Here is the white house staff taking a little break, having a little pizza party while watching a very dramatic movie.
Concept: Taylor Dell.
So this past weekend I went to celebrate a grandmother’s 100th birthday in Kansas City. I should also note that I was born in Kansas City, moved away when I was 5, but went back almost every year to visit the many relatives I have there. I hadn’t been there in a good 5 or so years and when my parents said they were going, I said, “sure why not?”
Here are the highlights (please pardon my lack of photos).
Right off the plane I explained that I was hungry and I went with my cousin Khoi and his kids to Zarda BBQ for a quick barbecue fix. Kansas City is considered one of, if not the bbq capitals of the world, and bbq spots are to Kansas City what Kennedy Fried Chicken is to New York: ubiquitous. Zarda, I think because of its close proximity to my cousin’s house and good fare seems to be a go to when even I’m in town and I’m not complaining. I had a burnt ends sandwich and some cheesy potatoes, and both were solid stick to your ribs eats. The burnt ends were meaty and smokey, the sauce tangy and spicey like I like it.
A few hours later, still full from my barbecue lunch, I accompanied Khoi and the whole clan to a fried chicken dinner at The Stonewall Inn, which is known for its pan-fried chicken and supposed ghosts. I had entered “I’m not hungry but I can force myself to eat” territory at this point so I wasn’t daring enough to go for the all-you-can-eat fried chickenn for $11 special, but I did get the two piece dinner which included mashed potatoes and pepper gravy (its been a while) and green beans. I chose leg and thigh for my pieces and once again, shit was solid. I kinda wish there was a little more spice to the chicken, but that’s just me being picky. Mashed potatoes were good, green beans I don’t like, and if I ever go back I’m getting the chicken livers with gravy. I’ve never been to Stroud’s, which some claim has the best fried chicken in Kansas City, but I was told that Stonewall rivals if not betters it. Stonewall also had an adjacent pizza place which looked packed, and long story short, I am definitely making this place the next time I’m in town.
The next day I went to a Thai buffet with my parents and some relatives. It was pretty good but I can’t remember what it was called. The highlight of that meal was the Thai curry pork fried rice (I’m a sucker for crunchy fried rice) and a slightly chilled spicy beef dish.
That night we all went to my aunt’s house to celebrate grandma’s 100th, and while it’s nothing new, the spread made me smile as it was a testament to some Vietnamese immigrants living in Kansas City. There were noodles, egg rolls (!), Vietnamese meatballs, and rice balls, and right next to that was some sliced brisket from Oklahoma Joe’s, ham and cheese croissants, and those Chinese pastry wrapped hotdogs. I had a nice mish mash of all of it and once again, ate myself silly.
The next day we stopped back at my aunt’s place where I had a great bowl of Bún bò, which literally translates to “cow noodles”. Later on for dinner I indulged myself on some smoked pork butt that my cousin Khoi had been smoking for the past day and I have to say that it was some of the best barbecue I’d had in a long time, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my cousin. I think he used a combination of hickory and apple and smoked that thing for about 14 hours and the meat was moist and smokey like a mofo. Topped off with some Gates’ barbecue sauce and I was somewhere in pork nirvana (come as you are).
Also in the mix for the weekend were aunts, uncles, cousins, the first house I ever lived in, the second house I ever lived in, where my dad used to work, and cases of Miller light, which were available in 16oz 12 packs(!). I didn’t make it to Winstead’s(though I’ve been there before) or get any Mexican, but there’s always next time right? I should also note that while much of the country suffers, KC has a Sonic for what seems like every 5 miles.
And then this morning I woke up at 5am to catch a flight. It was sort of a rude awakening to a short but jolly little weekend in cow town.
Here is the sign you pass when you leave Kansas to go into Missouri. I think it’s pretty funny.
Today on a never ending email chain that many Food Party blog contributors are on, there was a short but brief discussion about fast food chicken products, thanks in part to this lady.
This eventually led to me posting this internet (is this racist?) classic:
Followed by this wonder from South Korea:
I would post some of the videos from the times Popeyes and KFC were giving away fried chicken but ran out of chicken and people freaked out and ended up on the news, but then I would be here all day. I’ll end it with the following two things.
