A Tale of Two Cities

2013 marks my 5 year wedding anniversary and we decided to vacation in Paris and London this summer. This makes for an interesting situation for me. I do not want to spend 10 days eating bread and protein bars. I need to finally break out of this shell I am stuck in so when I travel to Europe I am not just ordering alcohol as meals. If anyone has traveled to these cities I need to know what I cannot miss before I leave each country. Bangers, beans and mash? Escargots? Pot pies? Let me hear it! I need your help.

-FV

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New Food Virgin Challenges!

I am looking for feedback Food Virgin fans.  Not that I am running out of ideas…. I’m not, I swear.  But i would like some ideas on some new challenges.  What should I eat, where should I eat, what should i draw with MS Paint?? I need ideas and challenges people.  I’m like Mike Rowe except I do not have my own TV show.  Here’s a picture of me manning the phones waiting for your ideas. I’m aware I do not have arms in the drawing…

 

 

 

 

Food Virgin Fail

I had an opportunity this weekend to experience a myriad of new flavors. My friend, Dan, had his 30th birthday party at Falafel Bar and they offered a smorgasbord of new foods to try. As my beautiful and understanding wife, Lisa, was off in New York City doing cultural things, no one was around to twist my arm into acting like an adult. I avoided all kinds of things I could not identify, but maybe you can. There was the sea weed-like paste (baba ghanoush) which I already discovered I am not opposed to, but of course, I did not try again. There were these little things that looked like crushed Oreos, rolled into a ball on top of whipped cream. It was explained to me that Falafel Bar doesn’t offer Oreo balls served with whipped cream and I would be incredibly disappointed if I tried said food with that in mind. They were indeed, falafel, the namesake of the restaurant. I also turned down hunks of meat from an unknown animal source. Oh epic Food Virgin fail, epic fail.

Happy Hour

This weekend, my wife and I joined another couple at a lovely place by the name of Gordon Biersch. I heart Gordon Biersch and their beautiful beers. Starving as I was, I ordered comfort food to be enjoyed. I ordered pulled pork sliders and garlic fries, both of which were extremely delicious. As we were dining with fans of my blog, I was encouraged to try intimidating food items, ones I would not normally touch with a ten foot pole. I am finding that the longer I write this blog and with more people actually reading my silly banter, the likelihood of me being talked into trying new foods increases exponentially. I was asked to try an appetizer ordered by the other couple, and my resolve weakened when I saw how excited my fans were to be a part of the Food Virgin  journey. Here goes:

Challenge 1: Crab Artichoke Dip

I know what you are all thinking. You are thinking that this is going to be a disaster and someone’s shoes are about to get puked on. I was ready to agree with you. Everything about this combination spells horror to me. On one hand you have artichokes. I do not even know what these are, but they sound like a vegetable and IT HAS THE WORD “CHOKE” in the name!!!! How is this not a giant red flag to everyone???? Secondly, this particular dish was made with sea creatures. As a general rule, I do not eat sea creatures; they swim in their own poo. I remain surprised that everyone does not have the same rule. Surrounded by peer/wife pressure, I tried to poo choke dip.

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TIM ENJOYS!

I did not see this coming. I assure you. I guess Sebastian and the other sea creatures and I might be shaking hands (or claws) again in the future. We’ll see…

Challenge Two: Mustard

I know condiments are probably second nature to most of you, but I do not eat them at all. Ketchup is essentially watered down tomato sugar paste and mayonnaise is whipped eggs and oil. Mayo is just liquefied cholesterol that you pump into your body. In my youth, I used to own a franchise restaurant and watching the land monsters inundate their otherwise healthy sandwiches in empty calories has turned me off to any and all condiments. I’m sure that most of you are normal and know how to enjoy things in moderation, but I don’t exactly have a lot of “grey” when it comes to my black and white viewpoint of food. My beautiful, understanding wife Lisa insisted I try a piece of soft pretzel, a normally Tim-friendly snack, with mustard.

Beautiful Understanding Wife Lisa: You have to try this. You haven’t done condiments yet.

Tim: I have to breathe. However, I’m pretty sure I do not need to try that devil paste.

Beautiful Understanding Wife Lisa: I won’t be around this weekend to force you to go outside your comfort zone, so you need to venture out with what we have.

Tim: Oh that’s right you’re going to New York City to go shopping and drink wine and appreciate art. Thank you for letting me stay home by the way. I sure dodged a bullet with that one.

Beautiful Understanding Wife Lisa: (death stare)

Tim: Okay, I’ll try the mustard….

Oh boy. Mustard is not for me. Gross Gross Gross Gross Gross! I tried two kinds: honey mustard and dijon mustard and they both tasted like paint thinner. Awful. Lisa laughed. I don’t always hate trying new things, but for now, condiments and I will remain enemies.

Falafel Bar

Against my better judgement, I went to Falafel Bar this week. I should start by saying, if you own Falafel Bar or any restaurant I visit, please know that my critique of what I eat does not reflect positively or negatively on your restaurant. I am odd and you should know that before yelling at me for possibly speaking ill of your establishment.  At one time, I did own a restaurant, so I understand one does not want to read a negative review. Just remember, if I do not like your food, I only represent the 1% of weirdos like me who cannot eat like a grownup.

With that out of the way, on to Falafel Bar. My wife and I had just finished bowling in our mixed couples league with our friends, Meg and Mike. Our team, Show me your Splits, just got our butts handed to us, so we decided to celebrate our loss with drinks and grub at Falafel Bar.

My intention was to only partake on the drinking part, but my wife, Lisa, insisted on me trying whatever concoction it was she had ordered. My Food Virgin challenge on this night: Baba Ghanoush.

Let me start by explaining my first impressions. If Baba Ghanoush was a dude on a job interview, he would have been wearing sweatpants. Have you seen this stuff? It looks like seaweed.

Secondly, it is cold. I was definitely not prepared for that. I don’t know why I thought it would be hot, but I think it is because it kind of looks like spinach artichoke dip, which is generally served hot.
Thirdly, it was served with plain pita bread! Point for me. Plain is my wheelhouse!

Before I tried the aforementioned Baba, I asked the obvious:

Tim: What is it?

Innocent friend Mike: It’s eg—OWW!

Beautiful Understanding Punchy Wife Lisa: (While punching) Shut up Mike! Tim just eat it.

Tim: …

So I spread this seaweed goo on my pita bread and gave it a try.

Result:

Tim Enjoys!

Now, this could have been a result of the amount of alcohol I had consumed prior and during my visit to Falafel Bar, but I did not hate it. It reminded me of eating what I would describe as the solidified state of campfire smell. Does that make sense? Sorry, this is how my brain works and you will have to deal with it.

I tried my first scary spread and I didn’t die! No one is more surprised than me.

Now for those who do not know; Baba Ghanoush is smoked eggplant mashed into a paste.

Baba Ghanoush

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Seaweed

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-FV