Monday, March 9, 2009

Where's the chain?

I travel a lot for my job. New York, Florida, Texas, California, etc. Road warriors such as myself appreciate the method behind the madness of traveling. We have our special rituals on the road such as the tools we take and the ways we use said tools. One of the most important yet most difficult aspects of the road is sustenance. It's difficult to eat well when you have little idea where you are and what's around. That's where comfort comes into play. You see a Houston's restaurant and you know what you'll get. As you would with a Macaroni grill or even a McDonald's or Chipotle Grill. They're the same whether you're in Anaheim California or Miami Florida. It goes the same for local dining. Find places you know you'll act well...or just cook at home of course (it's easy) Does it mean it's healthy? Maybe, maybe not. But all you need is a bit of discipline. I remember when I was in high school and a friend of mine saw a fat kid and said, and I quote word for word, "Eat a salad you whale...somebody get a harpoon!" Was that a bit cruel? Yes, but spot on I must say.

Anyway, Order what you want to eat and enjoy it, but at least try and order something healthy and when you've worked your way through half the plate, think of that quote and then think again before you polish it off completely and order a chocolate lava cake.

The moral of the story is this...So much in life is self hypnosis and a self-fulfilling prophecy. So get your mind in the right place. Believe it or not, it's a lot simpler than all the books and miracle pills and crazy exercise routines tell you. The solution is not in a book, it's in your mind. Just control yourself. Associate massive amounts of pain with being unhealthy (leads to ridicule, premature health problems, discomfort, etc) and associate massive amounts of pleasure to eating healthy (More energy, more people will like you). And it's not like your making dramatic changes. Just eat half that burrito in stead of all of it. Make a soup and salad for lunch and for the love of god, don't go to the Cheesecake Factory! It's a disgrace!!

Easier said than done, but done, is what it needs to be.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Economy Class

The economy sucks. Historically, bad economies have almost always proven to be fantastic times for food innovation and the creation of new recipes. Think about it...people always want to eat well, but right now, people can't afford shrimp, fillets and truffle oil. Hence you must get creative. Where do you think the best recipes in the world came from? Polenta used to be the food of the poor in Italy and now it's served in the fanciest restaurants around the world. Innovation! So we're just going to have to trade in our lobster stuffed trout for chicken and vegetables. Our Grey Goose martinis for cold Miller Lite. Does that mean we can't eat well? Of course not. We just have to get creative.

You might also think that the drowning economy means that we can't go out for dinner anymore. Not the case. Restaurants are hurting too and they still need customers. Service and quality are actually improving in most cases. Oh, and here's a crazy thought, if you go to a restaurant, eat less!! Most of us could lose a bit of weight anyway. The era of over-eating at Buca di Beppo and Cheesecake Factory is over. Thank goodness!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

NYC Restaurants

New York City is known for having some of the best restaurants in the world. I've eaten in several places in New York and added two decent ones this past week. The first one was Pastis in the Meat Packing District. Every restaurant in that district should be good otherwise it'll go out of business because of competition. I was expecting a good meal because this place was jam packed, it smelled of garlic and it was French. It was not good. I wouldn't say it was terrible, but it definitely didn't live up to expectations. Don't go there, go somewhere else.

The next restaurant I went to was Harry's in downtown. Harry's is an establishment for the finance community. Brokers, Hedge fund managers, traders, etc all go there for happy hour and sometimes dinner. Our waiter said they had the best steaks in town. Again, I was disappointing. Just average. But I definitely suggest going there as it is so well known. Added benefit to Harry's: You could bitch smack one of those greedy wall street bastards.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mycket Bra Julbord

Smorgasbord is a Swedish meal served buffet style with both hot and cold dishes. In my family, we get it once per year...Christmas eve. It is customary to start with the cold fish dishes first and then move on to the hot dishes. Typical dishes for the Julbord smorgasbord (Christmas buffet) are an assortment of pickled herring, gravlax, koffbullar (Swedish meatballs), julskinka (Christmas ham), Janssons Frestelse (Jansson's temptation - frenched potatoes, cream, onion, anchovies), revbenspjall (oven baked pork ribs), stewed cabbage, assortment of breads, cheeses, pate, spinach, and a ton of other stuff that you can see in the picture. We also light as many candles as we can (which provides quite a rush as we risk burning the house down every Christmas eve). Last, but not least, we each have a glass (or two) of snaps or akvavit (firewater) which helps to coat your throat with a line of fire as to ease the swallowing of all the food. Long story short, you eat like royalty. It is a wonderful undertaking and worth every extra minute on the treadmill.