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Guidelines For The Proper Cheeseburger

Christopher Locke

1.  If you're going to put cheese on a burger, make sure it's melty.

2.  If the meat and cheese are good, the vegetables will just clutter it.

3.  Don't choose between fries and onion rings.  Get them both.

4.  Seafood is unnecessary.  When you're at the beach, a burger will do.

5.  If you go to a restaurant, and they won't put a fried egg on your burger, it's OK to never go back to that restaurant.  It's up to you.


For the record, Bobby's on the Beach has the best onion rings on any beach I've been to.

Proper Method For Applying Salt To French Fries

Christopher Locke

If you put the salt on the fries, it will bounce around and fall through to the bottom.  Your fries will still taste like paper pulp, and you will leave all of your precious salt laying on the plate.

Instead, use the salt to make a little snow-capped mountain on the ketchup.  Now, when you dip your fries into the ketchup, they will pick up the perfect amount of salt.  Enjoy!

Reclaiming Electrolytes

Christopher Locke

After a long day of hard work, it's sometimes necessary to rebuild the balance of electrolytes in your body.  For some people, that means drinking something like Gatorade or Powerade.  For me, it's just an excuse to feast on my favorite flavor - Salt.

Next time you're out at a bar, or a restaurant that has a bar, try this:  Ask the bartender to salt the rim of a pint glass, then fill it with Diet Coke.  It may sound strange, but it's the right thing to do, and a really healthy way to do it.

Salt is really good for you, and it's delicious.

Once you realize how much better your Diet Coke is, you'll need to invest in a salt-rimming set for your home.  You might also like to try your Diet Coke with lemon-flavored sugar.  Go crazy and rim your glass with Fun Dip.  Surprise your friends with a Diet Coke rimmed in ranch dressing.  The sky is the limit.

Brisket Breakfast

Christopher Locke

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Micklethwait Craft Meats, and gorge myself on their tasty brisket.  This is barbecue done right!

I tried the Frito Pie, with a side of potato salad, and topped it off with a little bit of their buttermilk pie.  How delightful!

The Frito Pie had a big hunk of savory brisket on top, a small mountain of chili, all piled on a bed of crispy, salty, crunchy Fritos, with a couple of plant parts scattered around.  The potato salad was a substantial portion, and had the perfect balance of carbs and mayo.  The buttermilk pie was exactly what you would hope to find if someone offered you buttermilk pie.  What more can I say?

Just a reminder...  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Granola bars are fine, if you're a bear and you eat a dozen of them.  The semi-sophisticated life calls for a hearty breakfast.  Otherwise, you're just setting yourself up for failure.

Cheeseburger Breakfast, Part II.

Christopher Locke

You may remember one of the greatest breakfasts ever, the Cheeseburger Breakfast.  You may also already know that the best kind of cheeseburger is one with a fried egg on it.

In fact, here's a photo of one such cheeseburger:

This one's from a restaurant in Austin called "El Sapo."  It's a charming old garage that's been turned into a semi-sophisticated bar and restaurant.  Mostly a bar.  They have twice as many seats at the bar than they have parking spots in the lot.  So plan on riding your fixie, or take an Uber.

Anyway, it's a hell of a burger, and exponentially greater when they put a farm-fresh egg on top.  Wow.  Many protein.

So back to my point... If you already read the post about the cheeseburger breakfast, or you already know about the best breakfast foods ever, then you don't need me to tell you about Sawyer and Company's cheeseburger omelette.  If you don't know, you're going to learn today.

A cheeseburger omelette is just what it sounds like.  It's an omelette stuffed with ground beef, grilled onions, cheese, tomatoes, and FRENCH FRIES.  That's right.  Fries INSIDE the omelette.  The day I ate my first cheeseburger omelette, I was reborn.

One may think it couldn't get any better than that, but one would be wrong.  The omelette comes with a tasty, tasty biscuit.  The biscuit is the cupcake's ugly cousin.  But don't take my word for it. Pour some melted butter on it and chow down!

You can thank me later.

Pizza Hut Breadstick Sauce Procedure

Christopher Locke

Everybody knows:  The best pizza in the world is Totino's Pizza Rolls (in a bowl, in bed, watching a movie, with a sexy lady, while it's raining outside).  That's the semi-sophisticated life!

The second favorite pizza in the world is obviously from Pizza Hut.  In most cases, stuffed crust pepperoni is unstoppable.  (Just ask my colon!)  But while you're at The P-Hut, don't forget the breadsticks!  It's basically the pan pizza without the cheese, and with the sauce on the side.  Most people skip the breadsticks, but that's because they don't know the Splotch! method of preparing the marinara-esque sauce in the extra grande ramekin.

Step 1.  Admire the sauce in its simplicity.  Then kiss it goodbye!

