Archive for the ‘ Adventures ’ Category

Awesome Eats in Atlanta, Georgia: Ann's Snack Bar and The Ghettoburger

So here’s another exciting tale of adventure and unhealthy foodstuffs from my trip to Atlanta, Georgia a week ago.

While I was staying up there, I heard tale of a giant, crazy, greasy burger called The Ghettoburger, served at a small out of the way location called Ann’s Snack Bar.

Based on the name I looked it up on Google, and was quickly greeted with pictures of absolute horror, beef patties, cheese and grease arranged in was that would make even the most enthusiastic burger aficionado think twice.

I did some more research to find that it was named The Best Burger in America by a writer from The Wall Street Journal.

That was all I needed to hear, I had to put this burger monstrosity in my tummy box.

So I traversed the cross town drive to find Ann’s, it’s a tiny inconspicuous building off a road near I-20, in a neighborhood, that might be a little on the sketchy side. I got there before it opened, ended up having to wait around for a half hour or so. Thankfully the joint had a nice shaded screened in porch, cause it was a quite the warm day in the ATL.

The thing about Ann’s is that it’s really tiny, so only about 8 people can come and sit at the bar at any given time, and when you’re there, you’ve got to obey Ann’s rules. No Cell Phones, and No Swearing are two of the big ones. You don’t talk to Ann unless you’re spoken too, and you have to be ready to order when she’s ready to take it. It’s a little harsh, but Ann’s an old southern lady, so one can assume she just doesn’t want to take any shit from no one.

So I sat at the bar once the place opened, next to some Atlanta Natives who were also going to experience the Ghettoburger for the first time.

Ms. Ann took the orders in a very matter of fact way, writing everything down, taking names, and being a bit more intimidating that you’d expect for a tiny lady such as herself. She does all the cooking herself, with just one assistant, so she takes all the orders and then cooks everyone’s burgers at the same time.

I got my taste of Ms. Ann’s attitude when I ordered my drink. She serves lemonade and red drink, probably fruity punch, out of plastic jugs, and I requested to get them mixed half and half for my beverage. She gave me a look and said, “NO. We don’t mix them.” No reason, nor any argument, just NO.

The burgers consist of these giant patties that she plops down onto a grill, covers with onions, and once done she douses them liberally in a whole lot of seasoning salt, while you sit about four feet away having the magical aroma of coked meat fill your nostrils. So these are well made burgers to say the least, add cheese and bacon and these things get a little bit frightening, but when she adds the spoonful of chili as the final topping that’s when you know shit just got real.

So to be clear, my Ghettoburger consisted of two giant patties, two slices of cheese, a strip of bacon, lettuce, onions, tomato, ketchup, chili, and mayo.

So while my burger came out far more normal looking that some of the pictures I’d seen online, I still had to cut in in half to eat it, cause it was the sort of giant burger that you have a hard time even getting a bit into.

Now the thing is, I ended up not entirely caring for the chili, I thought it overpowered the burger flavor a bit, but aside from that The Ghettoburger was pretty badass. Giant, greasy, and tasty, along with various other artery clogging adjectives.

I wouldn’t call it the best burger in the USA, I prefer some sauteed onions and mushrooms, thousand island, and the occasional wacky ingredient, but I’d say it’s worth stopping by to try if you’re in the ATL. I can see myself making the pilgrimage to Ann’s Snack Bar the next time I’m in town. Cause the burger felt right. It felt down and dirty, and home cooked. It felt southern, it felt like a big FUCK YOU to the shitty, tiny burgers of fast food, and it felt like something special.

It’s the sort of thing you’d normally eat on a day when life’s got you down, and you have to say to the world “I don’t  care about these troubles of mine, grease and meat shall conquer all.”

Awesome Eats in Atlanta, Georgia: Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles

So this past weekend I went up to Atlanta to hang out with my friend Richard, and see The Pixies.

I made him take me to Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles.

I had seen the restaurant on the travel channel, and knew that I had to go there while I was spending some time in the ATL.

The outside of the building isn’t overly impressive, it’s a little bit run down looking from the side, but the neon sign is pretty classy. It’s located on Peachtree in Atlanta, in the midtown area. It’s an easy enough place to get to, even if the parking nearby is a little bit on the expensive side at night. But that’s not even a big deal, cause when you’re going to a fancy restaurant that’s open till 4 am on Saturdays, it’s nice to not have to park far away in a big city.

That’s right, it’s a fancy place.

It’s really nice on the inside, with big comfy booth seating, and dimmed lighting that gives the whole place a wonderful feeling of class. I pretty much loved the inside, it just made you feel like you were eating at a respectable establishment, which is the sort of treatment that southern foods don’t get as much as they should. Which isn’t to say that southern foods aren’t respectable, as a southern boy myself I have a keen love for many things chickeny, and I love grits. It’s just most of the time you get such foods at places like Waffle House, which are sketchy to say the least.

I ordered the signature meal, the Midnight Train.

