Thursday, 1 December 2011

Survival Food

Sometimes you have to eat.

Sometimes you have to eat what's given to you

Whilst this trip had a rather large gastronomic focus, there was the odd ocassion when I was reliant on whatever was thrust in my general direction.

So for your reading pleasure here are a couple of survival events - and let me promise you these less than satisfying events were, fortunately, extraordinarily limited. Be amazed at my ability to save myself for more extravagent offerings.

Click through the jump to discover the least of the food like substances I experienced. 


Everyone loves to hate on aeroplane food. This is where I admit that I order the gluten free meal. It has the primary benefit of not being coated in the gluggy, thickened sauce traditional for airplane food. Also for this flight, I scored one of the Qantas half price fares for the new Sydney-Dallas route. So I flew premium economy, and although the meal comes on linen and plates, along with stainless steel cutlery, I am not sure if the dishes are that different from economy.

The first meal served was dinner:

This was a baked/roasted skinless, chicken breast with steamed/boiled beans and sweet potato mash. There is a side salad, gluten free bread (which is inedible) and little dessert which was a gluten free rhubarb cake. this was pretty good - the chicken was very simple but moist and nicely cooked.

The second meal was breakfast:

Pretty straight forward - a mushroom omelette with wilted spinach and a half cooked tomato. A side fruit cut and more of the crumbly paving material.

In PE they do not hand out the goodie bag you get in economy, but came around twice with a tray that had lindor balls and fruit on it. So I once I had balls and another time I had a mandarin.

I give this flight 1 Mr Creosote for stuffing myself silly, and 1 spoonful of sugar for delight and yumminess

Royal Pacific Resort, Universal Studios
When I finally got into Orlando it was 10pm there but for my body it was lunch time! When I arrived at RPR the only thing they had going was Jake's American Bar. The decor is supposed to be an upmarket american style / hawaiian 1940s/ 50s bar - lots of cane, swirling fans and aeroplane stuff. However it was all very 2011 with drunken young adults shouting at the each other at the bar, and a solo musician playing way too loud.

American pizzas tend to only have one or two toppings on them for some reason. Maybe so that you can actually taste and enjoy that topping. But pizza is about indulgence! And at 11pm it was about the only thing the kitchen was still willing to prepare - so pizza it was!  I made them put ALL of the toppings on it.

Whilst no-one would ever compare with the mound of toppings that was Alex Cordobes pizza (long gone Newtown institution with a pet cockatoo and an angry chef and no online photos) this was way better than I feared. Dinner plate sized, lots of fresh vegetables (onion, mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, basil, ham, pepperoni) and my favourite thin crispy base. You can have a look at the full menu and think about what you would order.

I was able to receive free WiFi in bar so until the noise and my sleepiness drove me out at about 2am, I sat there browsing the internet and munching away.

cause I ate it all

 cause it was yummier than I expected

A couple of days later I had breakfast at the RPR standard buffet. All the usual american buffet offerings were there - fruit; yoghurt; juices; bread/bagels station; pancakes/french toast; boxed cereals; oatmeal; grits; and hot buffet - link sausages, strange american bacony like things, scrambled eggs, tomato etc. They also had a chef running an omelette station - cooking omelettes and eggs to your liking. All of this pretty good quality. the omelette station was very well done and I very much enjoyed poached eggs on toast on 2 mornings.

But most impressive to me was the big bowl of berries! To a winterised, berry starved Canberran - these were heaven in a bowl! I still have never seen fresh raspberries on a breakfast buffet. I had to get as many as I could!

Behold, LHS - mixed berries - with RASPBERRIES

 how good is that?!

On the Road
I did a lot of driving on this trip - and after a couple of hours on the expressway I found it hard to stay awake. That being a tad dangerous when hurtling along at 130km/hr I would stop at whatever I could find and get either a caffeine burst or a sugar burst.

I went to a Dunkin Donuts once. They are a ubiquitous and highly publicised chain store that specialises in the mass production of sugar and fat combined, which it then cooked in fat and is then covered in sugar - and not only in doughnut form. They are currently promoting a "smokehouse sausage breakfast sandwich" (namely english muffin, sausage, fried egg, 'american' cheese slice). In between the cookies, pies, danish, sandwiches, burgers, muffins, breads, hash browns, bagels, they sell 71 different flavours of 'donuts'. 71! How could there even be demand for that many? (although not all 71 are available at the same time at the same store) I had two. and I think one was chocolate. They are doughnuts. If you've had a choc doughnut with chocolate icing, you'll know what I mean.

This crowd will do anything to a doughnut and run frequent competitions. Have a look at these competition finalists.
Is this a family-ish blog? Can I do the 'creme of sum yung guy' joke? (Source:
Blimey! Donut-o-rama!

It could be 3 Mr Creosotes depending on your ability to restrain yourself. I kept the intake down

Also on one of these trip I stopped at a Macca's. Unfortunately it was not this Macca's

Nice, santistised Macca's on border of WDW.
My Macca's was more like this one:

I was in Florida so I ordered the Southern Style Crispy (there's the fryer again) chicken sandwich meal. Sometimes I just don't think these things through. Why-o-rama would I think that the Southern Style would mean "great!". Let me ask you, gentle reader, when you think "chicken" and the US deep south - what's the first thing that comes to mind - that didn't come to me?
Bun, chicken, 3 piece of pickle - that's it. Not even a few scraps of soggy lettuce (source:
In hindsight I was lucky to get the pickle. And the fries were soggy.

I believe W. Somerset Maughan wrote that 'England is the land that food forgot'. I think that the USA is the land where food was ravaged. 

ZERO mr creosotes and ZERO spoonfuls - because it is inedible.

Let us not speak of these travesties again.

My friend at Bother to Hover has posted that the USA Archives in Washington has an exhibition called "What's Cooking Uncle Sam - how the government has affected diet". I wonder if they mention the Farm Bill? The exhibition does tell the story of how the government, through the Doughnut Corporation (yes - spelt that way) promoted donuts to improve morale and vitamin B1 intake!!

(source: National Archives USA)
The DCA produced a cookbook with classic recipes such as Donut Rarebit and Donut Prune Salad (are you salivating yet?).
The Blognut is all donuts all the time and gives you only the best in donutty news and they wish you Happy Thanksgiving with this special Thanksgiving donut.



  1. Donuts! Did you note my FB posting about going to a Dunkin Donuts in Seoul? Actually twice.

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