Sometimes, people talk about how undiverse BYU is. And when they do that, I think they’re liberals.

As per the request of frequent reader Cari Beut, I decided to go to Slab Pizza, located just beneath Campus Plaza Apartments and right beside the Duck Pond/Rape Hill in scenic south Provo.

To me, it’s one of the most perfectest restaurants to go for a date. The romantic locale, the smell of pizza crust baking, a huge flat screen that’s always showing some sport so I can show off my sport knowledge whilst my date slowly befalls into my deep brown eyes.

Actually, the first time I went to Slab was on a brthr/sstr date with Carlos when she first moved to Provo. The Slab people messed up her order, so they made her what she’d actually ordered AND gave her the order they messed up. I’ve loved Slab every day since that day; that’s quality you can taste.

Slab is proof that BYU is diverse and tastes good. At Slab, they make lots of different types of pizzas. Each pizza is 20” and cut into four equal slices or “slabs.” There are normal flavors like cheese and pepperoni, then crazier flavors like Hawaiian, BBQ chicken, and vegetarian, then REALLY crazy flavors like chicken Cordon bleu, real Hawaiian (including SPAM), and breakfast. You order by the slab, so you don’t have to get a full pizza if you don’t want to. Each slab costs 4 to 7 dollars, depending on how crazy the flavor is.

Some of these flavors might sounds like they wouldn’t be good on a pizza, but that’s the great thing about Slab: they make pizza in the sense that there’s a crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings, but depending on the flavor, it may not taste like pizza at all. My favorite is the chile verde. It has a super good enchilada/salsa-type sauce that’s covered in cheese, chiles, and slow-roasted pork, dabbed with sour cream, and topped with a bit of cilantro (I love cilantro). It literally tastes like a taco and I love it love it love it. Last time I went, I got the Thai chicken. It was super good too: it had some type of curry for the sauce, cheese (but not too much), super delicious chicken, onions, peppers, peanut sauce, and cilantro (I LOVE cilantro). It tasted like I was sitting in Thailand, eating real Thai chicken while petting a tiger. Whatever you order, the crust is thin and baked so that it’s nice and crispy. If you like pizza, you’ll love Slab, and if you hate pizza, you’ll like Slab because you can order something that doesn’t taste like pizza.

Slab is great for me cuz it keeps me from spending all my money. Usually when I go out to eat on a date, I order an entree and a side because I want my date to think I have lots of money and therefore will be able to support her when in case we get married. At Slab, though, the menu is super simple: the only thing on the menu is pizza. Hence, I don’t have to show off my money bags to the ladies. Cha-ching.

“You should be a picture, Gordy, cuz you’re hot.” – My date lol

So people who think BYU is undiverse: come to Slab and see how freaky diverse BYU can be. #realtalk

That time I ate healthy for four months

So people, I decided back in June that I was going to do something cray-cray: I decided to stop eating processed foods and only eat things my ancestors would have been able to make themselves. This means produce, nuts, dried fruit (with no sugar added), beans, and meat were the ONLY foods allowed to enter my stomach chamber. It also included rice and whole wheat flour, but I don’t really eat very much of those unless I’m following a recipe or something or other. Eating completely unprocessed is a little crazy, but it’s also way healthy. (Some people might call this the “Paleo Diet,” butt I don’t know cuz I never looked it up/cared about the rules.)

Now, a lot of you are probably wondering why I wanted to do a “diet.” I know a lot of you (girls) are thinking, “But Gordy! You’re so hot! I want my husband to look exactly like you! You are the fairest of all the males I have ever seen. Y’all don’t need no diet.”

To this, I reply: I know. I had considered doing this “eating healthy” thing before, but always decided against it because, like you said, I have a really hot body. REALLY hot.

So why come I did it then? Right you asked, Internet people, because I’m about to tell you why.
I was visiting my homeland of northern California for Sister #3’s (or Sibling #4, whatever you want to call it) wedding in June. Whilst I was there, I did the normal things I do at home: dancey dance time, watch Netflix, watch my mom watch Netflix, go to Walmart, and watch Golden Girls with the gma.

I also ate NONSTOP. Eating is one of my favorite things and I consider it to be a good thing (I have a food blog for hecka crying out loud). But while I was sitting there working on a bag of chips and salsa one day, I couldn’t help but wonder:

And then I began to realize things about my attitude toward food. Being raised in a house with six siblings was kind of like living in the Hunger Games:

So that dinnertime is kind of like this:
To the point that whenever there are leftovers, things get a little bit like this:

Considering this, I recalled times when I was in my apartment (back in Provo), cooking and eating dinner for hours. Also, eating my roommates’ food if they left it out too long. Also, making sure to eat all the food possible whenever someone invites me over for dinner. Also, accidentally biting my iPod nano once because I thought it was a piece of candy. For me, eating was something like this:

I also thought about all the times I went to parties and ate as much food as possible just because it was there.

