Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Animal-Style Burger + Well Done/Animal-Style Fries


I'm one of those guys who have totally bought into the In-N-Out narrative.  Every trip to California includes a stop for some chow.  This past trip, I made a stop and ordered Animal-style fries for the first time.  They were awesome.  Gross.  But awesome.

I've had a few meals that I can recall at a moment's notice in my mind like Buddy's in Detroit or John's Pizza in NYC and now I think this double Animal-style'd meal is on that list.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

How The Other Half Fly (Or American Airlines Finally Gets Around To Updating Their Planes)


I was on a flight home from the West Coast a few weeks back and I had seat 3A.  In the armrest was this tethered 'remote' and in front of me was this touchscreen (below).  On it, was a series of movies on demand, some tv shows and it seemed even games.

I spent the time ONLY in the movies section and watched two pretty great movies:  Whiplash and St. Vincent.

The plane I was on was one of the 'new' American jets and it was pretty nice.  Seats were comfortable, clean and the technology was nice.  I didn't get to look around, but I'm guessing that these screens are in *every* seat?  The movies were free, which was great, but not sure of the experience elsewhere.

I usually travel on longer flights with a movie or two pinned to my tablet.  And because I don't know when/where I'll get one of these new AA jets, I'll probably keep doing that.  But...when luck shines on me and I get this setup, I'll enjoy it.  It was preeetay, preeetay, prettay nice.


Monday, March 02, 2015

The Finer Things - Steve Winwood

Admittedly, this song sure is a slow starter, but when the chorus kicks in, there can't possibly be a person in this here world who doesn't want to sway back and forth to the tune and get a smile on their face, right?

Just pure gold, Steve.  Gold.

But...the reason for this post is to point out a major rift in our house.  
I don't actually think there's a more divisive artist in our household than Steve Winwood.  Nat thinks he's all synth and sounds sooooo specific to a period of the 80's.  I, on the other hand, love just about everything he puts out.  #SynthFTW.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

My Detroit-Style Dough Formulation - Baker's Percentage

For the past few years, I've been toying (well...a little bit more than toying!) around with a Detroit-style dough formulation that was based solely on this formulation from PizzaHog on the PizzaMaking.com forums.  But, the dough was never quite 'enough' to fill the pans to all four corners.

So, over the past few months, I've taken to the baker's percentage calculator (Thx, NYU!) to 'up' the size of the total dough ball in volume, but keep the percentages equal.  So, I've take the flour up from 273 grams to 300 grams and the calculator factor'd the rest.  With the extra 25 grams, the skin flows out to the corners and fills up the pan all the way.

The past few times I've made pizza at home, I've had to turn to the calculator each time I wanted to make pizza.  Now, I'm planting this here on the blog, so I can turn to it when necessary.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bacon-Wrapped Crust On Detroit-Style Pie?

That's what the folks at Little Caesar's are touting this week. A pizza 'encased' in bacon.

Here's what it looks like courtesy of USNews:


From the looks of it, they've topped the pie with even more bacon and pepperoni.  I make a Detroit-style sausage/pepperoni (or soppressata).  And...I really like the 'meat lovers' pie from Home Run Inn (the restaurant version more than the frozen version).

So, it seems that this is something I should be trying to make, right?  I typically employ a two cheese process on my Detroit-style pizzas.  And...I do a cold rise with the skins.  I wonder when you put the bacon in?  Maybe you take the raw bacon and weld it to the side of the pans and allow the dough - which when started is almost like pancake batter - kind of 'grow out' to the sides and get to the bacon?  What about the charred/carmelized cheese that normally graces the sides of these pies?  You know the kind...like at Peaquod's/Burt's?  Does the bacon eliminate that?  Guessing it might?

Nothing I like better than a good pizza experiment, though.  I'll give it a shot.  Will report back.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Quick Bay Area Trip


Unlike my trip to Denver a week back, this trip I was able to spend just a/bit more time taking it all in.  Didn't hurt that we walked to a few meetings in the city.  Oh...and as I'll post soon... I house'd a gross yet awesome burger/fries combo, too.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Abestos Removal At Old Plass Store in Elmhurst

Just a week or so ago, I posted about how there was some 'action' at the old Plass Appliance building in Downtown Elmhurst.

After walking by the place on the way to my train, it seems that there's some work being done and it isn't a job I'd be interested in:

 
There's some talk about what is next with the building and what the location means for the City Centre.  It is a supremely important location and the desires of the new owner (if there is one?) and keeping that old storefront intact will (hopefully!) be balanced.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why It Is No Big Deal That Disney Is Raising 1 Day Ticket Prices


If, like me, you spend any times surfing Disney blogs, forums, social handles, you've undoubtably have heard the news that (gasp!) Disney has increased the price of a 1 day park ticket to over $100 for the first time.  It is now set at $105 for a one day pass up from $99 just a few months ago.  (Let's be honest, here.  You're not like me and you don't lurk on Disney Forums, but...for the sake of this post, let's just pretend, ok??)

Here's the thing:  it doesn't really matter.  In fact, Disney raising their prices yesterday doesn't affect just about most people who are Disney World travelers.

I heard this discussed on TheDis Unplugged podcast last week (yes...shameful, I know.  But, I listen to some Disney podcasts.) and I think they had it right.  I'm going to riff off what they said because I think it is worth noting and something consider before you groan about Disney 'raising prices'.

Almost NOBODY buys a 1 day ticket for Disney World.  Everyone buys 'packages' that span multiple days and usually multiple parks.  Or....they're annual passholders and go a lot.

But, what Disney is doing here is all about the economics of making you think you're getting a 'good deal' on your multi-day package.  If, they artificially inflate the one day pass to $105, but you're buying 3 or 4 day passes, you get the warm fuzzy feeling when you compare what you are paying to the 'full price' of buying 3 or 4 one-day tickets.

Now, Disney World (I believe) has seen record crowds the past few years, so they're also testing the tolerance of the marketplace.  Can they inch up park prices and maintain record crowds?  Probably.

But, I don't think that's what at play here.  It is all about the optics of the 'deal' you are getting when they sell you a package.  The other dynamic at play is how Disney is working to keep you at their parks more and AWAY from their competition (Universal Studios).

Look at what it costs to go from a 3 day park pass to a 4 day park pass.

Right now, a 3 day ticket costs:  $292.88 including taxes.

A four day ticket?  Just $324.83.  Meaning for just $32 more bucks, you can get an extra day.

A five day ticket?  $335.48.  For 10 bucks, you get a fifth day at the park.

A six day ticket?  Add another ten bucks.

That four to five day ticket is the magic spot and the one that the Disney folks are working to protect.  Why?  Because they have four parks.  And...if someone was heading to Orlando they might be willing/interested in trying out the competition at Universal Studios.  Hell...the Harry Potter stuff looks awfully neat.  Why wouldn't you go there on the fifth day of your trip?

Well...it is because:  if you go to Universal for Harry Potter, you're going to plunk down $100 a head for they day.

If you opt to stay and head back to the Magic Kingdom or do more at Epcot, guess what?  It's only $10 a head.

So....back to my main point:  all this belly-aching about the prices going to $105 for a day at Disney is silly.  Nobody....for the most part...actually buys one day tickets in Orlando.

This move is all about optics.  It is about convincing you (and me) that we're getting a 'good deal'.

And, you know what?  It worked.  I'm ok with that.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Let's Do This: Disney FastPass+ Selections


This is where all the Disney blog reading/message board lurking pays off.

"Hard to get" Fastpass+'es?

Not for *this guy*!

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