Tuesday, October 06, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meals 033 & 034

10.6.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: So for lunch I finally went to Java Joint and got a sack lunch with a couple of friends from class! An actual turkey sandwich, an apple, chips, chocolate milk, string cheese, and Scooby-Doo fruit snacks. Probably the most real lunch I've had yet -- it was better than anything I ate all through high school.

This meal's color palette:

String cheese and Scooby-Doo fruit snacks? They really do put the "joint" in Java Joint. That is a solid lunch, though. I've been trying to get Mr. Z to check out the alternative dining offerings on campus since he's gotten there. I'm glad it finally paid off. All that was missing from that lunch sack was a toy.

10.6.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: Dinner... let's just say that Commons had a "chicken fajita pizza" on display and, yes, I got it (of course, with the token slice of cheese pizza, too), and yes, I'm ready for the incoming bowelsplosion. The rest of the meal was fine, too.

This meal's color palette:

Aaaaand we're back to the pizza. I sharted just looking at that plate. Two slices of "fajita pizza," which I'm pretty sure is not even a thing, a slice of cheese pizza, a mound of pasta with either alfredo sauce or Miracle Whip... or both, a salad and a glass of chocolate milk. Not that he has to worry about it at this point in his life but what could the fat content possibly be in this meal? He's basically assembled a deconstructed version of one of those Domino's bread bowl pasta monstrosities. I know for a fact that we're going to get a bill at the end of the semester for a minimum of three scorched toilets. Right now, this undigestible mass is lumbering through his colon and those adorable Scooby-Doo fruit snacks are so terrified at its approaching brutality that they're melting like that Nazi from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Monday, October 05, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 032

10.5.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: Balanced dinner, eh? It wasn't TOO bad. There was finally some olive oil vinaigrette, so I didn't have to use the disgusting "ranch" they've had on display for a while. Pizza was fine and I took a risk with the tomato soup -- guess what? It was literally a bowl of marinara sauce. I still consumed like half of it (with the help of that roll and the oyster crackers) before giving up and getting an apple instead.

This meal's color palette:

Frankly, I can't really complain about this meal -- look at that color palette: green, silly putty, shart, band-aid and skeleton. All of the five major food groups represented. Although, I hate to break it to you, Mr. Z. -- I'm pretty sure that IS marinara sauce. I think you accidentally visited the pasta bar and ladled some Prego into your bowl. You can even it out tomorrow by eating a bowl of dry pasta.

(Tip for Tuesday: I peeked at tomorrow's menu and I'd like to suggest the chicken scampi or the Rosemary Ranch Ferndale Farms turkey. Or if you want to stay in your comfort zone but stretch just a little, go for the spinach and artichoke pizza. Or you can just get a bowl of alfredo sauce. Your call.)

Friday, October 02, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 031

10.2.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: This is what Commons calls a "tuna melt." It was actually an English muffin with a glob of sickly brown tuna on top, covered up by a Kraft single. I don't know how I managed it down my throat. Those onion rings were pretty decent, at least. (The rest of my lunch was pizza and a salad, shockingly.)

This meal's color palette:

A Kraft single in Wisconsin?! That's just lazy cooking, chef. I thought the roads there were paved with Jarlsberg and the rivers flowed with liquid Gruyere. That's more like a despondency melt. At least toast the damn muffin. Let's take a gander at today's menu...

"Tuna Melts on English Muffin." Does it? I think the only thing melting on that muffin is the polyisobutylene in that fraudulent cheez. Mr. Z, you should've gone for the turkey vegetable soup, the vegetarian fried rice or the roasted vegetable lasagna with rosemary new potatoes. Even the naked pasta sounds less depressing than that tunuffin-melt. Look at that -- they have braised pork jowl and lamb fried rice but they can't cough up a legit piece of cheese? Get it together, chef!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 030

10.1.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: This soup was shit. That's really all you need to know. I gave up like three "bites" in and got a salad and an apple instead. Yes, I picked SALAD over it. This is what I get for trying new stuff.

This meal's color palette:

Even the color palette went double-wide on the butt-gravy hue. Methinks he may have picked up the chef's colostomy bowl by mistake. I asked Mr. Z what flavor it was and he said, "onion something." Three guesses as to what the "something" was. The fact that it seems to have sprayed over the rim sure doesn't help matters. But hey, at least he tried a new dish. Luckily he had a couple of on-deck pizza slices as backup. See? He's already learning to plan ahead. Who says colleges don't teach real world skills?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What Mr. Z... Reads

MR. Z.: I've finally made it.

