Sunday, June 8, 2008

The best of…comfort food

I recently had the pleasure of receiving an email from a woman named Betsy, who found me through “The Jordan Rich Show”, and she runs an internet-based food service company; she sent me a sample of her product, which I gladly consumed, over a few days.

Chicken soup!!! You hear me? Chicken soup, with Matzah balls and noodles!!! This was good stuff. Believe me, if it wasn’t good, I’d say so…but it didn’t. Not even close to sucking. Ate it on a cold, rainy June day, and I highly recommend Grandma's Chicken! Visit their website (the link is also down in my favorite sites on the lower left), where not only can you sign up for “soup of the month”, but you can order the soup delivered anywhere in the continental U.S. by a real “grandma”! Previously featured on Food Networks “Unwrapped” and on Jordan’s show, and now featured here…Next time, don’t say it with flowers; say it with a matzah ball!

Washing out the soup bowl of my mind:

Is it me, or is the video quality for the NBA playoffs a throwback to the 1970s? In this day of digital TV, you’d think the production values would exceed that of “The Munsters”.

Speaking of the broadcast, per usual, the national media loves any team and player, NOT from Boston. It’s like the Celtics filmed the Lakers’ walk-through. Magic this, Kobe that…yes, the national media loves Kobe. What’s not to love? Great player, well spoken…rapist! Put Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Clubber Lang in a Lakers uniform and the media would eat it up!

The Red Sox are tearing he cover off the ball lately, and apparently each other. Nothing like a brouhaha between Manny and Jewwwwwwwk to get the blood boiling. Manny must have forgotten the Shabbat candles again and Youk was just letting him know not to forget the Havdalah kit Saturday. Just the usual mishugas…

Saw Iron Man last night-better than I expected, and frankly, better than “Indiana Jones…”. With a co-star like Gwyneth Paltrow (she’s half a tribe member, on her late father’s side), I think Iron Man needs x-ray vision!

That’s all I got for now. You’ve been great. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses. Enjoy Phoebe Snow.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I am not an animal...

As promised, I went to a late showing of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Almost Washed-Up Has Beens (and in the case of Shia LaBeouf, “Never Was”). I disliked it so much, I saw it again on Saturday with my son and some friends. Its now 4 hours of my life I’ll never get back, so I feel doubly qualified to give you a brief review.

It wasn’t real good. Not awful either. 2 ½ stars.

As I’ve said to a few of you, it reminded me of the oldies concerts on PBS; its fun to watch these groups try to re-live the glory days of their youth, but they’re a few steps behind and a little off-key. So, too, the cast of Indiana Jones. Add in a convoluted story line and Shia LaBeouf (his best days were in “Even Stevens” of the “Battle for Shaker Heights”), and it’s not a cocktail for disaster, but definitely an appetizer for trouble.

As an aside, the years in Lee, Massachusetts have been kind to Karen Allen, but not so much for John Hurt; he looked better in “The Elephant Man” and made more sense.

Unfortunately, the movie was just the “essence” of an Indiana Jones movie, and didn’t do too much for me. I had high hopes, given that the critics have been pushing a three-star rating. Then again, the critics loved “Children of Men” too. For more on my opinion on the current state of movies, check out some very early posting of mine in January and February 2007.

The fun thing about this iteration was watching for the little inside jokes or tribute, “shout-outs” to earlier Spielberg or Lucas movies. (Semi-spoiler alert) From the “American Graffiti” beginning, to the “Close Encounters” ending, with everything in between, it was fun to see what might pop up next. As much fun as that was, the movie was missing the great “a-ha!” moments and when it’s all said and done, there’s nothing left to say and there’s nothing left to do. I wasn’t real sad it was over.

I am loco for “Boloco”, a local burrito chain with a location in Natick. Really good value for the money, and quality fresh-made burritos. After a recent mis-step when they put sour cream in my burrito (I like sour cream on my burrito about as much as Harry Callahan like ketchup on a hot dog) and a few other little things, I reached out to the management to share my concerns (sounds so polite, right?) They responded in a proper way, with a refund and a credit, and I am pleased to report that 1) they have straightened things out, and 2) as much as I enjoy the burritos, I enjoy free burritos even more. They did right by me, and deserve to get credit for it.
I wish “Fresh City” would re-evaluate their menu and price structure; talk about over-priced and poor price to value ratio. I’ve noticed the very few times I’ve been there in recent months that the crowds have thinned and I have to believe their numbers are down. With so many other places giving better value (Boloco and Panera Bread among them), they must be thinking about new ideas. Here’s one-lower your prices. By the way, stay away from the cinnamon pita chips. First, cinnamon stimulates the appetite, so you end up spending more money and 2) you ever see anyone use the tongs to pick up those chips? Think about it. Bathrooms at the House of Roy were cleaner than those chip baskets.

You’ve been a great audience. Enjoy the Eurythmics.