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

Aaron Wetli

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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.

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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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Food & Drink

Slice into our top picks for National Pizza Party Day!

Mike Thomas

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May 17 is National Pizza Party Day—a celebration that is near and dear to our hearts at (614). And what better day of the week for an office pizza party than Friday?

To help you and your gang decide which pie(s) to go with on this momentous occasion, take a look at this roundup of some of our most primo pizza content. Bone apple teeth!

The best pizza in C-Bus according to Columbest Voters

The results for Columbest 2019 were announced in the May issue of (614) Magazine, with Harvest Pizzeria taking the top spot in the “best gourmet pizza” category, and Mikey’s Late Night winning “best traditional.”

26,000+ Columbest voters can’t be wrong. Let these hometown heroes provide the pie for a pizza party you won’t soon forget!

Pizza – Columbus Style

Did you know Columbus has its own distinct style? Edge to edge toppings, crispy crust, cut pub-style – these are some indications that you’re dining on Columbus’ own signature ‘za. Not sure what we’re talking about? Refer to this list to see what we mean.

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In Pizza We Trust

Need to grab a pie on the go? Look no further than a Pizza ATM conveniently located at OSU campus. Fair warning, since reporting on this a few months ago, we haven’t been back to see if this still exists. Something tells us this was either too weird of an idea to last, or too brilliant to ever die.

C-Bus pizza on the big stage

At this point, our fair city is no stranger to coverage in national publications – and our pizza is no exception. Earlier this year, food blog Rave Reviews included Columbus’ own Rubino’s and Mikey’s Late Night Slice on their Pizza Road Trip roundup of the best pies in the nation.

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Hey, @fussbucket… Nice #BINOS! #SausagePizza

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Deep dish (if you must…)

Is deep dish more your thing? We (I) think there’s something wrong with you, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the sauce-on-top monstrosity you crave. Check out our top picks for the “best” deep-dish style pizzas in town.

Celebrating National Pizza Party Day? Of course you are! Let us know your pizza of choice in the comments.

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Food & Drink

Outerbelt Brewing: small town, huge brewery

Mike Thomas

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With no end in sight for the craft beer boom, upstart breweries are leaving the city behind for the wide open spaces of the suburbs.

According to a report from Drink Up Columbus, Outerbelt Brewing will be the latest to toss their hat into the central Ohio Craft Beer ring when they open their doors in less than a month.

Located in a former Lowes hardware location at 3560 Dolson Ct. near Carroll, Ohio, Outerbelt Brewing is not far from Lancaster.

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Outerbelt is scheduled to open to the public on either June 8 or June 15, depending on construction deadlines. The new brewery will occupy about 25,000 square feet, with about 5,600 square feet set aside for a taproom. Plans also include a spacious 2,000 square foot patio.

Upon opening, Outerbelt plans to offer 10 beers on tap, as well as cold brew coffee.

Look for Outerbelt this Friday, May 18 at the Columbus Craft Beer Week kickoff party at Giant Eagle Market District, where some of their beer will be available to try. Outerbelt Beer will also be on hand Saturday at the Six One Pour Ohio Beer Festival at COSI.

To view pictures and to learn more about Outerbelt, check out the full story at Drink Up Columbus.

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Food & Drink

4 brewers talk past, present future of C-bus beer scene

Mike Thomas

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With the rise of craft beer, celebrations of America’s most popular alcoholic beverage are nearly as plentiful as the varieties of suds found on supermarket shelves.

Whether it’s a day set aside in honor of a given style (IPA day is observed Aug. 2) or a pseudo-holiday cash grab from a major international brewery, (Arthur’s Day is not a thing, Guinness) beer fans have plenty of occasions throughout the year to toast their favorite drink.

In honor of Columbus Craft Beer Week (May 17-25), (614) spoke to Columbus brewers Colin Vent at Seventh Son Brewing, Dan Shaffer at Land-Grant, Craig O’Herron at Sideswipe Brewing, and Chris Davison, at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in order to explore the beginnings of brew in the capital city, where it stands today, and what the future might hold.

(614): When you think of Columbus beer history, what comes to mind?

Vent: The recent history is pretty young. We were 7th or 8th six years ago, and now there’s over 50. Barley’s, Smoke House, Elevator, Columbus Brewing Company—those were around for 10 or 15 years, then all of the sudden, Four String, us, North High, and soon thereafter Land Grant popped up, and from there it’s just been crazy. Obviously all of Columbus [beer] history goes back hundreds of years; there used to be major production. Hoster was one of the largest breweries in the country.

Shaffer: I think of Barley’s, CBC, the people that were there at the beginning. We’re all standing on their shoulders. Obviously it’s all come a very long way. I’m trying to think of what the first craft beer I had in Columbus was. It was probably a CBC IPA.

(614): What are some prevailing trends that you see happening with beer in Columbus today?

O’Herron: I feel like we’ve gotten over a lot of the recent trends. We saw a lot of the New England IPAs, and then Brut IPAs to a lesser extent. I don’t know if there’s a trend that’s happening right this moment, but I’m sure we’ll see something new and wacky come around.

Davison: The national trend has been IPA, IPA, IPA, and I think Columbus is a microcosm of that. Ohio is an IPA state, and Columbus is an IPA city even more so than some other cities in the state. We’ve got a lot of the top-tier IPA breweries right now, a lot of people making really good IPA. I think that’s going to continue to rise, and I think we’re going to continue to see more styles [of IPA].

(614): What does the future hold for Columbus Beer? Have we reached a saturation point on how many breweries the city can sustain?

Vent: I don’t know that Columbus could take another 10 or 20 Land Grants and Seventh Sons, but I think it could take another 10 or 20 [breweries] that just want to have an awesome neighborhood brewpub. As many breweries as an area can sustain, that’s what there will be.

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Davison: I think it all comes down to what those breweries are trying to accomplish. Trying to be a production brewery that’s distributing cans across the entire state is going to get harder and harder, not that some won’t continue to grow and do that. I think there’s a ton of room for local brewpubs that don’t even want to sell their beer outside of their own bar. Every bar in this city could theoretically brew its own beer, and there’s no reason the city can’t sustain 500 breweries that are tiny like that.

Shaffer: Obviously people are gravitating towards local. I think it’s really cool that every neighborhood, instead of a watering hole, can have a local brewery. I think we’ll probably see more sours, probably more specialization. IPA’s aren’t going anywhere—there will be more IPA variants. When there is this much competition, you can’t afford to be a generic beer brewery anymore. There has to be something you’re passionate about, whether it’s Belgian or English styles, or pilsners, high-gravity stouts—whatever. There’s got to be something that you can say “this is what we’re all about.”

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