The PopCulteer
November 4, 2011

HallowEast Revisited

Here we are, a couple of days past dia de los muertos, and Halloween is over for another year. I have to admit, it was hard for me to get into the Halloween spirit this year. I had a bad case of Hallow-ennuin. But I did make it out to a couple of the HallowEast events, and they were loads of fun.

I brought you highlights of the ArtMares exhibit last week in The PopCulteer, but that was before the big reception on Friday with music by Tofujitsu and a special edition of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art Show. Later Friday night the world premiere of Eamon Hardiman’s new epic motion picture, “Porkchops,” took place at The Empty Glass.

Saturday I made it out to The East End Zombie Walk, and another fun time was had by all. Check the previous post in this blog for the hot video action.

I’m wondering if maybe we can do another Zombie Walk, perhaps on Black Friday, in conjunction with ThanksgiveEast. We can have tryptophan zombies staggering around with undead pilgrims.

ArtMares took up two stairwells, the theater and the entrance of Kanawha Players Theater.

Tofujitsu took the stage, with the Dr. Sketchy's crew.

Yet another success for HallowEast!

Elle Xombeah and Penny Maple strut their undead stuff.

Penny Maple and Pepper Fandango posing for the masses.

Vampire Fandango, in a digitally-assaulted photograph.

Later in the evening, a full house watched "Porkchops" at The Empty Glass.

Porkchops is available on DVD at The Empty Glass for a mere ten bucks!

The No Pants Players

The NPP return to their home base at The Alban Theater Saturday night with their salute to Veterans, in advance of Veteran’s Day next week. A Veteran’s and currently-serving members of the Armed Forces get in for free. Please note that this does not apply to veteranarians, although the troupe may work out a discount for anyone willing to spay or neuter Adam.

This is a family-friendly show, so references to dildos should be kept at a minimum.

Spinach Salad Rant

Pardon me if I get alll Andy Rooney here for a moment, but why the hell can’t any restaurants offer up a decent Spinach Salad? Longtime readers of PopCult know that I love spinach. It is my favorite of the leafy green vegatables. When they had the recall a few years ago I went through withdrawal. I love a good salad made with spinach as a base.

I can’t, for the life of me, understand why the few restaurants that do offer spinach salads on their menus have to throw in all manner of ungodly (and unsaladly) ingredients to muck it up so much.

Let me clear, I’m a bit of a salad purist. To me a salad should be a bowl filled with tasty vegatables, topped off with the garnish or dressing of your choice. It should not contain fruit, nuts, eggs, or anything else that doesn’t belong in a good patriotic American salad.

So why is it that the restaurants that do offer spinach salads throw in nuts, bacon, eggs, fruit and at Applebee’s, strawberries. STRAWBERRIES, for Christ’s sake, people. It’s a salad, not a bowl of cornflakes! I love to get a good spinach salad, but I hate to take five minutes to explain what I don’t want in it, and then have to wait anxiously to see if they get my order right.

Maybe I sound a bit picky, but I have food allergies to deal with, along with simple, sane preferences for what I get in a salad. I happen to think that people who put hard-boiled eggs in a salad are suffering from some sort of serious mental disorder. They need help. Likewise, fruit should be reserved for fruit salad. That’s why they call it “fruit salad,” because it has fruit in it.

It’s the same thing with nuts. If you want nuts in your salad, order a freaking nut salad. When I see nuts listed on a menu in a salad I expect to see twigs and tinfoil listed next.

And then we come to bacon. This may be the most controversial thing I’ve ever written in PopCult, but I hate bacon. I don’t want it anywhere near my food. If you like bacon, that’s fine. You can have mine. Just keep it away from my salad. At most, it should be an optional topping, not a main ingredient.

So, if any local restaurant wants to earn my undying praise and many, many free plugs here in PopCult, let me suggest what should be on your menu, labelled as “Spinach Salad.” It should be a heaping bowl of fresh baby spinach, with grape tomato (or diced Roma), black olives, banana peppers, feta cheese, maybe diced onions and a light balsamic vinagrette.

No nuts. No strawberries. No apples. No eggs. No bacon.

Just a good salad made up of vegatables. Is that too much to ask?

Welcome Back Quarrier Diner

Quarrier Diner photo by Chip Ellis, lifted from The Gazette.

In case you’re wondering what brought on that rant, I ate at the resurrected Quarrier Diner tThursday and decided to pass on their spinach salad because it had all sorts of non-salady stuff in it.

But the food and service were great. The new owners have done a wonderful job restoring and renewing the place. It’s got a good nostalgic vibe, but with some cool updating. Newly-opened, The Quarrier Diner is still a work in progress, but they’re off to a wonderful start.

There is some room to improve, though. The lunch menu is sparse and largely devoid of the old favorites that I was hoping to see. It’s also a little pricey for lunch. I was hoping to indulge in my old favorite QD meal, tomato soup and grilled cheese. Neither were on the menu. The cheapest thing on the menu is a single hot dog with fries for $6.50. They do include sales tax in their prices, but that’s still a bit steep. Burgers start around eight bucks.

Salads were very expensive, possibly due to the inclusion of so many non-traditional salad ingredients. Their spinach salad includes mushrooms, which I have never encountered in a salad before. I have a potentially fatal allergy to mushrooms, and get really nervous even seeing them on a menu. I would have loved to have had a spinach salad, but not one that includes mushrooms, nuts, bacon, eggs, and apples. Aside from the spinach and onions, there was nothing in the spinach salad that I can or will eat in a salad.

I wound up with the grilled salmon, which was delicious. Served on a bed of rice, with greens and drizzled with a light honey mustard sauce, it was quite the tasty meal. It just wasn’t what I was expecting from The Quarrier Diner. I was sort of in the mood for diner food.

I’m hoping that, as the folks in charge gauge the desires of their customers, we get to see more lunch offerings, with more economical prices. While the Quarrier Diner was a work of archetectural art, it was also a greasy spoon diner, something downtown Charleston is sorely lacking these days. It’d be nice to see the new QD toss in a few more nods to their humble beginnings and bring back some of the classic diner fare from the old days.

The service and quality of the food is top-notch. With a few tweaks of the menu, The Quarrier Diner can be a major attraction for downtown Charleston.

That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Check this here blog next week for a brand-new episode of Radio Free Charleston.