The Stockyards

My friend Haroon has been bugging me for weeks to go with him to the Stockyards to have, in his opinion, one of the best burgers in town. I finally conceded and this week we went to check out what he claimed was the best diner in the St. Clair West area, and boy howdy! This place is awesome. It’s not a huge place but definitely a great spot for a good hearty dose of comfort BBQ.
I am going to have to go back because looking over the menu I wanted to try a bit of everything! Only because I’m such a huge fan of BBQ pork, did the Porchetta trump the burger and when I took a bite of that fennel and garlic scented pork loin, pork belly and cracklings on a toasted bun and all topped with rapini -I knew I was home. The combination of flavours was just miraculous. The sweetness of the pork mixed with the sharp contrast of the sautéed rapini was such a perfect pairing that there was no need to add any other sauces or condiments it was just meant to be.
The monster belly of my eating companion was brave enough to go for the griddle smashed Double burger topped with arugula, caramelized onions and aged cheddar, MAN that looked good. I had the buyer’s remorse for about 30 seconds, or however long it took me to take a bit out of my porchetta sandwich.
I’m not going to lie, next time I’m heading back for a griddle smashed burger and some fried chicken to boot. And that next time is probably going to come soon. Anyone game for coming with me??

Superman – the debacle

Alex Ross

I realized that there are so many people out there who have comments on comic book adaptations, everyone’s a critic. Some of the biggest films have been done and re-done. Some have succeeded and some have failed brutally. The problem comes down to the expectations that people have of what the movie should have, and then what Hollywood actually does.

Look at Superman, here is one DC character that has such a rich array of villains and such potential and I’ve seen Lex Luthor so many times that I feel that he has been overused as a the anti-Kent.

So now that there is a new Superman reboot coming are they actually going to use some thing new, that hasn’t been done before. But they’re dipping into the Gerneral Zod storyline again. Sure I loved Terrance Stamp as Zod, he was the exact opposite of Clark and gave us a villain who could stand toe to toe and battle Supes punch for punch.

So here is a list of Villains who I think that would have been a much better pick for the headlining baddie in this flick

1. Bizzarro – sure he’s got to be introduced by Lex as a clone created by Luthorcorp, but there is so much more you can do with him. It could be an experiment gone wrong through Star Labs, make it a Frankenstein type story. A baddie that at the end gives up his life to save Supes from:

2. Parasite – in conjunction with Bizzarro he could really put Supes in a bind and give the Man of Steel a run for his money

3. & 4. Mongul & Darseid – two aliens, different species but both have a great reason to kill Superman or even use him as a member of their personal zoo. I don’t care, hell one of them can even introduce:

5. Braniac – another great villain, whichever way you look at him. He bottled the city of Kandor, travelled through time and evolved to battle Superman time and time again.

So many choices and you go with General Zod again. I guess I’ll have to write my own version of the Superman story that I want to see.

Man vs Food, the Road Tour

Have you ever watched Man vs. Food? I know I’ve discussed with this in many contexts with some people but no matter how ridiculous or sickening the show can be at times, I can’t stop watching it. It really lets me live out some sick and twisted fantasy about just stuffing my face full of every food imaginable. I know, I know, I’m secretly a fat kid just waiting to happen.

Aside from the crazy and gut busting challenges, the show also highlights some really great restaurants with some top quality food that is anything but healthy and a whole lot of tasty! I just love to eat and when I realized that I was going to be travelling by some of the best eateries in the eastern US, I had to plan my trip to visit some of these stellar eateries.

I don’t know what it is about road trips. Maybe it’s the idea that you can just pass through a city, leave nothing but a cold trail of smoke and take a part of the city with you in your belly. Maybe it’s the local ingredients and spices that make it so tempting to the taste-buds. For me, it’s definitely the claim to fame, there are so many places that claim to have the best breakfast or the best burgers, the hottest wings and the best chicken and waffles (Gladys & Ron I’m coming back for the Midnight Train). I want to experience the best of the best and decide for myself who actually does it best.

So I’ll be sampling breakfast at Deluca’s and lunch at Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh PA. Then it’ll be a day long drive to Atlanta where the VORTEX will give us the city’s best burger, I’m looking forward to the blue cheese burger. And then I return to Gladys Knight & Ron Wynans’ Chicken and Waffles, where this time I’ll be tackling the Midnight Train (I did the BBQ Turkey wings last time) for a taste of some good ol’ soul food!

Man I’m hungry – I’ve really got to stop writing about food. I think I’m going to go and have some Beef Stroganoff now.

Goodnight everybody!

Movie Reviews – March 25th

This week is going to be an interesting weekend for movies. It’s going to be one dominated by the kids when a movie about some Wimpy Kid battles against the crazies in Sucker Punch and a Hobo With A Shotgun. The thing that I learned from my time in the theatre is that if there is a kids movie coming out, it’s bound to have a decent opening weekend. If we look at the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie it opened to a 22 million dollar weekend and stayed strong despite being up against Alice in Wonderland. The lesson is that kids movies can do unexpectedly well.