Step 2.  Add a generous sprinkling of white desiccant powder.

Step 3.  I said "generous."  Seriously.  Be a man.  Think "snow-capped mountain."

That's better.

Step 4.  Break off a breadstick and stir your sauce.  Keep adding the white desiccant powder until you achieve the consistency of toothpaste.

If you do it right, you can eat all the sauce with fewer than two breadsticks.  Don't be afraid to ask for more sauce.  If you get extra sauce, be sure and leave a huge tip.  That's the semi-sophisticated way!


Proper Pancake Prep

Christopher Locke

When I think of breakfast, I think of tacos.  But I recognize that pancakes are a staple of any hearty breakfast.  Unfortunately, most people haven't been taught the proper way to set up pancakes for optimal enjoyment.  Please allow me to explain.

1.  The middle of the pancake is usually the fluffiest, thickest, and most delicious part.

2.  Butter is the best condiment for a pancake, but it would be socially unacceptable to roll up a pancake and dip it in a bowl of melted butter.  But apparently it's OK to drown them in sugary maple tree sap, which doesn't make much sense.  So ideally, one should put as much butter on a pancake as is socially acceptable.

3.  In most cases (especially at a diner), one is not likely to eat the entire stack of pancakes, because it will come with eggs, bacon, sausage, and home fries.  If you aren't eating all of this for breakfast, you're probably dying of malnutrition.  You'll know it's true, because you're probably hungry right now.  If you aren't going to eat the whole thing, why would you start with the dried up thin edge?

So I've developed a procedure for preparing pancakes properly.  Follow along, and live the semi-sophisticated life.

First, you'll want to order a full breakfast.  Try to hit all the food groups, including meat, grains, potatoes, egg, cheese, and Diet Coke.  Don't forget the pancakes, obviously.  And you probably don't need to bother with blueberries, strawberries, or even worse- mixed berries!  What is this, France in the 50's?  Please.  Just bring me buttermilk pancakes and save the berries for baby food.

Pancakes.  Hot syrup.  Fluffy butter.

Ok.  The pancakes have arrived.  Grab that butter and get to work.  Divide all the butter you have (ALL the butter.  ALL of it.) equally for each pancake.  Don't be afraid to ask for more.  Put a blob of butter on the bottom pancake first.  Don't spread it around, just stick it in the middle and put the next pancake right on top.

Just put a big lump of butter in the middle.

Continue putting butter on each pancake.  Don't make it fancy.  Just get it in there quick, while the pancakes are still hot.

Use all the butter.

Now let that sit.  The heat from the pancakes will melt the butter.  While you wait, eat the rest of the breakfast.

Normally, I live on ketchup.  But I don't put ketchup on my eggs.  Sometimes, I will dip a home fry in it, but it would be a travesty to drown these beautiful eggs in ketchup.  Moderation, folks!  Once you've finished the eggs, meat, potatoes, and more meat, it's time to get back to the pancakes.

Eat while you wait.

It's OK if the butter's not completely melted.  Don't hesitate.  Use your fork to perforate a circle through the entire stack, just around the butter blob.  Poke straight down and move the fork in an up-and-down motion while going in a circle.  I like to imagine I'm ice fishing, and the fork is the saw cutting a hole through to the water.

Dig in.

This part is called "The Center of the Universe."  It's an edible sponge soaked in melted butter.  It's the most delicious thing you will ever eat before noon.  Leave the syrup out of it.  This moment is all about you and the butter.  Savor it.

The Center of the Universe

If you ate the middle and left the rest, I wouldn't blame you one bit.  Pancakes are kind of like Oreo Cookies.  You may only want the middle, but you have to buy the whole thing.  People may look at you strangely if they catch you eating the middle and throwing the rest out, but they're probably just jealous.  Think about this:  If we eat a fish, don't we usually discard the head and tail?  If we eat chicken, don't we get rid of the head and feet?  Don't be ashamed.  Eat the middle and throw the rest out.  However, if you decide you still want to eat the pancake, you're already set up for the most efficient syrup delivery method.  Fill the crater you've created all the way to the top with syrup.  Resist the urge to pour it all over.  The key here is to keep everything neat.  Pour the syrup in all the way to the top and then exercise a little restraint.

Fill 'er up!

Now you can use the fork to break parts off the middle of the pancake ring (which is now soaking up the syrup like a sponge), sweep them through the syrup pool, and deliver them straight to your yawning maw.  Pancakes sometimes form a sort of skin over the flat surfaces, which resist the syrup and send it off to the edges of the plate.  By digging this hole in the middle, you're allowing the syrup to access the more absorbent (and fluffier) middle pancake section.  Eat from the middle toward the edges until you are full enough to feel ill.

More more more more more more more more.

