Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Burrito Science

The directions on my ten pack of El Monterey brand frozen bean and cheese burritos suggested that I might improve the taste of my meal (dinner, in this case) by taken the microwaved burrito and then frying it in butter until golden brown. Being a man of fundamentally curious disposition, I investigated this.

As a control for this experiment, I ensured that I had previously eaten a large number of El Monterey bean and cheese burritos in the past. (By the way, these are way worse than Tina's Beef and Bean or basically every other Tina's frozen burrito.)

I also discovered that frying my microwave warmed burrito to anything close to golden-brown was a very time intensive process, probably because of the large (let's say) weight and the relatively small surface area. Is that correct? A: it is correct enough.

I found, in the end, that pan-frying an El Monterey in butter will slightly improve the taste and will far moreso improve the somewhat gluey texture of the tortilla. However, the heating of the pan and subsequent frying process added quite a bit of prep time to the procedure, enough that it threw into sharp relief the thousands of other mealtime choices I could have and should have made leading up that lowly point. And I'm not just talking about decent meals, like some pork chops and some corn and some garlic bread, I'm including Pop Tart pan-fried in butter in there, which would have been even easier, incrementally less unhealthy, and wouldn't have even required the microwave. At least when you don't bother frying your burritos, you don't have so much time to contemplate the fact that I don't even like El Monterrey burritos.

In conclusion, God is punishing me for having only gotten two chicken chimichangas from Trader Joe's last time I went there.

Science accomplished!


As part of Winter Restaurant Week '07, I went to Morimoto and had their prix fixe lunch:

mixed greens salad
miso soup
chef's sushi tasting, which included a spicy tuna roll, salmon, tuna, shrimp, eel, salmon roe, and a few other sushi with Japanese names
Plus I ordered a wagyu beef sushi and an aka no ne ("carrot") shochu on the rocks.

Sushi all kind of tastes the same to me, but this was the best sushi I've ever had in terms of texture and tenderness. The salad was unimpressive, but the miso soup tasted noticeably better, i.e., sharper and cleaner, than typical miso soup. The wagyu beef sushi tasted beefy and fatty, but maybe not worth the troubling few seconds of chewing on a pretty big chunk of raw beef. Highlights were the eel sushi, which was incredibly tender and soft, unlike every other eel sushi I've ever had. And the salmon roe sushi, which I would eat every day just for the awesome mouthfeel of it exploding in your mouth. Totally worth the mercury intake. The shochu was nice - like a light, drinkable straight vodka.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Recently I had the privilege of dining in Michael Jordan's own steakhouse.

Some Cabernet
14 oz filet
Creamed spinach (some truffles were involved)
French fries

It turns out that Michael Jordan runs a pretty classy restaurant. The waiters are enormous and laugh alot and put your sides on your plate for you at the table.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Quincy House

it was my honor recently to be a guest at Quincy House. It's gotten at least 50% better than I remembered.

salad with lettuce and cucumbers, honey dijon dressing
3 tater tots
1 cup clam chowder
1 burrito with lettuce, tomato, salsa, and "burrito beef"
1 stuffed shell
2 M&M cookies
grapefruit juice
Barq's root beer
Irish Cream coffee

Friday, January 05, 2007

Clinton Street Baking Company

I used to live right above this place, but during that period in my life, I was willfully doing everything wrong. So this was only my second visit. I had the Country Breakfast.

3 eggs scrambled
grilled "81 cure" ham steak
hash browns
buttermilk biscuit
grapefruit juice

note to restauranteurs: if you want to sell meats to SC, just add a modifier before it. I'll probably bite.

Peter Luger

2 Tanquaray and tonics
1 jumbo shrimp, generously cocktail sauced
1 thick slice bacon
1 large tomato slice, with pepper
Decent helping of the "steak for four" with Peter Luger sauce
Some creamed spinach
Some German fried potatoes
Several bites chocolate mousse cake w/ schlag
1 Remy Martin cognac
1 Irish coffee
1 chocolate coin