The first is a Pulp Fiction line I paraphrase from time to time. It’s from when Tim Roth and Samuel L. Jackson are talking about whatever in the diner at the end:
“Normally, both your asses would be dead as fucking fried chicken, but you happen to pull this shit while I’m in a transitional period so I don’t wanna kill you, I wanna help you. But I can’t give you this case, it don’t belong to me. Besides, I’ve already been through too much shit this morning over this case to hand it over to your dumb ass. “
And of course, Delonte’s classic KFC freestyle:
Peace and chicken grease.
I can barely make out the text, but I think that is cheese stuffed/covered hotdogs in a bath or creamed corn and mustard.
Madmen seems to be pretty popular these days and people are having viewing parties where they dress the part, drink the drinks, and pretend like it’s the 50’s. I don’t watch the show (yeah I know) but I do like to pretend like I’m from the 50’s, except in my world I’m a time traveller from the 1980’s. I digress.
I recently stumbled upon Retrospace, a pretty amazing site chronicling all sorts of stuff from times past. Considering my weird interest/obsession with f’ed up junk food, i went directly to the Gastro-Abominations section and perused the images. I guess to go full circle, is anybody having Madmen viewing parties where they are serving some of this gnarly cuisine? And if so, can I come?
Asides from the image up top, here are some more of my favorites:
I guess this is meat wrapped around celery covered in some sort of cheese?
This really isn’t that crazy, I just think it’s a cool ad and concept.
And this image which won’t show up for whatever reason. I can imagine some executive being like “Well have YOU tried it? That’s what I thought so JUST DO IT.”
The whole site seems to be full of treasures, and I’ve just barely cracked the surface. Here’s another one of my favorites, this one from the Retro Ads section.
Anything on the site make you smile?
On Sunday, Shawn and I had several hours free, and a unbelievably beautiful day on or hands so we decided to make the 30 minute drive to Whiting Indiana’s Pierogi Fest for some stuffed dough goodness. I have had my share of small town midwestern festival goodness, but was really in for a surprise when I stepped onto the main drag at perogi fest.
Meet Mr. Pierogi! The Whiting Indiana Pierogi Fest official Spokes-pastry.
Are you kidding me? This festival was out of control. And everyone was so happy! The perogi guy was running around high-fiving everyone, there was a guy dressed as a stuffed cabbage roll running a found being grumpy and hot…
Insanity. It was really A DREAM COME TRUE. I had never seen so many folks happy about pierogies and summer fun since the now defunct 185th street festival days back in Cleveland. The Whiting Pierogi fest has been on for 16 or so years and is 90% focused on Pierogi, and 10% focused on Polka. To that end, and to add to the ever growing list of costumed characters running amuck at the festival, there is even a lady named Polka- hontas who is the festival’s official polka ambassador/ mistress.
That being said, the reason we came here was pierogi. And we had a lot to pick from, and many many lines to wade through to get to them. Which was not nearly as bad as one would think,other than the occasional asshole with a stroller every one we encountered was happy and incredibly polite. I sneezed three times while i was there and EVERY SINGLE TIME someone said “bless you.” Impressive. We waded through the immense and incredibly polite crowd, and found at the far end of the fest Kasia’s pierogi booth selling pierogi for basically a buck a piece.
The selection was pretty standard, beef, beef and cheese, sausage, potato, bacon cheese and potato, spinach, cheese and jalapeno, sauerkraut, sauerkraut and mushroom… Shawn did a survey of seven. I did the same, but only the meatless options.
Pretty standard serving size, coupled with the ubiquitous condiment of choice.This stand also offered the classic applesauce and not so classic pico de gallo, but we decided to keep it classic and creamy.
All in all delicious. It’s pretty hard to fuck up a pierogi, and it’s equally hard to reinvent the pierogi, not without risking pretentiousness. I would say these did the genre proud, but no points for invention. But to be fair that is not the point here, the point is to eat starchy stuff and get down to polka, and that kind of stuff never goes out of style.
To end here’s a little video treat of the annual pierogi toss.