Mar 16 2015

The MadMania Podcast: Episode 2

This week Elsa and I take a look at food–the greasiest, the stankiest, the nutmeggiest. Enjoy!

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May 1 2014

Taqueria Monarca

Taqueria Monarca is a food truck found on the 2400 block of Holmes street in Kansas City, Missouri weekdays at lunchtime. They serve tacos, burritos, tostadas and other Mexican food with your choice of meats including steak, beef, pork, chicken, chorizo, tripe, and tongue.

I have tied their tacos, which are very good, but I normally get their tostada, which is only $3 and is usually enough food for me. I highly recommend the asada tostada.

Link to their Facebook page.

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Nov 27 2013

One More Ride: Chapter 5: Food

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

Norville tore into his pizza not quite savagely. People always told him growing up that eventually his metabolism would slow, that his freakish ability to consume and process copious amounts of food without weight gain would ebb, that his days of eating whatever he wanted without consequence would be over. So far he was in his late 30s and every single one of those people were still wrong–and living with the consequences they promised he would one day endure. He could rub it in their faces, but why bother? They were already miserable and envious–you could see it every time they appraised his lanky frame. And besides, it wouldn’t bring him any joy anyway–he had food for that.

“Do you think he’s OK?”

Norville snapped out of his pizza euphoria. He was so hungry he had completely forgotten Velma was there with him.

Awkward swallow. What had she asked?

“I said, do you think he’s OK?” Velma repeated, clearly reading his mind.

Euphoria gone. Norville put on his best smile, but he could tell by her eyes that it wasn’t working.

“I don’t know. I want to say that he loves himself too much to do anything drastic, but I suppose we all have our limits. I mean, a guy could deal with rejection from Norville, but from Velma? That’s entirely different. I couldn’t take it.”

Velma’s brow first furrowed at Norville’s mention of her part in Fred’s story. Then she cocked her head in amused curiosity–had Shaggy said what she thought he said?

Norville flushed so fast his face burned. Yet again he had said something–not that he didn’t mean–but that he didn’t mean to say out loud.

“He–he’ll be fine,” he said, hiding behind another slice of pizza.

“You know we have to talk to her,” Velma said quietly.

Norville loved to hear Velma’s voice–he just didn’t care for the words being formed at the moment. He didn’t want to have to do what she was suggesting. He wanted to say, “Yeah, you should do that,” because, you know, they were both girls. But they weren’t really that close anymore.

Besides, Norville knew that when women said, “we should do this,” what they meant was, “you should do this. And with some sense of immediacy.”

Chapter 6

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Apr 2 2013


I love sauce.

Not in the way that I love my wife or my country or donuts, but pretty close. Not all sauces, but quite a few of them. I only noticed it the last time we were at China Dragon, which ranks up there with wife and country and donuts. China Dragon has this amazing dumpling sauce, which is made from soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and I think fish sauce. CD also has the best sweet and sour sauce in the world, and when I run out of edible Chinese objects to dunk in it I have actually been known to directly imbibe a few spoonfuls.

I kind of wish they sold it in pop cans.


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Mar 31 2013

Thanks, fatties

So because America decided to be a nation of big fat fatties, I can’t get a soda at work.

Back in 2009 my company cracked down on smokers, eliminating the last on-site outdoor smoking area, and relegating smokers to the bus stop across the street. I wondered how long before they cracked down on other vices, and it began at the beginning of the year–you can no longer purchase any soda on campus that isn’t a diet soda.

I don’t actually drink much soda any more. I used to drink between one and three a day, but now I might have one every one to two weeks, and even then I can’t even finish it usually. But sometimes all I need is just a little jigger of real soda, and no quantity of diet soda will satisfy that craving.

At least I can still get various forms of sugar-filled carbohydrates at several locations on campus.

For now.

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Feb 14 2012

Review: Cajun Cabin food truck

As you probably know, I like to try new food, even when its served from a truck. As I was on my way out to get a gyro, I saw the Cajun Cabin truck. They serve what you would expect from a cajun food joint: gumbo, beans and rice, and jambalaya. I had seen them before, but I’m not usually anxious to buy something I know I can make well.

As I passed the truck, I noticed that they offered free samples. The guy gave me a little 1oz cup with a tiny spoon. One bite and I was hooked. I had the sausage and  chicken jambalaya, and it was amazing.While it didn’t need it at all, it was extra awesome with some Frank’s RedHot.