Some solid reponses to some hard-nosed, investigative inquiries. And he's not lying -- he may be the biggest Raisin Bran fan in the world. (Which is the only reason his bowels aren't completely impacted with petrified pizza crusts and Lucky Charms.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 029

9.28.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: This dinner was a trainwreck. First of all, there was no French drssing (not to mention STILL no Dijon mustard dressing. It's been like three weeks -- come on, Commons), so I got what I thought was ranch for my salad, but it was COCONUT vinaigrette! It was foul. I'm a fan of coconunt, sometimes, but this was just wrong. Also, notice what's on that pizza? Yep, the tater-tot pizza was BACK, and this time it had barbecue sauce on it, as well. I bet the chef's thought process was essentially, "Hey, this guy already has the Beloit plague, why not give him horrible shits, too." (It was entirely worth it.)

This meal's color palette:

The colors in this meal are identical to the colors of every Camper shoe I've ever seen:

"Yes, do you have this hideous, old person's faux bowling shoe in BBQ Tater-Tot?" And yes, Mr. Z has his first college cold. He's handling it like a champ, though. I told him to follow the Crabbydad illness protocol: force the fluids (Coke, apparently), get lots of sleep and apply a coconut vinaigrette plaster to his chest right before bed. I'm not sure what that thing is on his plate, to the right of the pizza. It's either a chicken wing or something he horked up from a lung. Feel better, boy!

Monday, September 28, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 028

9.27.15 Dinner 

MR. Z.: Miso soup at the new sushi place in town (which looks really good, so far) with grandma and grandpa and Mr. S (roommate)!

First course's color palette:

My parents visited Mr. Z today and took him out for dinner, along with his roommate. Mr. Z's not the biggest fan of Asian food but he is eating for two (him and his tapeworm) so I'm sure he was up to the challenge. I don't know where the blue in the color palette is coming from -- it's either from that reflection in the soup or Mr. Z was chewing a wad of grape Bub's Daddy when the picture was taken.

MR. Z.: Awesome meal, even if it was a lot more than I had anticipated, and I couldn't finish the whole thing (it's okay, I got it boxed up). Shrimp tempura and the "Angry Bird," which was chicken, lettuce and other good stuff. Overall, a great dining experience. Eating real food is so nice. :')

Second course's color palette:

Ah yes, the traditional "Angry Bird" roll. When I think sushi, the first thing that comes to my mind are the traditional sushi ingredients chicken and lettuce. Kudos to the chefs, though -- they're in Wisconsin and I don't see an ounce of cheese on that plate. (Although that could be a cheese curd sidling up to the wasabi.) And I'm taking bets now on how long that "boxed up" sushi sits in their dorm room refrigerator before they forget about it and it starts to putrefy. I'm going to go with... six days. I also think it's pretty funny that he couldn't finish a plate of sushi but he had no problem inhaling this:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 027

9.26.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: Forgot to send yesterday's lunch, so I guess I'll send it today instead (since I haven't eaten a proper meal yet today). So this meal seemed tailor-made for me and there wasn't even pizza. The chicken was pretty decent but the fries and the quesadilla were the highlights (the fries were supposed to be "Creole spiced." I'm not sure what that means but they were good, so hey). Don't worry, I ate my daily dose of greens at dinner.

This meal's color palette:

Looks like a satisfying lunch but could it be any paler? I mean, take away that chocolate milk and move the ketchup onto the chicken and Mr. Z basically ingested the meal version of Edgar Winter:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 026

9.21.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: Very good dinner, actually. The pasta and the sauce were pretty great, and the soup was good until I saw some chunks of suspicious meat in there*. Not wanting to take any chances and/or have my bowels EXPLODE, I steered clear of it. I felt like I should treat myself to some root beer since I've been drinking tons of milk.

*The Crabbyfamily doesn't eat mammals.

