Posts Tagged ‘ Awesome ’

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.

Liar by THE JESUS LIZARD is Awesome

So I first heard of The Jesus Lizard back a couple of years ago; ran across their name at some point online while searching for loud abrasive music.

I think I was looking up music associated with producer Steve Albini, the guy who produced The Pixies and the Mclusky album that I really really like. At one point he was quoted as saying that The Jesus Lizard was the best band in the world.

Well that was a good enough reason for me to give them a listen. I looked up which album of theirs was supposed to be the best, found out is was their 1992 album Liar, put it on a mp3 CD and put it in my car.

To be honest, the first couple of times that I tried to listen to it, I didn’t get very far. The music was loud, crazy sounding, and well sometimes it just takes me a bit to warm up to new music.

Especially music in which the singer does his best to sound like a raving madman as much as possible. Some would say that it’s an endearing quality of the group; while I won’t go that far I will say that the way that singer David Yow belts out his partially indecipherable lyrics is unique.

A lot of the time you can’t really understand him, and he doesn’t really go in tune with the music, or really in tune with anything. It’s a little creepy at times honestly. But it’s part of their musical Je ne sais quoi, if you will.

Considering that, the thing that really makes The Jesus Lizard stand out is that their music is awesome. Right from the very first instant of sound the guitars are crunchy, and explosive. It’s like an awesome musical punch in the face. It’s disorienting, and amazing, and you’re thrown into this world of crazy man screams and distortion.

The first song Boilermaker pretty much sets the tone for the record. It’s got this repeating riff that is all grindy, and then there’s a crazy breakdown part, and it’s loud and awesome.

The second song, my favorite of the album, and one of my favorite loud awesome songs of all time, Gladiator is a standout. It’s got a pounding drum beat that goes with a bassline that just powers through most of the song, this sort of loud violent pulse. The chorus breaks it up with the guitars coming in violently over the crazy dude, there’s some more noise, and things crescendo even more. I’ll use the word awesome again here to describe the song: Awesome.

The thing is that the music is really measured and exacting, you can tell that the chugging and the noise explosions are done with precision and skill, they’re a great foil for the crazy vocals, which is why the band works.

The album changes from the sonic assault of the first few songs to a slower yet still crazy self at times, but it just shows that The Jesus Lizard has the chops to do variety. Songs like Slave Ship and Zachariah, are almost tortured feeling in their slow intensity.

It’s just great to hear loud crazy music that doesn’t have to fall into all the silly trappings of Metal. They’re frequently lumped with the noise rock guys, but The Jesus Lizard aren’t unfocused in their attack, they’re pretty meticulous in their intensity. You always feel like theirs this sort of musical violent intensity that just boils below the surface of their sound.

So yeah I’m pretty sure I’ve gotta practice a lot more with the whole writing thing before I can pop out the sort of metaphor filled reviews filled with musical hyperbole that the likes of Pitchfork can pop out, but I’m workin on it.

I’ll fall back on my favorite descriptive word here to describe Liar, the 1992 album by the band The Jesus Lizard.

AWESOME.

But hey, not everything I write about can be silly movies that I can post funny captioned screencaps from, so deal with it.

Also I might invest some more time in using a thesaurus.

Skittles Vodka

So one day I was telling my friend Jay about the Bacon Beer that they made over at Grocery Eats, and he told me that he’d seen Skittles flavored vodka on the internet.

I said: “That’s an amazing idea!”

So the day before Cinco de Mayo, I gathered up the supplies and decided to spend some time making an amazing drink.

This is how you make skittles Vodka:

What You Need: 1lb bag of skittles, Vodka (at least 30 ounces minimum), coffee filters, bottles for mixing, some funnels, and more bottles for the finished drink.

Step 1: Separate the different flavors of skittles.

You’re going to need roughly 10 skittles for every ounce of Vodka. I used around sixty skittles and six ounces of vodka per mixing bottle.

There’s going to be some extra, I added a few extra skittles to each bottle and used the remaining pieces in an extra bottle and made a mix of all the flavors.

