Category Archives: BBQ

BAD AMC, BAD

Standard

Sorry for my absence, it has been a busy couple of weeks. So, let me give you a brief run down on what I’ve been up to.

Movies; time traveling sci-fy with Bruce Willis in Loopers. How would you react if you were faced with the task of executing your future self? Creative and entertaining. I don’t know why this film got negative reviews. I can only assume that those who didn’t like it, don’t enjoy science-fiction. Probably out of theaters at this point, look for the DVD release for home viewing.

Skyfall with Daniel Craig as bad boy, 007. A salute to 50 years of Bond. I thought this was an awesome flick despite the extremely uncomfortable distraction of a freezing theater. I mean, really frickin’ cold. I had a sweater on and 20 minutes into the movie I had to slip into my coat and was still freezing. And, no need to worry about the baby seated next to me, once the movie started his own mother wouldn’t have been able to hear him cry due to the excessively loud volume that seems to be the norm for this set of theaters. Seriously, I’ve been to rock concerts that were quieter. AMC 16 in Burbank, California, SHAME ON YOU for such poor customer consideration. Despite the convenience of your location, I’ve decided to seek another venue to re-visit this movie and view future flicks. One that is not an AMC Theater.

Make it a Misfits marathon. Which is what I did this last weekend thanks to the Hulu Plus streaming through my son’s Playstation. The British comedy, horror, drama, sci-fy didn’t impress me with Season 1 until I viewed the last few episodes which baited me into watching Season 2. Then I was hooked. This series is for mature audiences only and always ends up with at least one gruesome death per episode. Some of the characters are a little difficult to understand and there are quite often cheeky references that are lost on me. But, despite that, I find most of the story lines engaging. Misfits is dark, twisted, clever and sometimes surprisingly shocking for this puritanical American. Just started watching Season 3. Can’t wait to see what’s in-store for my favorite characters.

Food; The SmokeHouse Restaurant located across the street from Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank. 4420 W. Lakeside Drive. This old school steak house still fits the bill when I’m craving a nice piece of red meat, just don’t order the twice baked potatoes… terrible.  Here’s a little history on this establishment taken directly from its web page.

Established in 1946, The SmokeHouse was built at the end of WWII and is one of the few L.A. restaurants still in existence from that era.

The original restaurant was located at the corner of Pass and Riverside avenue and seated 46 people and was enjoyed by local luminaries like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Jim Stockton was the promoter and front man for the restaurant with Jack Monroe as the head cook. The Smokehouse was so successful and packed with customers that they soon began looking for a new building. In 1949 the Smokehouse moved to its current location. Built beside the world famous Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, California, the SmokeHouse is a favorite hang out for actors, producers, and anyone else in the industry. In the 60’s it was common to come in for lunch and find the place filled with costumed cowboy and indian extras having lunch.

Let me not forget Thanksgiving!  What kind of a holiday gathering be it without someone going off like Mt. Vesuvius, hum?

Once again it was a veritable feast of comfort foods with the family gather for a late dinner at sister, Cindy’s house. My turkey looked a “work-of-art” and everything was moving along perfectly until I burned the buttered almonds for my Green Bean Almondine. Then it spiraled down from there as exhaustion and an aggravated shoulder injury had me teetering on my last nerve. It only took a few of the men folk to question a simple request, to set me off. I exploded, uncontrollably, in what can only be described as a “South Park” moment, the top of my head blowing-off  like an erupting volcano, spewing forth sarcastic remarks and obscenities.

 

Thank goodness, sister Cindy saved the day by having us immediately perform “The Thanksgiving Feast Song”  http://youtu.be/2BZcSDY70IA

I have provided a link to the video for your amusement. You may have to copy and paste. Enjoy!

 

My Webber BBQ roasted/smoked turkey

Whew!!!! What a ride!

Until next week, buy  “Made in USA”

~ K.L. Parry, author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom.

 

Creating a Public Nuisance at The Hollywood Way

Standard

Hi de ho!.. to all you wonderful folks out there! It’s been another fun-filled week and I actually have something new to report. Yes, I have strayed beyond the confines of the 1 mile jaunt between home and work. I escaped the grid! I stepped across the line and sallied forth to meet a friend of mine at “The Hollywood Way BBQ Bar and Grill” in Burbank, Ca, located on, you guessed it, Hollywood Way near Burbank Blvd. Is it a bar with a restaurant or a restaurant with a bar? I ask this because I’m not sure what this establishment’s owners had in mind. Unfortunately my visit to this relatively new business was less than enjoyable and here’s how it went.

I had just finished reading the draft for a novel a friend had written. I had decided that while it was still fresh in my mind that I would have him meet me at the afore-mentioned establishment to discuss my ideas and sample the fare. I had actually eaten there once before but it was right after their grand opening, about a year and a half ago, so I thought I’d give it another try. Holly Crap! I knew once I had stepped in the door that I had made a wrong choice for a meeting place. It was ringing, as were my ears, with the sound of voices. I don’t mean that the place was packed, far from it. It was as if the whole place was wired with amplifiers. Terrible acoustics! I could hear every conversation in the place as if they were sitting right next to me. Now, some people may like this but I don’t care to listen to the intimate details of my fellow patrons personal lives particularly while I’m eating. I could hardly carry on a conversation with my friend without screaming. The poor guy had to strain to hear what I was saying. Glad I had left him with my notes. And that leads me to another point.

