All posts by Griffin Paulin

Some Days Are Better Than Some Days


There’s something really beautiful about that which you can’t control. Maybe it’s the “ticking clock” mentality, but, the older I grow, the more appreciative I am of Things That Are. Or, maybe I’ve had enough of Things That Could Be.

I’m a controller, not to be confused with “controlling”. Be it relationships, work, friendships- people make their own decisions, and, if they’re lucky, face their own outcomes. I don’t believe in fate, divine intervention, luck. I bet on myself, rarely others. Fairly self aware, I know my strengths and shortcomings. I play my own odds.

Lately, though, it sometimes seems the investment I’ve made in myself is a poor one. Stop me if you’ve heard me say this before:

I’m exhausted.

I’m not tired. At least, not in the manner many are. I am downright BEAT, and Life is standing in the corner, throwing tacks at me. It’s a slow flow, but I’m honestly bleeding out. I’ll spare you the majority of the details- we all have problems. You’re not here to shoulder my load.

Five years ago I made a decision. I was sitting in my 2 bedroom apartment, which was empty, save for a mattress on the floor. I had nothing but a place to sleep and $14/hr. That was my choice. I was 5 days removed from a two story home, a girlfriend I shared a child with, and I decided- no matter what it took, I would be here. I would literally die for this, if that was the stipulation.

No hyperbole.

I was happy. I left something toxic, for the idea of something better. Within a month I had a room set up for my son, a couch and a TV. Within 6, a car and promotion. I poured everything I had in to digging myself out of that hole, and I couldn’t have been happier. I went to work with a chip on my shoulder, I went home with a smile on my face.

Between then and now, I’ve had a lot. I had a BMW, a busy restaurant, a weekly dinner club that paid me an absurd amount of money (you honestly wouldn’t believe me if I told you the amount). I had another child. I bought a house.

I bet on myself, and I fucking won. I had expendable income, and, believe, that income was expended.

And then, I had nothing. Again.

I had totaled my car, fucked my relationship up, moved out of my house, left the restaurant group, quit/got fired from another job, took a job line cooking, and had exactly zero. I had a place to sleep, a small amount of money and a plan.

I did the thing I shouldn’t have done- I rebooted a failed concept. I tried again. I put things on credit, I bartered, I put every CENT I had in to it. Literally. When Mirin opened, I had $11 to my name. No shit. $11, a couple refrigerators full of product, and a smile on my face. I bet it all on the idea that This Time Would Be Different.

I wasn’t wrong. It is different. I’m actually here. No, I mean, like, right now. I’m sitting outside of Mirin, smoking the longest cigarette you’ve ever seen, trying to psych myself up for a dinner rush that may or may not come. I worked 90 hours last week, 90 the week before, 100 prior to that. There’s a limit, you know. A limit to exactly how many hours you can work in a single week while remaining productive. Everyone has a different limit, but, over my 12 years in this industry, I can give you My Number.

72.

That’s how many hours I can work, remain sane, healthy, and remotely productive. I’m obliterating that number, week after week, and it’s not because I want to. I have to. I have no choice, because the math isn’t adding up. I’m paying bills the day they’re due for shut off, or, occasionally, the day they actually are.

Here’s another number- 20,200.

That’s my debt. Doesn’t seem insurmountable, yet, many days, it feels that way. If I’m lucky, I might pay that off this year. We might do $2,000 in sales tonight. Or we might do $20. I honestly have no idea. Not even, like, a working estimate. I’m not betting on either, but I’m counting on myself to be here tomorrow. Tomorrow, next month, next year. I’m counting on myself. That decision I made 5 years ago- that could very likely become a thing. If I keep going at this rate, I very well MAY die. Probably not immediately. Definitely before 50, I’d say. I think that’s just… objective.

I’m not stressing, though. Right here, in this moment, I’m not worried about the what-ifs. I’m not worried about losing my restaurant, my house, my car, my daughter, dying- I’m not focusing on Things That Could Be. I’m focusing on Things That Are.

It’s 81 degrees and sunny. 5 years ago, I doubt I’d notice.

