Thursday, February 25, 2010

Camdi Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurant – Minneapolis (Dinkytown), MN

GingerVitis and I had some stories to swap, so we decided to meet for lunch. She works at the U of MN, so we opted to meet in Dinkytown to make her life easier. I heard there were some decent Asian places around there, so I suggested Camdi. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was worth a shot, right?

The place is pretty small, but the menu has a lot of stuff on it, including a lunch menu. I saw they had fresh spring rolls on the menu, so I got an order of those. And then I decided on the Basil, eggplant, and tomato stir fry, but extra spicy. I also got chicken in it, just to add some flavor. Sometimes stir fry can cook out the flavor of vegetables instead of enhancing them.

The spring rolls came out quickly and much to my surprise, GingerVitis doesn’t eat them, so I got to eat both. SCORE! They were decent. A little floppy and the ingredients didn’t seem all that fresh, but they were edible and simply fine.

The food came out much quicker than I would have thought, and looked fine as well. No bright colors or anything like that. The dish I had had EXTREMELY large pieces of eggplant in it. Like large enough I could have cut them into three pieces (I didn’t because I’m not above shoving large chunks of food into my mouth in front of girls or anything). But sadly, I didn’t have a knife either, so it wasn’t going to happen. The eggplant was a bit soggy as well, so it wasn’t the best eggplant I’ve ever had. The rest was a tad greasy for my liking. I don’t mind a little bit, but it seemed more than usual. Big pieces of onion, and green pepper as well. I think the cook must have a giant mouth or something since nothing (except the carrot slices) was small enough to be considered an actual bite. It was kind of sub-par in my opinion as a whole.

Not sure if I’ll come back to Camdi for lunch again. It wasn’t terrible, but there are certainly MUCH better places to eat Asian food, especially in Dinkytown.

Top 5 things about Camdi
1. Friendly waiter
2. Good variety on menu
3. It’s close to campus (good, only if you live/work there)
4. Parking is cheap ($2?) right behind the place
5. GingerVitis has the most hilarious stories

Bottom 5 things
1. Stir fry was bland
2. Huge chunks of food and tough to eat without a knife on the table
3. Sub-par spring rolls
4. It just doesn’t feel clean inside
5. I should have gone to the new Uncle Franky’s location across the street

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Don’s Leather – Minneapolis, MN

I needed to get some buttons sewn back on my leather jacket, so I found out where a lot of the retail stores take their leather to have it repaired, cleaned, or altered – Don’s Leather over on Lake Street. I’d never heard of it, but now that I’ve been there, I’ll take all my leather items there.

I brought my coat in the customer entrance and talked to a guy named Mickey. Really super helpful guy. He told me these sorts of things are usually done in a couple of days, so I should expect a phone call within a week to pick it up. It was like $1.50 per button, so the whole thing cost me $6.

I headed out of the place and started down Lake Street. My phone rang about 5 minutes later and it was Mickey from Don’s Leather. He said he gave my coat to the boss and she said she’d do it right away. He asked if I could drive back and pick it up if I hadn’t gone too far. AMAZING!!! Of course I certainly did.

I picked up my coat from Mickey and thanked him profusely for the speed and helpfulness. The coat was perfect. So now, I’m trying to spread the word about Don’s. They take really good care of their customers and if you have anything you need fixed or cleaned, I suggest you take it there. They’re good people.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Manny’s Tortas – Minneapolis, MN

TheDoctor and I needed to do lunch and since I suggested Mexican food of some sort, he said he had heard about Manny’s Tortas in the Midtown International Market building on Lake Street. I had heard Manny’s is pretty good, so I told him it was a deal .He texted me the address and then he put 125 after the address. I assumed this was what time I was supposed to meet him at the place, however, as I discovered when I arrived a half hour after TheDoctor, it was the number of the booth in the food hall. Sorry, Doctor.

If you haven’t been to the Midtown International Market, you need to go. There’s all kinds of food booths from many different countries inside and some small market-type shops. It’s really a fun place and there’s enough food that an entire family would be able to find something to eat for everyone there. It’s amazing. I don’t frequent this place often enough, honestly.

