Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuna Salad Sandwich Challenge #3: Local.

Today has each of us selecting a local place rumored to have very good tuna salad sandwiches. Tuna. Tuna Salad. Weird, just typing those words makes me feel full. Haha. Tuuuuna. Not something we should really be eating, I think. Poor things, living their lives in the freedom of the sea when BAM caught in a net and they gasp their last breath on the way to our restaurants where we GRIND them up and-

Stacey: I selected A Spot of Tea, a famous place located in Mobile and-

Rob: I'm getting to it. Gotta finish up the introduction after all. Tuna Salad. Tuuuna. There. I'm done. Let's eat tuna AGAIN! WOOOOOOHOOOOO! Brain food! I am psyched!!!

Stacey: Tuna Salad on a croissant with Country Style potatoes: 10.74 with tax. (7.99 sandwich only, 8.79 with tax)

Rob: Tuna Salad "sandwich" with Fries and a Coke: 6.39. 6.95 with tax.

Stacey: As you can see, A Spot Of Tea is a nice place. The atmosphere very pleasant and my guest-

Rob: Billy?

Stacey: I'm sorry. Who?

Rob: Just wondered if you took Free Soup Billy.

Stacey: No, I was accompanied by my lovely sister, known on Twitter as @1meanangel .

Rob: Neat.

Stacey: It was great! Took a while to get there and the sandwich is a bit overpriced for the taste of it, which was just okay. But the staff was friendly and our food arrived in minutes. And the potatoes they served were very good, I liked them better than the sandwich actually.

Rob: Can't wait to see the pics:

Rob: My turn? Okay. Well I went to an out of the way place near the Home Depot and Walmart called Wendy's Old Fashioned. Here is a pic:

Stacey: Wait a minute, that's Wendy's.

Rob: Which is what I said.

Stacey: No, the burger chain!

Rob: Clearly not. Look at the bag. They sell tuna salad sandwiches, not burgers.

Stacey: You had a burger!

Rob: Tuna. Anyway. The tuna was moist and very beefy, the bun fresh and the cheese and bacon a nice compliment to the tuna-ness of the whole burger. The Natural Cut Fries with Sea Salt-

Yeah, I've seen the NATIONAL commercial for them.

Rob: I'm surprised our local Wendy's would advertise nationally, but anyway they were nothing special. I don't get the hype. Pics:

Stacey: You suck.

Rob: So what's next? Quiche?

Stacey: Something you don't get tired of eating after 2 days....I'll have to think about it.

Rob: Cool.


Stacey: 5
Rob: 7


Stacey: 4
Rob: 7


Stacey: 6.5
Rob: 6.5

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuna Sandwich Challenge #2: Quizno's.

Today is Quizno's turn. How does THIS national chain do tuna salad? Does their signature "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm." mean anything? Do they fear Jared? I know I do.

Assisting me in the challenge once again is the infamous Stacey and Sons. They tried to ban her but you can't stop her, you can only hope to contain her. Stacey ordered a Large Tuna Salad on Italian Herb Bread. I got a Small on Rosemary Parmesan Bread. I also got a lil cup of banana peppers and another lil cup of horseradish sauce.

Stacey: 6.99 plus tax. 7.69 total.
Rob: 4.99 plus tax. 5.43 total. peppers and horseradish sauce .49 ea. Grand total: 6.48

Stacey: I don't think I had ever been in a Quizno's before. I liked it. Very nice people work there, especially the cute guy who made our sandwich.
Rob: Never been in a Quizno's? Weird. Then again...
Stacey: The Vegetarian thing, yeah. Never thought to go into a sub sandwich shop.
Rob: I get that. So you got the large and split it with your boys.
Stacey: Yes, and it was quite filling. Shared it with Son and both of us liked the sandwich. Son thought it "delicious" after a thoughtful pause. The bread was too toasted for our liking, some of it was blackened. The tuna salad was just okay. Pics:

Rob: It looks pretty good but you didn't mention the soup. I should add the cost into the-
Stacey: Oh the soup was free.
Rob: Free? No, they charge for it.
Stacey: Well Billy didn't charge us for-
Stacey: That was the name on his nametag. He gave us a cup of chicken noodle soup with our sandwich.
Rob: Because?
Stacey: I don't know. I don't go there usually, don't you get soup for free? Like bread sticks at Olive Garden?
Rob: No. That isn't usual.
Stacey: Well B had some and deemed the soup a bit too salty.
Rob: Oh, well that was probably why good ole Billy-
Stacey: But J said it was delicious. Better than the soup one gets at a grocery store even.
Rob: Oh. Cool.
Stacey: We had an enjoyable time.
Rob: Super. Guess I'll go on about mine. The bread was good, Rosemary Parm is nice, the tuna was a bit dry though and, seriously? Free soup?
Stacey: Yes.
Rob: The tomato slices were better than Panera. Overall quite dry. Glad I had the not free horseradish sauce and peppers to moisten it up with since Isabel, the 67 year old who made my sandwich didn't bother to offer me free soup.
Stacey: I didn't eat it.
Rob: Yeah. Anyway, here are the photos of mine:

Stacey: Bread alone; 8.5, tuna brought the whole thing down to 7.
Rob: Dry, 6.