What a beautiful fucking day.

How To Fuck Good

 

Maybe you’ve never been good in the sack. Maybe you’ve recently left a sexless marriage and need some motivation to get back out there. Maybe you’re already good in bed, but your self improvement game is strong. However you need to justify being here, reading this- we don’t mind.

Without further ado, 21 ways to stop sucking at fucking.

  1. Lebron Powder

2. Cry

The entire time. Don’t be afraid to show your sensitive side.

3. Bring Your Lawyer

Most lawyers charge less than $400/hour, which is about what you’d pay for a mid-class hooker.

4. Ask For Consent

Be specific. You can never be too safe. Small gestures go a long way. Things like “can I tell you my current credit score”, or “may I go approximately 3 times this fast” may seem frivolous, but nothing is sexier than asking questions.

5. Lube Your Whole Body

Because nothing is worse than belly suctions.

6. Stretch

Stretching before, during, and after sex helps prevent pulled muscles, which will surely put a damper on your encounter.

7. Smoke Cigarettes, The Entire Time

8. Build A Safe Zone With Crystals

Help keep your chakras aligned AND ward off bad juju.

9. Call Your Friends 

It’s important to your partner to know that you’re not embarrassed to be with them. There’s no better time to prove this.

10. Karaoke

11. Recite Bible Verses

Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

12. Play Games

Hook the Nuva to win one of her stuffed animals.

13. Wet Willy

14. Gatorade Bath

15. Guy Fieri Catchphrases

“Fuckin’ FULL THROTTLE”.

16. Incredibly Creepy Movie Quotes

“When Andy plays with you, it’s like, even though you’re not moving… you feel like you’re ALIVE”.

17. Count Each Thrust, Aloud

18. Be Your Own “Tom Leach”

“He pulls up from WAY OUT… not this time!”

19. Try To Go Super Saiyan

Impersonate the audio for full effect

20. Backhanded, Self Deprecating Compliments

“You’re really good at this, you must’ve sucked WAY bigger dicks than mine”

21. Comment Your Own

[Best Comment Here]

Decisions I Made

If you’ve followed this blog since day one, you know I tend to get wordy. Subject matter is erratic- from a 1,300 word diatribe about where to shit in public, to a 2,200 word Q&A with Jeremy Johnson of Meta, I, in particular, have a propensity to push your attention span to the limit, and, more often than not, break the levee.

This post will be no different; for that, for once, I don’t apologize. This isn’t an inspirational entry. This  will be void of my typical arrogance and snark. Maybe you’ll keep reading. It’s possible you’ll find something useful here. Maybe you’ll relate. I hope not.

This post will be what writing used to be, for me; therapy.

At 19 years old, I discovered I was going to be a father. Well, I discovered I was going to have a son. How ready I was to be an actual FATHER is up for debate. I had been cooking for a few years, and had three choices- Take It Serious, Go Back To School, Be A Complete Fuck Up. As you can probably guess, I chose Option One. It didn’t come without a healthy dose of Option Three.

I got drunk EVERY NIGHT. I don’t mean I went drinking every night. I got DRUNK. I was in denial. Sure, I paid all the bills, somehow. I wasn’t present, though. I worked my $10/hr job. I worked multiple $10/hr jobs. Erin was a good mom, and remains one to this day. I owe her a debt of gratitude- my son grew up well rounded, caring, and sensitive to other’s feelings. He has learned much of what he needs to know about life from his mother, and it doesn’t damage my pride to admit that.

When Brayden was two, things hit a breaking point. Erin and I fucking HATED each other. I left her for another woman. A woman I now share a child with, who is my life partner. It hasn’t been without it’s share of drama, and I’ve fucked that up a million times, too. That’s a story for another day. A long one, at that.

The Erin Thing wasn’t entirely my fault, though much of it was. She lacked empathy. She was a raucous asshole. Still is, if we’re being honest. I was selfish. Still am- IF we’re being honest. I’m a bit narcissistic. I’m always the smartest person in the room, even when I’m not. I don’t lose arguments, even when I do. It’s what makes me a good business man, a mediocre chef, and a shit significant other.

