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March 19, 2009

Welcome to the Bailout Cafe


Hi! I'm Elizabeth, your server! I'll be taking care of you today! Owl Meat is at his entertaining best with today's Funtastic Thursday guest post. EL

Welcome to the Bailout Cafe.  Here are today's specials:
The Warren Buffet
– An unlimited wealth of victuals but about 50 percent smaller than last year.
The Chuck Wagon Executive Bonus Lunch – If you blew your lunch money on strippers, scratch-offs and Bolivian marching powder futures, just order anything you want and it's on us!  After we bring it to your table, manager Chuck Grassley will offer you two choices: Give it back or commit ritual suicide.  If that doesn't appeal to you, manager Chuck Schumer will just take it off your plate and charge you for the grease stain.  Then the Chucks will give you atomic wedgies and ride you out of the café like donkeys. ...

The Bernie Madoff Sandwich – You supply your own bread, lettuce and cheddar then we stuff it full of bologna and put it in the window to attract other customers.  Tell all your friends!  Warning: Not kosher, but that should be obvious, right?

The Dow Jonestown Massacre – Scrambled eggs, scrapple and a soupçon of arbitrageur tears.

The AIG McMuffin – Too big to eat it, difficult to swallow, and keeps coming back up.  Open wide.
The Suze Orman Empowerment Pocket –  American cheese in a pita with sprouts.   This item screams economical. 
The Timothy Geitner Surprise –  Lime green Jell-O salad with marshmallows, chunks of Spam, and broken light bulbs.  What?  You don't want to eat it?  Tough, you ordered it. 
The Benjamins Bernanke Nachos – Special discount this week.  Throw your Benjamins at the wall and see what sticks.  Do a shot of tequila.  Repeat until everything looks all pretty and fuzzy.  What's the discount rate?  It doesn't matter, just shut up and drink.
CNBC Sundae – Rocky Road topped with refried nuggets from dubious sources.  I scream, you scream, we all just scream. 
Maria Bartiromo – A half-baked tart served in a shallow dish drizzled with Money Honey.
NASDAQiri – It's easily shaken and goes down fast.

The Raging Red Bear  – An exhilarating cocktail of Red Bull, absinthe, habanero juice and spider venom that will take you on a hallucinatory roller coaster ride leaving you dizzy, broke and slightly Marxist.

Jim Cramer Frappuccino – Extra foamy with a bitter aftertaste.  Three levels of foamentation – frothy, grand mal and Old Yeller.  
Knight in White Satan – In honor of financier Sir Robert Allen Stanford, the first American to be knighted by the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.  An exquisite melange of the finest Barbudian rums and fresh squeezed tropical fruit juices. Naaaahhhhhh, it's just dish water and grenadine.  LOL, suckers!

Photo by Getty Images

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 1:52 PM | | Comments (66)


The Alan Greenspan Salad -- Spring Greens freshly procured from the free market and tossed exuberantly with 1% Ayn Ranch Dressing (may contain peanuts and derivatives). Served with a gold standard fork, the taste will leave you in shocked disbelief. Goes well with our Freddie Mac and Cheese.

Cost: an ARM and a Legg Mason Opportunity Trust

Yay! Fun Owl is back. Does the Suze Orman come with a snazzy vest with shiny buttons?

Economic crisis doesn't scream comedy but there you go. I almost choked on my spicy taco salad. More please.

Ha argh gurrgle. Ayn Ranch Dressing. Nice job Leveraged Buyout Laura Lee. Yikes that was better than mine. Nice. Freddie Mac n cheese. 8>)

I forgot to mention that I am taking suggestions for names for my exuberant mascot above. Happy flaming banana guy with hula hoop is a bit cumbersome. The person who suggests the winnning name will get a secret prize.

good post, Owl. And I see that LL is a worthy contributor as well.

As for a nickname, how about: Flambe! or maybe Flambanana!

(I don't know how to do accented characters in the blogware.)

Bart Simpson on crack?

This isn't a real place

This isn't a real place

Okay, who left the door open?

Point to RtSO.

Anon, it's a real place. It's located on the rooftop deck of the Boston Street Animal Hospital.

You'll find the Bailout Cafe the perfect place to read a book as you enjoy our fine laissez-faire and liquidity. May we suggest "Atlas Shrugged" or perhaps "Les Miserables".

