Wednesday, September 20, 2006

KSK Indoor Tailgate: Your 2006 NFL Bar Menu Guide

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!


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!

Buffalo Wings
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

Potato Skins
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

Mozzarella Sticks
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

Chicken Fingers
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

Pot Stickers
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.


BoSox Siobhan said...

So Drew hates Mr. Celery...does that make him a Nazi?

Unsilent Majority said...

No, but that time he tried to exterminate the jews makes him a Nazi.

BoSox Siobhan said...

Keep an eye on Drew, UM. I'm counting on you. And I love chili cheese fries with my beers during any and all sporting events.

Claude Balls said...

Here's the deal, Big Daddy Drew: I am tired of reading your posts about food and music. I read you because you write extremely funny pieces about football. I do not care to hear about your love of bullshit metal bands or your hatred of Mr. Celery. You have until this afternoon to stop writing about food and music. If you do not comply, I am publishing pictures of your daughter on my blog, if I can figure out how to do that. You have been warned.

Rob I said...

I hate to go all regional on you, but crab fries at Chickie and Pete's in Philadelphia are Baby Jesus' gift to mankind. You can make them at home, too: Just deep fry some crinkle cuts and coat the hell out of them with some Old Bay seasoning. Nuke some cheese sauce and dip away...

PUNTE said...

Touche', Mr. Balls.

Big Daddy Drew said...

Claude wins in a landslide.

Unsilent Majority said...

i like some breaded wings (hooters).

Yeager said...

If you don't get bleu cheese dressing, how the heck can I trust your football analysis?? C'mon, it's a "salad dressing" consisting almost entirely of cheese for gawd's sake. That's a winner every time.

Trader Rick said...

The photo of the wings has added to the overall feeling of badness I have this morning after attending 10 cent wing night at DC's Capitol Lounge. You have good coverage of the core bar foods. A couple that deserve a review are 1) E. Coli enriched dips 2) mini burgers

Unsilent Majority said...

bacon cheese fries never hurt either

Rob I said...

John Madden and Harold Reynolds demand some recognition for the Bloomin' Onion.

BoSox Siobhan said...

The Crap Lounge is back in business? Note to self.

becky said...

AMEN to the part about the nachos. Like you are speaking directly to my heart.
I usually stick w/ nachos, wings, quesadillas or (OK fine, AND) chicken fingers, but I have to say I housed an ungodly amount of waffle cheese fries this past Sunday. With ranch.
You forgot poppers too.
Anyway I haven't had them yet, but I suspect the fried mac and cheese at Fridays could and should be right at the top of this list.

BoSox Siobhan said...

"...they don't jew you either..."
That IS a joke, right?

Unsilent Majority said...

from bigricks i'm certain it is...otherwise i'd be all over it.

flubby said...

rsr26, or some extreme fajitas from over at Flingers?

Lowlife said...

Radically New Appetizers!! How exciting: Fried Mac & Cheese, Crispy Green Bean Fries, Potato Skinny Dippers, Triple Meat Fundido.

Goddamn you TGIF. I don't need 7 million choices when it comes to ordering my food. Some of this looks awful. How long before they take off the green beans and mac & cheese on the menu? I give it a month.

SteveJeltzFan said...

I had to f'ing register with solely to post this. Drew, I wholeheartedly approve of this post.

And to those who still have their Chikie & Pete's Crab Fry cherry - words cannot describe them. And I am an avowed Old Bay hater.

Unsilent Majority said...

old bay is the dusting of the gods

Signal to Noise said...

Old Bay is manna. Works on just about anything and everything cooked.

Too many bars in my area fuck up chicken wings, so it's nachos or mini burgers more often than not (and the giant basket of curly fries). Ranch dressing for the wings if they happen to be half-decent.

Gland Jupiter said...

Wow! Tipsy, tomatoey elephant in the room that is the celery stalk (sorry, Drew), or the dill pickel spear (for you Midwesterners) surrounded by vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, tobasco, black pepper and horseradish all held lovingly together by a pint glass, dusted with chili powder on the rim that is the Bloody Mary. Shouldn't this count? There's seasoning and chewing involved.

Rolf von Friedgen said...

Yeah, but the spicy Bloody Mary doesn't really count as bar food since it can and should be enjoyed as frequently as possible at all hours of the day in any situation.

PS- I'll see your Tchotchke's and Flingers and raise you a Shenanigan's.

JoSCh said...

I personally bought Direct TV this year to avoid the $400 + monthly bar tab and to lose weight. Amazingly, it seems to be working.

I like this post, I don't care what anyone says...

Unsilent Majority said...

cohen is a filthy JEW!!!

see how that works.

people who are new around here must learn that drew abhors bloody mary's. he had a bad experience with a girl named mary in college.

Gland Jupiter said...

I agree that Bloody Marys should be enjoyed always and everywhere, like chasing your Bloody Mary with a sip out of a smaller Bloody Mary.

To deny yourself one of life's great joys just because it reminds you of some girl from college. . . really? Cough*pussy*cough. Sure, that's understandable. Cough*growapair*cough. Good luck with that.

Unsilent Majority said...

i was joking about drew...he just doesn't like them. lbf seems to know where i was going with that.

BoSox Siobhan said...

I hate vodka. There's no Bloody Mary made with brown likker, so I'm shit outta of luck.

Gland Jupiter said...

bosox siobhan, then you must love "delioucious bourbon, brownest of the brown liquors. What's that? You want me to drink you? But I'm in the middle of a trial. Excuse me!" - Lionel Hutz