Monday, April 30, 2012

stak shak lunch review

a few weeks back, i'm not exactly sure when, i saw that a couple of new places had opened up along my drive to and from work.  one, a taco stand that used to be open years ago had new life breathed into it.  the other, a strange little building that i never really noticed until the new sign went up and lights were on.  this oddly shaped place: the stak shak.

today, i had the chance to drop in on the stak shak for some lunch.  they have a decent sized menu that is centered around the idea of sandwiches, hot dogs and more.  they have both hot and cold sandwiches, a variety of dogs, and some special offers as well.  the interior of the restaurant is pleasant, and has a "home-y" feel to it.

since it was my first time, and i knew i'd be writing about the meal, i wanted to try a few things.  i also hoped they had pastrami since i love pastrami, and it's something i've had all over and can compare.  they did have pastrami, which i ordered. you can get it on a variety of breads, and i went with sourdough.  i also love hot dogs, and so i ordered the western dog as well.  they have several drink options, some bottle, some not.  i went basic and had a bottled root beer.

i ate the dog first. the western dog comes with bbq sauce, shredded cheese and onions.  i should have ordered without the onions, as they're not a favorite of mine, but i was able to knock them off fairly easy and enjoy the dog.  the bbq sauce was a sweet bbq, and worked well with the cheese & dog.  the dog itself was an average dog, but fine.  the whole thing comes with a pickle side.  i liked the dog, and my only beef with it was the price.  all the dogs cost $5.50, which is a little more than they're worth in my opinion.

after devouring my dog, i went to the pastrami.  first, it's a cold pastrami sandwich, which i figured when i saw the menu.  i prefer hot pastrami to cold, but whatever. i chose the sourdough, which was a pretty good, thicker slices of sourdough.  they use a spicy mustard that i really loved.  it's one of those mustards that has the little seed balls in it. great flavor, really worked with the sandwich.  the meat itself was decent, lunch meat style pastrami with a fine flavor.  the lettuce was shredded, and i prefer leaf.  the pastrami sandwich costs $6.

overall, i thought the place was fine. the service was nice, and rather quick in filling orders.  the restaurant was comfortable to be in, and they do have free wifi.  i thought the food was good, not great, and it seems a little pricey, but not exorbitant.  for those that are inclined, you can all or fax in orders in advance.

stak shak
1950 e. divisadero
fresno, 93701
m-f, 7a -3p

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

cabin in the woods film review

it was a combination of friends going to a movie on a saturday afternoon coupled with a heat snap that sent us to watch the new release, cabin in the woods.  going into the film, i had very little idea about it. i had seen a preview, and it sorta looked like your stock slasher film – girls that will in all likelihood get nude and then die, people being brutally tortured and then dying, and a lone survivor.  it was unlikely that i would have gone and seen the film if the previous two conditions didn’t exist.  i actually felt that the movie was a remake of a previous film as it had the feeling of a 70’s b-flick and hollywood has been remaking the crap out of films of that genre.  so, i went in with little or no expectations.
side note – if you were initially headed out to lunch, then decided to join friends for a matinee, the movie theater is a bad place to actually eat a meal.  the options are fairly limited, and because they make so much on concessions, you’re going to spend a lot to get a little.  we knew this, and still did it.  oh well.
the movie centers around five college students who become a trapped, you guessed it, in a cabin in the woods.  i’m not giving anything away by mentioning plot points here because it’s right out in the open. honestly, in the first ten minutes or so you know the whole basis of the movie, the why things are going to happen. five college students have been selected because of their personalities and their youth. they will be sacrificed as a part of a ritual to appease something or someone greater in the world.
overall, i found the film to be pretty good. it’s no masterpiece, but it’s not supposed to be citizen kane. it’s a summer horror flick.  then again, it’s much more than that. while it does have the torture elements mentioned above, it has a lot of wit about it.  there is some decent dialog, and there were points that the whole theater were laughing at what was being said or was happening on screen. these were laughs that the writers intended, not just the comedy that slasher films can be.  there were also a few good “jump” moments that this type of film needs.
few random points: 
  • i was pleasantly surprised that the characters didn’t just behave in stereotypical horror fashion. when they did, it was explained. so, yes, the football guy acts like a dumb jock at points, but it makes sense, and more so than any other typical horror film.
  • i loved the references to other horror films. there were a lot of little winks and nods at other movies.  well done.  at some point i was trying to list all the references but it’s just too many. not in an overwhelming way, but there is a lot of little nods.
  • i can’t say it was perfectly done, but the drug references were better handled than in a lot of movies. i know it’s a strange, small complaint, but it does bug me when people in films take drugs and behave in manners that are unlike actual drug reactions. think about it, how many times have you seen someone in a movie ingest weed in some manner, and then act completely unlike any of your stoner friends. not the case here, so kudos.

the final verdict – cabin in the woods is a fun film.  with movie prices as what they are, i don’t think you have to rush out and see this on a friday night, but maybe catch a matinee. definitely see it on dvd, netflix or cable.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

not good, slash

i enjoy the jimmy kimmel show.  i think he's one of the funnier guys on tv, and i think he's the best in late night tv.  one other reason why i like kimmel is that he does a pretty good job of bringing on upcoming bands, or the new, interesting acts.

i had no pretense that slash would be new or upcoming. i mean, dude helped get guns n roses off the ground 25 years ago.  he's a legend, a great musician.  so, i was intrigued to hear his new band, to hear what was driving slash these days.


i mean, really, that was not interesting at all.  it wasn't even good.  seriously, that sounds about as good as a cover band playing at sequoia brewing on a saturday night.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

wall writers

graffiti. i have a love/hate idea about graffiti. there's a part of me that really enjoys good graf art, but there's the other part of me that thinks graf is mostly garbage, and usually is just destructive to the social environment.  then again, maybe a lot of graf pops up in areas that are already blighted and so to have an explosion of color brings new life.  if you see the wavering in this first paragraph, you should know that it continues on in my mind.

so, i came across this trailer for a movie about early graffiti.  it looks pretty interesting. 


i like the connection to the vandals.