FINAL FOUR FOOD: Feedin’ my Frankenstein at Alice Cooper’s restaurant!

Now, when I heard that Alice Cooper had his own sports bar just a Randy Johnson seagull-destroying fastball from Chase Field, you know I had to be there with bell-bottoms on, bro! This place has got gold records on the wall, NHL hockey(!) on the big screen, and even a signed photo of the 1993 Montreal Canadiens. Not even making this up, mon frère!

habs_photo (1)

And even though Randy Johnson mighta hung up his ugly-ass purple jersey a few years back, they’ve still got a 22-inch hot dog in his honour called The Big Unit. Whenever one of these bad boys comes outta the kitchen, they ring a bell, and everybody yells “Big Unit!” It’s like a grand slam home run in Flavourtown, son!

But as appealing as shoving a 22-inch sausage straight down my piehole might sound, it didn’t seem like such a good idea at 11 am. So instead, I went with the Welcome to My Nightmare Nachos:

nightmare_nachos (4)

These chips were topped with cheese sauce, jalapeños, cheese and Alice’s signature Nightmare chili–which was much more bean than beef. And the cheese-sauce to real-cheese ratio was about 3-to-1, which was a bit of a bummer bro! These nachos were not the stuff that dreams are made of…

nightmare_nachos (7)

Of course, one does not simply walk in to Alice Cooper’stown and only eat nachos! Now, I coulda gone with the No More Mr. Nice Guy Chicken Pasta, or the School’s Out for Summer St. Louis Style Ribs, but instead I opted for the Billion Dollar BLT, baby!

billion_dollar_blt (6)

This classic, simple dish helped cleanse my palate after all the chili n jalapeños and nacho cheese. Just a basic BLT, but with a whole pile of crispy bacon, cooked perfectly, on Texas Toast…or so they say. If that’s Texas Toast, then I’m Yokozuna, son! More like Texas Toast on a diet! But the Ballad of Dwight French Fries were Super Duper Alice Cooper crispy n delicious, and this dish won’t set ya back a cool billion–it’s only $9.99, my little bronies!

And hey, you gotta love a place that plays Spoonman by Soundgarden, Judith by A Perfect Circle and Rush’s Tom Sawyer all within a half hour. I was air-drumming like Neil Peart on Percocets, dude! Not a single Alice Cooper song on the stereo the entire time I was there, though!!!!

FINAL FOUR FOOD: Double cheeseburger, chili cheese fries…and a Diet Coke

I told you Gonzaga was going all the way, bro!!! Well, OK, they lost to Carolina in the NCAA Final, so I probably owe Eric Church a cold one or two. But as soon as the Zags punched their ticket to Phoenix for the Final Four, so did the Triple B Crew. And you know we’re not (just) loading up on carbs before the game, dude! So, over the next few days, we’re rolling out the Final Four of funky fresh Phoenician eateries…can you smell what the desert is cookin’?

So, after watching the Zags beat the Cocks in an epic game on Saturday, I went to grab some grub, bro. But there were so many people on the concourse, that I could only go as far as the closest concession stand–the Gridiron Grill.

gridiron_grill (1)

By this point I hadn’t eaten anything since airport food at 8 am, so you know I went BIG. Why have a burger when you can get a double cheeseburger, bro? And why settle for fries when chilli cheese fries are on the menu? Of course, I washed it all down with an extra large Diet Coke, cuz I’m counting my calories…still counting…OK, so maybe I can’t count that high.

phoenix_stadium_burger (4)

OK, let’s break it down. The burger patties are nice and meaty, although they’re well beyond medium well. The pickles add some freshness, and the cheese is as processed as a clinical procedure. The fries are thick ‘n crispy, but when you pour concession stand chilli on em and put concession stand cheese on top, this dish is a hot mess and a half, dudeson!!!

This Persian-style burger is completely popping with flavour!

So, we’re cruisin’ down Dundas on Saturday, and it’s raining lions, tigers and bears. I forgot to put the top up on the Camaro, probably cuz I was still drunk on tacos from last night, so right now I’m wetter than a widowed wallaby in wintertime, and I need to stop somewhere to get out of the rain. That’s when I spotted this friendly neighbourhood Persian place over by the AGO called Sumac Kabob Kitchen.

Now, they’ve got all kinds of Middle-Eastern comfort food at this place–they even have a Persian poutine!–but it was the nine-dollar burger special that caught my eye. These days, I’d eat pretty much anything for nine bucks, bro…unless maybe it was vegan. And this ain’t no Burger King, two-for-five-dollar deal sammy either, son. Feast your eyes on this thing of beauty:

sumac_burger (5)

The beef was nicely seasoned, with some nice Middle-Eastern spices to it. You’ve got lettuce, tomato and red onions, and those shawarma-style pickle spears that I really dig. Then they poured a buncha garlic sauce on top, and put it in a pillowy potato bun–nothing wrong with that at all! My only complaint is that the sign said it also came with fries, but there were no french-fried potaters on my plate. That’s like Grand Theft Potato in Flavourtown, bro!!!!!!

