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Archive for the month “November, 2016”

Thirsty Thursday: Authors

Welcome to Panclog’s Thirsty Thursday Episode III: Return of the writing about people we want to have a beer with.  It is a long name,  but I really believe in a title that makes sure you know what you are getting into.

This was a fun week for the Panclog crew.  We released the latest review on Tuesday. It was all about The Wooden Spoon.  Make sure you check that out if you have not yet.  Thursdays are a fun time for us. We love to chat about new beers and amazing people that would be fun to hang out with.

Let us get into it. Enjoy.

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BRENTLES – Whom I would have a beer with – Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore is one of only a couple authors writing today that I actively seek out and purchase sight unseen. He currently has 15.5 published novels all of which I have read and own. (Well except for that 0.5 which is a reprint of “The Stupidest Angel” that has some extra content). I so enjoy his books that I have read each multiple times and recommend them to others.
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His work is comedic, paced evenly, with lots of action, and is well researched. Most of his novels touch on the horror genre, although I would not characterize them as scary. There are moments in his books that seem fresh and new and can only be described as delightfully weird. One example is the god of a cargo cult being unable to bluff Jesus in a game of poker.

Titles like “Bloodsucking Fiends, a Love Story”, “Island of the Sequined Love Nun”, “The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove”, and “The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror”, provide a clear picture of what the reader can expect in the pages. Christopher’s books have consistently given me over to audible laughter, and sometimes true shock; which has caused me to stop reading and set the book aside because I was wholly unprepared for what happened on the pages. “Island of the Sequined Love Nun” even inspired me to write a college paper on cargo cults for a religion class.

I was introduced to Christopher Moore’s book  21 years ago by a gentleman named My Friend Mike. My Friend Mike is an interesting cat to whom I am eternally grateful, and indebted to for letting me borrow “Bloodsucking Fiends”. I remember starting the book with very low expectations as most books about vampires just aren’t good (Bram Stroker’s excluded). From the first chapter I realized I was reading something truly unique. After burning through “Bloodsucking Fiends”, I moved on to the other two books available at the time, “Coyote Blue”, and “Practical Demonkeeping”. Both were just as interesting and fun to read. Subsequent books have delivered on his unique style.

Mr. Moore has consistently turned out books every 1 to 3 years since 1992. Which makes me think we should be due another one in 2017. Some of the content in his books can be challenging so I have always recommended reading “Bloodsucking Fiends” first as it seems to have the lightest content overall. However, with the release of “A Dirty Job” in 2006, I changed that advice.

“A Dirty Job” is probably my favorite book that he has written. The book is entertaining and heartfelt throughout, while avoiding being overly sentimental. The book also possesses all of Moore’s trademarks and, in my opinion, executes those trademarks most effectively. If you haven’t read any of his books, this is the one to start with.
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The beer that I would like pair up with him is a sour beer from Boulevard Brewing Co called Love Child. Details from their website concerning Love Child No. 7 suggest it is a return to a Flanders-style red base beer. The beer does have a reddish color, along with a pungent aroma. The first sip is striking. The only way I can describe it is that it is like drinking a Warheads sour candy. Needless to say it is not for the faint of heart.
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Actually, the beer seems to soften with exposure to air and the initial tartness begins to wane. That or you just get used to it. Once the flavor has softened though, the beer is good, albeit, it doesn’t taste like one. The reason that I would like to share the Love Child No. 7 with Christopher Moore is that the beer brings an experience that is unexpected, just like Moore’s novels. It would be nice to chat with Mr. Moore over this beverage and discuss his books and the art of writing.

