Blake Snow

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Tagged food

I can’t stop eating at this restaurant

mountain west burrito provo utah

It’s called Mountain West Burrito. It’s in a freaking gas station. It’s my new favorite restaurant.

Basically, it’s our version of the Chipotle craze sweeping the nation, only better for the following reasons: Joe, the owner, takes orders and waits tables like you wouldn’t believe. Dude is everywhere; serving chips, giving out organic lollipops to my kids, clearing my table. He knew my name after two visits. Impressive.

Not only that, but the tortillas, meat, produce etc are all locally sourced. Place even claims they don’t own a can opener! My taste buds concur.

So if you’re ever in Provo — “I think you’d dig it. You could do well here.” — run, don’t walk, to MWB.

Interesting perspective on overpopulation

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I suppose the above is possible, but why might the Earth’s population decline after reaching 9 billion in 2050? Deficit fertility rates?

In any case, check out the follow-up shorts as well: Offsetting low fertility rates, Food: There’s lots of it, and Why poverty isn’t caused by overpopulation.

Pretty convincing thesis.

Best herbal teas ever

mate

As adherents of the Word of Wisdom, my family tries to avoid drinking tea — more specifically, anything derived from the Camellia sinensis plant (which results in black, green, white, yellow and oolong tea).

I say try because we used to suck down Chai like it was nobody’s business. That is, until we discovered that it contains black tea, in addition to delicious Indian spices. (Ignorance is bliss, people. Should have never read the label.)

But fear-not, non-tea drinkers. There are still a lot of tasty herbal alternatives, some of which are even better than the real thing. Continue reading…

Elote! Mexican corn on the cob blows my mind

mexican-corn-on-cob-elote

20 Century Fox

All this time, our neighbors down south had corn figured out. Butter is nice, but the following is better, as prepared by my wife last week:

  • 4 ears corn
  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Half teaspoon lime zest
  • Half teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • Fourth teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Fourth teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of crumbled Cotija Cheese

Coat the corn with olive oil, grill it, then mix everything but the cheese and spread it on the corn. Roll in cheese. Enjoy!

via Our Best Bites

Tomatoes: “They’re like salty watermelons, man!”

tomato

Few things in life are better than a fresh tomato.

While discussing food this morning (it’s a hobby of mine), a friend exclaimed, “I can’t stand raw tomatoes.” He’s obviously crazy, so of course I chastised him with, “No way—they’re like salty watermelons, man!!!”

Admittedly, I haven’t always enjoyed tomatoes. In fact, I was ordering cheeseburgers sans tomato as recently as 18. That all changed a year later, however, after moving to Brazil. There, when they serve “salad,” it’s all tomato, doused in vinegar and oil. To not come off as a snobbish American, I reluctantly accepted said salad. In time, I grew to love the primary ingredient.

Now I eat tomatoes on anything and everything. Continue reading…

Do you tip your “waiter” on take-out orders?

Part two in my Awkward Tip Etiquette series

carryoutI stiffed my take-out waiter for the first time this weekend and got an ugly look for it.

Normally I tip receptionists a buck for boxing my meal and carrying it all the way from the kitchen to the reception desk. (Excruciating work, I know.) But this time I grew a pair and followed my wife’s example: Don’t tip a restaurant worker for putting carry-out in a bag for you.

Again, I’m fine tipping someone that actually “waits on you” in a dining room. Servers don’t get paid a minimum wage. They’re normally hard workers and/or are struggling to make ends meet. So I’m happy to throw a few Washingtons their way for good service.

But I’m done tipping for carry-out, since the person handing me my food doesn’t add any value to my patronage, nor do they serve. I don’t care if it’s the bartender, the host, or some other receptionist. And I’m not going to let awkward attempts to “serve me” a bag or ugly looks deter me. Unless, of course, you can convince me otherwise.

Do you tip for carry-out food? If so, why?

So long, maple. Hello, buttermilk.

Although the go-to topping for pancakes, waffles, and french toast, Maple syrup is overrated. O-V-E-R-A-T-E-D. (Sorry, Canada)

A far better alternative is buttermilk syrup. Better yet, you can make it from home, without that nasty high-fructose corn crap. (See my wife’s recipe in the comments below.)

I first tried buttermilk syrup a couple of years ago on pumpkin pancakes. Now, I insist on the delicious elixir anytime there’s a breakfeast “breading” in need of sweetening.

