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

South of the Border Saturday

I was having an excellent little Saturday.  Lisa and I decided that we would have dinner at a little Mexican restaurant on Hertel called Gramma Mora’s. I am going to shock and amaze you right now. If you have been reading my blog you may recall a chart that my scientists made for me that draws the correlation between the amount of flavor in food and the amount I want to puke on shoes. Well if you notice the curve on the graph does not extend to the end of the graph. There is a disclaimer here. It is called the M point. The M point refers to the point at which Mexican food delineates off of the curve and creates this wonderful little Nirvana in which I seem to coexist peacefully with flavor.

That’s right. I love Mexican food. Love love love! So wherein lies the challenge? Well, the part where I do not get along with Mexican food has to do with heat. No me gusta comida caliente. So my Food Virgin challenge this week is to go outside of my comfort zone and try something spicy. The evening started out well with the chips and salsa. I do enjoy salsa as long as it is not inundated with cilantro. Cilantro is another devil weed where the tiniest bit goes a long way. I find that many restaurants use a handful so the salsa is essentially a pile of crappy tasting grass with some tomatoes in it. I ordered a platter with three different types of chicken enchiladas on it, ranchero, red chile and green chile accompanied by rice and refried beans. Normally I will only ever order the ranchero, which is a mild red sauce. This is in my wheelhouse. I tried it and as expected it was delicious. Next came the red chile sauce. I have tried this before and I did find it spicy, but quite enjoyable. A good amount of beans and rice were consumed to battle the heat.  Finally, I tried the green chile chicken enchilada. First bite is good. Tasty, cheesy, hot, but not crazy hot. Oh, but the back end kicked in. WOW HOT! I began two shovel rice and beans into my face like Kobiyashi with hot dogs. I did not expect that. It was as if the heat had ninja skills and it sneaked in and attacked me!

I would not be deterred though. I knew in my heart I loved Mexican food, so I strategized my next bite. I took a small part of each enchilada, topped with rice and beans and ate it together. AHHH blissful paradise! This was a delicious combination. I have to say I was quite scared of the heat but I found a way to really enjoy something I considered quite hot.  Now I want to add that Lisa is a connoisseur of hot things and even she thought the green chile sauce was hot.

Result:

Tim Enjoys!

Death To Olives

My beautiful and understanding wife, Lisa, and I tried out Mexican Food this weekend. We tried out a restaurant in Buffalo called Gramma Mora’s. I will talk about my Food Virgin challenge in a bit, but first I need to say goodbye to someone. I am officially done with olives. If you have been reading this blog for a bit, you will remember my run-in with green olives from Bambino’s. I believe I referred to them as poison. I had my second run-in with olives on Saturday. It went something like this:

Beautiful Understanding Wife Lisa: Try one of my olives.

Tim: I already tried olives and I almost died. Remember?

Beautiful Understanding Wife Lisa: Those were green olives. These are black olives.

Tim: I would prefer to not choke down another death berry, thank you.

Beautiful understanding I think Loves to make me Suffer Wife Lisa: Just try it. Isn’t this whole blog about trying new things?

Tim: No, it’s about creating social media, which I heard was the most important thing since the moon landing.

Beautiful Understanding Wife Lisa: Quit being such a baby and eat it

Tim: … … … (eats olive) … … … (makes the face Peter makes when he thinks Shadow died in Homeward Bound, The Incredible Journey)

B.U.W. Lisa: Well?

Tim: No you’re right. I am glad I tried that delicious and wonderful food. Remind me again, what do they make olives with again? Oh that’s right HATRED! I knew it was disgusting yet you make me eat it anyways. Oh and what do I find out? It tastes like poison! Et tu, LISA? First Pizza and now this.

All the nonchalance in the world Lisa: You know they say that 50% of people don’t like olives; I guess you’re one of those.

Tim: You cut me deep Shrek. You cut me deep.

So with that I say “sayonara,” Olives. Try not to ruin anyone else’s life on your way out the door.

Wegmans Italian Day

Part II – Free Sample Day!!!

At our yuppie Wegmans, they were celebrating Italy with food and festivities. I mentioned the Rat Pack singer, but in addition to that they had a store full of (mostly) Italian themed free samples! I tried several new things with some big hits and some severe misses. Sorry Wegmans, you are not infallible.

The first item I tried was called Trugole. It was a sharp cheddar cheese with prosciutto. This was very good.  Also, the free sample girl invited us to enter a contest to guess how much a giant wheel of cheese weighed.  I told her my guess was 10 million pounds, and then I jumped up and down yelling, “I won, I won!!” Then I walked away leaving a stunned free sample girl and an eye-rolling Lisa to attempt to explain the man she married. I don’t care that it didn’t make any sense. It’s what I do. The scientists can explain if you want to know why it was funny:

My second item was Speck and Mortadella Panini.

Beautiful Understanding Wife Lisa: Uh oh, I don’t think you will like this

Tim: What? It’s ham and cheese and bread, all three things I like.

Beautiful Understanding Wife Lisa: Oh yea because that logic applies to you.

Tim: … … Touche

Oh I should have listened to her. If you want to find out what a Speck and Mortadella Panini tasted like, you can experience it right now. Take off your shoe and lick the inside of it. I imagine that is about half way to how gross this was. Bad does not begin to describe it. It was not as bad as the betrayal of pizza, but I definitely wanted to punch ham and cheese sandwiches in the face.

The third item I sampled was by far the most disgusting thing ever made. I decided it would be a good idea if I tried apple butter on a corn pop. Corn pop = great. Apple butter = death.  If you want to lose friends in a hurry, I suggest you buy them apple butter. It took two things that are relatively safe, apples and butter, and made them into something vile. It would be like if you took Transformers (great) and a live action film (great) and made a worthless pile of crap movie (or three of them.) Apple butter failed to impress. Oh and Michael Bay ruined Transformers.

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