Sunday, July 26, 2009
(I got tired of the SkyMall catalog shtick.)
On recommendation from Guy Fieri (a.k.a. "Guido"), we decided to check out Taylor's Automatic Refresher. For those not familiar with Guido's oeuvre, he's the Guy from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (a.k.a. "Triple-D"). A cheeseball, most certainly, but we like him and his show (more on that below), and he hasn't steered us wrong yet (in addition to Taylor's, we recently went to Byways Cafe in Portland, also featured on the show, also awesome).
Anyway, so Taylor's. They have three locations -- one in St. Helena, one in Napa, and one in San Francisco. Triple-D featured the Napa location, but we hit the one in SF, which is in the Ferry Building (which we recommend in general as a cool place to spend an hour or two -- they've got a bunch of shops including Cowgirl Creamery and Scharffen Berger, plus the Slanted Door, which is a great restaurant with a great bar). Our meal (pictured above) included the ahi burger, which is basically what got us in the door, and which turned out to be really super awesome. We had actually already tried making it with some friends about a month ago based on the recipe in Guido's book (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) and it was really delicious -- our grill-master did an excellent job and the ginger-wasabi mayo and asian slaw, courtesy of the Admiral, really made it. The version in the restaurant was just as good; OK, better. Plus we got some super-garlicky garlic fries with it, which definitely enhanced the experience, and a nice bottle of wine. The Admiral ordered the bleu cheese burger but accidentally got the cheeseburger (as he pointed out, more differentiation among the names of the menu items couldn't hurt), which was tasty too. It certainly wasn't cheap for a meal of burgers and fries, but oh my, it was yummy.
Back to Guido. There's a lot of hate out there on the internet for some reason (try googling "Guy Fieri" with "douchebag" and you'll see what I mean). And, you know, I can see how some people might find him annoying, although I also suspect people are jealous of how awesome his job is. But anyway, not liking him is fine (even though I don't really see how anyone can dispute the fact that it's cool how his show highlights independent local hangout spots that generally have moderate to low prices and often are into making all their food from scratch using organic and/or local ingredients), and certainly making snarky comments about a public figure is not something I disapprove of. What really grinds my gears, however, is the way that so many of people's negative remarks about him make reference to his being fat -- just try googling "Guy Fieri" with "fat". I have to admit that maybe his being a chunky fellow is part of why I like him -- granted, it's probably easier and more common for a fat man to get his own TV show than a fat woman, but still, not that many fat people have TV shows. So I give him props for making it in spite of being fat (actually I don't think he's all that fat -- but he's definitely fat for TV). Am I a hypocrite if I like the guy more because he's fat but I think it's bad if people like him less because he's fat? Well, no, I don't think so. Maybe I would be if there was someone I disliked because they were thin, but I'm pretty sure I'm not that way. And furthermore, it's probably pretty uncommon for someone to have to overcome anti-thin prejudice in order to make it on TV (I don't deny that anti-thin prejudice exists, but I'm thinking it's not much of a problem in Hollywood).