Tag Archives: food

Corn Dog Shit Show

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Just so we are clear, breading separation of this level = no longer edible to 5 year old

Being the ginormous food hog foodie that I am, I have always been very proud of the wide variety of food that Jr enjoys.

Until recently, that is.

If 4 years old was “the age of the questionable decision” (and oh, how it was,) then 5 is turning out to be “the age of the shrinking palate.”

Jr’s newest meal time battle cry has become “I don’t like that anymore.”

And people, let me tell you right now – mama ain’t down with it one damn bit.

After Jr tried to declare that carrots and broccoli (our last two approved true veggies) were now on his “do not eat list,” I went so far as to implement a “if you liked it when you were 3, you can’t unlike it now!” (Sorry, dude, but if 3 year old you would easily have eaten it, 5 year old you has to eat it too.  Because hashtag momlogic.)

Even with my MOTY rule in place, dinner time is substantially more hellish  eventful than it used to be.

Case in point, last night’s dinner… or as I immediately  took to calling it “The Corn Dog Shit Show.”

I gave Jr a prompt Heisman pose on his attempt to decide that he no longer liked the Morning Star Farms Corn Dogs that he loved as a 4 year old – because evidently vegan junk food is the hill that this mama decided was worth dying on.  Go figure.

Anyway, it worked and the kid decided that they were not only cleared for serving again, but actually his new-again favorite thing ever.  So for dinner last night when I offered a Corn dog instead of  the low carb Cheeseburger casserole thingy that The Mr. and I were having, his agreement was a level 2000 on a scale of 1-10.

Perfect, awesome, fantastic.  1 corndog, some grapes, and a yogurt tube (Simply Yo-plait ONLY, as he has decided that the Horizons tubes no longer meet his refined tastes,) coming up.

Except I wasn’t watching…. And if you overcook a vegan corndog, it blows up.

:::pause to de-corndog microwave:::

Round two is a success, and after a play session with the neighbor kid and a bike ride with dad, he was HUNGRY!

A corndog requires a 5-7 minute cooling time, which can be sped up by sticking the cooked dog back into the freezer. Skip this step and Jr’s delicious dinner becomes a molten mass of meat substitute lying in wait to scorch the taste buds off my offspring’s tender tongue.

All steps accomplished and we all sit down to din.

A third of the way through said perfectly cooled corndog, Jr decides to attempt to remove it from the stick, and half a blink later, it is on the floor, Potter has promptly wolfed it down, and Jr is has that pre-tantrum quiver in his lip.

RED ALERT!!!

I distract him with the yogurt tube and launch into emergency corndog prep procedure, cooking for 10 seconds, checking the temp, and going again – so as to produce a replacement that will be cool enough to eat PDQ, but not still a veggie-product popsicle in the center.

Just as the last grape goes into Jr’s mouth,  I sidle up beside him and hold out my microwaved creation, at the perfect temperature for instant ingestion.  Mom achievement unlocked.

The pride I took in this victory was far greater than any I ever felt in a kitchen – even when I made perfect puff pastry from scratch to ace my dreaded baking exam in culinary school.

We also had a quick lesson in pointing our corndog DOWN toward the plate if we are shoving it off of the stick, instead of pointing it up and firing it off of the stick like a cornbread-wrapped pop-bottle rocket.

One mealtime battle fought and won….  One food saved from 5 year old snubbery.   (Is that a word?  I am making it one.  I am the MF-ing corndog god… I can do that.)

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(Semi) Local Love: Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Thank you, North Carolina, and thank you, Good Times.

Why for, Keri, you say?

For bringing Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar into Colorful Colorado -first in Cherry Creek, early this year – and now right into “easy Keri lunch commute” distance with the opening of the 2nd Colorado location in the shiny new Webster Lake Promenade at I-25 and 120th ave in Northglenn.

