The Tortoise and The Bear!

Follow us on our mostly frustrating adventures

Phone Drama, AKA T-mobile is terrible September 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — PP! @ 9:26 pm
Tags: ,

Some of you may know this, but I am really into trying lots of different phone options (apparently). In the past I had dabbled in various phones and plans, but for the past year I had been with Sprint. I was super happy with it, except that I was paying nearly $80/mo, even with my work discount. I had done prepaid before and knew of its wonders, but for some reason signed a Sprint contract anyway… still not sure why. 

Another thing you may know about me, is that I just like to do things once I get the idea in my head. One day I decided I wanted to switch back over to a pre-paid world… so I did. But where to go and what phone to get?

After a lot of research, I decided on the Google Galaxy Nexus on the ‘secret’ T-mobile 100 minutes and 5GB of 4G data a month. From day 1, I had a bunch of problems with T-mobile, which is why I am in the process of running away from them very, very quickly. 

We only have one T-mobile store in the area and it is an authorized dealer, which should have thrown up red  flags. I went to this store (never, ever go there.) and bought what I thought I needed to get my phone working on T-mobile (I had purchased a phone straight from Google). I ended up paying $35+ for this SIM card (they are $.99 from T-mobile), but I wanted it THAT DAY because I wanted to start using my phone THAT DAY, so it was worth it. Turns out, the owner of the store did not sell me what I needed and I ended up buying 2 SIM cards from T-mobile and had them shipped to me. Although I was assured from various reps from T-mobile that I should be able to get a refund for the $35+ SIM card from this store, the owner refused and said that wasn’t T-mobile policy. I tried to go up the chain of command at T-mobile to see what the official policy was, from someone official, but have had no luck. I am in the process of a charge back for that $35+, wish me luck!

Okay, so I got my phone working and the coverage is okay and the 4G is actually super fast and nice! I was told it could take up to 48 hours to port my number from Sprint to E-mobile, but it ended up taking MORE THAN A WEEK. That means I was carrying around 2 phones, my new phone with a temp number and my old phone with my real number. I had to carry them both around, because I had no idea when the number would port. After many hours on the phone with customer support (and being told things ranging from ‘it will port in 36 hours’ to ‘we have no idea how long it will take’), my number finally ported. FINALLY. 

Then, T-mobile would not text me the temp password I need to log into the ‘my t-mobile’ section of the site. After another several hours on the phone and chat with tech support, this issue is still not resolved and I am still waiting to be able to complete basic tasks, such as seeing how many minutes I have left, adding more money to my account, etc. 

Enough is enough and I am moving back to Straight Talk (who I was using before Sprint), using one of their unlocked SIM cards in my Galaxy Nexus. I am just so sick and tired of T-mobile and their terrible, terrible customer/tech support. I wish I could recommend T-mobile to you, as their 4G data is really fast and amazing, but I can’t.

In additional news, not related to T-mobile, I am having to send off my new phone to repair a known issue with the phone not charging. That’s going to take 1.5+ weeks. Sigh, I just want to have a phone that work. Samsung, this is a known issue, why am I having to deal with this on a phone that is more than a year old?

 

Lemongrass Asian Bistro September 1, 2012

Filed under: restaurant review — PP! @ 12:14 am

Bear (Jeremy!), Asa and I (Penelope!) went to Lemongrass Asian Bistro tonight. If you wern’t looking for it, you probably would not ever see this place, but its on 4629 E. McCain Blvd, out past that walmart. They also have a Blue Coast Burrito next door which I am super excited about…. maybe that will be our next update in a year.

Also, let me say that it’s been so long since I have updated TaTB! Sorry

Anyway, we went to Lemongrass Asian Bistro and it was a nice experience. The L in lemongrass was actually a lemongrass, that’s cute! ImageThe outside of the place is very new and stripmall feeling. I mean, it is new and is in a stripmall, so that probably has something to do with it. The first thing I noticed when sitting down was that they have real flowers/plants at the table!

ImageJeremy can be seen here posing with the beautiful foliage. It would have been nice if the plants at the table were lemongrass, or… kaffir lime leaves, or something. But this will do.

The menu seemed to have a bunch of things to offer, although was lacking in a specifically vegetarian section, which is something I expect at a place like this. You can get a lot of things tofued here, so I didn’t have any problems. Between the three of us (one vegan, one avoiding carbs and one avoiding nuts (and other things!), we all found something tasty.

