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Panclog #35: Cereal Special

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Your intrepid Pancloggers have a wide variety of interests, from exploring faith, film, science, literature, and love, to passion, humor, life, breakfast, and fantasy sports. While some of these endeavors are more consuming than others, we have deep seated interest in all.

Fantasy sports is the interest that led to this edition of the Panclog. More specifically, fantasy baseball. We cut our teeth on fantasy football of course, football being the simpler sport to understand. Having played fantasy football a few years, we felt ready to start the inaugural season of “Captain Planet’s Bae’s Ball” league. A fantasy sports league that tracks the most noble of sports, Baseball.

I am pleased to report, that at the conclusion of our first season, I earned second place. Aside from some initial disappointment, I really hoped for first, I ended up quite pleased with the result. When assembling a team, I try to focus pretty intently on the statistics of each player, without looking at their names or the teams they play for. If I paid any attention to those names or teams, I would only end up with Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds players. Which of course would be a truly magnificent team.

This discussion of fantasy sports leads to the purpose of this Panclog. You see, my fellow Panclogger, and true friend, Jared, likes to place a side bet here and there during the season. I am not sure if he does this with other folks regularly, but I assume he does. In this particular case, Jared and I wagered that the winner of our particular head-to-head matchup would get to pick the loser’s new favorite cereal and said loser would have to write a Panclog for his new favorite cereal. What follows is a Panclog entry describing a transcendent experience with Kellogg’s Krave Double Chocolate cereal. Had Jared lost, he would have had to espouse how much he loved Grape Nuts.

Every cereal, to be described as truly great, must excel in flavor and composition in its dry state, as well as, in its milk state. Few, if any, cereals surpass Post’s Honeycomb in its dry state. Honeycomb eaten raw from the box is eminently snackable. Many a long night I have sat back, watching a nonsense film, throwing back handfuls of Honeycomb cereal. Honeycomb also serves as one of the best road trip teats. There is nothing simpler than using dry cereal as a snack for those long drives across the country.

How a cereal holds up in milk is of equal importance. My favorite cereal to eat with milk is Frosted Flakes. At least until Jared told me that Krave was my favorite. For a cereal to excel in milk, each kernel or flake must withstand milk’s deep seated desire to turn a crispy dream into a soggy nightmare. Milk always wins of course. However, with knowledge and experience, a breakfaster can time his or her meal properly so that the primal milk force can be kept at bay. In the case of Frosted Flakes, one has about 5 minutes before the bowl starts to turn.

As noted earlier, due to a loss in fantasy baseball Krave became my new favorite cereal. I actually tried it for the first time a week ago. I can honestly say the experience was sublime. At least if you think the word sublime means what it sounds like rather than what it actually means.
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The first step in the realizing how magnificent Krave Double Chocolate is, is to try it as a dry cereal. Does Krave hold up as a simple snack? I can dishonestly say that it crushes any other cereal as a dry snack. Each bite of Krave provided an odd experience that I don’t think is possible to get used to. Krave Double Chocolate, as it comes straight out of the box, is as dry as can be. It is, as if, the cereal itself wants to remove the humidity from the air, or anything handling it, just like those don’t eat packets that you find in shoe boxes. Holding a kernel of Krave, or whatever you call one piece of cereal, you can feel the moisture leaving your fingertips at an alarming right. This may cause some trepidation in your heart and mind before you consume the treat, but that feeling is unfounded. You will feel the moisture escape your fingertips at an alarming rate, but if you just chug a gallon of water per kernel of cereal you will remain properly hydrated.

What is truly fascinating about Krave eaten dry is that the cereal instantly disintegrates before your teeth completely close on the treat. At the first sign of pressure from the bite a bitter dust ball of chocolate explodes in your mouth, coating every surface it can find. You will wind up brushing your teeth for an hour afterward to get it all cleaned out. Kellogg’s is in favor of good dental hygiene, and Krave helps deliver on that belief. One would think that excess saliva would help alleviate that dusty experience but it does not. This would lead one to believe that such an experience would be unpleasant and one would be right. However, if you have a nice tall glass of milk you can turn it to chocolate milk instantly. This can be done delicately by taking a long sip and swishing it around your gums. Or, it can be done indelicately by just exhaling over the brim of the glass. Exhale gently, otherwise you are libel to coat your breakfast buddies in a thin cloud of cocoa powder.

I look forward to adding Krave to the normal selection of snacks for any given road trip. It is of the utmost importance to plan ahead points of contention, frustration, and outright anger for any long car ride. Such experiences are necessary to ensure a successful vacation. My new favorite cereal could quite possibly deliver on these necessary experiences more than any other snack item in existence.

We have only covered half of the story though. The other half will have paste eating kindergartners celebrating for years.

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Now doesn’t that look appetizing? I would suggest what I think it looks like, but we are in polite company.

This is actually bowl number two. On the first bowl I let it sit too long, just over 30 seconds, while I prepped my phone camera to take a picture. That first bowl lost all structural integrity and quickly turned into a smooth, brown ooze before I could snap a picture.

Look closely at the picture and take note. The milk fills about a quarter inch above the bottom of the bowl. Using such little milk increases the cereals life expectancy to a full two minutes. This is the amount of time you have to consume every tasty bite before it turns into the aforementioned kindergartner’s dream, chocolate flavored paste.

Often times it is difficult to describe exactly what a food tastes like through the written word. In this case however, I can describe its flavor perfectly. Hop on over to the grocery store and grab a sleeve of Hydrox cookies, the knock off Oreos. Separate the wafers from the cream filling and roughly crumble the wafers into a bowl. Get your favorite brand of whole milk, I recommend the Shatto Milk Company, and pour it over the top of the crumbled wafers. Now, the crucial step, let the concoction sit for at least four minutes. You may be wondering that the wafers will lose their crispiness, their bite, and I will say that is exactly right. It is highly unlikely that you will experience a crisp bite with Krave, so a crisp cookie bath will give you a false idea of what the cereal is like. Once the four minutes have expired, grab your favorite soup spoon and start shoveling. This is exactly what the milk covered Krave taste and texture is like.

Per the rules of the bet, I declare that Krave is my new favorite cereal. I wish to thank Jared for introducing me to Krave. I have requested to my beloved bride that we move Krave to the top of our shopping list. Sadly, Krave has 23g Total Carbohydrates, of which, 11g come directly from sugar. This breaks a family rule for carb and sugar content. So, unfortunately, I will wander the cereal aisle from now to perpetuity wishing and hoping I can purchase Krave, but cannot. It is my personal burden to bear, but do not let that stop you from experiencing Krave in all of its wonder.

 

Oh you are having a party, I’ll bring the cereal!

Jared Sova here.  Gonna spit some wisdom at you all about the easiest and most varital meal.  CEREAL, SON! Oh you wanna question my cereal expertise. Let’s take this outside.  Here is a picture of my current cereal shelf(ves):

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Are you not satisfied? I also have 3 boxes that are in the cupboard.  Come at me.

If you won’t take my word of my cereal fanatic status. Take Panclog Co-founder, Stephen Shaffer’s word for it.  He took my cereal status to elite levels by procuring me not one, BUT TWO SIGNED CEREAL BOXES!!!

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LUCKY THE LEPRECHAUN & THE CAP’N signed these cereal boxes.  Isn’t it super cool that Cap’n made a Captain Phillips joke?  You know that dude keeps up on his Tom Hanks films.

Now that you understand that I have the knowledge to preach about cereal life to you, let’s chat about my favorite cereals. I will be focusing most intensely on Kellogg’s Honey Smacks later on, but that is not my only love.  Bowls of Kix have been known to go missing around my house. (Shh don’t tell anyone, they go missing into my tummy.  I just tell my wonderful wife that they are missing to get more 😉 Did you like how i used the end of that parenthesis into a little winky face? Hit me up later and I can teach you how to do that.  But for real, do not believe the rumors that Kix is the Styrofoam of cereal. Honey Kix are dope too.

Let’s talk about Life.  Not the board game. Not the thing you are living. But the delicious cereal.  Mikey likes it!  So do I! I most prefer the nearly perfect Cinnamon Life.  I believe that Cinnamon Life perfected the ratio of cinnamon to cereal. In my opinion, I have noticed that other cinnamon cereals are a little to heavy handed when it comes to the cinnamon. Be that Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cinnamon Frosted Flakes, or the short-lived Cinnamon Pebbles all missed the mark.  Cinnamon Life is simply delightful.

How do I prefer my cereal prepared?  Let’s break it down.  I need a large bowl.  ‘Cause I’m a large man-child.  I like to fill the bowl 80% of the way up with my favorite cereal. Then I fill it up with milk until the cereal raises about a 1/4 of an inch.  I prefer almond milk now a days. But you can use any of the dairy-ful or dairy-ish products you want.  Let’s see what my cereal looks like when milked up and prepped in the bowl.

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Now doesn’t that look delightful?  Also there is a spotting of Rookie dog in the background. You are welcome.

I wanted to take a good picture for you beautiful people.  Honey Smacks is one of my absolute favorite cereals. Post’s Golden Crisp is essentially the same cereal, but I will side with Honey Smacks all day.  I truly enjoy the honey- forward taste in the malty goodness.  I would say it does not pass Brent’s dry snacking test.  It is a little too sticky feeling when eating with one’s hands. But when in milk it keeps a slight crunchy texture throughout dining.  And it creates the 3rd best cereal milk in the game.  I hope you know that Cocoa Puffs and Pebbles edge them out for the top 3.  Oh the mascot is crazy cool too.  Dig’Em is easily the most overlooked cereal mascot.  Why are people hating on a cereal-loving, hat-wearing, super-lovable frog?

How much should you spend on cereal?  Great question, Panclog Pal.  I have discovered through extensive and relentless research that off brand cereals rarely are of less quality.  So I will tell you my budget per box is less that or equal to $2.50.  Please stop spending up to get a name brand box.  Also local grocery stores hold cereal sales nearly every week.  Stock up.

