Archive for April, 2011
For those of you who either did not grow up in a state near the coast or do not frequently eat seafood, you may not know about soft shell crab. If that’s the case, you should read this first.
Now that that’s out of the way, I thought I’d tell you about the dream I had last night:
I found myself sitting at a large table at a seafood restaurant at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my parents and sister, along with my aunt Ginger and uncle Tim. I remember being here before with Tim & Ginger, which was the first time I learned about soft shell crab sandwiches. I ordered my usual for seafood restaurants, chicken tenders, as did my sister Amanda. My parents ordered salt-and-pepper flounder, and Tim decides to try the salmon. Ginger however asked for the soft shell alien baby sandwich with honey lemon mayo. My stomach sank. There aren’t too many things that can make me feel sick to my stomach besides feeling sick to my stomach, but I just couldn’t bear to think about alien baby meat on a sandwich. What kind of alien would it be, anyway? I trust that Ginger is normal like the rest of the family (O.o) and play with my fork and napkin while talking to Amanda, who is sunburned from spending all day in the pool.
After a couple refills of sweet tea, our server comes back with the food. There’s the chicken strips I ordered, complete with a side of Sysco ranch dressing as is so common with Southern seafood restaurants (and my favorite). Then it hit the table. A sandwich filled with the greyish-blue whole body of a baby alien. It was a little larger than the oversized hamburger bun it was on, with its head and hands poking out and the legs and feet hanging out the end. I couldn’t believe Ginger was going to eat such a thing, but she explained it was very normal this time of year. Apparently they have a molting season during which they’re perfectly good to eat whole. She opened the bun so that I could see inside. There were Xs where the eyes had been removed, and the mouth was a lifeless frown. The head was spherical with a skinny thorax and plump abdomen. The arms and legs looked as though they were completely flexible; the entire body seemed to lack any joints at all. The entire body was coated in slime and wiggled like gelatin.
She dumped the honey lemon mayo on top of the body and closed the sandwich. She took a bite, and I heard a sound not unlike a knife stirring mayonnaise. I decided the sweet tea would be enough to eat and didn’t even start my chicken or baked potato thanks to the shock of this delicacy revelation.
If anyone wants to try soft shell crab, please feel welcome. But if you get served up a bun full of extraterrestrial, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that Nokia is coming out with an Android phone. It will be a bar phone with a pull out antenna and have no features except phone calls. It will have a 1.7 inch monochrome display. However, when there is a software update, such as the one released for it last night for Android 2.4 Peanut Butter Cookie, the display will display a rainbow-colored acid trip with the word “update.” Press the one soft key under “Update” to download the newest software.
Ok, so it was just a dream. But if Nokia goes beyond Windows Phone and launches an Android phone, I expect royalties for my intellectual property.
I don’t eat beef – just don’t like the stuff. I don’t have some moral, cultural, or dietary reason, I simply don’t like that combination of texture and flavor. So you might wonder why I’m posting about burgers. Well, the truth is, regardless of what kind of patty you put on it, there’s no finer cuisine than the burger. You can dress it up as fancy as you like and charge $150 for it, or you can get it for under a buck, and all that space in between is a sweet spot of creativity and good eats. There’s just something about having piping hot food assembled just seconds ago with exactly what you wanted on it in your hands. It feels intimate, comforting, and familiar, even if it’s a combination you’ve never tried before. So, even though I don’t enjoy eating beef, the burger experience is something that I can’t turn down.
About a year ago, my BFFs and I discovered what at the time was a burger paradise. With lots of creative burger options along with great fry varieties and dipping sauces, you can go there often and never repeat your order if you’re adventurous. We go out to eat several times a week and it was great to have Burger Jones added to our rotation, so we went there every week or two for several months. We really enjoyed the fun tongue-in-cheek atmosphere and couldn’t believe how long we hadn’t known about them. And as we tend to do, we shared the place with our larger circle of friends and brought visiting out-of-towners because of the over-the-top experience.
