The tomato gravy link doesn't appear to be cooperating.
It's a tie between all things Little Ceasar's and this place here in Bloomington IL called Grady's, which also doubles as a "family fun park". The sauce on Grady's pizza is so cloyingly sweet, you'd think it was tomato candy. . . and I don't mean that in a good way.
Naturally, however, in this Town With No Tastebuds, some people just rave about it. It's a love-it-or-hate-it kind of place, but I think you can guess into which camp I fall. :)
How timely a topic. :)
As I sit here and type, it's with a trussed-up left paw. Said left palm is the recipient of 7 stitches (and a tetanus booster to boot - ugh!) from just two days ago, thanks to my Wusthof 10" chef's knife and a particularly tough zucchini from our garden. I had successfully navigated my way through all the rest of the bounty I was was prepping to blanch and freeze, but on the very last one - naturally - I encountered a really tough one.
I thought I was doing really well with is, tenting my left hand over the blade while trying to push down with both. And I was almost done when the stupid zuke decided to roll on the cutting board. It was just enough to rotate my left palm under just as the blade came through, and voila'!
I grabbed a wad of paper towels and calmly called my wife in to take me to the Prompt Care - it was only open for another twenty minutes, and otherwise we'd have to run over to the ER, which has a HUGE co-pay. So, we loaded up the kids and zipped on over... just in the nick (pun intended) of time. I would've felt bad about showing up just as they were getting ready to leave, but, y'know, I was, like, bleeding and stuff.
Seven sutures and a tetanus shot later, I was ready to go. And man, I hate getting tetanus shots - they make your arms sore for days. But thankfully, I was able to still go on our surprise mini-vacation for the kids (which we're actually in the middle of right now), so all's well that ends well, right? :)
It's nice to have some vindication of what I said about this place way back in December:
We actually sought out Spike's Good Eatery when we were in DC over the summer, and I feel the need to be completely forthright here: it was the most disappointing meal I've had in a long, long time. Perhaps I expected more, considering the hype, but after trudging several long, rain-soaked blocks from the Metro station, what was served to us was borderline insulting.
The burgers were *exceptionally* greasy, to the point where the buns were mooshy and slimy. The fries were limp and sitting in a pool of oil, not to mention cold by the time they called our order up. Did you know that most of the seating there is upstairs, and that you have to slog up and down the stairs for your food, as well as your drinks, condiments & other paraphrenalia like straws, etc.?
Also, they really pimp their milkshakes, so you would think they would get at least ice cream, milk and flavors correct, right? Wrong. My kids' milkshakes were halfway - literally, halfway, as the top portion of the cup had already liquified! - melted when we picked our order up at the counter!
When we finally got to dig in to the food, the sense of disappointment was palpable and completely shared between the four of us. Couch that in the context of the crap conditions we had endured just to get there, and, well... needless to say, we won't ever be going back there, and I would not recommend this overpriced grease pit to anyone.
In further reflection, I'm still trying to figure out how our burgers turned out so greasy on the outside of the bun, but you've cleared up the "where'd that smoosh come from?" question, sir.
And let me also second (or is that 14th by now?) your point about the whole meal having the feel of it being prepared by someone who just really didn't give a rat's ass.
Won't. Go. Back.
I second Kyle@papa's sentiment - we love the whole line that Schlafly offers, so much so that when we were in St. Louis a few weekends ago, we made it a special point to go to their restaurant (Schlafly Bottlewerks), where we had a FABULOUS meal! Heck, it was even reasonably priced, and I had the 6 beer sampler! If SE is looking for a place to check out, I'd highly, HIGHLY recommend 'em... especially if we get invited along...!
And yes, for the record, their Kolsch rocks. :)
Funny - the general reaction at the value-to-cost ratio was the exact reaction my family had when we trekked over DC's half-acre to his "Good Eatery": definitely not worth the time or the effort for what you get (which wasn't very good to begin with).
So, it appears that he's playing a familiar motif, here. Again - why is he famous...?
