Friday, January 30, 2009

Cupcakes vs. Donuts: It’s On!

Cupcakes are pretty, certainly. They are often decorated with lovely flowers and are sold in bakeries that are precious, too. So what if they are $7 a piece? They were on Sex & the City. They are like individual works of art. Like edible sculptures. Deal with it.

They are also a very silly pursuit. And a lot of needless work. First you have to deal with that wrapper. On a baked good. A wrapper. Exactly. Then, if it has a lot of icing, you wind up getting some icing on your face. Especially if you happen to attack a baked good like that tiger on Roy. Or like, uh, two people we know.

To be honest with you, if we are going to waste hundreds of calories in a single sitting, we’re going to do it while exerting as little energy as possible. Cupcakes are energy. We have a much better solution. One we like to call, the thinking person’s portable munchie.

What would that be? Donuts, fool. Donuts are more no-nonsense and better reflect the desire to overeat. Because a cupcake is a dessert, it's an event. While a donut could be considered a snack, especially if you are delusional. cough cough

Donuts seem more utilitarian. And there are far more creative flavors. There is not a cupcake alive that could cope with the majesty of a coconut cream donut from The Donut Plant, which is sort of like Heaven, only with iced mango and chunky-peanut-butter-and-jelly donuts. It's way downtown in NYC but we'd pull a rickshaw filled with The Biggest Losers for their Italian plum jelly donuts.

Another benefit of donuts is that they are clearly meant for no-fuss consumption. First of all, they are cleverly designed with a hole in their midst, to cut down on wind resistance, meaning they get to our gnashing teeth sooner. That’s science. And if you don’t think that extra fraction of a second will help us during a meal, you haven’t been spending time with TFW’s, especially after we’ve been drinking heavily.

Then again, when those are the conditions, we’re not really sure a live duck with a truffle tied around its neck would be safe.

Wait, is that bad?

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter...

...because I am a moron.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thanks, "A Lot"...

How much is 'a lot'? It's a question that has troubled people ever since we traded in our togas for fixed-waisted pantaloons. (Hungry and smart, we are.)

To some people, 'a lot' is actually a little — like servings of cheesecake that are so small we could mistake them for sticks of gum. To others (read: us) 'a lot' means something entirely different.

We didn't come to our conclusion quickly, as we take decisions involving food very seriously. Many meals were consumed to answer the same manner of question: Is this a lot of pasta? Is that a lot of cheese in our quesadilla? Are you going to eat the rest of your pork loin? Okay, so the last one is a question of a different sort, but you would surprised at how often that comes up.

After watching the "John Adams" mini-series on cable TV, we decided to model our decision-making technique after the Continental Congress. (It helps that they were all fat.) We both made presentations—one of us had a slide show, the other brought props, including a dog that seemed to sleep through his portion of the skit, where he was supposed to represent a strip steak. (Actually, I have just been informed that he was in character. My apologies, my hairy method-acting friend. I wasn't aware that beef snored.)

The TFW braintrust kicked it around, digested our findings, literally and figuratively, and have come to the conclusion that "a lot" constitutes four servings of something. Anything less than that is considered merely a "heaping" or even "healthy" portion.

The most obvious beneficiary of this? Movie theater owners who sell those boxes of candy. Because, after checking many of them out, they come in at a "healthy" 3 1/2 servings, which isn't considered 'a lot' in our world, despite how it so torments our gullets.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Burger By Any Other Name...

Up until yesterday, we thought we had found the perfect job for us in this post-Apocalyptic economy. For we are multi-lingual, multi-talented, occasionally multi-vitamined individuals who are easily adaptable to any work environment that permits a fridge and rotisserie grille (okay, that’s a stretch, but not by much.)

So when the light bulb went off the other day, we could scarcely believe our luck at having such a great idea. Finally, we were ready to transition from people who eat at work to people who eat for work.

Our new idea was simple: we would be starting a consulting firm that advised chain restaurants what to name their new menu selections. Check this out: Not content with merely eating it, we would be offering our services, traveling around the country in Bourdain's private jet that we boosted in Madagascar (sorry, TB) and demonstrating to the fast food titans how to draw attention to their menus in this time of need.

We would first do this by sampling everything their restaurant serves. To get to know them better, understand. Because, when you go in cold, mistakes happen. For example, we would never have come up with Hardees Monster Thickburger. Terrible name. Our key criteria would be the name had to evoke deliciousness and illicitness in equal parts.

So anyway, we were far along enough to begin thinking of what we were going to call ourselves. It was a pitched battle. Neither of us wanted to give quarter, or to talk with our mouths full, so we never managed to come to a consensus. That should have told us something about our naming abilities. And yet it did not.

No matter. Because, as we were preparing the menu for our launch party (you can't even imagine) we came across something that made The Food Whisperers realize that we had been beaten to to the punch.

It came in the form of a hulking, scary-yet-enticing, 2040-calorie, 150-gram of fat item on the menu of Chili's. Introducing: "Chili's Smokehouse Bacon Triple-The-Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing".

