Tosh.0, and a Friday night pizza

This one cost me double. I forgot this event happened, and I’m glad I perused my photos in my Galaxy S2 (yup that’s where most of my photos come from). I take a lot of photos to capture thoughts about potential stories. I’ll sometimes make notations about thoughts that run through my head, hopefully turning some of those thoughts into words that develop into stories. Often times, I look at the picture and say to myself, “what the f*^% was that all about?” Sometimes I have a thought about a situation; and in an attempt to reconcile a story from what situation just happened, I try to get my wife involved with the story to see if I can provoke thoughts about the event . . . perhaps if something is right or wrong or something was really delicious, when in fact, it sucked. Most of the time, she looks me square in the eye and says, “what the f*^% was that all about?”

Are you seeing some sort of trend here?

Well, a couple of Fridays ago I get home early and decide to make Friday-night-pizza at the house. Friday nights have long been a very sacred time for us. I have never . . . except once, ever taught a class on a Friday; and I have never . . . except once ever taken a class on a Friday. Now with only a couple of quarters and a few more classes for this degree, I’m hoping to make it through life keeping Fridays . . . pizza Fridays. Now, with barely anyone to feed in my house on those Fridays, I still like to keep Fridays a sacrilege pizza exclusive night. Make ’em, bake ’em, buy ’em or steal ’em; pizza is easy and convenient for Fridays . . . especially when there’s drinkin’ to do.Cocktails

Back to the story. I stick a frozen pizza (DiGiorno or Freschetta, rising crust type) in the oven; start off with a fresh cocktail, set the timer and forget it! . . .  Right? “Set it and Forget it”!  By the way, everyone loves pizza. I’ll make that claim . . .  Everyone! Everyone has a frozen pizza they prefer. I’ll again make that claim, because what money or time can’t buy . . . you can find it in the freezer! Again, I’ll make that claim. I happen to like the rising-crust style of pizza. I think most consistently DiGiorno or Freschetta offer the best regardless of what retailer you visit. Yes there are several on the market that are just as good . . . even better, but finding those other brands at the Dow Chemical retail supermarket chains is hard.

toshSo I stick it in the oven, grab my cocktail and peer over the couch to watch the big screen and Tosh.0 is on. If you haven’t watched this guy, you are seriously missing life . . . in action . . . at its best and funniest, CritDicks’ style of humor. Yes very demented. I check on the pizza, give it a quarter turn inside the 450 degree oven (yes I know it says 425 on the package, really? . . . I’m a frigin’ culinarian . . . I think I know what I’m doing!), and return to watching the Tosh.0 escapades. Tosh is funny, and not for the light at heart . . . or those under . . . like 35! He’s pretty harsh! I take another break from the TV and give ‘er another 1/4 turn in the oven. “Just 5 more minutes”, I say to myself. I shut off the time and forget it. Isn’t that what the commercial says? “Don’t set it, just forget it”? Well that’s what happened . . . for a long time. tosh.0Tosh.0 had us going. He had us immersed in his stupid humor and it cost me a second pizza. Good thing “everyone has a frozen pizza they prefer” (read above). We had just bought a couple for the kids . . . and Friday nights. Good thing I had a back-up, otherwise my son and wife are smart enough to know that I can probably figure out how to make a fresh dough and somehow shit a pepperoni. OUCH!

For this I give you the bad-wrap pizza

and several other masterful – hand tossed creations from the CritDicks’ ovens delivered fresh . . . in my kitchen.

Pizza1 Pizza2 Pizza3Pizza4

Shut up and call Domino’s you wuss!

Foodie

A bad review can really destroy!

CritDicks GravatarWow, ran into this . . . and I know it’s gotta be true. In my professional, or CritDicks’ opinion . . . “this” is an honest post, and . . . a business stopper.

