Friday, June 19, 2009

Cluck You!

We try to keep things mellow here on the Mean Streets. Crap happens and you roll with it. When you've lived your life in Apache Junction you get used to crap rolling down hill because the trailer park is at the base of the mountain. So it takes a lot to get me riled.

Well my friends, Popeye's Chicken has unleashed the freakin wolverine! I used to love Popeye's chicken. It was spicy, juicy, and flavorful-not unlike your narrator. It was unlike any fried chicken out there. My first experience with Popeye's was as an impressionable young lad on a trip to Washington D.C. It would have been my first love if I hadn't have discovered Atari the year before.

When the chain moved out to the desert, I was one of the first in line to savor the cajun flavor. The only problem was that for some reason the Popeye's were all connected to gas stations and they only took cash. Well my friends, on the Mean Streets, we are a debit card crew so Popeye's wasn't generally an option, plus a Circle K isn't the most relaxing of lunch venues. While it broke my heart, Popeye and I moved our separate ways.

Fast forward several years and Popeye's is on an advertising blitz. They're pimping their 2 piece chicken and a biscuit deal. Well when my lunch appointment bailed and I had cash in my pocket, I knew the time was right to renew the relationship.

The day turned even better when I pulled up and they were advertising 2 PIECES FOR A FREAKIN' DOLLAR. My jaw almost hit the floorboard of the ol Crown Vic. If there is one thing we love more than doughy, grease filled poultry, it's doughy, grease filled poultry at a screaming price. If only I knew the horror to come.

I paid my cash (and noticed they are taking cards so things were getting better by the moment) and waited for my turn to be served. They dumped a fresh load (again just like me) of the spicy chicken so I knew I was getting the cream of the crop.

All I can say after pulling out the first piece is that the cream has spoiled. It was small, cooked beyond the jerky state, and worst of all the skin had all the flavor of cardboard dipped in school paste.

In order to put it into perspective, I basically paid 50 cents for a piece of regular sized chicken and felt completely ripped off! I pay that much for a stinkin hot wing which is half of the smallest piece of the chicken. Here I'm getting a full thigh and I wanted to drive back and demand my dollar bill back.

Popeye, all I can say is you should stick with spinach and I'll get religion and go back to Church's.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ode to The Generic

When you're rollin on the Mean Streets of Apache Junction, sometime the spigot on the ol cash flow gets turned off and we are resorted to scrimping by.

I know what you're thinking: "Poor boy. Maybe you should have thought about that before dropping 20 bucks on a 12 pack of Maiden tunes on Rock Band." [Excellent by the way!-ed]

Well my friends I'm not here to lament my situation. No we keep it positive here in the Trailer Park Kingdom. I'm here to extol the virtues of a discovery. A discovery that would not have happened had the ducketts not become scarce. A discovery so wonderful, so delicious, that the mere thought of it makes me want to put down these Vienna sausages and run down to the local Wal-Mart and pick me up some.

What am I talking about? I'm talking about Wal-Mart's generic beef stew! BEHOLD:

Previous to this I have been a beef stew snob. My parents were raised on Dinty Moore. Their parents were raised on Dinty Moore, and by golly my son was going to be raised on Dinty Moore. There would be no other Beef Stew brought before me-ever.

That was until my trip down to the ol pueblo aka Mexico. I didn't want to pick up some nasty illness that would cause me to spend more time on the pot* than on the beach soaking up the sun so I had to bring my food down. One bad tamale wasn't going to ruin this guys vacation. So I wanted to load up on the beef stew. Well since I had a wife and kid to feed and both require other groceries because they are not man enough for Dinty Moore, I was forced to sacrifice 10 generations of family beef stew tradition so they can eat.

Yes even the Mean Streets can show compassion from time to time.

So I swallowed my family pride and picked up the Great Value beef stew. And friends, I've been glad I did ever since.

How do I describe the indescribable? I can say the beef was tender, the potatoes few, carrots cooked to perfection, but best of all the sauce. It was less a stew and more a gravy. If I had to describe it in three words they would be: Thick, Rich, Delicious,, Velvety, Meaty, and Lipsmacking. It was beyond human comprehension.

It like how when stars go super nova and then collapse in on themselves. They become the size of a marble but weigh trillions of tons. How do they pack that much flavor in a single can. To quote the great Sicilian Vizzini "That's Inconceivable!"

It shaken my culinary world to it's core. I'm now wondering how well the Great Value Luncheon meat tastes. Though I swore there would be no other pressed pork product stored in gelatin than SPAM eaten in my house, the taste buds contemplate revolt.

*If your name is Shadow, this kind of pot refers to a toilet.