Monday, April 21, 2008

Restaurant reviews

Actually this really isn’t a review, but more of a guide that you can use to tell if a restaurant has good food. Even if you have never been in the place. All you need to do is take a look at the people going into or out of the place. Various customer types are a pretty damn good sign of the quality of the food. Of course there are a few caveats (such as location (near a major highway or interstate), time of day/day of the week if near a business area, tourist and restaurants in a mall parking lots) which make a restaurant hard to gauge. Special events such as car shows, radio remotes and grand openings nullify the guide. Also, you can’t really use this guide on chain or franchise restaurants.

With that being said, let’s get started.

Hamburger joints – If you see white guys with beer bellies, find a parking spot. This is a dead give-a-way on burger joints. Especially if they are wearing softball “jerseys” which are usually a t-shirt with either an iron on or screen printed team name and a number on the back. Also, if this is not near an interstate, truckers are a big indication that the burgers are good. Beware of advertised beer specials because this can skew the actual interest of the cliental. If said pot-bellied men are with families, keep looking.

Chinese food non-buffet – This one is easy, fat people and Asian people. Obviously Asian people are going to know good Chinese food. But fat people usually like really good food when you have to pay by the dish.

Chinese food with a buffet – This one is really hard. The buffet takes fat people out as a guide. They could be there for the shear volume of available food at the same price along. Asian people are going to be the best guide you can use again because they are going to know good food. So for this one you have to take another factor into concept, the cars in the parking lot. People who drive expensive cars can probably afford to eat where they want so if they are in a buffet chances are the food is going to be pretty good.

Italian food – Again, pretty easy. Fat older white guys with slicked back hair wearing either suits or open collar shirts unbuttoned halfway down their chest. The more they look like they have a hard time breathing the better the sauce is going to be. And if the parking lot is full of large American made luxury cars go ahead and loosen your belt. Don’t be afraid to use the chin factor to grade this place. That is the number of people in the restaurant multiplied by the number of chins they have. Grade on the 100 point scale. A turkey neck counts as three chins.

Steak house - Man, here we go, this one takes a bit of time because of so many factors to weigh. Valet parking is going to be a good sign, mini vans could be deadly. If they have valet then chances are that the price is on the high side. Places that charge more typically have good food, but don’t forget to take the grand opening factor into account, make sure this place has been open at least one year. Now you may say why are mini-vans deadly? Because minivans = kids. While the kids might not be there their parents are and they very well could be out on a “date night” where they are looking for the “experience” and not into the food. All you can eat ANYTHING throws the guide off too, even if it’s a salad bar. Again, simply put, when it cost the same regardless of how much you eat is going to draw the masses. You have to use your best judgment with this one. Look at the parking lot and check out the volume and types of cars in the parking lot. A full parking lot at a reasonable priced place could be a red flag. But if it is full of Lexus’, Tahoes, Lincoln Town Cars, BMWs and so on you are probably ok. If it is full of Astro vans, Mustangs and Cameros … this might not be the taste explosion that you are looking for. But if there is a wait to get into the place on a Tuesday night, it might be worth it.

Bar-B-Q – Much like steak houses this one is tricky to pinpoint. You can’t go on the amount of cars in the parking lot. And you can’t go on types of cars. So you have to work with a couple of factors in this one. First off, what part of the country are you in? If you are in Texas and the bar-b-q place has a pig in their advertising and there is a crowd the chances are decent that the food is good. Reason behind that is because Texas is beef country. Same goes for the deep south. If you are in any state that has a team in the SEC and they have a cow in their advertisement and a semi-full parking lot, chances are that the food is good. The southeast is pork bbq country. One of the biggest clues is going to be the smell test. Side note on the smell test, if you are “starving” the smell is going to throw you off. The all you can eat rule always applies to bbq. The Texas rule applies to Kansas City Bar-B-Q just like the SEC rule applies to Memphis Bar-B-Q. Work/Pick-up trucks are actually a pretty good clue on bar-b-q where as imported luxury cars are going to be a deterrent in most cases.