READ: “Great food, but the service has been compromised by the staff since their initial opening. It seemed to be staffed by family upon opening, but now it is staffed by people that seem more interested in eating free food, talking on their phones and texting. On our last visit, our family was treated like irritants rather than customers. Too bad since I had high hopes for a local restaurant after they opened. They will be closed soon with their current staff based on the location and freeway construction unless there are serious customer service improvements”.

WOW, that’s dangerous. These are the kind of posts on Yelp, (and I really, ReaLLy, REALLY hate Yelp) that any yahoo (Jack-Ass) can post. But “THIS” is important. As an owner , you can’t take every post and my “CrtiDick” review seriously . . . you really just have to move on. But “THIS” is serious . . . worth investigating. There-in lies the responsibility of the owners of such restaurants to read  the stuff (everything on the internet) . . . but take it all with a grain of salt. Yes, I feel you have to read most of it, but don’t take most of it seriously. There might be some underlying hints or clues as to things that might need changing. If I was to get a review about my staff paying more attention to their Facebook and email/texts, I would have to take this very seriously because “this” is our society today, that’s what they (“the kids”) do. They quickly sneak a post or text to a friend, in some kind of text “abbreviation” or “code”. It’s quick and convenient, to slip one by during the work shift. But the customers see it. This electronic media can draw the attention away from the customer experience that I’m learning about protecting each day I attend another class in this school. This crappy comment on Yelp would cause me to sit back and watch closely . . . and if it’s actually happening, then “WAM”, down comes the hammer!!!

Now, people ask me about the education I’m receiving, knowing also that I’m an educator . . . very dedicated to teaching a good class of students . . . making them (the students) WANT to be there! Learning, . . . or teaching to learners, is important to me. I really HATE the blank faces of bored students. Pisses me off! Teachers and professors look up to me with some kind of jacked-up, respectful-type of insight and reassurance that they (the other teachers/professors) are also doing a good job. I pride myself on my instructional ability, but I think I may be finally losing it! I don’t know that I still retain the “competitive edge” of a quality instructor/teacher. More of my students have started to show signs of “BLANK”. Yeah, . . . now I’m thinking that my thought about this (subject) is seriously a “lack of”, directed  by my inability to keep them (the students) engaged. I don’t think I ever made the “bad teacher list” on http://blog.ratemyprofessors.com/. I couldn’t find anything. Let me know if got something good!!! Hey, also let me know if I got something bad. Anyway, I have really been interested in social media for the restaurant industry. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have the mental prowess or fortitude to pursue anything that is even close to some of the kids nowadays on sites like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I try, but it’s really hard to keep up with the swift changes these websites pull seemingly every day.

What I do know is that social media is an extremely powerful tool in the restaurant and hospitality industry. They teach it at my school, but it’s so fresh, that there hasn’t been a dedicated curriculum developed yet for an entire class or course of instruction; plus trends in social media change so rapidly, there may be a new trend starting now. The masters of this essential restaurant marketing tool are the younger generation that often times has the opportunity to figure out the complicated task of posting everyday . . . about communicating with others (friends and on-line blogs) about what , or how those changes affect us users. They learn of new trends immediately and quickly start posting . . . or blogging so that they stay on top of things with their friends and socialites.

One thing I know is, as a restaurant owner, there are posts . . . there are good posts . . .  there are not so good posts . . . there are “CritDicks” posts . . . and there are downright bad posts, like the one in the opening paragraph. Yes, as a CritDick, I can  sometimes blast ’em! . . . But, now that I’m only five classes away from completing my degree . . . I think I can really BLAST ‘EM hard if I want. But I do need to be mindful of the bridges I burn!Johnny

To that, I give them all . . . my buddy . . . Mr. Cash ! ! !

Foodie

Another dark-alley cocktail and the Beave

Met up with some good friends in Oceanside, CA. They live pretty darn close to the beach. A quick beer and it’s still early enough to catch a cocktail before happy-hour ends. Since we have no plans other than to get together with our friends, it’s out the door and head to 333 for a martini.