I recommend you do the same.

This finger food should be on everyone’s menu

English Muffin cheeze pizza

It’s called English Muffin Pizza. We had it for lunch today.

I’m not exactly sure of the origin, but I know Lindsey inherited the idea from her snazzy mother (thanks, Annette). The wife takes hers with pepperoni. The girlies and I are all about the cheese.

The recipe: English Muffin, sliced mozzarella, and your favorite pizza sauce and toppings broiled in the oven. Yum.

Not all fortune cookies are duds

I haven’t taken a fortune cookie serious — let alone keep one — since… well, forever. Rather than predicting actual fortunes, almost all of them instead state the obvious or reference vague generalizations like, “Your friends have heartbeats,” or, “You’ll never know what you can do until you try.”

Dumb.

My latest fortune cookie, acquired last month after overpaying for an uneasy meal, was a keeper, however: “The project you have in mind will soon gain momentum.” I excitedly thought to myself, “Really? Which one? How soon? Tell me, omniscient Confucius!” I then slipped the two-inch piece of paper into my pocket and later onto my desk as a reminder of my fortune. After a discouraging precursor to Q1, I was willing to let even a cheap, dry cookie have an effect on my professional life.

Yesterday, I closed one of those deals — a reputable and ongoing account that is sure to bolster my portfolio and bank account. As a result, my faith in fortune cookies has been restored. My faith in suspect Chinese joints, on the other hand, has not.

Related: Let me dislike sushi in peace, please

Yamato, my new favorite restaurant

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Locals only: A colleague took me to lunch last month to Yamato in Orem. It was my first time. From the outside, the place looks like a dump — definitly not a somewhere you’d want to eat, unless you like that fake soy-chicken garbage that cheap Chinese restaurants serve.

To my surprise, however, the inside is not only immaculate, but the decor “feels” authentic, and the atmosphere is soothing. More importantly, the Japanese cuisine is some of the finest I’ve ever had at a price that makes me wonder how the shop stays in business — it’s more than reasonable. Ask for the Orem lunch, which comes with soup, salad, 5-6 delicious dumplings, steamed rice, and succulent teriyaki chicken. Sushi is thankfully optional.

So for any Utah natives looking for any new place to eat, look no further. Yamato is Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto. That didn’t make any sense… suffice it to say the place is really good. Thanks, Eliot!

My commentary on recent happenings

img5.jpgI returned home from a press junket to Baton Rouge on Wednesday, and here are some thoughts I haven’t had time to talk about:

  • I enjoy coming home from a trip and am convinced the flight into Salt Lake City is one of the prettiest in the nation.
  • Blackened alligator is better than sushi — confirmed!
  • Louisianians fry more food than my native Georgia. Impressive.
  • As has been customary, I’m entering the travel period of my year as the gaming industry gears up for its big fall push. I travel only 6-7 times a year, and prefer it that way. I’m an unadventurous city-slicker who is also a homebody. I even choke up a little when leaving for a short trip.
  • Maddie, my six-month old looks really cute in shades.
  • My wife’s sausage manicotti is delicious.
  • Regular exercise is difficult for me. After three weeks of steady running, I let it slip this week.
  • On a personal note, I just learned of the sudden passing of Jeff Jones in December at the hands of Leukemia. I considered Jeff a close, friendly, and respected professional colleague and worked extensively with him in 2006 and early 2007 before losing touch last summer. I would have his surviving family, friends, and associates know that Jeff was genuinely one of the kindest individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He will be missed.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Fondue is my new favorite food

For whatever reason, Lindsey started making delicious cheese and chocolate fondue for dinner last December. We’ve had it five or six times in little more than three months now, and I’m in love — particularly with the cheese dipped French bread.

My wife’s recipe is even better than the Melting Pot (no kidding) and comes at a substantial discount. For a mere $40, you can feed six adults fresh bread, strawberries, apples, bananas, lil’ smokies, pound cake, pretzels, marshmallows, and oreos with chocolate to spare. It’s so win.

So dust off that fondue set you received as a wedding gift but never used. You won’t be disappointed. In the off chance you are, I’ll harass you like sushi-junkie.

Fun fact: The Swiss invented fondue to enable the digestion of stale bread that had become so hard it could be “chopped with an ax.” Oh, and don’t mouth the dipping fork, you pig.