Eating wasn’t something I did to become full or even enjoy myself. It was something I did because I was a food robot that had to eat all the food.

So as I sat there on that chip-and-salsa June afternoon, I decided to do something with myself. I decided that from July 1 until November 1 (four months!), I would ONLY eat unprocessed foods. Here were my rules:

1) Eat only unprocessed foods. That means lots of cooking from scratch. If I didn’t make the food myself (like if I was buying bread or butter or yogurt), I had to be able to identify all the ingredients that went into the food as originally unprocessed.

2) I was allowed to use seasonings in the stuff I cooked/baked. I don’t know how unprocessed a lot of the seasonings I used are, but I didn’t care: I wasn’t giving up flavor. Most of the seasonings I usually use are salt, pepper, basil, cumin, and chili powder.

3) I was allowed to eat processed foods at restaurants to do this blog and on dates.

4) If I was at a party or other such social gathering, I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted just for the sake of not being “that guy.”

5) Also, as noted in PFB’s Guide to Travel, if I was on vacasheaux, I was WAY allowed to eat anything I wanted. That’s why it’s called “vacasheaux.”

6) Cheat days: I decided to do cheat days as follows: One day good (July 1), one day cheat (July 2), two days good (July 3 and 4), one day cheat (July 5), three days good (July 6-8), one day cheat (July 9), etc. Also all holidays were deemed cheat days (so really, July 4 was a cheat day … oops). But this was really nice because I was able to ease myself into this “healthy eating” thing, like a Russian going into the water on the Day of Baptism.

The first week was pretty easy because of the plentitude of cheat days. Things got harder as the cheat days got farther and farther apart, though. The first month was the hardest because I cheated on lotsa days when I wasn’t supposed to and I was like, “Can I even do this?!!!” But I persevered. By the time it was September, I was excited because I’d made it so far and I only had two months left (only two months, I am so positive).

Eating “healthy” did things to me. Since I had the rule that I could only eat unprocessed food, it kind of put me into “fasting mode.” You know how when you’re fasting, you always are about to go eat something, but then you’re like, “Whoops, I’m fasting! Not gonna do that!” That’s basically how it was. I’d want to eat something processed, but then I’d be all like, “Oops, can’t do that right now, I’ll just eat an orange or two or five.” Obviously, since I couldn’t eat all the things I wanted, I ended up eating less, which is something most Americans should be doing anyway.

Also, I didn’t notice before, but when I was a food robot, my stomach always felt like it had a live mouse running around in it. When I stopped eating so much, my stomach quieted down. On cheat days, if I ate too much, that crazy rodent would come back and make me feel just as sick as I used to feel. It’s weird how I used to feel so sick all the time but never noticed until I stopped eating all the bad food.

When I did eat, I ate a lot, but I also got full more easily. This is probably because 1) I started eating less, so my stomach shrank and 2) the food I was eating was more filling. As Americans, most of our diet is made up of grains (crackers, cereal, granola bars, chips, sandwiches, cake, brownies, pasta, pizza). While it’s true that grains are on the bottom of the food pyramid and, therefore, we needs lots of them, we also eat a disproportionate amount when compared with the rest of our diet. We also need plenty of fruits, veggies, dairy, and meat in order to give our bodies all they need. Eating unprocessed made me put less emphasis on the less-filling grains, and more on filling, balanced eating.

My taste also began to change. Eventually, I stopped buying salted peanuts and salted butter because it began tasting too salty for me. I know that sounds cray, but it’s true.

So what did I eat? For breakfast, since I’m king of waking up as late as possible, I usually had a couple pieces of fruit (oranges and apples) or a tall glass of milk as I ran out the door. If I had time, I would make this really good oatless granola. I ate it so much that I hate it now, but it was good at the time.

For snacks, I’d eat fruit or homemade trail mix (peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, and almonds).

For lunch and dinner I ate practically the same meals because they’re kind of the same in my head. I would either cook chicken with veggies (onions, carrots, and tomatoes), make some kind of hash (beet beef hash isn’t too bad), bake chicken and potatoes, make some eggs, or make soup. I made A LOT of soup. Soup is WAY easy to make and you can make it out of anything.

When did I have the time to make all this?  I cooked a lot on Sundays and saved the leftovers in the fridge. That usually lasted me until Wednesday or Thursday (my weekend starts on Thursday, so…).

I was excited for November to come (really, October 31, since Halloween was technically a cheat day) and boy am I glad it’s here. I can make and eat any thing at any time. It was nice to be so strict for a while, but I DON’T think I could do it FOREVER.

After four months, though, I think I learned valuable things about eating in a more balanced, healthy way. I don’t see myself as a food robot anymore, and that’s a good thing.

I can think of three reasons why I was able to go the full four months:

1) I know how to cook and cook GOOD. If I didn’t know how to season/cook meat correctly, I deftotes would have hated this a lot more than I didn’t.

2) My mommy always taught me to eat healthy things (I never saw an ice cream carton in my house unless Dad could sneak it in).

