Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Change of Plans

I was over on Tim's patio yesterday evening, helping him sample his newest beer. (We've been trying it every week to chart it's development - it should be ready by this weekend, and there is an outside chance it will knock off his second summer ale as the best beer I have had this year.) He had to take off to meet a friend, but left Tracie and me in charge of the keg. (Raise your hand if you see the danger in that.)

A few minutes later I received a text from him that the cops had Fair Oaks shut down. I thought nothing of it; people drive much too fast on Fair Oaks and there are a couple of red lights that they often run. I figured there had been an accident and forgot about it. 

I didn't actually drink very much of the beer, because once Elizabeth got home we had planned to go to Trader Joe's and get a few groceries, and probably make her beloved pizzas for dinner. So I wandered home about the time I thought she would be there. And then I waited around by myself (watching Huell Howser) for 45 minutes. Finally Elizabeth got home. 

"It just took me 40 minutes to get home from the Orange Grove exit," she said. (For those of you who don't live around here - that's about one mile away.) "The cops are directing traffic and asking everyone where they're going."

It turned out the FBI and the police were investigating a bomb threat. So we called off our plans to go to TJ's - which would have meant driving right into the heart of the beast. I looked in the fridge for what to make. 

I had two things going for me: the other evening when we'd bought empanadas at the store, they were on sale, one of those obnoxious "sales" that Vons has where you have to buy multiples of an item to get a discount: they were $2.99 if you only bought one box, but if you bought more than one they were $1.99 each. (Sales like this are only one of many reasons where I much prefer Ralph's to Vons.) So we bought two boxes.

Also, yesterday morning I'd been at Ralph's getting a few things for my parents, when I noticed these popcorn shrimp on sale - an actual sale, only $2.99 for the box. I grabbed it, as I've been craving popcorn shrimp for a few days. 

The empanadas were great, as usual. 

We ate the first batch of popcorn shrimp with cocktail sauce and remoulade. They were delicious. Damn I love fried seafood. 

And I had one other idea. 

A few weeks ago I bought a ticket for a charity raffle. I don't remember how much it cost, I think $2. I ended up winning a $10 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings. Now, I don't hate the place like I do Hooters, but I have eaten at BWW at least two or three times over the last five years, and let's just say I don't have any desire to eat their grub again, even when I have a gift card. But their sauces aren't bad.

So I went to Buffalo Wild Wings a few days ago to buy some of their Spicy Garlic sauce. The guy working there explained to me that the sauces are $4.79 each, but I could buy a three pack for 11 bucks. So I got two other flavors: Caribbean Jerk and Asian Zing.

I made another small batch of the popcorn shrimp and tossed them in the Asian Zing. It was quite tasty, and I would do this again, however it needed a little something else. Maybe some scallions or chives. But I didn't have any.

Tonight we will try this whole Trader Joe's plan again. I'm getting very close to putting another one of those TJ's posts together.


Nosh Gnostic said...

Bomb scare? Sounds like work for the Jack Sack. I've always wanted to blow up Carmine's...

Nosh Gnostic said...

The rest of the story:

JustinM said...

That's the story I linked to!

notanillusion said...

Do you fry the shrimp, or just cook it in the oven? I love them, too, and would make them more if I could just bake them!

JustinM said...

I fry them. I can count on one digit the number of oven-baked breaded shrimp that I thought were any good.

Stephen said...

The device in question is what is also known as a potato cannon. Although these could be used as weapons, they are not typically built as such. I am very familiar with them, and their highest and best use is firing lemons over the Arroyo Seco.

Justin said...

Caribbean Jerk tastes like Christmas Trees and not in a good way.

JustinM said...

Interesting - I don't mind it, although I like the spicy garlic more. But to be honest I have never tasted a Christmas tree so I have to take your word for it.

Patrick V. said...

You don't like Buffalo Wild Wings? I think that it's not bad. Their Chili Con Queso Dip is worth a try. It is an appetizer, but I have it as a meal. I think you should give it a try; it has nothing to do with buffalo wings.

JustinM said...

I agree with you that it's not bad... but there is plenty of room between that and actually liking the place.

I've never had the chili/queso dip. I've had the mini corn dogs, which are fine but I can make identically at home. And the popcorn shrimp, which I can make better at home.

I've had the boneless wings several times and I'm not a fan. And I had the pulled pork sandwich once and thought it was terrible.

I've only been to two of them: one in Terre Haute, Indiana, believe it or not, and several times to the one in Rancho Cucamonga. (I watched several World Cup games there in the summer of '06.) So it's not like I'm an expert on the place. I'll take it any day over Hooters or ESPN Zone, but then again I'd rather go to Burger King than either of those places.