Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats in College: Meal 048

12.12.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: Turkey sandwich thing that was really good and a bun with hummus and arugula and various other vegetables (and, of course, even more greens on the side). I'm not sure how you're going to complain about this meal -- it was pretty amazing.

This meal's color palette:

I don't mean to be a doubting Dorothy but there's no way he ate all those greens. That's a decoy plate if ever I've seen one -- just out of frame there's a mop bucket filled with cheddar fries, mac and cheese and Little Debbie Zebra Cakes. However, if you truly ate that meal, Mr. Z., then I'm giving you an A+ for the semester. Especially since the very first meal pic you sent me this year was this:

I'll bet there are still hunks of that crust wedged into your ileocecal junction. Don't worry, though. Just keep flushing your system with whatever that red liquid is and you'll be fine. Safe travels home, Mr. Z! See you soon!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

What Mr. Z. Eats in College: Meal 047

12.8.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: Tonight was a "mac and cheese bar" (so basically there were MASSIVE vats of mac and cheese). I took advantage of the opportunity and may or may not have gotten seconds, too. That veggie burger is a substitute for the nightly salad. It was pretty decent (though honestly, the only reason I didn't get a salad was because I couldn't fit it on my plate).

ME: You know where you need to sleep tonight?

MR. Z.: One of the dorms actually has a tub. I'll sleep there.

This meal's color palette:

All of my sphincters reflexively slammed shut when I looked at that plate. That's probably a half pound of pasta right there and he says he got seconds. No wonder our grocery bills plummeted by $150 after he left for school. I'm sure Italy is like, "Cosa รจ successo a tutti gli ordini di pasta da Michigan?! Stiamo per andare fuori dal mercato! Mamma mia!" Oh well, he'll be home for a month starting next week, which should help restart the Italian economy. I also love that, in Mr. Z.'s mind, a veggie burger on a bun with a Kraft single is the equivalent of a salad. Would it kill him to at least tuck a piece of lettuce into that thing? Get some green into that color palette, Mr. Z!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

What Mr. Z. Eats in College: Meal 046

12.1.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: Dinner tonight. This was carrot coconut soup and I was a bit apprehensive at first, but it was amazing. Wasn't feeling pizza, so why not take a risk? (The "Global" line has had lots of red meat lately, which sucks.)

This meal's color palette:

I have nothing to complain about with this meal. Can't get much healthier than carrot soup with a side of "no pizza." The "Global" that he mentioned is the "Global Gourmet Daily Special" that we noticed on the menu and are trying to get Mr. Z to explore a bit more. Apparently it should be called "The Meat Lover's Global Gourmet Daily Special." I did notice that today's global lunch special is:

Give that a try, Mr. Z.! You like noodles AND it has aminos in it! Just like real Cantonese chefs use in their authentic Cantonese-style cooking! I can't tell you how many times I've been to Cantonese-style restaurants and said, "You know, these noodles are good but they'd be even more delicious with a little Lysine sprinkled on them. And maybe some Threonine and Glutamic Acid! Oh waiter! Bring me some aminos!!!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats in College: Meal 045

11.24.15 Dinner

Mr. Z.: Dinner.

This meal's color palette:

Does this photo really need any commentary? Do I really need to say that I hope that that's a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and not a collection of the petrified smellets that he was barely able to squeeze out after ingesting that mummified chicken sandwich and the mess o' fries from last night? Must I question why he'd get a glass of chocolate milk when the cereal automatically manufactures its own chocolate milk when you pour regular milk over it? Need I ponder whether that's an orange in the upper left or if it's a brick of Colby cheese that he gnawed on in between spoonfuls of chocolate?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Monday, November 23, 2015

What Mr. Z. Eats in College: Meal 044

11.22.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: Went to DK's for dinner due to the lack of a frozen pizza in the fridge. I was originally gonna get some chicken tenders, but then I was like, "Hey, I should probably get something with some semblance of healthy stuff, huh?" So I got a chicken sandwich that said it had lettuce, tomato and onions. Lo and behold, I got it and guess what it didn't have? Lettuce, tomato or onions. But it did have Swiss cheese, so that negates everything else, right? Also, those fries were better than any "fries" I've EVER had at Commons. The Izze was amazing.

This meal's color palette:

I'm guessing the Izze was "amazing" because it allowed that dessicated-looking chicken-bun to somehow slide down his gullet without lodging in his epiglottis. That is one scratchy looking meal. I'm hoping that the red splatter on the plate is ketchup and not part of his larynx. Those fries do look good, though. Perhaps the chef at Commons could learn a thing or two from the work-study sophomore who most likely fried up that batch of crispy taters at DK's. Don't worry, Mr. Z, you'll get some solid meals under your belt this week at grandma and grandpa's house. And if you're lucky, we'll stop here for lunch.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 043

11.17.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: Lunch today. I realized that I should've taken a picture about halfway through my tots. I also had another grilled cheese afterwards and, subsequently, went into a carb coma.

