I did get one question about the Macaroni and Cheese Off I hosted on Sunday, but otherwise, it was just a few friends. A friend of Ali's who I see around once in a while is a great local chef; every year I've mentioned having some kind of best mac-and-cheese contest with him during the winter. And every year, January, February, and March slip by before I remember to organize it. I finally got to it this year in February … just before it ended.
We had four entries including my own. Every one was significantly different: mine was a pretty by-the-book cheddar/parmesan baked number, our chef friend brought one with prosciutto, another included condensed milk, and the final entry was chilled like macaroni salad. Amusingly enough, everyone picked different shaped pasta, too. We also had a couple people bring vegetables to counteract the starch/fat/salt wonderland. As it turned out, prosciutto (and expert cooking, presumably) wins but nothing loses.
Ali and Christina each made a dish for the "Ramen-Off" at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) I tagged along although I didn't make anything — but, heck, a tasting and a couple beers was just a few bucks. All the dishes were surprisingly creative, although most were based on substituting ramen noodles for other kinds of pasta. Nonetheless, the Thai-peanut dish that Jeff brought was the crowd favorite among the 14 entries. Judges, however, chose Ali's "Lucky Sombreros": baked spicy ramen wafers topped with chicken, guacamole, and sour cream (not that Ali's weren't popular: her dish was the first to be emptied). So congratulations, Ali and Jeff! We'll look forward to next year's competition.
I had been working on a pig-head mask for quite a while, anticipating using it for a movie and for Halloween. Well, as Halloween approached, I buckled down and finished it. Since Ali and I were going to head to my cousin's wedding on Halloween night, I took the opportunity to join the Night of the Living Wedge Halloween Pub Crawl so I'd have a chance to show it off. I started a little late, so I decided to catch up with the crawl at Solera Wine Bar (647 South Ave.)
From there, we hitLux Lounge (666 South Ave.), The Tap and Mallet (381 Gregory St.), and The Keg (315 Gregory St., behind German House where Rohrbach's used to be) before finishing at Caverly's Pub (741 South Ave., formerly Genesee Co-op Credit Union). I was receiving great praise for my costume — partly because I had clarified what I was trying to be with the addition of some hospital-style scrubs and a "Hello, my name is" tag reading only "H1N1" … plus, the eyes would heartbeat-blink red, and I could hit a button so they'd brighten to a blaring blue-white. As it turned out, I won the darn costume contest. I spread around some holiday cheer, favoring a couple homemade costumes before heading home to pass out.
The MEETinROCHESTER organizer snapped a picture that I'll unabashedly use here:
I just got a call from someone claiming they were from Comix Café (3450 Winton Pl.) saying I won tickets to an upcoming show in a contest. I've heard stories about the place — like that they ban comics who perform at other local venues or that they have an excessive table minimum. I asked how I got into the contest, since I don't remember signing up for anything in at least a few years. The person on the phone said I was "on a list". She tried to hard-sell me "free" tickets to an upcoming performance. I asked, "is there a drink minimum or anything like that?" and she said there was: six dollars per person!