Friday, April 30, 2010

We're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

After more than a month-long layoff, the GPaK Crew returned with a vengeance on Friday, visiting Rich's Mighty Fine Burgers & Grub.

Rich, the proprietor, used to run a burger and sandwich cart on Main Street but now has opened up this cozy little place on Broadway. What the joint lacks in ambience, it makes up in a big way with flavor.

Unsurprisingly, I chose the bacon cheeseburger (sans pickles and sauce), fries and a Coke. The fries were absolutely outstanding: crispy, nicely seasoned and among the best I've ever eaten. The juicy burger was excellent and cooked to perfection. About the only quibble I had was that I prefer a toasted bun, but as far as un-toasted buns go, the kind they use at Rich's are fresh, slightly dense, but very good. SuperScrunch said the bun reminded him of challah bread, which I could sort of get.

Perhaps the highlight of the meal occurred when I asked GPaK what his Coke's Fizz-o-meter rating was going to be. The exchange went something like this:
Me: What's the Fizz-o-meter going to be?
Greg: It's just right.
Me: So, a 10 then.
Greg: No, a nine.
Me: A nine? I thought you said it was perfect.
Greg: No, I said it was "just right."
Me: Isn't "just right" perfect?
Greg: No.
Jon: But if you rated it perfect, then you'd have the standard by which you could judge all other Cokes.
This caused a two-minute argument with SuperScrunch and me on one side and GPaK on the other. Finally, Greg yelled, "WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE FIZZ-O-METER!?" I hate it when Greg is right.

Oh, and by the way, I correctly guessed what Jon ordered. I'm borderline psychic when it comes to predicting fellow Crew menu choices.

Man-up possibilities: 9
Food quality: 9
Service: 7 (they were a touch slow)
Overall: 9

Quotes of the day:
He has a one-liner and now he's funny?
COMMENT: Greg and I just touched thighs. RESPONSE: Don't tell everybody!
Welcome to the conversation.
Gary's probably standing outside of Squatters.
Could I have a side of bun, please?
COMMENT: I had a root beer today. RESPONSE: You really did girl up. REJOINDER: It's not like he got a drink box.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Veggie tales at Iggy's

I rolled my eyes in disgust when Greg and Brady suggested that we go to Iggy's Sports Grill. We've been there plenty of times before, and there's really not a lot for those with, shall we say, more delicate and refined palates. But being the good sport that I am, finally acquiesced. Iggy's menu is filled with all manner of fatty and unhealthy choices and so naturally I took my time deciding what to order. These things can't be rushed.

I eventually chose the PTLP (Pickle, Tomato and Lettuce Pile) for $8.95. It's a bit more substantial than what I'd normally order and I almost went for the Bark and Air-foam salad, but then I thought, "Why not? It's a Friday!" I'd already pecked at half a wheat germ doughnut with pink hummus glaze for breakfast, but was determined not to let that gross lapse in diet consciousness ruin the whole day. The PTLP was nearly too large to finish (take a gander at the picture and you'll know why), but was delicious. Whenever I'm torn between two menu selections, I just ask myself "What would Karen Carpenter order?" Since the answer to that question is invariably "Nothing, she's dead," I then ask myself: "What would the 9-year-old daughter of militant vegans order?" That usually does the trick.

I could only shake my head as both Greg and Brady scarfed down All-American bacon cheeseburgers. With the way they eat, they'd better both be well on their way to building piano-sized coffins. Well, Greg at least; I'm pretty certain Brady has a tape worm. SuperScrunch, on the other hand, followed my lead and opted for the Partially Reconstituted Mound of Cud. I'll let him offer his own thoughts on the meal, but all I can say is: MMMmmmmmmm.

Lady-up possibilities: 3 (Not a lot of options.)
Food quality: 8
Service: 5 (We hardly saw the server until it was check time).
Overall: 7

Quotes of the day:
"Wow, look, there's a twig in my cud!" RESPONSE: "Lucky bugger!"
"That parking spot wasn't there before. I'm pretty sure we just crossed into another dimension."
"We'll sit down as soon as you remove 'cackling lady.'"
"Is today opposite day?" RESPONSE: "Yes. Wait, no."


Friday, March 5, 2010

Cheesy, french-fried manna from heaven


When the time came to decide where we should go for lunch, I immediately pleaded for somewhere manly. Or anywhere I could sit down in front of a burger. I guess that's probably redundant. Then it came to me: cheese fries. There's nothing quite as masculine as a plate full of french-fried potatoes smothered in cheddar cheese. Unless, of course, you add bacon. Hello, Training Table, are you listening?

So, yes, I suggested we go to the Training Table. You should have seen Chuckles' face when I recommended the place. It was like I offered to pop a cap in his geriatric shih tzu, gangsta-style (something that actually happened at lunch, by the way ... not the actual shooting, mind you, just the suggestion. Or perhaps the implication of a suggestion. I am an animal lover and would never do or say such a thing. So you Peta people can call off the dogs, er, whatever you would sic on someone you wanted to take down. I'm guessing you wouldn't use dogs because that would be cruel. A pack of wild stuffed animals?). Anyway, Chuck didn't look excited. It turns out later that he was perfectly happy to go to Training Table, and why wouldn't he? The place has cheese fries, for cryin' out loud.

