Monday, February 25, 2008

My girlfriend loves you more than me, but otherwise it was a good weekend

Much to discuss. First, allow me to backtrack on my scorn for the Academy Awards, which I've peppered liberally in the comments of a few of your blogs. It has occurred to me, after having seen the preponderance of films that didn't sell many tickets making up the ranks of the nominated (with a few exceptions), that the whole Oscar fiasco is really much-needed attention for more artistic filmmaking. The big winner last night, No Country For Old Men, received buzz from the moment of its release not just because it was a good movie (or so we're told), but also because it was right in the wheelhouse of everybody's favorite award ceremony. I know more people who saw Transformers (a steaming pile of shit) than No Country, but because of the Oscars, we kept hearing about the latter for six months leading up to last night's coronation. Recognizing movies for their artistic merit rather than just their profitability is a good thing, but then I'm a crackpot liberal who believes in supporting the arts for stupid reasons like "just because I like them."

Next. If you live in Knoxville and are looking for an affordable and delicious breakfast, go to Market Square Kitchen or Waffle House. Only check out the Sunday brunch at Bridgeview Grill if you think $80 for four people to graze a breakfast buffet is a good deal. Sure, the food was good, but it's freakin' breakfast. It's supposed to be the cheapest meal of the day. Sticker shock.

Also, Chandler's Deli (thanks to Em at the Wigshop for the recommendation) is the real thing. Actually, it's not a real deli at all (not a bagel or cold cut in sight), but if you're looking for soul food in Knoxville, you've found it. I had the pulled pork sandwich, mac and cheese and sweet potato casserole, and all three were the best I've had in quite some time. Cheap, too.

Another also, finally made it to King Tut Grill. For those not from Knox, picture the absolute last place you would think of stopping to eat, and that's King Tut. Tiny cinder-block shack with peeling paint and almost no windows in a backwater part of town. And what the hell is Egyptian food and why would you want to find it in Tennessee? I'm still not sure about either question, but the place was interesting. I was actually disappointed in the food, but I did enjoy the cluttered Sanford and Son ambience of the place. It may be exactly what dining in Cairo is like, for all I know. It's definitely unlike any restaurant I've ever been to.

Enough with the Knox-centric business. My parents were visiting us this weekend, which explains all the adventurous dining. We knocked two places off my list of restaurants I'd been wanting to get to and also introduced the folks to Wii, so it was a productive couple of days. And Wii we did. Once our right arms were about to fall off, Courtney and I created bizarro Miis and played everything left-handed, the result being that now we each have a case of double Wii-arm. The really bad news is that I'm looking forward to going home and playing some more. The dark side is tightening its evil grip on me, the bastards. Who am I?

No, I haven't forgotten about all those great suggestions I received on Friday and plan to tackle some of them with little regard for my own health, safety, or sanity. Just had to get some weekend notes out of the way first. Thank you for reading.


The Dutchess of Kickball said...

I really should just look at google maps, but is Knoxville anywhere near the Bannaroo site? I'll be heading down that way and should check out some of these interesting eating establishments if they are close!

Courtney said...

Sorry I ignored you last night. I was busy! But now I feel bad.

That was some interesting eating we did this weekend.

nancypearlwannabe said...

I want to eat at the King Tut Grill just because I like the name. It's all, "What? You think King Tut DIDN'T eat here in Tennessee? Because he SO DID."

Also, we just rented Mario v. Sonic Olympic Games for the Wii and I only played for about two minutes, but it seems way fun.

em said...

Yay for Chandlers! I STILL have not been to King Tut's. It's kind of embarrassing. I really need to go.

I like when parents visit. When my parents come, we do a lot of eating too.

Chris said...

I had the same thought last night while watching the Oscars -- re: them promoting artistic films.

In a way I wonder whether the number of high-quality, artistic films would drop off dramatically if all the award shows went away.

In other words, would our best hope for the summer movie season be Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde 9: Now She's a Divorced Country Music Singer with a Harvard Law Degree"?

Anonymous said...

your welcome.


Mickey said...

dutchess- Knoxville is a couple of hours from Bonnaroo, but it's on the way if you're coming from New York!

courtney- Yup, we were all over the gatronomical map.

npw- I'd actually like to give King Tut another shot, but this time with a six-pack in hand and a little later in the evening when Mo, the proprietor, cranks up the karaoke and brings out his crazy props.

em- My feelings on King Tut are kind of mixed, probably because I'd built it up so much in my mind. See above.

chris- That's how I'm feeling: The Academy is actually the defender of film as art, despite the occasional slip-up. I'm sure that's their intention.

hightower- A two-word comment, and you only got one of them right. Classic.

Allie said...

Thank you for being a crackpot liberal and supporting the arts. You are awesome.

Noelle said...

Wow, I've never thought about Egyptian food. Or Knoxvillian food for that matter.

Jacob said...

I wonder how much the Egyptian is like the Ethiopian I've had a few times. One of the more entertaining dining experiences, foods not bad, a little spicey, and you eat with your hands.

That's the only reason I care about the Oscars. The movies I really like are usually featured there. Sometimes you get the Titanics coming through, but usually it's like this year.

And Chris, the summer movies would stay the same. The summer is all comedies (which can be good or not) action films (that usually suck) and romantic comedies (that are formulaic, but can be watchable at times). The movies with Oscar aspirations are usually released as late as possible so they're still fresh in the memory of voters when the ballots go out. I've got a feeling there'd be a few films still released because there are some idealists in the industry who would want to have some true creative outlet, but I don't think the incentive would be there so most wouldn't ever leave the script stage. Studios use these movies to brag and the summer films to pay for these films.

sid said...

Okay so I couldn't finda an email address on your profile. I'm so glad you're willing to be a guest writer on my blog. Do you think you could write something (that doesn't amount to hate mail) by Sunday and then email it to me?

Mickey said...

allie- You're welcome.

noelle- I hadn't either. Turns out Knoxville has an unusually high number of restaurants and some of them are actually good.

jacob- The food at King Tut was basically Mediterranean- hummus, stuffed grape leaves, baba ganoush, all served with pita wedges. I like movies, too.

sid- I keep meaning to set up a blog e-mail address. I'm guessing you have one listed on your blog. I'll definitely send you something stripped of all my usual hateful ranting by Sunday.

survivingmyself said...

the fact that you have "Rad" listed as one of your favorite movies automatically gets you on my blog roll.


Kiala said...

Do you know who I want to take into an alley and hit in the face with a pillow stuffed with glass?

Diablo Cody.

(Please don't sue me internet, I have no money.)

Mickey said...

survivingmyself- Well dang. You should have read my Rad-centric post a couple months ago.

kiala- Good thing Diablo Cody isn't my mom or I might take offense. Is your aggression personal or a result of Ms. Cody's output as a writer? Either way, this was an interesting first contact.

ck said...

the menu at tut's is hit or miss. the greek salad is addictive, though. you should go back and try something else. weird sounding stuff is usually the best. and their turkish coffee is an experience in itself.

Mickey said...

ck- The menu is so varied, it's bound to be hit or miss. We had the Egyptian sampler, which was itself hit and miss.