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Archive for the month “March, 2017”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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