Land’s sakes! The gays, Stars and Bars, and TV Land, oh my!

My Facebook news feed has had its moments lately. Personally, I am very pleased with the recent marriage equality and Stars and Bars removal rulings. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much of my news feed has supported these things. However, my weakness for politically-tinged drama is still being fed. 

As it so happens, the removal of Duck Dynasty (DD) from the reality circuit did not, in fact, push any conservatives to the left. And my DD-like-minded news feed contributors have faithfully stood up for keeping marriage licenses away from gay couples and for the freedom of expression of historical symbols, regardless of their linkage to American slavery. Just like how they stood up for that DD wacko’s presence on the airwaves on the grounds of preserving his already-unimpeached right to freedom of speech. It was unimportant that his speech included a defense of marrying off teenaged girls (it seems that once you hit the legal drinking age, you become a gold-digger instead of a duck-cleaner). 

Tonight’s brouhaha centers on TV Land’s removal of the Dukes of Hazzard from the lineup because the General Lee is bedecked with now-obsolete imagery of the Confederate flag. It seems that America has suffered unforgivable loss.

I was unaware that the General Lee was all that made America great. I should have appreciated it more, some would say.

No. I shouldn’t.

Times change, and with that, so does how we live. Keeping around old practices and symbols of hate denigrates us all. It is my hope that detractors can fake it ’till they make it.

Insult to injury

It wasn’t enough for the Rapacallion to throw his dinner on the floor. It wasn’t enough for him to herald this with, “Doppings on the flo.” No, he then had to run laps in the kitchen, going on tiptoe through the food he threw so his feet wouldn’t get dirty.

His twin, Poopsiekins, ate angelically, with a disarmingly innocent expression, so that I was taken by surprise when she left the table and started rummaging through the cabinets.

Bernie’s Burger Bus-you must do this

Once upon there was a food truck called Bernie’s Burger Bus (BBB). All the locals in the land loved it so much that it became a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Its burgers and truffle fries became legend. The school-themed decor was adorable. But it went from excellent to Camelot by providing top-notch customer service to everyone, including families with young kiddos.

The high chairs were plentiful. The Recess (gourmet grilled cheese sandwich) arrived promptly with milk. The patio was ventilated comfortably. All was well.

But then, my Exchange Student (lamb burger) arrived, cooked beautifully to a tender turn. And then I had to stifle an orgasm.

Husband enjoyed his chicken burger, whose name I can’t remember.

And we had a lovely afternoon.

Multiple locations are opening throughout the metro area. Prepare for more stifled burger-gasms throughout the land.

And we all lived happily ever after.

Bottom line: go. Sooner rather than later.

The Petrol Station-a fuck you to parents on Father’s Day

The Petrol Station is a gastropub with ample outdoor seating in the Heights/Oak Forest area just north of the North Loop. Before Sunday, Husband has had 2 positive experiences bringing the twins there, and I have had one. The service was quick and friendly, the beer selection was sophisticated, the gourmet sandwiches and Parmesan fries were tasty, and a good time was had by all. In retrospect, this was due to the place being nearly deserted.

So, on Father’s Day, we thought this might be a nice place to have a family lunch. The twins and the baby are all considerate diners, and who can really screw up sandwiches on an outdoor picnic table?

This place, when crowded, can. Apparently, every family with a thirty-something dad descended on The Petrol Station. The cashier gave every family with young kids the side-eye. The food took God’s own time to come out. So long, in fact, that when it did finally materialize, we asked for to-go boxes because we were all hot as fuck and the twins had lost patience. The server, clearly unaccustomed to customer service, told me it would be “a few minutes, because I’ve got fifteen burgers coming out.”

I was not going to wait for fifteen burgers to be rehomed. I had Husband start toting babies back to the car while I started gathering sippy cups, etc. The boxes appeared when I made my last run back to the table. I guess the prospect of losing the plastic wicker baskets forced the issue. When a family with three kids under age two requests to-go boxes, you get them the damn to-go boxes.

My turkey, avocado, and bacon sandwich on sourdough was okay re-warmed, though it would have been better fresh. Husband enjoyed the Lagunitas he had back when prospects were looking up, and the twins enjoyed the fries. 

It’s a pity this happened, particularly on Father’s Day. This place is a casual gastropub, not Studio 54. Given that it’s located in an area with a lot of young families, you’d think they’d have it down. For similar fare, try Bernie’s Burger Bus in Bellaire instead.

Osaka at Bellaire-meh

Osaka is a small chain of sushi restaurants here in Houston, Texas. I have been to the Bellaire location a number of times. Each time, I’m sure I’ve found the thing to order. But then, each time, I realize I’ve made a mistake.

I wish I could write this place a glowing review because the staff is so nice, and the service is so attentive. But I can’t, because the nigiri is really meh.

I haven’t tried the rolls, so I can’t speak to them. But I’ve tried pretty much every species they serve in nigiri form. What you get is a huge portion of fish that is nearing the end of its freshness. You can only order in pairs (2 pieces per order), and you are automatically served a gratis shrimp tempura and dumpling thing appetizer duo that you never ordered. The prices are quite high, given the quality of the fish. 

You can expect the red snapper and sea bass to come dressed with a horribly sour sauce and festooned with what I think are julienned scallions. Not a tiny bit for flavor. Festooned. If you get the salmon, it will be nearly the size of a deck of cards and as bland. 

If you must have raw fish at all costs and won’t travel to another part of the city, this is your place. But if you’re going to consider all your options, go elsewhere. Like Oishii, MichiRu, Kata Robata, or Soma. 

For vinyl lovers visiting Houston

Husband takes the babies with him to record stores regularly. As an old school metalhead who loves vinyl, he’s done a thorough exploration of the area. In brief, here are relevant lists for music-loving travelers with small kiddos:

Warm welcome:

Black Dog (goes above and beyond)

Heights Vinyl

Courteous and great value:

Sweet Spot in Webster

Actively hates parents:

Vinal Edge (dirty looks despite buying 3 figures’ worth of merch)

Haven’t tried with babies yet:

Sound Exchange

Soundwaves 

Happy listening!

How to prepare twin toddler tofu nuggets 

1. Put Mulan or similar on from Netflix because the toddlers have school vacation.

2. Take a brick of firm tofu and press it between paper towels, paper plates, and a jumbo pack of D batteries to prevent the lip-licking, bulimic cat from getting at it.

3. Heat oil in large frying pan. Keep eye on toddlers who found a box of almonds you didn’t know you had. They are pouring the almonds on the floor.

4. Chop tofu into nuggets and toss nuggets in a mix of flour and spices in a big Ziplock bag.

5. Lightly pan-fry the nuggets until the coating crisps.

6. Cheer on the twin who gobbles the nuggets. Try not to weep at the twin who starts tossing nuggets on the floor and then runs to a white sofa and wipes his greasy hands on it. 

7. Feel comforted by the fact that the Rapscallion somehow found time to stuff his cheeks full of tofu like a heart-healthy hamster.

8. Polish off the leftovers and celebrate with a chilled Topo Chico. Bon appetit!