Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So I haven't posted in a while because I've been too busy posting on Its pretty crazy. Between myself and Tim we have scored several hundred dollars in free meals. My Shady Restaurant of the Month has reached new levels of popularity. Google has us indexed quite high. Keep checking it so we continue to index and acheive local celebrity status.

I'll post something interesting here soon. Don't worry. Until then, read

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where to Eat in Peoria Illinois

I played bass this weekend in Illinois with the soon to be famous Mitch Houston Band. I learned a valuable lesson. Its actually something I've been learning over and over for the last several months. Lately I have been asking the server at the restaurants I go to what they recommend for me to eat. I have realized, however, that waitresses have particularly very bad taste in cuisine. So far, the last 4 eating experiences where I have asked for a recommendation have been particularly bad.

We ate at a place called Sully's which was a little pub in downtown Peoria with a pretty cool feel. It was smoky, dark, and had a dart machine. All good qualities in a pub. Mitch ordered a burger, Michael ordered ribs, Krista ordered fettuccine, and I ordered the pork tenderloin sandwich after a raving revue and extensive recommendation from our server. She has no taste buds apparently. This thing was 8 or 9 inches in diameter, pounded out wafer thin, and deep fried. It was served on a plain bun. No sauce. No lettuce. No tomato. No nothing. A plain, dry, bigger than my head, fried piece of tenderloin. Weird. Flavor wasn't that bad. In fact, had I had a small pan, a handful of porcini mushrooms and some port wine I could have made an out of this world Jager Schnitzel. Unfortunately I wasn't the cook. But how do you eat a big dry fried pork tenderloin with no sauce? Everyone else raved about how tasty their food was. They all nearly choked on their food laughing at my plight too.

Hoops is a good place to eat though. It was a little smoky pub that served Chicago style pizza. It was very good. It was smoky though. I'm not a smoker, but it almost feels better to walk into a little pub like this and be enveloped in smoke. OKC has a no smoking rule in its restaurants which is nice and all, but the little pubs should be smoky. It just doesn't feel right without the smoke.

Maybe I should open a restaurant. I would make sure my wait staff knew how to make recommendations. I would serve a variety of wine sauces with several types of mushrooms. I would cook the pasta al dente, and my waiters would never recommend the worst thing on the menu. There actually wouldn't be a worst thing on the menu.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hurts So Good

I've been pondering a lot lately. Normally this can be very dangerous and lead to disaster, but this time I've been pondering food. OK, I often ponder food. I love food. What I have been thinking about lately is why "good food", meaning tasty food, is often not good FOR you. Lets take my favorite food products for example:

Heavy Cream


Whole Milk

Fried Bologna


Pork Fat

Duck Fat

Dr. Pepper

These are all natural occurring foods, with the exception of the bologna which is a processed meat product, that contrary to popular belief is NOT made of cow lips and pig nipples, rather it is a type of smoked sausage that becomes extra delicious when fried on a griddle. Cream, butter, Steak, all come from the cow which was clean even to ancient Israel.....well, maybe not the way I eat my steaks. And then Dr. Pepper which is obviously blessed. If you haven't heard my story about when I was in college and trusted God to supply me a missing nickel and then found it laying at my feet in front of the drink machine I went to a nickel short, in faith, then you just did.

Anyway, why does cream and butter have to slowly collect in your arteries? I typically have at least a couple cloves of garlic and some onion or shallot which is supposed to help clean them out so I think I wash out the bad effects. But not just cream and butter, everything dairy is full of cholesterol, cow meat is terrible for you, sugar causes all kinds of problems, and drinking pork fat is never advisable in any situation.

Of course the easy answer is moderation. Americans are notoriously bad at moderation. We rarely teach moderation in anything. We typically have knee jerk reactions in life. Ex. "Twinkies are yummy, so I will eat 40 of them". The church (in the South) puts bans on alcohol because people can't practice moderation, but we don't ban sugar and butter and the same ones who imposed the ban on alcohol are double fisting chili dogs after their victory at the convention. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America.

