Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Late To The Party: Happy Ramadan

It’s always interesting, experiencing Ramadan in the States. For the past years, I’ve always bitched and moaned on how miserable it is to spend Ramadan away from the family, and away from the homemade Ramadan food you always get to have in your household. But to be honest, spending Ramadan either alone or occasionally with your friends have developed a special taste in my palate. You can witness the cooperation with your friends as they struggle to whip the best dishes they could, and also your effort in trying to contribute a little. For me, I suck at cooking. That’s the only skill I haven’t fully achieved while studying abroad. So, my contribution usually would be buying dessert from Safeway, brining lunch platter of subs from a nearby Sub store, or sometimes if my cooking curiosity has been activated, I would make a large bowl of pasta salad.

Of course, the situation isn’t always glamorous, especially when you have your Iftar (or Fotoor) alone. I mean last night; I had Hotpockets served with kettle-cooked potato chips and a Weight Watchers muffin. Then for Suhoor, I had some waffles served with maple syrup, and finally I ended the day with a cup of green tea and at least a liter and a half of water to sustain my hydration for the next day. But in the end, it’s all good, because I know I have something to eat unlike many people who are suffering from hunger and deprivation. I’m blessed after all. And I wish everyone to be blessed in this holy month of Ramadan; regardless you are a Muslim or non-Muslim. After all, my life motto is always and always has been:

To Live And Let Live

Happy Ramadan

Oh My Dear Sweet Charlotte!

Over the last year, I’ve been constantly teased by the evil Sushi, exposing several photos of Paul‘s famous strawberry cake named Charlotte in her blog, while secretly smirking in her heart and most certainly declaring “Wahahaha! Feel the pain and suffer! You impudent sugar-deprived imbeciles!” Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit but you get the point. Not until recently as I was in the Avenues upon inviting my mom for a tasty Lenotre brunch, I saw Paul and decided to have a Charlotte for carry out and take it to my home for a late evening dessert (somehow, that sounded kinda naughty). Unfortunately, the cake didn’t look as appetizing as it originally was, probably because I might have “squashed” it carelessly by mistake. Nevertheless, it was quite luscious and creamy, and definitely worth all the trouble. I do however recommend that you try out while dinning in Paul to avoid any squishing accidents if you are clumsy as I am.

P.S. The post title has a huge Ranma 1/2 reference. Those you’ve watched the series would definitely know what I am talking about

Walmart New Logo Losses The Hyphen

I’m probably late to the party with this piece of news but it seems Walmart is reinventing their logo once again. For those folks who haven’t been to the US, Walmart is basically one of the best and worst supermarkets in America, and it’s not a place where you can buy some walls (Thanks Paris Hilton). The new design losses the start hyphen in the middle but it gains a burst of sunlight at the end. Personally, I love the new design but the old one kinda has the “American feel” that we are all comfortable with. For those who are thirsty for a history lesson regarding Walmart logos, check the image below:

What’s For Dinner?

Just a bowl of lightly roasted Special K cornflakes breakfast dinner cereal with big chunks of dried strawberries, along with a small cup of skimmed cold milk. What? Were you expecting one of Marzouq‘s mouth-watering, delicious-looking, and oh sweet Lord, seducing chicken breasts that almost invite to have a sex orgy with just your mouth and fingers?

Okay, actually, I was just testing my Sony’s Cyber-shot® W120 Digital Camera. Not too bad for my very first digital camera! Shocking!! Though, I still need to handle one and exploit the features properly to take much nicer shots. Time to practice all around the house and disturb the privacy of the family by taking their pictures.

Big Brother’s Family Graduation Party

Yesterday, we had a big family gathering at my uncle’s house to commemorate my big brother’s graduation upon completing his Masters, and to celebrate his 27th birthday, which happens to be today. We had an outstanding food buffet that served almost anything. My eyes certainly were bigger than my stomach since I stuffed my plate with too much food that I wouldn’t normally have at all.

The best part in whole thing is when we have created a small graduation ceremony of our own. All the younger folks in our family and relative circle who are still in school (including myself) have received an honorary stand with an appreciation degree. My uncle who is happened to be a doctor in KU took the role of the “Dean” and was the one who “honored” us with the degrees.

And finally we had tons of dessert including a mouth watering Kanafah. It was hot and sweet, just the way I like it. By the time I came back home, I was completely drained out. It was really a long but fun day.

