Goodburger


Rating:

So, I’ve been eyeing this place ever since I knew it existed.  It brings back fond memories of Keenan & Kel, and it also begs the question, what ever happened to Kel?  Overdosed on orange soda is my guess.  Anyways, I thought I’d give it a try for lunch since it’s not far from my office.

I’m not sure whether it lived up or not to my expectations.  The setting and atmosphere was definitely a let down.  It was modern, almost like a pub with its wooden walls, rather then cheap and covered in white tiles like in the show.  It was clean and civilized, and I most definitely was NOT greeted with “Welcome to Goodburger, home of the Goodburger, can I take your order?” by the first employee I saw behind the counter.  This without a doubt was a let down.

However, the food quality I suppose did exceed my expectations.  I was expecting the worst burgers in the world, since that’s how I imagined they would taste like from watching the show as a teenager.  I ordered the single burger with crispy onions and cheese and it was quite delicious, though the actual meat seemed a little on the small side.  But all in all, it was a complete and satisfying tasting burger.  I also ordered a side of cheese fries, which surprised me pleasantly since it was made with real cheese and not that nacho cheese dip stuff that you often get.  It was delicious when I first got it, melting hot with ooey-gooey deliciousness all over the plate of shoestring fries.  I think there were even two kinds of cheese used.

Good food, not Keenan & Kel-type atmosphere, combined with moderate prices and relatively slow service for a “fast food” makes this establishment an okay choice for dining.  You won’t really be disappointed, but don’t expect it to change your life at all.  There’s nothing really memorable about the place; you’ll probably just remember that you ate at some imaginary food chain which was introduced by a 90’s Nickelodeon show.  But I did quite enjoy the cheese fries.

Midnight in Paris (2011)


Rating:

Woody Allen has a new film and it was well rated so I thought I’d give it a shot.  It’d been a while since I’ve seen a movie in the theaters by myself and maybe it was time again.  I didn’t actually know what to expect since all that I knew was that it got a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.  I’m not sure what it was, perhaps good writing, but I felt a close association with the main character Gil.  I had forgotten that I am romantic at heart as well, and maybe this is the reason that I seemingly spend more time in a illusory world in my head than in the reality before me.

Just as Gil needed a departure from his reality to realize that he lives within the Golden Age himself, I too needed this movie as a departure from my reality to bring me back down to Earth.  Getting swept away by one’s dreams is a wondrous feeling, but it makes life difficult when harsh reality hits and you realize nothing is as ideal as you had fantasized.  You will continue to forever grasp at the dream until you realize both it and your life have escaped beyond your reach.

In my opinion, this shouldn’t be that highly rated a movie, but it could just be that I am merely not educated enough to enjoy such a higher pleasure.  But it is a pleasant break from a hectic life.  Probably not truly deserving of a $13.00 movie ticket, but definitely deserving of 100 minutes of your attention, this movie  is somewhat slow but whimsical and idealistic in its nature as well.  Perhaps we all need to stop for a moment and reflect upon our own lives; stop denying the truths that are apparent before us, and move forward.  This was like the movie Somewhere in Time, except much more comedic and with a much happier ending.  The repeated star cameos were exciting to see too.  I wonder what ultimately happened to the private detective…

Red Rooster

Rating:

This place has been hyped up so much in recent weeks by New York Magazine that I finally had to stop and dine here.  It was lively and happening with live music and a bar at front.  The atmosphere was nice, but loud, so not the best place for a romantic dinner, but probably a good place to start a night of drinking and fun.

My meal started off with some Crab and green stuff soup; it was a cold soup.  It was not the best thing I’ve had.  It was to be made from coconut milk but I could hardly tell; the only real positive is that I think the cold soup helped to make the crab meat taste a lot better.  My opposite ordered some cornbread.  Frankly, I was firstly appalled by the fact that there was no complimentary cornbread, and all I can say is that the cornbread here is at least better than that of Dallas BBQ.

My main course consisted of the Steak Frites.  I ordered it rare, which is the way I like my sirloin steaks, with a pool of blood preferably.  The meat was good, and it was actually rare and not overcooked.  It was very much to my liking, however all the complimentary stuff was not so on par.  The sauce was too much for me, for I liked the taste of my meat; the truffles were too large and I felt they would’ve done better with perhaps sometime of truffle shavings just to add to the flavor instead of compete for it against the steak; and the fries… well…  I like things salty usually, these fries were probably the saltiest I’ve had in a long while.  They would’ve been impossible to eat had it not been for the waiter constantly refilling my glass of water.

Across the table, I sampled my mate’s Fried Yard Bird, which was average at best.  Too much breading for me personally, and the meat was nothing special.  My favorite part actually was the hot chili sauce they provided, but I swear, they probably just took it from El Aguila (which by the way is one of my favorite restaurants).  Additionally, I believe it caused some minor stomach issues, which does not please me at all.

Overall, upbeat atmosphere and what seems like good ingredients, except for maybe the chicken.  In my opinion, they just haven’t put it altogether, but I think the pieces are there to be a great restaurant.  It’s just not quite there yet.  This however will make me second guess some of the recommendations from New York Magazine though.  However, I’m still excited to try Torrisi Italian Specialties someday soon…..