Mexican food – First and foremost when it comes to Mexican food is if you see the word “Authentic” the food probably taste like a frozen dinner. Most of what I have had in various parts of the country is Tex-Mex. Mexican food is actually very different. Most of it is seafood based and served with rice pilaf or long grain wild rice. Stuff like that. Refried beans, queso and tortillas are Tex-Mex for the most part. Another thing to consider shying away from is beer lights. If the windows are filled with neon beer lights the food might not be the big seller there. So we are really talking about Tex-Mex. If the specials are advertised outside of the restaurant that’s not a good sign. If there are Mexican flags everywhere, this is a bad sign as well. Pretty much if it looks like they are trying to hard, they probably are. Depending on the location the parking lot is going to be your best gauge here, but not how you think. Not low riders and pickups, well maybe but not in a stereotype kind of a way. Pretty much look for working class people cars. Especially if there are other “Mexican” food restaurants in the area.

Sandwich shops – Believe it or not, college aged people are going to be a damn good indicator if a sub shop has good food. I mean think about it, they live on this shit at that age.

Greek – Yuppies. Yeah, that’s it. Your 20s to 30s aged people who are white collar professionals. For the most part in the Greek community, there is someone at home who can cook the same if not better food at home for free. If you see hairy men with a unibrow, they probably own the place.

Indian food – This one is pretty much straight forward. Middle Eastern people in business casual clothing. For pretty much the same reason as the Greek community. Someone at home is making the same stuff if not better. But there are a lot of middle eastern people who work in the technology field and they know good Indian food. For this one, you have to go during the week around lunch time. Mini-vans and sedans are a good sign here.

Sushi – Pretty much straight out, look for wealthy white people in expensive cars. It’s the “in” thing right now. One other really good guide is to find a small, discrete sushi place where there are nothing but Asian people. If you ask me, they got the right idea when it comes to food. For really good food, they don’t tell a lot of other people about it. But those are few and far between.

I will have to continue this later but right now I am tired and I got other shit to do. Let me know if you are curious about any other type of restaurant.


My blogs will probably, at one time or another, offend you if they haven't already. It's not personal and I try to spread it out evenly. So don't get all pissy with me if you read something you don't like. Not like I made you click on the link. And you probably got a chuckle or two when it was aimed at someone else.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thinking about doing something a little different with my blog.

In an effort to keep this blog new and interesting, I am thinking about using my blog to post an advice column. Yeah, like Dear Abby. But with my own unique twist on it. People can leave me a message here or e-mail me and I will post their question and give my advice on the situation. Of course everything will be anonymous.

A sample of how this would go would be as follows. Pretending that it is the middle of the winter that is.

Dear Sweezey,

I live in an apartment complex in Northern Virginia where there is an unspoken rule that if you shovel the ice and snow out of a parking space, the space is your until the snow and ice melts. Everyone in the complex seems to obey this rule except for some of the guest of one of this one guy. They park, for days at a time sometimes, in any spot they want. This wouldn’t be a big deal if parking wasn’t very limited in our complex. How can I and the other tenants get the message across that they are violating the parking space rule?


Pissed off on the Potomac.

Dear Pissed off,

I can completely understand your frustration. There are several methods that you could use to convey that unspoken and understood rule that the people who actually pay rent in the complex have among each other. You could speak to your leasing office to see if there is some way to distinguish “tenant” parking and “guest” parking, or you could leave a note under the windshield wiper briefly explaining the situation or if you would so bold you could leave a not on the door of the neighbor and ask them to relay the message to their guest.

But if you really want to make a statement, let Mother Nature help you! Since it is the middle of the winter and you said that they sometimes park there for days at a time, go get a pitcher like an iced tea pitcher and fill with cold water and simply pour it along the perimeter of the cars doors. So pour it all around the driver side and passenger side doors. A few hours later repeat the previous process over and over again. Assuming that the temperature is or will be below freezing, this will make getting into their car somewhat tricky.