Manny’s Tortas are basically Mexican sandwiches (similar to Pambazos) and there’s a variety of insides you can get on them at Manny’s – all kinds of various meats and vegetables. I went with the Chorizo and Eggs Torta and TheDoctor asked about Manny’s Special, which appears to be a couple different kind of meats, but then lost me when she said mushrooms and onions, sadly. I also got a Pineapple Jarritos, since they’re my favorite.

We grabbed a spot in one of the many eating areas nearby and checked out a photo of Guy Fieri standing with Manny himself – even Guy Fieri has good taste! The food comes out pretty quickly and you can watch them throw it together. All the tortas come with onions, tomato, and all kinds of other stuff, so if you are a picky eater, check the menu board to find out what to have them leave off. I forgot to do that until it was too late. Oh well.

The torta was delicious. The chorizo was cooked right into the eggs and was really flavorful. I really liked it. The bread is thick and chewy (not in a bad way) and the ingredients tasted fresh. The torta comes with plain Lay’s potato chips which never thrill me, but I guess if you have to have something, they’re not a bad choice. The real meal is totally the torta, obviously. You won’t be disappointed with it. It’s perfect for one of those days where you’re trying to decide if you want a sandwich or if you want Mexican food. It’s the perfect combo.

I’d definitely hit up Manny’s again. Although, the next time I hit up Midtown International Market, I’ll probably do Safari or the West Indies place that’s in there. I don’t think you’ll go wrong at Midtown, no matter where you decide to eat.

Top 5 things about Mannny’s Tortas
1. Chorizo and Egg Torta
2. They have Jarritos
3. Super friendly staff
4. TheDoctor and I never have normal conversations (aside from talking about his love Giata)
5. Free parking in the ramp across the street

Bottom 5 things
1. The last time I was at Midtown International Market was with Gerd and it was a little bittersweet going back there this time without her.
2. I didn’t notice the onions on my torta until it was too late – it was fine though
3. I’m not a fan of plain Lay’s potato chips
4. The tortas are a little messy to eat
5. I know some people are picky about eating off paper/Styrofoam plates, so if that’s you, then Manny’s isn’t for you

Mioposto Caffe e Pizzeria – Seattle, WA

Since I was a bit under the weather with a bit of food poisoning, Pul-Chevy came through with a quick review of the pizza place we went to after roller derby. So if you have complaints, be sure to direct them at him. Hahaha

On the last night of our stint in the Pacific Northwest, we met up with ChickenLittle's GF and went to Mioposto, a pizzeria in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle.

When we pulled up, I noticed that there was a large park right across the street, as well as a lot of homes, so the neighborhood vibe was a more "chill" one than our previous treks for food in Ballard or other busier neighborhoods. Kind of nice for our last night. Upon walking in we saw approximately 12 to 15 areas that sat a variety of numbers. We grabbed a place for the six of us, and the host and waiter both stopped by immediately. Very cordial folks, and once they walked back to their staff area where other cooks and servers were, you could tell by the camaraderie that everyone enjoyed their job.

3Bagger and I decided we should order some bruschetta for everyone to start on. A couple people ordered pop, and it came in little 10 ounce glass bottles (mini-me versions of what Coach and Chao would normally want, but no matter; it worked). No one ordered beer or girlie drinks. Most of us decided to order our own pizza, with the exception of ChickenLittle and his ladyfriend, who decided they would split a vegetarian calzone. Both Coach and 3Bagger decided on the straight-up pepperoni pizza, and I decided on a specialty pizza.

Here's the rundown on that item, as well as the other food we ordered, taken from their online menu descriptions:

Matt's "Pizza Raccolto In Autunno"
With olive oil, butternut squash, pancetta, garlic, rosemary, mozzarella, goat cheese, caramelized onions, balsamic reduction and red pepper flakes.

Mix and match three slices. Choose from agro dolce and goat cheese, roasted tomato and basil with fresh mozzarella and mixed olives with arugula.

Vendura Calzone
Roasted mushrooms, artichoke hearts, caramelized onions, sweet peppers, mozzarella and vinaigrette in a caputo crust envelope. Served with a side house salad.

Pepperoni Pizza
With salsa di pomodori and mozzarella.

The bruschetta was a mix of three different styles. I didn't know that when I ordered, nor did I know we were getting three slightly smaller pieces than I was used to, but throw all that out the window because the dish was damn good. (See... I'm accustomed to ordering Bruschetta at a variety of Italian places in Chicago, and every time I ordered it there – cheap-ass or fancy – it would be chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, and olive oil atop crusted bread).