The smarties behind Colorado native burger chain Good Times saw the delicious genius in the North-Carolina-founded Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, and boom – direct to Colorado came the GINORMOUS and creative burgers served in a rock-n-roll industrial setting. (Andplusalso, the best fried pickles I have ever had. And I have had my share of fried pickles… and your share… and the shares of many others as well. Trust Keri.)

I am not usually one to go tooting the horn of chain-y restaurants – but I was busting down the door to get inside when this location opened on Monday July 28th.   It isn’t THAT chain-y yet, but it will be, because it is just too damn good not to grow and grow. (You can’t keep a good burger down, people.)

Whatever the number of locations, the local connection and AHHH-MAZINGLY good food had me sold on this joint as soon as the Cherry Creek location opened. It is like North Carolina’s tasty gift to the Centennial State.

But here is the REAL reason I am writing about it and not just gobbling up bunless Frenchies and hoping it doesn’t get too crowded:

The staff at Bad Daddy’s is beyond just being “well-trained.” Each and every one of them is as knowledgeable as any staff member could ever hope to be about the Bad Daddy’s concept and menu, and that is awesome. BUT – on top of that, they are warm, genuine, inviting, and exude a true attitude of hospitality that isn’t fake or forced.

Breath. Of. Fresh. Air.

Tie the great food and stellar people up in a package that includes lots of great craft beer on tap (All three Broomfield breweries are currently representing – WOOP WOOP,  Big Choice,) and put a big “we have a sweet roof patio” bow on top of it, and you have a place that feels right at home in Colorado.

Check out their story and peruse the menu – which features not just burgers and bar fare – but also some tasty salads ,(or build your own with plenty of fixings to choose from,) and can we talk about the “Emilio’s Chicken Sandwich?” Because BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN, is where it starts, my friends. Seriously.

So….

Who’s ready for lunch? (Or happy hour. Or mid-afternoon snack. Or dinner. Or whatever – it’s burger time ANY time, just get me to Bad Daddy’s.)

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Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar Northglenn

100 East 120th Avenue, Bldg B, Unit 120

(Located in the Webster Lake Promenade)

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Local Love – Comida

I chase taco trucks.

Actually, “truck” is too restrictive a term.

I should include wagons, carts, RVs….  Hell there was one guy with a cooler in his trunk that used to stand in the parking lot on campus when I was in undergrad – I was a total sucker for his special version of steak tacos– which were folded over deep-fried flour tortillas filled with steak, grilled onion, cheese, and insanely spicy salsa, all wrapped up in foil pockets and piled in a cooler where they got kind of chewy as they steamed together.  (I miss you taco dude.  So much.)

Don’t get me wrong, I love any kind of food truck, and the front range has so many amazing offerings it boggles the mind.  But if you have tacos on board?  Chances are you see a lot of Keri.

I stalk them on social media, plan errands so I “happen” to be in the area they are parking for lunch that day, and end up taking extra laps around the neighborhood reservoir in response to “that incident with the taco truck for lunch yesterday.”  (One is never enough.  Or two.  Or three….  Need. More. Tacos.)

When it comes to the taco truck – there is no better, more mouth-watering, more delicious, more AWESOMELY perfect example than Comida’s.     I have an actual physical reaction when I see Tina (the truck)  in all her hot pink beauty shining in the Colorado sunshine – my heart speeds up, I get butterflies in my tummy.  My arm starts automatically flailing for my wallet.

Sadly, sometimes you just can’t go running all over town chasing down a moving lunch.  Sometimes you want to linger in a comfy chair in a climate controlled building while eating.  Mostly always Sometimes tacos without a margarita just sounds too sad to comprehend.

Here is where Comida ups their awesome right off the charts.  In 2012 the good people behind the great taco truck opened their first Cantina in the Prospect neighborhood of Longmont.  All my favorite taco truck treats (say it twice – fun to say,) PLUS more amazing menu items, PLUS booze.  You had me at “booze.” Sold.  The Prospect Cantina celebrated 2 delicious years in business just last week!

