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Planes, Dogs and a Big Missile

The door bell rings just before 7 AM on Saturday. Yes, seven A.M. on a Saturday. I know! It’s bad enough to be alert and functional (“Game On” as a friend would say) well before seven during the week, but on Saturday? This is a road trip day. We are heading down south to the “Old Pueblo” (pooh-way-blow), Tucson Arizona. We make one stop to pick up a friend and fellow GB activity participant before heading down the highway.

We have a day of sights and tastes planned, which include the Pima Air & Space Museum and the Titan Missile Museum. For those of us here at the GB office complex, an opportunity to experience marvelous feats of engineering AND enjoy some Sonoran Mexican food is an irresistible combination.

There are over 300 aircraft in five hangers and on display outdoors at Pima. Vehicles spanning decades of aviation history were everywhere! But walking around and under the SR-71 Blackbird made my day! It was the middle of the afternoon before we knew it and we found ourselves parched and famished.

For lunch we went to experience one of the Tucson culinary treats featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food” show. That treat would be the Sonoran Hot Dog that is served up at a taco stand in South Tucson called “El Guero Canelo” (ehl wed-ho khan-eh-loh). This location is literally a parked concession truck with a hut for orders and drinks with a separate grill cart. There is plenty of seating under a covered patio with picnic tables.

The place is bustling with locals. You know the fare is authentic border Mexican cuisine when you are in the minority standing in line to order. That’s right, some “gringos” found this place (note that 50% of the GB staff is Mexican-American, that means he can put this crowd at ease with a glance that communicates “These guys are cool”, “They don’t work for the Border Patrol” and “See y’all in church on Sunday”). I step up to the window and order a Sonoran Dog and a bottle of Coke, imported from Mexico, with a cup of ice.

Cokes and order numbers in hand we wade through the patrons and find a table. The speaker overhead crackles with periodic announcements that an order is ready. The numbers are called out in English and Spanish. I look at my receipt and note that I have number 279 or número doscientos setenta y nueve (dohs-see-en-toes seh-ten-tah ee nweh-veh).

My dog is ready. Fresh off the grill cart it is a bacon wrapped frank with beans, grilled onions, fresh onions, tomatoes, mayo, mustard and jalapeño sauce on a homemade “francesito” (frahn-seh-see-toh) french bread roll. The smell, flavors and textures combine to make a sublime scrumptious experience!

A bite of such a dog is usually followed by an ice cold beer. Alas, there was no beer cart or cooler at this place but we knew this going in, as their web site was devoid of any hard beverages listed. Upon sitting at the table we quickly produced a flask of Appleton Estate Jamaican rum and a plastic squeeze bottle of lime juice. With a quick glance around to see if anyone was paying attention, we combined the rum, juice and bottled Coke into the cups of ice to create “Cuba Libres” (koo-bah lee-brehs)! We are all about food and drink pairing, you know.

Next on the itinerary was the truly awesome Titan Missile Museum. The engineering effort to create this line of defense in the 1960’s (and operational for over 20 years) is amazing. The Titan II missile is 103 feet tall and had the largest single warhead deployed with a 9 megaton yield. This weapon would destroy everything in a 900 square mile area! The tour will take you down into the underground missile silo to view and participate in a launch demonstration. I highly recommend that you visit this museum if you find yourself in Tucson.

Just before leaving, we pull into “La Parrilla Suiza” (lah par-eeh-yah swee-zah), order a round of Negra Modelo (negg-rah, moe- alright, I’m DONE with the pronunciation tutorial) on draft with the “Queso al La Parrilla” appetizer; Melted cheese served on a table grill with flour tortillas. That’s right, MORE Mexican food. We reminisced, relaxed and ate. This day was great! We need to do this again.

El Guero Canelo Gluttonous fare, truly La Parrilla Suiza Gluttonous fare, truly

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Breakfast is the best

mmmm Frittata!

mmmm Frittata!

I must say,  breakfast is my favorite meal.  Eggs,  either fried or scrambled,  homemade hash browns,  and the ever popular BACON.  This is not about one of those.  This is much more!

This is about Big Daddy’s Sausage,  Red Pepper,  and Feta Frittata. I can safely call my wife a Food Network freak.  She watches it all the time.  And of course,  the benefit is I get to try all kinds of good stuff!

Let me tell you,  the aromas wafting through the house were amazing,  I could really smell the sweet Italian sausage, and other ingredients.  I could hardly wait for it to finish so I could have some.

And since it needed to rest for 10 minutes,  I took the opportunity take a few pictures.  Just be careful if you want move it for a better angle,  do not touch the handle without protection.  It is HOT.

