While flipping through my phone this week, I clicked into the pictures folder for the first time in several months, and I was surprised that the card held around 300 photos. Because I own a 4 year old LG VX9100 that's barely half a step up from a "dumb phone" and features a lackluster 2 mp camera, I generally only take pictures with it for the purpose of taunting my friends or for reinforcing a point over the course of a text conversation. That practice yielded a bizarre collection of images that when viewed out of context raised some troubling questions, and I noticed that, oddly enough, a number of them were of food in various states of consumption. No, really. I realize that "pictures of some idiot's boring lunch" have become a contemptible cliche across various social media sites, so...enjoy! ;-)
Despite a tendency to make terrible choices where diet is concerned, I try to eat healthy foods. This is a good example of a typical lunch on a work day. I believe this photo was taken and sent to a friend after she informed me that her lunch was a can of Slim Fast. I'm not a fan of that.
This is the opposite of the photo above. It's Nachos Del Grande or something like that from Taco Bell with a tankard(?) of Mt. Dew. I ate this on the way to a gig at Clyde Iron Works in Duluth MN. It wasn't very good, but...neither was the food backstage at the show, so...
I LOVE breakfast, and as a "creepy old guy," I love eggs with gravy...in...um...moderation. My sons and I make it a point to visit Alden's Family Restaurant in Biwabik MN at least one Saturday or Sunday morning every month...usually more. All of their food is consistently good, the staff is friendly and efficient, the atmosphere is warm - amazingly warm for a small town cafe, actually - the prices are low, and they make a very solid plate of biscuits and gravy. Yum.
Unlike the delicious home-cooked meal made by Alden himself in the photo above, this Perkin's breakfast was simply awful. Due to a series of unfortunate events, my family "settled" and wound up at Perkin's in Duluth after attending the ballet in December. SOME of us were in the mood for "breakfast for dinner." Perkins is truly the "wal-mart of food," and despite its somewhat appetizing appearance, this was one of the most tasteless, ill-prepared plates of garbage I ever attempted to eat. PLEASE, people of the world, do NOT patronize "corporate food!" The small, one-of-a-kind family-owned eateries ALWAYS provide a superior dining experience.
This is the "kitchen table" at my friend's hunting shack near the Canadian border. There are olives for one to drop in one's beer, assorted condiments, 3 brands of admittedly bad beer, a bag of generic Doritos, a 500,000 candle power spot light, and a bag of dog food. Perkin's could learn a LOT from atmosphere at "the shack."
Here's another example of some interesting "gig-related fare." Bub's in Winona MN ("It's pronounced BOOBS because it's German!" said the lovely and enthusiastic young waitress...) is one of my favorite places to eat in one of the greatest towns on earth. Preoccupied by the BIG show that was less than two hours away and distracted by the fact that they had Surly Furious on tap AND it was happy hour, I opened the extensive menu and...really, for the first time in my life...resolved to blindly point at the menu and order the item on which my finger landed. This grilled pastrami on rye was VERY good...like EVERY other item on the menu. Matt Ray and two of Those Damn Horses left happy.
I snapped the photo above while my pre-show anxiety level hovered around a 6 out of 10, but this fantastic candid shot of Cheerios and fleece blankie time happened during an episode of calm relaxation. Mmmmmm...cereal.
This is just plain embarrassing, but...dumpster level food porn happens. I was in Babbitt MN for work and had a bit of a "freak out" and ate "food" from a gas station, so...there you go. I washed down this horrific...yet delicious...mess of heart poison / stroke fuel with a can of icy cold Mt. Dew. Got distracted driving? Just kidding. I was parked.
I did mention that 90% of my lunches during the work week are fairly healthy, right? If I'm not in a position to bring a container of my lovely Mrs' soup from home, Natural Harvest Food Co-op in Virginia MN has an amazing deli, and the friendly folks who staff the counter there serve up not only perfect soups but also GOOD humor. Yes, that IS buffalo / wild rice / cranberry jerky, and NO you can't have my awesome red Swingline stapler.
What is my current favorite breakfast? My wife and I make it a point to do a "Duluth Day" at least once a month, and on those days we take off from work, drop the kids off at school at 7:30, and arrive in "The Zenith City" around 9 a.m. We inevitably head to The Duluth Grill which is TRULY on the very short list of the best places to eat in all of Northern Minnesota. Over the last 5 years, we've tried numerous items from the extensive and diverse menu, but lately I've been "stuck" on the Huevos Rancheros with Chorizo. I'm NOT kidding or being dramatic here; if you're into food and live within 500 miles of this place, GO there and check it out.
My current favorite work day lunch is the Black Bean Burrito from La Cocina y Cantina in downtown Virginia MN. Ordered "with no cheese inside and half the usual amount of cheese on top," it comes with a lovely salad on the side and contains sauteed scallions and peppers alongside the beans. The atmosphere is perfect, and the staff is fast and friendly to the point that my Mrs. and I can be in and out in 30 minutes or so.
Ok, to be fair, my other current favorite breakfast is the country fried steak and eggs from the Woodbury Cafe in Woodbury MN. We refer to it as "chicken fried" due to the history of the dish, but...Minnesota IS a "blue state," so... Hehe. Oh, and it's soooo good that more than half of it vanished before I snapped a taunting photo to send to my oldest son.
Here's another photo from this week that was sent to my wife and younger son who were at soccer while my older son and I enjoyed "Tuesday burger night" at The Wandering Pines in Gilbert MN. A "buck fitty" for a burger and $2.50 happy hour pints of Summit? Please.
So, there's a pile of crazy yet fascinating photos of food that misrepresent my normal eating habits. Lucky YOU, dear reader. ;-) I'm exhausted from photo editing, so...it's time for a mediocre bloody mary and a snit of awful tap beer from a bad "logging industry-themed" establishment in Mt. Iron MN. I would have ordered the "deluxe" bloody mary, but...it was $8, and it's lesser cousin was uneventful. Thanks for reading. :-)