3) Once I got used to the food, it wasn’t hard since I could eat AS MUCH as I wanted (and I did).

So this was a good time. Kind of a like a party in my tummy.

As for how it affected my physical appearance/buffness, here are some before-and-after shots:


So there was some, but not much, improvement.

Guys, 5 Guys

I hope that the guys at Orem Food Blog won’t get mad at me, but I ate at Five Guys and wanted to tell you the people all about it. Besides, I figure that Orem and Provo are basically the same city (except Orem has Walmart, so it’s just a teeny bit classier).

Five Guys is located up the hill by the mall and the theater (now showing “The Saratov Approach” … homeboy can’t help but make a shout out to his biopic!). I went there with two of my associates from work: T-ravisaurus Rex (my boss) and Juancho Libre (my Venezuelan). Being an Orem native, Travis had been there prior to and was, therefore, the expert. Juanchito and I were the newbies. But, man, it went swell and I’ll tell you why come.

Five Guys makes the classics and the classic only: burgers, fries, dogs, and grilled sandwiches. But it’s the classics with a twist: you can put anything from their specially-selected toppings menu on your burger or dog without extra cost. That means you can have a burger with either some or all of the following: mayo, pickles, tomatoes, barbecue sauze, grilled mushrooms, onions, or hot sauce (just to name a FEW menu items). That’s a dandy deal because there are those people that like their burgers plain and simple and those people (like me) who literally like all of the everything.

I ordered a burger and fries (kept things classysimple, just like the Five Guys menu) and warter (gotta keep that carbonated corn syrup out my system). I ordered a double cheeseburger with mayo, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, bacon, and barbecue sauze. I got my fries Cajun style, which means they were covered with all sorts of seasoning stuffs. (I’m still not entirely sure what the definition of “Cajun” is, btw, if anyone cares to enlighten me.)

First, the burger: I haven’t had a legitimately tasty home-style grilled burger since I moved away from home four years ago, but this thing was the exact equivalent. Lots of burger joints talk about being fresh, but Five Guys’ tastes as fresh as an Idaho farm cow shot in front of a school bus of children. The patties literally taste like Dad just flipped them straight off the grill on the Fourth of July.

The toppings were just all as fresh as the patty (tomatoes nice and juicy, lettuce very crisp), but if I were to go back, I would do without the mustard and grilled mushrooms because 1) too many people like mustard so I hate it and 2) the mushrooms weren’t cooked completely/didn’t have enough butter (#PaulaDeenprobz) (#isthatCajun?). Also, I think I might try the jalapeno peppers next time.

Cajun fries

I have one thing to say about the Cajun fries: DON’T. They were way too salty/paprika-y/peppery/whatevertheheckelsewasonthem-y. I tried some of Travis’s normal (not-Cajun) fries and they were acceptable. Even though they had been deep-fried, they tasted just as fresh as the burger. (In defense of the Cajun fries,  since Five Guys is so fresh and tailored, Travis said how good they are depends on who makes and seasons them that day, so maybe I just got them on a bad day).

Dern! Five Guys be so fresh, they even tell you from whence the French-fried potatoes come!

Five Guys was great and I for sure need to go back someday. They got my barbecue, they got good burgers, and their fries taste like actual potatoes, not just deep-fried pieces of mush. If I were to suggest one thing to them: AVOCADOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. That would be a dream come true. But does barbecue sauze and avocado mix? Someone tell me plz.

Magelby’s vs. Kneaders: French Toast Wars

I hate to get controversial, butt guys I had to answer the question all of Provo’s been asking for years: Which is better: Magleby’s or Kneaders French toast?
Both Magleby’s and Kneaders are similar: bakeries, both in Provo, make delicious food, I’ve eaten there, my Mom’s never been there, I’ve had dates at both places, they’re managed by humans, and (the big one) they both have all-you-can-eat French toast breakfast deals.
But which French toast is the best? Where should you hanker your hankering for French toast?
To spare you the headache (stomachache) of trying to figure it out yourself, Monsieur Gordy decided to do some investigating of himself to get the answers for you the people.
In order to adequately explain why which is wonderfulllest, I will examine several things to explain the deliciousness level of each French toast.
French Toast @ Magleby's Fresh

Thing #1: Bread

Kneaders: Made out of something called “chunky brad.” I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s chunky and cinnamony and super delicious. The texture is light but full, kind of like eating a pillow. It pulls apart real easy in your mouth. It’s kind of like eating a cinnamon roll, but not as sweet. And did I mention that these things is THICK! The most I’ve ever eaten is four slices. That’s saying something, folks.
Magleby’s: Made out of some kind of bread, probably white bread. There’s nothing super fancy about. It’s not pillowy but it is easy to chew. The egg is tasteable (a little too tasteable for my taste buds). (Btw: Just for future reference, should I spell it “tastable” or “tasteable”? Comment below to let me know what you think.)

