Pretenders and poseurs always piss me off with their snobbish disdain.
I’m looking at the Outback Steakhouse thread, and I’m remembering my Tequila thread, and I’m thinking of thousands of encounters over the last 34 years of my life, when I’ve been perfectly happy and content with what I’m doing, and some insecure nitwit has to come over and ruin it for me by telling me I got it all wrong.
It’s now become that taste is a social thing, and nobody’s capable of recognizing it on their own.
I’m, pissed because it took me 30 years to figure out that they were full of shit.
I’ll start my list and add to it when I get the chance in no particular order. It’s going to be a long list because it’s an epidemic.
Case in point. NYC water. People walk around drinking their Perriers, Evitas and other bullshit bottled water, because they think other people will think it says something about their discriminating taste. It does. It says you’re an idiot. NY has one of the great waters in the world, and the city water is perhaps the best on the planet. That’s why you get such great Pizza and bagels.
Try the fucking local water. It’s great. Trust me. I’ve lived in both NY and New Orleans. I know whereof I speak.
Similar is import beers. I think St. Pauli Girl is a great beer if you can get a fresh one, but it’s not a common occurence. Probably many of those imports are superior to our domestics.
On the other hand, if they’re brewed, put in a warehouse, then on a ship, sent across the Atlantic, sit in a warehouse for a couple of more months, shipped to a local distributor where they sit for a couple of more months, shipped to the local liquor store/restaurant, it can be a year before you drink it.
It ain’t so good anymore.
Budweiser ain’t great, but it’s fresh. I’ll take it over a skunked Heineken anyday. When I’m drinking beer I don’t want to play Russian Roullette. I want consistency.
When I moved to PA, I drank Bud, until I found an excellent local beer, Yuengling, and I drink that. $14 for a case of bottles, and I get a dollar when I bring back the empties. It is a fine and excellent beer. Fresh.
Cajun food is all the rage, but you know what it is? Garbage! A great cuisine was made out of local ingrediants that nobody else wanted. Now people pay tons of money for what was trash fish and lowbrow cuisine 40 years ago. Do you know lobsters were considered inedible and used to be used for fertilizer?
Was it good 40 years ago? Yes. It’s just that nobody wanted to admit it until it became fashionable to do so.
When I dine out, I want three things:
- Good food for the price
- Excellent, friendly service
Sizzler, Outback Steakhouse, and Appleby’s provide these things. I enjoy them because they are excellent for what they are. When there, I enjoy myself without pretension. I don’t eat at Red Lobster or Olive Garden because the food really is bad for the price.
I like Diners with great hash browns. There’s a whole in the wall in FL. that makes the world’s greatest chicken salad sandwich.
There’s a place nearby that serves all kinds of exotic game foods, bison, alligator, emu, on top of all this hoighty toighty french cuisine. The place reeks of pretension. There’s not an entree for under $40.00 and it’s all really really bad.
Still, half the time I go out with my friends, they want to go there. Why? Because it’s exclusive and trendy. By any standard, the food sucks and the service is for shit.
Take me to Sizzler.
While wine is lost on me (Can’t drink it, gives me terrible heartburn) I am quite capable of enjoying a truly excellent gourmet meal. In fact, I can cook one.
When I go to a restaurant and have one, I am thrilled. Top cooking is worth price. It seldom seems to work that way, though. I hate going out and spending a gazillion dollars to a place where everbody pretends that what they’re getting is a superior gourmet meal.
I’d rather go to Appleby’s.
So often, people don’t appreciate what’s great locally.
Fantastic chocolate, incredible ham, and the world’s best pretzels are mine to enjoy. But nobody around here appreciates the pretzel. They grew up with it.
I had friends over for a crawfish boil last year. I had fresh live crawfish flown up from Louisiana along with the spices, and I did it up right.
Afterwards everybody’s sitting back and one of my firends who’s a cigar snob starts passing out $20 cigars.
A top-notch cigar is utterly wasted after a crawfish boil. It’s impossible for your palate to appreciate it. Worse, you’re being dishonest and unfair to the fine meal you’ve enjoyed.
If you’ve just eaten ten pounds of spiced boiled crawfish, fresh boudin, andouille, and potatos and corn done up in red-pepper boil, you might as well have a Backwoods Smoke, because at least that fits.
If you are having fruity or sour mixed drinks, you are fooling yourself and wasting money if you’re using top shelf alcohol.
Make a margarita with a Cantera Tequila and Courvoissier (Cantera’s a decent 100% aged blue agave Mexican tequila) and make another with Jose Cuervo, and Joaquin’s Triple sec.
It is not easy to tell which is which because of the overpowering taste of the lime. In fact, your limes are going to be the key factor in the quality of your margarita, not how much you paid for the tequila.
The musical, Cats was good.
I’ve been to a bad opera and a great tractor pull. I’ll take the latter.
Back to cooking. Fresh ingrediants people! Usually the best food you can possibly make is with the cheap local ingrediants. Don’t spend money on inferior ingrediants when you have quality to work with right where you are.
I’ve read Moby Dick in the bathtub (which gives a unique perspective.) I’ve read my Shakespeare, my Kipling, My Tolstoy, you name it.
Some comic books are actually good.
Going bass fishing on a buggy pond full of lunkers is far superior to flycasting in an overfished trout stream stocked the week before opening day.
I longed for the day when I could buy a Mercedes Benz. Finally I got a 420SEL, and it was a piece of unreliable shit. The finest vehicle I ever owned was a Jeep Wrangler.
Lest you get the wrong impression, I’m not saying that lowbrow is necessarily good, and highbrow is all pretension.
McDonald’s sucks at any price.
Quality often costs, and you should be willing to pay top dollar for superior items… as long as you’re getting superior items.
I get custom made suits, because they fit better, are more comfortable and the higher quality is actually cheaper in the long run because they last.
Truffles are worth every penny, but Foie gras is overrated pretension. It’s just ok.
I think the best watch in the world is the Omega Seamaster Professional Chronometer. It’ll cost you $2800, but it’s a work of art, it keeps excellent time, never needs winding or a battery, has a stopwatch, and it’s practically unbreakable. If you’re wearing it and it stops working you’ve probably been killed. I’ve had mine for ten years and if I have a son, he’ll get one when he’s old enough.
Lobster is cheap. Eat them now. Twenty years from now they’ll be too expensive to eat or a protected species. The same goes for crab.
Flank and round steaks have great flavor.
Wine coolers stink.
When you’re hot sweaty and dirty, Coors lite or Bush is the best beer.
Great Sushi is worth every penny.
Jack Daniels is good stuff.
Jaguars are bad cars.
A Lexus is really a Toyota.
An Acura is really a Honda.
Excellent footwear is worth the price.
Top-notch furniture, fixtures and appliances are worth the price.
Forget Corian, butcher block is the ultimate countertop.