Stuff I should know

I went on a morning run for the first time in months. I ended up running to the Stuff You Should Know podcast, which turned out ironically to be about “How McDonald’s Works”. Audio file:

You see, along with the running kick, I decided just this week to stop eating at McDonald’s for a while. I was in danger of taking back my FourSquare mayorships of all the fast food places in SoMa—and my stomach was starting to revolt.

(I finally lost my FourSquare mayorship of those and the Fisherman’s Wharf Burger King. Burger King! I thought I’d have that one forever. Who eats at the Fisherman’s Wharf Burger King more than once?!)

Though I knew most of the stuff in it, I found the podcast interesting because I had forgotten about the McLibel case and its impact on fast food.

Now the podcast is old so all the corrections have probably been aired a hundred times, but I thought I’d mention the ones I noticed on during my run.

Any regular at McD’s knows the double cheeseburger is on the Dollar Menu ($1) most everywhere except in places like San Francisco, where I happen to live. There, it has been replaced with the “McDouble.” What’s the difference, you say? One slice of cheese. Even here, the double cheeseburger isn’t more than about $1.29. (Yes, that’s 30 cents for a slice of cheese. Believe me, I’ve been dreaming up some serious McDonald’s arbitrages over the last few years.)

Oh yes, I go to McDonald’s way too much. Three months ago, I was disappointed to find out that they built my sausage mcmuffin with egg backwards. Last week, they made my double quarter pounder wrong.

(FYI, I was able to avoid my fast food craving by stopping by the Prather Ranch Grill stand in the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market on the way back. So much better, and with drink, only $2 more than McDonald’s here.)

The Baseball Roll

Stopped by Nama Sushi for a quick bite. Nama is located right across from the ballpark so, of course, they’d have sushi with baseball references in them. Marie has found a new favorite roll for this place.

The Baseball Roll

The Baseball Roll
Nama Sushi, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6M
1/6sec @ ƒ4, ISO800, 19mm (38mm)

I’m trying to figure out a good kit for food photography. I know it somehow involves the Olympus E-P2—the only camera that can be handheld, shot in low light, and is small enough. It turns out, you really need the RAW file, not for the dynamic range, but to recover what the in-camera overdoes.

The key to postprocessing food seems to be aggressive white balance and color correction before even thinking of messing with the vibrancy. Saturation is a definite no-no. I like the post processing effect I used. Makes it look tastier somehow.

These rolls are yummy: salmon on deep tempura-fried salmon, crab, cream cheese, spicy mayo, masago, and green onions. Ten pieces for $9.50. They have a tendency to fall apart when you dip them, though. Good thing the roll doesn’t need wasabi and soy sauce.

German America

I hate three-on-ones. Especially because I’m so often “the one” side.

I was trying to explain on this most American of holidays, while American politics has a clear historical affinity with the British, American culture has a historical affinity with the Germans. Of course, I was shouted down as being an absurdist—the main argument being apparently American’s are the most anti-authoritarians in the world but the Germans are a bunch of goose-steppers.

The fact that we’ve just finished eating frankfurters and hamburgers (not to mention nearly every American major beer marque) being completly trumped by by lazy idea of putting it between two pieces of bread.

I exaggerate.

But not by much.

Continue reading about The facts are tricky things (after the jump). after the jump

Great taste tastes great

At San Francisco Brewing Company:

View from a room

View from a room
San Francisco Brewing Company, Financial District, San Francisco, California

Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G
1/60sec @ f/2.8, iso1600, 24mm (24mm)

I grab Marie’s glass and drag it toward me. “It smells like you squeezed a whole lemon.” I take a sip. “That’s way too sour! You should get another one.”

“Nobody can squeeze that much lemon.”

“The lemon is only there to cut the taste of the unfiltered yeast.”

Continue reading about beer talk after the jump


Because Morgan thinks I need to blog more fast food…

Today at lunch, I was talking really fast when a friend corrected me, “That’s a Sausage McMuffin, not a Egg McMuffin with Sausage. But the one with the ham is just called an Egg McMuffin™.”

“Actually, it’s the Sausage McMuffin with Egg™, because I think they used to have a plain old Sausage McMuffin before they added the Sausage Biscuit™ to the Dollar Menu™,” I corrected the correction.

Then I decided to mess with his mind.

“You want to hear something weird? In the Egg McMuffin™, they put the Canadian bacon above the egg, but the the Sausage McMuffin with Egg™, they put the sausage below the egg, but above the cheese. What’s up with that?”

Trust me, his world was rocked.

A Grand Slam

It’s important to listen to feedback from your readers:

Comment on my blog from John:

Lol, what a complete load of bollocks. I can’t believe I wasted my life reading this.

Comment on my blog from “photog”:

“You are not a real photographer, look at your shots. Stick to being a dork and don’t post this nonsense. Your camera doesn’t help your images.”

There is this old joke about how waitresses at Denny’s have to look ugly in order to make their food taste better:

Diner: “Excuse me, miss. There is something wrong with my Grand Slam breakfast.”

Waitress: “Hmm. Let me see.” *holds breakfast next to face* “Now does it look better?”

To John, photog, and others. Thanks for being the Denny’s waitresses of this blog. I always appreciate how your insightful commentary make me look good.

We serve slams all day

The real version of this sign says “Open 24 Hours” in red on the bottom.

Parting slam

A college friend once once went to a Denny’s in the Florida panhandle. It was closed. “Sorry we’re closed,” the guy inside said.

“But the sign outside says, you’re ‘Open 24 hours,’” my buddy pointed out.

“Yeah, but not all at once.”

Triumphs of the Human Spirit

Blurb is hosting Lunch 2.0 today on Valentine’s Day!

Reading people’s twitter’s I think

Am I the only single person who loves Valentine’s day?

Oh the gifts, flowers, chocolates, singing telegram, and the the restaurant dinner reservation! I love watching the public trauma this day brings to two people in love. Sometimes it is like a romance sped up. Other times it is a romantic comedy in miniature, but mostly it is a complete disaster—still memorable in a “visit the inlaws” sort of way.

To that last one, I remember how my friend Jay broke up with his girlfriend by taking her to McDonald’s for Valentine’s—given how I love fast food, this would probably be my ideal date. 😀

I thank that I never have had to privately experience that public trauma. Historo-mathematically, it should have happened—I know that I’ve been in a relationship during some February 14th of the past, but somehow I’ve been spared any compulsion to participate.

Instead, I normally celebrate it by spamming friends and family with an e-card.

Not this year.

[Triumphs of the Human Spirit]Continue reading

Starbucks mastermind

All month, the closest Starbucks’s chalkboard has read: “Try a Skinny or Mocha Cinnamon dolce Latté A Non-fat, Sugar-free dairy delight!

I had to stop ordering them because I dislike the sugar-free aftertaste. This means that I’m now faced with the question, “Do I want whip cream in it?”

Of course, when given an option for my food, I almost always say “yes,” and I started to realize that this is eating into my need for variety. How to balance those two?

[choice, choice, and more choice after the jump]Continue reading

It isn’t Thanksgiving without the kimchee

22 November 2007.

The dishes are being passed around the table: turkey, white and dark meat, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato, stuffing, kimchee…

Maybe at your Thanksgiving there is that dish that is not like the others—the one that reminds you that no matter how twinkie you’ve become, there is still a hint of your ethnic heritage you just can’t get rid of.

At the Korean-American Thanksgiving table, that dish is kimchee.

The sight of kimchee reminds me that in the last two decades, this is only my second Thanksgiving spent with the family. I recall the other one…

[Two (first) thanksgivings with the family after the jump]Continue reading