Thing #2: Syrup

Kneaders: Good. So good. Kneaders gives you a little shot of caramel syrup to spread over your French toast every time you go up for a refill. I shouldn’t love it as much as I do, but I just can’t get enough of this syrup. It’s warm and thick, but not too thick or obnoxiously sweet like store-bought syrups. I live for it, man.
Magleby’s: Lezbeonist: I don’t like me buttermilk syrup very much. The first time I had it was on my mission. Initially, I liked it because it was kind of a novelty and I thought it was a clever alternative to maple (which is unavailable in Russia … God bless America and the 51st State!). After a while, though, I realized it was just melted butter mizzed with sugar and buttermilk, so it went from “novelty” to “drinking butter gives me the squirts.” Anyways, Magelby’s employs the method of using buttermilk syrup on its French toast. It’s not bad, but it’s WAY runny and doesn’t even taste good.

Thing #3: Fruity Freshness

Kneaders: With your first plate of French toast, Kneader’s gives you a couple sliced strawberries on the side. They’re fresh and juicy, sir. And they taste great when they’re covered in caramel syrup.
Magleby’s: So here’s where I tell all the truth, y’all: I’ve had the all-you-can-eat French toast at Kneaders, but I’ve only ever had the French toast platter at Magleby’s. As such, I don’t know if you get the same toppings with the all-you-can-eat deal or if it’s different if you order just get the platter. Anyway, the platter comes topped with caramelized strawberries and bananas. Sounds good, right? But it isn’t too good. It just tastes like old strawberries and old bananas. Not nearly as fresh and delicious as Kneaders.

The Winner!!

Kneaders! Sorry, Magelby’s, but your bread is too thin and your syrup so runny, it just makes everything soggy and less-than-saintly. On the other hand, the combo of Kneader’s pillowy “chunky brad” with it’s perfectly sweet caramel syrup and fresh strawberries make me want to eat a million slices of French toast even if my stomach maxes out at four. If you are missing anything in your life, a couple plates of this French toast will fill whatever void you might have.
What other Provo restaurants are similar but different? Comment and let me know which restaurants you think should go head-to-head next!

I ran to Rancherito’s

I didn’t really. I just went there after floating down the Provo River with some friends (something that should be on everyone’s Provo bucket list, btw — butt don’t go until August otherwise the water will be butt-freezing cold). After two hours of sitting hunched in a heavy-duty tube as your friends try to push you into the water while you shout, “Stop it! I don’t want to get my sunglasses wet!” nothing can beat Mexican food.

Rancherito’s is in the snazzy part of Provo: right across from D.I. and surrounded by every impound lot in the city. There’s also some foliage. It’s open 24/7 so that you can meet your Mexican needs any time of day.

The decor at Rancherito’s is especially nice: bright colors, fancy metal wall hangings, and classy tile. If you’ve ever driven through a San Diego neighborhood in close proximity to both a Taco Bell and Catholic church, you’ll know what I’m talking about. ¡Holas, muchachos puedemos aprender tiene!

So before I start freaking out about how good the food is, I’ll describe other things to you. I’ll admit that before I came to Rancherito’s, I had yet to find a Mexican food place in Provo that made food up to Provo Food Blog’s Mexican Food Quality Standards (which we can acronymize as PFBMFQS). The places I had eaten at where too bland or had too much bang and not enough of that Mexicany zang; the food was Mexican’t, not Mexican.

When I ate at Rancherito’s, I finally realized all this. It’s like something had been missing in my life, but I didn’t realize until I found it. It’s like I had ended a journey I didn’t know I was on. It’s like I had filled a hole I didn’t know I had. It was like holding your own cat for the first time.

Now let me tell you why come the food is so good.

I ordered the Carne Asada Burrito. This little number is made of perfectly tender steak seasoned to zangy goodness, the perfect amount of pico de gallo, and GUACAMOLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! It really is to die for, especially the guacamole part. They take them avocados, moosh up to the perfect texture, then put just the right amount of seasoning to enhance that delicious avocado taste. Man, I die, man. Dig a hole and bury me in 6 feet of mooshed avocado Rancherito goodness. Deeeeeeyuung.

Eating at Rancherito’s is an experience you’ll look back on again and again until you go there again. If you think there’s a better Mexican place in Provo, let me know. In the mean time, I want some guacamole.

Guys, don’t hate me, but I love Guru’s

Whenever someone from the outside world comes to visit me, when it’s time for lunch, I ask, “What are you in the mood for? Mexican? Asian? Italian?” And no matter what they say, we go to Guru’s.

Of course, anyone who’s been to Guru’s knows that their food isn’t authentic. Your burrito won’t taste like there’s an abuelita cooking in the kitchen, but it WILL taste veryveryveryvery good. (However, I noticed that there are a lot of Mexicans that work back in the kitchen, so maybe that helps some.)

Guru’s is everything that Provo wants to be: hipster, but the kind that doesn’t lose their teeth or get AIDS. It finds a way to stand out from other experiences without being too out-there and crazy. In some ways, we are all gurus (which I think is why they call it that).

