Trivia Tuesday

Hello, out there, readers in L.A. and SoCal!  Feeling better yet?  Yowza.  An anecdote, just for y’all, today:

I was on a mostly-all-day conference call with some vendors up until a few minutes ago.  Half of the participants were at the vendor’s Los Angeles headquarters.  At about 1:45pm (my time), there were some gasps and then a mad flurry of beep-beep-beeping as they all simultaneously dropped off the conference call.

The rest of us sat in silence for a moment before someone spoke up.  “What just happened?” asked one of the brokers.  No one knew, but we guessed from the gasping before the beeps that it wasn’t simply a bad connection.

Then, within sixty seconds from the calls being dropped, a participant logged back into the call.  Then two more.  Then the rest.  More beep-beep-beeping as they all rejoined us.  “Sorry about that,” one of them hastily exclaimed, her voice tinged with annoyance.

“Is everything okay?” my boss inquired.

“Yeah, yeah.  Just an earthquake,” one vendor explained.  “Nothing big.”

A chorus of verbal interrobangs quickly followed from everyone not in California.  “What are you doing back on the call?  Didn’t the line get dropped?” someone else asked.

The no-nonsense response from California: “Yeah, obviously.  We’re all on our Blackberries now, though.  Let’s keep going.”

Y’all are hardcore when ya wanna be, SoCal.



  1. Which TV channel do you feel has better food programming and why: Food Network, Travel Channel, Mojo or PBS?
  2. If you could travel to any country or region for one month to learn to cook their native cuisine, which would you choose?
  3. Which is the greater art form?  Wine-making or beer-brewing?
  4. Do you consider yourself more of a food nerd or a food snob?
  5. Why do you suppose it is that “What would you eat for your last meal?” is such a popular esoteric question?  Do you believe that a person’s answer reflects who they are as a person?

All right, ramblers…  Let’s get rambling!

The Bennigan’s of the End

In case you hadn’t heard, every single Bennigan’s across the nation shut down overnight.  With no warning.  Especially no warning for their poor staffers who showed up to work today only to be met by shuttered doors and managers turning them away.

Of course, neither Bennigan’s nor their parent company, Metromedia Restaurant Group, has issued a single statement as to why they hastily and shadily closed down all 800 restaurants overnight.  And they aren’t talking to reporters.  My own calls to Bennigan’s restaurants across the city led only to unanswered lines and no answering machines.

Only one Bennigan’s in the city actually answered the phone.  You can read about the short conversation — and more on the story — at Houstonist this morning, if you’re so inclined.

Bennigan’s: Erin Go Broke

I’m not a fan of Bennigan’s.  Never have been.  But to operate like this and treat their employees in such a callous manner is unconscionable.  I can’t WAIT to hear what they have to say about this.

Tuesday Morning Answers

Croque Camille called me out.  🙂

I haven’t answered either of my own Trivia Tuesday questionnaires yet.  And she was right; I did have certain answers of my own in mind when I wrote them, so I guess I’d better share and share alike.

Tuesday Trivia #!:

  1. What food(s) did you hate as a child but have come to appreciate or even love as an adult?  I desperately hated beets and raw onions.  Now, not only do I love both things with perhaps too avid a passion, they remind me strongly of my childhood spent with my Meemo and Granddaddy, both of whom loved beets and raw onions and would eat them with every meal.  Which led me to my next question…
  2. What food reminds you most strongly of your childhood and why?  Aside from beets and onions, it would have to be Kraft macaroni and cheese.  Silly, right?  It’s the first thing I learned how to make by myself that involved a stove (aside from scrambled eggs), and I have fond memories of my mom making “tuna casserole” with a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese, a can of tuna and a bag of frozen peas night after night.  We were too poor to afford anything else, but I didn’t know that.  I was just happy to get tuna casserole.  Little kids are awesome that way.
  3. Has there ever been a food of which you were initially suspicious, but then surprised to find that you enjoy?  I was highly suspicious of Indian food, mostly because of the fact that a lot of it doesn’t have a “shape,” per se, and is just slopped into a pan or onto a plate.  It looked like cat sick and smelled a bit too sharp for my young senses to totally appreciate.  Now, of course, I can’t get enough of the stuff.
  4. What do you think is the most overrated and/or underrated restaurant in Houston?  For overrated, I’m afraid I’ll have to say Cafe Annie.  One too many uninspiring, bland business lunches there, sad to say.  Underrated…now that’s a tough call.  I’ll go with my old standby, Le Mistral, which deserves a lot more credit but probably won’t ever get it all the way out in the Energy Corridor.
  5. If you were in charge of carny food at the circus, which food item would you put onto a stick?  I’ve always though a deep-fried plantain served with chimichurri sauce would be excellent on a stick.

Tuesday Trivia #2:

  1. To impress a date, what would you cook and serve?  Alternately, what have you cooked and served that impressed a date/your significant other/some foodie floozy?  Not that I’ve known any foodie floozies, but I’ll bet some of you have…  I once tried to make an entire Austrian meal from scratch — Wiener schnitzel, red cabbage, spaetzle and a strudel — that failed miserably from the moment I tried to pound the schnitzel myself and continued to fail weeks later when I couldn’t get the red cabbage stains off the counter in my rented apartment.  Since then, I stick to the basics when people come over; I’m just not a chef.  I make a wicked marinara sauce from scratch.  And I make killer pies. 
  2. Assuming that your intake of any missing nutrients would be compensated for, which would you choose to part with for the rest of your life if someone told you that you could no longer have EITHER fruits OR vegetables?  I’d have to nix fruits.  As someone else said in the comments section, you can make certain veggies sweet with roasting, but you can’t really replace carrots and celery and onions with fruit.
  3. What food(s) have you erroneously assumed would be delicious, only to be massively disappointed?  Marzipan.  The mere thought of eating marzipan to this day makes me want to vomit.
  4. With what condiments do you dress up your hot dogs?  Are there any condiments that send you into an irrational, blinding rage if they touch your beloved frankfurter?  I used to experience the same kind of hatred toward ketchup that a lot of you harbor, but I finally came to an understanding with it and will allow it on my hot dog from time to time.  The best is still spicy mustard, sauerkraut and raw onions, though. 
  5. If you could choose one unhealthy food to magically (or scientifically, if that’s your bag) transform into a health food, thereby enabling you to eat it every day with no ill effects, which would you choose?  Ice cream, ice cream, a million times ice cream.  Every Ben & Jerry’s and Bluebell flavor if possible.

Now that you’ve learned a little bit more about me than perhaps you cared to know, stay tuned for this afternoon’s round of trivia.  See you then!