I can’t get enough.  My only problem here is option anxiety.  If the idea of keeping my order down to a reasonable number of items seems impossible at the window of their truck, it is a concept that doesn’t even have space in my head at the cantina.  I have to have the jicama and cucumber…. And the chips and guac….  And the arrachera taco(s)…. Oh, but the tortas – I HAVE to have the “sirloin situation” torta….   It gets out of control, and I am not even ashamed. (Just full.  Really full.) The food is creative and fun and prepared perfectly – off the truck or off the line at one of the Cantinas (A second Cantina location at The Source in RiNo opened in Fall of 2013.)  It is no secret that Keri is very much in the “food is love” camp, and this food?  In this food, there is most definitely love.

So….  do I stalk the truck or motor up 287 for tacos today?

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The full Comida website

Comida on Twitter

Comida on Facebook

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Local Love – Valentine’s Day

Ahhhhh Valentine’s Day.

Cards and Conversation Hearts; chocolates and flowers; strawberries and champagne….

(Or a big middle finger to the greeting card companies and a desire to turn Cupid’s bow and arrow right back at his diaper-clad little self.  To each their own, eh?)

Having been in the floral design industry for a good part of my 20’s, I confess I am somewhere in between. I lean toward cussing the whole thing and assaulting the cherub, but I do love any excuse to eat an amazing meal.  (Unless you bring me flowers – in which case I will shove them up your nose and stomp on your foot as I turn to walk away.  I have floral industry Valentine’s Day induced flower trauma.)

So, where do you go if you want to show your honey some Local Love this Valentine’s Day?

A few suggestions:

I would rather get the tar-and-feather treatment with a vat of molten chocolate fondue and the stuffing from a red-and-pink teddy bear than go out to a restaurant on or around February 14th.  The only day that is a bigger nightmare for dinner out is New Year’s Eve, FFS.  Skip the crowds and pre-set menus and drop in to your local butcher for the perfect steak (or chop, or a selection of charcuterie, or something else special and delicious,) to make a meal that is sure to show your other just how significant he or she is to you.  If the idea seems a bit intimidating to you, stop by Wally’s Quality Meats . The staff is approachable and quick to offer suggestions both for selection and preparation,  they will lead you to the perfect pick (and preparation,) to wow your Valentine.

Sweets for your sweetie!  You have to have a little something sweet on Valentine’s Day, right?  Of course.  Two of my favorites from around the area:

Sweet Cow – The original store in Louisville sees a lot of action from this family. So good. So. Dang. Good.

Indulge Bakery –  Red velvet cupcakes, people.  Come on now.  (Or Salted Carmel.  Or Butterscotch pie.  Oooo, or Cookies!!)

Wine. CLEARLY you are going to need wine to compliment the fabulous meal you are about to whip up, (or to cover up for not listening to Keri about Wallys’s and serving Chipotle by candle light instead. ) Even if you have your everyday favorites, a special bottle of something grape can be THE thing that marks an occasion and sets it apart.  For this reason a visit to  The Wine Cellar (attached to Wine and Cheese,) at the Orchard Town Center is in order. Tell them what you are preparing, tell them what you like (or don’t,) and they will assist you in selecting a bottle (or two.. ahem.. why not?) This is a boutique approach to wine, so every bottle is a stand out, and (fair warning,) stopping in for something new here can be a bit addictive.  You’ll be back.

Maybe you need a little gifty to bestow upon your beloved? Now if you are me, nothing says loving (to be given OR received by Keri,) like a growler or two from Big Choice Brewing. But if beer doesn’t = romance to you then I have just three words for you:  Curating The Cool. A fun and funky and, in keeping with its name, very well curated selection of vintage, along with handmade items.  Hint, the perfect change-his-life gift for your guy is a selection of Mod Cabin shaving and grooming products, which CtC carries.  You are welcome.

But Keri, ONLY flowers will do.  She/he/whatever EXPECTS the flowers.  I can’t skip the flowers.

