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December 11, 2008




Today Owl Meat goes boldly where no man has gone before for his Funtastic Thursday, one of the most fun Thursdays we've had in quite a while. EL

Today is a grab bag of things rattling around in my head. 
Wieners?  Dogs?  Wiener dogs?

Paging Dr Freud:  Sometimes a giant wiener is just a  If you have a desperate need to tour the country in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, now is your chance.  Do you have "an appetite for adventure, a friendly personality and boundless enthusiasm"?   They are accepting applications now.

I hate the word "gastropub."  I think most of us do.  So why are people labeling their businesses with this abomination?  I was thinking that there are plenty of words that could be coined with "gastro," just not "gastropub."  It has a particularly noxious macaronic quality.
Gastronaut. Cooler than "gourmand."  Way cooler than "foodie."  Go boldly indeed.
Gastrobot.  Someone who orders the same thing at restaurant and never tries anything new.
Gastroknob. Habitué of Gastropub.  Swirls his Belgian ale in a goblet like wine and hold it up to the light to admire.  Uses the word soupçon way too much. 
Gastro-Enterologist.  That's a hostess.

Œnophile. A real word used by wine snobs.  It sounds like the creepy guy with the van who asks kids if they want to see a box of kitties.   If you describe yourself as an Œnophile, I probably don't like you.  Suitable substitute?  Wino?  No.  How about Grape Ape?  Note: I used that cool oe character for extra pretension.  It's a grapheme!
Have you heard servers pronounce "Beaujolais" like they are trying to scare you, as in "BOO-jolay"? 
Did you know that Blue Moon is a fake craft brewery?  Check the label next time and you will see that it is brewed in ... wait for it ... Golden Colorado.  Yup, another sleight of hand from Coors.  Remember when they had the fake Killian's Irish Red?  Maybe they still do.  I know of one bar that sold it as an imported beer -- imported from Golden Colorado.  There was an excellent article in the New Yorker recently on Dogfish Brewery and the development of "extreme beers."  It's a fascinating in-depth look at the magic behind real craft brewing.

Just as I was about to send this to EL, a strange thing popped up in my browser feeds.  Today's FoodScope.  What?  It's a food horoscope.  Aries, the stars compel you to eat a salad and a chicken sandwich today. 
Revolting product alert: Howard's Crispy Fried Chicken Skins.

Because ... it's low carb?  Even a gastronaut can go too boldly.
Product line that haunts my dreams:  Dwight Yoakam's Family of Quality Foods.  A whole family of foods from Dwight Yoakum!  Finally -- inbred food.  That's not nice.  Culinary innovator Yoakum has really outdone himself.  You like chicken fingers, but they're so daggone linear.  Yahoo, belly up to the fryer for some Chicken Lickin's™ Chicken Rings Afire

Chicken the way God intended -- in deep-fried breaded circles.  And afire! 

Dwight's Chicken Lickin's™ brand has an enormous number of products (none available at a store near me) including Chicken Fries,  Buffalo Bites,  Pizza Fries,  Lanky Links™, Take 'Ems™ Lil' Joes, Take 'Ems™ Lil' Riblets, Take 'Ems™ Lil' Chicks, and Take 'Ems™ Macaroni Mouth Poppers.    Mmm... it's about time someone marketed a macaroni mouth popper.  "Take 'Ems"?  That's what the marketing department came up with?  Lanky Links sounds like a porno actor.
Oh, I can't end with that.  How about some milk-sippin' fun with Kellogg's™ Froot Loops™ Cereal Straws

Why?  Because if we don't keep inventing and buying stupid stuff like this then the terrorists have won.  That's why.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)


Posted by Elizabeth Large at 1:44 PM | | Comments (37)


Thanks for the article on Dogfish, my husband will like it.

When I was visiting NJ this weekend we got to stop at White Castle and they have Chicken Rings now. I didn't eat them though, I only like the burgers.

Owlie, you just crack me up.