JARED – Author I want to have a beer with – Chuck Palahniuk

I am not known as a savvy reader.  I very rarely find myself entrenched in a book.  This is a trait of my impatience to sit in silence and enjoy some paper in my hands.  There is only one author that has kept my attention through many books.  This author would be Chuck Palahniuk. Choosing Chuck Palahniuk was not a tough decision in the slightest.  He is a different type of author than I have ever experienced. He builds characters and worlds that are nearly seamless.
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If you only know Chuck’s name because of Fight Club. I must tell you that you are only at the beginning of his works.  He has written so much more than the epic Tyler Durden.  He has written 18 novels and many other pieces of short fiction stories and even a couple of non-fiction books. I have been a big fan of Chuck ever since one of my Omahomies, Cori, gave me a copy of Survivor to read.  Oh you want to know what the fudge an Omahomie is? It is what I call my friends from the city of Omaha, NE.  Yeah I try to be cool and original. Cori and I wrote literal letters to each other about Chuck. I can not thank Cori enough for introducing me into an author that opened up more literature.

Survivor is about the last surviving member of a cult that committed mass suicide. Dark? You bet. It is more than a simple dark story.  It talks about pop culture and how our media loves tragedy. Chuck does an incredible job getting into the head of the antihero.

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Chuck Palahniuk recently released a sequel of Fight Club as a graphic novel. He wrote it with some of the greatest comic writers of the day. And the art was brilliantly done by Cameron Stewart. This novel was released in 10 issues through Dark Horse Comics.  This was a big deal for me.  I am a big fan of comics. So when you put my favorite author with one of my favorite hobbies, I become ecstatic. Fight Club 2 is awesome. Come on over and we can read them together like when we were 8.  Yeah I am talking to you.  Come over.    I implore you to try to find any work of Chuck’s and sit down and enjoy.

I have chosen to share Dogfish Head’s Palo Santo Marron. I chose this beer because it is strong, dark, and interesting. Just like Chuck Palahniuk’s books.

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Palo Santo Marron is described as an unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade Palo Santo brewing vessels.  This beer comes in at 12% ABV.  It has amazing vanilla and caramel noted from the wood. Palo Santo is an exotic wood from Paraguay.  It adds a lovely tone and smoothness to the beer. Wood is awesome.

Dogfish Head is one of my top 5 breweries I know. They are known to constantly challenge the rules of beer. Like what ingredients are allowed, or can they even compete with Big Beer? They even released a beer with  scrapple in it. That’s a pork product! WHAT!?

Just like Dogfish Head, Chuck Palahniuk changes the game by writing a coloring book.  Yeah. Short stories with amazing pictures that you get to color. Yeah an adult coloring book with stories.  How cool is that? Answer: VERY COOL.

I would love to discuss everything under the sun with Chuck over a nice cool Palo Santo Marron. I think with a nice beer, the conversation comes easier than honey from the bottle on a hot summer day.

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.

CHEERS!

Panclog #29: Wooden Spoon

Spooning at the Spoon

October 21st, 2016

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The Wooden Spoon is a family-owned breakfast-lunch spot across the street from Johnson County Community College.  It does not have any website, but a simple Facebook page.

Location/Environment:  The Wooden Spoon is a quaint little restaurant on the corner of College Blvd. and Quivira in Overland Park, KS. When I say little, I mean it. The dining area is tightly packed with 8 or 9 different tables that makes it a bit of a challenge to maneuver around. The décor is nothing to get excited about either. What you can expect is good food and a delightful staff. The door opens promptly at 7.

Service:  Perhaps the best feature of The Wooden Spoon is how easy it is to sit back and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. A Panclog breakfast typically lasts a couple of hours and we can sometimes feel the desire of the staff to flip the table for a waiting customer. I can easily say the staff at the Spoon doesn’t seem to mind. The staff seems as interested as we are in having a leisurely morning and enjoying the time as it slowly ticks away.

Wait time for food: 15 minutes

Menu/Selection: The menu at The Wooden Spoon isn’t as extensive as many other places, but, what they do have they do well.  Prices are also quite reasonable.

Food: 

Egg Croissant Sandwich & Single Hash Brown Casserole (Brentley)

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I have recently settled on the Egg Croissant Sandwich the past few times we have been there. The sandwich comes with scrambled eggs, your choice of bacon or sausage, and cheddar cheese. I am sure you can order your egg cooked differently should you desire it. It may sound sacrilegious to order sausage over bacon, but that is what I prefer. I feel that the larger piece of sausage balances with the eggs better. To top it all off you get a toasted, buttery croissant to act as the bread for the sandwich.

