Restaurants vs the Interwebz

Self indulgent post in 3… 2…

Hello! Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wonder when Restaurant ABC opens and if they have a vegetarian option on their dinner menu” and then found yourself on some graphic designer’s senior thesis in the form of a web site? And all you really wanted was some basic info? But now you’re not going to that restaurant purely out of spite?


Maybe stop reading then.

This is from McSweeney’s, and I am in love with it.

By Mike Lacher

HEY HEY HEY! Watch this slide show! LOOK! We have modern chairs and minimalist light fixtures!! LOOK! It’s an orchid floating in a pool at sunset! Want to hear some DANCE MUSIC???? Mute it any time you like! Just click the animated parakeet flying around the screen! You want to get into the site??? Just click the smallest fork!!! DANCE MUSIC!!!!!

Welcome! LOOK! Pictures of our wall-sized aquarium!! Check out how all the links spin when you scroll the page!!!!!! DANCE MUSIC! See the bowl of noodles in the corner??? Mouse over it! WHHHHOA! Customer testimonials popped out!!!! Follow us on Twitter!!!!!

You want to see our menu??? Just click “About Us!” No, not the actual words, on the stylized elephant next to the words. Yes! DANCE MUSIC!!!

Watch this full-screen video!!! Did you know we were founded in 2004 with the mission of bringing cutting edge cuisine with a hip flair to Brooklyn??? DANCE MUSIC!!!! Look at this picture of the owner’s child!!! LOOK! You can find our menu later! Fine! You can minimize the video by clicking the yellow play button!

Scroll to the bottom of the page! WHHHHHHOA IT’S SNOWING!!!! If you want our menu just click the girl holding the balloons! No, that girl is holding glass orbs. That will take you to our MySpace page! Do you want to be friends on MySpace?? Follow us on Twitter!!!! Okay okay. Just click the girl with the balloons!!!

WHOA! The balloons just flew away when you clicked! You just “liked” us on Facebook! Thanks!! DANCE MUSIC!!!!! OH WOW a whole cityscape just popped up! Click each building to learn about the key principles of our cooking! Come on! Fine. To get to the menu, just click the building that looks like a dojo! WHOA NOW YOU’RE FLYING THROUGH A VIRUTAL CITYSCAPE JUST LIKE—uh oh. Try closing any other open applications on your computer. Are you using Internet Explorer 6? It’s best if you’re using Internet Explorer 6. Give it a minute.

OKAY! Here it comes! Now draw a circle around the old guru sitting on the mountain! Wait for him to walk down the mountain! THE MUSIC GETS LOUDER AS HE GETS CLOSER TO THE BOTTOM!!!! EXPLOSION OF FLOWERS!!!!!! HERE’S A TEN MEGABYTE PDF OF OUR MENU FROM 2004! YOU CAN PRINT IT OUT! ON LEGAL PAPER! FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!!!!!!

DANCE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!


Isn’t that brilliant? And spot on?

For more gems visit: Never Said About Restaurant Websites on tumblr. Because of things like this: “My primary interest in visiting your Web site is to examine every page on the site before I finally find your hours of operation and phone number in illegible type in a graphical footer.” Enjoy.

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I’m Going (going) Back (back) to Cali (cali)

As many of you may or may not know, I feel that New York is played out. After living for 6 years in this little bubble where I miss out on little luxuries like driving in cars and walking barefoot through the grass and whatnot, I am pretty sure there are nicer places to spend the next 80 years of my life. I’m gonna go ahead and put Southern California on the top of that list.

Exhibit A: In ‘N Out
Do I really need to explain this? If you’ve never had In ‘N Out… just trust me. Two words: toasted buns.

Exhibit B: Rockin’ Baja Coastal Cantina
The morning before I went to Rockin’ Baja, The Boyfriend asked, “Do you like surf and turf?” I couldn’t even speak. Didn’t he know me at all? For lunch we got a bucket (yes, a bucket) of carne asada, shrimp, chicken, and lobster with tortilla shells and endless condiments to go with it. And a pitcher of margaritas… the rest of that day is blurry.