We know: perfection.

Damn you, Chili’s Smokehouse Bacon Triple-The-Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing! Damn you straight to hell!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Great Expectations

Sometime within the next two weeks we will be making our way to Momofuku Milk Bar. Neither of us have been there just yet, but can’t wait (The holidays delayed this visit a bit). Cereal milk and a compost cookie made of potato chips, pretzels, coffee grounds, chocolate chips, graham crumbs, butterscotch chips, and a little bit of flour are promised. And we promise to say “two please.” If all goes as planned the pastry chef, Christine Tosi, may just turn out to be one of our heroes. We’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Natural Order of Things

This is a promise. You pick the cuisine. You pick the restaurant. We will order you under the goddamn table. We will order so much, the waiter will try and stop us. So much that our dinner companions will flee. And the owner will call our families to help stage an intervention.

Though there are only two of us, we are like the eater version of those Spartans in 300: outmanned and outgunned, but never outchewed. Never that.

Here's how it will work: We will order appetizers, and then we will order some side dishes as appetizers, and then we may order some appetizers to arrive before the actual appetizer course. In other words, we will invent a course. You might call them pre-appetizers. The cheese course doesn't really count because it will last about twelve seconds.

Then, if you make the mistake of choosing Italian, we will order a pasta course. And, why yes, we would like the tri-color salad with Gorgonzola, thank you for asking. After the main courses, and copious side dishes, we will take it easy on dessert. And order a cookie plate and cappuccinos, while we take it easy. Then we will order dessert and take that down like a cobra on a mongoose.

Sounds like bragging? Go ahead and try us.

We're begging you.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Short Rib Gamble

Whenever you look at a menu with continental fare, there are always three sure things: salmon, a chicken dish and a steak. A chef would have to be a real idiot to mess those up. But it happens. And what is worse than a bad piece of salmon? A thumb in your eye.

The ultimate wildcard is when you see short ribs on the menu. If prepared well, short ribs may taste like the greatest thing you have ever eaten. If they are crappy and fatty, Marley the dog wouldn't touch them. You need to have faith in the restaurant, that they will have the discipline necessary to buy quality meat and slow cook it the way that it needs to be.

We have had them on several occasions, and have seen both extremes. Which is why we are hesitant to order them, and we will only do so if both of us are having them. Because if one of us is going down with a crappy meal, then both of us are going down with a crappy meal.

That's called team spirit. In our world, at least.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

TFW's Tips for Living Like Us, Part I

You have a sore throat? Instead of cough drops, substitute candy. Cough drops are B.S. anyway, and this way, you get the sugar to hop you up, along with the taste. Because ever since those Pine Bros. dandies disappeared, cough drops taste like highway gravel coated in menthol. We would rather be waterboarded than pop a Halls.

Hard candy is best—Lemon Drops, Atomic Fireballs, Runts (especially good for children) and even Gobstoppers—but we find any sugar candy will do. Just no candy bars, but that goes without saying, does it not?

Friday, January 2, 2009

No Bourdain, No Gain

Most people, if granted one wish would ask for world peace or to meet Jesus. Important stuff like that. We wish we could be friends with Anthony Bourdain. Close personal friends. Like a trio of best friends.

He is totally our kind of guy. His show "No Reservations" starts broadcasting new episodes on January 5th and they look tremendous. Not sure if you have seen it, but you should.

On the show, AB basically eats his way across the globe. Sometimes he eats gross stuff, but usually he gets in a few phenomenal meals per location. (One thing we already have in common.) The episode filmed in Colombia, is nearly poetic.

We’d become fast friends with Anthony Bourdain. Since he is already a celebrity, we would have to work extra hard to keep it that way. We would begin what would best be described as a charm offensive, something that we have proven surprisingly adept at. (Those people at Lennys would take a bullet for either of us.)

Laughing at his jokes, disarming him with stories of our own eating exploits, basically kissing his butt all for the single goal of two seats on his traveling dining room in the sky.

Why are we so confident that this would happen? Easy. We are very likable people. Or so we hear. Life of the party, delightful dinner companions, basically, two valuable additions to any kind of event where eating happens.

Personality, looks, smarts. Humility. We’re like an instant entourage that any famous chef would be proud to call his or her own. (We’re first-come, first-served, Giada, in case you were wondering.)

Our lives would be instantly transformed and we are not referring to the combined 75 pounds we would pack on in the first six months.

He would be the tour guide, as we traveled the world. He’d sample the monkey brains, we’d eat the lamb tikka. He would take down some lemur lasagna, we’d have the lamb chops until the seams in our jumpsuits made us stop. We would laugh and joke the three of us, and it wouldn’t be at all weird because we would be too busy tasting to have any awkward conversations. Oh man, it would be too good for words, beyond this one: yum.

By the way, we hope you have a wonderful 2009. You are so very important to us.

See? Our charm offensive is a thing of beauty, isn’t it?