Guru’s says that it offers healthy food, but don’t let that fool you. The food is anything but bland, dry, or saltless. Flavorful pastas, mouth-watering wraps, defrickinlicious quesadillas. Dang. I don’t know how healthy the food is, but I do know it’s good all day, er’day.

Have you ever noticed how some Mormons look the same? Like, their facial features. Round, blue eyes. Front teeth that are just a teeny bit bigger than usual? The same balding pattern? The people who look like that probably have the same pioneer ancestor. Maybe I should start asking. I mean, I’d only have to ask who their great great great great grandparents were and then see if they’re all related to the same person. I think it might be a Scandinavian look.

I should stop writing in public places. I get distracted.

The best part of Guru’s is the fry sauce. Homeboy don’t know what goes into it, but it smacks of barbecue sauze, which, as we all learned yesterday, I LOVES me the barbecue sauze. Put that fry sauce on fries, put it on a wrap, put it on a sandwich, put it on your family — it makes anything better.

Guru’s sweet potato fries with their fry sauce. Good thing
looking at something is just as good as eating it. NOT.

So, just soes you know, y’all should eat at Guru’s and y’all should expect more posts from me about Guru’s.

I hit a wall and ate it

So last year, BYU tore down Outdoors Unlimited on campus and built a restaurant called The Wall.

First off, I’m a bit split about Outdoors Unlimited being torn down. It was nice to have that store because there was an automatic air pump outside that I used to pump up my bike tires. Butt I never actually went inside, so it was kind of useless if you get down to it.

Whoa. I’m typing this on the first floor of the BYU library and there’s this lady making tons of copies with a photocopier. Am I allowed to use the photocopier? Holy cow.

So BYU built a restaurant called “The Wall” to fill in the empty space. Initially, I was hesitant about the whole thing because it reminded me of when the Awful Waffle relocated to the crazappy new location in The Village (now I never want to go there because of all the clean fashion people I could potentially see … with the exception of Noah Robins). The Wall felt like it was trying to give off the hipster vibe of We’re-a-hole-in-the-wall-but-also-we’re-super-popular-and-make-our-employees-wash-their-hands. So it didn’t feel authentic, I guess.

Anyway, but I went there and, even though it does give off a little bit of a fake-hipster aura, I think it’s one of the classiest places to hang in Provo, especially if you put its food in your mouth.

I was there to listen to the legit sweetsick band Tri-Polar Bear (tripolarbearisthebestbandeverjointhearmy) play and to hang with some of my best bud friends.

I was feeling a little bit of a hungry, but I didn’t know what to order for food. Luckily, my old roommate’s wife’s sister works there, so I didn’t have to break social norms and talk to someone I don’t know. I said, “Hey, Marley! What’s good to eat here?” (I had to shout because the music was too loud. #halfofmehatesliveconcerts) She said, “Get the Wall Burger. It’s really good.” (She was also shouting.) So I did.

The Wall Burger is the best burger I’ve ever put in my mouth on BYU campus. There’s nothing super fancy about it, it’s just put together very well (like a classy lady). The patty was perfectly grilled, the lettuce was crunchy and crisp, the tomatoes were a perfect compliment to all other parts of the burger, and the cheese was dericiously melty.

What made the burger, though, what MADE the burger was the bun and sauce. The bun was quality multigrain. Both sides were sweet and thick (Y’know how the bottom bun is usually thinner than the top? I think they used the top bun for both sides.), but they were light enough to easily chew through. The sauce was to DIE for, darling. There was some kind of sauce that I don’t remember (but it was grood) and BARBECUE sauze. If there’s one thing Gordy loves, it’s BARBECUE sauze. It’s just so tangy but sweet but spicy. It’s everything that makes America great. However, too much sauce is ALWAYS a bad thing. This burger hit it right in the sweet spot: not too much, not too little, just the right amount of sauze to make my tongue drool like a dog that can’t feel one side of its face.

Man, I want to go back.

The fries were just like the burger: classically done and qualit-tay. They were crunchy on the outside but soft and warm on the inside. My insides liked them.

So friends, if you’re ever on the BYU campus and you want to spend some quality time at a quality place with some quality food, eat The Wall.