After the first time, you may never go back to the old inefficient ways of our ancestors.

Don't forget to finish your Diet Coke, and leave a big tip.

In Defense of the Cheeseburger Breakfast

Christopher Locke

Nothing on the menu appealed to me. It's strange to find myself in that situation, because I really love eating. My eyes scanned the menu again and again, but found nothing that would satisfy my hunger. For the last 24 hours, I had craved a cheeseburger, and it was all I could think about. But it was nine o'clock in the morning, and it was breakfast time. Had I been at Sawyer and Company, I could have gotten a cheeseburger omelette. That might have hit the spot.

Alas, I was at the Counter Cafe, and there was no cheeseburger omelette. The Counter Cafe has a reputation for serving a tasty cheeseburger for lunch, though. I checked the time again, hoping for a miraculous warp to lunchtime. My heart sank. 9:01. Not lunch time yet. My wife had decided on a biscuit and a breakfast taco. Ugh.

In a fit of desperation, I flipped the menu over. Oh man! Like a gift from the heavens, it appeared to me. At the top of the menu, a phrase I will never forget. “Lunch Served All Day.”

My heart filled with warmth. The angels sang. The world rejoiced! I shed a single tear.

Suddenly, I was consumed with doubt. Yes, they serve lunch all day. But it was still early. Wouldn't eating a cheeseburger this early be frowned upon? Would it be a social sin equivalent to ordering a round of tequila shots for breakfast? People have Mimosas and Bloody Marys for breakfast. What do I do? My mind began to race, grasping at any justification for eating a cheeseburger first thing in the morning.

Steak and eggs is a thing. Cheeseburger is just ground-up steak, without the eggs. (Should I ask for a fried egg on the burger? For future reference, the answer to that question is always “yes.”)... What's the difference between waking up and eating a cheeseburger versus working all night and having a cheeseburger when you're done? Can we really let the position of the sun in the sky dictate what kinds of foods are acceptable at any given moment? Is there something in a cheeseburger that absolutely shouldn't be eaten in the morning? If so, then a cheeseburger omelette wouldn't be a thing. But it's a thing. And ground beef breakfast tacos are a thing. Bread is always part of breakfast. Sometimes people eat breakfast for dinner. Pancakes are delicious just after midnight. Why not nighttime food in the day? Plenty of people put ketchup on their breakfast, too. Oh yeah... The burger comes with fries. That's just halfway between home fries and hash browns. No big deal. Can I come up with any good reason NOT to have a cheeseburger with my breakfast?

I cannot.

I will tell you this: I ordered a cheeseburger for breakfast. It was amazing. I will never regret it. The craving was satisfied, and I now have the energy I need to take on my busy day. Nobody said anything nasty to me. The waiter didn't cry when I ordered it. The world didn't end. I left with a full belly and a full heart.

I think I'll do it again.

Haribo Juicy Bears

Christopher Locke

We all love gummi bears.  Of course, Haribo is (by far) the king of gummi candies.  One might think it would be impossible to make a better gummi bear than a Haribo Gold Bear.  And then it happened.

The Haribo Juicy Bear is made with real fruit juice!  The flavors are a little different, a little stronger, and a little juicier.  This is the kind of gummi bear I want to eat one at a time, so I can savor the individual tastes, instead of eating entire fistfuls.

The first time I had Juicy Bears, a coworker had brought them back from Europe.  I remember getting halfway through the bag and accidentally biting my finger, because I was so eager to eat more!  The sudden shock broke my concentration, and I decided to stop eating, and save the rest for later.  I had no idea when I might get another bag of Juicy Bears, and I didn't want to waste them.

Luckily, I can now get them here in the States.  What a relief!  I can eat them with reckless abandon, knowing Haribo will always make more.  Thanks, Haribo!

Salt- The greatest flavor on earth

Christopher Locke

If you are like me (and let's face it, you really should strive to be), you love salt.  It's the greatest flavor on earth.  I don't mean "great" like the wall in China.  I mean "great" like Alexander the Great.  If Chuck Norris was a flavor, it would be Salt.  It's the flavor of a hard day's work.  It's in the smell of a day at the beach.  It's the tears of your joy and sorrow.

Salt is nature's punctuation.

So it's fitting that I should receive a salt sampler pack as an early birthday present.  And what a sampler it is!  The WORLD GOURMET Sea Salt Sampler is the greatest collection of flavory deliciousness I have ever seen.

This sampler contains 16 different salt varieties from all around the world.  Forget the boring keg of dried up white dust you get at the supermarket.  (Or was that thing here in the house when we moved in?  Did I buy this salt, or inherit it from my grandfather?)  That stuff is boring.  This sampler knows exactly what excites a salt connoisseur like me.  There's the obvious pink Himalayan, which everybody knows and loves.  Then there's Sagrada Rosa from Peru, Brittany Gray from France, the frosty white Aussie Snow, and an impressively rich Pele Red from Hawaii.  But my favorite today is the flaky black Cyprus Onyx.  The crystals are big and bold, looking like the structure of bismuth.  It's got a silky texture that makes me crave more.  And it's easy to see how much I am putting on my potato.

