Broadway Cafe

The Broadway Cafe in Saskatoon is one of my favorite places to eat. It reminds me of the small town diners that haven’t updated their decor, but still deliver food that satisfies deep hunger. You find a lot of these across the prairies, but in the middle of broadway district amongst specialty shops, you’ll find the place. Great for a quick meal, hot drink, and in the summer the milkshakes are the best. Weekend brunches are a very busy time, recommend the huevos ranchero burrito or the eggs benedict special. Also be on the lookout for Professor Awesome, a gentleman in his 60’s or 70’s with the best goatee a guy could ever achieve in a lifetime.

But for a biting cold January evening, there was a small crowd inside, slight frost on the windows and entrance doors. Valentines decorations are already up around the retro cafe. Neon and chrome along the long counter in the back. Kitch decorations of Elvis, Marilyn, James Dean adorn the walls. Music playing 50’s from satellite radio, waitress with tie-dyed hair wrap is singing along under her breath,’Put your hands up and Shout’. Memories of the Blues Brothers movie bring a smirk to my face, it’s been a good day.

I’ve already devoured my breakfast burger (slices of ham, fried egg, swiss cheese) and delicious cubed fried spuds. Tempted to get a coffee for an after meal drink, but caffeine this late does not help my insomnia. Tempted to get one of the famous milkshakes, I’m good with my mint tea and water. My daughter being a slower eater is thoroughly enjoying all of her food, including the bacon which she was craving earlier. I should learn from her habits, but old ones are hard to break. She does have a method of peeling off the top layer of a pancake which may sound gruesome, but is definitely tasty.

Usually when we are out, people are surprised to find that she is my daughter, she looks more mature for her age. All I see is my kiddo. Preparing her brown toast, she stares intently at a small package of peanut butter and one of jam, almost manic look on her face. Holding them up to her eyes she looks back and forth between the two plastic packages.

Me, soap opera voice : Doctor, what have you found?
Kid : One is deeper than the other… weird.
Me : Fascinating, did you use… the science?
Kid : Ba-Hoo-wha?

Both of us crack up at the sound of the mixed up words. When we finally get it togther, I go on to explain that in B movies sometimes would actually skip over the explanation of how things work, by calling it ‘The Science’. Or just satisfy a question like how the raygun is going to stop the lava… and it will because the main hero is a SCIENTIST.

I nudge her again with the line…

Me, soap opera voice : Doctor, did you use the science?
Kid : Uh-HUHHAA!

More silliness and laughter ensue. We both get looks from our outburst of obvious silly fun, but we don’t care. It’s not what we’re doing, but how we’re doing it. By having fun. And Broadway Cafe is a great place to make memories.

I’m still here,

Book Review – Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

I’ve been a fan of Gaiman since the days of DC comics Vertigo series Sandman. I’ve also tried to study his work, to break it down and see where he gets his genius from. And here’s what I’ve determined.

He’s just that good.

Eventually one of these decades, I know that with constant practice and application, I could maybe equal a sliver of his talent. If one could whittle off talent from an amazing writer like Mr. Gaiman.

The Graveyard Book is a journey back to kids books written in a style that reminds me of the classics. Robinson Crusoe, Wizard of Oz, and the like. They were also called Chapter Books as the general formula is much like any tv series, the main story of the week is prominent, with the main larger story in the background. Further chapters bring more of the main story into the foreground.

There is some grim and dark scenes in this book, not for all readers, so Mom and/or Dad, give it a read first. You will definitely enjoy it, if you were a reader in your youth. And I’m envious of how much visuals Gaiman can present with such brevity.

The story is about Nobody. Literally. That’s his name. The general premise is a boy who gets raised by ghosts in a graveyard. How he got there? You’ll have to find out. How do ghosts raise a real live boy? You’ll have to find out.

It’s a nice light read for advanced readers. The general pacing and themes will take you back to your youth. Reminisce with great stories. For those of you who have not read Gaiman, its a light introduction. Looking for some humor in the vein of Monty Python? Check his collaboration with Terry Pratchett – Good Omens. Looking for something a little deeper? The Sandman series is a good long read, something you can really get into. The series is like an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time, you are glad to see it again and want to spend time with it.

Check it out, go to your local library. Definitely a tale for Halloween.

I’m still reading, and here,

Beer Review – Czech Mate – Paddockwood Beer BONUS Food Misdemeanor

Huzzah! Behold! Food AND drink porn!

Not bad for an improv food misdemeanor

Tonights selection for supper, includes a really good piece of cod and sushi from Charlies Seafood Market. (Located next to Mystic Java, 8th and McKercher.) The cod took really minimal time on medium low heat on the grill. Did a quick little spice rub/coating using rye bread croutons, onion flakes, paprika, chili flakes, black peppercorns, seasalt and some flour. Done on the upper grill, keep an eye on it. I couldn’t find any decent peaches on the way back.

Yes, I said it. Peaches.

I’ve had it before, and the addition of a slice of peaches on cod, is an amazing combination. If it is fresh from deep fryer for fish and chips, make sure the peaches are really cold. The sweetness of the fruit and temperature difference will be able to bring out amazing flavors in any piece of cod. Try it out once, life is too short.

The sushi from Charlie’s is consistently good, great selection for quality that is offered. Smoked salmon with cream cheese, oyster, and octopus. Little drizzle of soya sauce, couple dabs of wasabi, and it is flavor time! Salad is my usual mix of baby greens, croutons, sunflower seeds and russian salad dressing. Because I need to eat more greens, and it works better color wise for the photo.

Onto the beer! I thought I had done a review of the Czech Mate, but I have not. This is an excellent summer beer for those looking to quench their thirst. Those looking for a basic lager will be confused at the complexity of this czech style beer. Slightly cloudy on pour, bright golden hues, tiny bubbles, and really small amount of head. This maybe due to what I’m reviewing are not recently brew. I’ve found that Paddock Wood beer gains extra flavor and mellow tones if you allow the beer to sit for a while. Like a month. Keep it cold and in a dark place, and you will be amazed at the result. Little less on the carbonation after this amount of time. The body is lessened and is not as filling as the recent brewed or fresh from keg. Sharp on the front, mellows out with a hint of the citrus hoppy tartness on the backend which is a signature of Paddock Wood beer. There isn’t much to improve on this. Overall, another good beer from Saskatoon brewers, try it out when you find it.

I’m still here, still up for tasting new beers, trying out new recipes,

Inception is not a new story

Inception is not a new story. For generations now, sci-fi readers have read stories revolving around the concept of ‘everything you think you know is wrong’. Whether this is in dream fashion, or virtual reality, or misplaced memories. I’m not saying that Inception is a bad story. Trust me, if I could get my stories as elegant and well structured as Inception, I would be quite happy as a writer. Characters are plausible and tragically human.

It’s also not a matter of this being a summer blockbuster. I’m of the opinion that Nolan is the film world equivalent of Genghis Khan and Rupert Murdoch for simultaneously invading and cornering the right market for this film. The timing of other ‘soft’ sci-fi into mainstream (Battlestar Galactica, Kings) has actually softened the masses and made them ready for this story. Any type of hard science is interspersed between major parts of character development. The special effects are not eye candy, they literally are mind blowing as they all support the main story. (It’s nice to hear from those people around me that they are going to a film because of the story and not because of the THINGS GO BOOM ON BIG SCREEN effect.) The timing and pacing of the film also play a great role. Tension and buildup to the pivotal points are not overdone but interweave beautifully.

Inception definitely makes it to my list of all time favorite films, and I can’t wait to see it again. Oh yes, one of the best parts about this brilliant piece of work, it poses more questions than answers. But until you’ve seen it, you don’t have those questions in your head, or do you?

So if you liked Inception, head on over to your local library… (that’s where all the books sleep) Recommended reading – Jack L. Chalkers Wonderland Gambit trilogy, where literally everything you think you know is wrong.

I’m still here,

As per this website, Disney comics Scrooge McDuck actually preceded Inception. Read at your own discretion, spoilers involved.

More proof that no story is original.