Good Lord, people! Don’t bring your misbehaved, ill-mannered, brats into a restaurant unless it’s Chuck E Cheese or Shakeys. You are ruining it for every other patron in the place.

I have got to tell you about this kid. She was with a group two tables down from me. She would not stop screaming and climbing all over the place. I wouldn’t make eye contact with her though I had the child in my peripheral. Honest to God, she was almost in my face trying to get my attention. Her parents should have been cited for creating a public nuisance.

And let me state for the record, that I raised two boys on my own and I never allowed them to behave like that in a restaurant that didn’t have a seven-foot mouse greeting me at the door.

Whew! I feel much better for having gotten that off my chest.

Putting aside the annoying child, I was really disappointed with the menu. They looked to have a lot to offer but it was all crammed on one page in plain black text, written small enough to fit on the front and back. I’ve seen dive bars with appetizer menus that were better formatted than theirs. I couldn’t discern what was a house specialty. No featured items. Did they offer sides? Any deserts? Where was the BBQ? If you’re emphasising food in your title, wouldn’t you want to feature your food? And the wait staff was not forthcoming with any recommendations or help of any kind. I finally got frustrated and ordered a house salad with chicken. I got a big bowl of iceberg lettuce, shredded cheese, a couple little pieces of this and that and a quarter of a very small chicken breast. It was ok but I could have gotten the same thing with more variety at Jack’n the Box for less than half the price.

I will say this in all fairness, that I do have some friends and acquaintances that enjoy spending Monday nights there watching football.  But from me? The Hollywood Way failed to establish any dominance on the field, their kicker missed the goal, incompleted pass. No touchdown!

Until next week! Read the label when you shop. Buy USA!

~ K.L. Parry ~

Davis, Here I Come! ~ Part One

Standard

Hi de ho there! Sorry for the lack of a posting last week. I just plain forgot…, Halloween and Birthday stuff, you know? But I did have a great week as I hope you all did. So back to this Blog.

As some of you may know, I drove up to Davis, Ca last month. My oldest son is attending his first semester at U.C. Davis and he was as anxious as I, for a visit. So I did.

As much as I would have liked to have made the jaunt north an extended stay, over several days, my work schedule dictated that it was to be a flash visit…, a day to travel, a day with my son and a day to make it back home. Of course, I wanted to secure a travel partner which, happily, was my sister Cindy. (She actually gets paid vacation days unlike myself and most of my other friends so it wasn’t too difficult to convince her to come along..ha.)

Now, let me tell you how I roll. I hate to be rushed, so I pack well in advance and plan for every conceivable need. I like to have an itinerary of sorts. I always check out things to do or see on the way and once I’ve arrived. Still, I don’t want to miss out on something cool just because it’s not on my list so I keep it flexible. And lastly, the only “time” I care about is the time I have to show up for work on my next scheduled day.

So it was that on a Tuesday around 11:00 am, I picked up my sister in my ‘99 Chrysler and we headed out, taking the I 5 North. The day was bright and beautiful leading us to our first stop, Willow Ranch BBQ in Buttonwillow. The waitress recommended the pork ribs. We got a half order with salad, mashed potatoes and gravy with coleslaw, beans and more. Thank God, my sister and I decided to split the meal because it was enough for both of us. Now, this weren’t no fancy-smancy resturante, just some good ol’ home cookin’ and the BBQ Pork Ribs were outstanding. 

I’m not going to bore you with reports of all the little pit stops I made, of which there were many, but one bares mentioning just because I thought it was curious. We spotted a Foster Freeze that set Cindy’s mind on having some ice cream. But once we’d parked, we found the front door to this establishment locked. Now, mind you, the “open” sign was lit, it was the middle of the day and we had seen that it was staffed only moments earlier. Thinking this was very odd, we walked next door to the neighboring gas station mini mart and asked about it while we browsed through shelves of very over priced locally grown nuts and fruit. The young man behind the counter told us, with a snicker, that it was a regular occurrence for the ice cream store to be locked down at any random interval during the day. I voiced my surprise and mentioned that someone ought to speak to the manager. But, according to our learned informant, the manager was in on it.

Well, my sister and I returned to the car without nuts or ice cream, got back on the highway and spent a good hour speculating on what could have been going on behind those locked Foster Freeze doors in the middle of the day. Up to no-good, I suspect. Sounds like a case for Colombo or Ellery Queen or, even better, Jackie Chan. Ah! What am I thinking? It’s not like there’s been a murder…, or has there? Humm?

It is no secret that I love casinos and in particular, I love playing video poker at these casinos. However, I have found that I do not care as much for the Indian Casinos as I do Vegas Casinos. The machines are too tight and the pay-offs..pooie! Having said that, I did remember that several of these casinos doted the northern part of the state and I was “jonesing”.  So despite my, not so glowing, opinion, I had my sister on casino watch, looking for billboard advertisements along the interstate. Well, that search did add some distance to our trip and as night fell, we came to realize that none of the locations were close enough to allow us to pursue it further without making a major detour that would take us miles from the freeway. I gave up on the idea, for the time being, and we made our way to Davis. Arrival time, 8pm…ish.

This concludes day one. Stay tuned for my next post as our adventure continues.

Keep it real! K.L. Parry