333Before we left the house, we all agreed that 333 Pacific is a must stop for martini. “333” is a higher-end fine-dining restaurant owned by the Cohn Restaurant Group, known for their upscale eateries. http://www.cohnrestaurants.com/menu-restaurants/333-pacific/ . We also know that they make a good martini from a couple other previous visits.

After 333 wins the “Best Martini” award for our meandering gala through the bum-surfer-ass-hangin’-out-chick streets of  B E A U T I F U L  Oceanside, we happened upon Harney Sushi. harney2I tried to do a quick research on this place only to find out they have a second location on Harney St. in San Diego. My assumption is that San Diego is the original location. It also supports the name Harney Sushi. Now being a good sailor I also fully understand why the “Miso” was included in the name. http://www.harneysushi.com/#/home. Miso Harney Sushi was a brief stop because we were again thirsty. I didn’t find their martinis as special as 333, but I did certainly notice their environment. I couldn’t see the speakers, but I did see the fish. Does that really matter? harney1Quite loud inside . . . but that’s the environment. I did notice that they had a terrific super-full-range sound system that was just audible above the voices. It really helped create their atmosphere and set an initial ambiance. I will most certainly go back to check out the food. Tonight’s winner for best sound . . . and best recommendation!

While we sipped our martinis at Miso Harney, we decided that we were not quite in the mood for sushi so our server pointed us down the road to a “foodie” type of place on the “south side” (that would be the southern end of Oceanside). Now being a foodie, I just had to find out what all the hoopla was about. As we begin our navigation, literally using navigation techniques . . . and our GPS on the Galaxy, we realize that we are several blocks away from our next destination. We decide to take the low road. Tremont Street is not the most illuminated street, nor the best dressed in Oceanside, taking us just in front of the train and bus station. We persevered . . ., one of us with the flash-light app going to ward off any would-be muggers deciding to lunge out from the dark bushes.

Finally we see a glow. Turns out the glow is of the heat flame torch thing on the front patio area of the Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen http://flyingpigpubkitchen.com/. Well I met the owner, Roddy. He explains his name and it’s similarity to “Rowdey” Roddy Piper the wrestler. Rowdy-Roddy-Piper

Roddy asks to give him a few minutes before he can spend a moment with me to give me the inside scoop about this gastro-pub located almost at the end of town, one block closer to the water than 101 café on PCH. Roddy is very busy this Saturday night. Almost 10pm and he’s still packed full. Everyone in the place seemed to be enjoying their food . . . and drink! Roddy seems to have done a good job. He even explains that it’s way better than he ever imagined for he and his wife, “It just took off”. flying pig2Well tonight’s best meal award goes to Roddy at the Flying Pig. I’m not sure about the mis-matched silverware or the various old-school record labels hosting the day’s menu, but the food was pretty friggin great. This place is a must when in the area. Probably the smallest kitchen around. I think Roddy understands that; pre-empting our visit with his explanation about why the food takes so long. Well, we didn’t wait that long. Our appetizer came out just after we began to wonder of its whereabouts . . . a little long . . . but not too long. Hell, we just ordered another beer. Speaking of which, I ordered Belching Beaver IPA. There’s more to that story . . . someday! Our walk back this evening took us the high road along Pacific Coast Highway (the 101). A little more lighted, but a lot more freaks . . . that we could see.

So check out all of these places and stop by to give Roddy a little love. He’s busy down there and could probably use a hug.

flying pig1I feel as though I need to give this night something special . . . something really special, after everything we ate and drank and everywhere that we traveled.

Tony-AlvaI think this night deserves an old-school Tony Alva pool shreddin’, and Dirty Harry’s gun in the nose of the would-be muggers.

Make my day!dirty-harry

Foodie

A day in the life . . . , and the Jack Daniel’s Girls search engine!

It’s interesting that I can kind of map out how folks visit my website.

CritDicks GravatarSay, for example, today, I see there’s been 7 fresh hits . . . just today.

I see that there’s been 3 from the U.S. I see that the search term was for a specific restaurant.

I see that there’s been 1 hit for the article I wrote about that specific restaurant.