I love croissants, they are one of my favorite pastries. The downside to a croissant is that they can be dusty, leaving crumbs everywhere.  When toasted, the outer layers become much more brittle increasing the crumb to shirt ratio.

Like I said, the sandwich is terrific, although I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that a couple of times the edges of the croissant have been burned. Not a big deal to me, but it is something to be aware of.

The Wooden Spoon also offers a Hash Brown Casserole that can be ordered as a side. The casserole is offered in two configurations: meat and vegetarian. I have not had the vegetarian so I cannot comment on what it is like. However, the meat version of the casserole has bits of bacon and sausage in it which significantly impacts the flavor of the dish. The casserole is always served steaming hot, so tread carefully when your food is delivered.

The coffee is simple and good, with a very large pot sitting next to the cash register. None of the employees seem to mind if you get up and refill your cup yourself. Which is just as nice as having a carafe of coffee at the table. Being able to have consistent access to coffee makes it much easier to sit back and relax with your breakfast buddies.

Egg Croissant Sandwich with Sausage and Cheddar – $4.99

Single Hash Brown Casserole with Meat – $3.99

Coffee – $1.99

Double Burrito and Single Hash Brown Casserole  (Jared)

 

A wooden spoon is something every kitchen should have. If your wooden spoon isn’t slightly burnt from leaving it in the mac & cheese pan, then you aren’t living right.

The Wooden Spoon is a place that you are almost guaranteed to see the same patrons every time you go. This is a great sign when searching for a family-style restaurant environment that makes you feel at home.  The owner/operators are a lovely couple that open the store every morning.  I have been able to enjoy many of the options on the menu, from the egg bacon panwich to the sometimes special french toast.

I am always shocked at how short the menu is.  I have been bombarded with novel-sized menus as of late.  Have you ever been to the Cheesecake Factory? That menu would take days to read if you are as slow at reading as I.

Breakfast burritos have recently been classified, by myself, as heavenly.  Which means  God has claimed the breakfast burrito as his own special breakfast item.  Is anything better than the lovely carb-laden tortilla wrapped around warm eggs, sausage, and pico de gallo? Sorry, the answer is a hearty no.  Wooden Spoon’s burritos come split in half. This simple cut brings these burritos into a special club of foods that come in pairs and need to be savored.  Oh who is in that club you ask? Maybe you have heard of a couple of them. Reese’s PB Cups? Yeah. Swiss Cake Rolls? Yep. Nutty Buddies? Oh yeah.  Oh wait, these are all sweets.  I mean of course they are sweets. Which means, um, that they need to be savored.  Yeah.  That is what I am saying about these burritos.  You should know that the breakfast burritos come dry and then you add the salsa of your choosing to give some moisture.  Very very tasty.

Let’s start talking about casseroles.  Casseroles sound like something your 84 year old grandmother is going to “slip into the oven for you kids.”  Yeah not too appetizing.  They also make me think of the name Cassie.  I knew a girl named Cassie once.  I am almost certain that her full name was Cassandra. But wouldn’t you like her more if her full name was Casserole? Maybe her parents fell in love over a casserole at their favorite granny-ran diner.  I think more people need to be named after their parents favorite food.  I am naming my third child Cereal Sova.  How amazing would that be?  That kid is going to be a great person.

The hash brown casserole at The Wooden Spoon is something that will attempt to change your perception of casseroles.  It is full of cheese, breadcrumbs, meat and hash browns.  The hash browns, although finished in an oven or salamander, still have the greasy taste of the griddle.  Although the casseroles may come out a little dry, a little salsa or hot sauce will bring the cassie to life.

Double Burrito: $5.49
Single Hash Brown Casserole: $3.49
Coffee: $1.49

Overall: All in all, I am happy that it is one of our regular haunts and look forward to dining there many times again. You all should come and join us there some time.

Grade: 

Jared: I do declare that The Wooden Spoon will receive a B- grade

Brent: I give The Wooden Spoon 4 out of 5 stars.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can follow Jared and Brent on Twitter.

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