As you can probably guess, I ordered a chili burger. It's just about the only thing on the menu I can order without altering in some way. The burger was scrumptious as usual and the cheese fries were, well, themselves, which is fine by me for just about any meal of the day on any day of the year, Thanksgiving included. Three of us shared one full-size order of cheese fries and one of the GPaK crew preferred his fries "sans fromage," a French phrase which literally means "wearing a skirt." I'll let the readers figure out which of us manned-down on that one.

Anyone who has ever been to Training Table knows that you don't go to the place for ambience, unless you're into 1980s decor. Being there feels like you're an extra in "Hot Tub Time Machine," a movie which I haven't seen yet and looks equal parts stupid, poorly acted and awesome. All I can say is that the inside of Training Table is not as hideous as a Fuddrucker's.

Man-up possibilities: 9
Food quality: 8
Service: Incomplete (They did happily split our check four ways, which was preceded by a five minute argument about how the check was going to work. Then someone had the AMAZING idea to just ask the gal on the phone. For those who don't know, you order your meal on a little phone next to each table.)
Overall: 9

No one bothered to write down quotes, so the following might or might not have actually been uttered:

"She's not a dog, she's the devil." ... NOT said by Chuck.
"Sounds like he's shaking it." ... Reference to the sound of loud drops of water landing on the roof of Wingnut's vehicle. Draw your own conclusions.
"I'm not going to pretend to close the door on your head."
"Fist bump?" Followed by actual fist bump. "Ouch!"
"Who here hates Brady? All in favor?" ... For the record, the vote was 2-2.
"How's your hammy?"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Zupas rocks

First off, well to the first of what we hope will be many installments of the GPak lunch blog for 2010!

After a long overdue hiatus, we return with a new lunch review of Zupas.

Although we weren't full-strength today, we hopefully can fill all your lunch hopes, wishes and dreams.

And speaking of hopes and dreams, if I were looking for light, yet refreshing lunch, Zupas was the place today.

Even though Brady called Zupas a "girlish" place, I went with a the Yucatan Chicken Tortilla soup and the Summer Chicken Salad. Both light dishes with meat.

As I've done all of my life, I ate my salad last. Weird? Yes, but then again I'm a little off at times! :)

The main reason though, is to eat my hot food first.

My Yucatan Chicken Tortilla soup wasn't a disappointment. It had the right combination of zest, crunch, spice and hardy substance. The soup was loaded with chicken, avocado, tomato and corn all topped off with tortilla strips and a squeeze of fresh lime. With a great warm aftertaste, it was right call on a cold grey February day.

Finishing off my meal with the Summer Chicken was perfect end to my lunch with the fellas. The dish included chicken, fresh strawberries, cashes, dried cranberries, grapes, mixed greens and a very light vinaigrette dressing.

I did the two dish combo and a water which only ran about eight bucks. Everything was fast and extremely fresh.

Zupas has two other combos where you can mix and match sandwiches, soups and salads. And the choices seem endless, just like their dinning area. They filled the vacant spot where Hollywood video used to be in the 600 East block of 400 South. Even though there are an abundance of eateries around there, no one can match the fresh food, cool atmosphere and size of Zupas in that area.

I'm sure we'll be headed back there again.

Overall: 9.5
Service: 9.5
Quality: 9
Man-up factor: 7.5

No quotes this week...but we repeatedly said how much we missed our brothers-in-food, even our GPak leader is in Maui....have fun GPak.

Cheers! Long live the blog!


Friday, February 12, 2010

There's no place like home

ok, so i've been taking care of my headache-laden wife most of the week and was not able to attend today's lunch with the gpak. :[

so at the risk of starting a new, irrational trend, i'm offering my review from lunch i had at home today.

it was pretty easy, pretty basic, pretty good. on the menu: roast beef wrap, sun chip chips and a nice light beer. all of the ingredients came from the neighborhood smith's grocery store.

the thinly sliced deli meat was great. i used a pre-packaged salad for the veggies, which were ok, and then added some yellow pepperoncini slices, some mozzarella cheese, a little oil and vinegar dressing and wrapped it with a multi-grain wrap.

yum, fiber.

the sun chips were french onion flavored. the beer, amstel light.

all in all, a great, light fare for a gray day at home taking care of my bride.

could be worse fellas, could be worse.


Man-up possibilities: 5
Food quality: 8.5
Service: 11
Fizz-o-meter of Coke: n/a
Overall: 7

Friday, February 5, 2010

No Payment Required

February came in the same way January went out. More interest in food than writing about it. Here are some photos from the joyous check celebration at Iggy's. Go Colts!


And finally, the relatively small number of quotes from today's fanfare...

"What would be less colon-intensive."
"Can we get a new waiter? One who actually waits? Oh, he's waiting plenty."
"Just because somebody dies doesn't make their music any better."

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Territory

So the GPaK took a break today.  Not from eating, but from scribing... at least to the level we've become accustomed to. Rather than a full-blown blog, we give you photos as we pay a repeat visit to Coachmans. Truly a first for the blog. Comments from the Crew may (or may not) follow.