So,  grab the recipe and give it a shot.  You will not be disappointed.

Gluttonous Fare!

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Ode to Tequila

There once was an hombre from Jalisco.

Who grew blue agave because he liked to.

They were roasted and distilled,

Until his taste buds were thrilled.

Then he passed out until he came to.

– Gluttony Boy

A shot straight from the freezer! Sippin’ time…

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Ice, Ice, baby!

image

The coldest Blue Moon yet.  Iced and ready to go!

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Steak, Salad, Sprouts, Wine, Whiskey and Kill Bill

Steak – I grip the knife tightly and pull it across the meat in anticipation. A slice falls to the plate with a trickle of warm blood. It does not stay there for long before my teeth are tearing at this piece of prime, corn fed, midwestern angus beef tenderloin. Grilled to perfection by a fellow G-Boy with a salt and pepper rub. It’s supper time!

 

Wiggle your big toe. – the Bride (from Kill Bill)

Wine – Grabbing the glass by the stem and taking a moment to note the aroma, I follow the slice of steak with a swallow of Brancaia Tre (a blend of three varietals; Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet). Bottled in 2007, this wine is a 93 point top 10 selection for 2009 by Wine Spectator. A silly grin creeps across my face, I can tell that this meal is going to be good. Very good.

It was not my intention to do this in front of you. For that I’m sorry. But you can take my word for it, your mother had it comin’. When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, I’ll be waiting.
– the Bride (another from Kill Bill)

Salad – Normally, that is all that needs to be said on the subject of leafy greens. It’s not meat. I prefer to dine efficiently. The steer grazed on the salad, so I go straight to the beef and get my greens that way. Efficient. But this was a spinach salad covered in a warm bacon dressing. You read that right, bacon. “More please…”

Funny. You like samurai swords, I like baseball.
– Hattori Hanzo (yet another from… you get the idea)

Sprouts – As in brussels sprouts. You know, the tiny little “I want to be a cabbage when I grow up” kind of brussels sprouts. Sauteed in chicken broth, thyme, basil and bacon. Yes, more bacon. Can there be too much bacon in your meal? No. Sprouts covered with Panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese that have been placed in the oven and toasted until they are golden brown. I have never tasted anything like these sprouts! I may have to reconsider my efficiency paradigm.

Silly Caucasian girl likes to play with samurai swords. – O-Ren Ishii

The evening started informally with beer. Cold beer and bruschetta. Delicious. Red wine with the meal. The second bottle was a 91 point Malbec from Argentina, a 2006 Pascual Toso. The wine selections went perfectly with the meal.

I am gonna ask you questions. And every time you don’t give me answers, I’m gonna cut something off. And I promise you, they will be things you will miss.
– the Bride

Coffee and water to awaken the spirit and prepare us for what was to come. We set up the Keurig coffee brewer while we digested the meal. The coffee was good as there was a nip in the air on this winter evening. It is important to stay hydrated with water too, in order to truly appreciate the drinks consumed and the drinks about to be consumed.

From here you can get an excellent view of my foot. – Pai Mei

Kill Bill Vol. 1 – After dinner we adjourned to the media room for back-to-back screenings of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill; The Bride wakes up after a long coma. The baby that she carried before entering the coma is gone. The only thing on her mind is to have revenge on the assassination team that betrayed her – a team she was once part of.

Whiskey – A glass with two fingers, or so, of Maker’s Mark 46 hand crafted Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey over ice. This bourbon is special. An aged, 94 proof whiskey with toasty oak, vanilla and carmel flavors that goes down smooth and soft. 46 inspires poetry and song, but that’s another post.

Kill Bill Vol. 2The murderous Bride continues her vengeance quest against her ex-boss, Bill, and his two remaining associates; his younger brother Budd, and Bill’s latest flame Elle.

Whisky – A glass of Balvenie Doublewood 12 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (yes, they spell ‘whisky’ differently in Scotland). Aged in whisky oak and sherry oak barrels for a unique taste and aroma with a long warm finish. A GB favorite!

Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey. – Budd

What a night this turned out to be! Dinner and cinema. Quinten Tarantino’s Kill Bill is over the top, visually stunning, bloody, quirky and a lot of fun. Babes with swords and attitude. Good food, drink and conversation with friends. Gluttonous enjoyment. We need to do this again.

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down…

2007 Brancaia Tre Buy another bottle (or two) 2006 Pascual Toso Malbec Buy another bottle (or two)  Gluttonous fare, truly

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