Then I look at the hits for my “About Me” and see there’s 1, and I realize that the person is looking at the restaurant review . . . reads it  . . . and say to them self, “who is this guy?” Probably more like, “who is this jackass . . . and . . .?” Then they read my story (bio) and realize I’m not actually homeless, then give another article or two a try on my website, then they realize I’m just a big hot bag of wind . . . then they move on!

Life sucks!

Oh, and I threw the Jack Daniel’s Girls in because they are the number one hit from search engines!

Foodie

A day of marketing – Yes, another school write-up!

twinkieSeemingly there are several very good examples of introduction stage products from which to draw. A couple I can think of, and it was difficult to not take time to fully describe them here, are the Twinkie (making its anticipated resurgence soon), PizzaRevPizza Rev, a fast-food, build your own (Subway or Chipotle style), 800 degree stone-oven personal pizza delivered to your table in less than 3 minutes and Fiat’s recent introduction back into the United States (although I think the Fiat is now beginning its growth stage).Fiat

I have, however, selected a new start-up food service operation near the area where I live. The young Chef, Niko, had recently opened up an “express” Italian sandwich shop inside the back (previously a fast-food Mexican take-out) of a gas station. The Mexican food thing inside the back of gas stations is somewhat popular here in Southern California. Overall, the Mexican take-out is super popular here in Southern California.

I have to tell just a bit about Niko. Niko is a young Chef that has already held somewhat impressive positions in a couple of fine dining establishments including Sushi Chef at 333 in Oceanside, CA and Sous Chef at The Four Seasons in Philadelphia, PA. Niko was notified of the very low-overhead opportunity to move back to a neighboring city near his home town in Vista, CA and open his own eatery. Niko has been at it now for about 2 months.

Niko’s menu includes several sandwiches with an Italian flair, named appropriately with some Italian slang or common words. Niko was also told by his initial start-up helpers (family and friends) that if he’s going to do Italian, then he has to have a couple of selections of pasta. Niko is currently relying on his location (a very busy gas station) to provide opportunities for sales to curious commuters, and his food being the basis for word of mouth return customers. Niko is on a very tight budget but has made efforts to advertise his service by means of fresh signage to include his new illuminated marquee that adorns the gas station’s drive entrance. I’m not quite sure if the marquee signage will drive more customers.Niko's Express Italian Deli sign I think the real purpose of the marquee is kind of like a dog marking its territory, since Niko’s hours are restricted to the gas station’s hours of operation. None the less, if you buy gas at this station, you will have most assuredly seen the signage on the side of the building that used to hail ” . . . Mexican Food”.

Niko’s food is pretty good . . . in fact, I praise his sandwiches, even attempting a home rendition of his Sausage, Pepper and Egg breakfast sandwich ensemble. Niko also uses social media for his advertisements of “specials” and other start-up information like announcing his menu. Niko doesn’t yet have his own website domain but rather uses Facebook to keep in touch with his followers http://www.facebook.com/NikosItalianExpress?fref=ts. I have noticed over the last couple of years, if I have a curiosity about a food establishment that I have yet to explore, I try to find their website; and if they don’t have a website (domain), I somewhat feel more inclined to discount their operation. I also notice that many (most) food businesses have Facebook pages, especially the rapidly growing (fad) gourmet food truck enterprises. These food trucks send out messages via Facebook as to their intended daily location and any special information they may want to report (e.g. menu change). This daily “Tweeting” not only informs the potential customer, but also maintains daily communication with those potential customers . . . even if it’s one way communication. What it does is “advertise daily” to a wide range of potential customers, even if that potential customer is located in Sri Lanka.  Niko recently added Cannoli to his menu in response to a couple of customer’s (I was one of them) requests. I didn’t see a Facebook post announcing that seemingly critical menu addition. Niko merely announced the menu addition in a personal message to me, since I previously wrote about his operation https://critdicks.com/2013/03/29/niko-and-the-creepy-lady-nikos-express-italian-deli-vista-ca/.