Step 2: Put separated and counted skittles in mixing bottles. You’re going to need one bottle for each of the five flavors

I just used normal plastic water bottles for this. I got a 12 pack at WalMart for like 2 bucks, and had enough bottles for the entire project.

Step 3: Use a funnel to pour six ounces of Vodka into each mixing bottle, seal, and shake well.

There’s a bit of emphasis on the shaking. It’s what is going to help the vodka dissolve the skittles. Shake each bottle well, then come back later and shake it some more, then do the same even later.

I let mine sit overnight, and then did some more shaking in the morning. The longer you give the Skittles to dissolve the better your results shall be.

Step 4: Grab your remaining, unused bottles, a funnel, and some coffee filters.

In this step we’re going to filter out all the remaining Skittle particulates. Because even though the Skittles are mostly dissolved, the currently liquid is a little on the chunky side, with various sugary pieces throughout. Not exactly the best consistency.

Place your funnel in an empty bottle, and then place a coffee filter in the funnel. Slowly pour the drink out of the mixing bottle, into the filter, and let it filter through.

I used two coffee filters at a time, to ensure that the skittle particles didn’t end up in the final mix, thought the number of filters you’ll need is dependent on the type of filter you use.

The process isn’t very fast, and you need to repeat it for every flavor. But this is the step that will get you a nice quality drink consistency.

I’d recommend washing your funnel after every flavor, to avoid flavor contamination.

That’s essentially all there is too it.

Once you finish thing get awesome.

Cause it’s drinkin’ time.

STEP 5: Chill.

I feel that the drink is best served in the form of a freezer chilled shot. That way you can have all five flavors.

The shots themselves come on sweet, then kick you with the vodka burn, but finish with Skittles sweetness.

The liquid itself is a little bit syrupy. Each flavor has varying degrees of strength, Lemon being the strongest, and Green being probably the best tasting

I hear if you mix them with Sprite, or a club soda they’re pretty good.

I can heartily say that making some skittles of your own is a great idea. It’s fun, colorful, and bound to be popular at any party you’d go to.

Peelander Z at Common Grounds – Gainesville, Fl – April 23, 2010

So I went to see the band Peelander Z at Common Grounds last Saturday night.

They’re a Japanese punk rock band, that wear brightly colored outfits, have costumes, and have a great deal of audience involvement. There’s a giant squid, limbo, crowd surfing, chants, hand motions, silly wigs, conga lines, loud punk music, multiple choice song selection, and they gave out drumsticks and various pans to hit.

It was incredible fun and full of joyous spectacle.

They’re pretty awesome to say the least, if you ever have a chance to check them out live I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Here’s a bunch of pictures:

[nggallery id=2]

SO YEAH TOTALLY AWESOME!

Biscuit Gravy Cheeseburger

I’m gonna start this one by putting it all out front.

I love Waffle House.

El Casa De Waffle-o.

Their waffles are on the list of my favorite, mouthgasmic foods. I love the sketchy atmosphere, the sometimes creepy employees, the questionable sanitation, and the crazy songs about raisin toast they have on their jukeboxes.

It was a little after midnight when Drew, Alec, and I went to waffle house for some late night foodstuffs. I remembered reading a post on Grocery Eats about a biscuit and gravy cheeseburger. Essentially a cheeseburger with a biscuit for a bun, with some gravy on it.

I figured that would be worth trying, but unfortunately the waffle house we went too isn’t the best with having it your way and wouldn’t just make me a biscuit with a hamburger patty. So I just ended up getting their dollar cheeseburger with tomato and a side of biscuit gravy, cause I figured I like buns more than biscuits anyways.

So it was pretty much just a cheeseburger with onions, tomato, a smidgen of mayo, and biscuit gravy.

In a word: AWESOME.

I don’t know why they just don’t offer this as an actual menu item. It’s like a wonderful combination of lunch an breakfast, all in one sandwich. It tastes like what you’d expect biscuit gravy to taste like on a cheeseburger, but it’s one of those things, where you just can’t believe it isn’t more prevalent. The tomato though, really holds together the whole thing, it provides a nice mellow base to an unhealthy item.

Why don’t they just add this to the menu and call it the Country Breakfast Burger or something like that?

The world may never know…