This weekend, I’m throwing down some ‘stones, son!

Now, for me, March Madness means nothing but basketball all weekend every weekend, bro! And you know I’ve got Gonzaga going all the way this year. I’ve been a big Gonzaga fan ever since Adam Morrison cried like a real man on national TV. (I might even have shed a few tears myself.)

Now, here’s the deal. When I fill out my bracket, I don’t always get everything right. So I like to play a little drinking game–whenever I cross a team off my bracket, I crack a cold one. Which means, sometimes, I’m Stone Cold Steve Austin sober by the Sweet 16, and other years I’m puking like Gerardo eating good ol’ fashioned Spanish cooking. (You KNOW I’m Rico Suave, bro!)

So, if I’m cracking a beer each time one of my teams bites the dust, I ain’t gonna be pounding Forgotten Lake Blueberry Ale–that stuff’s got 7.5% alcohol, son! Instead, I go with a cheap, light, shitty brew. Keystone Light: It Tastes Awful, But It Works!TM

keystone_light (7)

TMBuckley’s Cough Mixture

This might be the best burger I ever ate at a country music concert

So, I’m at the ACC, to see my man The Chief, Eric Fuckin’ Church in concert, bro! Last summer, when he was supposed to play Kitchener, the gig got rained out, and I dived face first into a bacon cheeseburger. Looks like I’m about to do the same thing here…

maple_bacon_burger (4)

They call this the Maple Bacon Burger, and it’s got cheddar cheese, bacon and a maple aioli! As far as concession food goes, this is pretty decent. Burger is nice and thick, bacon is a little on the chewy side, nice crunch from the onions and tomatoes. Fries are super thin, and kinda taste like Swiss Chalet. Now that was a cold 17 dollars I never will get back, son…and that doesn’t even include the beer!

EATIN AUSTIN: I don’t always eat boneless wings, but when I do, I make sure they’re wrapped in bacon!

So, we’re hanging out at The Tavern, this funky neighbourhood bar that’s been down on the corner of 12th Street and Lamar for more than 100 years. When my righteous brosephs at The Thrillest said they had the best damn chicken wings in Texas, I knew I had to check this place out–but these ain’t yer grandpappy’s chicken wings, son!

amazing_white_wings (5)

They call these the Amazing White Wings, and they’re pretty baller to the max! You’ve got boneless chicken, stuffed with jalapeños, wrapped in bacon, and tossed with wing sauce, dude! Then there’s carrots and celery sticks on the side, some crispy fried onions, and both ranch and blue cheese dressing, bro!

amazing_white_wings (8)

The chicken is nice ‘n juicy, you’ve got a nice little kick from the hot peppers and the wing sauce, and then the bacon just wraps it all up in a nice little meat sweater. Who needs bones when you’ve got bacon, bro!!!??? (Man, I gotta put that on a t-shirt or something!)

EATIN AUSTIN: Cinco tacos por desayuno, hermano!

Now, there’s some debate over who first started eating tacos for breakfast, with both Austin and San Antonio laying claim to the title. But if you’re in Austin, and you want tacos for desayuno, then you gotta go to Tamale House East, bro!

tamale_house-1

Now, I got there right at 8, but they didn’t open till 8:35, at which point a whole pile of people showed up behind me. I got three of the in-house specialties–migas & queso; egg, bacon, cheese and ranchera; potato, egg, bacon and cheese–and then built two culinary creations of yo mismo–a chorizo egg & cheese and a bacon egg & mushroom–cuz you gotta get some chorizo, bro!

It’s also worth noting that the prices on their menu online are off; instead of $1.25 a taco, you’re paying $3.25 for the house specialties–or $2.75 for a build-yer-own with three toppings. But hey, cinco tacos for $16.50 still ain’t a bad deal, though…

migas_taco

So, we’re starting off with the migas and cheese, a Tex Mex breakfast staple. There’s definitely nothing wrong with crispy fried tortilla strips, eggs and cheese–and when you put ’em in a taco, it’s even better, bro!

chorizo_egg_cheese

Next up is one of my Triple B creations, the chorizo, egg and cheese. I can now see why they don’t include chorizo in any of their specialties–they don’t give you very big chunks of it here, either. Probably my least favourite one.

bacon_potato_cheese

Now, these last three all had bacon, and if I’m every back in Austin, I would just do five with bacon, bro! Their bacon is cooked to perfection, finding the right balance between crispy and chewy. And the potatoes in this one were on point. 5/5

bacon_egg_mushroom

This Triple B creation was a personal favourite–bacon, egg n mushroom, son! And the mushroom is what makes it–thick, juicy and they totally don’t taste like the come from a can! If I go back here, I’m adding mushrooms to everything!

bacon_egg_ranchera

Aaaaaand that brings us to the last taco of the morning, the in-house specialty of bacon, egg, ranchera and cheese. I was scared this might be too spicy for me–but the sauce was definitely on the mild side. I normally like salsa on my taco, but it doesn’t work quite as well for breakfast, though. Still, if I ever feel like eating five tacos for breakfast again, then this is definitely the place to be!

texas_breakfast_tacos-2