Another marketing opportunity Niko could explore is surveying the customers arriving at his counter. Niko recently added the Cannoli based on a customer recommendation. Why not conduct a quick survey of his guests about the offerings on his menu while their waiting for their food to be prepared. This quick survey could ask if there was anything the customer was hoping to see on his menu. The survey could also ask about the amount of time the customer would like to not exceed while stopping for gas and ordering from his menu. This survey could be administered even before the food is tasted. Now, I hate surveys because they take up my time. But wait, I am now waiting for food, so it might make the wait seem even less. Perhaps I would actually be glad to take the survey because it means, as a customer, I have immediate input to the outcome of my food and its preparation.

Niko could also slip a small piece of paper into the customer’s food bag upon leaving, briefly announce to them that he put it there and that the paper encourages customers to provide feedback about their food and dining experience through a post on his Facebook page. Niko can always monitor and moderate their posts and use the information to enhance the customer experience, and to meet or exceed their expectations in the future. Niko could also somehow give them a discount for providing the Facebook feedback. This interaction with the customer could prove to be very beneficial because it also tags the post to the additional “friends” linked to that particular customer’s Facebook page. Social media is very powerful if used properly.

Foodie

Pahoehoe – Pronounced “Pa ho – eee, ho – eee”.

plumeria_sorbet1We just came up with that today. Our culinary team didn’t like the “ho ho” sound so they looked it up . . . Wikipedia of course . . . Wikipedia, after all, IS the most trusted collegiate resource on line.

Working on class projects seems to bring out the best . . . especially when working in groups. I really hate groups . . . but this group is great. We’re working on this fancy restaurant idea positioned on the island of Oahu. You can begin reading our quest here:

*********************************

Pahoehoe Island Restaurant L.L.C.

Company Description

Welcome to Pahoehoe Island Restaurant L.L.C. Pahoehoe is a Hawaiian name for a type of very smooth lava flow. Pahoehoe Island Restaurant L.L.C will be situated at the base of a sheer rock cliff on the Island of Oahu, just outside of the city of Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pahoehoe Island Restaurant L.L.C. (referred to now as Pahoehoe) idea is based on the rising popularity of product freshness, local availability and environmental sustainability.

Pahoehoe is a 100 seat full-service fine-dining establishment situated in one of Oahu’s newest resort hotels away from the crowded beaches of Honolulu; and will offer various fine-dining services such as an extensive wine list, locally grown produce and vegetables, and on-premises farm-raised fish from its 100,000 gallon salt water fish lagoon. Pahoehoe will not only be a fine dining establishment, but the Islands only fine-dining Luau featuring typical Luau entertainment nightly, but the dinner focused around a traditional Island Style banana leaf-wrapped pig that will be showcased upon its retrieval from its cooking lava pit that kicks off the nightly interactive luau entertainment. Pahoehoe also recognizes the rising popularity of the world craft beer enterprises and will be brewing their own renditions with an on-site brewery sporting a 1500 barrel per year capacity. Pahoehoe hopes to become the world’s first Michelin rated Luau Restaurant.

How’s that Sh*t sound???

Foodie

Nunken Droodle and Kraw Pao – T1O (Tee One Oh!)

t1o4What the heck?

How do you come up with that kind of silly talk. I was told’ “you gotta check out their Drunken Noodle”. I was told that by two people. I also tried something called Kraw Pao. I must have spent an extra 3 minutes trying to figure out what was in the dish (the truck had Mexican takeout style pictures of the plates) . . . and then how to say the name.