Don’t be fooled, it’s a restaurant: Chic-Fil-A

PFB Article of Faith #1:

I believe that fast food can be good, but that it is often disappointing and poopy.
As you may recall, I wrote a really good blog post about which fast food restaurants I do and do not approve of. Not included on the list of approved fast food was Chic-Fil-A. I have a really, really good reason for this: Up until recent history, I was under the impression that Chic-Fil-A was a brand of frozen chicken and nothing more. Like, the logo’s just really bland and looks like something that should be wrapped around some chicken breasts.
BUTT then there was all that hubbub last summer about Chic-Fil-A and I got to find out that it is actually a restaurant. However, I also found out that it’s a FAST FOOD restaurant and, therefore, I thought it was probably disappointing and poopy, so I never bothered eating there, much to the shock of some people (actually, only southerners were shocked by this).
Well, people, Chic-Fil-A just opened up in the Cougareat, so I decided to go down with some of my homeboys and test it out.
Chic-Fil-A’s menu is veryvery simple: they got some chicken sandwich, they got some spicy chicken sandwich, and they got some other things. This visit, I decided to jump in head first and order the spicy chicken sandwich and waffle fries (I kept things cool by getting the warter too).
Let me tell you, Chic-Fil-A is a PFB-approved fast food restaurant. Their sandwich is qualit-tay: juicy, flavorful chicken (not spongy like at other places), crisp, fresh lettuce, and a tasty tomato. And that’s it! If you want mayo on your sandwich, instead of some crazy person putting it on and drowning everything, you can put it on there yourself. I personally put ketchup, mayo, and their Chic-Fil-A sauce on the bottom of the chicken patty. It was very good. (The Chic-Fil-A sauce is definitely something you want to try: it’s sweet, but has a little bit of su’msu’m in it to make it more than sweet).
I’m afraid to talk about the spiciness because the only other time I’ve had something spicy on this blog, other people told me that I must have a low spice-tolerance. For the record, I enjoy spicy things fine, but when spiciness gets in the way of my eating, I don’t enjoy it. Anyway, the spicy chicken sandwich was good, butt I think I would’ve enjoyed the regular chicken sandwich better. There, done.
Now the waffle fries. At first glance, they don’t look like much. I thought they looked barely deep-fried or salted enough to be edible. That is, until I put them in my mouth. Antoine Dodson said they “got some crispiness” to them, and the boy is RIGHT. They’re nice and crizzby on the outside and soft on the inside, with just the perfect amount of salt. I literally spent the next two days wanting to go back and order more.
So don’t call me crazy, but I’m crazy about Chic-Fil-A. It’s definitely a PFB-approved fast food restaurant.

The Burger is Crowning

So I know the the P in “PFB” stands for “PROVO,” butt I need to tell you the people about Crown Burgers in Salt Lake becuz it’s real good. But the reason I ate there is linked to Provo, so I’ll start there.

So since the Provo Temple is closed right now for maintenance and will be until August the tenth (it will also be closed from the end of November to the beginning of January, btw), I’m temple hopping. This year, I’ve visited Draper, Manti, Mt. Timp, and (now) Salt Lake (I realsy like the Draper and Manti temples, btw).

So I went to the Salt Lake Temple and it was GREAT.

I took a last-minute pic of the SLC Temple while driving away.
It’s not that clear, but neither are those pictures
the Hubble Telescope takes sometimes.

Anyway, I don’t know how you and yours do things, but me and mine have a tradition to eat at certain restaurants after visiting certain temples. When the fam and I go to the Medford Oregon Temple, we eat at Abby’s Pizza. When we go to the Sacramento Temple, we eat at some Mexican restaurant that’s past the railroad tracks, across the street and in a cul-de-sac type thing (or something). Well, everr time I go to the Salt Lake Temple, I’ve eaten at Crown Burgers, which is literally, like, down the street from the temple and conference center.

Eating at Crown Burgers is definitely an all-around fancypants experience. It’s like a cross between a fast food joint and Queen Lizzie’s living room. The front is all business: cashiers, grills, and the hustle/bustle of a fast food restaurant. Meanwhile, the back is decorated like an Edwardian hunting club: stuffed pheasants, fanzzy statues, deer etched into glass, and furniture upholstered with brass buttons. Swankytown here we come.

I want my living room to look like this.

The first time I ate at Crown Burgers was with my future bil Samwise Hoarder. He raved about Crown Burgers’ Crown Burger (the namesake of the restaurant): a cheeseburger with pastrami on it. Me, not being adventurous, was a bit hesitante about the pastrami, so I just played it safe with a normal cheeseburger last time.

THIS time, however, I decided to get more adventurous so that you the people could know whether or not Crown Burgers’ Crown Burger is any good.

Well, son, let me tell you: pastrami truly is the crown on the Crown Burger. Imagine a super great cheeseburger with crunchy/oniony onions, juicy tomatoes, crispee lettuce, gooey cheese, the perfect patty AND pastrami wedged between two buns. It’s a mouthful, but the pastrami reminded me of having a crap-ton of bacon on the burger. It wasn’t crunchy, but it wasn’t chewy either: it was easy to bite through and included all the meaty goodness of bacon in every bite. I’ve had pastrami at other places, butt the way this pastrami was cooked, seasoned, and delivered made me think hard about bacon and I loved every minute of it.

Bil Samwise enjoying the crap out of his Crown Burger.

Along with the Crown Burger, I ordered fries and a chocolate shake.

The fries were good: crispy and thick. Good for dipping and eating.

The shake tasted exactly like a fudgsicle. It was uber chocolatey and thick as a beaver pelt. I definitely got some spoon action up in thar. 

