November 26, 2008

Scrapin' Up the Bits... 'Pity the Fool' Style

Perhaps I should spend more time tackling some of the interesting tidbits I come across as individual posts, but that's not always possible, which is where these neat little digests come in so handy...

To start with, two local items:

First, La Prima Espresso, that bastion of all that is good and delicious about sustainably produced coffee, has opened a new location in the Strip District. It's on Penn Avenue, right around the corner from the current location on 21st street. It's been open approximately a week at this point. In addition to continuing to produce the best espresso-based drinks in town, the new location features freshly made crepes, both savory and sweet.

Second, a new, organic-focused grocery store has opened in the Strip. Right by Nature is its name and organic and affordable is its game.

The store balances a mix of organic, natural and convention foods, a challenge that must meet the demands of available supply, and the needs of customers. ...

He said the store will be supplied directly by the farmers with whom he’s built long-time relationships, cutting out the cost of buying from distributors, which he estimated could reduce costs by 20 percent. To better establish his distribution system for Right By Nature, Stone expects to hire a few independent truckers, offering them a 1.5 percent equity stake in the business after they’ve worked a year. ...

“The people that need to eat healthy are the ones that some times can’t afford it,” he said, expecting the store to serve nearby urban neighborhoods such as the Strip District, Lawrenceville and the North Side. “We want to be an affordable grocery store.”

Moving outside of Pittsburgh
to danger on the nation's roads and highways, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered a unique method for the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria: being stuck in a car behind a chicken truck!

A study by the Hopkins researchers found increased levels of pathogenic bacteria, both susceptible and drug-resistant, on surfaces and in the air inside cars traveling behind trucks that carry broiler chickens. ...

Typically, broiler chickens are transported in open crates on the back of flatbed trucks with no effective barrier to prevent release of pathogens into the environment. Previous studies have reported that these crates become contaminated with feces and bacteria.

Brings a whole new meaning to safe driving, eh?

On a completely different topic, Men's Health magazine rounds up the "20 worst drinks," not by flavor, but by calories and sugar content, among other things. Why bother doing such a thing?

[A] study from the University of North Carolina found that we consume 450 calories a day from beverages, nearly twice as many as 30 years ago! This increase amounts to an extra 23 pounds a year that we're forced to work off—or carry around with us.

One of the liquid offenders was VitaminWater, which I don't drink often, but which I totally love. It clocks in at 130 calories, same as a 12 oz. can of Coke, which, BTW, happens to make VitaminWater. Oy.

Other offenders include:

  • Sunkist (worst soda)
  • Minute Maid Lemonade (worst lemonade)
  • Starbucks Venti White Hot Chocolate (worst coffee alternative)
  • And the Worst of the Worst, the Worst Drink in America according to Men's Health magazine, clocking in at 2,300 calories, 108 grams of fat... Baskin Robbins' Large Health Bar Shake.

Speaking of drinks that are likely chock full of calories, don't forget to purchase your compliment of holiday-themed beers. I recently spent a ridiculous amount of money on six packs of the following:

I highly recommend them all, in addition to Penn Brewery's St. Nikolaus Bock, which I really enjoyed last year.

And, finally, the inspiration for this particular digest, the one, the only, Miisssssterrrrr TEEEEEE! That's right, while flipping through the channels late Friday night, I learned that Mr. T has ventured into the world of cooking-related devices with his one and only... wait for it... FlavorWave Turbo Oven.

Now I understand that George Foreman -- also black, also still somewhat fit and muscular for his age -- has had tremendous success with his portfolio of grills. [Clarification: I understand that he has, in fact, sold a bazillion of these grills. I don't, however, understand why. Please continue reading.] But, aside from those with approximately $120 burning in their pocket for a potentially funny gag gift, who the heck would buy this thing?

The infomerical, of which I caught approximately 30 seconds, does include Mr. T's signature line, though, something along the lines of, "I pity the fool that try to cook that frozen piece of salmon."


Troy said...

Had a bottle of Anderson Valley "Winter Solstice Ale" today (Burgh's in Bridgeville has it in bottles and on tap) with lunch.

Good beer, lightly spiced, not enough to overpower it.

Fillippelli the (Wannabe) Cook said...

Had my first Mad Elf from Troeg Brewery last night. It was good, but not as good as I remember from last year, when I recall being astounded by it.

Troy said...

Burgh's had the Mad Elf too . . . maybe I'll get that next time.

Troy said...

I went back to Burg's a week later to get the Mad Elf, and they were sold out. I checked several other places for it, and everyone was out (excluding the big $75 bottle at 3 Sons). Now, Here it is almost the middle of January, and while perusing Urban Spoon, a new listing for a bar in my neighborhood appeared . . .

. . . and it brought me to their site . . .

. . . and here I am now, sipping a Mad Elf from a frosty frozen glass. And, yesm it's a good brew. In fact, I'm probably gonna get a 6 to go. Thanks for the recommendation!