Monday, August 17, 2009
These last two months or so I have been working out more consistently and eating more healthy food to try to whip myself into shape. That means that good food is on my mind constantly, so I have already thought of several places I would like to eat out at when I get home. I have really been craving pizza, so we will be visiting Mellow Mushroom, which we used to eat at quite a bit while I was in flight school, since there is a Mellow Mushroom in Enterprise, AL.
I love pizza and have always heard so much about authentic NY pizza, but have never been able to try it since I have never really lived near or visited NY. We love to make pizza at home, but the dough never turns out the way I want it to. Don't get me wrong, I still love the homemade pizza, but I want it to taste better. A few months before deployment, I ran across a website of a man who has been trying to recreate an authentic NY pizza at his home in Atlanta, GA for the past 10 years. Jeff Varasano has a website, www.varasanos.com where he details how he came up with the recipe and cooking technique to make a NY pizza. In March he opened a restaurant in Atlanta, Varasano's Pizzeria, and seeing as how our journey will take us right through there, part of our vacation plan now includes a stop at his restaurant.
Once I thought about going to specifically visit an establishment specifically for the food, I started to think about what else I would like to eat while on leave. Something else that I like to make at home is donuts. Homemade donuts are the best, since you can eat them hot and fresh and whenever you want to. I make a mean spudnut, although it has been quite a while since I have taken the time to make them. I started looking on the internet for the best donut shops in the country and ran into a few different sites that have a top 10 donuts list. Unfortunately, some of the best donut shops are not along our route of travel. I found the blog, www.theblognut.blogspot.com recently which follows the donut tasting adventures of blognut as he visits some of the most highly-touted donut shops around the country. I like his dedication to donuts; they're delicious. I would someday like to taste a Round Rock donut, as my brother and his family used to live in Round Rock, TX and have been praising those donuts for years. Fortunately, we will probably be visiting Siesta Key beach on the gulf coast of Florida while we are there, and nearby is Yummies Donuts, that has received some very good reviews on several websites; I am excited!
If anyone knows of any other noteworthy stops from Clarksville, TN to Orlando, FL area, please let me know. It could be food or just something worth stopping to see.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
SPCs Marc Raglin and Javier Medrano and I ordered the Chicken Sizzler. It is chicken cooked in a red sauce, with your choice of steamed rice, fried rice, or french fries on the side. It comes on a plate similar to a fajita plate/dish and is served sizzling, just like the name implies. It took a few moments before it was cool enough to eat. It is a spicy dish with plenty of hot peppers added in, but they offer a normal spicy or the "spicy" spicy. Of course when they asked if I wanted it spicy I had to man up and say, "Of course." Of course that meant that Raglin and Medrano ordered it spicy as well; isn't peer pressure cool? I took the first bite and within two minutes I started to sweat. Soon after my nose began to run. Looking across the table I was pleased to see the other guys using tissues to blow noses/wipe foreheads as well. I am no foreigner to hot foods, but when half of what is on your plate is peppers and you can't take a bite without biting into a pepper seed, it is probably going to be hot. CW2 Justin Mix was the smart one; he ordered a pepperoni pizza. All in all it was an "experience" not soon to be forgotten.
Marc Raglin placing the order; two orange slushies.
Afterward we checked out the coffee shop for the slushies that I highly recommended. Unfortunately I was too full to properly enjoy, so I will have to get one at a later date. The taste is great, reminds me of a shaved ice!
A photo of me, Justin Mix, and Javier "Javi" Medrano. I know I'm not photogenic, so what! Plus my stomach was already beginning to feel the effects of lunch.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Here is a little photo montage of the call we received today. There were two wounded, I am not sure of what cause, but neither was life threatening.