Brought to you by asap and The Associated Press, The Slug tastes pop culture for you — just in case it's been poisoned. E-mail us at theslug@ap.org.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Top Chef" Has Got Game

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(AP Photo/HO/NBC)

After last night's gamey elk elimination challenge, we now have our final three on "Top Chef." Bon appétit. Previously, we thought this was Casey's competition to lose, but then Dale served up that sob story about getting fired and dumped. Could the judges have a sweet spot for the mohawked chef? Whatever happens, we hope we never have to hear the contestants whine about showing the judges "what they can do" ever again. Bring on the vending machines and Bacardi product placement!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Top Chef" Can't Hold a Candle

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(AP Photo/HO/Bravo)

We haven't really been keeping up with "Top Chef" like we should this season, but we're definitely DVRing up episodes. We like to watch them on a full stomach. Otherwise, we have to shut it off and go grocery shopping during the commercial breaks. Anyway, imagine our surprise last night when we tuned in and thought we were watching "Top Design" instead. The judges, that phantom blogger and Madonna's brother were freaking out over scented candles that one team used in their makeshift restaurant.   

We half expected the judges to hit Dale over the head with a Yankee Candle and scream, "NO MORE SCENTED CANDLES!!! EVER!!!" Why get in such a huff over some vanilla candles? Aren't they supposed to critique the food?  We asked asap's own Kitchen Idiot if we were out of line for thinking this firey reaction was over the top. His response: "Are you kidding me? Putting scented candles in your restaurant is like putting peanut butter on your steak." Yeesh. OK. We get it. No more scented candles. Ever.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Favoritest Photo of the Week: Beer!

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(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Sometimes — unless you're Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan or, um, Lane Garrison — after a tough week, you just need a frosty mug of beer. That's why The Slug is making this jolly good AP photo from Martin Meissner in western Germany our Favoritest Photo of the Week. Gulp the original caption:

A waitress carries beer at the opening of the Cranger Fair in Herne, western Germany, Friday, Aug. 3, 2007. The festival which started as a horse market in the 15th century has become one of Germany's biggest carnival fairs with an expected 4 million visitors in ten days. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Food Network Loses a Head

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So summer TV is sorta sucking thus far, but we'd like to suggest one thang you definitely should be on the lookout for on your DVR this week: Food Network's "Challenge" featuring Villain Cakes. Don't worry if you didn't catch it this weekend. They're rerunin' it like a gazillion times. In this installment of the quickie competitive cooking series, pastry chefs are tasked with making cakes based on animated Disney villains. Yes, the concept is lame, but the reason we're enticing you to watch is because the head of one of the cakes falls off right at the judges' feet at the end of the episode. It's totally hilarious, embarrassing and delicious!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Excuse Us While We Sip This Drink

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Everybody knows rock icon Jimi Hendrix lived hard. Maybe that's why the samples we received of The Jimi Hendrix Liquid Experience energy drink arrived at The Slug's desk dripping and beaten up. No matter. We popped open the gorgeous surviving cans for a taste test. (The back reads: "This new energy drink is a tribute to Jimi's legacy, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and their everlasting influence on music and those who play it.")  Unlike other flavorless energy drinks, the deep purple Voodoo Vibe flavor actually tasted like something. Unfortch, that something was grape-flavored cough syrup. However, we are happy to report we typed this blog post in 10 seconds. Thanks, Jimi.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Run for the Border

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In January, we wrote a lil' asap story about a bizarre tool on McDonald's Web site called the McDonald's Trip Planner, which allows Web visitors to map driving directions with every Golden Arch along the way. Unfortch, if Whoppers were more your thang, you would've been outta luck 'cause there was no such technology on the Burger King site. But Fast Food News blogger Ken Kuhl has alerted us today to Fast Food Maps by Ian Spiro, which uses Google Maps technology to plot the locations of The King and nine other fast food chains. Now you really can have it your way!

Monday, February 05, 2007

While We Were Out

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When we were in Las Vegas last week, The Slug was just too busy eating at buffets and playing the slots to keep up with some of our favorite prime-time shows. So we've spent the past few hours avoiding spoilers and catching up on what went down on "Heroes," "24," "Veronica Mars," the "Road Rules" premiere and "Top Chef" finale. Seriously, how did we live before networks streamed their shows online? How!?