I guess if we would practice moderation then a little butter or cream is fine for everyone. I wish it wasn't bad for me. I really like cream sauces and butter. I really like frying things in butter, pork fat, or duck fat. I really like Dr. Pepper. But I can't afford to have heart disease so I have to eat things that won't kill me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A new review site

I have been asked to begin contributing to a local Oklahoma Food Review site that is soon to be a staple for the locals,

I will still post things here for myself to read and to amuse myself.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Shady Restaurant of the Month

I've decided to start a new segment on Andrew's Consommation Revue (I say this like this is an established site with months of posts and a legion of followers....but I digress). I am going to start highlighting the Shady Restaurant of the Month. This will be a monthly award given to that restaurant with poor lighting, bad curb appeal, questionable clientele, dangerous parking lots, but good food.

*Editors note and disclaimer*

If you choose to go to one of these establishments be aware that these are normally cash only, don't always have proper air conditioning / ventilation, and should never under any circumstances be visited alone. Chances of being approached by a vagabond, prostitute, or teen runaway looking for a compassionate soul to provide them a meal is greater than 50%. I will in no way be held responsible if you finish your meal and return to your car only to find that it is on cinder blocks and the wheels are suddenly for sale across the street.

Now that the intro and disclaimer are afterthoughts in this article, on to the establishment with the distinguished honor of being known as the first Shady Restaurant of the Month. Today's winner is Sydney's Restaurant. Sydney's is located on SW29th and Independence. The exterior of Sydney's really will catch your eye with the paintings on the windows advertising $2.99 Pancake specials, $3.99 Burger deals, and $6.00 steaks. (never under any circumstances ever try a $6 steak, by the way. Its bad for your soul) It should also be noted that if you ever decide to go to Sydney's and it is raining, don't walk under the awning. For some reason that defies physics you get more water on you while under the awning than you would out in the elements unprotected. I may submit Sydney's awning for consideration as a man made wonder of the world. Also, if you enjoy eating in establishments that regulate the air temperature around you, prepare for disappointment.

Lets move on to the food. Sydney's serves a full menu, including breakfast, all day. Everything is cooked on a griddle and prepared fresh. Pancakes are light and fluffy, eggs are cooked perfectly, hashbrowns are fried up golden brown and delicious, bacon is crispy without being burned, and the sausage is flavorful. I know what you are thinking. Its breakfast food. Its impossible to screw this cooking up. Its not true gourmet cuisine. Why don't you review the meatloaf, or the burger, or even the ...pardon while I vomit in my mouth... the $6 steak. Well, faithful readers, I'm simply not that brave. Why give a charming little place like this the opportunity to disappoint? Eat the breakfast. Its cheap, servers are friendly, and if they accidentally spill coke into your gravy they are more than willing to bring you more gravy. Sydney's is always willing to accommodate those crazy off menu substitutions that are often necessary such as double hash browns, no toast, or maybe you feel like the Eggs with Meat platter but want to really jazz it up by having a variety of meats rather than just a pile of sausage. I like to call this substitution the "pig potpourri". Another bonus is Sydney's accepts all major credit cards. Please be prepared to help unplug the large box fan and to plug in the MCR reader as the waitresses are too short to reach the plugs.

Sure Sydney's Restaurant has plenty of characteristics that should cause every natural instinct within you to not stop, but to go find someplace "safer", but then where would we be? I'll tell you one thing, if it weren't for the courage to stop in and try places like this we sure wouldn't have a "Shady Restaurant of the Month" award to celebrate. You are also much more likely to get a grilled cheese with the mother Mary appearing in the grill marks at a place like this than you would at your little yuppie grill uptown. A couple good rules of thumb for finding your own little shady wonder:

1) Look for a full parking lot

2) If you can smell it from inside your car with the windows rolled up, they are busy cooking and not simply a front for drug trafficking

3) Look for an "established in 19...."(older number the better)

4) Never travel alone

5) Never go after dark

6) Share your finds with others.

The reward of finding a place like this, outside of the pure adrenaline rush of the potential for conflict, is sharing with others. Being selfish and hording a little shady wonder to yourself is a character flaw.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Capitol Hill

I'm going to post my first review not on a specific restaurant, but on a district of restaurants. Capitol Hill is located in Oklahoma City south of I-40 between Shields and Western on SW 25th. Home of the Oklahoma Opry, several pawn shops, many a Hispanic mercado, tortillarilla, shady after hours watering holes, and a handful of the most interesting and unique restaurants in the city.