Ever seen Thank You For Smoking? There was a line in that movie that grabbed me. It didn’t so much change my tactics, it just validated and improved them.

“You don’t have to prove you’re right, you only need to prove they’re wrong.”

This is how I operate. It’s a flaw, and I’m working on it (kind of).

The thing about the restaurant industry is this- the further you rise, the more you work. The more you work, the further you rise. It’s a never ending cycle, and, to the point I’ve reached, it hasn’t changed.

There’s always “some day”.

It’s well documented that our wages are shit. Average salary for a chef in this city is in the neighborhood of $42,000 a year, which probably means you have a 60 hour work week, if you’re lucky. Peak hours are opposite of “normal” hours. I learned this the hard way.

At 21 years, I took my first “chef” position. It ended poorly. I was canned within 6 months, as any 21 year old Head Chef likely would be. I had two choices at that juncture, and I can summarize them this way- 610 Magnolia Dishwasher, Hammerheads Kitchen Manager.

I followed the money. I had “bills” to pay.

This move was indicative of the rest of my career, until recently. I ALWAYS followed the money. I’m largely self taught- I worked for a few great chefs, but not that many. I read. I watch documentaries. I fuck things up. I consistently employ people far more talented than I. I ask questions. I watch. I’m a workaholic, now, but in reality- I’m not a great CHEF.

Things could have been different, a million times over. I could have taken that opportunity with Nick Sullivan at 610. I could have quit cooking and gone to school. I could’ve continued down a path of crime. I could have worn a condom, or said “yes” when she asked me if I wanted her to have an abortion.

I didn’t, and here we are. I own a restaurant, and if you asked me 10 years ago how I thought that would go, I’d have given you a whole different answer than the one I’d offer today.

To be clear, I regret nothing. I am who I am today because of my choices. I love my son. He’s a fucking genius, and I don’t mean that in the way most parents say it. I don’t say it with adoration, or amazement; I say it very matter-of-factly. Brayden is brilliant, and he can ACTUALLY be anything he wants in this world. He has Driskell intelligence, with Paulin reasoning. His mother’s body type body type with Paulin Logic. He’s a bookworm. He has Paulin sense of humor with his mother’s sensitivity. He possesses what his mother lacks- empathy. He possesses what I lack- selflessness. He is quite literally the best version of his mother and I that we ever could have hoped for.

And he’s moving away.

Erin told me in October, less than a month before I opened my (very behind schedule) restaurant. I was hurt, but not surprised. For years, she put her love life on hold, for whatever reason hoping against hope that I’d “come to my senses” and “be with her”. Hoping we would be a family. In reality, we weren’t meant to be- we both know it, though I figured it out much quicker than she.

She’s moving to make her new relationship work. I don’t begrudge her that. She deserves some happiness. I have put her through a lot. She makes excuses- “Brayden will have so many opportunities”, or “I want him to grow up where I did”. It’s mostly bullshit, but, really, I don’t blame her.

Her new guy (Boyfriend? Fiance?) is some sort of app developer. I don’t really know what he does. I’ve never cared to ask. I prefer to think of him as a douche, but he’s probably really nice. He’s probably responsible, knows his boundaries, and isn’t out to “replace” me.

Not that he could. Self deprecating as I am, I am actually a good father (now). I don’t see Brayden as much now that Mirin is open. I’m really tired. I put in anywhere from 60-100 hours per week. Hours outside “the norm” are no longer a thing- I work ALL of the hours. But, when we do see each other, my world stops. I’m not on my phone, tending to my daughter, or thinking about work- I’m hanging out with my kid. The dude who taught me that it was time to be a man.

Talk about bad timing- my son is moving away, I’m working more than EVER, and though I knew he was going, even before he did, I didn’t get to cherish these moments.

I’m really fucking sad. I hurt in a way I didn’t know possible. I was selfish. I followed my passion, which was never parenting. My own decisions led me here. There is no one left to blame, no arguments I can win by proving someone else is wrong. I’ve always wanted to succeed, if only for my own ego. I no longer have a choice.