Thank you so much for tuning into this cereal special of Panclog! What would you like us to write about next?

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Panclog #34: Tacos in Austin

Vicki Vallencourt loves Veracruz!

5/29/17 8:54 AM

This is a long time coming. I hope you will forgive me only due to the fact that summer is for relaxing.

In May I went to my soon to be brother-in-law’s bachelor party weekend. We met at his home in Dallas, TX. We then drove to New Braunfels to have a blast of a time with people that will one day soon be in my family.  I was completely honored to be invited to this weekend. Here is a nice picture of Chris with my sisters and I.

 

During this dude trip, we drank plenty of beers and smiled at a lot of people.  I even bowled a 181 in one of the fanciest bowling alleys in New Braunfels.  But let’s get to the heart of the matter, during this trip I discovered the wonderful and mysterious place that is Buc-ee’s.  Buc-ee’s is an incredible convenience store/ gas station in Texas.  They have their own mascot. How many convenience stores do you know that have a mascot!?! Honestly if you know of any, please let me know here.  Wanna see a picture of me and a new friend with a statue of sir Buc-ee?  Too late you are already looking at it.

I am sure you came here to learn about breakfast and not hear about me having a grand ole’ time with some fun people.  So let’s chat about Veracruz All Natural.

Veracruz All Natural started in 2008 as a sno-cone and smoothie trailer.  They then transitioned into a food truck shortly after.  Veracruz then blossomed into a king in the breakfast taco game.  They now have 3 different locations all around Austin.  I will tell you all about it now!

Location/Environment: Veracruz All Natural was and is a food truck.  At their original location (the one we went to) is on E Cesar Chavez. At that location there is a food truck with a fence around it that creates an outdoor seating area.  It was quite quaint with the limited amount of seating that was available. It was a beautiful morning to be dining outside. There were about 7 tables out in this seating area. Each table had a umbrella to shield dining customers from the dangerous rays of the sun.

Service: Veracruz All Natural has the typical food truck ordering system.  Stand in line. Order. Wait for food. Stuff that food into your mouth. Savor! This ordering system can sometimes be an annoyance if you are in a long line of hungry, hungry diners. These soon to be diners tend to create a pressure to know your order before you get to the front of the line.  But Veracruz makes life easy by having their menu on their website and also at the front of the line.

Wait time for food: 7 Minutes.

Menu/Selection: First things first. Check out this taco menu. I am sadly going to neglect the non-breakfast items on this menu.  But if I am ever back in the Austin area, I solemnly swear that I will have more tacos.

The menu was something to be in awe over.  It was simple and elegant all while giving you all of the information you may need when making a decision.  Veracruz also put nice recommendations with a small blurb like “One of the top 5 tacos in America. – Food Network” and “Called a ‘Minimal Masterpiece’ by Rolling Stone.”  These blurbs can easily point you in a direction that you will most definitely find delicious. There are many vegetarian options for those people who don’t deal with meat.

Let’s talk about what I ate!

The delicious taco trio of Migas, La Reyna, and Al Pastor

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I am the type of guy that enjoys a great trio of tacos. I went 3 different tacos to sample the menu and also to taste the rainbow. I chose La Reyna, Al Pastor, and Migas. Let’s start with La Reyna.

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The La Reyna taco is described as egg whites, spinach, avocado, carrots, mushrooms, red bell pepper, pico de gallo, and Monterey jack cheese. If any of you know me, you may be surprised that I chose this taco. For those of you that are not in the know, I have over and over voted against the use of mushrooms in any dish.  But this fine meal was at the end of a heavy beer-drinking weekend, so when I had the chance to get some vegetables that my darling wife begs me to have when I am away, I grab that chance.  This was a beautifully seasoned medley of grilled vegetables all on a soft yet firm flour tortilla.  There is only one negative aspect about La Reyna is that it is built out of many small ingredients.  This creates a bit of a mess. This certainly doesn’t ruin the meal. It only creates the opportunity to use a fork.

Next is Al Pastor:
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Let me tell you a little love story: A young man of about 23 years of age was telling a friend about his love for tacos.  The friend asked the young man if he actually liked tacos or only taco bell. The young man stated a taco is a taco and that he liked them all. The kind friend promptly took this young man to the most magical taco joint that he has ever been to. That place was Bonito Michoacán.

Tacos are $1 on Tuesdays and Fridays at Bonito Michoacán. So that faithful Friday, that young man ate 7 different tacos from tripe to beef tongue and carne asada to chicken. After all that the young man decided that Al Pastor was best. And that young man grew up to be me, Jared Scot Sova!

Great story, right?  Al Pastor is pork that is marinated in pineapple juice and chile guajillo. This stuff is some of the tastiest meat that you can ever have. The pairing with queso fresco and avocado that Veracruz All Natural did was something special.  After dining on this taco I wrote one simple note. “Beautifully Done.”

Onto the Migas taco
IMG_0090First I’d like to say sorry about this picture. It was the first taco I had.  I ate this taco and then instantly learned how to take a better portrait of a taco. But I first must say how fantastic migas is.  Migas is a staple in the tex-mex breakfast game.  Migas is made up of eggs, tortilla chips, avocado and pico de gallo.  Because the tortilla chips are added to the eggs while they are being cooked, they soak up some of the flavor while also slightly softening.  The key to good migas is to have the tortilla chips retain some of their crunchiness. This gives the dish the extra credit of differing textures that many dishes lack.

I would have to say that this taco was my absolute favorite of the three I tried.  I do enthrall you to try as many as you can.

La Reyna – $3.50
Al Pastor – $3.00
Migas – $3.50

Overall: If you are anywhere near the Austin, Texas area, Veracruz All Natural is an absolute must.  If you do not like the outdoor seating, Veracruz has a traditional restaurant location.  The prices are a bit high per taco. But I must say that they are worth it.

Grade: I must give it an A+.  I want more.  Someone should bring me tacos.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Thirsty Thursday: Pitchers

Happy 9th issue of Thirsty Thursday.  Panclog has been having fun adventures. These adventures have taken us away from the beautiful art that is reviewing breakfast spots and sometimes talking about tasty beer. But have no fear.  The Panclog Pals have plenty of articles coming to keep you away from the hot hot sunshine.

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I don’t know if you can remember all the way back to our 2nd Thirsty Thursday. Click the link if you don’t immediately remember. Well now that you’ve read it, we can move onto the next portion of “Panclog Drinking Through Baseball.” We have decided to complete the battery.  We are deciding on which pitcher we would like to be tossing to our catcher. But more importantly, we are deciding on which pitcher we would like to have a beer with.

Let’s get to it!

Brent – Whom I would have a beer with – Madison Bumgarner

One would think that his name is Voldemort given how citizens of Kansas City react to hearing his name. This behavior is understandable considering Madison Bumgarner was the only person standing between the Kansas City Royals and winning the 2014 World Series. In that series it seemed the Kansas City Royals had an answer for everything the San Francisco Giants threw at them, except for Madison Bumgarner.

The 2014 Royals electrified Kansas City and showed the country what a great baseball town our fair city is. The Royals’ style of play, never give up attitude, and capitalization on the opponents’ mistakes, while making few of their own, re-inspired a great love for this team. To be a Royals fan up to this season was difficult at times as the team languished in the cellar year after year. But watching the 2014 Royals make comeback after comeback allowed our people to hold so strongly to hope like it hadn’t done in years.

And then came Bumgarner. The Giants pitcher was stellar throughout the series. He looked unbeatable every time he stepped to the rubber; quite frankly, he was unbeatable. Bumgarner himself was the one who crushed the hopes and dreams of every Kansas City fan.
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Normally a starting pitcher, Bumgarner took the mound as a reliever in the fifth inning of game 7 to protect a one run lead. Doing so on only two days’ rest. He gave up a hit to Omar Infante in the 5th inning, but was lights out the rest of the way. Well at least until the 9th inning when Alex Gordon took the plate with 2 outs. Why not watch what happened in the at bat. When this play occurred I was absolutely certain the Royals would win the game. Absolutely certain. The Royals seemed to pull out wins on plays like this throughout the year and especially in the post season. But as I am sure you have guessed, the Royals did not win this game.

Bumgarner, an excellent pitcher, and an outstanding one on this particular night, threw 6 high and inside fastballs to Salvador Perez. Perez, on that 6th pitch, popped out to the 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval, earning Bumgarner the longest save in World Series history. I remember it being a painful moment watching Alex Gordon stare at home plate just 90 feet away and thinking what if.

The Royals would go on to win the 2015 World Series in dramatic fashion the following year. I cannot explain how elated I was watching this series. Here are some highlights from 2015 World Series Game 5. What made game 5 in this series so great, is that Mets pitcher, Matt Harvey, looked unbeatable himself, up until the 9th inning. Then the Royals worked their magic.

I know what you are thinking though. Why in the world would you invite Madison Bumgarner out for a beer when he thoroughly crushed your hopes whenever he took the mound? The reason is simple, during the 2014 World Series Madison Bumgarner demonstrated true excellence on the field of play. I would like to talk to him about that and how it felt. I would like to know how much work and practice he puts in to his chosen career that makes him one of the top pitchers in the majors. Most importantly, I would like to raise a glass to him. Madison beat the Royals fair and square, and he has earned every accolade he has received.

The beer I would like to share with him is one I recently discovered on a business trip to Seattle, WA. When travelling I like to sample what the local breweries have to offer and on this trip I made it over to Pike Brewing. Whilst there I sampled much of what they have, but I think the one I enjoyed the most is the Pike Place Ale.
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The Pike Place is a pale ale with a lot of citrus like overtones to the beer. The drink has a cool and crisp flavor that clears the palate quickly. The flavor is refreshing and pleasant throughout, and I am eager to have one again.