One giant waffle, and four giant fried chicken wings.

I also got a side order of cheese grits, cause like I said before I’m a good ole southern boy.

These were easily the biggest chicken wings I’d ever had. Honestly I’m used to the tiny wings that you get at wings places fore takeout, or the tiny ones you get as appetizers. But these were huge. I only managed to finish two.

They were pretty good, unbattered, the flavor was more natural than most wings I’ve had, there was a little bit of the seasoning flavor, but the chicken did a lot of the work. As you’re having chicken with your waffle it is custom to have syrup with both, and that’s what made the chicken really work.

While I liked the chicken, I loved the waffle.

I’d consider myself a connoisseur of waffles, I love Waffle House with all my heart, I love waffle cones, waffle fries, and consider the Belgian Waffle to be the best thing that has ever come out of Belgium.

So it’s no exaggeration when I saw that Glads Knights waffle was superb. The waffles there are malted, so they taste a little bit different than your average waffle, and it seemed a little bit more dense, but it was delicious. It was a soft and fluffy waffle, which I prefer to the alternate crispy style. Wonderful, and mouthgasmic with butter and syrup.

I can easily recommend the restaurant on the strength of their waffle alone.

But I don’t have too; cause they’ve got a great atmosphere, and good chicken, not to mention an entire menu of other appetizing foods and deserts.

I can easily say that I’ll be going back next time I’m up in the ATL.

Awesome Eats in Tallahassee, Florida

So I went to Tallahassee on July 7th to go see Lightning Bolt perform at The Farside.

That was a pretty amazing concert, but in the time that I spent in Tally during which I wasn’t having my ears destroyed, I was taken by my friend  Nikki to have some pretty awesome food.

For dinner we went to a cool place called Monk’s, that is known for their wide selection of burgers.

They’re the sort of place that has a giant list of crazy toppings that you can get, so there’s quite a few possibilities there for the picking, but they’re got some of the really interesting ones right there on the menu. As a man who is adventurous when it comes to culinary matters I knew that I had to try the burger on the menu called THE LIP SMACKER.

Smoked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peanut Butter, and Strawberry Jelly.

I was terrified, I was curious, I was up for the challenge.

I have to say that the name of the burger is appropriate, it’s a sort of greasy, wonderful, flavorful mess inside your mouth. It’s kinda strange, but new and interesting, cause honestly, most people haven’t even considered such a meal.

Like I’m not totally sure that it’s something I’d be in a hurry to get over and over, but it’s certainly different. The peanut butter is pretty sticky, which is an interesting texture contrast to the rest of the elements of the burger. The bacon adds a saltiness, while the jelly gives you a sweet flavor, it works better than you’d expect honestly. While it’s not something I’d recommend for everyone to try, it is a burger that I’m glad I tried and one that I’m glad exists as an option. I always support creative food combinations.

Weirdness aside, they do make a good burger at Monks, nice and juicy, full of flavor. I plan on going there again, next time I’m in Tally.

The next day we went to a hot dog place  called Voodoo Dog. We picked up a flyer for them at The Farside while I was waiting around to get the two guys from Lightning Bolt to autograph their newest album for me. I saw the words, “bacon wrapped deep fried hot dogs” and I was sold.

The place itself was pretty cool, they had all sorts of pop culture pictures and things, a big poster for They Live instantly endeared me to the restaurant. They’ve also got a pretty cool logo.

Overall I had a pretty decent experience there, the signature bacon wrapped dog was pretty good, I got one with cheese and slaw, and another off the menu called the Hari Kari that was the bacon wrapped dog, with teriyaki sauce, pineapple, and green onions.

I wasn’t too impressed with the Hari Kari really, I don’t really think they put enough teriyaki sauce on it at all, cause it didn’t taste teriyaki-esque to me. So i felt like I had just gotten a hot dog with some pineapple on it, not really what I was hoping for.

The cheese fries that I also got were quite good, they used real cheese instead of cheese sauce, and they were nice and freshly fried, so they tasted wonderful like a cardiac arrest. So out of the things I got from Voodoo Dog, two out of the three were pretty good, and one was kinda meh. I’d probably try them again at some point, cause they’ve got a variety of other interesting looking hot dogs and burgers on their menu, I was just a bit underwhelmed with my first go round.

So there you have it, two places in Tallahassee, Florida that have serve some pretty good eats. When I’m in a different town I like to find myself good local restaurants that serve interesting foods, and I’d say these two proved a success.

So comment back here if you’ve got any suggestions of more places I should try out next time I’m in Tally.

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GWAR at Bonnaroo 2010

So GWAR played a 2:30 AM set at Bonnaroo this year.

You know, Bonnaroo, the giant music festival in Tennessee where thousands of hippies and dirty people with dreadlocks gather to listen to music and trip out on tons of drugs.

Yeah GWAR played there this year, and it was awesome!

