Le Steve Gourmet
I’m super lucky to be writing this update today, because my “superiors” (and I use that term pretty loosely) at FreshCut are being major pains in the butt. I asked for a day off to write, but they said “no way,” so right now I am using my last sick day to write this. So if I catch some crazy disease, I’m going to be coughing all over everyone at work and it’s basically FreshCut’s fault.
My idea for this update was kind of a spur of the moment deal. I was originally writing a thing about who the strongest guy in the world is, but that is going to have to wait for next time. I was writing, I got a little case of what Keith and I call “Steve Belly,” which is a condition where my stomach starts growling so loud you can hear it from across a room. It seriously freaks people out, and I think it kept me from getting dates with girls in high school because people would think I was farting (but I wasn’t)!
So I decided to head to the store to get something to eat, and as soon as I got there I noticed that Keith’s car was there. You can spot it a mile away, it’s a brown Dodge Colt from the 80s with a big window sticker that says “PANTERA,” and it must be the ugliest car in town. As far as I know he doesn’t even like Pantera anymore. So I went in the store and hunted down Keith in the frozen foods, and we started BSing about food, we were both just cracking up, so I knew I would have to drop everything and write about food. So anyway, I bought a bunch of my favorite foods and went to Keith’s apartment and took some photos so I could show you guys exactly how I cure “Steve Belly” when it strikes.
Most articles about food you read on the Internet are about weird candy from Japan or mixing up gross things and eating them or something, but with this one I’m just going to try to give you my perspective on food in an honest way and not be gross or weird about it. It’s kind of funny because another guy on this site recently wrote a thing about eating doggie treats, so this article is like being on vacation from getting grossed out.
Part One: The Entrée
The easiest and most economical way to get full in this world is in the frozen food aisle. The only trick is that you have to skip everything that says “Lean,” “Smart” or “Healthy Choice” on the box. If we wanted to be healthy and lean, we wouldn’t be buying frozen stuff, and if we were smart we’d know how to make roast chickens and stuff, right? So what we want to do is skip straight to the three major brands. If you read my update about painting an Owl Bear figurine, you know that I love White Castle frozen cheeseburgers, so we’ll put those in the number one spot. The second brand you want to look for is Claim Jumper, because basically everything they make has gravy on it. The third one, the one I’m going to focus on today, is Hungry Man.
This right here is the Hungry Man Sports Grill beer-battered chicken tenders and cheesy potatoes entrée. I decided to write about this one because it has this awesome personal meaning for me. Check this out: I was super hungry at like 4AM one time, and I went to the store to pick up some frozen White Castle burgers, but they were out of them, and I was really really bummed. I’d been having a crappy night anyway, but I was just not prepared for disappointment at Safeway. And this sounds dumb, I’m not much of a Christian, but I actually closed my eyes and prayed to find something as good as the White Castle burgers. I only had to look around for a minute before I noticed the Hungry Man chicken and potatoes meal, and I was like “yes, this is it.” They aren’t quite as good as White Castle burgers, but they’re almost as good, so I still buy them sometimes when I want to feel like somebody up there is looking out for me.
Okay, but here comes the awesome gourmet part! These things are super good on their own, but one day I was watching The Food Network and they were making all these crazy California Cuisine type things, where they’d have a chicken with mangoes and stuff all over it, and it inspired me to experiment a little bit, so I looked around for any kind of fruit in my house to go with my Hungry Man, and lo and behold I found this:
It’s Smucker’s pineapple topping, if you can’t read that. Sorry for the blurry photos, but Keith’s camera is really crappy. I know it sounds weird because pineapple sauce is sweet and chicken is meaty, but seriously, try this out. You have to have an open mind because it is an unconventional flavor, but all you have to do is take the chicken tender and dip them in the sauce and it’s seriously awesome.
I call it Steve’s Chicken a la Piña. I couldn’t get Keith to try it, because he is weird about food. Ha ha, speaking of Keith and food, check out what I found in his house:
I asked him what the hell it is, and he said his little dumbsack brother Derek left it at his house. Derek was supposed to be on a beer run for his friends, but when he got to the store he was totally baked and he bought a whole case of this stuff because he thought it gets you high. How stupid is that? And his friends all drank a bunch of it anyway because they didn’t have any beer and they were out of money. I tried some and it tasted like wood.
As you know from reading my Owl Bear article, the only proper drink for a real gourmet gentleman is Barq’s Root Beer, preferably drunk out of a two-liter bottle. The sad part of this article is that I didn’t buy any Barq’s because I assumed Keith would have some, but all he had was this:
It was this horrible generic stuff. Look at it, there’s not even foam on it. Whoever brews Safeway root beer should be ashamed of themselves, because I’ve seen a lot of root beer in my days and that ain’t root beer. So anyway, Keith is a jerk and I had to drink this swill water.
And no dinner is any good without a side dish, so I present to you the ultimate in chip technology: Munchies. I know a lot of you are devoted to your chip of choice and you’re going “no way, I’m not going to change chips for anybody,” but the great thing about Munchies is that they’re chips you’re already used to! I know that telling you to switch chips is so weird that it’s like I’m telling you to kiss a dude or something, but believe me that these things are worth trying.