I always thought an "Œnophile" was someone who was not a master of his domain.

Any idea on how things show up on the blogs front. Three for Gospelrama now and it doesn't seem to have a lot of comments. Of course, neither does Gastronauts at this point!

It checks for the last five posts every 15 minutes. If there are more than five, according to Multimedia Editor Mary, it picks five posts at random. She says there's no way to "game" it, but of course that just makes me try harder. And if any of you has any advice...EL

Sheesh. Sam can spend that much on a barrel, yet not provide health insurance to his workers?

At least he started giving them a week of vacation.

Great Job Owl!

Even down here in the Redneck Riviera, I haven't seen any Chicken Lickin products. I think that is a good thing. Perhaps Mr. Yoakam's financial backer is a cardiologist?

I did know that Blue Moon and Killians was just Coors trying to be fancy. Dogfish's beers are quite good too.

Question: Might a Gastroknob also be known as a Gastrotool?

Gastrotune: Muzak heard in gastropubs.

You came back!!!!! EL

PCB Rob -- a search on Yoakum's website (using the 32407 zip code from the website) indicates that the Walgreens stores in your area carry some of the Chicken Lickin's products (Buffalo Bites, Chicken Fries, and Pizza Fries), though not, alas, the Chicken Rings Afire.

GastroDistress: When the GastroPub runs out of Trappist Ale.

Piano Rob, a gastrotune sounds like something that Joseph Pujol would have performed.

(Warning, link to bodily functions in bad taste. Suitable for frat boys and 4 year olds.)

Hey, Piano Rob! Where've you been? You've been here even less that I have lately, I hope not for the same reason.

Of course I had to put in my zip code to find a store near me with the Dwight Yoakam's inbread products.

It seems that all the Walgreens drug stores carry them. I really just never think to look for food (or a reasonable facsimile of food) in a drug store.

Nice to see Snickers again.

Piano Rob, you can not just slip into the back of the room and then raise your hand as if you have been here all along.


seriously, the Walgreens on Front Beach (aka Miracle Strip Pkwy) and Middle Beach (aka Hutchison Blvd)-love these street names-has them?

I occasionally visit Walgreens but like Rosebud, I don't think of food items when shopping there.

Welcome Back Piano Rob and Snickers!

OMG & Friends -- RE: Revelations about brewers ...

Yes, you can read the labels and see where the brew was actually made, though please know that sometimes craft brewers rent or lease the unused capacity of local, regional or major breweries, especially when they are in expansion mode and can't quite come up with the cash to build their own breweries. When they do so, they have full creative control of the ingredients and the processing -- and by the time they get to that point, they usually have a good product and enough skill to make it in big batches. If you had the time and energy, an interesting research project would be to track a handful of craft brews over time as they used small, then medium and then larger facilities to expand their markets. The key here is not the quantity they make, but the flavor profiles that they are offering to the public -- the taste that jazzed them in the first place. That the mega breweries are following behind (Killian's, et. al. ) is a tribute to their pioneering (retro-pioneering??) spirit. As ever, caveat emptor, because sometimes what looks like a craft brew is, in fact, more the product of market research than a passion for malt and hops. But do, please do the research. Your diligence will be rewarded.

But it's time to fess up to the family secret: (and to paraphrase someone from the Star Wars movies) "brewing runs strong in this family." My younger brother was the first to brew, my baby brother is the Director of the Association of Brewers, I have a couple of bronze awards, but the best of the lot is probably my daughter! is the place to go to find some lux et verite.

Question: Might a Gastroknob also be known as a Gastrotool?


Nice to see someone remembers my beloved Snickers. Please come home.

PCB Rob -- yup, that Walgreens location turned up first in the search results for the 32407 zip code. Like you and Rosebud, I don't generally think of Walgreens as a food store -- which means that we're dating ourselves. We three oldsters can actually recall when a drugstore was a drugstore (filling prescriptions and selling health and beauty products, and little else).

