New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.77: Tom Brady’s Falafel City

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“Grab yourself a pita, Fill it fulla meata…” – 
the restaurant’s jingle sung to the tune of The Beach Boy’s “Barbara Ann”
And you thought Tom Brady’s dream was to win another Super Bowl? Ha! It’s actually to open up “a restaurant selling high quality middle eastern cuisine at discount prices.” Who knew the New England Patriots quarterback was as savvy with a falafel ball as he is with a football?

The Giants obviously have no love for the Patriots so Tom Brady was just asking for it when he hosted Saturday Night Live in the middle of New York City in 2005. Rather than letting himself get booed off the studio 8-H stage, he actually showed his fairly humorous side, especially in the sketch where he advertises his very own middle eastern restaurant in South Plainfield, New Jersey, Tom Brady’s Falafel City. This guy is more than just a football launching robot, he actually has a little bit of a personality. And he has a thing for middle eastern food.

Tom explains his rationale in his decision to open Falafel City:

“I’ll be honest with you folks, I was sick and tired of people asking me, ‘Hey Tom, where can I get a good falafel sandwich in the South Plainfield, New Jersey area?’ So sick and tired that I converted an old veterinarian’s office into north/central New Jersey’s finest low cost, high volume middle eastern eatery.”

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“Tom Brady’s Falafel City is without a doubt one of the top five NFL quarterback owned and operated Middle Eastern restaurants in all of the South Plainfield area…”

Setting up shop in a random suburb of central Jersey was a lot funnier than if they chose somewhere in Massachusetts. South Plainfield gets more national attention in this sketch than it ever has since it was incorporated in 1926. It gets mentioned around 5 or 6 times which was funny in itself – funnier than Horatio Sanz botching his lines as he played Dennis DeYoung from the band Styx. Usually it’s immediately piss-your-pants-funny when someone botches a line on SNL and laughs about it, but this time it didn’t work as well. Fortunately, Brady, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, Kenan Thompson, and Maya Rudolph rescued it. The writing in this sketch was so absurd that it was impossible for it to fail.

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Falafel City isn’t too far away from the other sports related restaurant in New Jersey that I wrote about previously here – Derek Jeter’s Taco Hole. Also promoted at the end of the sketch is Donald Trump’s House of Wings and Reverend Al Sharpton’s Casa De Sushi in Secaucus, NJ, which is now serving Thai Food!

I wish Falafel City actually existed because I’ve been craving falafel for the past couple of months. You’ll think I’m some kind of alien who fell out of the sky early this morning when you read that I finally tried falafel for the first time within the last year or two. Some people thought I was completely nuts for this, but it wasn’t intentional. I am open to trying new things, especially fried legume balls, but I just never got around to it. Now I’m a fan. I just put Falafel City into my GPS to see if by a miracle it would come up. Annnnd yes! I should be there in under 15 minutes. See you guys, I’m getting some falafel.

The NFL season kicks off on September 5th. You can watch the full sketch via Hulu below.

[hulu id=sgigyyvb1okh7rzfengh7w width=512]

GREAT GEEK GORGE #4

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The Dark Knight Rises Tickets

Dark Knight Rises Tickets
These have been burning a hole in my pocket since June 11th. I’m almost in disbelief that it’s a little over a WEEK away! The wait is finally over!

Wawa 

Wawa
If you’re from Pennsylvania or New Jersey then you are most likely familiar with the greatness of Wawa. During our recent trip to Wildwood, Miss Sexy Armpit and I stopped at the Doo-Wop styled Wawa to get our favorite sweet cream cheese stuffed pretzels that they make. I’m not a big preztel guy, but this thing is so delicious. I also ordered a banana smoothie which was very simple: it’s basically made of ice, a dairy blend, and 2 bananas. It’s the best banana smoothie ever. If you are lucky enough to have a Wawa by you they also sell all kinds of coffee, subs, breakfast sandwiches, and some of the best iced tea around.