Every time I escort someone new into this area of town they become a little uneasy. You must drive through low income neighborhoods, very rarely see signs in English, tentatively steer around patrons waiting in line outside the Department of Human Services, and usually have to end up parking on a curb across from a shady looking tire barn to get to your end destination. Often times these lower income Hispanic communities get a bad rap from those living the life of luxury. The people are friendly, the culture is dynamic, and the food is tasty!

First stop, Jamie's Grill.
Jamie's is a little diner very reminiscent of the kind of place you would find in rural Tennessee. No wonder, these guys are FROM Tennessee. Jamie's has historical pictures all around of what life was like back when Capitol Hill was a bustling metropolis of some sort, antiques, a distinct musky smell that reminds you of your grandmothers basement, and food that you will be hard pressed to find an equal to in the metro area. Jamie has your typical diner food, fat juicy burgers, hand cut fries, thick cut chicken fried steak, hand battered onion rings, fried catfish, and ridiculously portioned homemade pies. What I respect most about Jamie's is they have an item I have not been able to find anywhere else in Oklahoma, fried bologna. Not only do they have fried bologna, but they have what they call the redneck club sandwich which replaces the deli style turkey meat with thick slices of fried bologna. Amazing. Before you go nuts and eat here every day you should read this post on the Daily Genesis and remember to always eat fried bologna in moderation.

Just down the road from Jamie's you can find the historical Coney Island hot dog joint where you can enjoy hot dogs, chili, Greek spaghetti, and various combinations of these ingredients combined. My kids love this place on a Saturday afternoon. Yeah, there are better hot dogs in town, but you can't replicate this type of ambiance, especially this close to a Volkswagen parts store and plethora of pawn shops which I happen to try to frequent on Saturday's.

Around the corner you will find a very authentic Mexican restaurant, Max Pollo. This gives me a great opportunity to gripe about "authentic Mexican restaurant's". I hate it when someone says, "Oh this place is crazy authentic" and then you go in and its got flour tortilla tacos, yellow cheese and chili dripping off everything, bad Hispanic music, and its full of white guys daring each other to squirt the habenero sauce on their chips. Max Pollo is authentic. Usually I'm the only white guy in there for one, the waitresses struggle to communicate in English at all, its impossible to get into if there is a soccer game on tv, and flour tortillas are used properly. Just look at this article and tell me that chicken doesn't look tasty. No clue what the article says, but the chicken looks tasty. I normally get the "Max Pollo", their specialty, but they have fantastic tilapia dishes, shrimp cocktails chock full of bits of octopus, shrimp ceviche ("cooked" in lime juice), fish tacos that are out of this world, and loads of other seafood dishes that I haven't braved yet. This is not the place to go if you are craving a burrito or chili con carne. However, if you are a little adventurous and don't mind not always being sure what you just ordered, this place will provide you with tasty surprises. (and they also bring chips and some sort of yellow cheese type dip for all us gringos to snack on while they cook up your entrees)

Capitol Hill provides loads of culinary adventures that can keep your palate entertained for weeks. Enjoy a redneck club, roasted mexican chicken, stop at the paleta store and have a fresh paleta (mexican popsicle....tasty), or stop the ice cream man who still pushes around a little ice cream cart around the local neighborhoods. Get over your fear of a culture different than yours and go taste Capitol Hill.

Monday, September 17, 2007

First Things First

This blog will be completely dedicated to my ramblings regarding food, restaurants, eating, other peoples eating habits, or other things related to Consommation (pardon my French). This is completely for my own personal entertainment since no one else will likely read this. I'm pretty sure blogging to yourself is border line insanity, so I will tell myself that this blog will be a reference guide for myself. Good idea self!

It is likely that the majority of these reviews will be centered around Oklahoma City, Nashville, Memphis, since those are my most frequented metropli, but you never know when I may visit somewhere exotic and post that review that could change your life. So if you are the casual blog surfer that happens upon this page by chance, or by predestination, i would subscribe so you won't miss a moment.

At any time you, the casual blog surfer that happened upon this page by chance or predistination, are welcome to post your comments about my opinions. I am also open to trying any restaurant of your choice and then posting my review of your selection. Please keep in mind that I will not be posting about major chain restaurants, and if you ask me to post a review on Applebees or Chile's I will more than likely insult you.

So sit back, strap in, and get ready to join me on many a culinary adventure.