For the record, your local Walmart also sell Yoakam's Lanky Links, a frozen meat product which appears to be similar to Brown 'N Serve Sausages. Thankfully, Lanky Links don't appear to be available in the Baltimore area.

That Walgreens is across the street from Walmart, and they are usually fairly busy, so they must be doing something right to compete with Walmart.

Thanks for the info!

I have actually seen the fried macaroni and cheese in my local Walgreens. ew.

But even further back, there was food of a kind in drug stores - the most wondrous soda fountain.

Lemon phosphate or cherry coke anyone?

Thanks for the warm welcomes-back, Sandbox. (Even you, RtSO - LOL!) Without going into too much detail, among other things I spent a week back in the homeland job-searching (unsuccessful)
and assisting in some sad family business. But, while I miss the cold and snow of MKE, it's good to be back in the Sandbox.

They have computers there, don't they? EL

What? I was nice. I didn't even point out that your Society of Roberts dues are badly in arrears.

I see that all kinds of Dwight Yoakum food'ums are at a nearby Walgreens. This was not true when I did the original research. I'm so excited. Selling this stuff in a drug store actually makes a lot of sense since it is near the antacids. Once your chicken starts coming in rings, there's really no pretense that it isn't that processed chicken meat-product.

Welcome back PRob. There have been multiple conspiracy theories stating that you never left, but were posting as a variety of other characters lurking stealthfully in the rafters like the Phantom of the Robera.

Franks for helping us spread the word about the call for new hotdoggers! For all you future applicants, check out our new blog for a sneak peek at what life is like on the road!

How about "Vino" for a wine lovers, pronounced VINE-oh? Nah?

Why is there a little horse on the moon? OMG, did you like my sad muffin poem? I thought you were doing philophical restaurants this week? Betcha can't do it. I dare you.

Gastrolabe - what you use to navigate on a gourmet cruise.

Franks for helping us spread the word about the call for new hotdoggers!

Uh oh, my paranoia is acting up again ... the wiener cops are watching us.

LG, that's Snickers my faithful drinking companion who has been AWOL for a few months, possibly in some kind of cult. Still digesting your sad muffin. I think you might be more than a little tart LG. :) I don't think I can squeeze much humor of philosophy and food.

I wonder what kind of gas mileage the wienermobile gets?

I don't think I can squeeze much humor of philosophy and food

I think it would be a problem. When the first thing a new restuarant mentions is its food philosophy, I want to run away and hide.

Gastrocreep2000--doesn't that sound like the epidemic du jour?

Gastrocreep2000--doesn't that sound like the epidemic du jour?

Seems like it. Mine was more like Pulmonocreep2008. It's a reference to White Zombie's album Astro Creep 2000. That's a good idea to end this Friday. I would never buy any of their albums but I love playing "More Human than Human" or GNR's "Welcome to the Jungle" on a loud jukebox. Yeah.

I wonder what kind of gas mileage the wienermobile gets?

Depends on whether they have beans too.

I'm going right by that Walgreens tomorrow on my way to a round of golf. I might stop in there on the way back to peruse the frozen meat and see this stuff for myself.

I saw White Zombie on tour after they released Astro Creep 2000 (I got free tickets, and the other band was Korn). I have to say, Rob Zombie puts on one hell of a good show. Man knows how to package the rock and roll.

EL - Of course they have puters in MKE. However, I don't own a laptop and mother (with whom I stayed) couldn't and won't step into the new century, despite my sister's insistence.

RtSO: The check's in the mail.

OMG: All rumors regarding the fact that I am actually the Governor of Illinois are wrong. I would never be caught dead below that border. At the same time, I'm liking the idea of a new screen name: RobPera.

I like Phantom of the Robpera. But maybe you should wait until you're, ur, dead to haunt us.

I just bought some of Dwight Yaokam's Take Em's purely for the giggle factor. Deep fried mac and cheese nuggets....fresh from the freezer. MMMMMMMmmm

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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