They have Doritos, Cheetos AND pretzels, so you’re getting three bags of chips at once. They also have Sun Chips, but I pretty much ignore those and leave them in the bag because I still haven’t got a good answer about what the heck a Sun Chip is. It’s not corn or potato, so what is it? Is it like flax seed or something, or is it some weird dietary thing for people who can’t eat gluten? Basically I don’t know and I don’t care. Whew, so now we’re done with dinner so it’s time for the good part.
Part Two: The Dessert
Since desserts are pretty small and cheap, I figured I’d write about a few of them at once here. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not some big hideous fat person who eats like twenty candy bars and cookies every day, I’m just eating a few different types of desserts for the purposes of this article! I don’t eat all of these at once or anything. I’m not a skinny guy by any means, but you know what I'm saying.
The first thing I’m going to talk about is candy. Basically I am a master expert at candy. If you name any kind of candy, I can tell you the best way to eat it so as you get your maximum amount of enjoyment out of it. Keith thinks I’m weird about candy, because his philosophy is just to eat it like it is, but I am more of a thinking person about it.
Like for example, maybe you have some Skittles and you want to know what order to eat them in. Let’s say your favorite color is orange, right? So most people’s instinct would be to separate them out and eat the orange ones last. Wrong! What you want to do is eat them third or fourth. You have to build up to the orange ones, and then once you’ve enjoyed them, you have to have another flavor so you can cool off. If you eat the orange ones last, you’re just going to be bummed when you run out because you want more orange and there are no more Skittles of any kind. But if you eat the orange ones and then you eat a flavor you don’t like as much, like green or purple, you’re going to feel like you’re all done and you’re stopping at a logical place, right? It makes sense in my head so I hope you’re picking up what I’m laying down.
But I got kind of sidetracked with Skittles, I don’t even have any Skittles. What I did get in the candy department is some chocolate. I’m very particular about chocolate. Some people go in the candy aisle and they’re drawn to the expensive stuff like your Ghirardelli’s or your Toblerones. But I say you have to go for the classic Charleston Chew. You get twice as much chocolate taste for like half the money, because you’re not just paying the extra dollars for your chocolate to be in a triangle, like with Toblereone. If you ask me, it is a total ripoff. Here are some Charleston Chews to illustrate how delicious candy is:
Yeah! These are the mini kind, but you have to be careful with these if you’re watching your figure because you’ll eat a ton of them without knowing.
The other great candy in this world is the Butterfinger. I have a special way of eating Butterfingers, too, and it is borne out of necessity. I smoke, and so my sense of taste isn’t as strong as it used to be, and when you combine that with the fact that I have eaten literally about a million Butterfingers in my lifetime, I can barely even taste them anymore. I am so used to Butterfingers that they kind of taste like nothing. It’s like Butterfinger is the neutral taste in my mouth. There are two ways to get around this for me: first is to stop eating Butterfingers for a few months until I’m not so used to them, but screw that. The second way, and this is my more preferred way, is to eat them with some frosting. Or rather, eat some frosting with them!
It’s the perfect way to enhance a Butterfinger. You just dip it in the frosting and eat it. It’s like you’re eating the frosting with a fork, but then you get to eat the fork and it’s made of a Butterfinger.
So now we move on to Cookies, and here I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This is the best-kept secret in the cookie world! Check these babies out:
These are called Lu Little Schoolboy Cookies, and they are basically a shortbread cookie with so much chocolate on top of them that they’re like a cookie and a candy bar wrapped into one thing. I don’t have any idea why these aren’t just as popular, or more popular, than things like Oreos and Chips Ahoys. Maybe it’s because the eyes on the actual chocolate schoolboy are kind of creepy and they scare kids, but maybe it’s because they’ve been suppressed by the government because they would kill the cookie and candy industries by merging them into one thing. I’m kidding, but seriously, maybe that could be more true than I know.
But for pure uncomplicated cookie enjoyment, there is always going to be a place in my heart for Oreos, which are like the great classic cookie in this world. They’ve tried to improve the Oreo in a million ways, like putting mint and peanut butter and twice as much stuffing in them, but you can’t improve on perfection, and maybe it’s time Nabisco learned that and stopped dicking around.
The ads try to sell you on the idea that the way to eat an Oreo is by twisting it apart and/or dipping it in milk, but there is actually a better way. I like to call this “marinating” the Oreo. What you do is fill a glass up part way with milk, and then just drop an Oreo in there. Don’t bother dipping it, that’s just childish. Just drop the thing in there and wait a minute, then eat it out with a fork. Perfect marinated Oreo, Steve-Style!
Actually, I said dipping them was childish, but that’s kind of ironical because I learned this method from a child. There was an Oreo commercial where this little black kid was trying to dip an Oreo in milk but he basically sucked at it and just dropped the whole thing in, and I saw that and I was like “you know what, that kid’s got an idea there.”
Oh jeez, I have to stop this update now because I am getting seriously full. Back in high school I could have eaten all that stuff and come back for seconds, but this isn’t high school anymore! I hope you enjoyed Le Steve Gourmet, and I’ll see you guys later!
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
As the 19th century diver approaches a giant clam, a flash of brilliant golden light flares from within the shell. I emerge in a swirl of bubbles and do the timeless universal underwater hand signals for the following: ZODIAC KILLER, KKK, BLOOD OF YOUTH
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.