Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Free for All

I went off on the first day, right from breakfast. On the other side of the hotel there was a french place named Cafe de la Presse. I lit my fuse with a double espresso and Poached eggs in red wine sauce with mushrooms and dried bacon blew my mind. All the flavors worked very well together and it was the perfect portion.
I discovered a Beard Papa's not far away and enjoyed a molten lava chocolate cake, along with a chocolate cream puff. Beard Papa's hails from Japan and has the best cream puffs ever. Don't skip it!
I visited Tartine and had a Banana Cream Pie that curled my toes. I was totally connecting the restaurant dots and loving every minute of it.
Lucky for me, it happened to be "Stong Beer Month" in San Fran, a campaign between two breweries (Magnolia & 21st Amendment) to drink 12 listed strong beer for a commemorative glass. I b-lined for Magnolia on Haight St. On my way, I was followed by a man who appeared from the woods and looked to be on some sorta mission of no good. I picked up on his vibe and removed my knife from my pocket and was prepared to jab it in and out of my follower like a sewing machine with the pedal to the ground. Lucky for both of us, he started to tail someone else.
Magnolia's Lightning Imperial Stout clocked in at 10.5% and was all flavor, a truly great beer and totally worth my exodus (on foot). I ordered fried chicken w/ collard greens and onion & garlic mashed potatoes. The food was good, but the beer was far better.

The Irish Bank

is where my first actual meal is San Fran was. An Irish Pub right next to our hotel, Hotel des Arts. A non photo op mediocre cheeseburger with sauteed onions filled my gut, accompanied by a glass of Jameson and a Guinness.

Slackathon is over!

Blame Lewis lovely, or credit him for turning the heat up on me. As a food fanatic, San Fran has a ton to offer and I was lucky to spend some time there with my lady (or my better half so I'm told) on a little vacation. Here's the run down.
My "to" trip had a stop in Detroit airport and past the trippy light enhanced hallway my stop is usually at PB&J, but I opted for Musashi time around and had an amazing Gyoza Ramen. It was so good, I thought I was in Tokyo again. That's what happens when actual Japanese people work at a Japanese restaurant.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day Off 3

No alarm this morning, no schedule and no hustle. Had an Omelet with cheese, onions and mushrooms w/ sides of carrots, greens and beet salad. Roamed the crowded streets hunting for applewood smoked cheddar, a movie theatre and other interesting things. Took a tour and held the FA Cup and found out I could kick a ball at 37 mph. That’s a weak kick from what I understand. Coffeed and walked out, I retreated to the hotel for a short break and some blog time.
Mel Gibson is nuts, but delivered the tour time killing day off goods in Edge of Darkness as he dished out eye for an eye revenge pouring poisoned milk down the throat of the villainous protagonist.
“It could have been more violent” was the phrase I heard from a young girls mouth on the way to dinner at Wagamama and I couldn’t help to chuckle about it out load. At Wagamama, a asian noodle chain, I had the simple chicken ramen with bamaboo, sprouts and added some chili oil and as Alton Brown would say, “that’s good eats”


The Hotel receptionist jams Killing Joke at 5:30 and it makes the morning less predictable and I focus on the tunes with enjoying a coffee until the shuttle arrives. One sausage at Bergen airport and another at Oslo before we ship out to Heathrow and drive from there to Birmingham. The sausage count totaled in at 15 between the 6 of us. They were real good and cheap and quick!
Tired and haggard, we arrive at the venue, go through the motions and wait for the moment. The roar of the crowd yanked me back to reality and the adrenaline took over from there. GREAT CROWD, packed to the gills and fun! Spontaneity took over as my dudes had the gift of gab tonight and shot the crowd full of word holes from a Chicken Fight to berating the hipster of the moment metal (what’s passed off as metal anyway) show happening next door. The Chicken Fight was encouraged and the victor was crowd surfed all the way across the venue to the merchandise stand to claim a prize of choice. Good times.


Another plane ride, another sausage, another hotel and another early ass day to anticipate. The hotel was right across the street and we didn’t go on till midnight so I had plenty of time to find food, sleep and look for Nogne. Nogne is Norway’s premier Micro Brewery. My mission has moved on and taken the Bullet Train straight to beer greatness. Gone are the days of PBRing myself into a stupor to kill time. My Easter Egg hunt is for the best, to savor with a proper glass after the show. Sounds snobby eh? I supposed it could be, but the hum drum tale of habit only goes so long in my eyes and love is in the eye of this beer holder. I love beer, plain and simple. I enjoy the craft, the passion and courage that go into making beer, esp. adventurous brewers on a mission to create something special. Count me in for greatness or I’ll have Coke.
Upon finding the Nogne serving spot, I declined for water and had an amazing meal of steak, bacon wrapped asparagus and twice baked mashed potatoes with a béarnaise sauce that blew my mind.
Fast Forward: “I wanna kill the president” over and over the drunken man shouted. Breaking point achieved and “Shut the fuck up already” was offered in return. We played the song (Yes, we have a song called “I wanna kill the president” which we even had the balls to play on a college radio station in D.C., surprisingly with no consequence) and then proceeded to yell “I wanna kill the president, slow version” and Dave Attell spouting “Will it ever end?” popped into my head and I started laughing. Amazing.
Night cap of Nogne Imperial Stout celebrating the end of an evening and I was in bed by 2 to be up at 5.


6:30am lobby call, great. Dazed, somewhat confused and a huge plate of American style bacon later, I found myself at the airport waiting to our flight to Oslo. Hurry and Wait and are thee cementing words for all who tour in the music world and this is prime example.
Cadaver Inc., trigger my memories this time around. A side note on them: once Cadaver, a switch to Cadaver Inc (with a very controversial website that made international waves in the media) and back to Cadaver, this Norwegian band operates on mostly Mach 10 with seamless transitions and ferociousness others could only dream of. Their website was genius, promoting a “discreet murder clean up and corpse disposal service” that seemed realistic and was ordered to be shut down from what I understand.
Hotel bound after the flight, we head out for some winks , only to be up in another hour for the sound check. It’s a university show, should be great and all our needs should be catered to. This isn’t a perfect world so…you can never expect anything. The drum kit was a dilapidated hodgepodge frankenkit! Missing stands, tom holders and you name it. I tried my best to make it work, but I was missing too much for it to happen and opted for Victims to show up and use Andy’s kit.
Dinner was Italian. My motto is when is doubt, always go Italian. I had a baked pasta dish with meat sauce, which was ok, until I discovered the cheap and great 7-11 sausage after the show. This ain’t no Big Bite, this is a real deal hot dog/sausage, spiced and grilled the way I enjoy.