Friday, July 19, 2013

Dear Cork: July 19, 2013

Hello everyone,

I've received a few emails in the past couple of weeks. So I'm going to answer them in today's blog post.

Hey it's Barry. I'm taking a girl from the office out on a first date on saturday night. What should I wear and where should we go? 
First, let me give you a big congratulations on making the first step towards love. Second, be careful when dating somebody inside the office. The last thing you want is an awkward exchange at the water cooler or community microwave. But let's just give you the benefit of the doubt Barry. Assuming you reside in a metropolitan area, I would suggest Buffalo Wild Wings. They do in fact cook their chicken wings upon request (my favorite way to eat them). And to wear? Well, it all depends on the tone of the date. A first date is key. So I would suggest a nice pair of slacks along with a shirt with a collar. Avoid bright colors, as well. One time I wore a white shirt with bright green buttons on a date. Girl wouldn't stop staring at the things! I actually had to go to the restroom and remove the buttons completely. It's safe to say that was our first and only date together!

Frank here: When grilling hotdogs (high humidity), do you put them in straight from the freezer or let them thaw? Also, a buddy of mine has done some experimental cooking on the "bun rack" on his grill and was really happy with the results. Any feedback?
SSSSSSS. Hear that? That's the sizzle you get when you put frozen hotdogs on a hot grill. Some prefer it, but I like to thaw out my wieners. Be yourself though Frank!

It's funny Frank. I love cooking on my bun rack. It is one of the more under-utilized pieces in one's kitchen/back patio. The other day I threw some beets on the thing. You wouldn't believe what happened next! I fell asleep watching triple D (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) and forgot about the suckers! I full out sprinted to the grill to find them perfectly charred. That's the last time I experiment with pain killers!

Cork, is the term "half windsor" exclusive to tie knots? A guy at work called me that the other day. Just wasn't sure of the meaning.  
You know Gary, I am not sure of the culture in your particular workplace but I would say he is yanking your chain. Half windsor, in this case, could be a term of endearment. He could be calling you tidy and neat or implying your a little sloppy. Either way, I would put in my 2 weeks.

If you would like a question answered, email me at I can leave it anonymous or include your name in there.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Golden Corral

On a lonely October Sunday, about 7 years ago, my family decided to try out the new Golden Corral restaurant. It may not have actually been 7 years ago, but that date still feels like yesterday. A friend of our family invited us to eat lunch there. He wanted to pay for the whole thing, so we decided to give it a chance. Hey, the outside of it is huge right? It can't be that bad if all these people are pouring in. I should have known by the smell of the Mon River that this was the worst decision we have ever made in our entire lives.

The images of tapioca pudding spilling over into the apple sauce and the sausage gravy creeping ever so closely toward the salad bar station are still burned into my mind. Yesterday, a disgruntled employee uploaded this video to the internet and posted it on As it starts to go viral, this could mean the ultimate demise for Golden Corral. Ignore the fact that he looks like half the characters in the Wrong Turn series. This guy is my hero. If you search Youtube for "Golden Corral," several videos relating to this dump of a franchise come up. A specific report by ABC News highlights its "dirty dining." However, it is from 3 years ago. And the chain is still open. As interesting and informative as news reports are, Americans, especially those who regularly dine at Golden Corral, don't really care. It takes a viral image or video to really do some damage. What made Golden Corral so bad in the first place? I will rank them for you.

1. It's an American buffet. This is not the 90s. Buffets are no longer practical or successful, especially one as disgusting as Golden Corral. It makes Cici's look like a Sicilian marketplace. Even so, Cici's is on its way to bankruptcy. Chinese Buffets? I will dable in a few of those bad boys. That is only because Americanized Chinese food is still delicious in large buffet-style pans after its cooked. New England cod is not. 

2. Chocolate Fountain: Golden Corral had entire marketing campaign promoting this innovative dessert piece. The idea of a chocolate fountain in Golden Corral is gag worthy. There is nothing like walking up to the chocolate fountain for dessert and finding chunks of country ham and chicken wings floating at the bottom. Thank god I never experienced the chocolate fountain or the cotton candy maker but my thoughts and prayers are with those of you who did.
Seen here, thousands of Golden Corral customers pile in to dine each day
3. Atmosphere: I have only visited Golden Corral once, but my god is it a shit show. The regulars actually run from their cars to get in before you do. I watched this first hand. If I had to guess, they wanted to get to the nacho cheese before it skinned over. 

4. After the meal: the look on each person's face after they realize they made a huge mistake. No one is ever laughing. No one is having a good time. No one is happy. They are at Golden Corral for one reason: to gorge themselves with sodium.
I found the picture above on Google of 4 girls eating at Golden Corral. Normal scene right? Wrong. The smiling girl in front obviously did not eat. Good decision. She stuck with the water, which is still a huge stretch. The other girl looks clinically insane. Why? Look at her plate. Now look at her face. She made the worst decision she's ever made in her young life. She will never be the same person again. That could also be the look of embarrassment. Someone snapped a photo of her dining at Golden Corral, and her social life is over. Not even the cookie monster on her shirt would dive into Golden Corral's baked goods. The girl in the back is eating only bread, while the Asian girl clearly has no idea where she is at right now. She is eating the pie, which has caused lifelong dementia. She was so young.

Next photo. First, lets commend Golden Corral for placing the cheeseburgers in a spot unreachable for diners. What's this crack addict do? He dips his elbow into the chili dogs just to get to them. As he pulls the tongs to the plate, his arm hairs scrape off the food guards into the woman in the pink shirt's food. As if she cares. 
Finally, this photo. The guy in the red should not be around children ever in his life. He kidnapped this elderly couple, and as punishment, is forcing them to eat at Golden Corral. What a sadistic freak.

Anyway, I digress.