Pele Red

Cyprus Onyx

I'm overwhelmed by the variety included in this pack.  The samples aren't large, but they are more than enough for me to try them each several times, and decide which ones I need to get more of ASAP.

In closing, a salt haiku:

Salt.  Beautiful salt.

Delicious flavor of life.

Glorious earth-sweat.

How To Make the Perfect FroYo

Christopher Locke

Do you ever wish it was 1989 again?  If so, it might be time for frozen yogurt.  Of course, the kids today don't know about TCBY, they just call it "FroYo."  It's the Brangelina of desserts!

The Frozen Yogurt industry seems to have dried up about 2 decades ago, but it's making a comeback.  There are little shops popping up all around us.  Frozen yogurt is back with a vengeance, and the college girls love it!  The new shops provide all the toppings and flavors one would ever need, and they allow the customer to arrange their own sundae.  It's a beautiful concept, and one I enjoy regularly.  Since I am such an expert on eating FroYo, allow me to share my secrets.  I present to you: How to Make the Perfect Froyo.

Step 1. It all begins with a dozen flavors.  Mango, Chocolate, Mint, Pork, Lime, etc.  Skip this part.  We'll come back to it.

Step 2.  Officially, they are called "toppings," but you don't have to put them on top.  I started with a bed of crushed Butterfinger, and followed with a fistful of Cap'n Crunch.

The crunchy things on the bottom are like a pie crust.  They provide a good strong base upon which you will build a masterpiece.

Step 3.  Smother your base with your favorite flavor.  Here, I used either cheesecake or Crisco.  I can't remember.

Step 4.  "Toppings" go next.  In this case, it's strawberry, marshmallow goop, and Reddi-Whip.  I think.  (Or was it salsa, whey, and craft paste?  Who knows?  I didn't read the labels.  I was too excited.)

Step 5.  I like to sprinkle something crunchy on top.  Crushed peanuts, fruity pebbles, cedar shavings, or nail clippings.  Whatever you like.

Step 6.  Enjoy!  You've earned it.  You can eat it from one side to the other, getting a cross-section of all the layers, or you can eat it top-down, enjoying each delicious layer in turn.  If you go top-down slowly enough, the yogurt will melt into the cereal at the bottom, and it's like starting with dessert and ending with breakfast.  What a treat!

There you have it.  The perfect FroYo sundae.  It's a good pick-me-up after a long day of shopping, manicures, puppy-sitting, and browsing magazines.  Who can resist?

Diet Coke

Christopher Locke

Sweet Nectar of the Gods

Diet Coke is sparkly and delicious, and pairs splendidly with many different types of food.  The deep smoky notes bring out the flavor in your seafood.  The beverage has a strong bite which compliments any steak.  Try serving it in a flute alongside a fine French meal.  Most guests would mistake it for the most expensive champagne!  Only you will know the truth.

Although Diet Coke is extremely healthy, one must be careful not to drink too much too fast.  It should be sipped, not gulped.

Some people like to accent the pure sweet flavor with a spritz of lime juice, a dash of rum, or a wedge of lemon.  But I have my own method.  Start with a bottle of Diet Coke, chilled to just a few degrees below room temperature.  (We don't want the cold to shock the tastebuds, after all.)  Open the bottle, but don't let it breathe too long.  Rest your nose against the bottle's opening and inhale just a tiny whiff.  Let the fizz drift up into your sinuses and prepare the brain for the incoming wave of pure ecstasy.  Touch your lips to the bottle, and let the liquid glide over them.  But don't be greedy.  Just a sip is all you need.  Roll it around on your tongue, then push it forward between your teeth.  As the complexity of the flavor consumes you, relax the tongue just enough to let the beverage slip around the sides.  When you are ready, swallow.

Diet Coke is the best.  I want to swim in it.  I want to cuddle with it.  I want to have its babies.

Diet Coke is the tall dark stranger everyone is looking to meet.  Diet Coke makes me happy when I am sad.  It comforts me in my time of need.  I rest my head on Diet Coke's shoulder and I let it all out.

Studies have shown that most bad things in the world happen because people haven't had their Diet Coke.  The Berlin Wall was torn down by people trying to get to the Diet Coke on the other side.  The Panama Canal was designed to allow faster access to more Diet Coke.  The Great Wall of China was built to protect the vast hoards of Diet Coke from invading thirsty people.


Why did the chicken cross the road?  To get more Diet Coke.