ImageJeremy ordered the papaya salad and I got summer rolls. Jeremy says the salad was amazing and kept saying something about the 3 shrimp on top not contaminating the entire thing. I believed him and took a tiny bite and it just tasted like shrimp, which I believe is why it tasted good. I think Asa agreed? ImageI got the red curry with tofu. The waitress was maybe not having the best night and seemed to be a little bit out of it and my food got spilled on the way to the table. I didn’t care, but of course it made the picture look terrible. Overall the red curry was good, but didn’t come close to Saigon over in West Little Rock. The curry suspiciously to the exact red curry paste you can buy at Sams Oriental. I mean, I love that curry paste… but I can also make it at home. I also have to question the choice to put zucchini in this dish. Let’s be real here, has zucchini ever helped anything? Can we stop putting it into things casually, please?

Image

Asa’s Spicy Basil certainly looks more interesting than my food did. I had a bite of the tofu and it had a very basily flavor that I usually don’t get at other places. Asa says “The basil sauce was tasty and all, but if i’m gonna get in a car and drive a ways to eat vietnamese food, i’m going to go to Saigon.” Asa and I both made the comment that we wanted to be able to take left overs home, but the portions were not nearly big enough for that… like they are at Saigon.

ImageJeremy got tiger prawns (wait, did I make up the tiger part?) and seemed to like them. I was excited, for him, about the strawberries he got to eat during his meal. I didn’t ask about those specifically, but Jeremy is a know berry prude, so I imagine he would have said something if they were subpar. I imagine his food tasted seafoody… and that’s all I know. This blog isn’t very helpful, is it?

Thats it! That was our trip to Lemongrass Asian Bistro! Overall, it was okay, but certainly no Saigon. If you are in the area, you should go! But, don’t drive the 12 minutes we did to go there specifically. I did get Nugget new food at the pet food store and he seems to like it very much, for those of you who care.

 

This and that April 11, 2012

Filed under: Food — PP! @ 9:52 pm

Okay, so I am 25. When I am to get over this grease faced little kid thing? I mean really, do I really have to deal with this my entire life? Granted, I don’t get terrible zits ~*too*~ often, I have made it a habit to wash my face twice a day, ALWAYS. But it would be nice to not constantly have an oil slick on the top of my nose, always. You know?

Rumors are that Seoul closed down. I am not sure how to feel about that. I mean, I really want to feel bad, I really do. But… they just made it too hard. Sorry!

 

If you have no soul, go to Seoul! February 7, 2012

First off, let me start this with saying, never ever go to Seoul. The owner is a complete jerk and the food is not worth the price.

How exciting. As of a few minutes ago, I can say that I have had the worst restaurant experience EVER. Here in the little town of Little Rock, Arkansas! Jeremy and I decided to go to Seoul, for the second time. Seoul is a Korean restaurant found at 5923 Kavanaugh Boulevard. The first time I had a similar awful food experience, however I just sucked it up and attempted to choke down the food I was served. But let’s not talk about that, lets talk about our most recent visit!

In the beginning, our visit to Seoul was pleasant. The atmosphere of the restaurant is pleasant and our waitress was very nice. I ordered a black tea and water, Jeremy got a diet coke (because that is all he drinks). For teabag tea, my hot black tea was actually really good. Jeremy said his diet coke was “average”.

Then we ordered! Jeremy got a beef bulgogi and I got a tofu bibimbap, egg rolls, avocado roll, asparagus roll and a house salad (we split much of this). (Jeremy: I went to the bathroom, because that’s what I do. It was a single-serve bathroom, but for some reason had two chairs next to the inconvenient toilet paper roll. I guess that was an invitation to use the chairs instead of the toilet, but unfortunately I was only in there to wash my hands. Speaking of which, there was NO HOT WATER in the bathroom, a major restaurant pet peeve of mine.)


First out was the salad, which was okay. The greens themselves were amazing looking, but the dressing is that kind of ginger dressing that I hate so much. You know, the kind that just seems like it is ginger pulp? I much prefer the ginger dressing found at Igibon, but I won’t hold that against Seoul. (Jeremy: creamy dressing FTW, of course)

Then, came the egg rolls! The egg rolls were amazing (I think, Jeremy had to add soy to his). The dipping sauce was spicy, acidic and had a really nice bite to it, these are all things I love. The egg rolls were satisfyingly crunchy and the insides were tasty and for me, very tasty. I ended up drinking some of the sauce and it was. so. good. Good job Seoul!