Jared – Whom I would have a beer with – Bartolo Colón

Baseball is America’s pastime.  Do you know why? It is due to the fact that seemingly anyone can do it.  I will absolutely agree that hitting a baseball well is one of the hardest things in sports.  But the basics of baseball are something that almost anyone can handle.  Playing toss with friends is the core of the beauty of the game.  This idea that anyone can play this fantastic game is the reason why I chose my favorite pitcher, Bartolo Colón

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Bartolo Colón has an amazing nickname.  Big Sexy. Don’t you wanna be friends with someone who has earned that nickname? But before you do anything else, watch this beautiful highlight of Bartolo making an athletic out.

Bartolo isn’t just a nice, thick man with a lot of personality.  He is a Cy Young award winner.  Bartolo won the award in 2005 while pitching for the then Anaheim Angels. He went 21-8 that year with a 3.48 ERA.  He is the last active player that was on the Montreal Expos. The Expos relocated to Washington D.C. in 2004.  Bartolo is truly a fun and lovable guy to have in the dugout.

Bartolo ‘Big Sexy’ Colón became a fan favorite while with the New York Mets.  He seemed to allow his personality to come out more.  This led to his Mets teammate, Noah Syndergaard, celebrating Bartolo resigning with his team by buying his whole family Big Sexy t-shirts.
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If anyone wanted to get me that shirt.  I would smile and do one of Bartolo’s most famous celebrations.

With all the fun things Bartolo has done. He does have some real flaws about him.  He was suspended for 50 games in 2012 for synthetic testosterone.  He was also sued for failure to pay child support by a 2nd family.  I am not here to promote cheating in games nor in marriages.  I simply believe Bartolo would tell a heck of a story over a beer.

Bartolo was recently signed by the Minnesota Twins organization.  Because of this fact I chose a Minnesota based beer to share.  I have chosen Brau Brothers Brewing Co.  I have been slowly dipping my feet into the very deep and rich waters that is Scotch whisky.  I love a rich smoky and mossy scotch. Isn’t it interesting that the Canadians, Scottish, and Japanese all spell whisky without the E.  I don’t know why. But I know that’s how it is done. So when I saw a peated scotch ale in my Beer Book Club package I get each month, I instantly knew that it would be in my mouth very soon.
peat  Bancreagie Peated Scotch Ale is a lovely scotch ale that is incredibly drinkable compared to other scotch ales on the market.  I get small hints of the peat moss.  But I do not get the smokiness that comes with a scotch whisky.  Bancreagie is a strong beer that comes in at 7.8% ABV.  I would absolutely love to try more of Brau Brothers’ brews. I truly hope that Bartolo is successful with the Minnesota Twins.  I’d love to see the oldest active pitcher in the game continue to make people happy.

And yes I did take that incredible picture of my beer.

Who would you like to have a beer with? What beer would you drink with them?

Let us know at our Twitters: Panclog, Jared, and Brent.

Panclog #33: Floridian Panclog Tour

Actin’ a fool in Florida

4/12/2017 & 4/15/2017
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Note from Jared: My wife and I crashed the Morgan’s vacation. Because it was Brent’s vacation, I will let you enjoy his amazing narrating skills.

Your intrepid Pancloggers, on a whim, decided to experience the breakfast foods of the great state of Florida. Well it was not exactly on a whim, much planning was involved. Do not doubt the adventurous nature of your Cloggers though because we chose to bring along our wives. Not only that, we brought four teenagers. Yes, Jared and I are not only brave,and handsome, we are willing to accept any challenge regardless of its danger. Within reason of course. We would not necessarily shop for the most sought after Christmas gift, but we would certainly brave a light sprinkling rain. Only if we had a raincoat, slickers, and permission from our moms.
You might be saying, I understand taking the spouses, who could handle that much trouble if you left them behind, but why would you drag four teenagers along. Especially considering that one teenager is excessive enough. To that, we must ask, would you leave four teenagers home alone to destroy all of your personal property. No, we had to accept the lesser evil and bring them along with us. We may have regretted this at times, but it is better than coming home and discovering your house burnt to the ground.

With our wives and my children in tow we headed out to Florida, specifically Seacrest Beach, FL. Seacrest Beach is adjacent to Rosemary Beach, and the two areas blend into what feels like one larger neighborhood. The community feels wholly separate from the other areas of the panhandle, especially its closest neighbor, Panama City Beach. The community is quaint, friendly, clean, and endearing. It seems that when the planners developed this resort city they had their eye squarely on the well to do family. I am truly surprised they let us in.

The area shuts down about 10 pm every night, and there is not much nightlife available. Cool with me because I was looking for relaxing vacation with an opportunity to just enjoy an easygoing week. There are many activities planned for the residents that are fun and free. For instance, a family scavenger hunt helped you discover all that Rosemary had to offer. They also had a movie night on the green where they played Star Wars: Rogue One. It was an outdoor showing in the cool night air.

The white sandy beaches on the Florida panhandle are the most beautiful beaches in the US in my opinion. The Outer Banks in North Carolina are a close second. The beaches in this particular area are private and require special access. In our case, they gave us wristbands to show that we were renting a place. I highly recommend going to the beach late on a clear night. The stars come out in great numbers then.

It is a great place to just sit back and leave the technology behind.

There is one aspect of Florida that is quite odd: spoons are a rare commodity. We did not think much of it at the first time we noticed it, but the house we rented only had two normal sized spoons. We would soon discover upon dining out at a few places, that Florida is stingy with their spoons. Spoons were not part of the silverware pack left on any of the tables and only delivered when the food in question required it. I believe a million dollar business idea is up for grabs here in solving Florida’s spoon shortage.

I digress.

Let us return to the subject that everyone is most interested in, Breakfast. With Jared’s stated goal of finding a place that is so good that he buys the shirt, we had high expectations. Couple that with a population that skews to senior adults, you would expect Florida has it going on in the breakfast department.

Our first eatery was a popular placed called The Donut Hole. With a name like that, one would expect empty plates. Terrible joke. I am sorry. I would like to say it will not happen again, but I cannot guarantee it. Low hanging fruit must be picked.
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The Donut Hole is a nice looking restaurant built like a refurbished barn. The ceilings are vaulted very high making for a huge and spacious feel. The floor plan is wide open with tables that are well spaced and easy to move around in. The atmosphere in The Donut Hole is quite appealing. There is one downside to this; sound echoes quite a bit making it difficult to hear. At least for me.

Perhaps the most intriguing item on the menu is a bit of local cuisine called Tomato Gravy. To this good Midwestern boy the words Tomato and Gravy sound like two concepts that should not be mixed. It sounds straight up weird causing my head to do the quizzical dog head tilt. One of our brave number actually tried the Tomato Gravy with biscuits. Her view was that it tastes like a thick, floury, tomato soup. While I did not try it, it feels unappetizing.

(Megan) {Hello Humans of Panclog!  Wifey here. I am the adventurous soul that ordered the ill-advised Biscuits and Tomato Gravy.  First of all, I ordered the half order, which consisted of one biscuit and a 8oz-ish bowl of tomato gravy.  The size of the order was enough to solidify that I never want to order that again.  When I travel, it brings me much joy to try the local “flavor” and the waitress stressed that tomato gravy is very Floridean, so I tried it.  I won’t disparage other people’s life choices, but tomato gravy is not for me.  It tasted like tomato soup blended with country gravy, which I found distasteful.  The biscuit, however, was moist and fluffy.  Wifey out}

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I ordered the facetiously named “Diet Plate”. The dish was very similar to the Country Benedict at Big Biscuit. The plate begins with a very large biscuit split and stacked with a mess of scrambled eggs and two sausage patties. They are sure to cover everything in sausage gravy. On the side is a pile of hash browns.
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The side of hash browns were quite tasty. I am a huge fan. There was not a need to add any additional seasoning and their flavor came across as quite peppery. Having not to add additional seasoning to the side potatoes on a breakfast plate is pleasing. I appreciate the chef who does it just right.

Unfortunately, the “Diet Plate” was not any better than what Big Biscuit produces. It was not bad by any stretch of the imagination, it just did not shine overtop of any other breakfast place. If I lived in Florida, The Donut Hole would enter the regular rotation of breakfast places that I would visit. I enjoyed the meal but I did not want to buy the shirt.

Sadly, neither did Jared.

Now for a bit of total honesty. We went to a restaurant called The Donut Hole, and yet we did not purchase a donut. I do feel a little ashamed about this turn of events.

(Vesta) Hey there Panclog fans!! This is the other blushing bride. The Donut Hole was a clean, bright, and airy establishment with the donut shop and a restuarant area. There were several seating options for large and small groups. It was apparent it is a popular choice for visitors in the area (not sure about the locals.)

For my selection at the Donut Hole, I chose the Gulf Coast Crabmeat Benedict, and coffee. The coffee was pretty good, and the waitress was frequently back for refills. My meal consisted of poached eggs with two crab cakes atop a lightly toasted split English muffin and toppped with Hollandaise sauce, served with a side of hashbrowns seasoned with garlic and onion. The hashbrowns were seasoned and cooked well. There was a pleasing amount of crab meat in the crabcakes and they had a good flavor, but they were a bit too moist for my liking. I think a bit more crunchy texture would have been good.  Over all, I would definitely eat here again given the chance.  I did get the chance to recommend the Donut Hole to some friends who also visited the Gulf Coast area. They were pleased with the donut selection.

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(Jared) I grew up not loving Florida.  All I knew about Florida was negative things that I learned from the hilariously sad Florida Man meme.  Brent wanted to make Florida better for me.  I feel incredibly honored to be invited on this lovely vacation.

Due to the weekly breakfast obsession that Brent and I have developed it was not terribly difficult to talk the Morgan’s into going out for breakfast at least once during the trip.  Thankfully I was blessed with not one but two breakfast stops.  Once you have everyone on the trip trained to spot and announce possible breakfast spots, you will have a much happier life.  The wives went to grab groceries and not only came back with food for the week but also a strong contender for a Panclog spot.