If you happen to be on Hospital Hill (24th & Holmes) between 11am and 2pm most weekdays (check their schedule), I highly recommend them. You can catch them online at

Update: check their Facebook page for the most accurate schedule.

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Nov 28 2011

Cravings, pt. 2

So, previously I mentioned that I had another cravings story, but I have been informed that I do not, under pain of…pain or something worse.

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Nov 18 2011

Age, maturity, boringness, and flatware

As I age and mature I find myself thinking about, for birthday and Christmas, fewer impractical extravagances (pirate hat, Tesla coil) and more practical needs (debt reduction, flatware).

The side effect is that I am becoming boring.

Before you no doubt object, remember that I have mentioned ‘flatware’ twice already.

I used to be largely content to eat with most any utensil of most any quality of workmanship. It’s not that I couldn’t tell the difference between a finely crafted furcated utensil and some piece of barely-usable piece of junk hastily stamped out of cheap metal. But as I get older I find myself disliking most of the forks in our home.

Shortly after we were married Heather and I purchased a very nice set of flatware. They were thin, but they were sturdy and, more importantly, had smooth edges. For some reason, every single implement from this set has disappeared–save two knives. I blame the children.

Since then we have somehow acquired some unpleasant forks from the Ugly Flatware collection. Most utensils of even the lowest quality are relatively smooth, but cheap forks, and their tines in particular, have a rather unpleasant feel to their edges.

When I said I dislike most of the forks in the house, the reason is that I have a couple of forks that do not belong to me; they may belong to you. I use them when we eat communal meals, rushing to the kitchen to secure fork preference by making some pretense of helping cook, or appearing to be magnanimous and doing the dishes.

My friend Kaleb has some amazing flatware; all of the utensils are heavy enough to murder someone with. I don’t know why my standard of an object’s sturdiness is measured by the capacity to successfully commit murder with said object. I used to work with a guy who measured everything by its capacity to destroy a tree; at the time we worked in a woodworking factory.


Why, you are no doubt asking, don’t you just go buy some nice flatware if it means that darned much to you? Let me show you something:

Maturity is Inversely Proportional to Fun
Fun is Directly Proportional to Excitement
Excitement is Inversely Proportional to Boringness
Boringness is Directly Proportional to Maturity


Maturity and Boringness are the mortal enemies of Fun and Excitement

It’s sad but true. Observe:


  • New X-Box 360
  • Collector’s edition of Skyrim
  • Skipping work
  • Drinking Mountain Dew
  • Skipping work to stay home drinking Mountain Dew while playing your collector’s edition of Skyrim on your new X-Box 360
  • Going to work every day on time
  • Paying life insurance
  • Visiting the dentist
  • Caring for children’s needs
  • Buying flatware
Eventually the flatware may win out, simply because I can’t keep doing the dishes in order to secure a fork, and hiding them seems kind of childish.
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Sep 23 2010

Review: Mel’s Diner in Tipton, Missouri

I stopped at Mel’s Diner on 50 Highway on my way back from Rolla last week. Mel’s is a little steel building with a ketchup and mustard interior. Service was decent, despite the large party they had in the back.

I ordered the Kosher Corn Beef sandwich. The sandwich was fine , but when you pay $6 for a sandwich you kind of expect something pretty good sized–not something the size of two White Castle sliders.

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Sep 20 2010

Review: Big D’z Dawgz

Besides being uncomfortable to type, Big D’z Dawgz is a food vendor that can be found during the week on Holmes street between Children’s Mercy Hospital and UMKC Med School in Kansas City, Missouri.

Due to an imposed hot dog and french fry diet earlier in my life, I didn’t eat hot dogs with any regularity or preference until 2007 when Heather and I went to Chicago and stopped at Portillo’s, when I had my first Chicago-style dog (mustard, onions, peppers, tomato, and pickle). It was amazing.

Big D’z, as you might have guessed, is a hot dog vendor. No, you can’t get a Chicago-style dog, nor a Carolina-style dog (onions, coleslaw, and chili). But you can get a big quarter pound beef hot dog.

I ordered a dog, which was $4.25. The only condiments that were available were ketchup, mustard, and relish. But at least they have dill relish, which is worlds better than the standard sweet pickle relish you find everywhere.

When I sat down to eat, I found two surprises:

  1. The dog was cold. I don’t mean that the surface cooled on my transit from the vendor to my desk; I mean the inside was cold
  2. The dill relish I slathered on my dog was actually sweet relish that had been put into a dill relish bottle.

I know it’s wrong to pun, but I want to share my unhappiness.

I didn’t relish the experience.

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