Of course if you had no regard for the law, and I am sure that you are a law abiding citizen, you could use hot water and go for the windshield. Which would make it look like a spider made house all over the windshield. But that would be bad.

Pleasant parking,


Thursday, April 10, 2008


For the last week or so the Dallas area has been getting hit with some pretty heavy storms. Which is great, I love storms. But last night was a doozy. Something woke me up about a quarter to 3 or so this morning and as I lay there trying to get back to sleep I could tell that the wind was really picking up and shortly after the severe weather sirens were going off. Since I had been asleep I turned on the television to see what was going on. Line of storms, rotating winds, hail, blah blah blah. So we go get the kids and put them in our bed and I went into the game room to watch the news and see what was going on as the kids were going back to sleep. About this time the electricity goes off. Well this sucks, I am up in the early hours of the morning, it’s storming out and I am wide awake. It is about this time that I felt the call of nature. So as I am making my way to the bathroom in the pitch black of night during a storm I started to chuckle. The following story is why.

Spring Break come hell or high water, almost literally.

Way back around the time that I was in high school a group of us decided that we were going to go to the beach together and all went in on a beach house. If memory serves, there were about 8 of us staying in this house. Most of the week was great, typical spring break stuff, being loud, drinking, hanging out on the beach by day and partying by night.

Then one day the skies got cloudy and kind of dark and the winds picked up. Guess we will be partying indoors this afternoon. Somehow about 30 people ended up in our beach house but who cares right? Someone crank up 97.7 FM – Pirate Radio! And that’s when I heard it, that annoying ass beeeeeeeeeeppppp tone. What is this crap, right in the middle of “Alive” by Pearl Jam, that’s just wrong. Oh, it’s some weather crap, oh wait what’s that they are saying, a tropical something-another is headed our way, it’s what? Like a small hurricane? Oh ok. And then boom, lights go out. Well shit! Fortunately the boom box we were listening too had good batteries in it, because Pirate Radio was rockin that afternoon. It was at about this point that someone made the announcement of “Do NOT open the refrigerator unless you KNOW that you are going to get a beer out”, got to keep the beer cold you know, priorities and all that.

So the wind seems like it is whipping up around 100 MPH, the rain is going sideways and it is pitch black outside at 3:30 in the afternoon with the occasional lightning strike that seemed like it was hitting the house. But the beer is still nice and cold, we are going to be ok.

Someone found some candles, god only knows where but they did. But we didn’t really need candles, the light from about 30 cigarettes all light at the same time actually put out a decent bit of light. Man the inside of that house looked like London.

So we got a miniscule amount of light, a few dozen “young adults”, beer o’plenty, enough smokes to go around and oh yeah, this weather thing going on outside. HURRICANE PARTY!!! Oh hell yeah.

In case you didn’t know, youth + alcohol + beach – parents + wicked weather – common sense = narrowly escaping death.

About this time I see this girl who we will call “Mandy” making these fidget motions. At first I thought she was dancing or something. I keep watching her and after a while I notice this grimace on her face. So I walk over to her and ask her if she’s ok. To which she replies “No”. So I asked her what was wrong and she gives me the brush off answer of “nothing, it will be okay”. Alrighty then, spaz on. As I go to walk back over to where I was she grabs my arm and ask me if I know when the power is coming back on. Well, I am good but I can’t really predict the future. So I just tell her that I am sure it will be soon and ask her why. She does this shimmy/shake/fidget move again and leans in and whispers to me “I got to pee”. Okay, what the hell does that have to do with the power coming back on, go pee. So then it hit me, she can’t see. So I offer to help her and tell her that I can hold a candle or something for her.

This is where it gets humorous to me.

She gives me a stupid look and says “No, that’s not it”. So now I have to ask because I have to know. I lean in towards her and say “well what is it then?”, she looks me dead in the face and says “Well the toilet wont flush if the power is out”.

Now I got to find a mop because I just spit out the beer I was trying to drink. I am guessing that my reaction might have tipped her off to the invalidity of her assumption and she follows that up with “will it?”

