There has been a lot of crappy weather lately. When you work outside, you just need to treat yourself to a warm meal once in a while. We were working only a few blocks from a restaurant that my boss, Steve, likes to eat at. I’ve only eaten at Ray J’s a couple of times, but I’ve never had anything but great wings there. Yup, you read that right. I’ve never gotten past one item on the menu. The first time I ate there, Steve recommended the wings and I haven’t looked back.
Ray J’s is your typical sports bar with plenty of seating for diners. What sets them apart is their food (this is largely based on other people’s reaction). In fact, Steve and I had a whole conversation about that (before construction, he managed a couple of restaurants). The conversation started when I was commenting on the fact that they had a decent selection of wine and the special of the day was a baked brie. Steve pointed out that these bars aren’t stupid and that by accommodating the wives (I know, stereotypes, but it’s based on statistics), they could increase their revenue.
Anyway, back to the wings. I honestly have never seen chicken wings this big. The first time I saw them, I was convinced that they were turkey wings that tasted like chicken. I usually get the full order of wings (3 pounds!!!) and plan on having whatever is left for a snack later. Okay, really it’s another meal. I’ve had the Buffalo wings before and they are good, but it tastes just like Buffalo wings like everywhere else. The ones that I had this time was the Asian Sesame wings which has a soy chili sauce and garnished with chopped scallions. I liked the idea of this sauce and generally liked the taste of it, but it had an overpowering sweetness to it. The flavor reminded me of a really good teriyaki sauce, but way too heavy on the sugar. What I really like are the wings themselves. Other than their freakish huge size, they are deep fried which gives the skin an amazing crunchiness that the sauce clings to and the sauce can’t penetrate. Normally that would be a flaw in a dish, but since there is practically no distance between the skin and bone on wings (even ones this huge) you get a nice mouthful of sauce, skin, and meat in each bite.
Yup. Just made up a hexadecimal number because I have no idea how many times I’ve written about trips to Decorah and I’m too lazy to figure it out. Besides, who really reads hexdec anyway?
Anyway, Lindz and I made one of our regular trips to our old stomping grounds. We stopped by the StoryPeople studio to pick something up and I ran across what I can only assume is one of the limited edition wood paintings.
For those that are curious, the story printed on here is Living Memory. Speaking of my old workplace, I just found a new sculpture that I got quite a kick out of:
You can find it here on the StoryPeople website.
What would a trip to Decorah be without eating at La Rana?
Really not a lot to say. It’s a fun little bar with a great atmosphere and great food all at a small town price.
Here’s some random sushi pictures that have been hiding out on my computer for a couple of years. I’m sharing these because I love sushi and I love the presentation of the plates. These chefs really know what they are doing. I believe all of these were taken at the Osaka in Roseville.
Okay, this one’s not food related, but I think it’s really fun.
One of my favorite genres of literature is science fiction. There is a special place in my heart for the 1950′s Sci-Fi writing (commonly referred to as the Golden Age of Science Fiction) and the artwork that goes along with it. Both the writing and the artwork were based on science, but at that time, we knew so little about space travel, a lot of imagination had to be thrown in. It ended up being a wonderful, if not campy at times, blend of easy and entertaining reading. The fondness for this style of Sci-Fi has stuck with me since I read my first Asimov book (The Naked Sun, if I remember correctly). In fact, I’m only 1 of 2 people that I know that actually enjoyed the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. The terrible acting and bad CG just made it that much more enjoyable because it fit in with my notion of the pulp Sci-Fi that the story comes from.
So, you can imagine that I was giddy as a school girl when I found the Pulp-O-Mizer! It allows you to create your own cover of a Sci-Fi pulp rag. So I naturally had to make my own.
Because I was at a friend’s bachelor all day yesterday, I thought this would be apropos:
Americans walk an average of 730 miles per year and drink an average of 20.5 gallons of beer per year. Which means that the average American gets 35.5 miles to the gallon.
A couple of unique beers I’ve had recently (not yesterday):
Last weekend Lindz, Dave (who was up from Rochester for the day), and I drove around our little corner of the Twin Cities doing some window shopping, and just to keep things interesting, some actual purchases were made. As everyone knows, shopping makes you hungry, which is why we ended up at Baker’s Square. I was flipping through the menu trying to figure out if I was going to go with my stand-by order (chicken fried steak) or try something else. A little red box that said “NEW!” caught my attention. It was the Nacho Cheeseburger. A burger with nacho toppings? What potential bliss could this be?
Much like how the book is always better than the movie, I could do a better nacho burger at home. But having said that, I would get this guy again.