Monday, June 17, 2013

Would You Eat This?

A long time ago, my husband was the restaurant critic for The Orlando Sentinel. A rather blighted city for dining, but some wonderful, local finds were to be found, fortunately, and we found them. Most joints were chains, pretty much like Applebee's: bar, bar snacks, blah. There was one I remember, named O'Hooligan's or O'Flannagan's or something. "Come! Have fun! Maybe get laid!"

One time, for April Fool's Day, Cranky decided to write about a "restaurant" he had discovered, called O'Notthisagain's. He lovingly crafted descriptions of this fictitious eatery, calling it a "sippin', suppin' and sidlinuppin' place." Peanut shells on the floor, posters of doors on Irish houses, stained glass lamps. Ferns.

Nobody in their right mind would want to eat there. Except, maybe, people in Orlando.

Yeah, so on the menu at O'Notthisagain's, Cranky lied, was a fabulous bar snack called "potachos." It was baked potato skins filled with nacho fixings. This was hugely hilarious back then, because although bar snacks in chain restaurants can be quite hideous, you really wouldn't eat potachos. Ew. There was no such thing in the real world. He was just trying to be funny.

His story runs in the paper, and suddenly he gets angry mail and phone calls from readers. "You didn't say where this place is! What's the address, schmuck?"

Groan. Laugh, a little. Cry.

Decades later, Tastespotting is invented, and I spend a bit of time now and then looking at the meals created by food bloggers all over the world. Oh my god, these people are abusing degustation. Fake tacos, reinvented salads (everybody put strawberries in your green salads. Everybody!), peculiar cupcakes. I'll say, seriously, I do find some wonderful things there once in a while, but the pseudo creativity of some of these "cooks" is almost nauseating.

I mean, just the other day, I saw a recipe for potachos! They weren't called that, but they were exactly what Cranky had fabricated for his April Fool's Day piece, all those years back. Urghhh.

You know. And we made some.

Scraped out baked potato skins. Lined with a layer of refried beans, topped with grated cheese, and broiled. Covered with homemade salsa and a splorp of sour cream.

Pretty good.

Not fooling.


Kailyn said...

LOL. I'd totally eat them. Then again as a kid I thought that mashed candied yams spread on a saltine was tasty. Also had to chicle about the strawberries. Remember first having a spinach and strawberry salad at Ti Couz -- in 1994.

Katie S said...

That is awesome. Potachos.

Personally, I think a lot of food bloggers are liars (with all do respect) - recipes where you go wha ta fah? while looking at the list of ingredients wondering how the heck they are supposed to come together to resemble the perfect "____" the blogger has painstakingly taken pictures of (or bought. I'm a cynic). I am not a bad cook, yet I have had so many failures with bloggers and none with real recipe sites (Bon Appetit, Epicurious, etc). Things that make you go hmmm...

Kailyn said...

Gah. That was supposed to be "chuckle." OK. That's it. I must wear my glasses from now on when reading and typing on my phone.

Zoomie said...

Kailyn, my phone always corrects for me - even when I don't want it to. Grrr.

Cookiecrumb, I laughed all the way through your description of his April Fool's joke. Not surprising it went over the heads of readers in Orlando. Oh, wait, that was bitchy, wasn't it?

Chilebrown said...

Yes, They would be perfect after inhalation of Maui-Wowie if I did that that kind of thing.

cookiecrumb said...

Kailyn: Yeah, we ate it. Le sigh.
I'm tickled you got the strawberry reference. Ti Couz, the nasty crepes place? I first had a salad with strawberries in that restaurant on the top floor of the Metreon. Not good. 1999.
I rather liked chicle, BTW.

KatieS: Dang, girl, you kickin' some butt! Oh, I love it. Nasty is good. Please come here and be nasty often (and I'm borrowing "wha ta fah?").

Zoomie: He wrote that story in the early 80s. Any time a new restaurant came to town, it was Fuddrucker's or something. So feel free to be bitchy.

Chilebrown: No, you wouldn't do that sort of thing. I wouldn't.

kt said...

Fuddruckers! That was one of my (many) opening parties and gawd I was so glad y'all were there. Can you copyright WHA TA FA? because I want to use it too, and then it will be everywhere after that. (chicle) XXKT

Greg said...

Cranky is a man ahead of his time! A seer, soothsayer if you will.....nostrarobus! ;)

cookiecrumb said...

KT: Wow, KT! Where ya been? Yeah, Fuddrucker's. You made us go, and we really didn't want to, but we did it just for you. xx

Greg: He might have been prescient, but it was like a bad dream come true. :p