Then, our sushi came! The sushi was beautiful and overall very good. The avocado roll didn’t have crunchy avocado, which sometimes happens and it makes me want to vomit. This avocado was deliciously ripe and their was just enough cucumber to help make it not too mushy feeling in your mouth. The asparagus roll had a delicious crunchy outside, but the inside was just a little too mushy for me. It wasn’t bad, necessarily, but I did think it could have used about a minute less cooking time. Overall, great though!

But then… it all went terribly downhill. Our main dishes came out and instantly I could tell that I was about to experience the same mushy, bland, awful bibimbap that I had had last time. Please, please be wrong I said to myself. Please, maybe a swarm of bugs will fly over the food, die instantly and fall into the bowl, this giving SOME SORT OF TASTE to the entire trainwreck of a bowl of food.

But, that didn’t happen.

Let me explain to you what you are looking at. On the bottom, you have a layer of plain white rice. To the side, you have plain lettuce. You also have cooked, mushy plain zucchini, some sort of very, very lightly sauced noodles and then possibly sprouts as well. On top of all of this, is plain silken tofu. LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN. ON THE TOP OF ALL OF THIS MUSHY, BLAND DEAD PUPPY OF A DISASTER MESS, IS UNSEASONED, UNCOOKED SILKEN TOFU. WHAT. WHAT WHAT WHAT!

But yes, I did try it. I tried exactly one bite of tofu and wanted to die, Jeremy had a similar experience. I verified that the zucchini and rice were also unseasoned and flavorless. We also tried the side of sauce that came with this disaster, it was gritty and tasted like it was just chili powder mixed together with water to make a paste. Actually, Jeremy pointed out it tasted just like the red pepper powder you use to make kimchi. Maybe it was? It also came with a side of kimchi, which I did not eat due to the fish paste used to make it. (Jeremy: we actually had to press the waitress for this information. She assured us it was just cabbage. “No fish?” “No fish.” “No dried shrimp?” “No dried shrimp.” “No fish sauce?” “Oh, well yes it’s made with fish sauce.”)

(Jeremy: Mine was actually fine, but not amazing. On this plate is the salad, which was the same as Penelope’s; kimchi that wasn’t terribly spicy or tart; beef that was very tender, probably the best thing on the plate; two different fried meat-filled doughs that seemed dry but edible; edamame that were very crunchy but also tasty; and some nondescript fried rice, which had some sesame seeds on top that were a nice touch.)

So this time, I was not going to let them trick me into buying this disaster of a meal. I took 2 bites and stopped eating until the waitress came back. I told her I was not happy with this and it was too bland. She told me I should put the sauce on it. No, I will not do that. A) the sauce was AWFUL, B) you really think it is okay to serve flavorless food and make the customer flavor it themselves? What exactly is the chef doing then? Cooking rice, chopping up lettuce and opening a pack of tofu?

She recommended the beef bibimbap and I let her know I don’t do meat. She understood and took the dish away. I finished my salad (which I was sad I had to do) and Jeremy finished his beef bulgogi and I told him I was pretty sure my bibimbap would be on my ticket and it would be awkward.

Well, it was on my ticket. I put my card in with the ticket and Jeremy paid with cash. When the waitress came and took my card, I told her that she made a mistake and my bibimpap got put on my ticket. At this point my card was still with my ticket, because I thought she would fix it. But no, she told me the owner said that I needed to pay for it. When she said that, I was certain to take back my card before she could run it and let her know I wanted to talk to the manager or owner.

The owner came to our table and wanted to know what was wrong. I told him that the food was bland and I was not happy with it, so I sent it back. I told him I did not expect to pay for it. He said that I ordered it, so I had to pay. He also explained to me that I just needed to put the sauce on it. WHAT IS UP WITH THESE PEOPLE AND THIS FUCKING SAUCE?! IT WASN’T A SAUCE MADE OUT OF ANGEL TEARS, IT COULD FIX NOTHING. We went back and forth a bit and eventually he made it very clear he would not take the bibimbap off my ticket. I let him know that if this was the case, I would never come back and I would tell my friends to never come back, either. He assured me that he didn’t want me back, or any of my friends.

I put a 5$ on the table, let him know that was for the tip and I would not be paying. Jeremy and I walked out the door.