So next time your Provo Temple closes, come up to Salt Lake with the cool kids. Sit down for a sesh and enjoy Crown Burgers.

PFB’s Guide to Travel

Traveling is something that people have to do on a daily basis. Some people travel across state lines. Some people probably go to the store. Others might go to Russia. Wherever you’re travels take you, you’ll definitely have to eat something some of the time. And for that reason, I present PFB’s Guide to Travel.

First off, eat all the food. Vacation time is NOT a time to torture yourself with self-imposed “health rules.” Vacations lower people’s risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and pregnancy. You’re already doing your body a favor, so why do a double negative and eat healthy too?

Second, avoid horrible nasty awful fast food. When you travel, your fellow travel mates will probably want to eat at questionable fast food restaurants in order to save “time/money.” While choosing a fast food joint, remember that eating is meant for enjoyment and not simply to “cure hunger.” As such, you must make sure that the fast food you eat is more food than fast food. Below is a list of fast food that I approve of (note that some of these establishments can only be found in certain geologic locations):

  • Carl’s Junior’s
  • Subway’s
  • A&W’s
  • In-N-Out’s
  • JCW’s
  • Chipotle’s
  • Krispy Kreme’s

    Third, eat as much as possible. If you’re visiting someone, part of being a good guest is eating as much of the host’s food as possible. A nice way to say, “Thank you, I appreciate your love/attention/presence/food,” is to eat everything available to you to eat. If that means you have to eat two bowls of cereal, an egg sandwich, a Pop-Tart, and eight pancakes for breakfast; a sloppy joe, chips, veggies, and dip for lunch; steak, taters, corn, beans, and ice cream for dinner; followed by an all-you-can-eat buffet, then so be it. If, by the end of your vacation, you don’t feel like this, you’re doing something wrong:

    Next time you travel, keep these things in mind. It’ll help you make friends, enemies, and everyone else along the way. And don’t forget the number one rule of vacasheaux: Do not distrupt!

    Leggo my Russian apples

    (Craig’s Cuts is not a food place.)

    So this week, I wanted to do something new for the Provo Food Blog: try to make food from a recipe that I’ve never tried before and post a how-to/step-by-step guide on how to do said recipe. Turns out, this was a bad idea. Apparently, if you’re going to teach someone how to do something, you need to be able to do it competently yourself. Oops.

    So, first off, I was given a mission cookbook my first day in Russia. In my mission, missionaries didn’t eat with members very often, so if you wanted to eat good, y’all had to learn to do it yourself. I assume the cookbook was compiled by some senior sisters or the APs because most of the recipes are American, but there is a section of Russian recipes.

    On my mission, I decided I would try to make one new recipe a week so that I could try new things and learn how to cook. Well, it’s been nearly four years since the Russia Samara Mission Cookbook and I first met, and I’ve gone from making lots of crappy cooking mistakes to getting as good at cooking as sharks are at having black, soulless eyes.

    Anyway, whoever compiled this cookbook (whether it was senior sisters or some lousy APs) didn’t completely realize they were writing it for missionaries in Russia who can’t find many American ingredients a lot of the time (like Worcestshire sauce or cornmeal) and don’t have fancy kitchen appliances (like mixers).

    As such, after I make a recipe, I write in the margins any adjustments I would do, like extra ingredients, substitute ingredients, a variation in cooking time, etc. It makes me feel like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when I do it, so I’m not planning on stopping any time soon.

    One of my first dishes: Hawaiian Chicken with flour substituted for cornstarch, tangerine slices substituted for orange slices, and no pineapple chunks because Elder Olsen don’t like those (in Balakovo, Russia!).

    Anywayz, so off to why this week’s recipe didn’t turn out so good.

    I was working in the Russian section of the cookbook, making a dessert called “Apples Under Snow.” I’d never heard of it/had it before, butt it was in the cookbook, so I was going to make it! I assume that it was supposed to be a baked apple delight with crust on the bottom, apples in the middle, and white frosting on top. That’s not how it turned out.

    First, I was supposed to “peak” egg whites. I’d never separated eggs before and I didn’t know what “peak” meant, so I googled how to do both. Eggs can be separated by cracking an egg in half, then pouring out the white into a bowl while leaving the yolk in the shell (or you can just crack the eggs into a bowl and pull the unbroken yolk out with your hands … I won’t tell you which method I chose).

    As for peaking egg whites, apparently you’re just supposed to beat them really hard until they’re white and foamy and stand up a bit when you pull the whisk out. Also, apparently you’re supposed to use an electric mixer to do this, cuz I used a whisk and my muscles, but after a half hour of beating, all I got was half runny egg whites, half foamy (butt nott peaked) egg whites.

    Second, the recipe said to make the dough by combining two and a half sticks of butter (actually, it said 250 grams, but I rounded it to two and a half sticks) with three tablespoons of flour. Needless to say, my dough looked like this:

    If that looks like a bunch of butter greased to the bottom of a cooking pan, it’s bacuz it iz.