Success is the only option. If I fail, I’ve laid waste to everything I’ve discovered I care about. If I fail, I’ve failed more than just myself. I’ve wasted valuable time- time that could have been spent doing what was important. I crave success now, for different reasons.

I can’t lose. Still, I might. And, if I do?

These are the decisions I made.

Editors Note: This was a heartfelt, opinion piece. The opinions in this piece in no way reflect the opinions of KitchenBanter, it’s contributing writers, or lack of sponsors. This is in no way meant to be a picture perfect portrayal of Miss Brayden’s Mother, or the Louisville restaurant industry as a whole. 

Perception of Value

 

Berkshire Belly, Marksbury Broth

Among the many eye twitch inducing, scoff worthy, infuriating phrases associated with professional cookery, one stands above the rest. It burrows under your skin, lingers long enough to see a clinched fist, and, usually, escapes through the ears after your eyes roll it through the back of your head.

It was overpriced.”

Was it, though? Let’s work through it together.

Ask any casual “foodie” what is important to them when deciding where to eat, and you’ll get mostly the same answer, with emphasis on different particulars from person to person. We want fresh food, bonus points if it’s organic. We want it well thought out. Use quality ingredients. Good portion size. Local farmers. Humane practices. We’d like everybody to earn a living wage. Variety. Vegan options, gluten free options (and preferably substitutions).

Ramen bowls, made by local potter Dan Marshall

Prompt, friendly, experienced service. Above all, we want selection, and value.

But, what do these things ACTUALLY cost? I’ve only cooked professionally in Louisville, so I’ll use this city as an example. I’ll frequently use Mirin as an example, because it’s fresh in my mind- but, please note that I am not complaining, and we very rarely hear those 3 dreaded words.

Quality, Fresh, Local Ingredients

I am fully aware that, should I want to put a bunch of extra dollars on my bottom line, I could go to Restaurant Depot and buy “whatever-frozen-bullshit-this-is” pork belly for $1.39 a pound. However, I can get a far better, tastier, and cleaner product, known as “Berkshire Pork”. Ultimately, I am in this business to serve the best possible product I can, and you, the foodie, are in the market to eat the best there is to offer. That being said, a restaurant is a business (and not of the stress free nature)- it needs profit to exist. So a compromise must be made by both parties.

Where the business must compromise- make less to serve better. This isn’t a super simple deal. Berkshire Pork runs, on average, somewhere around $4.40 per pound, triple what your run of the mill belly will fetch, wholesale. However, the issues don’t end there. Your standard, shitty, mistreated pork will have minimal marbling, resulting in less rendered fat. Kurobuta will have much more marbling, much more layering (read: flavor), resulting in more rendered fat. What does this mean? That price per pound, pre cook, is much, much more, post cook. From a 10 pound belly, we lose about 2.5 pounds of fat. We can use about 25% of that in other ways, but, the rest is usually waste.

This isn’t the only way we compromise. We know you can’t be expected to pay an exorbitant amount for every dish. We would LOVE to use farm fresh eggs- but, they’re roughly triple the price of your standard extra large egg, and don’t make enough of a difference for you to notice. We could buy chains and spines for Tonkotsu broth, but you achieve much more flavor using necks- which, when available, will be sourced through Marksbury Farm, who are a bit more expensive, but, local. It’s a balancing act, one that keeps the caring restaurateur up at night- but, it’s what separates us from, say, *O’Charley’s.

*note- that is purely speculatory and opinion based, and in no way based on any knowledge of O’Charley’s or their, surely, reputable and caring purveyors*

Where you must compromise- With your pocket book. It’s tough, but, we know you wouldn’t have it the other way.

Diving In To The Details

As we touched on before, restaurants are in the business of making money. However, ask Jill Restaurateur, and she will give you a laundry list of reasons it’s a poor investment. Here are a few of them.

In order to be successful, most restaurants operate under universally accepted percentages. Food cost around 30%, labor around 20%. So, how realistic is this?

