Thursday 25 November 2010

Thursday 11 November 2010

Indiana Backpain and the Skate of Power

OMG skating last night was so fast, I couldn't keep up with the people I was supposed to lead, and this morning I could barely move... d'oh! :)

And while I'm on the subject, one of the skaters following me skated in front of me, then braked, then asked me which way to go. He got upset when I told him it was a dumb idea to skate in front of me and brake. He failed to see that this is the same as a lorry cutting you up while driving, slamming on the brakes and the driver asking you for directions.

Oh well :)

It rained this morning but I beat it by riding the Boris Bike to work and not being very wet. I risked not taking my umbrella because I'd left it in the car and couldn't be bothered to go and get it. Then at lunchtime it started pouring with rain. £16.95 and a very wet head later I now own 2 very similar Fulton umbrellas, one of which is still in the car.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Indiana Backpain and the Coffee of Hope

Following on from my epic Friday tale... on Saturday morning I was supposed to go for a cycle ride to Epping Forest. It was going to be lovely and the weather was pretty good, however due to my back pain I decided it wouldn't be a very good idea to risk further pain. I did however, feel the need to move. So my friend and I went for our usual bike ride around an 18 mile canal route. This time I did it with a twist though. Convinced that my back pain was caused by riding my own bicycle last Wednesday, I opted to do it on a Boris Bike. This consisted of taking a bike, and swapping it every 25 minutes or so. I did this by using my friend's key and alternating it with my own, negating the need to wait for 5 minutes in between bikes. It also meant I could keep the same bike every time. Fantastic :)

Usually we stop somewhere for a drink or coffee, and Saturday was no different. We'd been meaning to stop at a place that looked rather delightful and it turns out it was. It was called the Towpath Cafe and they served the best coffee I've had in a long time. My review on Qype says it all really. I can't wait to go back there, but alas I fear it's getting too cold, as they don't have any indoor seating. D'oh!

Later that evening, I met up with my friend again, as he was having a birthday gathering and it was our intention to visit Pizza East in Shoreditch. The place is rather lovely. Nicely decorated and has a fantastic atmosphere. In fact it was heaving, so busy that we had to wait 45 minutes for our table. I was full of anticipation, but slightly suspicious of the people in there. Turns out I was right to be suspicious.

I'm not saying Pizza East is bad. In fact it's very good. It's just not my kind of place. It was trying too hard to be Shoreditch-cool. The pizza was made from fresh ingredients and you could taste the quality. The wine list was twice as long as the pizza list, but I would have preferred it to be the other way around. My biggest problem was that the standard pizza offerings all had weird toppings, like it was trying to be some modern pizza fusion restaurant. This didn't really work and the Italian waitress agreed with me that the pizza wasn't really like a real Italian pizza should be. It was also pretty expensive compared to the likes of Da Mario and Piccolino, who do rather good Italian style pizza.

Wheeeee :D

To be continued...

Monday 8 November 2010

Indiana Backpain and the Fail of Burrito...

I broke my back in 2007, in a snowboarding accident. I might have mentioned it before while ranting about Italy.

In any case, this means that despite the regular exercise, every once in a while my back decides enough is enough and refuses to cooperate.

Friday was one of those days, so not the greatest start to my weekend by any account.

It was the first time for a while, and I'd been feeling the tell tale signs that it was coming for a few weeks (those signs being a general weak feeling and knowing that if I lift something heavy it will give way immediately). I was having difficulty walking, and this time the pain was in a slightly different place to where it was before. I blame the cycling for this, but am as yet undecided on whether this is good or bad. In any case, it meant I couldn't really go to work as walking was quite painful.

Now... back in university I did a unit in business management, and we learnt about this thing called a SWOT analysis. SWOT is Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. The idea is to summarise the SWOT of a company and identify ways to turn threats into strengths and weaknesses into opportunities. I wrote one about BMW suggesting they buy Rolls Royce as a premium brand since they already had a joint venture with them making plane engines, and a few years later they did just that. But I digress.

