“We will let you choose what gives you your next heart attack.”
~The Western Michigan Whitecaps’ Food Director
We’ve talked about Minor League Baseball before—specifically, how the menus at Minor League Baseball stadiums tend to be what you might call “eccentric” if you weren’t allowed to use the term “batshit fucking insane what, really, WHAT!?” among polite company. It makes sense—there’s not necessarily a lot of star power in most minor league games, so owners try to bring in fans with fun gimmicks, which can include wrapping a cheese filled bratwurst with sausage, then bacon, and frying the fucker. That wasn’t just us making up some random over the top example, that fucking exists.
Which brings us to the Western Michigan Whitecaps, a Single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers who play, and stay with us because this is confusing, at the Fifth Third Ballpark in the Grand Rapids suburb of Comstock Park. Yes, we know, our heads hurt too. Anyway, they take the tradition of “let’s serve crazy shit to fans” to the next level, and since 2009 they have provided fans with a series of food options that they can vote for, with the winner being sold in the stadium for the next season.
Now if you plan on voting, you can do so here, but you don’t want to make this decision uninformed. So we’re going to go through each potential menu item, giving you a systematic breakdown of each insane item, before telling you what the best option is. Ready? Here we go!
Ranking the Ridiculous Food Items That Might Be Added to the 2017 Menu of the West Michigan Whitecaps Class A Baseball Team
Posted in All things baseball, America Fun Fact of the Day, Athletes, Strange America, Strange Foods
Tagged America, Baseball, Corn Dog, dessert fries, Food, Minor League Baseball, Onion Rings, poutine, Strange Food, sundae, West Michigan Whitecaps
“Space is AWESOME!”
~Every American child
When you were a child, you’d look up at the stars and say, “Space is awesome!” Now, when you look up at the stars, you’ll either say, “Space is fucking awesome!” or, most likely, “Make everything stop spinning, oh God I’m gonna be sick, I shouldn’t have had that last shot.” And America, being awesome and having a particular interest in claiming awesome things for themselves, have never been shy about our aspirations to get out into the stars. Adjusted for inflation, we’ve spent roughly $790 billion since NASA opened up shop in 1958, an amount of money commonly referred to as, “Shut up, stupid, that’s not too much money, space is awesome.”
From Alan Shepard’s first suborbital flight to Sandra Bullock’s conversation with an Inuit, Americans have done more in space than any other nation. And while experiments, and feats of courage, and lunar travels are all well and good, there’s one thing we’re most concerned about.
What kinds of food have we shot out into space?
Dammit, this is important. No, we don’t care about your science, we want to know what kind of food people have shot up into space. This is important. Shut up, this is important.
Food Items America Has Launched Into Space
Posted in Strange Foods
Tagged America, Beer, bourbon into space, Buzz Aldrin, corned beef, Food, Hamburger, International Space Station, John Glenn, Outer Space, pizza, Space, Space Beer, space food, space pizza
“Subway—it’s..it’s fine. I mean, it’s Subway. It was open.”
~Rejected slogan for Subway
For nearly a century, the Americanized Italian sandwich has played a pivotal role in filling our bellies efficiently and deliciously. Cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomato, all shoved into a sliced loaf of Italian bread and drizzled with oil and seasoning, has long been the default, “I don’t know what I feel like for lunch, eh, I’ll just get a sandwich” lunch choice for generations of workers.
Widely known as the Submarine Sandwich, it goes by about 17 different names in different regions throughout America, with dozens of additional variants from people who want hot sandwiches or beef doused in it’s own juices in elongated sandwich form. While many long roll sandwiches end to differ in name only (subs, meet hoagies, you are the same), others are radically different and even manage the eschew cold cuts entirely, but all are delicious and American. So instead of awkwardly stumbling through the history of the “submarine, or, uh, grinder, or, uh…” sandwich, we’re going to look into each type of this classic meat delivery system in the hopes that, that by showing our differences, we can bring our nation together. By spending some 11,000 words talking about sandwiches that are shoved into Italian bread or rolls over the course of four articles. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, over 25 types of sandwiches total, but first, let’s start from the beginning.
The Regional Italian and Submarine Sandwiches of America: New England and New York
Posted in AFFotD Special Features, America's Best Foods, The American Sandwich Series
Tagged America, Binghampton, Blimpie, Bombers, Boston, Buffalo, Connecticut, Food, Grinder, gyro, ham, Hero, Hoagie, Hoboken, Italian Sandwich, Long Roll Sandwiches, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Quiznos, Regional Sandwiches, Salami, Sandwich, Spiedies, Spuckie, Sub, Submarine Sandwich, Subway, torpedo, Tunnel, Wedge, Yonkers
“What do you mean you only have baked potatoes? Are you an Irish farmer?”
