Jermaine’s pollo asado entrée sucked

A human services professional, multi-purpose athlete, part-time PC builder, and enjoyer of long boards, mountain bikes, and cheesecake, Jermaine is a contributing blogger to the Roaringgame.wordpress.com

While typical daily meals consist of tuna rice or tuna pasta, this week Jermaine made a special effort to spice it up, with varying results. 

 

 

 

Monday, June 03, 2013
Alarm A lets me know it is 6am. Double snooze. Go time!

After consuming leftover organic penne, tomato purée, and tuna only 4 hours ago, I can afford to skip breakfast. Parmesan crack cheese didn’t make the party last night as I left “my precious” at the Brooklyn apartment from which I recently emigrated. The flavors I’ll have from now till 10am will be Newark, New Jersey tap water, I won’t argue against that being interpreted pejoratively, and Crest Pro-Health.

Walk – – > – Bus – – > – Train – – >- Subway – – >- Walk – – >- Work by 8:15am

The minerals in the public de l’eau (fancy, right) hold me over until 10am. From my desk drawer, a secret weapon: 40oz. of Bob’s Red Mill swiss muesli. Wheat, date crumbles, sunflower seeds, raisins, rye, barley, oats, almonds, sunshine, rainbows, soaring eagles and other things ground and dried beyond recognition. I heat it up in the office radiation box with the perfect proportion of sweetened Almond Breeze Vanilla.

What does it mean when employees from your Middle Eastern branch drop by your NYC location? Semi-decently swine-less catered lunch leftovers. I snag two whole wheat turkey sandwich halves. Something about them just doesn’t add up to a whole.

A post-work adventure involves my second ever-dining experience at Bareburger on LaGuardia Street. in N.Y.U.-city.

“Bison or boar, bison or boar?” Triumph or die, I’m going with elk on a multi-grain roll. It comes with barbecue habanero sauce, applewood smoked bacon, and fresh-cut French fries. Greens? ::raspberry:: One mistake however; I ordered it medium-well done. The flavor and fat was cooked out of it [♪wilting Pac-Man♪]

Oh well. At least I got to be on Team STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE!!!

Walk – – > Subway – – > Train – – > Bus – – > Walk – – > Home by 9:15pm

IMG_5028

Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Alarm A. Cancel. Alarm B at 6:12am. OH RIGHHHHT, that job thing I do. I may only be pretending upon waking that I can still taste last night’s pre-slumber mouthwash. No leftovers to look forward to so it’s another date with Ms. Muesli.

I manage the first 13 hours of awake-ed-ness on my Swiss birdseed. Once home, I set up my Zojirushi NS-TSC-18 rice cooker to get started on steamed brown rice and chunk tuna – a 2-hour process. If you regularly utilize a rice cooker and yours does not have a “fuzzy logic” temp regulating chip, you’re been doing it all wrong.

I decide not to waste the gorgeous 72F day and jog a 10K.

Pre-run, I scarf 5 cubes of Tanka Bites buffalo cranberry jerky for protein and half a pack of dried mango strips for pallet pleasure. (Peeled Snacks: Much-ado-about-Mango). Time: 48 minutes 52 seconds. I’m back just after sunset. To my surprise given how little I’ve consumed up to this point today, I’ve passed Toblerones twice already today, 3 times including my post-run chocolate delivery. I think my number of daily shipments have increased with age. Should I eat less? Is this normal?

I eat half of the perfectly fluffed rice mix. Zzzzz…

Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Thank the Lord of Tuna Rice, I have leftovers! Yesterday’s run has increased my usual appetite 2-fold. Rice is knocked out by 9:30am. More swiss mix at noon. For narrative color, you should know that my work water bottle is a de-labeled emerald Grolsch flip-top beer bottle. Occasionally co-workers joke as to the potential of fermented nature of the contained liquid. I put up no defense against these accusations.

