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Netflix & Grill: Pregame Better Call Saul with homemade dinner, drinks

Watch, listen, eat, drink
Welcome back to Netflix and Grill, where we piece together some grub, a boozy drink, an album and a streaming show or movie. Along the way, we plug the local establishments that make Columbus shine. We are going to celebrate the American Southwest with AMC’s Better Call Saul, southwestern alt rockers Calexico, Moscow Mules and a less than traditional Taco Salad. If you aren’t familiar with either Better Call Saul or Calexico, you are in for a treat. Let’s get started with a Pollos Hermanos inspired entrée!

Entree

One of the more likeable villains in television history is Gus Fring, a sexually ambiguous, fast food magnate and drug kingpin who appears in both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Fring’s chain of restaurants, Los Pollos Hermanos, is a fictional eatery where Fried Chicken meets southwestern cuisine. In homage to Gus, we will be making Fried Chicken Taco Salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB chicken tenders1 cup flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoon GOYA seasoning
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • Lettuce of choice – I prefer a mix of shredded iceberg and regular iceberg
  • 1 scoop of your favorite guacamole
  • 1 scoop of your favorite salsa
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Diced Bell Peppers
  • Crushed tortilla chips

Instructions

1. Bring 1/4 inch of vegetable oil to boil and reduce to simmer
2. Combine and THROUGHLY mix all dry ingredients
3. Dip chicken into beaten egg mixture
4. Coat chicken with dry ingredient mix
5. Add chicken to warm oil pan and cook for roughly 5 minutes
6. Place chicken on salad combination of your choice

Drink

Now that dinner is over and we are settling in for some binging, let’s make a drink honoring the moral compass of Better Call Saul, Kim Wexler. Kim’s drink of choice? A Moscow Mule – served, in Kim’s words, in a ‘fancy copper cup’.

Ingredients and directions:

  • Put desired amount of ice in your fancy copper cup
  • Pour 2 parts ginger beer (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) into said fancy cup
  • Add 1 part Vodka
  • Stir
  • Add slice of lime and basil leaf
  • That’s it, it is just that easy, which is good for Kim, because she needs SOMETHING to be easy in her life.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

Vinyl

In sticking with the American Southwest motif, we are going to spin Tucson based pop/folk/mariachi/alt rock Calexico’s newest release, The Thread That Keeps Us (2018).

This new release may be Calexico’s most pop oriented album as it sounds like the Beatles went to Burning Man, took a bunch of peyote and recorded for a week straight.

The Thread That Keeps Us has fifteen tracks and clocks in at just under 45 minutes. Longtime fans have no need to worry as this album hasn’t sacrificed the traditional horns, strings, storytelling and all around wonderful weirdness for a new format.

The Thread That Keeps Us should make longtime fans happy and recruit new fans into the fold.

Streaming

If you don’t already know, Better Call Saul is the prequel to Breaking Bad, America’s favorite show about dealing meth.

Both shows are the brainchild of Vince Gilligan and his fingerprints, style and all around excellent television skills are present in both shows.

WARNING: As Better Call Saul is a prequel, there will be some Breaking Bad spoilers ahead.

Starring television royalty Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, The Larry Sanders Show, Fargo), Better Call Saul tells the story of Jimmy McGill, a street wise and well-intended attorney who will eventually lose his identity (or fulfill his destiny), and transform from criminal attorney Jimmy McGill into criminal AND attorney Saul Goodman.

This career progress comes at the expense of his personal relationships with his older brother Chuck (Michael McKean) and love interest and law partner Kim Wexler (Rhee Seehorn).

The story of Jimmy McGill is told in three parts: Better Call Saul (timeline 2002-2006), prologue Breaking Bad (timeline 2008 – 2013) and in the epilogue of black and white vignettes that are sporadically placed in episodes of Better Call Saul (timeline post 2013).

Better Call Saul has familiar characters from Breaking Bad, including the aforementioned Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), his fixer Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), psychopathic Tuco Salamanaca (Raymond Cruz) and cartel captain Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis).

As season 4 premiers, many questions are left to be answered, such as what is the aftermath of the fire at Chuck’s house, how the relationship between Jimmy and Kim falls apart and the exact moment Jimmy becomes Saul?

Also, a cameo from Walt or Jesse wouldn’t hurt.

If you are interested in getting into Vince Gilligan’s take on criminality and the human condition, set against the beautiful backdrop of the American southwest, you should jump head first into Better Call Saul and matriculate to Breaking Bad.

*The fourth Season of Better Call Saul premiers on August 6th at 9 PM. Streaming episodes of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad are both available on Netflix.

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