Sunday, August 28, 2011

Note To Nature - No More Wasps

So, Mother Nature/God/Evolution/Liberal Media are apparently not satisfied with the number and variety of stinging beasts on the planet, and so now we have this:

That's right -- a Jay Leno-inspired wasp that has jaws longer than its friggin' legs. Ugh. It can be up to two-and-a-half inches long, and has what biologists call "hideous, ungodly eyes that recall the works of H.P. Lovecraft*". Evolution, intelligent design, Spaghetti Monster, whatever -- enough is enough. How about producing some magically tasty animals instead of horror movie rejects? Maybe a Bacon-Wrapped Scallop? Now, THAT is an evolutionarily-stable-strategy

* It's a technical term. Also a fair description of at least one of my exes. Feel free to guess which one!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Best Pizza In The Dorf - Part 1 Su Nuraghe

Ok, first contender in the Best Pizza in the 'dorf - Su Nuraghe. It's a neighborhood joint, tiny but full with a constant stream of take-out customers -- a good sign. What was not so good was that most of these were eating pasta (tasty-looking pasta, but, still). But it was a Friday evening, and not everyone in the 'dorf is a blogger intent on finding the tastiest pizza in town. So, as good as the pasta might've looked, I went ahead with pizza.

What I Ordered: After some deliberation on the menu, I passed on the delicious-sounding Siria (bresaola, gorgonzola rucola and shaved parmesan) to go for the house-named Nuraghe (fresh mushrooms, spinach, onions, and garlic). I agreed to both extra garlic and "spicy" because a) I'm a hardass and b) I wasn't going to hook up on Friday, anyway. So, how was it? From the bottom up...

Crust: 8 - Su Nuraghe opts for the ultra-thin, crispy crust. It was quite good, actually. A bit smoky from the wood oven, and even the last pieces were crisp. Unfortunately, the center was a bit soft, which kept it from perfection.

Sauce: 5 - A solid "meh". Not bad, just blah. Even on its own it was bland; it had no chance against garlic and onions.

Toppings: 4 - The mushrooms were fresh, but buttons have no flavor. The onions had a bit of bite, but not too much. The spinach, however? Frozen. If I return, I'll be ordering to avoid the potentially frozen veggies. And ordering in fear is never a good thing. Remember Yoda's wisdom: fear leads to bad toppings, bad toppings lead to bad pizza. Or something. It was Episode I, so I forget. Anyway, frozen spinach in summer? Nope!

Cheese: 5 - Not great, not bad. It had little flavor, but good body. Then again, not many cheeses will stand out against the Dynamic Duo of onions and garlic*.

Intangibles**: 7 - The wine choices were weak (house red and white), but salvaged by a light, lightly sweet Lambrusco, which is a great summer aperitif. And the neighborhood feel is awesome. Sadly, it's not my neighborhood.

Final Decision: 29 - It's not toppling Di Napoli, but it was tasty. A return visit might improve the score, but til then, it's above average. Barely.

* The top crime-fighting pair in the topping universe
** Well, some of these are intangible. But using the word makes me feel like I'm rating players for a draft. Thank you, Jay Bilas!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Dorf's Best Pizza

As both regular readers of my blog know, I've been a bit sporadic this year in posting. I've experienced "the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament"*. So, I need a project. Friends have suggested charity work, but helping other people really isn't my thing.

But I am an expert** on pizza. And there are a wide variety of opinions amongst my friends as to the best pizza in the 'dorf, and that is precisely the dilemma I mean to solve. How? I plan to go to every pizza place that the local "experts"*** recommend.

Now, I, like Fox News, have a specific bias -- I think Da Napoli is the best pizza in the dorf. Unlike Fox News, I've admitted my bias and I am more than happy to have it exposed as false -- I'd love to find better pizza in the 'dorf, but I'm skeptical.

So, how will this work? Every week or so, I'll visit one of the places that's highly reviewed. I'll choose from the various dining guides for the dorf, plus recommendations of friends. I'll sample one of the pies (or more, if joined by friends), then report with photos and, likely, snark. Which pizza? If they have one named after their restaurant, that one (unless it has sardines - ugh). If not, whatever takes my fancy. And then I'll report back in detail about the 4 components of a good pizza -- crust, sauce, cheese and toppings and with an other category to include atmosphere, beverage choice, etc., each rated on a 10-pt scale. Or maybe 5. Or not at all.

To be fair, I should probably sample the same pizza at each place. But I like variety, and this isn't a scientific test****. So, here starts my grand adventure!

* Dr. Evil quote!
** I'm using "expert" in the Internet/talk radio/Fox News sense -- I think I know a lot about a topic, regardless of experience or knowledge
*** Part of being an expert is expressing disdain at other people who try to lay claim to the title in one's area of expertise
**** Though I might wear a lab coat while eating, it just depends on my mood.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How Do You Say "Pedo Van" auf Deutsch?

I don't know about you, but when I see a white van with no side windows, I'm a bit suspicious. When it also has Harry Potter references*? Well, that's kind of a red flag. So, if you have kids in the 'dorf, remind them not to trust anyone driving the "Hogwarts Express".

* Especially a racist that says "Muggles not wanted". Not just creepy, but also biased against Muggles. Ugh.

Friday, August 19, 2011

They Work Hard...

And they play hard! Since when do construction workers in the Dorf work topless in shorts? Since they started taking fashion tips from the US Steel Industry:

And this isn't homophobic -- I couldn't think of any other place I'd seen that fashion combo in heavy industry. FBers go HERE for photos/video.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

London 2011 - Saturday Night Photos

Ok, we'd done the British museum, I'd bought a fleece because a) I wore shorts and a t-shirt and b) I refused to bring a hoodie beccause I was living in denial of that "summer" in London means. So, it's evening and time to visit pubs. Because, you know, that's evening culture in London. Though Patrick kept reminding us that musicals were cheap and fun, and we kept reminding him that we were a group of guys.

FBers go HERE for photos. Or don't. Like I'll know the difference.

Friday, August 12, 2011

London 2011 - Food and Drink

OK, I only took annoying (to my cotravelers) photos of one meal, but I'm still going to stretch it into a post. We had a super-tasty meal at Ba Shan, and the rest of the photos are from various parts of London Town.

As always, FBers go HERE for photos and snarky comments

Thursday, August 11, 2011

London 2011 - Friday Night Debauchery

So, after the War Museum and some tasty Hunan Chinese food, we decided to head for the Beer Fest. Which we quickly tired of -- a sweltering venue and warm beer combined to make you feel like you were at a trade fair. So? Off to the pubs!
FBers go HERE for photos!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

London 2011 - British Museum

To be fair, this should be the British Museum Ancient Egypt and Near East Collection, but that was a bit much for a title. I love the museum (free to anyone from a country where they've stolen stuff that's on display**) especially all the ancient artifacts*, so I spent my short time in this wing, much of it checking out the insane detail on the Assyrian reliefs. So, enjoy the photos and the snark. FBers go HERE for pics!

* Or, as I normally refer to it, "all the cool shit Britain stole from everyone else"
** I.e., the entire planet Earth. Visitors from other planets have to pay, though.

Monday, August 08, 2011

London 2011 - Imperial War Museum

A trip to London is worthy of many posts, so I'm doing them in order. First up? The Imperial War Museum, also known as Where Men Go While Women Shop. The gender distribution of the visitors was, shall we say, a bit less than representative of the population as a whole. FBers go HERE for photos