~New York Restaurant Patrons
Since the turn of the century, the restaurant business in America has constantly evolved. We don’t remember 1999 too well because alcohol and constant internet stimulation has pretty much decimated our ability to hold onto memories to a degree that would make people really sad and go, “Aww” if we were old instead of just young(ish) and irresponsible. But, if memory serves (it doesn’t) back in 1999 people only ate at Taco Bells giving out Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace action figures, and if you wanted to impress your date right out of her flannel shirt you’d take her to a nice French Bistro and try to tell yourself that the shear amounts of butter being used was enough to forgive the food for it’s French origins.
Since then, there’s been a foodie revolution in our country, which has brought us wonderful culinary delights as well as pretentious shit that makes us roll our eyes. And one of these trends, for better or worse, is single-item eateries, restaurants that only serve one specific dish. Sure, opening an eatery that only sells, say, overpriced baked potatoes might not be the most sound practice, but some places manage to find enough excitement in their ability to do one thing really well that they thrive. Even if you can’t fathom how enough people could manage to support a place that solely exists to give you pudding.
But hey, if you’re in New York you might as well be doing something other than waiting in line at 4AM to get a fucking doughnut, so sure, we’ll help you out by telling you some of the more unique and unusual single-item restaurants out there. Technically in America, but let’s be real, this concept totally spent the last 8 years radiating outwards from New York.
America’s Unusual Single-Item Restaurants
Posted in Strange Foods
Tagged America, Baked Potato, Cereality, Food, French Fries, Meatloaf, Meatloaf Cupcake, oatmeal, Pommes Frites, restaurants, Rice Pudding, Rice to Riches, Single-Item Restaurants, Soup
“OH GOD IT BURNS GET IT OUT OF ME OH GOD JUST TAKE A KNIFE AND CUT IT OUT OF ME!”
~AffotD Food Critic John Goodman
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find that many people outside of this country assume that Americans don’t like spicy food. Ignoring the fact that American cuisine has been embracing spiciness with increasingly fanatical zeal for the past seven years or so, or that we are responsible for a little thing called Cajun food, cultures that embrace “flavorful” cuisine operate under the assumption that Americans were raised eating bland, lifeless food. Of course, anyone who has ever stared in wide-eyed horror at the slew of fried foods state fairs have to offer knows that that America doesn’t have any problem doing insane, irresponsible things to our meals, and that line doesn’t stop at spiciness.
No, if America has one culinary trait that trumps all others, its our love of taking normal food and making it recklessly unhealthy or uncomfortable to eat. There’s a reason why we had a show called Man vs. Food that literally consisted of, “Let’s take Adam Richman and make him eat impossible to eat things that restaurants actually sell to customers every day.” So, yes, of course we love spicy food. And not only does America like spicy food, we like stupidly spicy food. Literally dozens of Americans will purchase chili peppers 10,000 times spicier than Tabasco sauce, and will film themselves eating them, because this is America goddamn it and besides, stomach lining grows back. Right?
Naturally, AFFotD needed to put this myth of bland food to rest by showing you the spiciest dishes being served in America. Some of you are going to immediately hunt down these dishes to eat them, and you will be so angry that you did that, and our staff will laugh so hard at your misery. That’s only part of the reason why we’re doing this. The rest is, you know, uh, spicy food is delicious and America does spicy right.
The Five Spiciest Meals in America
Posted in Strange Foods
Tagged Adam Richman, America, Brick Lane curry House, Bushido spicy tuna roll, Capsaicin, Chunky's Burgers & More, East Coast Grill, Emperor's Eggroll, Emporer's Egg Roll, Food, food cultures, four Horsemen Burger, Golden Blossom, Man vs. Food, Pasta Plate From Hell, Peppers, Phaal Curry, restaurants, Scoville, Scoville Units, seppuku, spiciest, Spicy Food
“MOAR! GODDAMN IT I SAID MOAR!”
~AFFotD Food Critic, John Goodman
As we’ve mentioned time and time and time again, America loves Fried Food even more than we love Hulk Hogan, and don’t get us started about how much America loves the Hulkster. The moment you choose to fry a food, you make it unhealthy and therefore delicious, and anytime someone says, “I don’t think you can deep fry that” they are automatically deported back to France and are placed in forced mime labor camps, where they must spend their days wearing white face makeup while they pretend to break and move boulders while trapped inside invisible boxes. And they totally deserve their fate—when someone asks you if you would eat a deep fried sports car, the correct answer is, “Holy shit, where can I find that!” not “Uh, no, you…you realize that our bodies can’t consume metal, no matter what you do to it, right?”
And as summer approaches, so does State Fair season, which is that magical time of year where aspiring fry chefs look to get middle America as fat as possible without causing their hearts to explode, like some obesity version of Jenga (once things start wobbling you have to wait for it to settle before finishing the piece). So in that fine American tradition, we are here to clue you in on even more fried foods created to take you that one step closer to just giving up and intravenously pumping melted butter into your arteries between meals.
America’s Most Insane Fried Foods: Part 5
“Second city? More like fifth coronary, amiright?”
~AFFotD Food Critic, John Goodman
America loves to eat. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. When you live in a country that has 14,000 McDonalds, 7,500 Pizza Huts, and 6,500 Dunkin’ Donuts, you know that you have a pretty large population of people who live to stuff their faces. But while fast food chains are appropriately American, getting you unhealthy food quick enough that you can fat fat fatty FAT, it is truly the local American restaurants that are able to really embrace American culinary ideals. Because sure, if Hardees wants to make a burger with twice your daily allotment of fat in it, people are going to flip their shit, but if someone has a heart attack in the midst of eating a 6,000 calorie burger, it’s fucking awesome (unless that man’s family is reading this, in which case we salute him for going down like a fucking boss).
That’s why we here at AFFotD are starting our latest American feature—the most American restaurants of major American cities.
So when we think of cities that thrive on unhealthy food and have so little shame that we’re pretty sure veganism is a considered a misdemeanor by its police force, we think of the one city that we’d like to start this segment out with.
The city of fat asses broad shoulders… Chicago, Illinois.
The Most American Restaurants of: CHICAGO
“*Disconcerting gurgling noise*”
Did you know that America loves to eat? Haha, trick question, any true American has the answer “yes” engraved to their souls, and everyone who spent a moment pondering that just got brutally mugged by thieves who decided to take advantage of the distraction. The only reason California eats healthy food is to trick other countries in thinking that at least some of us are healthy, and even they have to deal with In-N-Out burgers to distract them. But how much exactly do your typical Americans eat?
Well, about a ton a year. Yes, we’re serious.
Let’s take a look at…
What America is Eating (Fat Fat Fatty!)
“Fuck no, I’m not foreign, I’m American, you assholes.”
We at AFfotD know of a few “celebrity chefs” out there. Guy Fieri likes to put Jack Daniels on everything, so he’s alright by our book. Wolfgang Puck speaks with a silly accent, so we hate him. The same should go for Gordon “fucking” Ramsay, except for the fact that Kitchen Nightmares is brilliant and if we ever said otherwise we suspect that the crazy soccer-playing Scottish bastard would hunt us down and harvest our livers for pate. And we’re conflicted on Rachael Ray but that’s just because our male staffers have spent the last three years trying to figure out if they find her attractive or not.
One person we never really paid much attention to was Anthony Bourdain. He has a foreign sounding name, and while he has a popular Food Network TV show, we mainly had heard of him through his best-selling books. And we at AFFotD never read books unless it tells us to kill Europeans, so even if Wikipedia says that your writing is “peppered with F-words,” sorry Tony, we’re still not going to read it. But we apparently were foolish in leaving this guy out, because even though we’ll never remember how to spell his name, this Bourbon Bourdain guy.
Because we found this.
That link is a SFW summary of a Playboy interview that Bourdain recently did. For those of you raising your eyebrows saying, “Oh, sure, your staff was totally just reading Playboy for the articles, italicized sarcasm” we just want to say for the record- our staff members that read Playboy do so solely for the pictures of naked women, this was just an instance where we saw the guy talking smack about Vegans and were suddenly enraptured. Then we did some digging and found that he’s a hard drinking, chain smoking, and former heroin user (we’re not endorsing Heroin by any means, and in no way are we implying that doing Heroin makes you more American…but that being said…Lou Reed, you know?). To make a long story short, he seemed pretty damn American.
While we won’t go as far as to say he’s American enough for a Fun Fact of his entire life (at least not yet) we’ll at least throw him a bone by giving him one for his awesome views.
Anthony Bourdain’s America is Pretty Much AFFotD’s America
Okay, except for the excessively ripped jeans…
“Hatchets were invented by Aliens to trick the Navajo into alcoholism!”
~Francis Firegrove, AFFotD Conspiracy Theorist
A few months back we introduced you to one of our more…eccentric writers in the AFFotD office. Francis Firegrove has some…well, interesting thoughts that thankfully are easy to ignore. Hell, it livens up our lunch break to no end just watching Firegrove rung around swatting cantaloupes out of people’s hands screaming, “NO IT’S MADE OF LISTERIA!” (…wait what? He’s actually right about that? Haha, holy shit).
Of course, the problem with hiring a certified nutjob is that, on occasion, you have to…well, let him speak. Contractually. In retrospect, we don’t really know what we were on when we decided to add Firegrove to our staff…
Ha, oh right.
Well, either way, we might as well get this over with. If we don’t get Firegrove an article each calendar month, he technically becomes the majority owner of AFFotD. Yeah we don’t know the legality of that either, but this is the last time we’re writing a contract on the back of a Denny’s menu, we’ll tell you that.