So, most of you know that I'm making my New York City debut at the end of the month.
Mrs. Bootleg scored me a plane ticket for my birthday, while former Bootleg co-conspirator That Nick'a Guy is graciously offering up room n' board n' credit card points for my 3-day, 3-night stay.
The Greatest Kitchen Pass of All Time must not be wasted. To that end, I've spent the last few months in training. I've been drinking after work almost every night to the tune of a few beers (Fat Tire, Sam Adams) and a glass of Maker's Mark on the rocks, so my liver can be prepared for its inevitable abuse.
I've also started the re-introduction of heavily battered and deep fried foods into my system.
Nick's NYC itinerary includes Yankee Stadium (A's vs. the Evil Empire on June 30), Mickey Mantle's Restaurant (not a good omen) and a few famous pizza and sports bar landmarks in between. Obviously, I need to purge all of this grilled skinless chicken breast and steamed veggies crap out of my intestine so I can eat like a Black man, again.
And, as luck would have it, the San Diego County Fair opened last weekend.
The Cam Fam took the day off from their real, full-time jobs (me) and their part-time, no benefits busy work (the wife) so we could take Little Boy Bootleg to the fair today. For me, it was a chance to see if my stomach could handle the skillets and skillets of grease that I'll be meeting in a few weeks.
From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM…God's honest truth…this is what I ate.
Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich - I jumped into this bad boy at around 10:30 AM, right off the bat. I had heard pretty good things about the Krispy Kreme Burger that a minor league baseball team was selling and the inclusion of chicken gives the illusion of something that's healthier, right? Unfortunately, it was mildly disappointing…as much as a fried chicken breast crammed in between two donuts can fail to meet expectations. The sheer sweetness of the donuts absolutely overwhelmed the white meat within. And, in an additional surprise, the donuts were actually strawberry jelly filled. Later, I realized that I could've ordered green chilies and pepper jack cheese on my sandwich, which would've helped cancel out the enamel-eating sweetness, but what can you do? Score: 2 (out of 5)
Garlic Fries - Mrs. Bootleg ordered a batch based on the garlicky goodness that we've experienced at the famous Gordon Biersch restaurant and in Major League ballparks up and down the West Coast. Sadly, the San Diego Fair's take on this relatively nouveau culinary classic was an insult to every fry we'd eaten before. Soggy and bland, these garlic fries couldn't hold a candle to the stinky sliced spuds that are still lodged deep, deep, deep in my arteries. And, where was the finely chopped parsley on top?! This isn't rocket science, people. You'll take your sh*tty score and like it. Score: 1
Funnel Cake - Now, we're talkin'. A county fair staple, I like mine naked save for a dusting of powdered sugar. I paid $5.00 for a moon-sized circle of fried dough and it didn't disappoint. How good was it? By the time I finished it, the paper plate that it was served on was a shiny, soggy mess. If I don't make it to see 40, I want the autopsy to find funnel cake in my bloodstream. While I'd miss my son, death would get me out of this marriage. And, I imagine the funnel cake is free in heaven and served warm atop white women. Score: 5
Foot Long Hot Dog - Isn't it standard operating hot dog procedure for foot longs to be served in buns that are a few inches too small? The whole point is for that first phallic bite to be bun-free, right? Well, apparently they're now making foot long sized buns that fit the entire tube of obscure animal parts. This one wasn't any worse than your typical ballpark dog save for the fact that I was able to find the ONE kiosk at the fair that boiled their hot dogs instead of grilling them. Bleh. Score: 2
Fried Twinkie - Not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I was definitely expecting…more. This tasted exactly like the ubiquitous Hostess snack cake, except crispy. It came with powdered sugar and some strawberry goo on top, but it was gone in three bites…just like the conventional non-Crisco variety. The same stand offered fried Snickers bars, fried Oreos and, believe it or not, fried Coca-Cola and I was left wishing I'd spent my $3.50 on one of those. Score: 2
Rattlesnake Bites - I'd actually earmarked a corn dog for my final feeding, but as luck would have it, we ended up taking Jalen on a pony ride. While he was freaking out at the untamed spirit of the tranquilized 80 year old miniature mare he rode, my attention had turned towards The Rattlesnake Grill. $12.50 for a giant basket of fried rattlesnake, French fries and fried jalapeños? Please believe it. The overused "tastes like chicken" analogy isn't really appropriate here, as the snake tasted more like an even milder calamari with chicken's texture. Seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper, it was awesome on its own despite being served with ranch dressing. (On a related note, ranch dressing and fried jalapeños is God's appetizer.) Anyways, I can't accurately articulate how great the snake was, so I'll offer up this imagery. Just pretend that Roadblock actually ate Cobra Commander after the erstwhile leader of G.I. Joe's archenemy was turned into a snake by those awful, awful spores. Score: 500
I'm ready for New York, kids.
Let's do this thang.