Well. The short answer is, it’s not. For most restaurants, anyway. There is a widely publicized critical mass in this lovely city, but

I pay people to make sure this remains green.

it wouldn’t seem our customer base has grown much. To put it in simple terms, the salad is the same size, but it’s now expected to fill more stomachs, and you rarely know when you’ll get a bite. For example- last week, with 3 employees, Monday was FAR AND AWAY our busiest day. Saturday, with 5 employees, we twiddled our thumbs. Those bodies, whether we like it or not, are dollar signs. It’s the reason most chefs spend more time fretting over the orders and numbers than actually cooking. It’s the reason restaurants close. It’s the reason you are seeing increasingly smaller menus, less full service restaurants, and higher tickets. We must make money to survive, no matter how often we convince ourselves otherwise.

Let’s say, hypothetically, you hit those mystical numbers. One would conclude that makes you a successful operation, but, that’s not always the case. Why?

Nickles and Dimes

The margins in this industry are slimmer than you could even imagine. Everything has a price, and everybody wants their cut. For every nine dollars you pay an employee, you pay one dollar of real money for hypothetical unemployment (among other things). Payroll costs money. Workman’s Comp. The insurance company WILL come calling. Internet. Power. Gas. If you pay me plastic, which you definitely will, roughly 3% of your sale will be automatically deducted from my bank account on the 3rd day of every month. Paper towels, hand soap, dish chemicals, neutral floor cleaner, clean linens, broken plates, waste removal, grease trap maintaince, or, God forbid, your $5,000 cooler decides to stop working at 1am, and you come in to a restaurant housing $1,500 worth of spoiled product- plus, the cost to fix said cooler. You had a bad experience, and rather than lose your business entirely, we gave you a free meal, a voucher for a return visit, and hope you’d give us another shot. Every six months, you pay a guy to come clean your super expensive commercial hood, which usually takes about 3 hours and costs you $800. If you aren’t a great accountant, you’ve hired one- and they almost assuredly make more than the rest of your employees. Everything breaks, food goes bad, your special doesn’t move, and, on top of that, the neighborhood you’ve been in for the last 6 years is suddenly trendy, so good luck with that lease negotiation! $13 per square foot? Sorry. Let’s double that.

Again, please don’t mistake me. I’m not complaining. Not really, anyway. My bills are mostly paid, I work for myself. I knew what I was getting in to, as did most chef/owners in this city. If you have a negative experience, 99% of the time, that is not your fault. We don’t aim for you to have a poor time, and, when you do, the vast majority of us are legitimately sorry. I probably take your bad experience more seriously than you do, and I DEFINITELY think about it longer. I’m not alone in this. We ALL want you to be happy. Not just so you come back and spend your money, but because we are proud of what we do.

I’m not asking you to blindly support any restaurant, any price. I’m only asking you to put yourself in the business owner’s shoes before declaring something “overpriced”. More often than not, it’s not over priced- it’s accurately priced, if undersold. If I make $.50 per guest, and do 1000 guests per day, I’m feeling GREAT. If it’s 100 guests per day? The math doesn’t add up.

I’m aware I’ve painted a fairly negative picture here, but, when you see the rash of restaurant closings and surmise why in the comments- this is why. It’s really fucking hard. So, why do we do it?

I dunno. I guess we love it.

I Drank My Own Bath Water

Psilocybin Mushrooms. Photo Credit: reset.me
Psilocybin Mushrooms. Photo Credit: reset.me

I’ve been really stressed out lately. If you’ve ever opened a restaurant, you know this feeling. If you haven’t- good for you. I don’t recommend it, to be perfectly honest. Long gone are the 11 hour work days, where you leave the job at the job and check your problems at the door. It’s no longer possible to separate my personal life from my professional life. I operate in this really murky space now, where I’m never fully focused on anything. I’m consistently pulled in 8 different directions, and, most days, it honestly feels like I didn’t get anything done.

Writing has not been a priority. It used to be an escape- ambient noise in the background, words effortlessly spilling across paper. I no longer know how to use a pen for anything other than a dollar amount and a scraggly signature. C’est la vie.

