Monday, August 29, 2011

Those Bad Lemonade Stand Police

Over at The Peoria Pundit, Billy is upset about the cops and health departments shutting down kids lemonade stands. Yes, I went on a tirade about it. I'm all for little kids selling lemonade from lemonade stands in their front yard, like this little girl:

Ok, I find it hard to believe that the police and others who enforce city ordinances regarding lemonade stands or the health department would shut this down. I guess there is some outside chance that some terrible food bourne illness could occur, but probably not anymore so than those restaurants you read about in the Peoria Journal Star that continually score 70s or below on their quarterly health inspections.

However, let us now play "find the lemonade stand" in this picture:

Do you see one? I certainly don't. I see a young lad selling bottles of lemonade and punch plus bottled water and cans of Coke products (at some obscene prices). No, my friends, this kid is a vendor. I wish I could find it, but a similar "shut down" incident occurred where you could see cases of various bottled/canned beverages were stacked in the back of a white SUV with coolers around it. This, too, was called a lemonade stand and was shut down.

There is a huge difference between little Sally wanting to have a lemonade stand, going with the parents to the store, buying some Country Time Lemonade mix, or WHOA, maybe even making it from scratch, then selling it for a quarter than mom and dad loading up the Escalade at SAMs Club with a cornucopia of bottled beverages and little Johnny hawking them for $2.

And seriously, local health and law enforcement officials where these things occurred, $500 fines? That is about as obscene as the little boy selling bottled lemonade for $2. I understand the parent who was combative and defiant about the situation in one of these lemonade stand fiascoes being fined $500 for being an asshole, but come on. The first girl isn't hurting anyone and the bottle kid was probably half put up to it by his parents.

Maybe for the true "old school" lemonade stand as in "Exhibit One", cities could offer a reduced cost permit for $1. Name, address, date of Lemonade Stand to occur and the name of a supervising adult available at the health department. This way, it teaches kids the value of "playing by the rules" and it gives the city/health department a record just in case there is an issue. However, I can see Peoria wanting a building permit for the stand, the lemonade permit, a business license and a slew of other things that by the time mom and dad get all these things, they will have to stop at UFS and pick up a bottle of vodka to add to their lemonade.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

And The Verdict Is....

It has been a long time coming. It has called my name. It has tempting me. It has attempted to lure me. I hear about it. I read about it. It mocks me uncontrollably. Because of what it is, I have to experience it, but for one reason or another, it eludes me although it is always there.

I've read the rave reviews. More exhilarating than dive bombing in a WW1 bi-plane. Driving a Bugatti Veyron across Montana: lack-luster in comparison. A short term, torrid affair with Jessica Biel would be boring. A 1945 Lafite Rothschild would lack depth side by side.

What am I talking about?

The fabled Five Guy's Burger.

Maybe too much hype? Too many expectations? Not bad, but expected better. There are better in Peoria. Think I lost a little respect for Zagat and a few other publications for highly touting these things. Did I not "get" something? Was I supposed to wear 3-D burger glasses?

In fact, I was waaay excited about the Cajun fries. Hand cut fries that weren't soggy and had a wonderful "burn". Now THAT is something one RARELY gets in Peoria!

Next time I want a burger (if I don't make it myself): The Gebby Burger at Schooners or the Burger Barge (various "flavors").

But everybody has their favorites and if this, Ludy's, Steak & Shake or countless others are your favorites, please enjoy them.

Now to fire up the grill for these nice little Angus Beef ribeyes...

Friday, August 05, 2011

Chef Kevin in the Kitchen with a Lemon Zester?

I don't think so, but who knows....

If you've never been to a Murder Mystery Dinner, you've got to come to Willett's Winery & Cellar next Saturday, August 13 when Without A Net Entertainment presents Clue-less. Joel and Erica are hysterical and involve the diners in a whodunnit mystery while enjoying dinner.

Cocktail hour starts at 6:00 PM with a three course dinner starting around 6:45 PM (prepared by yours truly).

Cost is $40 per person which includes the show and dinner. Wine, beer and soda are available for additional purchase. Reservations are required so call the winery at 309-968-7070.

Its the only way you'll know if it was Chef Kevin in the Kitchen with a Lemon Zester.