Exhibit C: Cousin’s Candy Shop in Old Town San Diego
I was like a kid in a candy store! (see what I did there?) All the candy is $2.80 a pound, and they have every kind of bulk candy you can dream of. I got 2 of everything I had never heard of, and multiples of those I had. Cousin’s makes their own fudge and caramels and I danced through the streets of Old Town (blame the margaritas, the sugar, whatever) eating my candy and basically loving life.

As you can see, I had a really, really nice time in California. In addition to this culinary tour of fats and sweets, I was treated to a homemade Hawaiian feast and then sent home with a loaf of Famous Kona Inn banana bread (thanks, BF’s grandma!).

On the menu:
Famous Kona Inn banana bread
Makes 2 loaves

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
2 cups ripe mashed bananas (about 6 bananas)
4 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 8 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pans.

Stir together the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. In another larger bowl, mix together the shortening, sugar, mashed bananas, and eggs. Add the combined dry ingredients and stir only until the batter is thoroughly blended.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean, or with only a few moist crumbs. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on a rack and let cool completely.

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Kind of Amazing

Happy New Year! Have you seen this? I love it. And it makes me want to bake inappropriate cookies.

image by Christoph Niemann

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On to the next…

Today is the last day of 2010! This past week has been absolutely exhausting. Maybe next year instead of traveling for Christmas I’ll stay home and eat a ham by myself with endless champagne and Bing Crosby on the iTunes. Sounds better than airports and flight delays, eh?

This has been one epic year, and with all the incredibleness that happened in 2010, I can only imagine what 2011 holds for me. Thanks for reading! See you next year.

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Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to share a fun picture (margarita!!!) from Rockin’ Baja in San Diego, California and wish you all a very merry Christmas! This has been such an amazing year for me and I would never have made it this far without loyal readers. Thanks for everything!


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Mini vacay!


Hi friends,
Just wanted to say a quick hello and share this amaaaazing picture with you that already makes my heart ache for California. It’s In ‘N Out. Oh the beauty. I’d like to tell you I only ate this meal once while I was in town but… I don’t like to lie.

I had a whirlwind trip to San Diego and am heading off again to Rochester today for the holidays with the family, sans computer. I will be back in full force on December 30 with TONS of posts, recipes, and the witty commentary you’ve come to know and love.

Merry Christmas, loves! See you next week.

Love always,
Lauren E.

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Creamy Dreamy Cuppa Love

A few days ago I left my apartment en route to The Boyfriend’s and the Christmas mood struck me mid trip. I stopped at a deli for hot chocolate, and when I arrived at the apartment, BF’s roommate said, “What kind is it?!” And when I answered Swiss Miss he made a face. “Oh. I thought you’d be drinking something fancy.” I was embarrassed.

So to maintain my reputation, here is my own recipe for hot chocolate, which I promise I do actually make for myself. All the time. And if you should ever stop my apartment and find an empty Swiss Miss packet on the counter next to a Twinkie wrapper… well, those aren’t mine.

On the menu:
Homemade hot chocolate
Serves 2 (in big mugs, which is how it should be)

Disclaimer: this hot chocolate is not for everyone. It is VERY cocoa-y because I use a little less sugar than most recipes call for. But I like it that way. So… there.

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Pour the milk and cream in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the milk simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cocoa, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Add the vanilla and stir again. Bring the mixture up to a boil and let cook at the high temperature for around 5 minutes (careful not to let it overflow… or you might have to clean up a big, fat, chocolatey mess on your stovetop. Not that that has ever happened to me…). Reduce to a simmer and let cook for another 5 minutes.

At this point you can taste it to make sure it’s not too sweet (or bitter) and add sugar/cocoa/milk as you please. This is also the important time where you add a small truckload of marshmallows. And then you drink. And then you’re instantly happy. Like magic.


Filed under Cooking, Recipes