Thursday, June 03, 2004

Forewarning: Today's rant will only be mildly amusing to Food Network viewers. All others will probably wonder WTF I'm talking about.

I love the Food Network. I've spent more time with Mr. Jamie Oliver and Alton Brown that I have my own family at times.
That's not to say I like every show though. In fact, one host in particular gets to me like no other:

Rachael Ray, also known as "Ray Ray" (but perhaps only to spiteful and bitter people like Genevieve and I).

The picture in the above website doesn't do her justice. To fully "appreciate" Ray Ray, you need to see her in action. Imagine if that bubbly cheerleader at your high school, you know, the one with cutesy names for everything, learned to cook and got her own show. This is Ray Ray.

She currently (and thankfully) only hosts two shows: '30 Minute Meals' and '$40 a Day', each annoying in their own right.
'30 Minute Meals' is what you'd imagine: a show dedicated to dishes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Not a bad premise and, okay, I'll give her this: The dishes are not bad. We've made some of them at home before and they're actually, for the most part, good. But (as I believe our friend Kerry once said), Rachael Ray is a drinking game waiting to happen. She giggles (the most *annoying* giggle) constantly, she refers to Extra Virgin Olive Oil as E.V.O.O., she calls her father "Daddy"and talks on and on about dishes that kids will love, even though she seems to be perpetually single - and drinking.

But the show that makes no sense to me is $40.00 a day. This show that tells you how you can - wow - only spend $40.00 going out for every meal - for one person. Now, maybe it's me, but $40.00 seems like *alot* of money for just one person! Add that to the fact that they only recently starting figuring in things like, say, a tip. (and even then, they tip like $1.37 for a meal..usually 5-10%). And, I know, the show acts as free promotion for whatever place they go to, so I can see them not having to tip. BUT..these guides are supposed to be for your average diner and I'd sincerely hope nobody is trying to pass off a $1.37 tip when they go out.
So, in defiance of the show, I have composed my own list: $20.00 a day - in my neighborhood.

Breakfast - Cup of Coffee ($1.50) from City Roast @ the West Side Market (some of the best coffee I've had) and a huge Apple Fritter ($1.50), also @ the West Side Market.

Lunch - A Ham, Brie & Pineapple sandwich from La Bodega ($5.95)

Dinner - A Mushroom & Bean Burrito "Big Plate" from Johnny Mango's ($7.95)

Total = $16.90
+ tax (for the sandwich and dinner) - approx $1.00 and tip

Note: In my linking research for this post, I came across a new show on the Food Network that makes my skin crawl. THIS. I'd rather see Tony Bourdain eat live insects than this..