So I’m back at the food trucks on the air station and I just had to try something new. Ok, what’s this stuff . . . looks like Thai . . . Speaking with the “Head Chef”, Tonny (pronounced Tony), I find out he’s Mexican . . . WTF, now I’m really confused. He says he’s Mexican Indian. Then he asks me to guess which kind of Indian. Well buckaroo, I just got back from Cancun so I guess Mayan. Sure enough I guessed right today. I also noticed that his truck didn’t have the new health rating sign (e.g. “A”) posted on the side like the other three trucks selling today. The signs are a recent law to align the standards viewed by the public for all restaurants. Tonny tells me his appointment keeps getting pushed. I can understand that because the inspectors are of course government workers and they can only work so hard, then they gotta sit down. I should know . . . I   are   one.Food rating Tonny also tells me that the new rating signs are actually just that, a rating sign. He continues to tell me that the trucks have been more closely monitored than “brick and motor” restaurants (regular buildings) for years, and they are monitored more frequently due to the different locations and events they attend. Each location and event has their own inspectors. It has been many, many years since I have dealt with a health inspector inside of a restaurant, but they should have been looking for this . . .

t1o2I don’t know what it is, perhaps a piece of wood shrapnel used to fight off the gorillas in the Thai jungles while picking the basil for the Kraw Pao. Whatever it was, it didn’t seem to have any flavor, and I wasn’t able to chew through it. Whatever, I discarded it and continued to tear Tonny’s food up. Those two people were right, “You gotta try the Drunken Noodles”. Seriously healthy portions also. I got mine made with Tofu. I swear the take out (chili dog style) box was full and must have weighed 4 pounds. The best part of the Drunken Noodles was scraping the noodles that were like stuck to the inside when I got to the bottom of this feast. Kind of like the best part of eating the popcorn, is at the bottom . . .

t1o1The other dish, Kraw Pao, was equally delicious. Let’s see if I can remember what’s in this. I had chicken. Also in this dish, served atop perfect, I think, Jasmine rice, were white onions, basil . . . oh, and that stick. Relax . . . it’s all good. A foreign object in food service is a chef’s nightmare. But shit happens, even when all of the best practices, food safety and sanitation standards and other precautions are taken. I know about that stuff . . . remember my story about the lost band-aid?

t1o3

Anyway, there was only one drawback that I feel is important in my book. American gringos have something about wanting chicken breast meat. Although the chicken used in the Kraw Pao was breast meat and very flavorful, I prefer thigh meat . . . it’s one of my hang-ups. I feel thigh meat is much more flavorful, it retains it’s moisture better than breast meat, making for a better meal. Then no matter where you go, the chicken breast meat always seems to be overcooked and dried out.

Well, I really liked the food at T1O and I thought Tonny’s crew did a good job. I would like to try some other items on his menu. He’s got great flavors and good portions. Yes, I ate this for lunch two days runnin’.

I’m gonna have to give T1O, 3 1/2 wontons and an official international translator,Ali-g because the wontons are Chinese.wontons

Check him out!

Foodie

The coolest bunny ever.

So we’re traveling to Los Angeles for Easter with the in-laws. We leave just before lunch-time and decide to get our Tommy’s on, since they serve  a tamale with their famous chili. I, on the other hand, opted to get my serious Tommy’s fix so I ordered the double. If you know Tommy’s, then you know what I’m talking about. If you know me, you also know that I and Tommy’s go so far back, it’ll make most heads spin. Well, today the bunny’s head was spinnin’ . . . or, whatever you call it!

tommys-hamburgersAs we exited the freeway from the off-ramp for our Tommy’s stop, I make a small suggestion to stop and get all-you-can-eat sushi. You see, I had noticed a sign as we were exiting the off ramp that said something about “all you can eat sushi’. To our surprise there was an Easter’s’ (yes the ‘s’ is from Nacho Libre) bunny standing on the corner sign spinning for the sushi joint. Well the bunny was also gettin’ his, or her, groove on. We were watching the bunny puttin’ on some fly moves as our own stereo in the car was playin’. We were amazed that the bunny was rocking to just about the same tune as our car. The funny part was the bunny was matching our beat to “Whoop There It Is”. That fly bunny was matching every up and down-beat to our radio. I just had to snap a picture.easter3