    The rest of it went okay. I added cinnamon to the apples because I’m Merican and I know how to make a grood appo pie.

    The frosting on top was supposed to be the peaked egg whites mixed with a crapton of sugar, so I took my almost-peaked egg whites and mixed it with the crapton of sugar.

    The recipe also told me to freeze a little bit of the dough, then grate it on to the top of everything before I baked it. I thought that was weird, butt then I thought, “Russia,” and I did it anyway.

    Last, the recipe told me to bake for thirty minutes at 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. I thought that might be a little too high/a huge gap between temperatures, butt again I thought, “Russia,” and did it anyways. After smelling what I thought was burning, I turned the temp down to 350 and shortened the baking time a bit.

    Now, I’m not sure if the egg white/sugar thing was supposed to puff up and be fluffy and white (like snow), but everything just turned brown/blackish in the end. Maybe the recipe should have been called “Apples Under Black Mold.”

    The crust turned into a bunch of melted butter/crumble-like stuff (you can see it glistening in the bottom of the pan in the pic) and the egg white/sugar combo caramelized all along the edge of the pan and all over the apples. The apples baked perfectly and were super soft and moist. Obviously, with the crapton of sugar and butter, this stuff tasted great, but was a mess to clean up afterward.

    I ate mine on top of ice cream, which I think is probably the best way to eat anything. And, since I’m such a good brother, I shared with my sister and her huzbond.

    They really liked it too.
    After making this recipe, I googled “Apples Under Snow” to see how to do it the right way. Turns out, the Internet doesn’t even know about this recipe, leading me to think that it may not a real Russian recipe/a real recipe at all. Oh you sneaky sneaky senior sisters/lousy APs.

    Burrito monster in my stomach

    Let me tell you: I love rice and beans, but they don’t love me, especially when they’re mizzed with hot sauce.

    This week I took a little excursion to a place on the east side of Provo ironically called West Mountain Burrito (I don’t know whether it’s named after a mountain around here or what, but the mountains in Provo are definitely to the east if you ask me).

    This place is spankin’. It’s located where the Awful Waffle used to be, but unlike the Awful Waffle, it actually has seating arrangements with a fancy covering to protect eaters from the sun, rain, hail, snow, thunder, lightning, rain mixed with hail, snow mixed with hail, thunder with lighting, thunder with rain, rain with lighting, and all other sorts of weather.

    A special highlight of MWB is the artwork along the eatery area. I heard that some crazy cool rocker art dude did it, but I just googled it to find out for sure, and I didn’t get no info about it (what the h, Meredith?!!). I like it, though, because it reminds me of leaves reflecting off the surface of a pond onto the ceiling or wall of something next to the pond.

    This place was a little bit fancy: the food here is locally grown and organic. When I’m eating out, I don’t really care too much about healthiness, butt I can roll with it when it tastes good.

    On this trip, nobody accompanied me, but I wasn’t lonely or nothin’: I sat next a trash can and that was good enough for me.

    Food here comes in three different sizes: mini, regular, and giant. Mini is probably as much as you should eat, regular is for those want to go the extra mile, and giant is for those people who really don’t know what’s good for them.

    Even though it’s a burrito place, I ordered the regular Chicken Chimichanga.

    The chimichanga was stuffed with brown rice, pinto beans, cheese, and (b-duh) chicken with a big ol’ scoop of pico de gallo on the side. For an extra dollar, I went deluxe and got sour cream, GUUUUUUACAMOOOOOOLE!, and salsa on the side because if I have the choice of living with or without avocado, I choose with. It’s just the kind of person I am. And I was given a complimentary side of hot sauce by the lovely cash register girl (service here was great, by the way).

    If you’re a hot sauce lover, you’ll love this stuff: it’s literally the devil. Made from jalapenos that grow in the deserts of the sun, it tasted like someone sandpapered my tongue, poured acid on the inside of my cheeks, and punched a hole in the roof of my mouth with a rhino tusk. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but crazy hot sauce lovers might be.

    The rest of the chimichanga was pretty chill. It was just rice and beans wrapped in a deep-fried tortilla. The flavor was very simple. The seasonings were not overdone at all. I mean, it’s an organic chimichanga, so it’s not gonna be too cray-cray bursting with all sorts of crazy things or else it would explode whilst it was being deep fried and that would be gross. Even so, I wish I had ordered something else.

    The guac, salsa, and sour cream were really good and qualit-tay. They were welcome additions: the guac and salsa added more flavour and the sour cream toned down the devil hot sauce.

    I meant to take another shot halfway through eating to show you guys how “artistic” and foodsy I am, but I got in the zone while I was eating and I forgot to, so I just took an after shot.

    So overall, I wouldn’t get the chimichanga or devil hot sauce again, but I would give Mountain West Burrito another chance.

    On my way home a saw a restaurant called Craig’s Cuts. I think maybe it’s a rib place? I’ll have to go there next week.