Thursday, April 24, 2014

Seven Days Until Hedwig and the Angry Inch - The Countdown Continues!

Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers:

If you are a regular reader of LilyOnTheLam.Com, you will know that I am counting down the days until I see my absolute favorite musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway starring Neil Patrick Harris. 

To get in the mood, I am posting "mini LilyOnTheLam" posts each day until I see the show!   Today is "Seven Days left."  

Today's countdown clip is a Korean cover band doing "Tear Me Down" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  I dedicate this in honor of my friend Ms. B who with a Korean friend are learning Vietnamese.

Click here for the clip!  

The Seven Year Quest Satisfied

Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers:

In March, I went to Los Angeles, California to attend three of the events at Paley Fest.  Once upon a time, I lived in Hollywood, California.  For this trip, I rented a studio apartment through that was three buildings down from my former apartment.  It was in the historic Nirvana building on Orange Drive, across the street from the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Complex and the home of the Oscars, the Dolby Theater.

While I have flown through LAX - Los Angeles airport several times in the last couple years on my way to Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan; I haven't been in the city itself in seven long years.  

The last time I visited Los Angeles, we booked a retired gentleman turned chauffeur named Jerry and his limo for the day.  He drove us from Hollywood to the Los Olivos wine country.  We "limo-ed" to like eight or more wineries (the day all blurs together after so much wine). We loaded up that limo with all sorts of mad, drunken purchases.  (Trust me, buying a coonskin cap for a wine bottle from the Fess Parker Winery sounds like a brilliant idea when you are inebriated!  Buy yours online by clicking this link!)

When we finally arrived back at our hotel after about 12 hours, we did a pratfall out of the limo like Edina and Patsy from "Absolutely Fabulous."  The bellman basically loaded us and all of our shopping bags (like 30!) onto a cart and wheeled us inside.  I am ever grateful to the kindness of strangers in uniforms.  

(Side Note:  Check out this hysterical YouTube clip video of many drunken antics scenes from "Absolutely Fabulous.")

When I moved from Los Angeles, my last meal was a spicy Polish dog with coleslaw from the iconic Pink's Hot Dogs on La Brea Avenue at Melrose Avenue.  One of my male friends must have turned me on to this particular flavor combination, because I definitely would not have picked it on my own.  Cole slaw on a hot dog?  I mean, seriously!

But trust me - it works.  The fiery heat of the spicy Polish sausage with the cool, creaminess of the coleslaw.  It is my FAVORITE menu item from Pink's.

When I returned to Los Angeles seven years ago, I dragged my friend to Pinks and forced her to eat a spicy Polish dog with coleslaw.  She was skeptical but she loved it just as much as I did.

Then a few years after that visit, I was in Las Vegas.  I became very excited to see that there was a Pink's Hot Dogs at Planet Hollywood.  I stood in a very long line.  It didn't have the same street-savvy feel as standing in the massive Los Angeles Pink's lines, but a line is still a line.  When I finally reached the register to order, I was very angry to find that Pink's only had hot dogs and not the Polish sausage.  I felt cheated!  A regular Hoffy's brand hot dog (that Pink's sells) with coleslaw is just not the same!

Side Note:  The Pink's Las Vegas menu now says it has "Polish sausage" but not "spicy Polish sausage."  I'll be headed to Vegas soon, so I may have to stop at Pink's to see what the story is.

Needless to say, since it had been seven years since I had a proper Pink's spicy sausage with coleslaw; I was definitely going to Pink's as soon as I arrived in Los Angeles.  I hate to admit this, but I have dreamed about this spicy dog!  (Hello, my name is Lily and I am a food addict!)

As soon as my plane landed at LAX, I grabbed my bags, rented a scarily shaky Ford Fiesta (hey, I'm not made of money!) and high-tailed it to Pink's.  OK actually I went to check-in and the sublet first.  Then I walked from the sublet to Pink's (3 miles roundtrip) because I knew I was going to be ingesting a lot of calories!

Even at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday, there was a big old long line.  I settled in, went to my "Happy Place" mentally and about 25 minutes later I was at the front of the line.