Owl Meat Gravy is super awesome and one of the funniest people I know in real life. Take that bitches.

I think OMG just threw to Laura Lee for a touchdown. Or two.

(How about _Bonfire of the Vanities?_)

There's always a seat for you Lien Laura Lee at the Balilout Cafe. (Arrrgghh .. Lien Cuisine, how did I miss that one?) I have told the angry Senators to stop riding people like donkeys.

I also sent the Sun's restaurant critic a letter begging her not to give us 3.5 stars.

YumPorchetta disappeared. Are sure you're not her or did you kill her?

Given the current puffed up faux-populist rage rage, I was expecting more additions from readers. Bring it guys.

Wow, christa. The check is in the mail.

Yes, I fear that Lingonberry Laura Lee is il miglior fabbro, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain ... or something.

Owl Meat Gravy is super awesome and one of the funniest people I know in real life.

That last portion of the quote raises so many question; so many questions. For Mr O M Gravy, is there a real life?

Lissa --
I heard a commentator this morning refer to the current situation as the Forest Fire of the Vanities.

I couldn't pick a place to cut this, it just seems so correct in explaining how I think we all feel right now. Sad Cafe, by the Eagles

"Out in the shiny night the rain
was softly falling
The tracks that ran down the boulevard had
all been washed away

Out of the silver light the past came softly calling
And I remember the times we spent
inside the Sad Cafe

Oh it seemed like a holy place
protected by amazing grace
And we would sing right out loud the
things we could not say
We thought we could change this world
with words like "love" and "freedom"
We were part of the lonely crowd
Inside the Sad Cafe

Oh, expecting to fly,
we would meet on that shore in the
sweet by and by

Some of their dreams came true,
some just passed away
And some of the stayed behind
inside the Sad Cafe.

The clouds rolled in and hid that shore
Now that Glory Train, it don't stop here no more
Now I look at the years gone by,
and wonder at the powers that be.
I don't know why fortune smiles on some
and let's the rest go free

Maybe the time has drawn the faces I recall
But things in this life change very slowly,
if they ever change at all
There's no use in asking why,
it just turned out that way
So meet me at midnight baby
inside the Sad Cafe.
Why don't you meet me at midnight baby,
inside the Sad Cafe"

Real life is just one layer of my existence. There are always a few others competing for head space. I was going to question Christa about who these other supposedly equally funny people are but super-awesome kind of balanced that out. My real life is a kind of inverse Platonic shadows on the wall kind of thing where the observable world is weak material version of the twelve ring circus in my head. Mmmm, mini peanut butter cups.

You can't beat Woody

Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (Deportee)

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They're flying 'em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"

My father's own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract's out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, "They are just deportees"

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except "deportees"?

Laura Lee, as a Detroiter, I prefer to think of this as the Trashcanfire of the Vanities, but am quite convinced that the big bankers think it is a forest fire.

I am not YumPorchetta and I don't know Ezra Pound.

YumPo burned fast and bright. Maybe she's taking a breather or maybe she realized this could become a full-time job. Anyway, I didn't off her, why don't you ask Lissa.

Killer trees.

Owlie, good music choice. I've watched crops rot during years when INS cracked down. Putting INS in the DHS hasn't improved them at all.

Laura Lee, I'd never off someone without hiring you as my local consultant. You know where Leakin Park is, after all.

Sorry Little Latin Lupe Lu Laura Lee. I have identity issues.

Lissa, I find that song impossible `to play without getting choked up. My grandfather was a migrant orange picker in Scotland.

Owlie, the only orange thing you can pick in Scotland are football jerseys.

There's a Scotland in California.

I just had a dream that I flew a plane (I have a license, expired) to Iceland where I got a really good haircut at Neal's Iceland branch, which was run by the owner of Minato's. Go figure. While there I had some really good sushi next door but the service was terrible.

So Lissa, have you ever had sushi in Iceland? It's a compeltely different fish-reality there. Because of the super-freshness and cold cold water the fish seems to lack flavor at first. Then you realize that you are dealing with a world of flavor that is very subtle and complex without the noisy quality of warmer water or less fresh or farm-raised fish. Ahhh, it's amazing. And I can't imagine really bad service there either.

Now if only you could get a good haircut and sushi in one place in Baltimore. Maybe not.