Our day got even more intense. On the way up, my son decides to throw the ol’ curve ball into the picture by announcing he brought his birthday money with him. He tells us of this “air-soft” gun warehouse along our route of travel. He then starts puttin’ on the guilt trip, “it’s on the way . . . and you want to make me happy . . . right?” I say, “FINE, ok, let’s check it out”. The wife goes into the store first then quickly comes back out to announce, “you gotta see this joint”. I go in and am instantly amazed at what I saw. I took this video . . . probably against all rules, but I took it and now it’s here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG8ST4X8jQE

My son explains to me that this gun shop is amongst the 3 largest in the world, and I can see why. Air soft is a relatively new sport that is similar to paint ball, just the guns use plastic BB’s. The guns fire ultra fast and will leave a mark and a good stinging on the recipient. Yes, I’ve taken a few for the team . . . or was just shot by my son. Damn near kicked his ass! When the airsoft games are played, they’re similar to easter2military exercises and involve complicated planning and maneuvers. There are sniper and assault rifles, handguns and grenades. Quite wild! The kid even soaked us for money to buy ammo and propellant (gas) before we departed; claiming, “I gotta show my Uncle”. My response was, of course, “FINE!” I’m such a good dad. Not really, I just like really cool shit too.

Our dinner that evening involved the emptying of a 750ml bottle of Patron Silver by three adults. Yes I was one of the three . . . ’nuff said. But the real kicker was the Aretha Franklin ham my sister-in-law baked. “ARETHA!”Easter1

My Sister-in-Law made several other remarkable treats like the grilled marinated leg-of-lamb. DA BOMB! . . . She made great stuff, both that night and for breakfast  the next morning. I really enjoyed her cooking because #1, I wasn’t cooking and, #2, she’s pretty darn good in the kitchen herself. I totally enjoyed everything she made. My only assistance to her was to fulfill with her request to get one of her new electronic thermometer’s to work and what temp the ham should be served. Well that’s pretty easy. Ham is already cooked, so the correct temperature is 165 for reheating. Shit, I hope I got that right. Someone will blast me if I am wrong. Oh well!

So check out the video of the gun shop; and remember when you see the dancing bunny next year, remember that you heard about him or her, here first. www.CritDicks.com

And don’t just sit there; “like” CritDicks on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/CritDicks

You  better Think . . . Think about it!

Aretha

Foodie

Jimmie and the clandestine – Cattle Call at the hole!

As I was finding my way through this whole culinary school thing, I was required to do an internship. I met a lady named Leann Rimes . . .  something like that. She is the restaurant and bar General Manager at the Gopher Hole at Castle Creek Golf Club and Resort.

JimmieHis name is Jimmie. Jimmie is one bad-ass mo fo. Jimmie is a music and entertainment events promoter and manager working with several local bands in the San Diego area. Jimmie started Cattle Call, LLC. www.cattlecallevents.com

Be sure to like Jimmie on Facebook. 

http://www.facebook.com/CattleCallLLC?ref=stream. Jimmie always has quality bands and musicians that he promotes. Tonight’s band at the “Hole” is Los Guys, a rockabilly 3-piece that throws down some serious rifts. Los Guys even came equipped with ribbon microphones to carry forward the look and feel of the era.

My bestest of friends is one bad-ass mo fo as well . . . but, way more bad-ass than the other two. She knows why I say that. Hint: It’s gotta do with something like the movie “G.I. Jane”. I’ll just leave it at that . . . but trust me, she’s bad ass!GI JANE

Well, my bad-ass bestest of friends is also in the food, beverage and hospitality business. She and I go back many years while serving together in the Navy. Tonight, I met up with her at the “Hole” while simultaneously meeting up with Jimmie. I like Jimmie and the direction his event business is going. Jimmie is from the local area and places his talent and events within a stone’s throw of my house. I want to keep our relationship keen because he may need some catering that I may be able to help with. Don’t start with me . . . I’m not saying I’m gonna start catering, but I may be able to help him with setting up the event. Anyway, my bestest of friends needed a little instructor guidance on how to better use Microsoft Power Point; and since I have a specialty in training and curriculum development, decided to meet up with her while listening to one of Jimmie’s bands. Well, I was also surprized that one of my son’s friends showed up that is involved with another one of my passions, Un-manned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), although the UAV’s he plays with are nothing like the bomb-dropping-killing-machine-warcraft I worked on. I’ll just let the young man off on that. Well, we all sat and had some beers and listened to some music while I taught my bestest of friends how to better use Power Point . . . right there in the bar.

