Yesterday evening I met a dear friend, Sarah Humpal, for drinks at a dark and excessively air conditioned bar on Lawndale Avenue. We used to go there every Wednesday after work. Actually, in hindsight, we had a real Lavern and Shirley thing going on. After a long day of lifting, roasting, bagging, and ::wretch:: flavoring coffee we would power down the Probat roaster and stomp out of the warehouse door. Sarah and I have not met on a Wednesday at this particular bar for a few years. New jobs with greater responsibilities have quelled our mid-week drinking habits. Even though three years have passed we walked through the door and the bartender exclamined, “Well where the hell have y’all been!?!” It was a homecoming of sorts and we bellied up to the bar and asked for our usual, the $3.00 Long Island Iced Tea special, and because nothing escapes fiscal inflation we are now charged four dollars.
Sarah moves to Chi-town next week, something about a Masters degree in Social Policy, driving illiteracy to extinction, saving lost and forgotten children. You know, the sort of social contribution you can expect from someone who downs four L.I.T’s on a week-day. ; )
The conversation, as it occasionally does between Sarah and I, drifted towards food. The topic of the day was fried food. We prefer fried items of the potato variety. No fried dough, no thank you.
Here is the weird fried food menu from the upcoming Texas State Fair. I’m going to give it the Omnivore 100 treatment! I’ve never eaten anything on this list, but if I bold the text I would try consuming the friedness and if I strike the text then no way, no thank you! In italics I will explain myself.
Fernie’s All-American Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich. White bread sandwich with American and cheddar cheeses dipped in egg-and-milk batter, coated with bread crumbs, and fried. I would totally consume one square inch of this sandwich!
Chicken Fried Bacon. Bacon with seasoning, battered, breaded, deep-fried, served with ranch or honey mustard sauce. Oh, yes. I would eat this and immediately shame-spiral, but I would never eat this with ranch! EEWW!
Fried Banana Split. Banana and honey peanut butter rolled in balls, battered, and deep-fried, topped with powdered sugar, caramel and chocolate syrups, peanuts, whipped cream, banana split-flavored ice cream bites, and cherry. A long time ago I read a book called “Banana Rose” by Natalie Goldberg. I think there is a excellent passage about the main character eating a Banana Split in Taos, New Mexico? Anyway, after reading this book I decided that I would never eat a Banana Split until a day when I could say that I was finally happy with myself, my life and all the choices that had gone into creating those two things. I was a really sad kid, so a description of such a day never seemed possible. I think I’ve had several days in my adulthood that fit this lofty description but I’ve never remembered to eat that Banana Split. Oh well, someday my split will come! And it will be a really awesome special day! Until then I will not eat a Banana Split, fried or otherwise.
Texas Fried Jelly Bellys. Jelly Bellys rolled in funnel cake batter and fried. Ew, no. Haahah!
Deep Fried S’mores. Marshmallow and chocolate chips sandwiched between two graham crackers, dipped in batter, fried, and dusted in powdered sugar. My undergraduate degree in Philosophy serves many purposes. One of those purposes is asking “Why fry S’mores? To what end? TO. WHAT. END?!?”
Fire & Ice. Pineapple ring, battered and deep-fried, topped with banana-flavored whipped cream that’s been frozen in liquid nitrogen so it smokes. No liquid nitrogen will pass these lips unless I’m eating the molecular gastromony tasting menu at Alinea. LOL.
Fried Chocolate Truffles. Dark chocolate truffle rolled in cocoa powder, battered, deep-fried, dusted in cinnamon, sugar, and cocoa powder. It’s the “batter” that really concerns me about this one.
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Waffle Balls. Strawberries in chocolate shell, dipped in waffle batter, deep-fried, custed with powdered sugar, served on a stick. Hmm. This was is taunting me. It’s not something I would ever choose to eat but it I had to opportunity I might be FORCED to. I mean, it is on a stick!