The 5 Annoying People You Meet In Starbucks

We all love Starbucks, and that’s a fact. However, once in every damn second there, you always have to encounter an annoying person that set you ballistic, even though they might not interact with you directly. They are the people they make you cringe with detest, commit suicide in the spot, or simply, give you the urge to beat the crap out of them. I summarize my ranting as follow:

  • The Writer Who Wants You to Know He’s a Writer

Yes, we all know that writing is a fascinating occupation, but unfortunately, unlike hookers and crack dealers, you cannot simply point them out by looking at them. However, when a person has to tell you that he’s a writer (intentionally), then writing suddenly becomes less impressive. Those kind of people usually go to the busiest Starbucks in town and pop open their Macs, making sure that the shining Apple logo is on display for everyone to see. Then they pretend to write, sigh, and brainstorm their thoughts. However, the most annoying behavior they exhibit that makes you want to go GTA on their asses is when they sit in a table that is usually reserved for four people.

  • The Guy Who Hates Starbucks But Goes There Anyway

The world is packed with shitheads and nobody can deny that, but there are those who realize they are complete shitheads, and yet, brag about it. I’m taking about that certain someone who won’t shut up about how crappy Starbucks is, and forget the fact he is ranting while waiting in line inside Starbucks. Then, they become more annoying when they super customized their coffee and inquire combination that doesn’t even exist at the menu, and then ask for Splenda instead of regular sugar. Those people deserve to be vanished from the face of the Earth, clear and simple.

  • Study Groups

Why go to a proper school library that is filled with textbooks, resources, and free computers when you have the most crowded Starbucks in the area. It definitely makes more sense to go to a place where noise is a popular demanding song, has tables that barely support an encyclopedia, and a crowd that’s yelling for a proper frappuccino. It’s like Turkish prison, except less gay sex and slightly better coffee.

  • Manager Who Refuses to Recognize the Words Small, Medium, and Large

Dear Starbucks Manager,

I understand, you’re a corporate guy and thus must abide by company policies by calling the different sizes by their Starbucks Christian names of Venti, Grande, et. But if I ask you for a small, don’t act like I’m speaking to you in that Native American language as if we were in war where coded messages were delivered. You’re familiar with the sizes small, medium and large, and if you’re not, then you might want to change underwear because there’s a good chance that you are wearing a Venti size boxer that isn’t big enough for your shit that you failed to wipe/wash from defecating at your customers.


A bitter consumer

  • The Person Who Peruses the DVD/Music Section As If He Might Purchase Something

It’s really great when you’re waiting in line behind somebody only to realize that they’re not in line, but instead deciding whether or not they want to purchase “Akeelah and the Bee” DVD, which I am positively sure that no one ever bought. Yes, we know that you want to shed the stereotypes that white people don’t watch Black movies, but if that particular Black movie sucks, then we understand the reason that you didn’t see it in theaters. Now, would you please stop reading the back cover of the DVD case and order freaking coffee before I kick the crap out of you? Thanks.

No Machboos For You

I have mentioned before that I haven’t been to Kuwait or seen my family for more than a year and a half, so you can pretty much expect the reaction from my mother when she first saw me. Since our last meeting, I’ve lost a respectable amount of weight, which made her a little bit overprotective on what I eat because she doesn’t want me to become fat again. She has imposed a strict rice-free diet on the house, and all the food has to be grilled, steamed, or “ovened”. For the last week, I haven’t had a rice-cooked meal in my household, but I did have some when I visited my aunt and grandparent house.

However, the interesting part of all this is when I visit my grandparent house. My grandmother took a complete different reaction than my mom regarding my weight loss. She was all-generous, and committed in feeding me rice and lambs on every visit. She even sobbed a little when I told her what I usually eat in the states (subway for launch, cold cereal for dinner). Add the fact of my mother’s strict régime; she was all agitated and angry toward my mother for imposing such a lifestyle on me.

Although, I have to say, it’s very nice having women fighting all over you like that, even if they were your mother and your grandmother. Usually, I just silently sit in the middle of them and sip my sweet Turkish coffee as they exchange loud arguments on what should or shouldn’t I eat. I’ve gotta admit that women’s quarrels is so much fun to witness as they usually to tend to be constructively bi-polar; one is destined to shape me into becoming a model figure and the other wants to feed me until I bloat. Oh well, I guess beggars cannot be choosers.