They rocked, there was tons of blood, Space Michael Jackson had his face ripped off, there was dismemberment, more blood, Obama showed up and in typical GWAR fashion sprayed blood everywhere, Margaret Cho got killed, and the was evil mutant baby impalement, an evil space pope, and then some blood sprayed everywhere.

Here’s some pics.

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AND HERE’S A SHORT VIDEO I TOOK A THE END OF THE SHOW!

Mars Pub and Laser Tag – Gainesville, Fl

Last Tuesday some friends and I went to Mars Pub and Laser Tag.

It’s a new bar off of University Ave in Gainesville.

They’ve got things that pretty much all College students can enjoy. Super cheap beer, and Laser Tag. Gainesville, while having plenty of places to buy beer, has only one other place to play laser tag, which is at a bowling alley on the other side of town from Mars Pub, and it’s never even been open when I’ve gone to that bowling alley. So Mars Pub has the distinguished honor of having the best laser tag in town.

The pub itself is a narrow place, they’ve got a few tables, some stools, a comfy couch, and a few arcade machines. They’ve got an Area 51/Maximum Force combo machine, which makes just about any establishment better.

The people who run the place all seemed pretty nice, the bar was attentive, and the atmosphere is fun, in short it’s already one of the better places in the downtown Gainesvegas area.

While I was there I tried the cheapest beer they had on special, which was a can of Genesee Cream Ale or a Genny Cream if you will. It’s about as bad as any other beer I’ve ever had, but the prospect of a 50 cent can of beer seem like an adventure I had to partake in. It also left me with 50 cents in change to play Maximum force with, so it was convenient too! But for those of you who actually enjoy beer, they’ve got a number of different types on draft or in bottles too, so you can make sure that you’re already having a good time before you even get to the lasers.

The laser tag itself is in a side area adjacent to the pub, and is actually larger than the pub area itself. The whole place is black light and colored with crazy designs and full of various obstacles. The layout is pretty good with neither playing side having a clear advantage.

They drop you in for about 10 minutes and you run around shooting your friends with abandon, ducking behind walls and barrels and generally engaging in various laser fuel shenanigans. It’s fun there’s loud techno-y music that plays while you’re shooting, and everyone has fun. There’s not more that you ask for.

During the game they tally how many points you get from shooting various people, and they give you a score card showing who the best on bother teams were, which is cool cause everyone loves bragging rights.

So pretty much if you’re looking for a fun night in downtown Gainesville, I can easily recommend Mars Pub and Laser Tag. It’s a chill place, with nice people working there, they’ve got drinks, they’ve got Area 51, and they’ve got Laser Tag.

TNA Wrestling at Universal Studios

ANGRY FACE

So I took a trip to Universal Studios Orlando yesterday.

I haven’t been to Universal in a number of years for anything but Halloween Horror Nights; 2006 might have been the last time I was there proper.

I went with four friends from work, Jay, Kato, Alec, and Adrian.

Since it was a Tuesday, and not during a vacation season, the two parks weren’t all that crowded, most of the rides had lines of 10 minutes or less, which made the day super awesome.

We did Islands of Adventure, in the first half of the day, and then went to the studio.

First thing I noticed is that Nickelodeon Studios is closed.

I guess it closed a while ago, but I had no idea. It’s weird, when you’re a kid, Nickelodeon is such a huge part of the Universal and now it is a building for The Blue Man Group. Not as Fun.

But it turned out that TNA Wrestling was filming a show that day in one of the studio buildings, and my friend Kato loves wrestling.

He loves wrestling as much as I love terrible movies.

I’ve never seen professional wrestling live before, and I have to say it was pretty amusing. I was into wrestling when I was 10 or so and would watch it on Saturday nights on TV, but that phase of my television viewing history didn’t last too long. I could just never really get into the silly story lines and rivalries, and never really got into the actually wrestling beyond the shenanigans and chair hitting.

TNA Wrestling is from my understanding a considerably smaller operation than the WWE, WCW, ECW, and various other acronyms were/are. I guess they get a lot of the wrestlers who don’t want to be a part of WWE anymore, so they’ve got a few faces I recognized from my childhood. Like STING, and HULK HOGAN!

Honestly when I was younger I never realized that Sting was just a dude who saw The Crow too many times and had a scorpion on his shirt.

Never really noticed the similarities when I was younger

Sting was wearing a Sting shirt. Kinda lazy promotion really. I know he’s not nearly as famous as he once was, but come on, wearing your own shirt?


At one point there were two dudes with Mohawks wrestling!

TWO GUYS WITH MOHAWKS!

Hulk Hogan showed up at the end to call Ric Flair a cheater, he tried to win using brass knuckles. OMG!

Then he spent a few minutes posing and talking about the pay per view event that was coming up, not the coolest thing ever, but still it isn’t everyday you get to see The Hulkster.

LET ME HEAR YOU SAY IT. PAY PER VIEW!!!

So while I’m not really into the whole wrestling thing at all anymore, I did enjoy my TNA experience a whole lot. It was fun, silly, and full of body slams.

My only complaint is that nobody pulled a RAM JAM.