Then call  Lafayette Florist. Or better yet, stop by and talk to the designers.  Skip the internet flowers-wedged-in-shipping-box situation and have a conversation with these folks to get something special that shows you didn’t just “get flowers.”  You got an arrangement that will appeal to the recipient.   The great designers at Lafayette did my wedding flowers and they were beautiful, elegant, perfection.  (It is not easy to please a floral designer on her wedding day, believe me. They did.)

Hint – if flowers are your goal, shop now. Like, maybe don’t finish reading this, just get on the blower or in the car and shop NOW.  Except do finish reading this first, because hello – Keri worked hard on it and that’s just rude.  Seriously though, if you want Valentine’s Day delivery, or even a nice arrangement to pick up and hand deliver yourself, get that squared away today, because calling on the day (or the day before,) is going to make for an extreme uphill battle.

There you have it – your NoBurbs Valentine’s Day  survival  – nay – THRIVAL guide. (Yep.  That’s not a word. That’s what I do, people.)

Use it well, and remember:  when it comes to steak, cupcakes, and wine, sometimes NOT having a significant other is a good thing.  :::Side-eyeing The Mr.::::  Protecting your portion can be so much work.

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Local Love: Big Mac and Little Lu’s

Trying to enjoy seafood in our beautiful-but-VERY-landlocked state can be a bit of a fool’s errand.  The options can be sketchy, and far-from-fresh; and the preparations sadly often range from disappointing to just plain destroyed.

Which is what makes Big Mac and Little Lu’s oh so very special, indeed.

When the sun-drenched, welcoming space opened in February of 2013, I confess it was a run-don’t-walk situation for me.  It all came down to the lobster roll.  Much as I had steam-rolled Steuben’s for the same reason the week it opened when we lived in the city, I NEEDED a lobster roll.

That first day I was chatting excitedly with the bartender while waiting for my roll, and a very friendly young woman started telling me the story behind the restaurant. I was in the presence of “Big Mac,” one of the two daughters of owners Paul and Ashley Brock who lend their names to the restaurant and market.

Did you see that “and market”  part? That is an important detail, don’t just run by it.

When Paul and Ashley moved the family here from a previous living situation that included Florida and the Caribbean, the lack of fresh seafood was a such an issue for the family, that they eventually decided to remedy the situation themselves and open a seafood market.  Personal relationships with the captains and fishermen help the family assure fresh, quality product.  So you can pop in and check the mouth-watering display case and take home the freshest seafood around.   Blessedly, they decided to expand the idea from just the market, and add a restaurant in for good measure.  (And it is such very, VERY good measure.)

The preparation here is as important as the product – these folks know what they are doing, and you taste that knowledge in each bite.  The lobster bisque reminds me of Alioto’s at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco – hot and rich and silky and full lobstery goodness.  The ceviche created an “incident” that almost ended in a hand-stabbing with a fork when a friend and I both went for the last chunk (ordered another one – clearly we needed it.)   Junior is a HUGE fan of the fish bites (and mommy sneaks some when he is watching the lobster tank, shhh.)  Or pick from the list of fish flown in this morning and have the Brock’s Fish Entree – they will cook whatever you pick however you like.  Not sure?  The staff is warm, friendly, and knowledgable, so just ask and they will guide your Colorado self straight  to seafood greatness.  If you aren’t feeling the seafood – they have added some great locally raised beef to the menu as well (and because HELLO – surf and turf!)

All of that being said – get the lobster roll (don’t worry, you’ll be back and you can mix it up with each visit.)  It is INSANELY tasty and stuffed to uber-overflowing with huge, perfectly-dressed chunks of sweet, firm, perfect lobster.  Dip the fresh, crispy “whale chips” into the housemade pepper jelly that is on each table.  Trust Keri.

The Brocks have built something special out here in the north ‘burbs – as unique and genuine as the family itself is.  We are so lucky to have them here.

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Big Mac and Little Lu’s

2851 W 120th Street

Westminster, CO 80234

Follow Big Mac and Little Lu’s on Facebook

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