Back to err... my back. So, I decided to turn my weakness into an opportunity, by going downstairs to try the new local burrito supplier, Burro Burrito.

Sadly, this was an epic fail.

Some of you (ok maybe one of you) will have probably seen my previous placing for Burro Burrito fairly low on the list, ranked as such by a member of the New York chapter of the International Burrito Organisation. I can confirm that Burro Burrito is indeed correctly placed near the bottom of the list.

As per my review on Qype, for some reason they squirt some kind of concentrated lime juice into the rice. I suspect that this is in fact, lime fresh Flash floor cleaner. That's problem number 1. Problem number 2 is that although the meat looks like it's going to taste great... it doesn't. In fact it doesn't really taste of anything. I used to have a Staedtler pencil eraser at school that was more flavoursome. I had to continually squirt the Cholula chili sauce into it just to eat it, and I soon gave up. So my local Burrito supplier is an epic fail. Burrito Fail VII in fact. Damn shame.

To be continued...

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Burrito Fail VI

It's rather unfortunate that there are more burrito fails on my blog than any other type of burrito related post, but I suppose that's inevitable given the crop of Mexican street food canteens that are opening around the place.

So why burrito fail VI?

Well the answer is Mexicali. Now... I've been to the Chelsea branch previously and thought it was ok. It's no Benito's Hat or Chilango but it still turns out a respectable burrito. Unfortunately their soho branch is rather lacking.

The place looked intreaguing, and reminded me of an authentic Mexican taqueria, right down to the fire alarm button hanging off the wall, suspended only by the wire connected to it.
I knew it was doomed fo failure when the person making my burrito put a tablespoon of rice in it. There was no choice of beans, and the chicken was terrible. The lettuce looked like it came from Tesco Value, and when they wrapped it up, the tortilla cracked up. This would have been ok if it were served in a foil wrapper, but it was served in a paper tub, making it difficult to eat.

After one bite I knew the burrito sucked. I poured lots of chilli sauce into it in the hope that it would make it taste nice, but I had to abandon the burrito just past the half way point. What a disappointment.

I was thinking of classifying this insult to donkeys as above top secret, fearful that it may put people off burritos, but the world needs to know that this place sucks. If I see another branch open up I will be very sad indeed.

Chipotle corporation... if you are reading this, please buy Mexicali and rebrand to Chipotle, so you can put London out of its burrito misery.

My stomach is rumbling, not from hunger but from the contents of the burrito. This does not bode well. It means my internal BurritOS operating system has detected my system running in degraded performance mode...

Monday 1 November 2010

Why am I creating this post?

I don't even know.

Oh well, I don't know why I do lots of things :)

So it was Halloween last weekend. That can mean only one thing (well, apart from being the only time in the year that the underworld and this world are in sync, or whatever). The Halloween skate. I love this skate. Everyone dresses up and there's a party at the end, it's so much fun :)

Last year I went as Iron Man, which was a bit of a cop out as I went as Iron Man the year before too. It's mainly because I couldn't really afford a costume last year, but also because I didn't know what else to be.

This year, I wanted to be Iron Man again, but Iron Man 2, with the mark VI suit. Unfortunately, unlike the previous suit, the new one costs 4 times more, doesn't come with gloves or fake boots, and won't fit me because they only make it in one size, so although it would have been awesome... no.

So I had a Kick-Ass costume instead. That was pretty awesome actually, moreso than Iron Man. As I was skating to the park, sooooo many girls were smiling at me (maybe laughing but still), and some guys drove past in a car and shouted "You suck Kick-Ass" which was really funny!

Lots of people liked the costume, but for some reason on facebook there's an abnormally large number of photos of my bum. I don't know why this is, but it definitely looks big in the suit. D'oh!

Yesterday I went for dinner to a lovely little Japanese place that's like a family run version of Wagamama. I don't remember the name but it was somewhere in Clapham, not far from Big Fat Panda. Wheeee :)