I Turned Down Pizza from Johnny Carrabba, I'm Such an Idiot!

We spent the weekend in the Texas hill country visiting wineries. We started at Mandola, the new winery owned by Damian Mandola, of Carrabba's restaurant and Cucina Amore cooking show fame.

The winery is beautiful, but only partially open. The landscapers were still planting flowers and laying mulch and the restaurant doesn't open until Tuesday. On our way out, there were a couple men resting on a bench. One said, "How'd you like the winery? Did you see the restaurant?" I said that we checked it out but were a couple days early for lunch. He responded with, "Would you like a pizza?"

That's when I realized that it was Johnny Carrabba. We were stuffed (and I'm not sure everyone recognized him) so we said no.

I'm still bummed! I can't believe we turned down pizza from Johnny Carrabba. That's like telling Bono that we don't have time to hear him sing. Maybe later, thanks...

If anyone knows Johnny, tell him I'm sorry. And I'll take a pizza now if he's still offering...

Note to self, the next time a famous chef offers food, take it.


More Foods Need to be Caffeinated

I was just thinking how more food need to be artificially caffeinated. Buzz Donuts was a start, but you can't eat donuts all day (ok, maybe you can). Now there's Sumseeds, caffeinated sunflower seeds, for my afternoon snack.

I was a little concerned because their marketing strategy seems to be directed at beer guzzling men, possibly the least likely to want an energy snack. But after seeing the testimonials, aka RPMs, from winners such as Damon, 22, gamer, who says “ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!”, I'd be crazy not to buy some.


Simplifying My Mornings

My typical breakfast used to be chips and a Coke. I even considered writing the chips and a Coke diet book, but it turns out that it would have been a bit short. In fact, you just read it.

I always thought that my mornings would be so much easier if I didn't have to have both the chips and the Coke. But how else would I have gotten both the caffeine and the junk food. Finally, an answer to my dilemma - Buzz Donuts.

Imagine donuts infused with caffeine. You can get your sugar and caffeine buzz in one 1000 calorie fix.


Spaghetti and Meat Rings

I had dinner at Carmine's in NY last night. I love Carmine's. I always have to eat at Carmine's  when I come to the City. They serve the food family style, so you get a lot and I always overeat.

We had the calamari, which is absolutely wonderful, and wanted spaghetti and meatballs. The waiter talked us into spaghetti with meatballs, sausage, and something else. The something else turned out to be meat rings.  Literally, a 3-4" round ring of meat with a small bump on one side.

I'm sure that is not the real name, but that is basically what it was. Meat rings really don't have that marketing panache that you need to sell food. I asked the waiter, "What exactly is this meat ring?" He laughed. We were all rolling in laughter, but that may have had something to do with the Cabernet. Then he said it was "pork blah blah blah, isn't it great!" (Not his exact words, but I didn't recognize, or now remember, the real name.)

I tasted a small part of a bump that was on the meat ring (later a friend mentioned that it may have been a tumor, not a bump - yum) and found it to be chewy and pork flavored. I choose not to eat any more since I did not know of any part of the pig that was ring shaped.  Maybe the throat, but that's not an appetizing option.

I googled "meat ring" but most of those hits are not topics I will go into here. I am still at a loss about what the meat ring was, but I am going to stick to the spaghetti and meatballs from now on. Oddly, the meat ball, is not a meat shape I am afraid of. I am not worried about what part of the meat the "ball" comes from (fill in your own joke here) or why it is chewy.

If you go to the City, you have to go to Carmine's. If you know what the meat ring is, please tell me. I highly recommend the calamari, lasagna, ravioli, and almost anything else, but you're on your own for the meat rings.

Update 10.24.06:
A friend suggested that the meat ring and meatball are part of the same entity like the donut and donut hole. That's something to ponder. If that's the case, I may have to stop eating meatballs as well.


Free Beer from a Book

Buy a book and learn how to get free beer delivered to your door. Too good to be true or hidden secret. I don't know if this really works or if someone is just scamming $14.99 off of college students in search of free beer. If I liked beer, for $14.99, it might be worth a try.

Now if it was free wine, I'd be all over it.