That spot turned out to be The Donut Hole. The Donut Hole was at the end of 30A, the scenic highway that connects the beach peninsula to the regular old panhandle highways. We decided to walk to breakfast. It was about a 20ish minute walk. This was such a lovely walk in the morning. It was not too hot, nor too cold.  This walk allowed me to make the mistake that I have made countless times. Which mistake? The one where I say that since I “exercised” I can eat everyone’s leftovers.  Someone once wrote “Never Change” in my yearbook.  I won’t change, Vaughn! No Worries!

The Donut Hole was an adorable vacationers get-away.  They had all of the fun things that families can do while waiting for a table to open up. They had cornhole and an outdoor ping-pong table.  I will say because we went on a Wednesday before 9 AM there was no wait. When walking in, you are allowed to order donuts and pies and leave or you are invited to sit and order from a full-order kitchen. We chose the latter.  They had a pretty standard menu for a breakfast joint but with a couple regional specialties, of course.

I got the Texas Sweet Potato Pancakes and coffee.

donut pancake
The Sweet Potato Pancakes came with a pecan-molasses-brown sugar sauce. You would think that these pancakes would come out more orange-y.  I thought that too.  These cakes seemed to only have the sub-flavor of sweet potatoes.  This was somewhat a let down.  I expected something with a fuller darker flavor.  The sauce was a good accent to the pancake symphony.   The sauce was neither too sweet nor rich.  It was a good median.  It was a good substitute to syrup.  The cakes were $7.95.  This is good pricing for a tourism town that tends to steal money with the traditional Disney World pricing.

Grades:
Brent: Overall, The Donut Hole earns 3.5 stars out of five.
Jared: I would give this shop a C++! Pretty cool, right, my coders?
The second eatery we singled out for breakfast caught us both out of the corner of our eye. We were headed back to the rental and passed by a strip mall. Proudly situated in the middle of that strip mall sat an aptly named restaurant called, The Pancakery. Plans to try this place immediately occurred upon its discovery.

pancakery

It is probably painfully obvious given the name, but in case you missed it, this place specializes in pancakes. The menu is loaded with many different kinds of cakes, toppings, syrups, jellies, and anything else you can imagine placing on a pancake. In my case, I elected to go with The Big Apple Pancakes.

pancake

The picture does not quite do it justice, but the pancakes are huge. Which inspires the following dialog:
DINER: How big are your pancakes?
SERVER: Umm, if you look at the table over there you will get an idea.
DINER: Good grief, those are bigger than the tires on my Camry. If you finish the cake, do you win a contest?
SERVER: Would you prefer the contest flapjack? It is the size of a tablecloth; but if you finish it in ten minutes, the meal is free.
DINER: I think I will pass.
This may be sacrilegious to some of our readers, but I believe that the size of pancakes is getting out of hand. Is it truly necessary to have a pancake so large that you could paper a wall with it? Gone are the days of a 3 to 4 stack of 6-inch diameter flapjacks. A stack of cakes requires more skill and closer involvement with your breakfast to ensure even butter distribution along with the pancakes’ other accouterments. Finishing a stack, leads to greater satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment. I implore breakfast eateries to pursue a vertical presentation rather than a horizontal one.
Another consequence of oversized pancakes is that to serve a normal breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon or sausage, requires a multitude of plates. It seems that most breakfast places want to serve each individual item on its own plate. “I’m feeling a bit peckish today, so I will have the 9-plate special.” I tend to lose sight of my breakfast buddies behind a mountain of dishes when the meal is served.
The pancakes at The Pancakery are quite tasty; however, they feel a bit dense. The flapjacks could use some additional leavening agents to pump some air in them. My preference is to have a cake that is lighter and fluffier, one that bonds with the butter and toppings better. It might be my imagination but I thought I caught a slight hint of vanilla in the batter, which added a nice dimension to the dish.
As noted before I had the Big Apple Pancakes, which came with apples on top. It normally comes with whipped cream as well, but I opted to forego that this time. Sadly, the apple topping was a disappointment, as it tasted like prepackaged apple pie filling. Which I like, but I was hoping it would have been fresh apples sautéed in butter with cinnamon and sugar. I would certainly order this item again but I will feel slightly wanting.
Like The Donut Hole, The Pancakery easily enters the regular rotation of eateries if it happened to be closer to home. My next time I am driving along highway 30A I will be sure to stop by.

(Jared) The Pancakery is one of many well named breakfast spots that I have had come across on my various vacations.  The first being The Pancake Man in Cape Cod, MA, Wildberry Pancakes in Chicago, IL, International House of Pancakes in everywhere, USA, and the most recent being The Pancakery. I think a clever name is one of the most important parts of having a successful breakfast destination. The Pancakery first opened in Destin, FL and then heard that the Morgan-Sova clan was visiting Florida.  This caused them to hurry up and open a Pancakery closer to where we were staying.  The Panama City Beach location was open less than 2 months when we visited.

Check out their breakfast menu and feel the special part of your stomach that was built for breakfast start to growl.  I decided to enjoy The Destinite.  This pancake platter was declared as their favorite combination of strawberries, bananas, and chocolate.  They also advertised that it was cooked into the cakes.  I think that last statement is the most important in terms of wow-ing or disappointing me.
pcake

Check those cakes out.  Oh you are distracted by me? Sorry let me fix that.
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Look at that messy yet artful meal.  After my first bite, I realized that the menu was not lying. The Pancakery took the small but vital step of tossing some of the toppings into the batter when cooking these flapjacks up.  It is so impressive when a breakfast spot doesn’t simply throw a some blueberries on the top of pancakes and calls them “Blueberry Pancakes.” Sorry that isn’t a blueberry pancake. That would be a pancake with blueberries.  Yeah I take my pancakes and the naming of their dishes very serious.

I would agree with my fellow pancloggers that these cakes are very thick.  It was pretty interesting that butter was not brought out for any of the cakes on the table, it was only offered.  Not complaining, only noting. I will also say that I am not the biggest chocolate fan.  I still ate well more of the cakes than I should have. But the chocolate chips overwhelm the strawberries and bananas.

These cakes were delicious. I would recommend bringing a friend and splitting this pancake platter.  Oh my goodness. How great of a first date idea is this? Answer: Perfect date plan.  Bring a pretty person and share some delicious pancakes with them.  If they don’t like pancakes, just walk out.

We enjoyed The Pancakery on our way out of town.  I may not suggest eating huge pancakes before driving 8 hours. But, I would absolutely try all of The Pancakery’s pancake varieties if I lived near either location.

(Vesta) This is Brent’s wife again…As you have been told by now, the second restaurant we visited was the Pancakery. This was a new establishment, which opened March 2nd of this year.  Pancakes were certainly the focus of this place, with many options for toppings or inclusions. Omelettes were on the menu if pancakes aren’t you thing.

I ordered the Healthy Choice pancakes. These were whole grain cakes with fresh strawberries and blueberries cooked in the cakes and fresh berries served on top. They were tasty, but VERY large. They did have a variety of sizes of pancakes, but all were large–the order of sand dollar pancakes included 6 cakes about 7″ in diameter. You should not be hungry when you leave this place. The coffee was so-so, and the wait staff
could have done a better job of stopping by for refills, but all in all, it was a decent place.

vcake

An interesting observation we made while visiting, you’ll probably need to ask for a spoon.

One thing you should note–the Pancakery is across the street from David’s sno-ball (New Orleans style sno-balls) I recommend going here if you have the chance and ordering a stuffed sno-ball. These are like the traditional snow cones, but they have your choice of soft serve ice cream inside, a tasty adaptation.

Grades:
Brent: The Pancakery – 3.25 stars out of five. Like The Donut Hole, we did not feel compelled to get the shirt.
Jared: I am giving The Pancakery a grade of B.  Not amazing, but definitely in the rotation when in the panhandle of Florida.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Thirsty Thursday: Podcast Personalities

Welcome to the 8th edition of Panclog’s very own Thirsty Thursday.  The great island nation of Panclog has decided to throw our support behind the TryPod movement by choosing some podcasting personalities that we would want to share a beer with.

Podcasts are episodic audio series that can be downloaded and played on your smart phones or mp3 players if you still have one of those.  You will find not only an amazing article about cool people who do podcasts that we want to drink beers but also some suggestions of podcasts that the Panclog pals recommend.

Check out TryPod’s website. Let’s get into the article to end March with a big smile.

US

Jared – Whom I Would Have a Beer With – Bill Simmons (The Bill Simmons Podcast)

Podcasts have been a big part of my life for a little over a year and a half.  I listen to them where ever I am be that: the car, the gym, the home, the work, the grocery store, the Earth.  It is the greatest way to spend some time with a socially acceptable voices in your head.  Once you follow a podcast for a couple episodes, you will begin to feel a weird bond with the people involved with said podcast.  You may begin to call them your friends that don’t communicate super well.

I had a lot of trouble deciding on which podcast personality that I would be writing about.  I really think that I could write about 8 of these Thirsty Thursday articles, all about the podcasts that I love. I began with the most stereotypical choice for me, Tyler Marchant.  Tyler started the first Adam Sandler podcast that discussed Sandler’s oeuvre in chronological order.  It’s real fun.  The Adam Sandcast. Check it out.

I then began to debate if I should write about my first and longest podcast love, Scott Aukerman. Scott Aukerman hosts Comedy Bang Bang. CBB is an incredible mix of talk show and improv show.  I can not recommend this podcast any higher.  I believe CBB to be the greatest comedy podcast around.

Then there is one of the most intriguing minds in podcasts, Alex Blumberg.  Blumberg created one of the finest podcast networks in Gimlet Media.  They have plenty of great shows but my favorites would have to be StartUp (featuring Blumberg himself), Science Vs., and Reply All.

