20 December 2014

Food Thoughtz Restaurant Review: Playa Cabana - Hacienda (4)

M just whipped up these crepes/palacsinta to satisfy my hunger and my rage. But I will not be silenced and I will not be placated.

Food Thoughtz Restaurant Review: Playa Cabana - Hacienda (3)

The support is rolling it! Keep it coming, valued readers!

It's especially funny because why would anyone ever visit Toronto, let alone plan a visit there?

Food Thoughtz Restaurant Review: Playa Cabana - Hacienda (2)

I am still so enraged about this experience.

Food Thoughtz Restaurant Review: Playa Cabana - Hacienda

Tonight M and I went out for dinner together. We settled on the Hacienda branch of the burgeoning "Playa Cabana" franchise because it seemed cool and hip. And also Mexican, which is what M was looking for. We had settled on this place specifically because they serve nachos, whereas most other Mexican restaurants seem to make their nachos using that disgusting liquid cheese that comes out of a pump.

Things started out well enough. We ordered a bucket of beer. And then I noticed a little addendum to the menu saying that they were not willing to make substitutions except in the case of allergies, when possible. I kindly asked the waitress that though I understood they had this policy, would it be possible to order nachos totally plain, just with cheese. (And let me just state that while I understand that making substitutions and exceptions in a kitchen is likely really annoying, I feel like when your order is changed to be the most simple version of that dish, it really should not be a problem.) The waitress said she didn't think it would be a problem but that she would have to double check with the kitchen. Meanwhile, M ordered a chorizo burrito.

The waitress came back and said it wouldn't be a problem. And I said "great," because I was really looking forward to those nachos. A quick note about the nachos: they were listed under the "appetizer" section of the menu, which is pretty common. I'm not sure I have ever seen nachos listed elsewhere. They are generally considered a food to be shared, and they also usually come in heaping portions. I ordered these nachos with the expectation that I would eat approximately half of them and take the other half home to eat tomorrow. One thing I've learned this year is that re-heating nachos in the oven is delicious. The nachos were also $14, which, again, is a pretty standard price for nachos. I saw no reason to consult further with the waitress about the size of the nachos, because every other waitress' response to this question in every other restaurant is something along the lines of how enormous the portion is.

And then the nachos arrived. And first of all, they arrived approximately five minutes before M's burrito, which is always really frustrating. But more frustrating still is that "nachos" consisted of eight chips. EIGHT CHIPS. For $14! Eight of them! I was outraged. I still have not calmed down. Meanwhile, in the five minutes that it took me to come to terms with the fact that I just spent $1.75 per chip ($2, if you count the tip), M's enormous burrito arrived.

Words cannot express the kind of outrage I experienced tonight. The "nachos" were designed in two circles, with four chips per circle (so do not think that I am exaggerating the smallness of this portion: there were exactly eight chips). Above you can see a photograph of the final chip. I did not take a picture of the entire ("entire") meal, but we might understand this as an example of metonymy.

In hindsight, I regret leaving any tip at all because I think it was unconscionable of that waitress to not divulge the true nature of these nachos. At first I thought it was not fair to punish the waitress for this pathetic attempt, but frankly, it was. And also, she was a pretty garbage waitress in other respects as well. She brought us the bill before M had finished her food, and then she whisked away the sauces that M was using, also before she finished her food. And then she just left the ATM machine with me and walked away. Like, what am I? Is someone going to pay me for ripping off this "merchant copy"? Give me a break. Also, give me like 100 more chips.

In conclusion, I hope this shitty garbage restaurant crashes and burns, and I hope that whatever monster is behind this atrocity ends up on the streets, unable to make anything work for him/herself. And then I hope that I just so happen to be strolling home from Costco with about twelve double-packs of bulk-sized chips, and he is asking for food. And I will say, "Oh? All of these chips I have with me? I am actually planning to just put them straight in to the garbage. I suppose I can spare eight for you." And then I will stare him straight in the eyes. And then I won't even give him those eight chips unless he forks over $14 first. And even then I won't give him those chips, because whatever chips I manage to buy at Costco will probably taste better than the garbage I endured tonight. I hate this restaurant. I hate it so much. I hate it enough to start a Yelp account and give it a terrible review.