Changes to Supergirl Costume
I’m usually the guy who opposes the unnecessary modifications and modernizations of superhero costumes. In 1989 when the first photos of Michael Keaton’s Batman costume were released I wasn’t even phased because it looked so friggin’ cool. It was a major change color-wise, but it was still extremely faithful to the traditional bat-costumes through the years. One costume I never ever thought should be changed was Superman’s. In the upcoming Man of Steel movie his costume has been tweaked to make it seem more realistic and modern like they did in Batman Begins. I still can’t get used to such drastic changes. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the characters evolving with the times, but sometimes I feel like changes are made just for the hell of it. In the newest Supergirl comic book line from DC Comics, she has a more modern look as well and surprisingly I’m not against it. The deeper I got into the series the more I thought the costume was cool. What do you think? Yay or Nay?
House of Blues Bathroom 

Men’s Room – House of Blues, Atlantic City
Usually going to a public bathroom isn’t too exciting unless you’re going in there for purposes other than actually using the facilities. While it’s not anything as upscale as the Borgata or Water Club, the

men’s room in the House of Blues in Atlantic City kept me distracted for several minutes as I stared at all the pinup and retro tattoo style art on the walls. Pictured above is a glimpse of a cute sailor girl on the wall near the entrance.

Squinkies at 80s Burger King
Zack Ryder, Yoshi Tatsu, Goldust, and Hornswaggle go for lunch at an ’80s BK

Fixation with 1980s Burger King
Unlike most of my friends when I was growing up I always preferred Burger King over McDonalds. My Dad used to take me to the BK at the old pre-90s Menlo Park Mall and I absolutely loved every second of it. To say I miss the old look of the exterior of BK is an understatement. I wish they’d bring back their old logo and the uncreepy version of the Burger King who did magic tricks. I still have my BK doll with the “incredible” disappearing hamburger trick.

Squinkies
I did the best I could. Actually I’m lying. I didn’t. I gave a feeble attempt at resisting Squinkies but I just couldn’t do it. It’s not an all out obsession either. I’m not even interested in the G.I Joe or Star Wars Squinkies – only the WWE series. A couple of my favorites are pictured above, heading in to get some Whoppers at my ’80s BK model. For being such minute bits of rubber they are highly detailed with comical and often flat out absurd facial expressions and likenesses of the real wrestlers. They remind me of the simple and stupid crap toys from the red nickel machines (or are they quarter machines now?) you see when exiting Toys R Us.

Shamrock Shakedown Giveaway!

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2 FREE Shamrock Shake cards that have been provided by McDonald’s will go out to 2 Random winners!
TO ENTER:
subject: SHAMROCK
If you are chosen we will reach out to you for your mailing address
WINNERS ANNOUNCED ON 3/7/12

Many folks in New Jersey are pissed off that the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Hoboken is cancelled this year. Things usually get pretty out of hand so the city is taking a break from it. I don’t get involved in parades because they bore the shit out of me. Drinking tons of beer is of course fun, but not with thousands of other drunken boozers roaming the streets and getting behind the wheel. Aside from eating a bowl of me Lucky Charms, I have other plans this St.Patrick’s Day.

I don’t really participate in the yearly resurgence of corned beef and cabbage, but I need MINT in my life constantly. Usually the one time of year that everything becomes MINT is in March because St. Patrick’s Day turns everything green and green often means MINT! There’s no better mint offering than mint ice cream! And since I’m obsessed with using straws, The Shamrock Shake is like a magic pot of gold for me.

In addition to consistently bringing back the McRib, McDonald’s has been keeping it real with their classic Shamrock Shake as well. The best part: they are now available nationwide, not just in select mystery locations. Just as I write this, as the Irish say, I’m really gummin’ for a Shamrock Shake. The only thing that would make the shake experience even better is if McD’s was offering this green delicacy in  Uncle O’Grimacey collector cups! Now, REMEMBER, you only have until MARCH 25th before the Shamrock Shakes disappear, so get your arses to McD’s to enjoy one!

Ad Jerseum 12: More McDonald’s Billboards

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Michelle Obama recently hailed McDonald’s efforts to make Happy Meals healthier. The Sexy Armpit has also hailed McD’s recently for it’s regional “Toast Your Town” marketing campaign. Although the last McDonald’s billboard I spotted was a bit convoluted (read this link), the two latest McDonald’s Toast Your Town billboards I found are pretty damn cool.