I have plenty of  more recommendations that you can definitely get out of me if you see me out and about.  Ask me while I’m buying cereal and almond milk at the grocery store.

After so much debate, I have decided to share a beer with the wonderful, Bill Simmons.

bill

Bill Simmons is one of the greatest sports writers of my generation.  He is an unabashed homer for his hometown of Boston.  This creates some interesting moments when he breaks down his favorite teams and acts like he is on the team.  I enjoy this aspect of Bill because it makes him more of a “Man of the people.” I can say with all certainty that I always talk like I am an integral part of all of my teams.

Bill is always a great listen because you can tell that he believes all of his takes, sports or not. This is seemingly untrue with a lot of the sports personalities in the world today.  Bill also loves his friends.  He has a good rotation of guests on his podcast. You can really tell that he cares about each of them very much.  Bill used to work at ESPN, but had a bad falling out and he created The Ringer podcast network with help from HBO.  I listen to 3 different podcasts from his network.  They are all run by seemingly good people.  I am impressed by Mr. Simmons ability to curate a staff of smart and interesting individuals.

My recommendation of an episode from The Bill Simmons Podcast would be the interview with Golden States Warriors superstar Kevin Durant.  Bill Simmons was able to get KD to speak candidly about life in the league.  I enjoyed it quite much.  Click on over here to give it a listen.

The beer I have paired with Bill Simmons is going to be Boston’s own Harpoon Brewery. More specifically, Harpoon’s Take 5.

Take-5-Modal-New
Take 5 is a session IPA. Session IPAs tend to be lower ABV and lower IBUs compared to other IPAs.  The Take 5 has an ABV of 4.3%.  It has a lovely citrus-forward taste and aroma.  I think this beer will be perfect to drink and watch sports while having deep conversations during the commercials.

Brent – Whom I would have a beer with – Car Talk Guys

40 years ago a Boston radio station, WBUR, thought, it would be wise to develop a call-in radio show featuring a panel auto mechanics to help folks with their car repairs. Several mechanics were contacted but only one showed up, Tom Magliozzi. Performing well, Mr. Magliozzi was invited back and he brought his younger brother, Ray Magliozzi, in tow.

1103_car-talk

Surprisingly, this show blossomed into a remarkable career for the brothers, spanning from 1977 to October of 2012, when they retired. Ray and Tom continued their day jobs as mechanics, but they also continued to work on the show week after week, and year after year. They accomplished this feet by assembling an expert knowledge of cars, friendly voices, a penchant for laughing, self-deprecating humor, and a genuine concern and care for their callers. Listening to the show always brings a smile and an easy way to pass an hour.

The show contained many recurring features. One of my favorites being the “Puzzler”. I did not have a prayer of answering any car-related puzzler, but I did have a chance at the language, mathematical, or historical puzzles. One puzzler in particular I remember was phrased something like the following:

Eight folks are at a party and they are getting ready to serve the cake. Out comes the plates, forks, and a knife to cut the cake. Now, all the partygoers want an equal share of that cake. Using only three cuts, how can the cake be divided into eight equal pieces?

I suspect you all know the answer to this question. However, I remember hearing this Puzzler as a child, roughly seven or eight years old. My father happened to be driving me somewhere when the Puzzler was announced on the radio and he asked if I knew the answer. After a little bit of thought I came up with the answer, and saw a smile creep across my father’s face.

It has been a pleasure to listen to the Car Talk program off and on over the years. Unfortunately, the program usually aired on Saturday mornings in the areas I lived. Far too often, getting up to listen to the radio was too great a challenge. Thankfully, NPR began to publish the weekly Car Talk radio show as a podcast, available for downloading soon after that week’s show aired. This allowed me to download the show to my phone and listen at my leisure.

Listening to Tom and Ray provided me great joy and, on occasion, imparted some knowledge to me about cars. More importantly, they provided me the confidence to attempt my own car repairs occasionally. I am getting somewhat decent at changing brakes by the way.

While Car Talk is the first podcast I discovered, I do listen to many others. If you are curious, here is my current list:

1. Car Talk (NPR)

2. Ask Me Another (NPR) – it is a weekly quiz show hosted by Ophira Esienberg and Jonathan Coulton.

3. The Loh Life (NPR) – a very short podcast about the life of Sandra Tsing Loh

4. Doug Loves Movies – a comedic podcast show about movies hosted by Doug Benson

5. Wait Wait.. Don’t Tell Me (NPR) – another weekly quiz show hosted by Peter Sagal

If you have any great suggestions, I would like to know. I prefer podcasts that are comedic and do not necessarily require listening to every episode to keep up with the material.

Getting back to the point of this blog, I would very much enjoy sharing a beer with Ray Magliozzi. He seems like a genuine and friendly person with a lot of experiences and stories to share. The beer I would like to share is the American Kolsch by Boulevard Brewing Company.

Boulevard-American-Kolsch
The beer has that classic golden color most people expect from a beer and has a comforting aroma. The beer feels light and uncomplicated as you drink it with a kind of citrusy kick to it.  There is not anything challenging about drinking this one and it makes for an easy backdrop to a long afternoon conversation.

Who would you like to have a beer with? What beer would you drink with them?

Let us know at our Twitters: Panclog, Jared, and Brent.

Panclog #32: Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

Palin’ Around at Perkins

3/14/2017

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This is the March-iest Panclog since our fantastic and controversial review of John’s Space Age Donuts.  It was pretty epic.  I assure you that this edition is going to be tasteful and elegant.  If you don’t think so, the Panclog Pals recommend you watch a  couple episodes of Masha & The Bear in its original Russian.  This will calm you down and make you happy. Enjoy today’s Panclog review of Perkin’s Restaurant & Bakery.

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery is a chain restaurant that specializes in tasty pies and greasy (in a good way) food.  We went to the Perkins at 87th Street and I-35 in Overland Park, KS.  This location is open 6 AM – 12 AM Sunday through Thursday and open all 24 hours on Friday and Saturday. Check out their website to find a location near you.

Location/Environment: The environment is cultivated, like many other chains, in a style that promotes continuity between locations.  The first thing you see when walking in is a tantalizing baked goods section. This comes into play later. Keep your eyes peeled. The environment is one that is warm with wood – paneling, booths and checkout counter all be-decked in a light stained oak.  The location of this Perkins is perfect for people getting together.  It is right off the highway and has ample parking.

Service: The service at this Perkins is everything you want from a chain restaurant.  Our server not only gave us recommendations, but also kept our coffee full at all times.  Coffee being full is the key to being an awesome server.

Wait time for food: 5 minutes

Menu/Selection: Perkins specializes in American cuisine.  They are known for their baked goods that they hawk at the front counter.  The Peanut Butter Silk pie is something that every  human deserves.  Buy one for your favorite Panclog writer.  The menu offered by the restaurant is quite large with many options, with breakfast getting a couple of dedicated pages. The devotion to breakfast is much appreciated. The breakfast choices are typical, including various styles of pancakes, French toast, eggs, and assorted breakfast meats. Perkins does have a wide assortment of muffins served warm and tasty.  Perkins is in the midst of a push to get late night diners. Check out these specials.

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Check that out! All you can eat pancakes! Half priced pie! Perkins knows what those late night diners want. You can always find something you will want to put in your mouth. Read their extensive menu here.

Food:

Big Country Smasher (Jared)

 

Breakfast is not just for when you wake up.

My mother, the saintly Shari, once told me of the mythical “California Menu.”  This means that whatever is on the menu is available all day.  I believe this is the reason why famous people and fancy technological people (techies) live in California.  If you can get breakfast at any restaurant then you are 83% more likely to live a happy and successful life.*

*I made this statistic up.  But try to disprove it!

This dreamy California menu brings me to restaurants that serve breakfast all day long: IHOP, Denny’s, Steak & Shake and Perkins. Ask me what I want for dinner and I’ll tell you it’s gonna be BRINNER!  Breakfast for dinner is the king of meals. It feels wrong but I assure you it is so right.

Song obsession of this clog: Beacon Hill by Damien Jurado. Enjoy.

I would have to say that Perkins has not done themselves proud in the marketing department, as that I don’t believe they have definitively declared themselves as a breakfast-focused restaurant.  And without this clear focus, many diners may perceive Perkins as a place of ill-repute.  Not all chains are bad. Not all Mom & Pop shops are amazing.  I give you a recommendation to make your life better.  Try all the breakfast places and then decide which ones are bad.  The bad ones you don’t have to go anymore.  But here is an even better recommendations, if you hear about a breakfast spot that you don’t know is good or not. Send it on over to us on twitter. We will give you the sweet hookup on whether or not its worth your time.

Let’s get a good look at my meal that is interestingly named The Big Country Smasher.
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Looks interesting, am I right? Let’s break down what is inside this dish. The crust is smashed up tater tots (I have a hunch that this gives it its name.) These tots are the salty greasy foundation of a well-balanced breakfast.  Next we have not 1, not 2, but 3,  the holy trinity of breakfast meats, ham, sausage, and bacon. Can you go wrong with throwing all of the breakfast meats into a breakfast dish?  That is a rhetorical question. On top of that meat, an egg that is cooked to your liking.  I chose over-easy because I love making a mess.  Then we add the warm comforter that is sausage gravy. Then garnish with some freshly shredded cheddar cheese.  Yep all of that in a bowl.  It is something to take in.  I’ll admit that, though this dish isn’t the prettiest, it hits the spot.

If you didn’t know, Perkins is known for their baked goods. If you go to a restaurant and they say that they are known for something, a good plan is to always try that something. Brent and I tried the blueberry muffin at the behest of our server.  Here is a picture!

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Yep, it was that good.  It was so good that Brent thought about eating the wrapper.  I would say this muffin was more cake-y than other muffins I have had. Some people butter their muffins.  This muffin was so fluffy and flavorful, the butter was unnecessary. Even better about this muffin is that it was a cheaper add-on because I had one of the Perkins specials.

