Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Disappearing Act

I haven't completely given up this blog or disappeared forever. No, I've just been a bit sidetracked and not really into the proper frame of mind to spend a little time sharing some good eats and good roads.

The disappearance is over, at least I hope it is.

While my travels have been rather limited as of late (that's a simple way to put it,) my sampling of eats both exceptional and not quite edible has continued. I've found one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches on the planet, and the secret is simple. It's cooked on a grill where they cook hamburgers and chicken breast all afternoon, plus eggs and bacon in the morning. The flavor brought from the grill make all the difference, because they use a merely adequate bread and cheese. (Add some of the bacon cooked on the same grill to that sandwich and mmmmm that's some serious love there, children.) I'm afraid to think of when the grill was last really cleaned, but that's somewhere I just try to not let my mind go as I watch them slap the cheese onto my hot sandwich.

I also always thought it would be difficult to make green beans completely inedible. I was wrong. Number one rule of any food is it should not taste like kerosene. Enough said about this unpleasant memory.

You can't go wrong with fresh fruit, good quality yogurt and good granola. Toss together and eat for any meal, any time.

I don't care if it takes longer, mashed or creamed potatoes belong SKIN OFF. Period. I can eat them if they're served skin-on, but ask any real southerner. They'll tell you that there shouldn't be skins still in that mess of potatoes.

Just a few lessons learned while sharing my space with the Arkansas Childrens Hospital. I've learned so many more but these little culinary related bits I thought were worthwhile to share here.

More travels and treats to come soon!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mmmm... Pizza!

In my travels I've noticed the best pizza is usually what you get by asking the locals about their favorite pizza place. Recently in Little Rock I was guided in the right direction by some great nurses at Arkansas Children's Hospital. They suggested Shotgun Dan's and were they ever right! It was exceptional, and I would definitely return. I would however remember that you want to bring your appetite, as they don't skimp on the toppings or flavor.

Locally, we have a very good pizza restaurant that creates some interesting combinations besides the same old cheese and pepperoni. Upper Crust Pizza Co. is probably the best in my area. They accomplish the right balance of crust, sauce, cheese, toppings and herbs to get a filling but not overly greasy pizza.

The best pizza I've ever eaten was at BJ's in Lahina in Maui. It had the perfect blend of all the above, with a nice complement of beverages such as Pog. It was there I became addicted to this delightful blend of fruit juice that I've attempted to replicate at home, but never get it quite as good as it was there. Oh and the location didn't hurt things either.

Another one that ranks probably not far behind BJ's is Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company. Their menu is entertaining to read, and while sometimes that can mean a restaurant is too busy building the atmosphere these guys do not disappoint on the food. The place hums with activity and excitement, the decorating is quirky but cool, and its a multi-purpose destination. They serve great pizza and it hosts a movie house and a huge game room. The owners really took advantage of a great old movie theater location and use it to it's potential. Besides, any place that in addition to good pizza serves a William Shatner Quesadilla (Nothin' but cheese) and a Royale with Cheese can't be all bad!

While the big chains can make a consistently pretty good pizza, and in instances like Pizza Hut's Cheese Bread a rather tasty dish, they just can't quite compare to the tasty delights that come from a good local pizzeria.

On a side note, our travels have been a bit limited as of late, but they will be resuming soon. More trips + More good food = More posts!