KFC Colonel Sanders Is So Kawaii!

The wildfire success of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan is the stuff that makes business textbook writers giddy. An all-American institution was successfully turned into a staple of Japanese fast food thanks to cultural awareness, adaptation, and clever marketing. Among the things done in KFC’s eastward expansion was to position the chain’s founder, Colonel Sanders, as something of a mascot figure. Many Japanese KFC branches still have a life-size statue replica of the Colonel somewhere on the premises.

However, things got a little bit outlandish in the very youthful district of Akihabara. Many KFC owners started to dress the all-time American Colonel into a very otaku-oriented maid uniform. However, for those of you who aren’t into cross-dressing, rest assured, as the KFC headquarters in America told the Akihabara branch to stop dressing Colonel Sanders in a maid costume apparently, so he has been returned to his original self. Although, there’s something really attracting in that maid uniform. You know you shouldn’t be gawking at it, but it’s just so bizarrely compelling that you can’t turn away…

  • For more pictures, click HERE.

Someone Turned 23

Yes, someone has definitely turned 23 but that someone is still in denial. His “freaking out” phase is starting to creep out on him slowly as he types this post. That someone didn’t do too much that day either. He found out that most of his friends have left to Orlando for some stupid Kuwaiti student convention, so he called as many friends possible who are still in town, and threw himself a dinner party. At that point, he wanted to hang himself because he thought that was the most pathetic thing a person could ever do, but his mom’s words lingered in his mind that she has saved a special present for him when he comes back to Kuwait this summer. He postponed his own execution.

When his friends asked him where he would like to go for a dinner party, he immediately thought of BJ’s Brewhouse. It’s not the best place ever but he didn’t want to be a burden on his friends and take them to an expensive restaurant. On top of that, he was craving pizookie (a warm cookie topped with a scope of vanilla bean) all day long, so he thought that if he couldn’t satisfy his birthday’s wishes, he might at least satisfy his hunger.

In the end, that someone (miraculously) had a great time and he thanked his friends from the bottom of his heart. Now, he’s depressed again that he has 7 years left to be turned 30, and that thought alone scares the bejesus out of him.

Restaurant Impression: Ruby’s Diner


Reading Mark‘s “The Best Burger In Kuwait Challenge” made me craving burgers for the past few days like crazy. I plead my friend to take me to Johnny Rockets, but unfortunately the nearest one is like more than 1.30hours of car drive. However, he revitalized me with the news that a new burger place has just been opened in our area and he was kinda hoping of checking it out today. Without any hesitation I approved on his plan and drove our way to Ruby’s Diner, which is quite different from the famous Ruby Tuesday. Now bear in mind this is not a review but more like an impression. Personally, I don’t believe in reviewing a whole restaurant solely from eating one meal; I think you need to taste several dishes and entrées before you make the final judgment, which is what food critics usually do. Now, enough with the technicality and let me serve you what I ordered.

Starters – Chicken Fingers


Nothing fancy here although I thought the presentation was kinda cute. The chicken fingers were crispy and hot and the three dipping sauces (BBQ, Ranch and Honey Mustard) added the nice kick to the taste that made them quite delectable.

Entrée – The American Kobe Burger (w/ Chili Cheese Fries)


Now this is what I am talking about. I never tasted a good burger such as this one for a long time now. Unfortunately, I cannot tell if it’s better than Johnny Rockets because it’s been a long time since I dined in there. Nevertheless, the patty was super-juicy and super-premium, and the Tuscan Bun was lightly grilled and added a nice flavor to the whole sandwich. The burger was so tasty that I didn’t even notice that there wasn’t any Ketchup in the bun; it’s that good. And may I add how appetizing the chili cheese fires was.

Dessert – Fresh Baked Apple Pie


I developed a habit that whenever I dine in an American diner, I order a side of apple pie for dessert, you know, just to get the whole casual American dining experience. The pie was just warm and nicely baked. It was sprinkled with lots of cinnamon and drizzled with caramel sauce all over. The creamy ice cream that came with that was just great but it tasted just like a regular vanilla so there’s nothing special there. Regardless, I thought it was one of the tastiest apple pies I ever had and provides a worthy competitor with Rockets’ apple pie.

~Overall Impression~

  • Level of Recommendation: 4/5
  • Price Fairness: 5/5
  • Probability of Another Visit: High