Perkins is a good breakfast spot.  I would not say it is great, but it definitely should be added to everyone’s rotation.  If you don’t have a rotation of breakfast spots, hit me up and we will start getting that morning grub on.

Coffee: $2.29
Big Country Smasher: $9.29
Blueberry Muffin: $0.99


French Toast Breakfast (Brent)

 

A Perkins Panclog makes for a nice alliteration. It is not often when we get to play games with language while celebrating one of the few joys in life, breakfast. I recall mentioning that we were going to Panclog Perkins to my spouse and her response was incredulous, “Really, that place?” I am not sure my darling wife feels that Perkins is Panclog worthy. Sure, it is a national chain, and sure, it is not at the top of our list of restaurants, but we at the Panclog are equal opportunity breakfasters.

Perkins is exactly what you would expect it to be. A restaurant in the same vein as Shoney’s, Bob Evans, and, to some degree, Crackle Barrel. On long road trips, I like to stop at these types of restaurants to stretch my legs and grab a decent meal. Usually these establishments are clean and pleasant with staff who are kind and friendly. The Perkins that Jared proposed we patronize is no different from what you would expect and is inviting and warm. Albeit the restaurant was relatively empty for its size when we arrived at seven in the morning. We have been to this particular Perkins a couple times and it has wanted for customers each time.

muffins

Jared was kind enough to purchase a blueberry muffin as an appetizer for our breakfast and shared it with me. Rather than slice the pastry in half like untrusting acquaintances, we shared it in a fashion that was more akin to Lady and the Tramp. There is nothing awkward about two grown men sharing an unadorned cupcake in this fashion. Get out there with your best buddy and go for it.

On a side note, how brilliant is having an appetizer before your breakfast actually starts. The depth of wisdom shared by the Panclog team is remarkable. The Breakfast Buddies should begin getting dessert as well. I wonder what breakfast ice cream would be like. Perhaps just vanilla ice cream with some crispy rice cereal thrown on it. Maybe a maple-flavored cheesecake with a crust made of grape nuts. I could go for an apple pie filling pastry pocket (wait, isn’t that already a thing?). We often say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is time that we treated it as such, and make it a multicourse experience.

For this particular Panclog I opted for the French toast breakfast with a side of scrambled eggs and sausage links.

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Just a simple basic breakfast really, which was kind of what I was in the mood for anyway. The toast was cooked well with a satisfying crust on the edges and not too soggy in the middle. Sadly, there was not enough butter provided in my opinion. A breakfast place that brought out a butter-filled ramekin on the side would win me over in a heartbeat. Just to sound more fussy and entitled, a powdered sugar shaker placed on the side with be terrific too. That way you could get a nice pool of melted butter on the French toast and sprinkle enough powdered sugar on the top to make a nice glaze. This, my friends, pushes French toast to its highest heights.

The eggs and sausage were good, but nothing that would generate a lot of excitement. Overall, that is what you could probably say about Perkins in general. The restaurant is good and you will not leave disappointed, but I do not see it revving anyone’s engines. Some mornings that is exactly what you need. Thus, I would recommend going to Perkins and putting the establishment in the normal cycle, but I would not suggest that you choose it above some other places. If you had to choose between the Big Biscuit here in KC or Perkins, head on over to the Big B. However, if you are heading on a long trip out of town and you are looking for something that is consistent and friendly then pop on in to Perkins. Perkins will fulfill those expectations.

French toast breakfast – $8.29

Coffee – $2.29

Overall: Perkins has earned the right to be visited on a regular basis.  Try it and tell us what you think.

Grade:

Brent – Perkins earns 3.25 stars out of five.

Jared – C++ or B– Both of these are now real grades.  Its better than average and worse than great.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

 

Thirsty Thursday: Child Stars

Episode VII: The entrance of the child star to planet Panclog.

Pretty dope title, right? Wrong.  That is a subtitle.  Learn ya facts.

Brent and I (Jared Scot-with-1-T Sova) have decided that our next way to make the world a little better is to celebrate the child actors that we grew up with.  Aren’t we all just a little bit interested in how these little people survived the world of Hollywood.  More like Hollyweird, amiright?

Let’s get to the beautiful part of this lovely editorial. The part where two dudes talk about someone we think is cool and then pair them with a beer.  Trust me.  This is the coolest article you will read this week.  If not, call 913-648-8888 and complain.

Brent – Whom I would have a beer with – Danica McKellar

What would you do if I sang out of tune,

Would you stand up and walk out on me.

Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song,

And I’ll try not to sing out of key.

The dulcet tones of Joe Cocker’s voice belted out of the television as his cover of “With a Little Help from My Friends” provided the title music for “The Wonder Years”. Joe Cocker’s cover of this song is arguably better than the original. I get that those might be fighting words, but I believe it is one of those rare circumstances where the cover is better than the original. I would also argue that Guns & Roses cover of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” rivals Bob Dylan’s masterpiece, but I digress.

The opening lines of that song always brought enjoyment as the lead in to a television show that hit me right where I needed to be. “The Wonder Years”, debuting in 1988, was a coming of age story for the main protagonist, Kevin Arnold, and his friends, Winnie Cooper and Paul Pfeiffer. The show takes place during the years 1968 to 1973, with the main characters aging from 12 to 17.

What made the show great is how well the stories revealed what it felt like to be a teenager. The conflicts demonstrated on the show reflected reality and its difficulties, while remaining fun and entertaining. I am not sure how well the show would play now though. While the individual stories will always be relevant, we may now have too much distance from the setting those stories took place in. For instance, the overriding presence of Vietnam and the nation’s wide and varied reaction to it, or the rising “red scare” of the Soviet Union. Many other elements sit as a backdrop to the narrative but have a direct impact on the characterization of the show.

I would not mind having a beer with the portrayers of the three main protagonists of the show. However, for this article, I would specifically enjoy having a beer with Danica McKellar. Her portrayal of Winnie Cooper was at the beginning full of innocence growing into maturity throughout the show’s run. The bonds the characters developed, especially that of Winnie, clearly showed how difficult a friendship could be. More importantly, their bonds showed how friendships could survive and persevere, as long as the participants are willing to work through it.

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The real reason I would like to have a beer with Danica is that she has a degree in mathematics. I would therefore assume that she enjoys talking about it. It is not often that one finds another who likes to discuss the subject, requiring you to jump at the chance when it is available. I am certain that she is far more knowledgeable in the subject than I am considering she has written at least four books on the subject. Perhaps Danica penned the best title for any math book ever written, “Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss.” Although, one of her other books, “Math Doesn’t Suck” is certainly a runner up. I ask you, who wouldn’t want to sit back on a nice cool afternoon discussing the area under a curve while sipping a bottle of suds?

The beer I would share with Danica is the Higher Math brew from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.
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I cannot comment on how well it tastes as I am currently suffering from a fit of sobriety. This is all thanks to my doctor asking me to pop antibiotics as if they were Pez. The Dogfish website states that Higher Math is an American Strong Ale with an ABV of 17%. The site also sadly states that the beer is retired and no longer brewed. I suggest we all write to Dogfish and tell them to get back into math class and fix this problem.

Jared – Whom I Would Have  A Beer With – Tiffani Thiessen

Let’s go back to high school.  Bayside High to be specific.  We will find your favorite group of friends rooting for the Tigers.  Zack, Screech, Lisa, Jesse, AC, Kelly and You.

Saved By The Bell was the joy of my childhood.  I learned so much of what to expect for when I went to high school. Most of the plot lines came true in my life.  One of my best friends got hooked on caffeine pills.  I made of my best friends cross-dress to sneak into the girls locker room. My friends and I saved our local hangout from a financial collapse. Oh we also made a band, Ophelia & The Tots. I would definitely say that my life was influenced by Saved By The Bell.

Can you sit in a backwards chair and not feel super cool? AC Slater started that.  Thank him!

I could probably go on and on about my love of Saved By The Bell.  I could also chat about how much I enjoyed The College Years. I must choose someone I would like to share a cold one with.  I could almost guarantee that Dennis Haskins AKA Mr. Belding could put some back. I have chosen my very first crush, Tiffani Thiessen.

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Tiffani has not only played Kelly Kapowski. She has been a recurring character in my favorite show on USA, White Collar.  I know you think I am underrating great shows like Burn Notice and Suits, but trust me I have put some serious thought into this.  Mozzie could be my spirit animal.  Matt Bomer is the dreamest of boats. Don’t believe me? Check out Magic Mike XXL. The first one was garbage, IMO.

Back on track. back to Tiffani Thiessen. Tiffani is now hosting her own cooking show on the Cooking Channel.  It is called Dinner at Tiffani’s.  If you know anything about chefs and about the character she portrayed in White Collar, you could deduce that Tiffani would be a wine drinker.  So I chose a beer that I believe would be delightful for any wine drinker.   Cider Block French Cider by Cinder Block Brewery in North Kansas City.

This French cider has some very intriguing white wine notes.  It is dryer than other ciders that I have sampled in my day.  At a 5% ABV, Tiffani and I could drink a couple and discuss cooking, growing up while on television, and about weather this is the best cider that she has ever laid lips upon.

Check out Tiffani Thiessen’s website and watch her cook food.  She’s pretty darn good.

Who would you like to have a beer with? What beer would you drink with them?

Let us know at our Twitters: Panclog, Jared, and Brent.

Panclog #31: Tortilla Ranch

Rockin’ at the Ranch
1/25/2017
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Good day to everyone who is laying eyes on this fine blog.   Also to those of you are lucky enough to have a pretty person reading this to you. Audio-book style. Thank that reader with a gift like a bouquet of dandelions.  But before you go out to look for sub-par foliage in the middle of winter, you should probably wait until you’ve finished reading about our breakfast adventures at Tortilla Ranch.