One night, we went and sat down just like any other night. I was there with my partner, Matthew, and 2 of my BFFs, Coral and Crystina. I got excited when I saw the shake special was a Butterfinger malt! I couldn’t wait to order and eat so I could get on to the dessert. Our server came around and asked if we’d like to order drinks, and we asked about the specials. That’s about the last good memory I have from there. His answer was “just a bunch of sissy drinks.” Now, I’ll give him that he might not know right away that Matthew and I are gay, or that the word “sissy” isn’t taken very well by gay men thanks to it being overused by biggots to describe us. But it seems quite clear that unless he was extremely dense he should have noticed there were two girls sitting at the table. Perhaps they would like to order a sissy drink? We prodded to find out what those drinks actually were, because we were in fact looking to drink a little. But his next answer was “It’s martinis and cosmos and stuff.” Well now, regardless of the “sissy” comment, he’s failed to answer the one question that can make our bill higher to get him a better tip – twice. We ask a third time, and he describes what drinks are actually on special. One is a chocolate banana martini. I was really interested in that drink, but none of us ordered a drink because we were too annoyed with his attitude.
We order our food and eat it while discussing how unbelievable our server’s behavior was, as it got worse. We never got any refills for our water, and he brought the bill when he picked up our plates – that being the only time we saw him after ordering – and never came back. So, we left without buying any drinks or dessert, and with a look of surprise on our faces. It wasn’t even busy, but we had been completely ignored the entire time we were there.
“Don’t worry guys,” I said, “I’ll tweet them. We’ve tweeted back and forth before, so I’m sure they’ll handle it.” So Coral and I tweeted as we left the restaurant:
Guess my server @BurgerJones didn’t want me to have dessert. Or leave a tip. Never had such a ‘meh’ experience here before.
— Jason (ツ) (@jayysenn) October 16, 2010
Is it just me? bothers me when waiter brings the bill & sets it at table before ur done eating & doesnt even ask about dessert. @burgerjones
— Coral Biegler (@CorieRose) October 16, 2010
— Jason (ツ) (@jayysenn) October 16, 2010
I expected I’d hear from them by morning, or at least in a day or two, as we’d conversed within hours of each other many times before. But instead, something interesting happened: I got followed by My Burger, a place I hadn’t heard of before. Since my career is Social Media for a large corporation, I love seeing other companies who really get it. Now, whether they followed me to see how the Burger Jones scenario played out, because I mentioned burgers and am in the Twin Cities, or because they needed some competitive research, I never asked, and it doesn’t matter. What matters is they made themselves visible to me the very next day without it feeling stalker-ish, and it took Burger Jones 3 weeks to get back to me. Ergo:
— Jason (ツ) (@jayysenn) October 23, 2010
Which prompted an invitation:
@jayysenn we always got your back! Plus we know our burgers are the best in town. Let us know what you think. Customers are straight legit.
— My Burger (@myburgerusa) October 25, 2010
What did I do? I turned around at my desk, rolled my chair over to Coral who sits next to me, and pulled her earbuds out of her ears. “LOOK AT TWITTER. RIGHT NOW,” I told her. We both were amazed at how My Burger got to me before Burger Jones even had a real chance. We did some research and found out we could only get My Burger by going downtown, Monday – Friday before 2:00, pay for parking, and find our way through the Skyway system, with which neither of us was familiar. But with the way we were invited, we couldn’t refuse.
The next week, Coral and I went all the way to downtown Minneapolis just to try out their burgers. From that moment we’ve been addicted. Burger Jones eventually got back to me, but it was a little too late. We had already dropped them from the list of places we frequent, and they never made it back to the list. I know it was an issue with a server, not the business as a whole, and they did try to make it right. I’d go there if a friend of mine was going and invited me, but I haven’t stopped in since October.
Since we tried My Burger, we’ve taken people there from as far away as North Carolina and Texas. We’ve left home at 7:30 to try breakfast. We’ve delivered their food to Richfield and Burnsville for BFFs that couldn’t get out for lunch. And we talk to them nearly every day on Twitter. It’s an opportunistic love affair that never should have been considering the location and hours, but it works. We still drive downtown and pay $12 to park just to have great burgers, on their time instead of ours. So if you’ve been searching for that perfect burger exactly the way you like it, My Burger has your burger. Coral and I will gladly take a long lunch to take you there, as long as you promise never to go without us.