Where Do You Eat?

A friend of mine recently turned me on to the 3/50 Project.  The concept is simple: find 3-local businesses that you’d miss if they were gone and spend a total of $50 at each of them.  It is really simple.  Fifty bucks isn’t too much and you’re probably spending the money elsewhere anyway.However, $50 at your local market is so much more important than $50 to Safeway.  In fact, if you spend $100 at a local business, $68 of that money stays local compared to $43 at a national chain.  Next time you’re racking up a $300 bill at WalMart, keep this in mind. Spend the extra couple of bucks to help your community.I love the idea of this and the easiest way that I’ve found to support this, since I don’t really buy stuff, is to do so via restaurants.  Well before I made the decision to support the 3/50 Project, I made a decision not to eat at restaurants that have television commercials.My feeling on this is two-fold. One, from a health standpoint, generally stores that advertise on television don’t sell food that is very healthy.  Next time you’re watching television and you see a commercial for a place that sells food, ask yourself if you really want to put that into your system.  I f’ing love McDonalds fries, but they are so bad for you. Don’t get me started on Chili’s / Fridays / Ruby Tuesday’s Jack Daniels Awesomely Awesome dips or the iHOP all you can plate of candy.  If it is food on TV, it is probably bad for you.Second, if you can advertise on television, you don’t need my money.  You’re a big national chain and my $25 won’t make an iota of difference to you. As a small, local business, it makes a huge difference.  Owners of the local restaurants that I go to know my name, they know what I like, and they appreciate my business.The next time you’re thinking about going out to dinner, don’t go to the big chain restaurant.  Do yourself a favor, check out a local place instead. Ask to meet the owner, ask what they recommend, buy the chef a beer.  You’ll get a much more enjoyable, memorable and healthy experience.

Nashville, TN & Rivals.com

I spent the past couple of days in Nashville, TN. The last time I was in Nashville was about 10 years ago, in August and I stayed at the horrid Opryland Hotel, that I never left. It was awful and, truthfully, I wasn’t really looking forward to coming back for more of that.This time around, I stayed over by Vanderbilt University and I got to see the actual town. I found Nashville to be a very cool city. Not so big that you could get consumed by it (Chicago / NYC), but not so small that it has no culture. I was also amazed at how friendly & polite people were. If I lived in that kind of weather (100+ and humid), I’d be f’ing miserable all the time. It is a testament to the caliber of people in Nashville. Compared to Northern California, it was like going to the Planet of Politeness.I was there meeting with Rivals.com, the college football site that Yahoo recently acquired. These guys were great to hang out with. Shannon & Bobby and team have built one of the most kick-ass work environments I’ve ever been in (keep in mind that it is their job to keep up with college sports and let your mind wander). I learned a lot and am hopefully coming back to S’vale with a lot of ideas that can be put in place to make the Rivals customer experience better. This is going to be hard due to the fact that the guys who are running it now are really solid.While in Nashville, Bobby from Rivals took me to Park Café one night. Easily one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I had a mixed green vinaigrette salad with dried cranberries, strawberries and cashews, duck over a bed of spinach and risotto with a glazed pear sauce and, per the recommendation of everyone, their world famous baked mac & cheese with green chili peppers. Yum, yum.Also, when in Rome, I had to get some southern BBQ. Last night, to watch the Bonds show. I hit up the Sportsman Grille over by Vanderbilt and ordered the half basket of ribs and fries. The half basket has to weigh 10 pounds. It was like eating a baby and when I woke up this morning, I felt like my body was rejecting an organ transplant. A run around campus in 90 degree weather hopefully helped to burn a few of the 3,000 calories that I consumed during that meal.Nashville is a great place and I’m really excited to have the Rivals guys on board at Yahoo.

34 Years Young

Media_httpwwwcinnabar_scckb

I had a pretty rockin birthday weekend. I played a very mediocre round out at Cinnabar yesterday, but stayed within my 2-Kid index (which is my regular index plus a few strokes since, with 2 kids, I don’t play often enough to keep any part of my game consistent). It was a perfect weather day and played with one of my favorite partners, so all things being equal, it was damn nice.Holly ran the Rock & Roll marathon this morning and I rode my bike with the Burley in tow to cheer her on at the 11 mile marker (she exercises for both of us).I lounged a bit the rest of the day, went to sushi for dinner and lounged some more. All in all, no complaints from an old man.

Gringo Burritos

Aside from the fact that it is white Mexican food, I don’t know why Alarm:Clock hates Chipotle so much. Perhaps because they are a McDonalds spin-off? But this was an out of character tirade this morning. Funny, but somewhat out of character for A:C.Will Tech Beat Gringo Burritos?As for a tech IPO happening that will beat the GBIPO (Gringo Burrito IPO), why bother dealing with the SEC and all the hassles of IPO when YouTube & Facebook are getting $1B+ valuations for acquisition? As for true tech, the big money (at least for a pre-ipo / acquisition valuation) is in content these days. Pure technology plays either just aren’t sexy enough (remember Akamai’s IPO?) or just don’t have a big enough market share (remember Rambus?) to command the type of run that the McDonalds of burritos would.Create a mobile service that doesn’t drop my connection on 280 just before 92 and you may have something valuable.

Cod Cheeks

Media_httpwwwirmahale_aithv

My friend Brendan is an awesome chef. I love going to his house because there is always incredible wine and food that I’ve never heard of, but always prepared in such a way that you could gorge yourself all night. Brendan makes his own cheese. And when he isn’t making his own multi-course meals for himself, his wife and guests, he is usually eating at some of the top restaurants in San Francisco. So you have the idea.Brendan also just recently launched his new food blog, Cod Cheeks. I am enough of a white trash kind of guy that I had no idea what cod cheeks are. Candidly, I still don’t but I understand that they are some type of delicacy. Like art & wine, I put fancy food into the category of I know what I like and what I don’t like, but I don’t know much more than that. His site focuses not only on how to cook up some of these great meals and offers suggestions on what to eat and drink with what, but also reviews some of these hot restaurants.As such, you can imagine my surprise when Brendan asked me to be a guest contributor to this site as one of the restaurant reviewers. Cool, I thought, but then I realized that I have a.) no experience being a restaurant reviewer and b.) since I have 2 kids, I don’t go to good restaurants, I go to places that have video games in the corners and c.) Like I said, I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy I usually don’t get to risky with the menu.His answer to that was awesome. No problem a.) we don’t have any experience either b.) you can write reviews on places that are kid friendly and c.) this will give you an excuse to try new things out. Great says I, sign me up. And thus, I am ‘The Man on the Street, Looking for Something to Eat.’