Are you threatened by Suze Orman because she's a lesbian? She's a lot smarter than you are. Is that sandiwch supposed to be some kind of juvenile sexual innuendo? Grow up. You're not funny, just hateful

I'm late to this post, but...

OMG, this is abso - frickin' - lutely brilliant!! Brilliant I say!

Just wish I were funny/smart enough to contribute to the witty repartee.

What, don't you dig the chicks man? Maria Bartiroma is super hot. I would totally go for that.

Suze Orman is a lesbian? *sigh* Yet another successful woman who will never date me.

(At least, I assume she is successful, since you all seem to know who she is, and I think I saw her name on a best seller list once.)

Owlie, I didn't have sushi in Iceland, but I had some most excellent sushi in Halifax. The chef was thrilled that I wanted to sit at the bar and had a (small) clue about how to eat it properly, so he kept serving all this amazingly fresh stuff to me. I don't even like shrimp, but the small raw ones he served were sweet little worms of goodness.

I don't much care what Suze Orman does in private. I just wish she would get off of my TV. She's like nails on a blackboard.

Maria Bartiromo? My point was that a tart can be a nice treat but it's not a meal.

Not only is Suze Orman a lesbian but so is Iron Chef America star Cat Cora! The things one learns on are just amazing sometimes!

Haven't been able to bring myself to watch Iron Chef America. I'm still mourning Chairman Kaga.

"Now if only you could get a good haircut and sushi in one place in Baltimore."

The closest I can think of is this combination Barber/Bait and Tackle Shop up in Cecil County. It's not exactly a good haircut and sushi, but you can get a cheap hair cut and some minnows there.

Rest assured, this is a real place. I'm not making this up. I used to take care of both my hair and my fishing license there until my girlfriend -now wife- persuaded me that whitewalls were unbecoming on me.

Great RoCK. The last time I got my hair cut I found a great locksmith / key duplicator across the street, so I now have a locks/locks combo. Sweet.

Joyce - I do believe I read somewhere that both Cat and her partner are pregnant. And they already have 2 children. I don't think I made that up. Who knows, maybe it was a dream. I have been having some weird ones after the " I like my woman the way I like my cheese" statement.

Trixie, I read the same thing, I believe on After Ellen. If you read that site and haven't yet, you should check out the "facebooks" for this last season of the L Word. Much better than the last season of the L Word!

Lissa, is Kagga dead? or you're just missing the "real" IC?

I stumbled up on this and remembered that someone mentioned Atlas Shrugged in this post. It was Lunatic-Fringe Laura Lee, who outsmarted me with her Ayn Ranch Dressing.

I must confess that I have never read Rand and am only familiar with her peripherally, including an article in the NY'r, sneering at the doucheknob Young Repubicans in the Hopkins Ayn Rand Club (really) and several viewings of The Fountainhead with Easter Island emotitron Gary Cooper. Brad Pitt is rumored to be reprising the role of Howard Roarke. Now that's a horse of a different color.

Anyway here's something on Atlas Shrugged and "this economy" from one of my favorite blogs Freakonomics:


The Atlas Shrugged Index
By Freakonomics

From recession-culture trends we’ve written about on this blog lately, a recession icon of sorts emerges, wrapped in a Snuggie, puffing on a pipe — and now with a copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged on his lap.

The Economist reports that the book’s sales rank on Amazon is far above what it’s been in previous years (and briefly topped Obama’s The Audacity of Hope).

Furthermore, says The Economist, data from show recent sales spikes of the book coinciding with major political events, such as the passing of the stimulus plan.

The spikes, The Economist surmises, happen when people (including a handful of bloggers, politicians, and economists) notice the eerie similarities between real-life events — like the recent spate of sea pirate attacks — and the scenarios Rand described in her book.

As long as the halls of Congress don’t start ringing with the question “Who is John Galt?” let’s hope it’s just a case of life imitating art.


I will further admit that I checked to see if there was an Atlas Shrugged movie so that I could pretend to read the book ( Costanzaaaaaaa!!!!! ). There is one coincidentally in pre-production now, giving credence to the implications above. And with Angelina Jolie in a starring role.


How many people think I should take up drinking again, so that I don't have the time for this sort of thing?

"I like my woman the way I like my cheese."

Would that be soft, fragrant, and slightly blue?

