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assorted vents & rants

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Pardon my lumping of multiple subjects under one post.

Milk Shakes:

Does anyplace in this country still serve the
creamy, pourable kind? All I ever get these days
when I order a shake is soft-serve ice cream in
a tall paper cup with a useless straw, the straw
being a vestigial tool left over from the days
when a shake was thin enough to actually be drawn
through it.

This is all McDonald's fault. When they introduced
their 'thick shakes' it seems like everyone
followed suit, flavor be damned! So now we have
shakes suitable for spackle and pothole repair but
unsuitable for noisy slurping. Grumble.

French Fries:

Vermonters please correct me -- is it Al's Famous
French Fries on the road to Burlington's airport?
What is the name of that busy diner? Anyway it
serves the tastiest fries of my admittedly scarce
national samplings. Not thin and crispy but rather
that standard 50's diner size, non-crisp but very
potato-ey with that rare natural sweetness that's
best highlighted with a little vinegar and salt.

The first choice would have been the fries served
long ago at the Montreal Botanical Garden's
cafeteria of my youth.

Smoked Meat:

Speaking of Montreal, is there another US or
Canadian city with a Smoked Meat tradition?
(I imagine Toronto would, since it has so many
transplanted Montrealers). For those unfamiliar
with smoked meat, it's like pastrami but jucier,
less salty, more tender, and infused with an aro-
matic peppercorn (but not 'hot') flavor.

Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food Product:

Any deli that serves me 'American Cheese' when
I asked for cheddar gets blacklisted. Any preparer
who doesn't know the difference I label a hick.
This chemical relative of white glue (both casein-
based) should be banned.

Mormon Coffee:

A real problem here in the intermountain west.
Not intended as a slight to Latter Day Saints,
this could go under the more generic heading of
'Food Cooked By People Who Don't Eat The Stuff'.

Instead of the coffee ordered, I've received on
different occasions tinted cups of hot water,
tinted cups of hot water with a creosote taste,
residual coffee tar, and the worst one, coffee with
an overwhelming old dishrag flavor, probably from
a thermos that had never been properly cleaned
or rinsed.

Bread:

Ah the crusty, substantial loaves that can be
found in the major cities of North-Eastern North
America. Horrors the pathetic soft doughy under-
baked lumps to be found here in Utah. The only
loaves that have any texture here are those baked
by specialty sourdough bakers -- AND I HATE
SOURDOUGH!

I want yeasty full-flavored loaves that have enough
fight to loosen my molars when I bite into them.
Is this too much to ask?

Kilauea Lodge, Volcano, Hawaii:

(Not to be confused with the nearby Volcano Lodge
inside Hawaiian Volcanos National Park.)
I'm addicted to the place and the food. Never mind
the warm relaxing ambiance, the quality is
relentless and the prices mid-range; = high quality
to price ratio. I'd have epiphanies just dipping
their sunflower seed bread into their soups.

(I believe it was the) Four Palms Restaurant at Wailea
SomethingOrOther Resort, Kihei, Maui:

On the other hand, this place serves okay food at
premium prices = not so good quality/price ratio.
The cranberry juice was fake, the rock shrimp over
angel hair pasta oily-heavy, the crab cakes
appetizer bland and also deep-fried-heavy.
Somewhat redeemed by wonderful coffee and desert
but blown again by a $50 tab (one person, not
including tip which was $10 cause service WAS
good.)

Frito Lays:

Expanding their hegemony over the snack aisle.
Squeezing out the little local brands. This
wouldn't be so bad except that so many of their
products seem to be twice as salty as they need
to be. I'm always rubbing and blowing salt off
of their chips, um, when I buy their stuff in a
moment of weakness.

Tab:

No, not the drink. I'd love to hit the 'tab' key
to indent, instead of typing four spaces each time.
I keep forgetting that and have to rescue my
cursor from the next window. What a pain. Gripe
Gripe Gripe.

P.S:

Not as bad as the pain I suffered when realizing that
this editor clipped out my four spaces and mapped the
backspace key to UNDO CHANGES to boot! Nothing will
make me see red like Someone Else's Software!

Pierre Dufresne,
Computer Weenie
With Picky Tastes

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  1. Awesome message, but for future reference, you'd do a lot better by posting individual messages (less overwhelming, greater chance of stirring up replies) and putting 'em on the appropriate message boards (more local people will see 'em). That is, if you're interested in having people engage with you on these points

    welcome to the site!

    ciao

    1. Drinking straw-able shakes: The Sonic Drive In.
      Even their coconut cream pie shake goes through a straw -but their strawberry is my favorite - real strawberries ground up in a vanilla shake.

      It helps that their straws are larger than average. I save them to make little anti-cutworm collars for my baby tomato & pepper plants.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Betty
        j
        Jeff Goldman

        Do you think you could give us a *HINT* what city...state...country that's in??????????

        1. re: Jeff Goldman

          Sonic Drive-Ins are pandemic across the south and southwest. Not great, but when it's midnight a chili-cheese dog can sometimes come in handy.

          1. re: Pepper
            g
            gabriel solis

            Also found by the scores in the lower mid-west (i.e., Missouri, Kansas (at least K.C. area), Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana).

            Gabriel

          2. re: Jeff Goldman

            Sorry Jeff, Sonic (service fast as the speed of sound) originated in Oklahoma and is still headquartered here, though I've seen them as far north as Ohio.

            What makes the Sonic Great is (besides my never ever having had a preservatives-induced allergic reaction there): chili cheese fries, frito pie, the best fast-food onion rings anywhere, a little bag of five very crunchy deep-fried cheese stuffed jalapenos, outstanding fresh limeades (high schoolers still race to see who can tie a knot in the cherry stem with their tongue the fastest), and they'll put whatever flavors you want in your drinks, fresh or fake. Some people go there just for the certain type of crushed ice in the drinks. As slushes go, fresh lemon slush with strawberry juice & whole strawberries is the best. Good shakes & malts, with seasonal flavors. Fast service, carhops. and a little peppermint in the bag.

            Where I live, there are five "aromatic" meat joints to drive past in a series of about as many blocks - Uncle somebody's in the grocery store parking lot, Old Lewis's, one unnamed tin shed in a used car lot, and my favorite - Bob's White Rock, and the well established Stables. The smell around 5:30 can be incredible, even with car windows rolled up. The Sonic is right in the midst of these, and is the perfect place to buy a two-handed limeade and fried peppers on the way to 'q takeout. Paradise?

            (this street is in the town that hosts the International Bluegrass Festival in case any chowhounders attend these things -Willie Nelson is headlining this year)