Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Free Bread is Old People Crack

Most Price Choppers have the free bread set up, this particular one is at the Slingerland Chops. In the bread section, inevitably, you will see a basket with some wee slices of chopped bread. Adjacent, there will also be a large blob/bar of "spread." You know, a butteresque substance that does not require refrigeration. I think this is nice of them to do, I don't usually partake, but when young Giblet (2 year old female type) is howling for satisfaction a small crust of bread is often sufficient to tame the beast. So I have become well acquainted with the complimentary bread section.

Think of the free bread area like an oasis in the Sahara, only instead of lions you have old people. If I ever need to capture a supply of senior citizens then I have discovered the perfect trap. I shall set up a free bread stand on the side of the road. When the butter knife is lifted a giant basket will fall down and capture my prey.

All kidding aside, approaching the P-Chops bread stand requires care. Invariably there will be a silver fox painstakingly applying "spread" to every nook and cranny of his slice (a process that may take 5 to 10 minutes) seemingly unawares of the growing queue of bread lovers accumulating around him. It is impressive how much space a seemingly slight old gent or dame can occupy, leaving no room for an addled father to shoot in his fist to grab a bit of dry bread for his screaming daughter. Such attempts will be treated as the height of rudeness worthy of a penetrating glare.

Maybe it is a generational thing, people of a certain generation were not often offered free consumables and understandably revel in the luxury. My generation of ingrates and simps thinks nothing of it and allow themselves to get annoyed by their wizened elders, subsequently posting about it to their lame-o foodblogs, all the while feeling guilty about it....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ah, Colonie Center Food Court. I Knew You When...

So I was strolling through the food court at good ol' Colonie Center the other day when I spied a couple things of note. Before all that, does anyone remember when Colonie Center was the "other" mall (this is, of course, as opposed to Northway Mall which was the other, other mall)? As a child I remember that going to Colonie Center was a vaguely drab and unpleasant experience (there were still ash trays inside the mall back then!). During my halcyon childhood (late 80s) Crossgates still had a slick and shiny newness (remember the Karner Blue!). Colonie center was where you went to Sears with your dad to look at washing machines or tools. As for Northway Mall, I don't really remember why you went there. They did have a weird store that sold garishly colored flavored popcorn which delighted me as a child.

Anyhow, Colonie Center seems to be the main mall these days. When Mrs. Dave gets the rare itch to go to the mall, this is generally where we head. I don't feel the need to arm myself before I go (as with Crossgates) and Colonie Center has more of a "family friendly" feeling to it these days (slick and corporate and fake as it may be). As the wive's belly is rapidly expanding with child, she has begun to require more fuel. This necessitated a swing through the "Food Court."

The first thing I noticed is that Bettie's Cakes has a little kiosk setup. I read about this somewhere, I think it is part of the new temporary or short-term restaurant thing, i.e. it will not be there forever. As with many others, I am tiring of the cupcake craze. I hope it has run its course, but I fear that it is attempting to morph into other gimmicks. I saw the below at Bettie's, they are some sort of "cake ball."

I have seen this type of thing cropping up at other places. Starbuck's is peddling weird cake balls on sticks. If there is such a demand for cake, can't we just take it in slice form and use a fork and knife like civilized persons? I kind of get cupcakes, but cake balls? What is next, cake in pill form that can be administered rectally for ease of consumption?

Of more interest to myself, I spied something different in the piles of sauce packets outside of the venerable Taco Bell. Two new colors did not escape my studied eye. Here we have two fairly recent Taco Bell sauce packet offerings, "Verde" and "Fire Roasted."

I had to give these sauces a whirl so I bought some chips. I started with the "Verde."

Not bad, not bad. A little salty, but there was a nice vinegar punch and you could catch a hint of sour tomatillo. I would have liked a bit more heat, but that is just me. Here we have the "Fire Roasted."

This just tasted like the fire or hot sauces with a hint of smoke, an interesting change but not mind blowing. I will probably use the "verde" should a Taco Bell jones hit me in the future. I do have some Taco Bell advice for you though, get the enchirito. They don't really promote it anymore, but it was one of the items that the House of Taco Bell was built upon. It is awful for you, but oddly satisfying in a weird way.

Anyhow, the wife had a Nathan's dog and I shared some fries with the little one. Soon our trio will be a quartet, so we enjoyed the relative ease of mall dining with just one small monster. That is not to say that we are not looking forward to welcoming a fresh howler into the household, we are delighted.
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