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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

Tuttle Mall getting a lot sweeter thanks to 2 newcomers

614now

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Malls have changed a lot over the years. Remember Waldenbooks? Was KB Toys your go-to as a kid? Heck, even Sears will soon be nothing more than a memory.

While mall establishments are frequently lost to the sands of time, it’s rare that you see a former retailer return to a mall it’s already vacated once. Well brace yourselves, sweets fans, because a gooey, sugar-frosted favorite is making a comeback at Tuttle Mall.

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Of course we’re talking Cinnabon, which was last in operation at Tuttle some years ago, and is now listed as “coming soon” on the mall’s directory. But wait! As tempting as it will be to fill up on cinnamon rolls after this long absence, you’ll want to save room for this other coming attraction: it seems Duck Donuts is also setting up shop in Tuttle.

Hop on the treadmill and give your dentist a heads-up, mall lovers—sweets are back at Tuttle in a big way!

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Food & Drink

Dive into Guy Fieri’s picks for best BBQ in nation, including one local spot

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Columbus native and mayor of Flavortown Guy Fieri has always had a soft spot for his hometown, especially its BBQ. He’s been around the country to enjoy some of the best food America has to offer for his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, but it’s right here in Columbus where some of the meats are being smoked: Ray Ray’s Hog Pit.

The Food Network recently posted a list of Fieri’s top barbecue picks from DDD including James Anderson’s smokin’ hot food truck.

Guy Fieri just named us to his “Best BBQ from DDD” list. Thanks for the massive honor Guy, come back and see us anytime. http://bit.ly/DDDBestBBQ

Posted by Ray Ray's Hog Pit on Thursday, July 18, 2019

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“Chef and Owner James Anderson raises his own pigs for the succulent smoked offerings at Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, a one-of-a-kind barbecue truck in Columbus, Ohio,” reads the Food Network description. “Guy tried the super-moist Mangalitsa Brat Burger and St. Louis Spare Ribs.”

Ray Ray’s was originally featured on the “College Town Champs” episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in 2017.

Click here to view Fieri’s 59 top BBQ picks.

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Food & Drink

Sips of Summer: 12 picks to quench your thirst

614now

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When it gets hot, you gotta find a way to deal, and we at 614NOW understand and sympathize. Here are our recommendations to help you cool down when the temperatures rise.

16-Bit | Hulk Hogan
What’s more summery than lemonade? Boozy lemonade. And what’s more summery than boozy lemonade? Dropping in a frozen red, white, and blue bomb pop in the center of the drink! The iconic popsicle from your childhood is back and you’re gonna need a front row seat to your own sip down, brother!

Matt the Miller | Blueberry Basil Limoncello Martini
Skip the regular menu. Here’s a martini for brunch instead! Two of summer’s favorite flavors come together in one glass with Stoli Blueberry and Limoncello, along with basil, lemon juice and simple syrup.

The Bottle Shop | Carribean Queen
The Bottle Shop is known to whip up just about any creation you can think of, and their tiki drinks are quintessential summer vibes. Of course, the classic mai tai is available in these aesthetically pleasing tiki glasses, but our eyes are all on the Carribean queen. The drink boasts a savory over sweet flavor profile thanks to the Rum Zacapa 23 as well as the orgeat (almond syrup) which provides a slight nutty taste. The drink also features earl grey tea-infused falernum to add a floral profile, plus some mint sprigs to garnish.

Standard Hall | Red Sangria
Nothing says summer like a cool glass of sweet sangria. Standard Hall’s Red Sangria is a blend of Pinot Noir, Triple Sec, Absolut Grapefruit, lemon juice, lime juice, and marinated fruit. It comes in a single serving, but once your friends catch a glimpse, they’ll want more than a gulp, so go for the shareable size.

Hubbard Grille | Agave Cooler
Now that you’re grown, hopefully you’ve graduated from stealing your mom’s wine coolers and embarked on a new adult beverage endeavor. But, now we’re sending you back to your roots with Hubbard Grille’s Agave Cooler with A New Amsterdam Vodka, pure agave, pink grapefruit and lime juices, fresh basil; served on the rocks. Your mother would be proud.

Oddfellows | Lushie
With new options nearly every week, Oddfellows’ lushies are a sure fire way to beat the heat this summer. This frozen drink is similar to a slushie you’d find at a gas station, but it’s been upgraded with boujee flavors and booze. Options like The Carter have been featured in the past which is a mixture of Bumbu rum, creme de cacao, and lemon making for a bright orange cocktail perfect for the patio.

Asterisk | Asterisk Orchid
Take time to stop and smell the roses (or the orchids) this summer. From the Asterisk proprietary cocktail menu, a choice of vodka or gin, St. Germain, with notes of lime, rose, and cucumber. A flower in a glass!

Local Cantina | Mango Manzana Margarita
How can you go out for Mexican food without getting a marg to sip on the patio? The Mango Manzana Margarita combines Patrón Silver and Patrón Mango Citrónage with agave, lime, lemonade, and is garnished with an apple slice and a luxardo cherry. By our counts, that’s at least three servings of fruit per glass.

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Two Truths | Penicillin
This is one penicillin shot that even staunch anti-vaxxers will won’t be able to resist. With two scotches serving as a base for this ginger and fresh-lemon infused cocktail, penicillin at Two Truths is good for what ails you!

Huli Huli Tiki Lounge | The Painkiller
And if Penicillin can’t solve what ails you, a good old Painkiller should just about do the trick. This island-inspired cocktail features Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum with pineapple, coconut, and orange with the option to have it served on the rocks, or frozen. Beyond a drink that will take your mind straight to the beach, the bright pink flower garnish coupled with a pineapple slice and a speared cherry makes this drink every bit Instagrammable as it is drinkable.

Light of the Seven Matchsticks | Running with Scissors and Playing with Matchsticks
This signature cocktail at this exclusive speakeasy is everything your mother warned you about. One sip of this high-falutin’ mixture of brown-buttered bourbon, Dolin Dry, Benedictine, and a house ancho syrup, and you’ll see why rules were made to be broken.

The Market Italian Village | Barrel-aged Negroni
Go native while visiting Italian village with this twist on the classic drink from the boot-shaped old country. Vim and Petal Heritage Blend Gin join Cynar 70, Sherry, and Apricot in this smoky, barrel- aged cocktail—Maddon’, that’s good!

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