Oh yeah, that’s right, we got those new plug in toilets. Good point.

Please god let her be sterile.

Don't get dead

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I should just stick to drinking…

… it would be easier and I would enjoy it a hell of a lot more.

I am doing this “Me 2.0” effort to try to get into shape, not just loose some weight but really get physically fit. And I have decided to say fooey with it.

First off “healthy” food taste like stale ass. Conclusion on that is that good tasting food = bad for you. So I can eat crappy tasting food so that I can live longer to eat even more crappy tasting food. Makes perfect sense to me here in crazy world. You make buffalo wings that taste good and are healthy and I am all over that.

Oh Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ, try to cut out sugar and carbs and still eat people food. Im-freaking-possible! You might as well just eat grass.

And if the food changes weren’t enough, I am damn tired of being sore. Seriously, it’s insane. And I can’t believe that I am about to say this but my damn taint is sore. That’s right the area between my sack and my hole hurts. The really messed up part is that I actually know why. It’s because I have a mountain bike. You see, I have not ridden a bicycle in 20 years or so, so I don’t pedal standing up all of the time… or that much at all. Maybe going up hills some. And it’s all because of this damn “great” Lance Armstrong designed seat or some crap like that which I bought for the bike. You see it’s got this hole in the middle of it with this hard molded plastic all around the hole that, that, well, it hits right there. Sorry you got ball cancer and all that Lance, but I need a damn pad there.

And to top it all off I pulled a muscle in my lower back in some sort of freaky cosmic planet aligning way. I was putting. That’s right putting a golf ball. Don’t get me wrong, it was a sweet 9-footer with a decent left to right break, nailed it in one putt. But the freaky thing is that I have literally spent hours practicing putting, so it’s not like this is the first time that I have picked up a putter.

So anyway, one mountain bike for sale, 50 bucks, or may trade for some booze and buffalo wings.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Must be something in the water...

I overheard something the other day that I made me want to comment on so bad but I couldn’t, because my wife said I can’t be an asshole to anyone at all anymore for any reason. Apparently it really pisses people off. So I reframed from saying anything but when you hear something like this it makes you just want to slap the stupid out of someone.

The other day I am shooting the breeze with one of my friends at work when someone came by and was talking about this new Rolling Stones movie that is coming out when they let out this nugget of genius. “I hope that they put out the sound track soon because I bet there is going to be some really great music on it” which was followed up with “I love the Stones”. Shawn and I make eye contact and then look at her and say “Yeah… well I am sure they will”

So let me get this straight, you are a big Stones fan and are excited about a concert movie that is coming out for a band that has not put out a new album in almost 3 years and the album before that was 14 years ago yet you can’t wait for a CONCERT DOCUMENTARY sound track to come out? Ok, so there are three songs that have guest appearances on them but two of them are from the Exile on Main St album from ’72 and the other is a Muddy Waters song from 1981. (insert hypocrite statement here) Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really cool tune. But still.

Are you a complete moron? Hey mental midget, here is a crazy thought, maybe, just maybe, the music has already been released? Ever think about that? I got a feeling that some of it might have been released in the 60’s, some in the 70’s, maybe some of it was released in the 80’s and quite possible some was released in the 90’s and in the 2000’s. Quite possibly it’s all on some sort of a collect that comes in a box or maybe someone will have an idea to put all of their greatest hits together and sell it. I know it’s a stretch but someone just may have done that already.

I heard the idiocy when the movie “Ray” came out. Someone couldn’t wait to get the sound track, the sound track of a movie about a man who was already dead when the movie came out. Do you really think that there is going to be some NEW music on it?

My god man, the guy had not put out a new album for a couple of years or so. What do you think is going to be on that CD that hasn’t been out for years?

I don’t know why I am surprised when I hear stuff like this. But for some reason if just baffles me. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone said “Hey I hear there is a new speed racer movie coming out, I wonder what it’s about?” or “Oh man, I can’t wait to see “Rocky 17” I wonder if he will have something to do with boxing in it?”

Please god let these people be sterile.
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