Today, I forced it. I threw exactly 13 pieces of paper away. I wanted to write a million things. I wanted to write about Sous Chefs, how they have the worst job imaginable (but we love them). I wanted to tell you all how to make the perfect egg. I wanted to write about chain restaurants, hip hop, sake, why I despise IPAs. I wanted to write about 100 things I’d rather do than write. I wanted to write about simpler times, when money was a luxury, rather than a necessity.

I decided to write about the last time I remember doing drugs.

*disclaimer: while I have many fond memories of drugs, they very nearly ruined my life. I am now 10 years clean. If you, or anyone you know, is an addict, I recommend seeking treatment at The Morton Center, or anywhere convenient. Your life has meaning. Don’t waste it.*

I was on house arrest for something. Teenage Griffin was frequently under home incarceration. To this day, there is a one inch, hairless strip that circles my ankle. I was an asshole teenager. I constantly broke the law, usually in an egregious manner. What this particular transgression was, I couldn’t tell you.

What I can tell you is I hadn’t learned my lesson yet. I was an adolescent, in the beginning stages of working in the restaurant industry, and I was privileged enough to be granted work release, as a minor. On a slow night, my employer let me go early. What does a teenager do when he gets off early? Nothing productive. I went to Cedar Park.

If you were a white, suburban drug addict in the early 2000s, you have been to Cedar Park. It was a nice little drug oasis, nestled on a dark street in the grey area between Goose Creek and Anchorage, a few major streets over from what is now Norton Commons. Stuffed behind the Walmart on Westport, this row of apartment buildings, surrounded by half-million-dollar homes, was basically Amsterdam. If you wanted it, it was available.

For the younger generation, please understand that this was pre-Molly. We only had ecstasy, an objectively inferior form of whatever-that-shit-y’all-do-now is. The highly sought after pill was pink, a Playboy Bunny pressed in to the center. You can guess what that was supposed to signify.

The shit thing about ecstasy was the randomness of it’s success rate. The same batch could yield very different results from pill to pill, person to person, based on who knows what. I don’t know who made this stuff, but I doubt it was a chemist.

This is an ecstasy pill.
This is an ecstasy pill.

Anyway, I’m out in Cedar Park, two “triple stack” Pink Playboys in. An hour after eating them, I wasn’t feeling anything, and it was close to time to get home- my P.O. would be expecting me around 11pm. Disappointed, and on my way out the door, I bought a gram of Mushrooms (to salvage the night, you know), and hopped in my buddy’s car.

And that’s when things got WEIRD.

Immediately after ingesting the Mushrooms, the ecstasy kicked in. Hard. I was rolling my balls off, wishing I hadn’t just done what I did. I called my mom- not home, out for the night with a friend. See you tomorrow, heard.

I got home and got in the shower, which was, at the time, a life changing experience. The bathroom was located directly next to “the computer room” (not an office by any means, merely a small room with a computer in it- you probably don’t have one of these now). I had music blaring from the shitty computer speakers, probably some bad, Limewire pirated hip hop. I was having trouble hearing the music, so I kicked the drain shut, drew myself a bath, and crawled in my bed until it was ready.

The covers were swallowing me, the ceiling was swimming, headlights danced through the blinds like cinder blocks skipping across a hand sink- I was fucked up. I remember thinking, “I don’t know who, what, where, when, or why I am”. I was so wrapped up in my drug induced, naked, existential crisis,  I forgot about the bath. I heard water bouncing off tile and snapped back to reality, albeit briefly. I shut the faucet off, threw a towel down, drained it a little, and heaved my entire body in to the tub- miraculously, avoiding serious injury or death.

As I’m laying there, fully submerged in water (save for my head, which was immersed in crisis), Silkk The Shocker pounding at my ear drums- it happened.

I slid down about 2 inches, and took a giant gulp of hot body water. On purpose. It tasted neither bad nor good. I drank my own bathwater and felt NOTHING.

The house phone rang, and the rest of the evening is not fit for print.

Those were simpler times. Don’t do drugs, kids.