Joyce, I just miss the original IC. US translations of overseas shows don't generally appeal to me. Even if they star Bea Arthur. is scary. I'm so not that demographic.

Lissa, I agree with your assesment of most US translations and indeed had very low hopes for ICA but it's pretty good. It doesn't have the same camp and odd humor that the original ICJ had. After all, who could be like Kaga? The man is an entity entirely unto himself!

Having said that though, the Iron Chefs are talented and interesting to watch and in some cases very funny. Alton Brown is a good moderator and the judges panel often includes Jeffrey Steingarden and Ted Allen who are entertaining in their own right. It's worth a watch - just not a comparrison because it's just not the same show.

Bea Arthur? How did she come up?

The charm of Iron Chef (Japan) was how ridiculous it was, how very Japanese it was. I always liked the clearly poor translation of the judges, particularly the shy giggling "actresses". Maguro was oishi desu ne.

Bea Arthur was in the US remake of "Are You Being Served?"

I say you name hin "Foster"

Hmm Lissa, doesn't ring a bell. Maybe I'm not such a big Bea Arthur fan.

Why Foster? Oh like, bananas Foster? I'll assume that's the flaming dessert. He's such a macaronic image, it's hard to settle on a name. (I know I may have stretched the meaning of macaronic there.) Maybe I'll just stick a feather in his cap and call him Macaroni. Got that Kennedy thing going too. And that's how the process works. Thanks RayRay.

Lissa -- Bea Arthur was in "Amanda's", a remake of "Fawlty Towers". So far as IMDb indicates, the only attempted US remake of "Are You Being Served?" was "Beanes of Boston", which never made it past a pilot episode.

Hmm...could have sworn she was at least supposed to be in the US remake of "Are You Being Served?" Of course, as we all know, your average Kikuyu herder knows more about US TV than I do.

Was she in anything after Maude? I'm not that familiar with her œuvre. Wasn't she the lady that solved murders in small towns? No that was Mary Tyler Moore.

Last month a package from Amazon arrived with the first season of Maude. I'm not sure how many items are on Amazon, nor am I sure how out of all the items available that was the one we needed; however, that DVD did provide me with context for the orgins of "Good Times".

Good Times? Whachu talkin bout?

Owlie, you know the crime solving sweet dear little old lady was that staunch Socialist, Angela Lansbury. Who was also in "Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris".

I think you should name him Monkey

Angela Lansbury? You mean Frank Sinatra's mother in the Manchurian Candidate?

Haven't seen the "Manchurian Candidate" yet, either version. The original is on my list of "movies to get around to watching some day."

That is a very long list. I must say that the wait for "Battleship Potemkin" was well worth it.

"Good Times? Whachu talkin bout?"

Talkin bout Dynomite!

And, I can attest if you ever see Jimmy J.J. Walker perform his comedy live, he won't say "Dynomite!" during his set. I almost asked Ram's Head for my money back. Why that's almost as bad as going to see Fonzie and he refuses to say "Ayeeee"

Actually, Angela Lansbury was Laurence Harvey's mother in the original (1962) version of The Manchurian Candidate, even though she was only 3 years older. Lissa -- FYI, the original is on Turner Classic Movies this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. If you don't have cable, you should move the original up on your rental list. (I haven't seen the remake, but the original is superb.)

I don't have cable, hmpstd. The library probably has it. Next time I'm in a movie watching mood, I'll go look for it.

sigh. I have to get on my soap box and rant (quickly) about why a perfect piece of cinema is made and then someone feels the need to re-make it a few years later. The Manchurian Candidate in it's original black and white format is not only a great movie but especially eerie given that it was shelved because of the assasination of JFK shortly either pre or post dating it's release. The shadows and subtleties of the black and white film plus the pacing and drama of the film itself could never and should have never been re-created.

Lord, please let me be dead and gone before some moron decides to re-make To Kill a Mockingbird!

The original MC is a classic. It captures the paranoia of the Cold War brilliantly.

I heard that Matthew McConnaughy is a remaking To Kill a Mockingbird as a comedy called Tequila Mockingbird.

Tequila Mockingbird is a great Mexican restaurant in Ocean City. Can't remember exactly where it is in OC, I'm thinking up around the 120s somewhere.

How's that to swerve the topic back to food!

This is fantastic! How did I miss this?

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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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