Tortilla Ranch is a Mexican restaurant located at College Blvd and Antioch Road. They are open from 7 AM to 9 PM. But on Friday and Saturday you get an extra hour to dine because they close at 10 PM!! Don’t try to go there on Sundays, as they are closed.   Be nice and check out their website.

Location/Environment: The environment in the restaurant is nice. The chairs are straightbacked and wooden, and as such, can grow uncomfortable after a bit of time. The breakfast buddies do tend to overstay their welcome at restaurants. The wooden motif creates a warm atmosphere in the restaurant.  Tortilla Ranch is also located less than 3 minutes away from Brent and Jared’s jobs, respectively.

Service: The service at Tortilla Ranch was standard for the order-first sit-later style that is becoming popular in fast-casual restaurants.  Our cashier was very friendly and happily gave us water cups when we forgot to ask for them.

ait time for food: 4 minutes.

Menu/Selection: Tortilla Ranch tried to be as authentic Mexican food as can be.  They have a fairly small menu.  Smaller menus usually show that the restaurant is very proud of these items and do not want to stretch too thin to make a product that does not live up to the other items.  We were able to witness the staff prepping all of the produce for lunch service.  This shows me that they use product that is fresh.  Much appreciated. The breakfast menu on the website does not include everything that they offer.

Food:

Breakfast Bowl (Brent)

Your intrepid cloggers have opted to venture off the beaten path of traditional breakfast places opting to breakfast at what I consider a good burrito lunch destination, Tortilla Ranch Mexican Grill. I have been to this fine establishment a few times for lunch but never realized TR served breakfast. Needless to say I was surprised to hear this restaurant suggested for breakfast by Jared.

Meeting at our usual time of 7 am, we walked into the nicely decorated restaurant and perused the menu. Lunch type items with the addition of eggs filled the menu thus making them all the options,”breakfasty”. Not necessarily a bad thing. I ordered a breakfast bowl filled with chorizo, potatoes, eggs, cheese, pico, and avocado. There were some onions in there too I think.

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Looks lovely does it not.
This combination of flavors is quite good, but powerful. In all honesty, the dish was overwhelming as a breakfast option. I guess I prefer to ease slowly into my day. If I had this for lunch, I would have enjoyed it a great deal.

Nonetheless, the potatoes were tender but retained their texture; seasoned well if not a bit salty. The chorizo in the dish is also good. The remaining ingredients, like the pico, avocado, etc. are fresh, tasty, and well portioned. The downside, as noted earlier, is that there is a lot going on in this dish and it does not offer a place to relax. As each bite mounts, so does the intensity of the experiencing. The dish is not spicy hot; it just has many flavors that add up. To compensate, one must drink a copious amount of water or coffee to get the palate cleansed.

The coffee is good and inexpensive, just a dollar, if you buy a breakfast item.

While I would not recommend going to breakfast at Tortilla Ranch, I do highly recommend going there for lunch and/or dinner. The freshness of the ingredients, the care to which they prepare those ingredients, and the simple combinations assembled for their dishes is noteworthy. The next time someone wants to buy my lunch, an open invitation, I will be sure to steer them in that direction.

Breakfast Enchiladas (Jared)

Breakfast is the king of meals. Would you disagree? If you do, I am quite shocked that you are reading this fine award-winning blog.  My wife said this was a good blog.  That is an award. She has a BA in English! So, she can award people awards.  Because breakfast is king, restaurants have been trying to sneak other foods into the breakfast category.  Some are very successful. I.e. Pizza, Burritos, sandwiches. Some foods just don’t go over very well like porridge, soup, and perhaps even enchiladas.

If that doesn’t tell you what I tried at Tortilla Ranch, maybe a picture will help.
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Now that looks like a great picture.  I have been striving to become the Ansel Adams of food photography.  I prefer natural light and a subject that will be in my stomach soon after the photo is taken.

Take a journey with me through some of the people and things that tried to go outside of the box and did not succeed, Michael Jordan as a baseball player, Pop Tarts in Crush Orange Soda flavor, Watermelon Oreos, Vince McMahon as Owner of the XFL, and now enchiladas as a breakfast food.

I am not saying these enchiladas are not good.  I am simply pointing out that they were too strong for me to fully enjoy in the 7 o’clock hour. In fact, this enchilada would be incredible for lunch or dinner. Another thing I really enjoy but not at 7 AM:  beer.  Check out Brent and me in our other article series, Thirsty Thursday.  We talk about a famous person we want to have a beer with and then pair a beer that we think they would enjoy.  It is almost award winning.  Megan, please give us another award.  We work fairly hard.

Tortilla Ranch’s coffee is only $1 when you get a breakfast item.  I truly enjoy this incentive pricing.  I believe that more restaurants should do this.  As Brent calls it, “Coffee is just dirty water.” So come on down on the price.  If you can get away with it, please try adding horchata to your coffee as a fancy creamer.  It adds some lovely sweetness to your coffee time.

I will absolutely be visiting Tortilla Ranch for lunch or dinner for some authentic fresh Mexican food.  I suggest you do the same.

Breakfast Enchiladas: $6.95
Coffee: $1.00

Overall: Tortilla Ranch may be a pass for breakfast, but we both strongly suggest them for any other meal.  The fast-casual type of ordering will allow you to get some authentic Mexican cuisine for a quick lunch.

Grade:
Brent –
 Overall, I would give Tortilla Ranch Mexican Grill 1.5 stars out of five for breakfast, which bums me out. However, concerning lunch or dinner, let us make that 3.5 out of five stars.

Jared – D+ for breakfast. It would definitely be higher if I could get this breakfast enhcilada for lunch or dinner.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

 

Thirsty Thursday: Adam Sandler Co-Stars

Oh did you not think that this would happen?  Maybe you simply thought we would talk about which celebrity named Adam Sandler we would like to have a beer with.

Welcome to the 6th edition of the best ever companion blog to Panclog, Thirsty Thursday.  Beers are meant to be shared with good people. Brent and I will be discussing who we would like to have a beer with and then pair a beer to that person.  Let’s get into it.

Sandler can be a polarizing figure, but we can all agree that he has helped shape the pop culture of the last 20 years. He has done movies with some of the greatest actors around such as, Jennifer Aniston, Jack Nicholson, Don Cheadle, Paz Vega, and Kevin James.
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Which of Sandler’s co-stars would you like to share a beer with?

Jared – Whom I would have a beer with – Allen Covert

According to Yahoo Answers, Allen Covert has been in 13 films with Adam Sandler.
Need I say more?

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Yahoo Answers is surprisingly wrong with this answer. Covert has been 21 films with Adam Sandler.  How did Yahoo Answers get this wrong?  I am beyond shocked.

Think about your favorite character in 50 First Dates.  Alright let me guess who it is. Is it 10-Second Tom?  IT IS! I knew it! Well 10 Second Tom was brilliantly portrayed by Allen Covert. Same with your favorite character in Just Go With It.  The other doctor with the soul patch that plays bass?  Allen Covert.

Allen has also been in some extraordinary films without Sandler. He was in the always funny, Heavy Weights, and also the very cute, Never Been Kissed.  Allen Covert starred  in a film that he helped write, Grandma’s Boy.  I strongly urge you to watch the trailer to that film and remember that some monkey’s were just born to act.

Allen Covert is the type of actor that every kinda-funny person in high school wants to be like.  He’s had a very consistent career that allowed him to have fun and be silly characters. I can not think of another person that would be able to share some sweet Sandler stories.

I would love to pair Funky Buddha’s Maple Bacon Coffee Porter with Allen Covert.
funkFunky Buddha has slowly become the flagship brewery of Florida.  I have recently heard that Florida treats the tapping of the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter like a holiday.  In fact that day is today.  Florida is probably drinking all of the beers tonight.  I just hope and pray that nobody ends up on any FloridaMan blog because of crimes they commit while drinking this amazing brew.

Maple. Bacon. Coffee. Porter.  Think about all of those beers individually.  YES. YES. YES. and YES!  I think sharing this beer with Allen Covert would be perfect because his films with Sandler are built on things that are inherently good.  Grown Ups = Good people hanging out. Hotel Transylvania = A children’s movie with old school monsters. 50 First Dates = Romance.  The Waterboy = Football fun. Big Daddy = Charm.   All of these themes are simple and fun. Yet ultimately, good.  If you disagree, you stink.  Tweet at me with some complaints.

Brent – Whom I would have a beer with – Drew Barrymore

My good friend Jared is an avid fan of Adam Sandler. Displayed prominently on the mantle above Jared’s fireplace is an impressive collection of Sandler films. Jared does not quite have all of them but he is close. I am certain that this year Jared will complete the “Sandler Collection”.

When it comes to the Sandler films, I am not the fan that Jared is. I certainly have to be in the mood for them at least, although for some reason, Happy Gilmore always hits me in the right spot. Nonetheless, whilst we were trying to figure out whom we should have a beer with this week, our conversation sidetracked down Sandler Street. Good thing too, as this side conversation sparked this week’s topic. “Who is the best Adam Sandler co-star with whom you would like to have a beer?”

I thought about this for about two seconds and settled on Drew Barrymore. She is clearly beyond the other co-stars that have appeared in his movies. Perhaps one could say that she is the actual star and Sandler is the co-star. To the best of my knowledge, she has only made three movies with Adam, “The Wedding Singer,” “Blended,” and “50 First Dates.”
"Blended" - Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

I am not sure that I have seen “The Wedding Singer” in its entirety, and what I have seen occurred a long time ago. What I do remember of it was an epic scene with Billy Idol towards the end of the movie. I have also only seen Blended once. I do remember enjoying it, but it did not really stick with me as I am drawing a blank on what at all happened. I probably should have watched them both again before writing this.