This meal's color palette:

I can't quite make out what that bun-like protuberance is on the opposite side of the bowl but I'm guessing it's either a dinner roll or a hush puppy-esque ball of friedness. Looks like Mr. Z is attempting to pack on some extra pounds for the pending Wisconsin winter with this meal. I'm guessing he inhaled this meal pretty quickly as tonight was the first episode of this season's Survivor. He's a Survivor super-fan and, over the years, we would watch each season as a family. This is his first season watching solo (although we texted throughout the episode). Every year he tries to convince me to make an audition tape to try to be a contestant and each year I say, "Are you fucking kidding me?! That is literally the last thing I'd ever want to do." Then I'd explain that A) I'd be voted out first because everyone on that show is completely unbalanced and I wouldn't be able to put up with any of their irrational bullshit, 2) I'd punch Jeff Probst in the face within the first 20 seconds of the show because he's infuriating and C) I'd drop to about 65 pounds by the second day because I have the metabolism of a gnat and I'd be shitting my brains out from all the coconut juice. If Mr. Z keeps eating like this, though, I think he'd be a prime candidate. If his stomach can hold this crap, he could easily down a handful of live grubs or a bowl of wild boar scrotums, no problem.

Monday, September 21, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meals 024 and 025

9.21.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: Okay. So I got to Commons at 6-ish, the time I usually go. Figured there would be plenty of food on display. Got there and nothing. There was no pizza, no bread for sandwich-making, no soup, very few greens... absolutely nothing. So this is what I ended up with...

That's a tortilla filled with whatever was left of the turkey, lettuce and cheese, and hiding under it is a tiny amount of green scraps and some really shitty chicken.

ME: Why was all the food gone?!

MR. Z.: I have no idea. Apparently, the oven was turned off, which explained the lack of pizza, and I also came right at the end of the rush, so there was a MASSIVE line.

This meal's color palette:

Well, it took a plate full of shitty scraps and cast-offs but Mr. Z finally entered the green end of the food spectrum. Look at that: it looks like a skid mark on Sparty's kilt after the big game.

Remind me again why we're paying thousands of dollars for a meal plan when all Mr. Z. can manage to scrounge up for dinner is a green tortilla, chicken gristle and some ornamental greens? Granted, it's probably a bonus that he's taking a night off from pizz-a-palooza and his duodenum will probably thank him in the morning but this is pretty bogus. Maybe he was able to at least have a satisfying dessert...

MR. Z.: And then, the cookies were gone for dessert, too, so I had to go to the weird dessert section. "Take a chance," I thought. In ended up with these, which looked promising...

MR. Z.: The brownie was... passable but a little on the hard side. That strange blob on the left was called a "custard Napoleon" and it tasted like... Cheetos. It was horrible. We ended up collecting all of our Cheeto monstrosities and placing them in the middle of the table, then covering them with the remainders of our dinner scraps.

Now, I've had a Napoleon before and, while they're not really my cup of tea, I don't remember them tasting like Cheetos. He is in Wisconsin, though, so you never know. They put "chee" in everything up there. He did chime in with a happy dinner addendum, however...

MR. Z.: Then some food FINALLY arrived, so I had a slice of pizza and an orange (had no time to even take a picture because I just needed to eat).

And with that, balance was restored to the world and to his cheese-infused digestive flora. But I'm putting you on notice, college dining hall. My son suffers from severe lactose-tolerance and if he doesn't ingest about five times the recommended daily allowance of milk and milk by-products, the consequences can be devastating: not farting every five minutes, not stinking up his entire floor after taking a toxic cheddar-dump, not slipping into a cheese-coma 20 minutes after every meal. Keep that pizza oven on, for god's sake.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 023

9.20.15 Dinner

The dining hall is closed on Sunday nights, so students are on their own for dinner. There are some pretty good restaurants in town and couple of campus coffee shops/eateries. Of course there's also the fridge in Mr. Z's room.

6:09 PM
MR. Z.: Not sure if I'll be having anything other than Easy Mac, I don't know what the food situation is tonight.

6:35 PM
MR. Z.: Even better than Easy Mac...