Now this second coming of the Wimpy Kid goes up against Hobo With A Shotgun (rated R) and Sucker Punch (rated 14A) so theoretically it will have dolla’s from every family with kids 13 and under. But don’t underestimate Zack Snyder’s fantasy adventure that takes you in and out of reality. If you liked Snyder’s adaptation of 300 and The Watchmen then you’re probably going to enjoy Sucker Punch.

Having said that, I’m looking past both these films and looking forward to Hobo With A Shotgun. If you`re old enough to be able to get into this flick then I’m predicting that you’re in for a treat. The only reason this movie was actually made was because of the impact it had with Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse.  This is the second film inspired by a fake Grindhouse trailer and hopefully it will follow the same bloody gory fun that Machete had in spades.

So in conclusion I will predict that Diary of a Wimpy Kid will top the box office, but if you’re looking for a good time at the movies, go see Hobo With A Shotgun and be prepared to get blown away!

Movie Review – Paul

This past Tuesday was my little sister’s last 20’s birthday. As in previous year’s we spent the day enjoying some good food, good drinks and a really good movie. My sister (Ro) her boyfriend (Drew) and myself went to go see Paul, which I have been dying to see.

I guess my love for Nick Frost and Simon Pegg started when I discovered Shaun of the Dead. It’s satirical British take on my favourite horror genre. They made zombies lovable and then came back with Hot Fuzz to turn the buddy cop genre on its head. With Paul they took it to a whole new direction and they made me actually love the little alien.

I wasn’t a fan of Seth Rogan voicing the americanized extra terrestrial when I first heard about the movie. I’ve got some history with Seth, but we’ll dive deeper into that story later.  So colour me surprised when Seth’s alien buddy was actually quite endearing. He played the character cool and collective and gave him that cool-guy persona that everyone wants to hang around with. Kinda like ET meets the Fonz. Eehhhhhhhh!

Now combine that with my favourite British duo of Nick and Simon and that makes for one of the best road trip movies I’ve seen in a long time. But unlike ET, this one comes with car chases, swearing aliens, drugs and booze and an awesome explosion to cap it off.

Bottom line – this movie was FUN. Think of everything that was too G-rated about ET and replace with R rated content. That’s basically a summary of what Paul brings to the table. Plus I just love anything that Nick Frost and Simon Pegg do. So please go see this movie and Nick and Simon, thanks for a great ride.

Missing in Action

So I’ve been missing from this blog for the past couple of weeks. I’m not going to lie, life has been busy. Between working and the nice weather it’s been hard to be inside for long enough to actually dedicate some time to even getting a movie review finished (it’s still in draft format somewhere on here).

When I was thinking about why I actually didn’t spend my time doing what I loved to do I came to the realization that I need a new job. At work there are two type of people, those that are keep moving up the corporate ladder and those that are happy just collecting a paycheck. There are these kinds of people in every workplace. I’m now finding that I’m slowly turning into one a comfortable paycheck junkie and I need to get out!!!

Having said that, I’m actually working on a couple of big adventures that are going to give me quite a lot to write about. My buddy Clint MacLeod (I introduced him in The Clintos Experience) and I going on a road trip down to North Florida that will prove to have some great mishaps and misadventures both in the planning and trip. Then there’s my Vegas in Vegas trip – I’m going to take my faithful companion (or at least a suitable representation) Sinister Jack Vegas to the city he was named after. It was time he was introduced to the sinister city that gave him his name.

But now I need your help. One of the things I wanted to do this year was write a couple of reviews (movies or restaurants) or try something shocking or adventurous. I want to highlight you in one of my stories and be able to tell everyone I know how you pee’d your pants while trying to overcome your fear of heights….

Or something along those lines 🙂

Movie Reviews – Time Travelling

So seeing as how last week I actually wrote about movies that were coming out this week, I’m going to highlight a movie that I’m looking forward to this April.

Your Highness is set in Medieval times and puts James Franco and Danny McBride together as brothers that couldn’t be more different. The basic plot of the story has the noble Prince Fabious (James Franco) on a mission to rescue his beloved Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), it’s your typical damsel in distress story with a bit of a twist. They way I see it it’s more of a buddy movie as Franco’s character is joined by his under-achieving slacker brother,  Thaddius (Danny McBride), is forced to tag along and man up by their father, the king.

So why would James Franco do a stupid funny stoner film? Did you see Pineapple Express!? Not only can he do drama and action but comedy also comes naturally to the Oscar nominated star. Rounding out the high-profile cast is Oscar winner Natalie Portman who takes on an action role and tags along as a hired good to the mismatched brothers.

In my opinion, what’s going to really make this film stand out will be the chemistry between Franco and McBride. As long as they use the damsel in distress story as a backdrop for the “buddy film” main story this could turn out to be the sleeper that Pineapple Express was.

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, you can watch it below – and if you’re heading to the theatres this weekend please make sure you catch Battle:Los Angeles – it’s going to be EPIC!