Working in central-west Harlem, I feel let down by the number of pizza options. Dollar slices, no tax, were one of my favorite parts of working in downtown Brooklyn when that was a thing I did. Alas, I continue to choose air grinders over White Castle sliders. ‘
Tonight:  Indian food off Central Park West at Alachi Masala.

At some point I should make a deal with my brain to learn at least five or so Indian dishes by their original name. Until then, I will continue to choose anything that has chicken in the description.

Today’s winner: buttered chicken, or chicken makhani. Another flav-gasm induced by Indian cuisine. It’s pretty much not fair how never disappointed I am every time consume this culture’s standard fair.

**Bonus Round**. Again in the wee hours I make a simple wheat entrée. This time, couscous! A deserving exclamation as this is my virginal attempt. Butter, salt, water. And after the fifth minute of cooling I did taste of it, and found that it was good.

IMG_5029
Thursday, June 6, 2013
PAY DAY SUCKAH! My dietary options are un-limited! Yes, ‘under-a-limit’, as  imposed by student loans and credit card payments.

First up, my perfunctory consumption of the couscous of yore before 10am and muesli by 1pm. Nothing else.

The first 5pm stop: Bier International on Frederick Douglass Blvd in Harlem.

Still so used to my New Jersey ways, and to the slight dismay of my companion, I forgot to bring a debit card or cash, as I’ve recently joined the try-and-earn-rewards-points-on-everything-cult. Hence, my utility belt is reduced to I.D., metrocard, and credit card. My Duvel Single is ‘on the house’. I promise to make it up at our following destination: Cascabel Taqueria.

This is my first time at either location. I’m beginning to sense a malaise amongst not-quite-bar restaurants around the city. The air is friendly but has hints of guarantee. The idea that two people will absolutely spend at least $50 to eat a properly sized meal meal so long as the décor is more original than Olive Garden and the dishes 2 clicks north of that struggling mom & pop eatery on the south side of town, you’ll continue unquestioningly participating in budget bourgeois foodie-ism.

All this is to say that my pollo asado entrée sucked. As in, it was encased in a vacuum where flavor should have been. It was rust-colored paste on chicken, the consistency of which was somewhere between boiled and baked. Juicy, but lacking the minerals, seasonings, or texture to give it any character. And this disturbed me because the baked cheese and beef tortilla appetizer was wonderful, as were my friend’s carne asada tacos. The experience upset me because of the double-edge sword it forges. Do you keep weak menu options to entice potential first-timers despite the possibility they may never return? My modelo negro served as no compliment.

Friday, June 7th, 2013
‘Round midnight I cooked up my more usual tupperware’s worth of penne, tomato sauce, olive oil, and tuna for lunchtime the next day. Chomped and compacted by 11am, I figured I’d coast through c.o.b*.

I don’t know if this is too generationally specific but PSYYYCHE! A surprise for my large intestine, our supervisor is taking us out for lunch…. To Applebee’s… [Same facial expression as hearing death by snoo snoo – Futurama]

It’s been maybe 2 or 3 years since I’ve been to an Applebee’s so I can’t recall how high up the decent ladder they’ve climbed.

This one is right on 125th street in Harlem. 2 for $26 special. I ordered blackened tilapia with diced potatoes and vegetables, a decision based on both wanting seafood and the beautiful picture of the entrée captured on our wrinkling menus.

Sigh duck… what can I say? Hints of salt and interesting grill lines (maybe indicating a past due cleaning). It was perfectly matched the expectations of what a $13 American franchise dish should be. The blended and frozen strawberry lemonade? Hints of sugar. I ain’t mad at’cha Applebees.

Applebees

After work, a movie date. An attempt to see Mud is foiled by not giving two licks about getting anywhere on time during the weekend. Mama it is, via Redbox, another business I ain’t mad at.

A day full of surprises of various value ends on a high note. Pan seared cod, yellow curry, wild rice. Perhaps the best meal of the week considering that this is the few if not only times this week reality exceeded expectations. Or perhaps ‘cause I’m sleeping with the cook.
*c.o.b = close of business

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