We got to our car and it turns out the owner had followed us to the car. He stood behind the car and said “So you are not going to pay?”, I told him I would pay for everything except for the bibimbap, which was awful. We went back and forth for a bit more and eventually he said he would take it off my ticket. I walked with him back to the store (the whole way, him telling me how much he never wanted me to come back and hopes none of my friends do, either). I ended up paying for everything but the bibimbap, which is EXACTLY what should have happened from the very beginning.

I ask you, my dear reader. What would you expect? If you didn’t eat your food because it was disgusting, could you imagine ANY situation where it would be okay for the owner to insist you to pay for it? I can’t picture a single situation where that would be okay.

So there you have it. Never, ever go to Seoul. Unless it is to tell the owner that you are my friend and you know that you are not wanted there.

Love,

Penelope

Seoul on Urbanspoon

 

Curry In a Hurry! January 6, 2012

Jeremy and I have been talking about this FOREVER (and I have the photos in my phone to prove it), but I am about to do our first restaurant review!

Curry In a Hurry is a somewhat new adorable little Indian restaurant that has opened up at 1800 Pike Ave, NLR. At first sight I was really excited, because it looks like to be a building re-purposed for a restaurant. As we all know, I love places like this, especially if they used to be gas stations. This place does not look like an old gas station, but we can’t hold that against them.

As a side note, this place is right by the Timex outlet store. I bet you didn’t know we had one of those, did you? It’s a wonderland of tacky watches, go have a look, will ya?

I am not going to pretend that I was not comparing this place to Star of India the whole time. In fact, you will see that in this very review, I directly compare it to SoI… which is easily the best in the area.

I hope you can click this to make it bigger

Curry In a Hurry has 2 tables, one out in the open and one in a tiny little room behind a curtain. We sat in the curtained room and it was like being in a little fort, a big plus! After giggling quite a bit about where we were sitting, Jeremy ordered a mango lassie and I got a water.

Jeremy enjoying the fort.

My water was just perfect! It had that amazing little ice that I love so much. Jeremy’s mango lassie didn’t have any ice, which made me want to die looking at. I don’t know why, but drinks without ice disgust me. I think it’s from all my Waffle House visits where I learned that ice helps hide things floating in your drink, so you ALWAYS get ice. ALWAYS. Anyway, Jeremy seemed to be pleased with his beverage (Jeremy is known to be an easy please, though).

After our drinks we sat around and chatted a bit and an order of colored, fried-puffed-rice-wheels appeared. They were amazing, but I certainly could have done without the color.

Yes, some are blue.

We ordered at some point. I don’t remember when, it might have been before the puffed-rice-wheels. I got an order of vegetable somosas and the aloo gobi. Jeremy got the moong vada and vegetable curry.

Our pre-meal snack that starts with an A and that I could never even attempt to spell came!

Samosas!

Moong vada

Here is where it gets fun! These two things completely fucking blew Star of India out of the water. The samosas were coated in this cumin, salt and something zesty powder that I was sure to lick off the plate. The wrapper has a very satisfying crunch and the filling actually had flavor (You hear that SoI? FLAVOR INSIDE. That’s where the flavor goes.). The moong vada had the same powder on it and was also satisfyingly crunchy. After I ate a few, I realized that these are essentially hush puppy batter with some veggies inside of it, which is totally fine with me. Please get these. The dipping sauce was also good (probably came from a bottle) and was sweeter than regular BBQ sauce.

So far, all has been well! Maybe this place will be a winner!

Main meal (word starts with an e, but I won’t try to spell it)

Garlic naan

Our food came! First, lets discuss the garlic naan. I have never had garlic naan that actually had much of a garlic flavor to it (usually its just like, a garlic smell.), but this naan was amazingly garlicky. It was slightly doughie, which I enjoy, but I know Jeremy likes things to be crunchy, so I am not sure how he feels. The garlic naan stomped Star of India’s by far.

But then we ate the food. I mean, it wasn’t… bad, really. But maybe to understand my dissappointment, you should understand my love for Star of India.

Star of India is the kind of food where if my to-go box flew out the window on the freeway, I would stop the car, get out in moving traffic and lick the food off the pavement. Death would be okay, because my last meal would have been Star of India. I would do a whole, whole lot of bad things for a card that let me eat at Star of India for free for a year.

Anyway, Curry In a Hurry’s main meal could not touch Star of India, at all. I wanted it to have a lot more sauce and more… Indian flavor. I mean, CIaH was okay, but certainly something that I would not get out in moving traffic for. In fact, if I got as far as my car and left my to-go box, it probably would not be worth my energy to go back in and get it. Maybe their meaty things are better. Maybe the meaty things have lots of amazing Indian juices to soak the rice and make the experience memorable. But, it did not.