Well the club’s General Manager has her hands full. She’s very reserved and protective of her bar’s business. She’s not the owner, just the manager trying to run a joint that has a difficult and precarious group of owners. She has said to me that the owner’s interest resides with the golfers and the membership owners of the golf course. The Gopher Hole is in a strategic location that could enable it to be so much more, but the owners, for some reason, have dismissed any desire to allow the bar to flourish.ape The Manager means well. She also agrees that Jimmie brings in the customers. Jimmie has a very large following and all of his bands bring with them lots of patrons. Patrons = money! I mentioned to the manager, during an interview for my internship, that I had lots of ideas to assist her in managing the joint, but she said she is restrained in her ability or financial latitude to create a more inviting establishment. I think that’s why she didn’t accept my internship, because I would want to change things. Whatever her motivation was, mine was seemingly opposite. I would like to see Jimmie continue to bring his entertainment to the Hole because I can walk home after a rough night of partying, I thinks his entertainment is the right direction for the “Hole”, and I want the hole to continue be available to me and other patrons.

Tonight, our group of somewhat regulars noticed that the service staff is again new. It seems as though they have had a regular turnover of staff recently. One person in our group ordered, I think, the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. The menu didn’t indicate anything about cheese, but it did the mayonnaise. It was ordered “hold the mayonnaise”. Upon arrival of the sandwich, it was discovered that did not have mayonnaise but rather it contained cheese. chicken-extra-cheeseThe server was notified and took the sandwich back to remove the cheese. A table bet was on that it would return without the cheese, but, this time, with the mayonnaise. Further discussion ensued about the kitchen could not just remove the cheese, but had to completely rebuild the sandwich for fear that any trace of the milk product could be detrimental to the person that ordered it. That explanation came from my bestest . . . because she is a diet and nutrition specialist . . . as well as a bad-ass mo fo. What was even more funny is the side salad that was ordered with the sandwich arrived with a pile of grated cheddar and jack cheeses on it, just moments after the same server was asked to take the sandwich back to remove the cheese. It’s like this all happened within a 1 minute time frame. We all just laughed. We’re glad all of the food finally came out correctly

We have mostly been going to the Gopher Hole since they started hailing live bands on Friday nights. They have since included Saturdays as well, but we have never been yet on a Saturday. I now really only go when Jimmie is there. I met Jimmie one night at the club. The club itself is a bit raw, with no great furnishings and odd decor. Ok . . .  it’s downright raw! It has several sport’s televisions that attempts to make up some of the foot traffic during the NFL season. The drinks and food make up a very predictable golf course menu; with bar standard jigger sized servings and just about the cheapest house-select wines I’ve ever tasted. My wife hates going the Hole because she can’t get an interesting and creative cocktail or even just a damn good glass of Chardonnay. It’s too bad that our only hope for the place is that it remains as is, and doesn’t diminish. As long as the Hole allows Jimmie to continue to provide the entertainment. Because when Jimmie’s not here, it’s like no one’s there. I don’t know . . . call it “stealth-like”.

cattle callSo follow Jimmie on Facebook and check out his shows. Also check out some of the other venues in San Diego as well. Jimmie has a big banter scheduled May 11th  for the Valley Center Music Festival at Nate’s Butt Farm where 9 bands on 2 stages will raise money to support the Valley Center Pauma Music Boosters program, band and choir students from grades 6-12. Fundraising raffle and silent auction; food, beer & wine available for purchase. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a wide variety of music. Free games for the kids.

Foodie

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