My pizza was phenomenal. The size was noted as being 10" diameter, but our pizzas were clearly larger than that, maybe even bigger than 12" (I love mentally placing punk rock records over circular things to get a sense of size - haha). The crust that Mioposto makes was clearly what made things for me. It's thin and had a distinct flavor that was unlike other crusts I have had. Not overly salty, but… it's hard to explain… just really flavorful, yet simple. I don't know what else to say about why I loved it so much - I was in my element, really, for I love butternut squash in Italian food, and I could eat goat cheese every day for the rest of my life. The balsamic reduction was either laid down under the crust or it had seeped through the crust, so with each piece of pizza you picked up you could dip it a little bit. Hell yeah. The only thing that I may have changed about this is that I like my crust just a little more crispy, so it didn't droop a little bit when you picked up a piece.

All in all, good eats and good friends. A nice wrap up before heading home the next day.

top 5
1. The Pizza Raccolto In Autunno
2. Bruschetta
3. Coach playing with his little 10 ounce bottle (TWSS)
4. Having someone who knew the waitstaff + having a genuinely jovial server and host
5. 3Bagger continuing to talk like Super Mario even during our last night

bottom 5
1. Chao still ill from the night before, not being able to eat one bite.
2. The kitchen's first attempt at ChickenLittle's calzone was a failure, so he got his food later than everyone else's. However, the price of his dish was taken off the bill due to the error.
3. Knowing this was the last night together for a while
4. Slightly floppy crust
5. Chicken Little and his ladyfriend and their overly abundant PDA's - hahaha, burn!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Karaoke at Tarasco Mexican Restaurant – Seattle (Ballard), WA

When out in Seattle with ChickenLittle, par for the course is hitting up at least one karaoke bar. Since we had a good group with us, we knew it was going to be fun, especially with the liquor flowing as freely as it was. We went to Tarasco and commandeered a couple of tables right in the front. The guy has an amazing collection of songs and if he doesn’t have what you’re looking for, he’s not afraid to download it right then and there for you.

We ordered the first round of drinks and then lost track. After only a few drinks, Coach was already to show us his pterodactyl impression, which had us all rolling.

Then we began to light this bar up with our awesomeness. I will remind you the drinks were flowing freely, and none of us are professionals. Unless professional idiots is an actual job, in which case none of us get paid enough for the amazing job we’re doing.

I will warn you in advance, these files are enormous, so you might want to pause them and let them download first.

Here, ChickenLittle busts out “The Power of Love”.

I managed an awful version of “On Bended Knee”.

Pul-Chevy threw down the best version of “Run To The Hills” EVER. Watch his sweet gallop and dance moves!

ChickenLittle whips out “Jesse’s Girl”.

And finally, Coach sings a song no one has ever heard before and then got mad when no one knew what it was. Apparently, it’s Lionel Richie’s “Sail On”.

All in all, it was a good night. We didn’t get some of the songs on video, which you should thank me for. But I will tell you this… I did power through brilliant versions of Lady GaGa’s “Poker Face” and Carrie Underwood’s “The Next Time He Cheats”. I’m pretty sure my friends are now horrified by me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hi-Life – Seattle, WA

The big group of us needed to grab some dinner before Karaoke so ChickenLittle decided on the Hi-Life. He said it was pretty nice, but he didn’t tell us it was a date restaurant. When we showed up, there were red velvet curtains we had to walk through inside the door and red velvet curtains on all the windows and the lighting was really dim. Also, there were CLEARLY people on dates all throughout the restaurant.

We checked out the drink menu which was pretty decent. There were a couple of girly drinks of note on it. I got an Elderflower Kiss – elderflower liqueur, sauvignon blanc, lemon juice, and a splash of soda. A couple of other people got the Red Cadillac Margarita - Hornitos tequila, grand marnier, cranberry, lime and orange juice. When these drinks came out, I really liked mine, until I tried someone’s Red Cadillac Margarita. Again, I should have let someone else order for me – the Cadillac was awesome.