 

You can follow me on twitter at @GriffinNotGriff. For inquiries, please email Griffin@kitchenbanter.com

They’re Cooking With Cum In England

donut
Though I’m confident the title accurately sums up the… long and short…. of the concept, let me give you some more details about this.

On the off chance that you absolutely love the taste of your partners semen (or your own), and you either live in England, or are willing to make the trip, you can sign up for the “Cooking With Semen” class, to be held in London, by visiting blog.wonderush.com.

According to the post, the class, which will require 30 or more enrollees, is being supported by ‘renowned sex educator Alix Fox’. Her words:

“While the idea of bringing cum into the kitchen will doubtless appall many people, some individuals find the idea of consuming such an intimate substance an incredible turn-on.”

OK. No kink shaming here.

According to the blog post, this class will teach you how to prepare an appetizer, entree, dessert, and adult beverage- using semen (provided by you). The blog’s crowd-funding effort (hosted by seedrs… I swear the puns write themselves) has been successful, reaching 110% of their 200,003 euro goal. Says founder, Nelson Sivalingam:

I know some people will find this hard to swallow, but the idea of cooking with semen isn’t as farfetched as one might think… this should give people a taste of our sense of humor.”

Personally, I would like to thank our Founding Fathers for sacrificing life and limb to remove us from being lumped in with these Cum Cookers. As far as we can tell, this is a very real concept. According to Mr. Sivalingam, you can expect to make a “Victoria Spooge Cake”, a “Schlong Island Iced Tea”, among other things.

… But what are those other things? We at Kitchen Banter have some suggestions.

Dark Roux, for a more ‘nutty’ flavor
Chicken Baby Gravy
Cream Of Sum Yung Guy
New England Man Chowder
Two Ball Compote
LOADed Baked Potato

and, for your after meal refreshment, the always delicious:

Sloe Gin Jism

What say you? Would you partake in Cum Cookery? What would be your signature dish?

Podcast Episode 2: Adam Burress

208804_177069352344882_542440_n
Adam Burress, co-owner of Hammerheads, Game, and Migo, is probably the most open, hilarious business owner in the city of Louisville. In the second edition of The Kitchen Banter Podcast, we discuss why he loves weed and hallucinogens, how he reconciles a vegan lifestyle with owning wild game restaurants, his upcoming hemp-centric, 5 course benefit dinner, and learn that he recently decided to stop wearing socks and underwear (??). He also speaks a little bit about his experiences working in, and owning, some of the best restaurants in the city.

As always, I would like to remind everyone that this podcast is very Not Safe For Work. The opinions expressed on this podcast don’t necessarily reflect the views of Kitchen Banter or it’s advertisers. The sound quality gets a little wonky in the middle, but it smoothes itself out rather quickly. Nobody ever accused me of being a genius.

The Kitchen Banter Podcast, Ep. 1- All Positivity, Outtie 5000

14289840_1068173159903672_4135017140568054447_o
Since entering the Louisville Restaurant Industry 5 years ago, Dustin Staggers has been a controversial topic of conversation. In the first edition of The Kitchen Banter Podcast, Dustin and I discuss the restaurant industry as a whole, our own failures and successes, and some new information about his future plans for Louisville restaurants.

I’m in the process of creating an iTunes channel for these podcasts, which will typically be hosted by Logan and I. Due to the nature of the conversation, I thought it better that this be a very frank, one on one discussion.

I would like to echo the tag line of this particular blog, and note that this podcast is very, very Not Safe For Work. It is wholly uncensored.

Nobody Cares About Your Fantasy Team

ls

Shit talking is part of my personality. It’s the greatest way to communicate, and has been engrained in me since I was a kid.

I grew up in a family full of Louisville fans. In his wedding vows, one of my three brothers said “’til death do us part… or you become a Kentucky fan”. Two of my brothers graduated from UofL. My grandfather was a professor there. It’s basically expected that you’ll be a fan.

Stevie Got Loose- one of very few fond memories of UK Football.
Stevie Got Loose- one of very few fond memories of UK Football.