My heart goes out to you and your wife, Kenji. It's not just the loss of a pet, but a family member. Dumpling clearly made an indelible mark on not just your family, but those of out here who couldn't get enough of that eternally grinning, drooly mug who was, without question, the best fed pup in the whole city!
Again, so sorry for your loss...
I'd throw my vote in here for Pappy's Smokehouse sauces from St. Louis. We make it a point to always stop there when we're down for a visit, and we load up on their various sauces - also available online, of course!
When are you adding the basil...? :) With the 'maters & feta?
Fred. We call it Fred.
Great ideas, guys! Actually, Amandarama gave me an idea that I think I'm going to try out - actually doing this as a pan pizza. I've got a great 14-in high-sided pizza pan, and using Donna's suggestion of putting the cheese on the bottom might just turn the trick.
I'll let you know how it goes - thanks again, everyone!
@ seriousb - Oh, come now, sir - you expect me to believe that someone as experienced as yourself has never heard of breakfast pizza? :) That said, I really don't want to go the Pillsbury route, because it always ends up tasting like Pillsbury in the end.
@ Donna - yes, I've been following your recent pizza laboratory stories with great relish and vigor, but I'd disagree with regard to the thickness of the dough. I've worked in several different pizza kitchens, and they each had their own specific recipes and hydration levels that led to very different types of crust. I'm thinking that a thin crust wouldn't be substantial enough to hold up the toppings, but I also don't want to go the full Sicilian-style route with a big, puffy base. I like your crust recipe, however, so I'd ask how it works used at a little higher thickness.
I'm thinking that since we're going to be at my folks house that a pizza stone won't be present. I really don't want to have to lug mine there, so I'm thinking my perforated pizza pan might make the trip instead. Have you tested one of those in your adventures, Donna...?
Having frequented both the West Lafayette location as well as the one on 96th St in Indy, I can tell you that they both provide a great selection of really choice eats. It's just a darned shame you didn't get a chance to try the ribs, which were some of the best we've ever had in a chain restaurant like this. Sure, it's no Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis, but the ribs were damned fine eating, world's above other chain-type restaurants!
Also, the fried pickles were pretty darned yummy, as I recall. That said, I agree with your review whole-heartedly, grumpy naysayers notwithstanding!
Where are you going to be in Indy? That will largely determine the recommendations for you - I'd hate to send you to our favorite Chinese restaurant in Greenwood if you're going to be up Carmel way. :)
Seriously jonesin' for a cheesesteak, wiz-wit', from Pat's in Philly right now. Too bad I'm about 11 hours away...!
All I'll say is this: the last time we went to a Fuddruckers, I ended up waking up next to my young daughter ralphing her aforementioned-Fuddruckers all over our hotel bed at 2 am.
That kind of did me in for them, as you might well imagine. :)
"I don't think he knows about second
"What about Elevenses, Luncheon,
Afternoon tea, dinner ... he knows
about them, doesn’t he?"
Ditto the redfish. :) Got it, love it. The best part is the way it acts like a mini-pressure cooker when you cook with the lid clamped on.
In fact, I'm using it right now to simmer away a vat of ham and beans, the perfect foil for a icy cold January day. Plus, there's the added benefit of not having to prepare a meal after we get home from the kids' taekwondo and gymnastics practices tonight!
Heh - I have to respectfully disagree, Calvinator. Roger Mooking is probably my least favorite cooking personality on TCC. I want to throttle something everytime I hear him crow about his "obedient ingredient" - ack! :) Something about him just rubs me the wrong way, I guess...
Pro Custom 11 Food Processor.
My wife rocks. :)
Question: was it a whole wheat pasta, by any chance? I've noticed that many of the whole wheats have a strange aftertaste much like the one you describe, so perhaps that might have something to do with it.?
Perhaps English isn't tamas' first language?
Nonetheless, it's pretty simple, really: if you don't like it, don't buy it, even if this is a bit late to the party.
Yeah, I gotta agree: what they served didn't *look* particularly appetizing.