Links first: Today’s chat transcript. My podcast with the drunks at Drunk Jays Fans. Some intriguing-looking jalapeno cornbread with a recipe, although it includes sugar, which makes it corn cake, doesn’t it? Jerry Crasnick wrote a good piece on Adenhart that gets a little more at Adenhart as a person than as a prospect. (Seriously, stop talking about his baseball future. It’s trivial.)
Speaking of Adenhart and the chat, did anyone get what I was saying here?
J.B. (Dunmore, PA): As a father, today’s news really upset me. Three lives lost and another in the driver that is pretty much over. This may sound harsh but I really hope that young man spends a good chunk of his life behind bars.
Keith Law: They should release the other driver and give him a pass to the Angels’ clubhouse for Friday’s game. And then lock the doors.
I was suggesting that the killer (let’s not mince words – that’s what he is) would be locked in the clubhouse with Adenhart’s teammates. It doesn’t read that way to me now.
On to more mundane matters: I was in Sarasota for the last three days and ate a lot of needlessly heavy food. My go-to place from years past, an Amish restaurant called Yoder’s, wasn’t quite up to my memories of it. They’re best known for their pies, and while they do have a great variety, I had three flavors in three days and didn’t love any of them. The strawberry-rhubarb pie was packed but with about 90% rhubarb; if I wanted rhubarb pie, I would have ordered it, since that’s another option. The peach pie and blackberry pie were both filled with gooey cornstarchy liquid and not enough fruit. Their pie crusts are very good, though – tender, not really flaky, very soft and buttery.
The food is mostly comfort food. Their fried chicken is above-average, pressure-fried (the Colonel’s method!) to produce a crisp crust and fully-cooked meat in a shorter time than traditional skillet-frying, which takes about 45 minutes. Unfortunately, the meat I got was lukewarm and I had to send the thigh back. (The drumstick wasn’t much warmer, but you can’t put a fried drumstick in front of me and get it back unless you use the jaws of life.) Their roast turkey is solid-average – it peels apart like it’s been smoked but doesn’t have the slightly rubbery texture that I always associate with smoked turkey – while their smoked pulled pork was moist but kind of flavorless. The stuffing was mushy, and the green beans were grayish-green from overcooking. I did have one meal at another Amish restaurant down the street, called Mom’s, with pretty similar results.
Tropical Thai in northern Sarasota was just bad. The chicken in the chicken with green curry was barely cooked and way too soft – almost like a great steak, except that that texture is great in steak and lousy in poultry – and the sauce had clearly been thickened with some kind of starch, while the vegetables in it were also undercooked.
And one more dud before I get to the two recommendations: Dutch Valley is a diner that claims to be known for its Belgian waffles (spelled “Belgium waffles” on the sign outside, which I now know was a warning). Putting pancake batter on a Belgian waffle iron does not produce a Belgian waffle – it produces a thick, dense, doughy cake-like waffle that, if cooled to room temperature, might make a suitable mattress for a hamster.
Word of Mouth was a better bet for breakfast, at least a solid 50, although I found the food to be a little hit or miss. On the plus side, their scone of the day today was pineapple-coconut (right out of the oven) and it was incredible – slightly dry, like a good scone should be; sweet but not overly so; with bits of actual coconut inside and a crumbly texture. Their home fries are nicely browned and cooked with onions, although today’s onions were more black than brown. The Tex-Mex omelet with chorizo had absolutely no salt in the egg portion, and when I ordered eggs over medium the other day I got something about five seconds past over easy. They serve Harney & Sons teas and the service is very good, but they play awful music (John Mayer on Tuesday, Hootie & the Blowfish today). There are two locations, and I went to the on Cattlemen near Bee Ridge. It’s a solid 50.
Mi Pueblo is a local mini-chain of Mexican places serving mostly the usual fare of burritos, enchiladas, and tacos. Their tacos al carbon with steak were outstanding. The steak was soft – how often have you had steak in a taco or fajita and needed a hacksaw to chew it? Mi Pueblo’s was at the other end of the spectrum. The rice was fresh and gently seasoned, not sticky with tomato paste or sauce. The one I went to, at the corner of McIntosh and Bee Ridge, is tiny and there was a wait when I arrived on a Wednesday night after 7, so the locals seem to have caught on. Based on one dish I’d hazard a grade of 55.