This meal's color palette:

Pizza rolls and chocolate milk. Basically his favorite meal from age 7 until... well, now. I always hated making those things for him. You'd have to cook them in the toaster oven for about 4 and a half minutes and then flip them, burning off your finger tips, and then watch them like a hawk for the next few minutes because if you looked away for even a split second, they'd burst and all the cheese and tomato sauce would ooze out of them. Then you'd basically be left with an empty pizza satchel and you'd have to surreptitiously stuff the innards back inside them before serving them. And Mr. Z would always know when they popped and he'd be all bummed out, "Aw, they popped?! Man!" Somehow, his didn't seem to pop in the above picture. Either he somehow cracked the cooking code for those fuckers or, more likely, he didn't cook them at all and he's eating them frozen.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 022

9.17.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: I'm pretty sure what I ate for dinner was literally the exact same meal as usual (pizza, chicken, a salad that was extra big this time -- still no Dijon dressing, though, so I've been using the sub-par French dressing), so it's not worth your time. Here's lunch. They advertised these as "French bread pizzas," but I think they were hamburger buns and they weren't even crispy -- just kind of soft and moist. Also, there was no ketchup, so I had naked fries and they were pretty flavorless.
The turkey sandwich depicted here is probably the single best sandwich I've ever made. The turkey, cheese, lettuce and mustard were all distributed so evenly and satisfyingly that it more than made up for everything else. It was beautiful.

This meal's color palette:

Ah, the ol' "pass-off-yesterday's-buns-as-today's-French-bread-pizzas" trick. Classic chef switcheroo. The only thing French about those lethargic loaves is that they look a little like berets and they probably smoke and don't shave their armpits. I'm glad he's upping the ante with his sandwich-making skills -- that'll definitely come in handy when he's job-hunting after graduation. I'm not sure if that's a glass of ginger ale, apple juice, a pale ale or a urine sample. If it's a urine sample, Mr. Z, you're dehydrated and need to start chugging some water. I'm hoping it's apple juice, though, which will be a great liquid locomotive to help pull that carb-oose into the train depoot.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meals 020 and 021

9.16.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: Was not in the mood for pizza, since I downed a big bowl of Cap'n Crunch in my dorm a bit prior, so I got tons of sandwich action (the grilled cheese had tomato in it, which tasted like ketchup, so that's kind of weird) and, of course, some tots.

This meal's color palette:

Not in the mood for pizza?! I didn't think this day would come until second semester of junior year at the earliest. Although I think the double sandwich and the tots more than make up for any damage the pizza might have done. I've seen that color palette so many times now -- it really does look like the car color offerings from a 1981 Chevy Cavalier catalog. "Drive home today in a brand new Chevrolet Cavalier in any of our exciting new colors: Ketchup, Primer, 'Rrhea, Chalk or Ace Bandage!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meals 018 and 019

9.15.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: Some REALLY good pizza with tomatoes and basil, and then some good pasta with good sauce, and a really good sandwich with some random greens and hummus. Overall, today's lunch was... well, really good.

This meal's color palette:

Good... grief. Hopefully, the chef will learn to combine the pizza and pasta into a pastizza so Mr. Z will have some room on the plate for something new. What, you ask? Oh, I don't know... perhaps we should check the MENU!

That's right -- I hunted down today's lunch menu. Look at these overlooked delicacies: four savory soups, a Greek salad, and that artichoke/pepper/chickpea tagine looks delicious! I do love that the last selection is labeled "comfort food." For future reference, pizza, pasta and chorizo hash are not comfort food. Stewed chicken is. Maybe the chef shaped it into a tiny couch.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Short Story from Miss O

Mr. Z informed me that his dinner was pretty boring tonight so I thought I'd share a quick conversation we had with Miss O during our dinner. To set the stage, she was telling us about the ridiculously titled and conceived assembly she had at school today called, "Be Excellent Day." It's a day of pep rallies, short films, music and motivational speakers. Mr. Z had suffered through four "Be Excellent Day"s and now it was Miss O's turn...

MISS O.: This one guy from MSU gave a speech and he was a total douche.

ME: Who was he?

MISS O.: I don't know... I think he was a coach of something. Who's that one coach?

ME: (thinking) Uh... the football coach? Mark Dantonio?

MISS O.: No, I think he was a basketball coach.

ME: It wasn't Tom Izzo, was it?

MISS O.: Yeah, that was him. All he talked about was sports. He was saying "follow your dreams" but he was really just saying "follow your dreams only if it has to do with sports." Total douche. 

I love that Miss O thinks that the longest tenured coach in the Big Ten and one of the most successful college coaches is a total douche. I'm sure he is but you don't even think such things in these parts. I just hope no one in this town reads this blog or our days will be seriously numbered.

Go green, go white?

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 017

9.14.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: Does Commons want me to die?

ME: OMG. Tater tot pizza?!?!