Stacey: 7.5
Rob: 4. (No free soup)

Stacey: 7.5
Rob: 5

Another fun time, yes?
Rob: Yup.
Stacey: What's tomorrow?
Rob: Kinda sick of tuna salad.
Stacey: Ooh we should pick a local place!
Rob: Somewhere they put tuna on a burger maybe.
Stacey: HAHA!
Rob: :/

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuna Salad Sandwich Challenge #1: Panera Bread

I am teaming up with a friend for a series of taste tests. This friend is Stacey and she lives in Southern Alabama. I live in Southern California. So how different would certain foods be two time zones apart? Would one region excel in something the other would not? What about chain eateries versus "mom and pop" places? Not to mention our own personal taste differences. We begin with a sandwich. Not any sandwich, but the tuna salad sandwich. How would Panera Bread prepare it for me in California and for her in Alabama?

Panera Bread Tuna Salad Sandwich

Cost: Stacey; 5.59 plus tax. 6.15 total. Rob; 6.19 total, no tax.

Rob: I was surprised that California, eager to tax virtually everything from water to air to thoughts, DIDN'T tax my sandwich.

Stacey: Weird. Mine was taxed.

Rob: Oh well. Turns out the cost was virtually the same. Let's show yours first.

Stacey: I ordered the tomato basil bread and asked for extra lettuce. The bread was delicious, soft and fresh. I tasted the tomato and basil, yum, but the edges were tough and hard to chew. It might just be the type of bread, but tough edges are not to my liking. Other than that, the sandwich was excellent. Good tuna salad to bread ratio and lots of fresh lettuce, just as I wanted.
Stacey's son: I like the tough bread. The tough bread is to my liking.

Rob: Well it certainly looks hearty. The lettuce appears healthy and fresh.

Stacey: I asked that they leave out tomatoes. The tomato basil bread was delicious and there was really no need for tomatoes.

Rob: I like fresh tomato slices on my sammich.

Stacey: I gave the chips that came with it to my kids.

Stacey's son: They were crisp and good. The chips were good.

Stacey: I liked the big dll pickle spear they included with it.

Rob: Now let's take a look at mine.

Rob: I went with their standard tuna sandwich, no alterations. This meant I got Honey Wheat bread and nothing extra. The bread was soft and fresh, the mayo and mustard perfect. I removed my lettuce as I don't eat it and I eventually had to remove the tomato slices as they were raw. The tuna salad I agree was on the sweet side.

Stacey: When I make it at home I don't make it that sweet, but it was fine.

Rob: I agree, though without the pepper yours had, it was still good and there was a lot of it. You get a lot for the money.

Stacey: I'd like your pickle spear.

Rob: You can't have it.

Stacey's son: Did you like the crust?

Rob: No. Not a fan of crusts.

Stacey's son: I enjoy tough bread.

Rob: So overall a good sandwich.

Stacey: Oh I agree. And I called it in, so there was no wait.

Rob: I didn't call ahead but the wait time was less than 4 minutes.

Taste (1-10)

Stacey: 8
Rob: 7.5

Value (1-10)

Stacey: 6
Rob: 6.5


Stacey: 8
Rob: 7

Final Thoughts:

Stacey: I was full after finishing it and it tasted very good. I think the next sandwich place had better be good in order to compare with this one.

Rob: 6 bucks for a tuna salad sandwich is a bit much but it WAS good and filling. The next place may be Quizno's. See you there.

Stacey: I'll be there!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This Christmas has impressed upon me the need to realize that there is a "reason for the season" as the saying goes. It is about Family, Friends, and, yes, Christ. The following is something I wrote as a guest blog post this past February. I thought I'd let you in on some of my thoughts regarding this life and the one beyond. I enjoy discussions such as these so please engage me if you wish.

Darwinian evolution was an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection. However, evolution via random and gradual mutations can’t explain some very complex biological systems. Contrary to Darwinian evolution, it appears (and is widely accepted by scientists), that biology itself shows signs of a “designer.” This deduction is arrived at via design deduce of the physical structure of a system.

Aspects of biology strongly appear to be designed. Even Richard Dawkins says, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” (The Blind Watchmaker 1996, p.1) Dawkins doesn’t believe biological structures were a product of intelligent design, but he admits they “overwhelmingly impress with the appearance of design.”

There are structural obstacles to Darwinian evolution, coupled with physical reasons to think that Darwinian evolution can not do what its proponents claim for it. The structural reasons are “irreducible complexity.”

Irreducible complexity contradicts the premise that evolution could operate slowly and gradually one mutation at a time. An irreducibly complex structure cannot evolve that way, for this simple reason: you have some system and it has a number of parts and they act on each other and they are all necessary for the function to exist. You take away one or more of the parts and the function is no longer present.

Think of it this way, and by example, the mousetrap has various parts: a spring, a wire hammer, a catch, a board that holds it all together. Take away any part and you have a meaningless and purposeless collection of parts. There is no way that it could slowly evolve into that complexity.

Another example is a bacterial flagellum. The flagellum is a whip like propeller that a bacterium spins to move. Any part of the flagellum apparatus, without all the rest, is purposeless. Like a mousetrap without one of its necessary parts, this one would be broken as well.

Critics and militant atheist’s responses to irreducible complexity are wishful thinking. They argue that someday they will be able to explain them by random events and such will contradict the designer postulate. Nevertheless, they continue to make grand Darwinian claims as if this evidence already had been discovered. Such claims are urban legends.

Evolution can explain many things, but not everything.

I believe in multi-verses; worlds without number and without end, each of different degrees of glory and far more glorious than that in which we reside.

How utterly horrible would it be, to believe that Life begins, and has its ending, in this temporal sphere. I believe in an Intelligent Designer. One who has my best interest at heart, if only I have Faith. And yes, my faith has evolved. But that is a discussion for another time.