"Heroes." Wowie zowie. We finally got a peak at Claire's biological mama and she's a firestarter, baby. So now The Slug is hypothesizing that the "Heroes" gene must run in the family. Think about it. Nathan and Peter Petrelli both have powers. And Niki/Jessica and D.L. have their hacker kid. Hmmm. This would mean Hiro's pop, played by George Takei, and the Petrelli brothers' shoplifting mommy would have to be superparents. We know at least one of them can travel at warp speed. Har har. Oh, and our money is on Nathan Petrelli as Claire's biological father.

"Road Rules." This old MTV reality show returned — and it's complicated. The full title is "Road Rules 2007: Viewer's Revenge." (What did "Road Rules" ever do to you!?) Instead of a simple road trip from Point A to Point B with a group of five to six strangers, this RV is filled with veteran cast members who are just driving around Los Angeles completing missions. And then there's some other people who haven't been on a reality show before that can be voted into the RV. Color us confused. The Slug yearns for the simpler days when "Road Rules" featured interstate flirtations, roadies playing pranks on "The Real World" cast and, you know, a destination. This feels like it's going nowhere.

"24." We thought our family was jacked up! The last two episodes have shown us that the Bauer clan is dysfunctional with a capital 'dys.' And did anyone else notice that Rena Sofer, the actress that plays Graem Bauer's wife on "24" also plays Nathan Petrelli's wife on "Heroes"? Jeez. She sure has a taste for bad boys. We're slightly ticked at Karen Hayes for resigning as National Security Advisor but it's also kinda cool she's headed to CTU in Los Angeles now. Does this mean we'll see her in five episodes?

"Veronica Mars." Veronica, girl, we need to talk. Sit down. Why do you need to know if your man, who's so totally obviously into you even though you keep breaking up and getting back together repeatedly, has ever been with a prostitute? You asked him like four times in this episode. Drop it. Focus on your school work. Help your daddy figure out who killed Dean O'Dell. And go find your friends Wallace and Mac. Those characters' recurring disappearances are becoming the biggest mystery this season.

"Top Chef." While we were dining on Elia's waffle in Vegas, she was busy helping Ilan Hall become the "Top Chef." Honestly, we think it could've gone either way. Personality-wise, they were both brats. Food-wise, Ilan made more decadent Spanish food, and Marcel's meal was innovative but way too light. After eating at buffets on The Strip for a week, Marcel's dainty little radish salad and hearts of palm with mushrooms would've left us hungry for something more. Sorta like the first episode of "Top Design."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Waiter, You Don't Serve Foam?

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We didn't see the "Top Chef" finale last night so don't you dare tell us who won, but we did eat at Elia's restaurant THEcafe at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay for OURbreakfast this morning. (Yes, we broke our buffet rule in the name of reality television.) Elia wasn't there (unless you count that sign above) so instead of poke or tamales, we had a walnut waffle with blueberry compote served alongside the freshest, most delicious whipped cream ever. It was a top meal even though she's not "Top Chef."

Not Until You Eat Your Vegetables

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When The Slug found out we were coming to Vegas, we told ourselves we would exclusively take our meals at The Strip's buffets. If we wanted to dine at the likes of Le Cirque, Mesa Grill or Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, then we didn't have to leave the Big Apple. Thus far, they've all been similar smorgesboards starring piles of crab legs and cocktail shrimps.

All that changed when we feasted our eyes on the Bellagio buffet's dessert bar with its mini carrot cakes, creme brulees, chocolate-dipped strawberries, cheesecakes, pastries and much, much more. Intricate. Cute. Flavorful. Yummy. If Willy Wonka had a dessert bar in his chocolate factory, we think it would look and taste something like this. Daddy, I want a dessert bar now!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

We Thought the "Top Chef" Was a Little Runny

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The Slug hasn't really been keeping up with Bravo's "Top Chef" like we should this season, but we did peep the last two episodes, including the first part of the Hawaii finale last night, which saw whiny Marcel and whiniest Ilan selected as the final finalists. Elia totally made herself look silly by complaining about Marcel moving her rice off the burner at the Judge's Table. Snooze.

In other Bravo-related news, Jaclyn Smith (of "Charlie's Angels" and Kmart's "Jaclyn Smith Collection") is hosting the channel's next competitive reality show. No, not the one about interior design. It's the one about hair design called "Shear Genius" (formerly titled "Top Hair") that'll premiere this spring. The Slug thinks Kelly Garrett will be waaay better than skinny ninny "Top Chef" hostess Padma Lakshmi, who doesn't like her poi runny — just in case you were wondering.