Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bring the Kids

Hello friends,

Some of you may remember a post I wrote a while back about Chew, the fancy restaurant that I opened in Seattle last year. What a difference a year makes. All was going well with it until the economy took a nosedive. Nowadays, the only people stopping by are the ones who just want to use the restroom. It's that bad. Apparently, $30 rutabaga-bison skewers are not on the top of everyone's wish list in 2009. So I've decided to switch gears and transform the place into something with broader appeal.

Welcome to Crabapples, a new family-friendly restaurant that caters to the budget-conscious, fashion-averse, suburban customer. We feature giant plates of medium-quality food at rock-bottom prices; who could possibly resist that? But the fun doesn't stop there. Wednesday is family night, when we give each kid a free paper sombrero and a crayon. And don't forget to bring your swimsuit, since every Crabapples has its own indoor water slide!

Here are a few selections from our extensive menu:

Senor Juan's Fajita Trough- your own personal trough filled with grilled meat, peppers, onions, and guacamole. No utensils needed. You keep the trough! $8.99

Desert Bloomer- we take a whole artichoke, dip it in chipotle-cornmeal batter and deep-fry it, and serve it to you with a honey-mustard dipping sauce. It's party time! $8.99

Do-It-Yourself Tacos- we bring you a head of lettuce, ground beef, a block of pepperjack cheese, and two taco shells. You make 'em, you eat 'em! $8.99

Cap'n Vinnie's Spaghetti Bar- all-you-can-eat pasta, our very own Ragin' Red sauce, and 30 different kinds of meatballs to choose from: Jamaican Jerk, Beefy Masala, Thai Turkey, and more! $8.99

Katrina Burger- 3/4 pound beef patty, lettuce, tomato, pepperjack cheese, all on a toasted ciabatta bun and "drowned" in our signature Nawlins whiskey BBQ sauce. It'll rock you like a hurricane! $8.99

Bangers 'n Hash- a southwestern take on a British classic: four jumbo hot dogs covered with bacon-jalapeno hashbrowns and topped with sour cream and pepperjack cheese. Spicy! $8.99

Kids menu- choice between tater tots or PB&J sandwich. $8.99

Who knew that eating out could be so much fun? Remember, you're always one of the family at Crabapples!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Man and the Beard

Hola Amigos,
The last time I posted, I was in Berkeley. Today I'm writing to you from Sayulita, a charming little beach town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Cindy and I are taking a "babymoon"- our last vacation before the baby arrives. Think of this post as a virtual postcard. The weather is nice, the people are friendly, and the scenery is beautiful. We wish you were here!

Today's topic is Will Oldham. Cindy and I had the pleasure of seeing him in concert last weekend while we were down in Portland. My super-cool brother-in-law Jonathan works at the venue where Will was playing, so we got to sit in the backstage VIP section and see him play up close. It was a great show by a uniquely talented musician.

So what is the big deal with Will Oldham, you say? For one thing, Cindy and I bonded over our mutual love of his music, and we both attended a show of his in 2006 the week before we met. I like to think that there is some sort of crazy, cosmic logic to all of this. But let's get to the music.
Will Oldham, who also goes by the name Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, began releasing albums under the name Palace Brothers way back in the early 90's. His music could be called "indie folk", as it is mostly acoustic and is heavily influenced by traditional American music styles. Nowadays, acoustic guitar-playing indie rockers are a dime a dozen, but let me tell you, back in the early 90's the music scene was a grunge-infested wasteland. So Will was a trailblazer of sorts. And while lots of musical artists have come and gone since that time, Will is still plugging away. Even more impressive is the fact that he's still making some of his best music this far into his career. It's not too common to find a musician that is at the top of his/her game for such a long period of time (Neil Young and Tom Waits come to mind, and yes, I'd rank Will Oldham right up there with them).

And then there is the public persona. You would not normally think that such beautiful, melodic music could come from the mind of such a freaky dude. I once saw him play a show that consisted of him singing, karaoke-style, over cheesy electronic versions of his songs. The fact that he was wearing eyeliner and a goofy sweater merely added to the effect. When Cindy and I saw him last week, we were endlessly entertained by all the weird dance moves he was doing. The guy is a true original.

Here's a clip of one of his songs from his latest album: