Friday, September 6, 2013

Eating Like a Boss!

     I think I've mentioned before that I am a 41 (almost 42) year old college senior.  Like many college students I have a meal plan that goes along with tuition, and I try to take full advantage.  Those that know me, know that I REALLY like to eat.  I'm a fan of food, and I like to think that I have a refined palate like a Chef de Cuisine as set forth by The Brigade De Cuisine rankings in Paris.  I googled it.  That's not information I would have just known, but thanks to Google I can look like an expert in the culinary arts.  Anthony Bourdain I'm not.  This past week I had a couple of really interesting culinary adventures.  First, I want to discuss a trip for Indian Food with the Roman History guys (Shout out to Tim, Carl, Kerry, and Tim's friend whose name escapes me at the moment.)  Then I will go on to tell of my introduction to The Commons on The Green.  Bon Appetit!
     This past Tuesday after the Roman Republic class taught by the world famous professor of awesomeness Dr. Ward, a bunch of us History guys got together to go eat some Indian food.  The destination was Taj India on the Southside of Birmingham.  Taj has been a favorite of mine since I went there on my first date with the lovely Dr. Cheryl Perry before I became her trophy husband.  Well, we decided it would be best to car pool to the restaurant, because the parking situation at Taj India in the Western parking lot is less than stellar.  Somehow, the whole crew ended up in my 2003 Nissan Xterra.  It's hard to get five grown men in a 2003 Nissan Xterra.  Even harder still with the various obstacles that are present in my back seat.  Dora dolls, Big Time Rush books, umbrellas, football equipment, car seats, and a French fry or two blocked the way to a comfortable seating arrangement.  By the way, Tim is pushing 7 foot tall, and neither Kerry not I would be what I would call small men.  Carl and Tim's friend (Whose name still escapes me) are of normal size, but it was still a challenge to fit the whole crew in the Uber Dad Wagon.  There were some anxious moments, especially in the back seat.  I had it worked out so Tim would be in the front seat, and I was driving (It's my Ride after all)....That's my contribution to Physics, and I owe it all to that Physical Science class that I dropped.  That's all I got, sorry Stephen Hawking.  Jumping ahead to the food now.  Indian food is awesome!  You have to be aware, though, that you may get a snort of something that has a little kick to it.  Some of that stuff will light you up, to be sure.  This place is an Indian buffet so there are many opportunities to come across The Devil's Curry!  My go to food is Saag.  It's a Spinach Dish that is absolutely amazing (Thanks Cheryl!)  I'm also a fan of both Korma and Curry.  On this day I ate my weight in Saag.  I weigh about 215 by the way.  It had a little bit of a kick to it, let me tell you.  I think all of us may have had a bit of Gastro-Intestinal distress after our gluttonous display at the Indian buffet!  That could be a song.  We finished up, and I delivered those fine fellas back to our home at Heritage Hall, and I was off!  I was off to see some heartburn medicine.  The heartburn medicine that I normally take requires that you drink a cup of water.  I did this, but that is the last thing you want to do after eating spicy Indian food.  The water must adhere to the spice and causes a combustible chemical reaction of heat that will bring some pain!  I'm no Chemistry guy, but this stuff was lethal.  I felt full and on fire.  I was full of fire, basically.  I struggled waiting for Jesse in the car pool line at school.  100 degrees with 100 percent humidity with a body 100 percent full of spicy Indian food is a recipe for disaster.  I was able to survive, barely.  On this day I was scheduled to work out.  My work outs are pretty hard core, high impact, weight lifting, circuit training, make your ass quit awesome.  I'm really serious about my workout stuff so I got after it anyway.  Indian food possession or not.  The word tenacity means:  persistence, determination, perseverance, doggedness, strength of purpose, stamina, staying power, and I could go on, but you get the idea.  It took all the tenacity that I have ever mustered to make it through this work out.  The fire from the Indian food almost beat me, but tenacity got me through.  My wife would say "stupidity" got me through, but I like the word tenacity better.  Regardless, the suffering was worth it, and next my Roman history brothers and I will take on Thai food.  Did I mention that Thai food can be spicy?
     I spent all last year as a student and the only place that I ate on campus was Hill Center.  I heard whispers about a place called "The Commons on the Green."  I kept on eating my Western Omelets at Hill Center until they shut the place down.  They really shut the place down.  It's set for Demolition.  This year I finally decided to seek out this supposed Mecca of a college campus eatery the Commons on the Green.  I found the place easily,  I just followed my keen sense of smell, and it's right across from Heritage Hall, so it's not like it's Atlantis or anything.  The first impression was of silver serving trays full of BBQ right beside a huge Pit Smoker thing, that smelled amazing.  This was outside the actually eatery mind you.  I continued on inside passing flags, and large windows surrounded by nice architectural features.  Nice presentation, to be sure.  I walked inside and the atmosphere was equally as impressive.  I continued walking my happy self into the belly of this culinary beast, and a voice said, "You have to pay before you can go in."  I skeptically replied, "What exactly am I paying for?"  The answer was simply, "You pay 7 dollars and then It's all you can eat."  I looked this kind lady in the eye and said, "OK, my mistake, Thank you!  Thank you so very much!"  I wanted to say, "I Love You," but I thought better of it.  I ate my 7 dollars worth, and probably about 70 more.  This boy can eat.  I am very pleased that I can call "The Commons on The Green" my friend.  To quote Doc Holliday as played by Val Kilmer, when asked why he was following Wyatt Earp to the ends of earth while suffering from tuberculosis, He said, "Wyatt Earp is my friend."  The statement was made, "Hell, Doc I got lots of friends."  Doc responded, "I don't."  Ditto.  Well said, Mr. Holliday.  That's not a food specific quote, but I believe it fits here.  Good food is my friend.
     That is the end of our culinary adventure, and I don't know about you, but I'm hungry.  I may visit the Commons on the Green for breakfast this morning.  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and eats some fine cuisine.  I would highly recommend Taj India, by the way.  Happy Friday!