In most situations where I can’t decide between a couple of things, I generally ask the waiter to decide for me. I was torn between the short ribs and the rigatone. He said the ribs were really good, but the rigatone was excruciatingly good and had an awesome veal cream sauce. Sold. A few minutes later, he showed up at our table with a steak knife for me, so I was confused. Then, a few minutes later, he brought me the short ribs. I didn’t complain, since I’m usually a fan of short ribs, and it wasn’t worth the hassle, since he said they were also good. They were ok, but far inferior to what I thought I was getting, I’m guessing. The ribs were super fatty, but had a good flavor. They came with some sort of slaw (which apparently is slivered brussel sprouts) and mashed potatoes (which were good). I definitely would have rather had the rigatone…sigh…

We all laughed because 3Bagged got a heaping pile of mashed potatoes on a plate and shared with everyone. It was just like being home with the family where everyone just scoops out what they want from everyone else’s plate during the meal. We’re big share-ers – it’s our southern blood.

Overall, I’d say it was just an average meal and despite the food mixup, our waiter was pretty good. Based on comments heard around the table, I think most people thought the meal was average or maybe barely above average, but no one really raved about it. Hopefully, this place isn’t the only date place in town. I have heard the breakfast at the Hi-Life is pretty good though. Might have to hit that up at some point when I’m back in the Northwest!

Top 5 things about the Hi-Life
1. Red Cadillac Margarita
2. Elderflower Kiss
3. Got to eat with awesome friends who always make me laugh
4. Shared taters
5. Really good waiter

Bottom 5 things
1. Food mixup AFTER the waiter talked me into a better entree
2. Fatty ribs
3. It’s pretty dark inside
4. The bathroom is around the bar, through a hallway, up a few flights of stairs and then turn right
5. I almost wish I had gone with one of their pizzas – they sounded delicious

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Root Table – Seattle, WA

3Bagger recommended a few different places for lunch as we were all pretty famished after the mini-golf outing. We said we were thinking of a sandwich-y kind of place and we narrowed it down to the Root Table. For some reason, I couldn’t get the name right, so you may see me write about someplace called the Twisted Root or the Root-n-toot or the Common Root or the Rusted Root – it’s actually called the Root Table (I looked it up).

The inside of the place is like a Hobbit house. Very neat-looking on the inside. Very home-y. All the tables and chairs are hewn out of wood and weigh about 3,000 pounds. You need both hands to slide your chair out to sit down. And it’s not the most comfortable seating in the world either, but that’s beside the point. Let’s talk about food.

The menus are parchment attached to these heavy wooden slabs and are a bit unwieldy, but the items on them are amazing. The drink menu had a couple of drinks I really wanted to try, but I went with the Lychee Kamikaze (after I found out they do in fact put a lychee in the drink, not just lychee flavored things). The food menu had a TON of amazing Asian-inspired offerings. I couldn’t decide between like 5 different things. There were a couple of menu items of note however: The Double-fisted Duck and also the Manage-a-Thai. Both of which could be taken the wrong way (that’s what she said). But both looked delicious. I decided on the Satay Chicken Sandwich and a bowl of the Pumpkin Curry soup.

The drink came out and was really tasty. Very fruity with just a hint of mint. I cut up my lychee for the guys to try, since none of them had had a lychee before (again, the tastiest of the eye-ball shaped fruits). I’m not sure I won anyone over with it, but they have no taste, so screw them. Hahaha. I loved it. I’m going to see what I can do about making my own pitcher of lychee kamikazes at home.

The food came and looked amazing. Fortunately, it tasted even better than it looked. The pumpkin Curry soup was one of the best soups I’ve ever had. The waitress warned me it was spicy, which is why I got it. And I was pleasantly surprised. It had some MAJOR zing to it. I even steered Pul-Chevy away from trying a bite of it, since he’s got an Iowa-palette. The curry and the pumpkin flavors worked super well together and neither were overpowering. If anything, the spice level was the overpowering part, but it all worked really well together. Best item on the menu if you ask me.

The Satay Chicken Sandwich had chicken breasts, red peppers, and peanut sauce. It was pretty spicy, but delicious. Good flavor with the red peppers and the peanut sauce, and it didn’t really compete with the chicken flavor. You could still taste everything. I really liked mine, though I think there was some discussion of how other people’s food wasn’t exactly what they thought they ordered or up to their liking. We all got full, though, so I think that’s a good sign. I kept raving about the soup, to the point of being annoying, but it really was that good.

I’d definitely go back here if I’m in Seattle again, especially if they have the pumpkin curry soup. I almost ordered a to-go container of it, but I knew we’d be eating later that night. It would have been awesome. I say thumbs on the Root Table. It’s a winner in my book, just for the creativity of the menu and the chefery!

Top 5 things about the Root Table
1. Pumpkin Curry Soup
2. Lychee Kamikaze
3. Satay Chicken Sandwich
4. Awesome looking furniture
5. Very appealing menu items

Bottom 5 things
1. So many delicious things on the menu, it’s difficult to decide
2. Menus are a bit unwieldy
3. I don’t think everyone was happy with their food choices, so be sure of what you’re getting
4. Uncomfortable and super heavy furniture
5. I can’t remember the name of this place to save my life

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Interbay golf Center – Seattle, WA

ChickenLittle had to work again, so 3Bagger was forced to babysit us this day. We had already eaten breakfast, so when we met 3Bagger at ChickenLittle’s place, he had a surprise for us – Nintendo64 with GoldenEye!!!! We pretended to try to figure out what outside activity we were going to do and then caved and hooked up the N64 and started blastin.

We finally voted on going to play some mini golf. 3Bagger drove us to the Interbay Golf Center, which is a pretty sweet golf complex. They have a heated driving range (a LARGE one), a full course, and also a mini-golf course. The reason I like Interbay is because they’re fans of drinking while playing. They have a Driving Range Happy Hour. Yeah, I said it. Bucket of balls and a PITCHER of beer for $15 everyday from 4-7pm. Also, they have a Mini Golf Happy Hour featuring a round of mini golf and a 16oz beer for $10 everyday from 4-7pm. That’s what I’m talking about. Too bad it was too early for happy hour.

The course isn’t very well maintained and it might just be because it’s winter, but it was still a little shocking at the mud puddles and the missing bricks and the random beer cans and glasses all over the course and dry creek features and a severe lack of clown heads and wagon wheels. But whatever. That wasn’t what we were here for. We were here to have fun.

I won’t go into detail about who was the most awesome or who had the most holes in one or who pulled off the most amazing shots, but I will say we had an absolute blast. There were some high scores and some low scores, but it was amusing all the way around.

Whoever added up the scores the first time, apparently added them incorrectly and Coach proclaimed himself the winner and gloated about it all weekend. Upon arriving home and checking the scores we see there was a three-way tie for first (which I was not a part of). Coach’s reign of terror came to a screeching halt.

We had fun, but don’t expect an immaculate course or anything. But it’s Seattle, so you can pretty much play year round and they love to drink at Interbay! Hooray!!!

Top 5 things about Interbay Golf Center
1. Fans of golf and drinking – like we are!
2. I got the only hole-in-one (and still didn’t win)
3. I think it is unlimited mini golf
4. Coach didn’t quit once
5. 3Bagger is a high roller and paid for us all

Bottom 5 things
1. Mini golf makes me think of Gerd and I’s minigolf smack-talking challenge. We loved to play whenever we could and she would have loved to have been there in Seattle like we were last year at this time. Sadface.
2. It’s in pretty rough shape
3. No clown heads
4. Listening to Coach brag about winning – he’s a sore winner
5. Pul-Chevy’s amazing bounce outs

Vera’s – Seattle, WA

ChickenLittle wrote down a couple of breakfast places within walking distance of his apartment for us to try out. We picked one and headed to Vera’s. It’s a basic greasy spoon diner in Ballard. Nothing flashy inside, but seemed like good people.

We scoped out the menu and found some pretty awesome breakfast specials on the back of the menu. I got the one with French toast, eggs, bacon, and toast. We sat and chatted while we waited for our food. At one point, Coach noticed back in the kitchen, he could only see the tops of the cooks’ heads and said something about this food is going to be magical since there are dwarves cooking it. But then he thought maybe the window was high or the floor of the kitchen was below the restaurant level.

We got our food pretty quickly and set about eating it. I always go back to that phrase that it’s hard to screw up breakfast, but I seem to find places that can. The food really wasn’t that good. Really quite flavorless. The syrup for the French toast was amazingly thin and the bacon had very little flavor (which is always disheartening and ruins my day).

Coach got an Italian Omelet and was disappointed by that as well. The eggs were super thick and stiff like an overcooked quiche and his hashbrowns were oddly flavorless as well (Pul-Chevy and I both swooped in on Coach’s food after he gave up on it).

