Oh that’s right – February is upon us which means 3 things: SuperBowl, Arizona Statehood Day (commonly mistaken for st. valentine’s day) and the Phoenix Open or “The Greatest Show on Grass!” (now commonly mistaken for the Waste Management Open). Let’s look at each for their own merits.
The SuperBowl – now as you know when it comes to sports, I really could care less who’s playing. I pick my team generally based on this question – which team’s city would I rather be watching the game in some shady bar? Needless to say this year was a no-brainer – the Big Easy baby. As much fun as shoveling the foot of snow out of my driveway in Indy before getting to watch the game sounds like a swell time and all. But I’d much rather be grabbin a crawfish po-boy with extra remoulade off of St. Charles and having a car-bomb parade of my own. Regardless it’s always a good glutenous event. I went down to the Emporess’ to watch with a dozen slabs of ribs in tow. Which, we made the last minute call to just pull all the meat and make sando’s rather than dealing with 120 loose bones laying about – best decision of the day. Yeah saints win – ok I’m over the Superbowl.
Arizona Statehood Day. Why do I call February 14th that? Because that is what it is – something of value (though not as much as 4 years ago) was given to the world – February 14th, 1912 Arizona became an official state in the Union. Little fat guy’s in diapers have never actually flown down from the heavens shooting love tipped arrows at people. Thus, St. Valentine’s Day is a commercialized farce of a holiday. There is no cause for celebration to deal with the baggage that now comes along rather it be the stress of who, how much, and where (this section was much much longer but you can thank the Editor for limiting my babble). But I have to say this – DO NOT GO TO A RESTAURANT. The food is not going to be exceptionally better than any other night. In fact, in most cases the food will be of a lesser quality and selection because the kitchen is mass par cooking everything in preparation of never getting behind – once you’re behind on a night like that you’re fukd. At my first (and best) kitchen in Dallas, the power actually went out in the middle of valentine’s service. We cooked for what felt like hours by the light of candles that had been commandeered from the guests’ tables still we killed it – that is animal style (in retrospect, this was actually my favorite experience in a professional kitchen ever). The second reason, not to go out is because the waitstaff is going to blow. You’re at a prefixed rate they know exactly how much money they’re going to get off you before you even sit down. Therefore, there is no reason for them to pay you any special attention – it’s all about turn & burn for those vultures on that night.
Instead, I find it to be a much better opportunity to get together and have a great home cooked meal with a friend or friends. Drink a bunch of wine and cook with each other – those that are seriously more trouble in the kitchen than help. Well, they can just make sure nobody’s glass gets too low and adjust the playlist. And don’t try to make some ridiculously complicated new recipe – just sex-up some of your go to dishes. This whole concept is about avoiding unnecessary stress. I preach this concept a lot I know – this is the one day you really should take my advice. Save the money to go out on a night when you’ll really get to EXPERIENCE great dining. Just not on the 14th – you’ll get shorted. That’s it – done with that one.
The Phoenix Open – imagine the PGA & NASCAR having a baby… That my friends is the Phoenix Open. Truth. Check back at the end of the month for a wrap-up on the Open’s food, drink & people watching, but don’t get your hopes up for any golf scores. That is not why this event is so great.
Also, check back for the next Weekly Dish. Yes I’ve been slacking lately but i’m blaming that on H1N1. The Dish will be back at its usual time & location moving forward.
Cheers – Slavo