Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 27: Once More with Feeling, Part 1

Just got home from Comic-Con, and I'll have a full report on the convention tomorrow, but tonight I'm just too tuckered out to do it justice. So I just have two food-related notes to whet your whistles for tomorrow. (That is if anyone is reading--I've been missing the comment love lately!)

David and I have attended Comic-Con together since we met, so it's been nearly 10 years now. (This is our first time with Jarrah.) All these years, I've been crowing indignantly about the state of sustenance at the San Diego Convention Center--thousands and thousands of people, and there is nothing to eat. Well, almost nothing: there are Mrs. Fields Cookies, Starbucks Coffee, and "Hot Pretzels" that 30 seconds before you pay for them were evidently buried in Greenland next to a Woolly Mammoth with some buttercups in its mouth. In the actual "cafe," they feature chips, a couple of wilted salads, and the notorious Con Pizza, which is like nothing you've ever put in your mouth on purpose. In my Chuck E. Cheese review a while back, I shared my pizza joke: "Why is pizza like sex? Because when it's good, it's REALLY good, and when it's bad, it's still pretty good." Well, the exception to that pretty sturdy rule is Con Pizza. They slather up a round of styrofoam which in its previous incarnation was packing material for Pokemons, coat it in radioactive ketchup-like substance, and then heat-seal it with an orangey coating with the consistency of birch bark. Then they put it in a cute little cardboard box and sell it for $10. The one and only time I ate some, I had a peculiar feeling while it was going down, but an hour later I could actually feel some of my vital organs transmogrifying into other molecular structures that would no longer serve a carbon-based life form.

A couple of times we've ventured into the Gaslamp and enjoyed a lovely (though crowded and expensive) lunch at a local bistro, but that takes a lot of time that would usually be better spent in an entertaining panel. The obvious alternative is to make a nutritious and alluring lunch--would you like to know how many times we've done that? This would be the first. We carried a lunch sack with veggie sandwiches from home--Havarti, Cheddar, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, sweet onion, yellow pepper and honey mustard on French rolls--sliced fruit, and some yogurt, cheese and bread for Jarrah. It was yummy and easy! We are a bit sheepish and plan to go the packing route every time now.

The other food note is that we parked several miles from the convention, and broke up our walk back by stopping for an early dinner at The Bareback Grill, which I'd been curious about because they describe themselves as "New Zealand burgers," with everything organic, even though they are a casual bar and grill. The place was about half-full, with baseball and surfing on the TVs and incredibly loud music. David and I had burgers (100% organic grass-fed beef) and Jarrah had Dino Nuggets (the chicken is organic, too, and for research purposes I tried some--delish!) The fries come with a cute tripartite plate with three dipping sauces--ketchup, spicy red pepper, and sweet aioli. The red pepper looks like standard Thousand Island, but it has a zip. I didn't try the aioli because mayo freaks me out. The fries were skinny and herbed, and while we liked them, we puzzled over the flavor. For a while, I tasted a surfeit of salt, then later it curiously seemed like sugar to me. David suspected the fries had been cooked in the oil for the fish and chips, because they reminded him of fried fish. I am no authority on fried fish myself.

The burgers were very pretty, and I did think the meat was tasty. David liked his, but not the BBQ sauce on top. I remarked that my two "bitty burgers" did not come with fries or anything on them and they were nine dollars. David thought this was because we were in the Gaslamp, where tourists and date-nighters will pay anything and the food doesn't even have to be good. These burgers ARE good, but the consensus, as we walked them off, is that we'll stick with Burger Lounge, which has the edge in both taste and location.


Caroline said...

I'm impressed by your clout, getting into ComicCon. The news was making such a big deal about how it was sold out. :) Someday I'd love to go -- and have my makeup artist sister turn me into some fantastic creature beforehand.

I read your blog every day, almost the minute it comes out. I've just been particularly glassy-eyed tired this week. Sorry if my comments have lagged.

I'm in town tomorrow (Monday). Any chance you're free for a last minute meet up? :) I'll email you.

Anonymous said...

9 bucks is way too much for two "bitty burgers" with no fries! Even if they are organic. :) Can't wait to hear more about your day.... lix

Manager Mom said...

Wow - you went to ComiCon? Awesome!

I giggled a little bit about the name of the "Bareback Grill". The term "bareback" has a bit of a naughty connotation in the porn world.. I am sure they didn't know that but if they did they might want to rethink their name.

Mary and Paul said...

Ahhh! Your sandwiches! What a great idea! And yummy!