I got up to pay for our food and when I walked past the kitchen I’m almost positive the cooks were actual little people. I wouldn’t put money on it or anything, but I’m pretty darn sure. I’m not a height-ist at all, but those two guys don’t make a quality breakfast. I’m just saying.

All in all, it was a pretty sub-par breakfast. I’d skip Vera’s if I were you. The place might have had two other tables being utilized inside and that should tell you something.

Top 5 things about Vera’s
1. Super friendly staff
2. Really cheap breakfast specials
3. It seemed clean for a greasy spoon diner
4. It was within walking distance from ChickenLittle’s place
5. We walked to the locks afterwards and hung out until it rained

Bottom 5 things
1. Flavorless bacon
2. Odd texture for an omelet
3. Runny syrup
4. Hashbrowns were super bland
5. French toast tasted like nothing

Theo Chocolate and Hot Girl Factory – Seattle, WA

Since ChickenLittle had to work the day Pul-Chevy, Coach, and I arrived, he tricked Slutnik into babysitting us until he got off work. We all love Slutnik to death, mainly because she’s ferociously mean to us yet actually likes us, but also because she makes everything more fun. She drove us around Seattle so we could see and buy various things, and then told us she had booked a tour of the Theo Chocolate Factory. She also reminded us we were all grown men and we would be paying our own individual portions of the tour cost and not to embarrass her. I think she knew how futile the last part of that statement was.

We arrived at the chocolate factory and walked into the gift shop area. There were heaping mounds of chocolate everywhere to sample. They would display the actual bars of chocolate and then on a small slab of marble in front of each one were broken up chocolate bars. We of course dug in like 5 year olds. Slutnik went over and told the girl working that we were there for the tour and one of the girls behind the counter yelled at us – “Don’t eat too much chocolate if you’re going on the tour!!” It was in a nice way, not a mean way, but we all looked up and saw a handful of REALLY attractive girls running the shop. So as we ignored her advice and continued to shovel chocolate pieces into our maws, we kept one eye (each, not collectively) on the girls behind the counter. Because, let’s face it, when the three of us get together, we act like Jr. High boys. Girls would come in from the factory area and would swap out with counter girls and those girls were also attractive. I was convinced the factory was a front for crafting very attractive (even if they were a little Seattle-hippie-ish) girls while operating with a chocolate-making public area.

One of the girls lined us up for the tour and gave us all hair nets. We kind of chuckled because there was this new mom on the tour with her infant baby. She put a hair net on the infant as well, which we found amusing. Then she whips her boob out and starts breastfeeding her child while waiting for the tour to start. Greatest tour ever and it hasn’t even started yet. (Did I mention we’re 12?...) The tour lady took us down this hallway into a sort of small classroom. There were pictures of cacao plants and maps and more piles of chocolate samples about the room. The woman told us the correct pronunciation was Ka-KOW! Yes, like a comic book punch sound. So we kept repeating it like some sort of giant bird. I told you we turn into idiots when we are around each other…

The woman giving the tour was very enthusiastic about the ins and outs of chocolate. It was very informative and we accidentally learned a lot. But the learning stopped when the giggling started with the four of us. Coach pointed out the presenter’s sleeve was torn, so we all took a look. Not only was it torn, but the sleeve was actually shredded from her shoulder to her elbow, in various strips. She also had another small tear near her wrist, and then on the other side of the shirt in the front, there were also some small rips. I mentioned maybe she got attacked by a mountain lion on the way to work today and then the learning stopped because we couldn’t stop chuckling.

The girl told us we were heading into the factory to see the chocolate go from bean to bar. She said it would be loud so she put on a small speaker belt around her waist and put on a headset so she could talk over the factory machines. Then she turned to Coach and I and told us we’d be wearing beard nets, in addition to our hair nets. Awesome!!! Coach asked her if he could fill up his beard net with chocolate pieces and use it like a feed bag during the tour, to which she simply replied, “GROSS….” And that’s why I love Coach.

Pul-Chevy is jealous he can't grow a beard. You'll hit puberty eventually, buddy. Hang in there.

