Never diagnose yourself with WebMD. The other day I had some pretty nasty heartburn. Usually I pop a few Tums and the shit goes away (A quick note: Tums are interesting in the fact that they taste worse every time that you have them. I remember the first time I had Tums, I thought to myself, "Hey, this shit is like candy! Fucking sweet!" Now it feels like I'm chewing pumice. And the whole Mixed Berry thing is bullshit. The purple one tastes exactly the same as the pink one, god dammit). But the heartburn persisted. WebMD's symptom finder asks you progressively more detailed questions about your current condition. It's designed to bring out the Richard Lewis in all of us.
"Are you having chest pains?"
Well, yeah. It's heartburn.
"Does it hurt when you breathe?"
Um, I didn't think about it bef... oh, yeah! Yeah, it kinda does! I think!
"Do you have slight pain towards the end of exhalation?"
Shit, yeah! You totally fucking got it!
"SEE YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY."
Oh, fuck. I'm dying. I can't have a fucking heart attack. Is my arm hurting? Shit. I think it might be. I'm 29! I'm in the prime of my life! There were so many more things I planned on drinking! What will happen to my FHM subscription? I still haven't watched "The Wire", and everyone says it is fabulous! Fuck fuck fuckitty fuck!
I left work early, went to the doctor, got an EKG, and got a stress test, which is when they strap electrodes to your chest (they dry shaved three spots in mine with a Lady Bic. My chest now makes the same expression Macaulay Culkin did in "Home Alone") and make you walk on a treadmill, to see if you'll drop dead from a heart attack or not. I passed.
The worst thing about the whole episode is that I was perfectly fine, yet my wife now treats me as if I have full-blown coronary heart disease. Are you using too much salt, Drew? Maybe you shouldn't drink so much beer, Drew. You don't need to have hors' douvres prior to breakfast, Drew. I wish I'd had the heart attack for posterity.
Which brings us to the NFL. If you don't have Sunday Ticket and you don't live in the same town as your favorite team, it's a good bet you'll be heading to the bar for Sunday's action. Sometimes, I've hit bars in DC and seen Redskin fans who came to the bar in their jerseys to watch the game ALONE. I'll never understand the point of this (cough*Redskinfansarelonelydouchebags*cough), but that's not what we're here to discuss. No, we're here to talk about the great American bar menu from which you'll be ordering.
The bar menu has evolved over the years to include a wide sampling of diverse cuisine, all designed to make you fatter than the average Jag Hag. It's an impressive list, to say the least. And today, I'll be grading each dish based upon such criteria as taste, texture, presentation, and the likelihood that I'm eating some sort of cow prostate. Let's go!
The gold standard by which all bar menu items are judged. Yet, you'd be amazed at how many bars manage to fuck these up. It's not hard, people. You fry the wings in oil, then coat them with a sauce that's equal parts butter and Frank's Red Hot. Don't fucking batter the things. And don't fucking bake them. Just stick to the basics, or I'll have Chopper sic balls. I also don't get the bleu cheese dressing. And I really don't get the celery. Fuck off, Mr. Celery. You are not welcome here. GRADE: A
You hollow out a potato, then fill it with cheese, bacon, and sour cream. Am I right? Wait, wait, what are you putting chopped scallions on top for? I didn't ask for any greenery here, you motherfucker. And why is this potato not fried? GRADE: C
Nachos really share top billing with Buffalo wings. But you need fellow diners that are going to be sensitive about the chip-to-topping ratio. Ideally, you want each chip to have a little cheese, chicken, sour cream, jalapenos, guacamole and hot sauce. It never works out that way, because fucking Jim had to go and scoop up all the guacamole with one goddamn chip. What the fuck is wrong with you, Jim, you ungodly fat fuck?! And stop hitting on my sister! She's already said she's not interested!
Many restaurants also include chopped olives on nachos. I'd like to start a campaign against this. Olives are sweaty cherries. GRADE: A
Seriously, when's the last time you had a mozzarella stick that wasn't soggy? These things are limper than TO's wrists. GRADE: D
Do we have to call them fingers? Really? Was "strips" somehow not descriptive enough? Bonus points to you if you're at home watching the game and order yourself that staple of college cuisine, the chicken finger sub. I ate so many chicken finger subs in college, I didn't have a bowel movement until graduation. GRADE: B
I enjoy saying the word quesadilla more than the food itself. That's the beauty of the Spanish double-L, or "elle" (pronounced AY-YAY). I think words in English could be improved with the Spanish double-L pronunciation. Would you like a lahyeepop? Look, an armahdeeyo! Perhaps we can defeat this floteeyah of battleships! Heath Meeyer of the Steeyers is on my fantasy team! GRADE: B
Sort of amazing that a staple of Asian dim sum would manage to become assimilated into the mainstream of modern American cuisine. Very sneaky, these Jap gyoza. Michelle Malkin would like to inter you and ask you a few questions. GRADE: A
Nothing beats microwaved bar pizza. Except EVERYTHING. GRADE: D
Cheeseburger Egg Rolls
I didn't make this up. This is on the bar menu at Bennigan's. I'll have them describe it:
East meets West in this one-of-a-kind taste. Seasoned ground beef, American cheese, pickles, onions and mustard wrapped in a crispy flour tortilla. Served with a side of salsa cream sauce for dipping.
Okay, let's just take this one piece at a time. First of all, if you're eating this, you probably enjoyed a hearty breakfast of Jimmy Dean Pancakes 'N Sausage on a stick at home. I'm pretty sure the combined 8,000 calories you just ate balance out the three miles you walked barefoot to the bar in your overalls and no shirt. It bears pointing out once more: if you eat something like this, then you have fucking failed at life.
And what is salsa cream sauce? Is this some sort of Alfrancisco sauce formed in a lab? I'll pass. If I want a cheeseburger, I'll have a cheeseburger. I don't need it repurposed into an exotic Chinese food stuff with a side of Mexican tomato jizz. Guhhhhhh. GRADE: F- (but Peter King probably loved it on his training camp tour).
There's your bar menu tour. No doubt I've left off a few menu items. Enlighten me in the comments. And bon appetit, lardasses.