I was almost giddy as I placed my order - "Spicy Polish Dog with Coleslaw, por favor!"  To make things even calorically worse, I ordered French Fries (even though I hate seasoned French Fries) … with cosmic orange nacho cheese (to drown out the seasoned taste)!  Oh and a diet Coke … because I'm "eating healthy."

Pink's has indoor and outdoor seating.  It was unseasonably warm in Los Angeles while I was visiting, so I chose an open table indoors.  The walls are covered with head shots of famous actors, singers, athletes and local celebrities.  Next to my table was a picture of the singer P!nk, which I thought was pretty appropriate.

I grabbed 12,000 napkins and was ready to begin the meal that would end my seven year quest for spicy dog perfection.

It was everything I remembered and more!  It was so delicious!  But so much food!  I couldn't even finish the spicy Polish dog and barely made a dent in the French fries.  How did I used to be able to inhale these?  Oh youth!

I also had to come to terms with a sad fact, sitting under the picture of P!nk in front of my Pink's dog.  I think I have gotten too old for the spicy Polish dog.  It was blisteringly hot and spicy with a red inside speckled with peppers.  What happened to the iron clad stomach of my youth?  Was I too old for a spicy dog?  Would I have to (gasp!) start ordering regular Polish dogs with coleslaw?  Ohhh the bloom is off my rose!  I'm old!  What's next?  A walker with tennis balls on it?

About halfway through the dog, I was forcing myself to eat more.  I think I was trying to prove I could still handle it.  I finally gave up with about 1/4 left.  My stomach was gurgle-y the rest of the day wondering what the hell I had done to it!

I'm still glad Pink's Hot Dogs was my first stop.  It really is a Los Angeles icon that every stomach should visit at least once.  I don't know when I will be back to Los Angeles, but I can tell you that when I do I will be back at Pink's.  However I am not sure whether I will be getting the spicy or regular.  Growing old sucks!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Eight Days Until Hedwig and the Angry Inch - The Countdown Continues!

Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers:

I am counting down the days until I see my absolute favorite musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway starring Neil Patrick Harris.  

To get in the mood, I am posting "mini LilyOnTheLam" posts each day until I see the show!

Today's countdown clip is Richard Barth from the traveling production of "Les Miserables" singing the classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch song "Wig In A Box."


New Product Wednesdays: Desserts On A Diet: Trader Joe's Hold The Cone Mini Chocolate Ice Cream Cones

Happy New Product Wednesday, LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers:

I wrote this blog post and then gremlins came along and somehow deleted it before I could publish it.  Needless to say the previous post was the most amazing thing I have ever written.  It was my "War and Peace" and now it is gone.

What?  You question how a product review on a mini ice cream cone could be the definitive literary gem of the millennia?  Puh-lease!  Drop your skepticism and embrace the reality!

My masterpiece is now gone - lost to the ether.  And we are all a little less beautiful due to its passing.  Sigh.

I can't even try to recreate the post - it would be a futile attempt.  It is a cruel, cruel world!

OK … enough tears … back to the subject matter at hand:

Hopefully you are a regular reader who knows that on select Wednesdays, I post "New Product Wednesdays" product reviews on items that are new or at least new to me.

Today's New Product Wednesday is another Trader Joe's review, in honor of the new South Tampa Trader Joe's that opened in March 2014.

It is the Trader Joe's "Hold The Cone!" (love a good pun) Mini Chocolate Ice Cream Cone.  

These little babies are 70 calories each and eight to a box.  Meaning that you could eat the entire box and still be at about the same calories as eating half a pint of Ben and Jerry's gourmet ice cream.

For a sugar addict like me, having lower calorie options for when my cravings hit is a very good thing.  But how do they taste?

The chocolate coating and the crunchy cone are delicious and reminiscent of higher calorie ice cream cone novelties.  The chocolate ice cream however tastes more like an inexpensive version of a frozen milk chocolate mousse versus a rich ice cream.  It's not bad, it just doesn't taste exactly like ice cream.

However for 70 calories each, these mini cones are a tasty treat that won't blow your caloric intake for the day.  Plus you feel like a giant holding a tiny cone which I guess is a positive if you're into that sort of thing.

I would definitely purchase these again.  They made me feel like I was having a higher calorie treat but I didn't hate myself in the morning for eating one (or two).

What's your favorite Trader Joe's dessert?  Let us know in the comments section below!
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