MR. Z.: I know, isn't that amazing! There isn't any left, though, which is probably God's way of sparing me.

ME: You dodged a serious bullet.

MR. Z.: I'll probably wait for a while and get some.

ME: Your colon hates you.

Lunch didn't end there, however...

MR. Z.: Okay, Pasta, chicken and salad. Seems like a nice meal, right? (Other than the fact that the ranch dressing was fucking disgusting).

This meal's color palette:

I think we've all seen that set of swatches before, haven't we? But I saw the little "typing" animation in our IM conversation and knew there was more to come...


MR. Z.: It's the greatest thing I've ever eaten (or at least Top 10 -- I don't know if anything can top Sweet Lorraine's or that mac & cheese grilled cheese sandwich I had once at Bagger Dave's)!

I'm not going to bother creating a color palette for that abomination. I'm still not sure if he sent me a photo of the tater tot pizza or a closeup of the frostbitten foot of that guy from the book "Into Thin Air." I will give him credit for conserving plate space, however. The last time he had pasta, he had a side of pizza and a separate side of tater tots. Now he's consolidating his pizza/potato courses into one handy, congealed "potizzo." See? College really does expose you to new things! [SFX: projectile vomiting]

Sunday, September 13, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meals 015 and 016

9.12.15 Brunch

MR. Z.: Here's brunch, since I woke up at 11 AM today and didn't leave for Commons until 12:30. Off-brand Lucky Charms and some really flavorless French toast (I couldn't find any syrup, which made me sad). 

This meal's color palette:

Try new "Lucky Chums," with brown stars, beige moons and khaki clovers! I can't really criticize this meal, actually -- the boy's in college and it's a Saturday morning. What better time to eat knock-off Diabete-O's with a glass of Sunny D? The syrup-less French toast is a little pathetic, though. Without syrup, I'm pretty sure it's just called "toast." The color palette tool didn't quite pick up the day-glo hues of the marshmallows. That's okay -- I'm pretty sure they're undigestible, so maybe he can take a picture of them in his stool tomorrow.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meals 013 and 014

9.11.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: Some pasta with basil sauce(?), grilled cheese and finally got some tots. Napoleon would be proud. This is a very earthly-toned meal. Also, look: it's PLAIN MILK!

This meal's color palette:

If Reagan were still president, his ketchup could count as a vegetable, but he's not, so this meal counts as one, giant carbo-rrito. He's choking down a meal with a color palette that is identical to the interior of my mom's old, mid-80s Buick Skylark. And like that car, if he keeps eating like this, he's going to end up with a seriously leaky intake manifold gasket and will definitely have some troubles passing emissions testing. I recommend downing a bottle of this after each meal:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meals 011 and 012

9.10.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: Very good (if a little dry) turkey burger with barbecue sauce today. Other than that, pizza. I like my routine of "Lame Lunches"/"Don't-Worry-I-Haven't-Been-Brainwashed-Even-Though-I'm-Eating-Vegetable-Dinners." 

This meal's color palette:

The color palette is basically a cross-section of a box of Neapolitan ice cream. Which may actually be more nutritious than this meal. Looks like there's been a bit of a beige, carbo-starchy backslide since last night's side-salad dinner. I have to remember, however, that until he left for college, this was the kid who literally (and I do actually mean literally) ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bag of chips and a bottle of chocolate milk EVERY FUCKING DAY SINCE HE STARTED TAKING LUNCHES TO SCHOOL. Is the above meal a nutritional step up from that? Let's call it a draw.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meals 009 and 010

9.9.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: I woke up at 11 AM and ate a bowl of cereal, then got to lunch at noon and wasn't too hungry... but I still ended up getting this. Evidently, Commons was feeling experimental today, which explains this slightly questionable "scallion and asiago cheese" pizza. A solid 6/10, though. The turkey sandwich was good, featuring lettuce this time.

This meal's color palette:

It's heartening to see the lettuce on his sandwich. I really think the pressure of this blog is steering him toward a healthier diet. In the 16 years he lived at home, I couldn't get him to ingest a piece of lettuce to save his life but a few snarky posts on social media and, bam, he's practically a vegan. Even the kid across from him in the Joy Division "Unknown Pleasures" t-shirt approves. Could the "unknown pleasures" have been vegetables all along, Mr. Z? We'll have to see if "Love [of vegetables] Will Tear [You] Apart... [from pizza]."