So let’s recap. Curry In a Hurry is pretty good. Actually, everything but the main meal was amazing. I would recommend getting pre-meal snacks at Curry In a Hurry and then driving over to Star of India for the main meal. It should only take you about 15 minutes to make the trip, but you can decide.

I assume we will go back to Curry In a Hurry. We need to take The Sarita’s, they would like it a lot I think. Especially the funny room.

 

Vegan lemon cupcakes with lemon “buttercream” October 2, 2011

Filed under: Food,Jeremy Post,New Projects! — Jeremy! @ 8:01 pm
Tags: , , ,

Per my promise late last night, and because I’m very good at getting amped up about projects only to abandon them soon after, here’s a recipe! Penelope and I decided to start writing about food on here more, because that’s basically all that happens in our lives.

Also, as an additional bonus, I was going to add some Amazon Affiliate links to this page, but apparently, Arkansas residents aren’t eligible for the program. You’ll have to click the links that I put down there, buy things for your own personal gratification, and know that I’m not getting a dime for it.

Anyway, I finally managed to make a vegan cupcake which has a satisfying texture. The recipe is adapted from a website that adapted it from the book  Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

  • 2 cups soymilk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch (~1/2 tsp) salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • zest of 4 lemons

Preheat oven to 350 and put cute cupcake liners in the pan (prettier the better). Mix the soymilk and vinegar together and set aside while you get the rest of the ingredients ready; this is going to curdle like faux buttermilk. Assemble everything but the lemon zest via the muffin method: mix the wet ingredients (remember, sugar is a wet ingredient!) together, sift all of the dry ingredients together, then pour wet over dry and mix just until all the big lumps are gone. The less mixing, the better, less gluten, etc. Then stir in the lemon zest, fill the cups 2/3rd-3/4th full and bake for 18-20 minutes, using the toothpick test as necessary. The original recipe said 20-22 minutes, but my uneven oven had one pan done in 18 and the other needed a full 5 minutes extra. Just keep an eye on them.

Remove the pans to cool – when they are completely cool, here’s the frosting:

  • 1 lb box confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (check the ingredients; the Crisco I found didn’t have any animal products, just terrible chemicals)
  • Juice and zest from 2 lemons (about 4 tablespoons worth of juice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • Soymilk, if necessary

Beat the shortening until fluffy or hopelessly smeared all about the bowl. Add powdered sugar, extracts, zest and about half of the juice and try to mix into a vaguely homogenous paste. Add the rest of the lemon juice little by little and beat until it’s the texture that you want. The frosting assumes that you have a stand or hand mixer, if not, you’re on your own. Frost, and delicately sprinkle some lemon zest over the top if you’re feeling fancy.

Notes: using cake flour and sifting actually make a big difference in this recipe – having made it with all-purpose and cake flour, this way comes out much lighter and airier. And second, I don’t know how y’all are zesting lemons, but here in the 21st century, we use any one of a plethora of Microplane graters… I’d provide Amazon links, but the work computers don’t like Amazon today. The coolest one is the box grater, it’s kind of a pain in the ass to clean; there’s a large handheld model, and a seemingly uselessly small handheld model. Any of them will be infinitely easier than dealing with a regular box grater for this kind of thing, though.

Hooray! I wrote a food-related post! In the future, I’ll have to remember to not upload iPhone pictures at an angle that’s vomit-inducing.

 

Fuck y’all, I’m gonna become famous

Filed under: Boring Topic,Jeremy Post — Jeremy! @ 12:48 am
Tags: , , ,

I’ve finally figured it out, I just don’t know why it hasn’t worked. All I need to do is turn this into a cooking blog, either adopt or create some bullshit, completely disingenuous theory about nutrition or cooking methods, then post about it daily until you either die of boredom or want to burn my house down with me in it.

 

If you can’t tell, I’m trying to wade through a backlog of a cooking blog that has the occasional interesting recipe/article about every tenth one, and the rest are just terrible. Fetid, even. The guy is such a tool, he’s even written two books about his toolery! One of them is $36.95, or  you can get the e-book for TWENTY-SIX FUCKING DOLLARS AND 95 CENTS! I am certain that if I wrote a cookbook, I could sell at least a dozen copies at $15-20 each. Who wants to pre-order?

 

 
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