Killer Freebies® etcetera

So, while thinking about my distant lover who won’t be home until tomorrow, I was so bored and unmotivated that I decided to explore and see what the online world could offer me for free.  I ended up signing up for quite a number of offers.  I trust that all offers that I signed up for would eventually be sent, however I move out of my current in apartment in just over two weeks, so the real test will be to see how many I will actually receive before I leave.

I’ve signed up for so many offers; now, let’s see how many I can recall…  It all started from Killer Freebies
Next stop was StartSampling
Then there was Free Mania
Finally, it all ended with something much more practical from CNN Living, where I discovered how to gain something that Abbé Faria in the 2002 Count of Monte Cristo movie called “priceless.”   That is, knowledge, for those of you who haven’t memorized that movie.  Apparently a whole host of online MIT classes are free and widely available to the public.  I guess I’ll take that.   Now there’s really no excuse for me to go back and re-learn Linear Algebra and review Multivariable Calculus on my own.

Unforgiven (1992)


Rating:

It was about time I got around to this movie. I guess the reason it took so long is I’m generally not that big a fan of Western’s in general. But, with the recent re-make of True Grit (which I actually have yet to see), I was in the mood to see a movie that has been deemed one of the best Western’s in recent history. Sure enough, I thought it lived up pretty well to its hype.

Not just another tough guy movie where the cowboy appears and guns down everyone in his path, Eastwood’s character has a worthy purpose, and hunts down those that deserve what they get. Along the way, we get to discover what each character is truly made of as well. Though the movie really takes its time laying out the entire situation with Clint and Morgan being washed up old men, it is quite interesting to see how they evolve before our eyes. As it draws toward the end, the feel of the movie reminds me a bit of Man on Fire, with the reformed ex-killer finding purpose for his killing again.

Two hours with quite a slow start and build-up but well worth it in the end. A good movie that I’d be happy to watch again in the future, just not the immediate future. As a side note, although I have not see the new True Grit, I do like the original True Grit starring John Wayne.

Time Warner Cable


Rating:

Time Warner Cable, you have the worst service ever. I haven’t had so many disconnects in a year since I was using my 33.6Kbps dial-up modem in 1997. It’s true that at times you connect at awesome speeds, letting me download things at up to 1Mbps, but it is not worth it when the other 90% of the time your service is either intermittent or non-existent.

I must also complain about the lack of accessibility to the wireless modems you hand out. They are easily hacked and I’m sure anyone that’s using one is at a security risk. Everyone knows that the password is the modem’s MAC address plus 14 more zeros at the end. Maybe this is part of the reason why my internet sucks too; only the gods could know how many of my neighbors are actually stealing my internet. If only I could hide my network, or limit the access by MAC addresses, or even just change the password to the network… If only…

Your prices as well are mediocre at best. You’re just lucky that you’ve cornered this market and there’s no Comcast High Speed Internet or Verizon FiOS in Manhattan. But, with service this bad combined with the rise of 3G/4G Mobile Broadband, I think your reign of terror will end soon enough. Unfortunately, I must suffer your wrath for at least one more month. Oh the horror. Time Warner Cable, you get two stars for at least connecting sometimes, and on rare occasions being blisteringly fast.

Primorski Restaurant

Rating:

Brighton Beach, far less visited than Coney Island which is a mere 5 minute walk away.  Quite surprising given the special-ness of Brighton Beach.  What you ask is so special?  Little Russia of course.  Little Russia features furry coats, hand-picked berry juice, and $5.99 lunch specials.  Primorski Restaurant happens to be one of those gems that serves up a 3 course meal with coffee or tea at the end for the low price of $5.99 and a sneaky $1.00/person service charge, but it’s still a fantastic deal.

My lunch started off with the generic cabbage appetizer and delicious Georgian bread. The only drawback was that the bread came so late… Instead we had the opportunity to listen to our waiter get yelled at for 15 minutes by what I would assume is the restaurant manager. Next up, I ordered some Xарчо (Kharcho) as part of my lunch special. It was a bit spicy and probably a bit needlessly oily, just the way I like it.  But only a single chunk of lamb in my soup made me put on my sadface briefly.  For entertainment value, the spoon they offer you is nearly the same size as the bowl. Finally, for the main course I enjoyed Чахохбили из курицы (Chicken Chakhokhbili) with a side of mashed potatoes.  Light spiciness and good flavor.  The chicken was a little small would be my only real complaint.  Then I topped it up with a nice cup of tea.  Unfortunately tea bags are not the most satisfying kind of tea, and they lacked honey for it which could’ve helped soothe my throat.

All in all, a good meal at a great price.  I just wish it wasn’t so far from where I resided.  Regardless, Brighton Beach’s Primorski, I’ll be back to dine here again, probably on my way to Coney Island to either play at the theme park or watch Joey Chestnut vs. Kobayashi.  We’ll see who wins this year’s match-up…