The tour was quite loud and we may have caught about 50% of what she said. But there was enough pointing at various contraptions that we got the gist of it. You’d be amazed at how many pieces of machinery and cooking terms sound sexual when you’re acting like a 12-year-old. For example, Ball Roaster, vibrating, spread them, pack it in, and two-fisting all had us crying at various points. And I’ll also casually mention that Slutnik is just as bad as we are when she’s around us, so don’t think that she’s all Miss Prim and Proper or anything. We got to see large machines roasting the beans and turning them into nibs and how they get moved and melted and where random ingredients get put into the mix. We got to sample various kinds of chocolates and also the things that get turned into chocolate, so we were eating some pretty wild stuff. We also got to see the fancy confections area where they hand make lots of cute and tasty (and expensive) small chocolates. Very cool.

Here's a Ball Roaster...(heh heh heh)

The girl running the tour noticed Coach and I were apparently wearing our beard nets wrong, so she told us, in front of everyone, “You know you don’t have to wear those things over your nose.” Coach stopped her and said, “HEY! It looks cooler this way.” I don’t think she was impressed. But if she had seen Coach sneeze into his beard net earlier in the tour and watched it balloon up like a jelly fish having sex with his face, she might have asked him to keep his nose behind the net. (You can also see the infant with a hair net on the left in this photo)
Slutnik and I

The tour ended without us seeing where they actually produce the hot girls in the factory. But the tour itself was very nice. I’d probably do it again and maybe without being a complete juvenile (yeah right, like I can fix that). We adjourned back in the gift shop area so people who are now addicted to chocolate can purchase the things they sampled. They also had this “sipping chocolate”. It was almost like a motor-oil-texture hot chocolate with some chipotle thrown in. It was warm temperature-wise and also had some spice to it. It was decent, but Pul-Chevy really liked it.

Some of the counter girls saw Slutnik’s Rat City Roller Girls roller derby sweatshirt and asked her about it. A couple of them were planning to attend the bout that Sunday (which was part of the reason all of us were out there visiting), and that they’d look for her skating. We told them we’d see them there, and they clearly were not interested in any nerd action. Story of our lives.

We all loved the tour and would recommend this place to anyone visiting the area. It’s not an expensive tour and if you really like chocolate, you’ll be in heaven between all the samples and the educating about the science of chocolate. You can tell Theo takes pride in their chocolate and also in being very “green”. It’s worth checking out, even if you’re not into hot hippie girls.

And so you know, Theo is not a person. It’s short for Theobroma cacao – or Food of the Gods.

Top 5 things about Theo Chocolate and Hot Girl Factory
1. You will eat soooo much chocolate on this tour
2. There MAY be a hot girl or 30 working when you’re there, if you’re lucky
3. Very informative info about how it goes from a bean into a bar
4. I love how our collective mental minds never make it to a high school level when we’re together
5. The fact that the tour guide clearly had a rough morning indicated by her shredded clothing

Bottom 5 things
1. I wish my chocolate-addict sister NotMomsFavorite could have been there with me on this tour
2. Beard nets get in the way when you’re trying to shovel handfuls of chocolate into your mouth
3. It was super loud in some parts and you couldn’t hear the tour part
4. Caramello remains my favorite chocolate bar, sorry Theo
5. Never found the hot-girl-making machines

Seattle Trip 2010 – Seattle, WA

Pul-Chevy, Coach, and I went out to Seattle to visit ChickenLittle this month. It’s mainly a nerd getaway when we do these things and people don’t seem to get that what we do really isn’t all that exciting. Our friends all think we’re out there for porn, hookers, blow and other debauchery, but it’s pretty much us drinking and playing video games. I’ll make this short on text, so you can understand what I mean when I say we play video games and drink.

No, wait! We DID stop to look at porn on Kevin's computer briefly... and then back to video games!

Next day, more video games...

The drive to Portland didn't even slow these guys down. That's why they invented mobile video game devices, right?

And when we got to Portland, we discussed going to strip club and then all decided "Let's go to an ARCADE!!! Where you can drink!!!" Told you we were nerds.

Not only that, but we made Kwang take us back to his place so we could play Wii at his house. He had to actually put batteries in his controllers so we could all play. We're the best friends a guy could have.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Continuing the Blog

I wasn't sure if I was going to continue our blog, but I have decided to, after much thought. Thank you to those of you who suggested I continue it. I will keep my tribute to Karin at the top to remind you how awesome she is, and how much I miss her. The new posts will continue below.