Ever the black sheep, I decided at a young age that I would be a Kentucky fan. I don’t know why; probably the same reason I spelled my cats name T-I-G-R-E. If one way makes sense, I’ve always gone the other way. So, you can picture the immense amount of shit talking (and, now, shitposting) that takes place amongst us. It always has.

For this reason, I like to watch sports at the bar. There is no greater venue for trash talk than your neighborhood watering hole. I don’t care who you’re a fan of, or whether I know anything about that team. I’m running my mouth about them, to your face, and I expect the same treatment. I care about you enough to tell you your favorite team is trash, and list all the reasons why.

What I don’t care about is your fantasy football team.

I have a fantasy team. It’s roughly the same as yours. I have a few quarterbacks, some running backs, some receivers. Most of them are starters, a few back ups, maybe a smart handcuff for an oft injured player. Most weeks, I need a certain player to do a certain thing, and a certain player to not do a certain thing, in order for my fictionally comprised team to beat another person’s fictionally comprised team in our fictional sports league in an attempt to win real money at the end of the fictional season.

Sound familiar? I bet it does.

That said, when you see me at the bar, don’t tell me about your team. I don’t care what round you drafted each specific player. I don’t care that some terrible player you should have never picked and definitely shouldn’t have started got you 17 points this week. I don’t care that Jack Del Rio is a fucking idiot, and Derek Carr should be throwing the ball more. It’s not even that I don’t care. Nobody does.

This obviously doesn’t mean “NEVER MENTION FANTASY FOOTBALL AROUND ME EVER”. There are ways to do it without being That Guy. Example:

“I need Adrian Peterson to get 19 points tonight. How’s everything in your life? Anybody sue you recently? I’m doing just great. Fuck your team.”

Perfect. You nailed it. I’m not in your league, but I’m rooting for you enough to hear one sentence about your team. Definitely not two sentences. Please don’t pull your phone out and start listing who you started and how many points they got. If you’re reading this, I implore you- don’t be That Guy. Leave fantasy where it belongs. In the group chat, amongst your league.

Nobody else cares.

Poorly Illustrated Depictions- How To Drive On Bardstown Road

I started this blog for various reasons, the most important of which were two-fold; I wanted an outlet to say whatever I wanted, and I thought I could possibly do some good.

It’s not lost on me that the attention span of the average internet user is roughly 22 seconds. At times, I blatantly shit on that statistic. This isn’t one of those times.

So, without further ado, here is my attempt to do some good. If everybody viewing this could take a moment to share, we can come together as a community, and make the great city of Louisville, Kentucky just a little bit greater.

Before we get in to the really, really poorly drawn stuff, lets go over the basics.

If you find yourself driving, and you look up, and see this light:

DriveThisWay
You’re good! Good job. You are in the correct lane. Look out for parked cars.

If you find yourself driving, you look up, and see this light:
DontDrive

STOP. You can not drive in that lane. Find a new lane. Hint- merge right.

If you find yourself driving, and you look up, and see THIS light:

TurningLane

you have a decision to make. If you’re turning LEFT in the next 2 blocks or so- go ahead and stay in this lane. You’re good. If you are NOT turning left in the next 2 blocks- go ahead and merge right.

NOW. Here is Bardstown Road, as it exists 20 hours of the day:

bardstownusually
As you can see, its business as usual. There are four lanes. The lanes closest to the sidewalk may have parked cars, but if not, you can drive in them. Feel free to turn left or right as you have done your entire life- from the corresponding lane.

Now, here is where we all need to pay VERY close attention. The following depictions are shown as though you are traveling downtown.

From 7am-9am, Bardstown Road should look like this:

bardstownseventonine
This is not random. This traffic pattern compensates for the flow of traffic. In the early morning, many people are heading to work downtown (the BUSINESS district). For that reason, there are more lanes heading downtown than away from downtown. You may not park on Bardstown Road during these hours.

But, wait! Here’s where it gets GOOD.

From 4-6pm, the traffic pattern reverses!

Bardstown 4-64
This is because people are leaving work (in the BUSINESS district) and heading HOME. You may not park on Bardstown Road during these hours.

This concludes today’s edition of Poorly Illustrated Depictions. Thank you for viewing.