In any case, I did recently watch “50 First Dates” because of a fantasy football league that I participate. The team with the most points for a given week gets to select a movie that everyone in the league is supposed to watch in the following week. If you get the movie watched before the conclusion of all football games that week, then you get extra points for you team. Sadly, Jared and I seem to be the only folks that consistently watch each movie. But hey, I will take the free points as it has delivered me a couple of wins.

What I like about “50 First Dates” is the character that Drew plays, Lucy Whitmore. The character is sweet, intelligent, witty, kind, passionate, caring, funny, etc. Her character is everything you want in another human being, save the memory loss of course. Her character is a magnificent foil to the more crude humor and situations posed by the rest of the film. Lucy seems to always rise above what is happening around her and Drew accomplishes this with aplomb.

I have seen many of her movies, but nowhere near all of them. However, what I have seen I have enjoyed. Mostly because that while she inhabits her characters, you consistently get the feeling that Drew herself truly enjoys her work. That enjoyment spills out from the screen and provides that little bit of extra spark. This is most evident in “Charlie’s Angels,” if you ask me.

“Charlie’s Angels,” is another movie that is a lot of fun. Just be sure to throw physics out the window when you are watching it. In addition, you could make a drinking game out of how many times the word “angel” is spoken in the movie; however, you would probably end up dead within the first 45 minutes.

The beer that I would like to share with Drew Barrymore is the Delirium Red made by Brouwerij Huyghe.

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The bottle is unique in that there is a red foil wrapper over the cap that you peel off as if you were opening champagne. The beer has a deep red color that makes the head have a pinkish hue. Its aroma is fruity and robust. I suspect that it is made with cherries, as there are hints of it in the flavor. While the initial taste is smooth, it does strike back with a bit of a bite. Overall, it reminds me of red cream soda. It does taste more like a soda pop than a beer in my opinion. Nonetheless, it is a good beverage. I look forward to welcoming Drew to my fair city and sharing with her this tasty brew.

Who would you like to have a beer with? What beer would you drink with them?

Let us know at our Twitters: Panclog, Jared, and Brent.

Thirsty Thursday: Celebrity Chefs

Happy 2017 to all of the breakfast buddies out there!

We truly apologize for being away from you for a whole month.  The holidays treated us well but were full of travel and food.  So here we are! First Panclog post of the year.

This, the fifth issue of your favorite segment on your fourth favorite blog, will be writing about which celebrity chef we would like to have a beer with and which beer we would pair them with.  It’s gonna be great!

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Read and smile. I triple-dog-dare you

Brent – Whom I would have a beer with – Alton Brown

Nearly all cooking shows follow one of three formats, a chef alone in the kitchen, a travel/food mashup, or some type of cooking competition. Various television networks of course try to combine the different formats but those shows always seem to be short lived. There is one component to all of these shows though that is absolutely critical, each show needs at least one strong personality to be the primary lead. Each show needs a celebrity chef.

I could be wrong about this, but, I believe that Emeril Lagasse is probably the first TV chef that leaped into celebrity chef status (Honorable Mention to Julia Child and The Galloping Gourmet). “Emeril Live” was a lot of fun, had a ton of energy, and served as a hub to connect Emeril’s personality with all of his work, including his books. If you want to point to a different progenitor, like Julia Child, I would suggest that Emeril established the current multiple media format full court press that each celebrity chef needs to achieve today. Emeril established what it means to reach the necessary critical mass to become a celebrity in cooking.

This model that Emeril established has been consistently used to build up other chefs. The most blatant example is Food Network’s show “The Next Food Network Star”. A show that is a competition to find the next personality that will, hopefully, achieve celebrity chef status. I watched the year that Guy Fieri won and enjoyed it quite a bit. But you can clearly see the celebrity chef machine at work.

Since we are talking about cooking shows, I would like to bring up a show that I really enjoyed as a teenager. The show was called Pasquale’s Kitchen and was hosted by Pasquale Carpino. I enjoyed this show because Pasquale always threw liquor into one of the pans, sometimes setting it on fire, and always added it to his coffee. By the end of the week, he seemed to be quite drunk. He also had some lines he consistently delivered like, “Somebody cook, somebody clean,” which are words to live by. The interesting point is that if you played his show today, it wouldn’t look any different from most of the shows on TV today, even though his show was on in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

I bring all this up, because, while I do occasionally enjoy watching a cooking show, there is not one that I will consistently watch. Until I found a lovely little show called “Good Eats”. The show loosely fit into the one chef format noted above, but not quite. What hooked me most about this show was that the host didn’t just show the how of food, but showed the why. The incorporation of food science into a demonstration of how to make a particular recipe just grabbed me. Not only did the host demonstrate culinary art, but filled your mind with science behind.

“Good Eats” was also littered with fun sketches and recurring characters that really hammered the topic of any given show. The moment that the host used puppets to represent bacteria, and listening to them burp, as a demonstration of fermentation I was hooked. “Good Eats”, to put it succinctly, is Sesame Street for adults.

The main creative mind behind this show is of course Alton Brown.
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I believe I’ve watched and enjoyed every episode of “Good Eats”. More importantly I have learned quite a bit about the why of food, and to that I am grateful. This show made me laugh, taught me something, and provided me with great recipes. A family favorite is his Chicken with 40 Clove. In regard to the celebrity chef critical mass, I have bought it hook, line, and sinker. If you want proof of this, I own one of his books, saw him do a sales presentation at Nebraska Furniture Mart, and saw one of his food science shows just this year, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Every recipe of his I have tried has been a crowd pleaser, well except for one. There was a barbeque sauce recipe that ended up saltier than what we were hoping for. That sauce notwithstanding, I will follow his recipes to the letter because they have pretty much all been terrific.

He of course has been involved with other cooking shows. I say unfortunately, these other shows fit perfectly within the formats noted above. I say unfortunately because these other shows seem to have reined in his creativity whereas “Good Eats” allowed it to flourish.

If you want to get a sense of Alton’s individual creativity, I believe you need to see one of his “one man shows”. I, through the kindness of friends, was able to attend the “Alton Brown Live, Eat Your Science” show here in Kansas City. The show was terrific, where you saw a man with a tremendous amount of talent and knowledge deliver something truly unique. Especially considering the giant, rocket, popcorn popper.

While I have truly enjoyed the bulk of Alton’s creative work, I would certainly enjoy just taking an afternoon to simply visit about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I thoroughly enjoy talking about science just for the sake of it, and he seems to be a dude who is happy doing the same.
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To that end, the beer I would like to share with Mr. Brown is the Accumulation White IPA, made by New Belgium brewery. I am slowly becoming a fan of New Belgium and more specifically their Accumulation brew. To me, the beer comes across as very dry and hoppy, making it seem bitter. Given Alton’s new music album name, “Bitter Like Me”, the selected beverage seems appropriate. Once past those initial flavors you will definitely find a citrus undercurrent. My spouse thinks it is most like a grapefruit. Since her palate is much more refined than mine, at least that is what she tells me, I will go with it. The drink finishes clean and crisp and is a delight to consume.

Judging from the label we are to enjoy Accumulation in the winter time. I had mine next to the drafty back door to our house which sent a nice chill throughout the experience. Like I said, the IPA is a little bitter but the overall flavor is smooth and pleasant. On the off chance Alton stops by for one, you should join us.

Jared – Whom I Would Have A Beer With – Rachael Ray

Cooking.
Talking.
Magazines.
Feeding Dogs.
Winning Emmys.
Changing the World!

These are all things that Rachael Ray is great at. Just read that list again. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
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Yeah so Rachael isn’t just a celebrity chef. She is a life-champion. Rachael Ray takes cooking to a level that is understandable for a simple minded guy like me.  I now know what EVOO is.  It is extra virgin olive oil.  Rachael Ray is a person that created a food empire that, I believe, has some actual integrity.  I have purchased some of her branded knives and they were given thumbs up by my favorite chef.

Who is my favorite chef, you ask?   That would be my lovely bride, Megan.  Megan graduated from culinary school.  That makes her a chef.  Also that’s the difference between a cook and a chef. Right,  Bethenny Frankel? Megan has always been my favorite chef. She makes me food that is better than anything I’ve ever had before.  But sadly, Brent said that she wasn’t a “Celebrity.” So sorry babe, I won’t be picking a beer to pair you with.

Back to Rachael. She was first signed to the Food Network in 2001. How surprising is that?  I simply thought that Rachael was always around.  If I were to choose one of her recipes to share with you that I can make. It would have to be the Florentine Penne with Chicken.  Click that link and make some tasty cuisine.  Did you know that Rachael also makes food for dogs?  Yeah how cool is that? A celebrity chef making food for my dog?  I feel like a rich dude who only has a dog to love.  I heard a rumor that she initially came up with the idea when cooking for her pit bull. So cute!

The beer that I have chosen to share with Rachael Ray was a fairly simple choice to make.  I can only think of one brewery that has chosen to make beers that would be crazy good as food.  That would be Big Rip Brewing Company.  In fact, one of the owners and brewmaster told me that if you can bake it, you can brew it.  This is evident in their beer list.  From an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie ale to a Cherry Cheesecake ale. This is just a small array of the incredible beer that they brew.  Big Rip is a brewery in North Kansas City, MO.  They opened in May of 2013 and instantly became my favorite brewery in Kansas City.  They are owned by incredible people and make beers that are even more incredible.
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I have chosen the Magic Hour Chai Milk Stout from Big Rip to share with Rachael Ray.  I think she will fall in love with the smooth and spicy nature of this amazing beer.  The milk stout base is a slightly sweet and very drinkable beer in of it self. But when they added the Chai to that lovely beer, it took it to a different and exciting level.  At 6% ABV, Rachael and I could drink a couple and talk about her empire in the food world.  Would I cook for her?  Probably not.  But I would gladly share a brew.

Who would you like to have a beer with? What beer would you drink with them?

Let us know at our Twitters: Panclog, Jared, and Brent.

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