This meal's color palette:

I guess we need to remember that carboholism is a disease. As they say, you need to take it "one tot at at a time." Sure, Mr. Z's intentions were good -- go for the tomato soup. Rich, healthy, comforting on a chilly autumn day. But where there's tomato soup, there's always a grilled cheese. And, apparently, where there's a grilled cheese, there are tots. And as they also say, "one tot is too many and a thousand not enough." And what better to wash a thousand tots down with than... a second grilled cheese. Maybe, with a little bit of luck and a giant salad at dinner, "this, too, shall pass."

Friday, November 13, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 042

11.12.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: So this was actually last night's dinner, but over the past few days, I've finally found the trick to Commons. Instead of going for pizza (... well, even though there's a slice of pizza on the plate, that's the only time I've had it this week), I've been making grilled cheeses with the panini press once a day, and they always turn out amazingly. Better than almost anything else I've had here. Next step is probably a turkey melt.

This meal's color palette:

The chestnut hues of that stellar panini have muscled the greens of the salad straight out of that color palette. And look at that, he's down to just one slice of pizza per meal -- must be the pizza patch he started wearing to wean him off of his six-slice-a-day habit. And paninis are nothing like pizza. You've got two pieces of bread, pressed together and heated up, and filled with gooey melted cheese... yep, nothing like pizza.

Monday, November 09, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 041

11.7.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: I've recently decided that Saturday nights are the time where I just say "fuck it" and go wild, hence this carb overload (#carboverload). A sub sandwich, a grilled cheese turkey melt, and two slices of "white pizza." (Commons with that thinly-veiled racism, huh? Not fun.) Thankfully, I made a salad.

This meal's color palette:

I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Z gets some sort of commendation from The Gluten Society of America for single-handedly offsetting all of the financial losses the gluten-free people have caused the gluten industry. (Pro Tip: You might want to double up on those salads for the next few days, Mr. Z.)

Sunday, November 01, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 040

10.30.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: It's "Bacon Day" in Commons. A huge downgrade from AppleFest. Lord help me. (There's even bacon in the cupcakes.) This is what I ended up with. Sadly, I had to regress back to pizza and greens, and then a "vegan tostada" or something that'll likely look similar to the aftermath of this meal tomorrow morning.

This meal's color palette:

Look, I try not to make every one of my comments have something to do with poop but meals like this make it down right impossible. Vegan tostada my ass. That entree is just sheer gastronomic apathy on the part of the chef. What self-respecting chef can let a plate like that even exist in the world. They might as well just throw a diaper on a plate. I can just see the scene in the kitchen:

CHEF: As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, I have trained at some of the most esteemed restaurants in the world. I've worked my way from sous chef to Chef de Cuisine at some of the most important bistros in New York and I am now Executive Chef of a fine liberal arts college in Wisconsin. Tonight, I shall create the greatest entree of my culinary lifetime! And I shall call it... Turd on a Tortilla... no... The Turdtilla!

[The chef dumps a can of refried beans on a tostada, "dings" the order-up bell and walks into the bathroom, slamming the door.]

CHEF: [muffled] If anyone needs me, I'll be in here planning tomorrow's menu. [SFX: flush]

Friday, October 30, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 039

10.29.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: So tonight Commons served gnocchi. And it was actually... GOOD. What the hell?! It was better than the gnocchi from the Italian place in town*, so... make of that what you will. I had two helpings of it, the second with tomato cream sauce that was much better than the pesto (gnocchi and pesto don't mix). Also, that turkey burger looked suspiciously like red meat, but I took a risk anyway and it was definitely turkey (and not bad, at that). It just looked... crusty and pink on the outside. Of course, I prevented the #CarbOverload with my daily greens.

This meal's color palette:

*First off, "the Italian place in town" is so awful that saying something is better than it is like saying gonorrhea is better than anal warts. It's like walking into a morgue for Italian decor and food that has simply lost its collective will to live. I'm fairly sure Jimmy Hoffa is buried in their soup and salad bar, beneath the inch-thick skin that was covering the macaroni, mashed potatoes and cod balls. That said, I'm glad Mr. Z enjoyed the gnocchi... twice. And washed it down with a burger (we might have been able to see some of that crusty pinkness reflected in the color palette had he parted the buns a bit). Still no pizza sightings -- he's either kicked his habit or he's secretly scoring slices on the mean streets of Beloit. Either way, I'm glad he's hopped upon the nightly salad bandwagon. I'm glad and so is his GI motility.