New Jersey’s coastline stretches for nearly 130 miles, but The Garden State is far from tropical. It’s safe to say that any palm tree you see is either of the cheesy fiber optic variety, a blow up pool decoration, or imported from a warmer state. Considering that we constantly get pummeled with blizzards in the winter, the idea of a drink that can make us feel more tropical or exotic here in NJ is welcome. All I have to do to feel tropical is buy a fruity drink from McDonalds? Will the Mango Pineapple Fruit Smoothie automatically transport me to an exotic island? Obviously a mere smoothie won’t whisk you away on a $10,000 dollar getaway to Hawaii, but perhaps Long Beach Island will be in your future? I bet they also recommend the tanning salon for the full effect.
I have to hand it to the McDonald’s marketing team for utilizing the localized ad concept. It’s an effective way to reach groups of people in specific regions. Most of the nationwide McDonalds ads are fairly generic and aren’t very impressive, so these are at least more entertaining. They must be, especially since I felt they were worth a follow up blog post.

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The “pumping fists not gas” line has previously appeared on t-shirts and bumper stickers.

 A large iced coffee at McDonalds probably would make me want to pump my fists, but not because I want to be mistaken for a guido, more because I would be insanely hopped up on caffeine.

If you read the last installment of Ad Jerseum, you will probably agree that despite whatever controversy exists between New York and New Jersey, The Statue of Liberty is simply not a symbol of New Jersey. People associate Lady Liberty with New York and naturally, the entire United States. I would say more people think of guidos when they hear “New Jersey” mentioned. It’s unfortunate that thanks to MTV’s hard-on for guidos, New Jersey may never overcome that association. Regardless of it being a negative association or not, I’ll admit that the second I saw the words “fist pump” the ad had my attention. I can’t believe fist pumping is as part of New Jersey as plastic surgery is to California. Yay stereotypes!

Ad Jerseum 11: McDonald’s Toast To Jersey Girls

McDonald's Jersey Girl Billboard
McDonald’s Billboard after exit 12 on 287 North in NJ


“Toast Your Town” hardly sounds like a slogan to promote Big Macs. That’s because this time, Mcdonald’s isn’t pushing their burgers and fries. They are promoting their various “McCafe” specialty drinks and shakes via an ad campaign popping up throughout the Tri-State area. I’ve seen billboards from this campaign on major highways in New Jersey while there are also other local minded “Toast Your Town” ads around New York and New Jersey.

I pulled over and snapped a picture of this ad with the iPhone while driving on 287 Northbound. The billboard ad shows a hand holding a Frozen Strawberry Lemonade and toasting to “The Original Jersey Girl.” Perhaps I’m reading to deeply into it, but it seems to be attempting to appeal to the girls who lived in Jersey with big hair and listened to Bon Jovi and Skid Row in the ’80s. Oh wait, that was all of them. What I mean is, McDonald’s knows that many Jerseyans are fed up with shows like Jersey Shore featuring a couple of cast members who aren’t even from Jersey. How authentic! Now, if McD’s wanted to be really authentic they would start offering a Lime Rickey, a drink that’s become synonymous with Wildwood, NJ.

With a closer look you’ll notice there is a faint picture of the Statue of Liberty who is apparently the original Jersey Girl they are alluding to. Unfortunately, I have to put the kabosh on this whole idea because even after the hullabaloo that the island she sits on belongs to New Jersey, Miss Liberty is still technically a New Yorker.

As we learn in Anchorman, milk is a bad choice to drink on a hot summer day, so I’m sure the Frozen Strawberry Lemonade that McD’s is touting in the billboard pictured above, is slightly better. It’s not my drink of choice, but it may be yours, so keep in mind that it packs in 250 calories and 65 grams of sugar, but also offers a whopping 154 mgs of Vitamin C.

What do you think? Are advertisements geared to your own home state or city more effective than those that aren’t? Does this make you want to rush out and buy a drink at McDonald’s?

