Friday, November 30, 2007

Pescado Perfecto

Being an indecisive soul, I really struggle picking a meal on the days when I don't bring my lunch to work. My office is located in Ballston, so there's a plethora of options--some good, some bad. I am a tried and true food court appreciator and will occasionally hit the court at the Ballston Mall. It's not on the same caliber as Pentagon City mall, but there are some decent choices. One place there that I always enjoyed is La Choza, which is now called Fabian's. I hadn't even realized that they switched names and spruced it up because I haven't been to the court in a while, but they did a nice job.

While deliberating over what to get for lunch I opted to hit Fabian's because I had a coupon for a free specialty drink with the purchase of a meal. A lady was handing them out a few months ago and it was set to expire on December 31 of this year! I figured, no sense letting a good coupon go to waste! Upon my arrival at Fabian's I stared at the menu like I usually do and let a few people go ahead of me, like I usually do, because I couldn't make a decision. Looking for something on the lighter side I went with the "Pescado", described on the menu as, "Flounder sauteed with green peppers, onions, and tomatoes." You get a choice of two sides and I got black beans and salad. The lady told me it would be about 5 minutes since it's made to order. No problem. As I was standing there I also decided that I should add some yuca to my order (there goes a perfectly healthy meal). While waiting I asked the lady if they still take my drink coupon and she said "absolutely." She asked me if I had tried them and I said no. So she proceeded to pour me little samples of each one! The choices are pina colada (minus the booze), horchata, tamarindo, and maranon. Daaaaammnnnn! These treats were great! They reminded me a bit of the juegos frescos and agua dulce I've had in Costa Rica. After tasting them I chose the maranon--cashew fruit drink with a light citrus flavor. The lady told me about the fruit it comes from with the poisonous cashew nut. Interesting. She also told me how they changed the menu a little bit and the new stuff that's available.

My food came and I sat down. The plate was jammed full of salad (tomatoes and lettuce with a little sauce), black beans, and a huge portion of flounder. The fish was so tender and flavorful that I was taken back a bit! I've had the food here before, and while tasty, was nowhere near this level. The fish was fresh and tender and brought together nicely with the peppers, onions, and sauce. I also added some salsa verde and red salsa for heat. And my maranon was a great addition to the whole meal. Also, the yuca was some of the freshest I've ever had. Often, yuca is tough and tastes like it's been sitting around for a week. This was crisp on the outside from the fryer and nice and soft in the middle.

So what? So there you go. A nice meal at a nice little food court establishment. The lady at the cash register was awesome because she was friendly and told me interesting stories. So that's what I would call service Salvadorean style.

Their new menu has a Website, which says "coming soon." So check back later if you want to see what's cookin'.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Holidays are Near--Let's Be Careful Out There!

So I went to the local Starbucks near my office. I had the yen for their Christmas Blend, which is actually a decent cuppa joe. I considered getting a scone too, but opted just for the coffee. Instead of turning this into a rant about my love/hate relationship with Starbucks, I'll stick to the subject at hand--be careful! As I was going up to place my order, one of the workers spilled a scalding hot coffee on the leg of the cashier who was taking my order. Yowza. She yelped because, in case you don't know, Starbucks coffee is otherworldly hot. But the main point is the worker who did the spilling. She was carrying a venti coffee by the lip of the cup. A venti coffee, Starbucks largest, is 20 oz. When filled with scalding hot liquid it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that 1) the integrity of the cup is going to deteriorate because of the hot liquid, 2) 20 oz of coffee is heavy when viewed in context of a top-heavy cup, 3) you shouldn't carry a top-heavy, deteriorating cup with no lid by the lip! Common sense. Oh well. I'm sure the cashier will be OK. Maybe I'll bring her some salve later. First I'll drink my coffee, which is finally cool enough to sip. Moral of the story--be careful folks. Here come the holidays.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hollywood Writers Strike. Family Guy

Just a quick note regarding the writers strike in Hollywood. Frankly, I embrace the notion of no new shows for a couple weeks because it gives me time to catch up on the other stuff that is in the backburner. TiVo is full with programming just ready to be watched and if I'm able to catch up, all the better! Plus I can catch up on some newspaper reading. It's not that I like to see people out of work, it's just that TV gets you sometimes. What with it's funny programming, hilarious bloopers, captivating reality shows. Wait. Sorry. Those are all lies. TV is a vapid wasteland that will suck you in and not even have the courtesy to give you a reacharound. But damn, I love it!

Speaking of TV: I was watching the 100th episode of "Family Guy" this past Sunday and a thought came to me. Surprising right? How did the Kool Aid Man always break through walls with breaking himself? Presumably he was made out of glass, right? Well how come he never broke. He used to beat the piss out of those walls. God forbid you tap some wine glasses just right: shattered glass everywhere. But Kool Aid Man? He can break through a wall (full mind you!), and just stand there and scream, "OH YEAH!" I guess that was American construction for you back in the day. A full pitcher of juice can bust through a wall and live to talk about it. Outstanding.