Playa Cabana (Hacienda branch): I hope you are reading this. I hope you can taste my rage as strongly as I wish I was tasting a full serving of nachos. You are the worst. You are the worst place in the world and I hope you cease to exist. If you are in fact reading this, please comment below to ask for my address in order to send me $14 worth of nachos. I will eat them, vomit them up, and then parcel that vomit off into fourteen servings so that I might mail it straight back to you. And because I expect this will not satiate my rage, I will probably do something else that I have not yet thought of.

09 December 2014

Campbell's Everyday Gourmet Roasted Potato & Spring Leek

One thing I'm certain of in this crazy world is that I really like packaged soups (in limited flavours, it goes without saying). I really love those dry Knorr soups (in minestrone, broccoli, or potato-leek) and I also really like the Campbell's Garden Minestrone. Campbell's used to have a condensed minestrone, but they seem to have gotten rid of it. I also really liked those cartons of soup that Campbell's put out. They came in broccoli and potato & leek, and I think that maybe they were "Gardennay," which presumably is a division of Campbell's. Anyway, they were always really good, but also pretty expensive, so I would just wait until they went on sale. Even on sale they were pretty expensive, but they were also a lot better than the other soup options, so I would go for it.

Recently I have noticed that Campbell's changed their packaging for these soups. Now they're "Campbell's Everyday Gourmet" instead of "Gardennay." They're a lot brighter and modern, and part of me thinks they might be Andy Warhol-inspired. But the packaging works. Their line-up of carton soups looks appealing and hip.

This picture took me a really long time to make and didn't come out nearly as well as I had hoped for.

So I picked up a box of their Roasted Potato & Spring Leek, assuming it would be the exact same soup as before. But it isn't. I don't like it. And I think that what I don't like about it is the "gourmet" aspect. It takes like a bunch of Campbell's execs in charge of the soup division (I don't know if there are any other divisions at Campbell's) talking about how they need to make this soup more appealing, and that something that appeals to people is the word "gourmet," and that adding too much pepper to something is a way that one can achieve that "gourmet-taste." This soup literally just tastes like pepper.

But it also has a not very nice texture to it. Like, every once in a while you come across a chunk and you can't be certain if it's a piece of potato peel or a piece of leek or some stray piece of garbage that made it into the batch ... until you get it in your mouth and realize it's actually just a clump of pepper.

I am honestly getting so fed up with Campbell's these days. They're also gluten-free. I will not buy this soup again.

My hunger did I try to allay
With Campbell's Everyday Gourmet.
Dressed up pepper-garbage in a Warhol design
Unfortunately this soup is not suitable to dine. 
Stop screwing around, Campbell's, and bring back Gardennay!

05 December 2014


Distinguishing between what parts of an animal you will eat and what parts you won't is, I guess, a pretty arbitrary decision. But I'll be damned if anyone ever convinces me that eating a brain is an acceptable meal. I am sorry to all you brain-eaters out there, but that is disgusting. That is where thoughtz live. In the brain. They are created and live there. Even in animals. I don't think we should be eating animal thoughts.

Did you know that what of the prion diseases associated with eating brains is Fatal Familial Insomnia? It's a thing. Look it up. Symptoms include "progressively worsening insomnia," but the science is still out as to whether this is a symptom of the disease or just because you're so horrified with yourself that you just ate a brain and now you will never be able to sleep again because you're haunted by your own depravity.

The picture quality is terrible and I can't even be bothered.

Aside from how deeply disturbing I find brain-consumption, I also don't think I would like the look, texture, or smell of a brain. I have no idea how they're typically prepared (although I guess it would depend on the culinary culture), but I always imagine just a full brain, boiled, and sitting on a plate as a steaming mass, oozing some liquid (probably liquid thoughts) onto a plate. Maybe smelling like damp, old sports equipment? I don't know why, that's just what pops into my brain.

Brains are where our thoughtz live.
I think eating them is really unattractive.