10.29.15 Dessert

Mr. Z.: Dessert bonus: red velvet cupcake with Oreo frosting. I'm not sure why Commons has been so on top of their dessert game lately, but I'm not complaining. Anything that lets me skip out on their geode cookies.

This dessert's color palette:

That does look good. And kudos to Mr. Z for not eating a second one with tomato cream sauce.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

What Mr. Z. Eats: Meal 038

10.28.15 Dessert

MR. Z.: I had this for dessert. It was labeled as a "Better Than Anything Cake." Naturally, I was skeptical, but then I ate it and... oh my god. It was probably the best cake I've ever had. It was perfectly moist, the frosting was distributed just the right amount, there were toffee chips on the top, and it was just... just heavenly, really. They need to serve this kind of quality dessert every day.

This meal's color palette:

I'm pretty sure that's the first time Mr. Z. has ever used the word "heavenly." The only other time he may have uttered it was when he saw first laid eyes on Luna Lovegood. Okay, chef, a challenge has been thrown down. You've got the boy riled up about your desserts -- let's see you put some of that energy into your entrees. I'm not saying that you should change the menu, mind you. I'm just suggesting that it might not be a bad idea to sprinkle some toffee chips on tomorrow's Tater Tot Pizza.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 037

10.26.15 Dinner

MR. Z.: I decided to try to be (relatively) healthy tonight. No pizza all day. I mean, I got an ice cream bar later, but it's progress. Pasta with tomato pesto cream sauce, or something, then cauliflower and my daily greens. It was on fleek. Actually, no, it was like 8/10.

This meal's color palette:

Look at that plate! Look at that palette! It's happening -- Mr. Z is becoming a gastronome! Or a gastropod. Or maybe he just has gas. Maybe that's what "fleek" is. The point is, he didn't eat pizza for an entire day! This calls for a celebration! Pizza party?

Friday, October 23, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Meal 036

10.28.15 Lunch

MR. Z.: So, today was "Apple Fest" at Commons. That means exactly what you'd expect -- everything there had something to do with apples. Like, actually everything. Pictured here is (clockwise) a bagel with apples and raisins or something, apple encrusted chicken (which was REALLY good and I got lots more of it), an apple cider donut and apple flatbread with cheddar cheese. Then, of course, there's also the caramel apple and some apple juice (but then I later found out there was hot apple cider too, so I got that). And this was only Round 1 -- my friends and I all definitely went back for more. I feel like tonight I'll probably get Applerrhea, but it was entirely worth it.

This meal's color palette:

It's nice to see the kitchen mixing things up for a change. I can't wait to see what the chef whips up during December's "Pancreas Fest." (By the way, Mr. Z, I suggest laying down a tarp before hitting the hay tonight. Where there's apples, there's usually "apple sauce.")

Monday, October 19, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: "Meal" 035

10.19.15 Dessert

MR. Z.: This is a "Cocoa Puff Treat" I got at Commons. It may or may not have actually been a coprolite.

This meal's color palette:

Yes, Mr. Z is back at school following an uneventful fall break at home. We filled him up with some fairly healthy victuals and now he's back at his home away from home, loading up on fossilized dino scat. It was great having him here for a week but it was also tough, because Miss O had school and the Old Lady and I had to work. He caught up on a lot of sleep and hung out in his room. It was familiar, yet different. He's growing up... and, to a certain extent, away. He talked a lot about how it was good to be home but that he really missed school and all of his friends. I guess this is how it happens -- the transition from kid to adult. Not too long ago, if he were on an overnight or a trip somewhere, he couldn't wait to get home. Now, after a few days, he's itching to get away. It sure sneaks up on you: one day your a fresh, steaming pile of dino poop and the next, you're a freakin' coprolite.

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Mr. Z Eats: Two Month Weigh-In

Mr. Z. is back home for a week for October break. It's great to have him around the house again and we're having a blast catching up on all of his adventures. I did notice that he's looking a might stouter than he did when we first dropped him off back in August, which should come as no surprise to anyone who's been following his college dining exploits. He decided to weigh himself to see just how much of an effect his all-pizza diet has had. The result? Well, you know phrase the "freshman 15," which refers to the amount of weight a first-year college student tends to gain during their first year of school? Guess who achieved the freshman 15 in seven weeks? (He always has been an overachiever.) Luckily he's started eating a salad with his dinners, or he'd have to start wearing Hammer pants. I think he's learned a few valuable lessons, however...

  1. Pizza is not a garnish and is a meal privilege, not a meal right.
  2. Fruits and vegetables are great colon motivators and can add some variation to any meal's color palette.
  3. Just because the cafeteria offers something called "Oreo pizza," it doesn't mean that a) they should, and 2) you should put it in your mouth.

Bleh. That thing looks like Jackie Gleason's diabetic foot from the movie "Nothing in Common."

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: