Sunday, October 10, 2010

the one with all the spam

Sitting in a tattoo parlor, waiting on your sister-in-law to get her newest tattoo, you sometimes might find yourself talking with the tattoo artist about a variety of strange topics, anything to keep your in-law's mind off the needle that's repeatedly puncturing her skin. Maybe you don't typically talk to the artist about Spam, but that's why you're you and not me. See, me, I find that the stranger the topic the more likely your in-law is to not think about the needle. I'm selfless that way. Plus, I can't help but talk about weird things. Ask any of my friends, I'm weird that way.

I'm not totally sure that the tattoo artist fully appreciated my discussion on Spam. In fact, he seemed rather disgusted at my suggestion that after our visit to get all tatted up, we'd be going home to a yummy supper of fried Spam sandwiches.

"You actually LIKE spam?" He asked me, disbelief dripping from his tone. Now, let's be honest, this guy's probably seen some rough stuff. At the very least, I'd like to think he's seen some rough stuff; he's a stinkin' tattoo artist for goodness sake! And yet, the mere mention of that wonderful canned spiced ham had him cringing and making gagging sounds. You're using a needle to inject ink under the surface of someone's skin; yet, I'M the gross one. Yeah, right.

Well, it seems that this particular person's opinion is shared by thousands (probably even millions), and once again in life, I find that I am pulling for an underdog. For the mother of all underdogs. Spam, I salute you.

Let's get a little more negativity out of the way first. Spam was recently included on a list of the top ten foods we love to hate, along with such foul eats as anchovies and liver: oh, the horror.

Plus, let's remember that one of the most hated things on the internet is spam. Although, this is definitely a spam of a different color; the website even has a disclaimer telling us so!

And even I, a proponent and supporter of Spam, the food (?), must admit that when you first open up that can and dump that cold cube of meat onto a paper plate, both the sickening suction sound it makes and the fact that it perfectly maintains the can's shape, make it a little less than appetizing. But since when did we, as Americans, avoid things that are less than appetizing? Vienna sausages, anyone? Sauerkraut? Hot dogs? Who the heck knows what those are really made of? Hot DOG, really? I say, it's our patriotic duty, as Americans, to eat and love to eat Spam. But I sometimes say outrageous things, or is it outrageous?

Upon a little research, I have discovered that Spam really IS patriotic. During World War II, over 100 million pounds of Spam was shipped overseas to allied troups. And even after the war, Spam was promoted by a group of female World War II vets. How many foods do you know can brag about serving our country? Not many, I bet.

Furthermore, Spam has its own Monty Python sketch AND song. If Vikings can like it, why can't we all?

So, really, why have we insisted on making Spam such a villain? A fried spam sandwich with a couple of slices of your choice of cheese and a squirt of dijon mustard is actually quite tasty. And fried Spam can also make an excellent alternative to bacon for breakfast. Honestly, it's NOT that bad.

Although, I will readily admit that I have not tried raw spam, nor will I ever. Even I have my limits.

Works Cited

Layton, Julia. "10 Foods We Love to Hate" 21 September 2010. 04 October 2010.

"Spam Brand and the Internet." 2010. 04 October 2010.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

sunnyside up!

I've come to the conclusion recently that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. This can be the only logical explanation of why every time I am presented with an awesome breakfast: I completely pig out!

My reasoning behind my conclusion is the fact that I so rarely eat a decent breakfast. Remember? I'm the girl who eats popcorn for breakfast, so when I get the chance to eat a warm, hearty, REAL breakfast I throw all my shame out the window.

I had the chance to eat such a breakfast this past Friday morning at the lovely, little Carrollton, Georgia establishment known as Sunnyside Cafe. This wasn't my first time eating at Sunnyside. I've had this pleasure on four separate occasions now, and each time I eat there, I seem to fall in love with it a little bit more.

It's just my kind of restaurant: small and unassuming with both traditional and unique meal options. My favorite option thus far has been the order of sausage gravy and biscuits. This is to die for...probably literally considering how much this clogs my arteries. Two "cathead" biscuits are served cut wide open with sausage and black pepper gravy poured generously over the top. But the euphoria doesn't end there. No, Sunnyside takes this dish to a new level by crumbling larges pieces of their wonderful pork sausage over the top. Gosh, this stuff is good!

One of their less traditional (at least in my neck of the woods) menu options is known as The Scottish Egg, which is essentially a deep-fried hard-boiled egg, but before they deep-fry the egg, they wrap it in pork sausage and cover it in batter. I couldn't try this dish, because I personally hate hard-boiled eggs, but my dad was brave enough to try it and loved it! And there's something to be said for a restaurant that serves dishes that are outside of the box.

Sunnyside has lots of other options for those diners who want to avoid a coronary or a "unique" experience; they also serve a homemade granola (which is locally made and sold by the bag in the restaurant), any and every kind of omelet under the sun, and good ole pancakes.

Aside from the fabulous food, Sunnyside also serves up great atmosphere. Located just off the historic square of Carrollton, this cafe is small (only 5 or so booths and about a dozen tables) but doesn't really seem so with large open windows. The best part of Sunnyside's atmosphere, however, is the corner set aside for live music. The restaurant's website describes its music best: "Enjoy your morning breakfast while listening to acoustic guitar, or, be serenaded over dinner by a lively banjo." What could be better?

In short, Carrollton's Sunnyside Cafe offers great food and great entertainment, and it always seems to satisfy my monumental appetite for a good Southern breakfast.

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