Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Monster cup-cake

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Rack & Soul is a very good place to get yourself some pretty authentic southern cooking here in New York City. I’ve reviewed it on Yelp.

But there’s something on the menu that I’ve never dared try…

Let’s assume that they’re referring to a human child here instead of a goat. Let’s grant them that.

So if a “kid” is a person from about 3 or 4 years of age on up to just about any age, then the minimum size of a “Kid-Sized Cupcake” is about 28 pounds! I mean JEEEEZE!!! That is a HUGE cupcake. Forget the cup! At that point it’s a huge CAKE! For only 3 bucks…

And this is “FOR KIDS?”


…stay tuned!

Shooting fish in a barrel

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Finding mangled English in Japan is WAY too easy… But it’s still fun so here we go:



…stay tuned!

Dog silencer

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Had a pretty decent bowl of Gumbo Ya Ya at “The Gumbo Pot” in the Farmer’s market by “The Grove” here in L.A. today. Also had an order of Hush Puppies.

For those of you who don’t know, a “Hush Puppy” is a smallish morsel of corn bread, fried in some kind of fat. The name comes from the story that cooks would make these to throw to the dogs to shut them up when they were barking. Don’t know if it’s true but it’s as good a story as any.

I was thinking about the fact that I, like a lot of Northerners, first heard the words “Hush” and “Puppy” put together as the brand name of a loafer. It turns out that the name of the shoe comes from a sales manager for a shoe company on a trip to the southeast, hearing the story about the origins of the corn bread nuggets and naming the shoes after them. At the time (late 50’s) it was common to call tired feet “Barking dogs.” so a shoe that would sooth them was a…

This morning I was reading an article about how words like “Kamikaze” and “Hara-Kiri” are actually not Japanese words at all. Rather they are misreadings of the kanji for “Shimpu” and “Seppuku.” These words were essentially invented by anglophone translators (in some cases Nissei) during WWII, who simply didn’t know the pronunciation of the original Japanese words (this is a very understandable error if you know how the Japanese language works). Nevertheless, Kamikaze and Hara-kiri are now part of the Japanese lexicon through adoption.

So, while I ate my gumbo and corn bread, I was imagining an irresponsible etymologist coming to the conclusion that their shoe brand was suggesting that they should quiet a noisy dog by kicking it.

Ah, life.


Friday, November 30th, 2007

On the way to Japan from Melbourne, I’m spending a 6 hours in transit at “The World’s Best Airport” in Kuala Lumpur. It is a nice airport. I don’t know what makes it the “World’s Best” but I’m sure these things are decided by important people with all the best intentions for the world as a wonderful place filled with really good airports.

One thing that I notice about KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) is that they do seem to host a lot of transit passengers for long lengths of time. The place seems to run pretty much full bore 24 hours a day. My flight arrived at 5:30 am. I think in many places there are laws against that kind of thing. So maybe KLIA has cornered some kind of market in off hour landings that makes it a convenient airport in terms of routing through asia. Certainly Malaysia’s location is no disadvantage in this case. It’s not like it’s some edge-of-asia hick country like Japan. These guys are right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of broader Asia.

There’s a “Transit Hotel” here. It looks really cool. Gym. Suana. But I decided that it’s not worth the money for “only” 6 hours. Hmmmm. 6 hours is a long time not to be in a hotel, but not long enough to pay for one. So a bench and some walking around will have to do.

Free WiFi!

In any case, I’ve never been to Malaysia so when the sun came up, I tried to look out the windows and get at least some sort of sense of where I was. I then wandered around to see if I could find something to eat. To my dismay, I found that KLIA’s “The Best Airport In The World” status is not compromised by the presence of Burger King, Sabbaro, and Starbucks. Not that I have anything deep against any of these institutions. I’m sure that for many Americans it’s comforting to see the familiar logos, and for a certain percentage of non-Americans it feels cosmopolitan to see them. I know there are huge PC arguments against these franchises being here, but I just don’t want to get into that so let’s assume that there is an open-minded argument where they are distinguishable from crack dealers. K?

That being said, as I wandered around I found myself looking for something else. I remembered that at Narita (New Tokyo International Airport) it is possible to find authentic Japanese food. The real thing. The stuff that simply doesn’t exist once you take the ingredients across an ocean. So I thought there must be somewhat authentic local cuisine here. Not that I would know. The point is that it occurred to me that travel involves the hauling of one’s sense organs all over the planet. So its possible that I can find a taste experience somewhere in KLIA that I simply couldn’t have even if I went to a Malaysian restaurant in NY. Case in point, I’d rather have the cheapest bowl of Ramen you can find at Narita, than the most expensive bowl to be had in NYC. Geography makes a difference and I wanted to find geographic food.

I ended up with a plate of some sort of curried chicken with some sort of fried rice, in a dingy place called “The Jungle Cafe” that had a smoking section and a lot of apparent locals. I honestly don’t have a clue how authentic this food was. It was good though. And if I had had a Crosantwitch or whatever Burger King is selling as breakfast, I wouldn’t have thought about anything. Again, the argument I want to make is not that Burger King is bad in and of itself (it may well be), but that it diminishes the sense that one has moved.

Sometimes it is comfortable to have the experience of how small the world has become. A place where I can see the friendly logos of home, everywhere. Get on-line and check my mail and websites. But it is also sometimes most desirable to feel how far even the artificial atmosphere of KLIA actually is from NYC.

Geography is real. It can be experienced. It can be taken in with the senses. I know this may seem obvious, but I forget it all the time.