly the same size... massive!! Awesome!

Top your burrito off with all-you-can-eat pico de gallo and park yourself at one of the indoor stools to finish of your conversation with the cashier or head to the front or back, both of which have benches for ample chilling and people watching. Oh yeah, it's bottomless coffee too.

This place is great because its well-priced, has amazingly tasty and filling food, and has a kick-back atmosphere that most places can only try to fake. Everyone here, from the cashier to the cook to the patrons, all are very "chill" and immediately when you step in you forget your worries and just relax. Oh yeah, and this isn't one of those "Lets let every hippy yahoo play an open-mic and sip their divine boiled barley root while they collect signatures for a city ordinance to create a harmony circle downtown" kind of places. This is a place for people who like meat, the beach, and chilling. It's a surfer paradise, perfectly located with the perfect ambiance. Well worth a stop if you find yourself in Santa Cruz.

Very Chill.

Name: The Chill Out Cafe
Genre: Cafe specializing in Breakfast Burritos
Value: Great especially when you order the small burrito.
What You'll Need to Enjoy Your Meal: A long night of binge drinking, followed by a morning of heavy pot smoking, and a pair of flip flops.
Rating 5 / 5

Sunday, October 2, 2011

27. Jello 1-2-3

If you're anything like me at all you'd absolutely know what this stuff is. This is Jello 1-2-3, quite possibly the single greatest invention of the modern era and maybe of all time.

Here's how it works:
1) Pour ONE packet into a bowl ( Note: Only one kind of powder inside!)
2) Add water
3) Put in fridge
4) Practically piss yourself in amazement as the Jello now has THREE Jellos!  Alchemy at it's finest!

This is the kind of forward thinking stuff that made America thrive in the 80's. Bring back Jello 1-2-3 and kiss America's economic problems goodbye. You heard it here first.

Keep trying, Shake-A-Pudd'n.
Name: Jello 1-2-3
Genre: Magical Gelatin Dessert.
Value: More expensive than regular Jello, but the extra layers provide 3x the return.
What You'll Need to Enjoy Your Meal: Extra pair of pants for when you crap yourself in amazement.
Rating: 5 / 5