Roy Rogers Still Exists in Pine Beach, NJ

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This picture was featured on FFD’s Random Tater Pic of the Day #4

You can find Roy Rogers cuisine in a few Turnpike rest stops in New Jersey, but a freestanding Roy Rogers? It must be a mirage! No, it’s real. There’s an actual bonafide Roy Rogers near Toms River NJ in a town called Pine Beach, and Ray, a friend of Glenn Walker’s awesome French Fry Diary, sent in a picture to the FFD to prove it.

Out of the 6 Roy Rogers locations in New Jersey, 5 of them are in service plazas. The Pine Beach location isn’t even listed on their official site which means they must be a Rogue Roy Rogers!

Green Hornet Giveaway!

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TO ENTER THE GREEN HORNET GIVEAWAY:
1) Simply email sexyarmpit@comcast.net
2) SUBJECT: HORNET
3) Name and address

Winner will be chosen at random through a number generator and announced on 4/1/11.

Winner will receive:

– The Green Hornet and Kato figures 
(it must be mentioned that the paint job isn’t so hot on Kato’s mask, but hey, it’s free, so no complaining!) 
– You’ll also receive the Black Beauty Key Chain
– Green Hornet Hat  

Recently I ripped on Carl’s Jr. but I am striking those comments from the record. They had originally claimed to be sending me some of the Green Hornet tie-in toys they were offering in their restaurant, but they didn’t come through. I was pissed off at them and made it known through an angry post which can be read here. Much of the reason why I was fuming was because there are NO Carl’s Jr. restaurants on the east coast, which is why it was difficult for me to get my hands on the Hornet toys during the films premiere. I knew I could wait for them to go on ebay, but it was obvious that I’d be paying up to $10 bucks per toy or probably more.

In the end, Carl’s Jr. came through and worked everything out with me. They were nice enough to not only send me the Black Beauty key chain as well as an awesome Green Hornet mini poster. Also in the shipment was an extra set of stuff for a giveaway! Thanks so much to Carl’s Jr. and hopefully one day they’ll open one of their restaurants in Jersey!

Scarfin’ It With The Armpit 3: “Authentic” Jersey Cuisine

Jersey Grub Truck

Eating in a Thai restaurant with nondescript decor and being served by a teen aged white kid with those huge black circular gauged earrings stretching his earlobes doesn’t make for an authentic Thai experience. Even restaurants in the world showcase in Epcot center employee waiters and chefs from the countries that they recreate. But what makes food authentic? Is it the way the food is prepared, where you eat it, who it’s served by, or all of the above?

Today I’m going to give you directions on how to make authentic Jersey grub. First, grow a five o’clock shadow, grab a cigarette, gain about 30 lbs and begin sweating. As the stereotypes dictate, this is a cook at a Jersey diner. If the stereotypes continue, he only knows how to cook up a pork roll egg and cheese sandwich, or anything greasy that has peppers and onions slathered on top. Despite what many “foodies” (I’m sorry to all my foodie friends but I hate that term) will lead you to believe, Jersey doesn’t really have it’s own cuisine since we are lucky to have a huge mish mosh of everything there is to offer. Sure we have about a half a million diners in our state, but the majority of our signature meals are very basic and nothing to describe as “mouthwatering” or “savory.” That’s not to say that meals at our restaurants can’t be described that way, it’s just that many of them don’t actually serve the type of “Jersey Grub” that THE JERSEY GRUB TRUCK offers.

Started by a Jersey guy who moved to the west coast, The Jersey Grub Truck can be seen all around Los Angeles. We are known for our blueberries and cranberries, but the Jersey Grub Truck serves mostly fat sandwiches. For instance, an L.A Weekly post highlighted that one of the menu items is The Fat Jerz Sandwich, which is hamburger, egg, pork roll, and BBQ sauce. Is it the pork roll that makes it Jersey? Can you incorporate salt water taffy or pork roll into any meal to give it that Jersey zest? Wow, that’s a stretch. The Sexy Armpit has already glossed over New Brunswick’s fat sandwiches featured on Man vs. Food, and that is essentially what the Jersey Grub Truck serves. The Jersey Grub Truck stole the idea of The Grease Trucks and brought it to Hollywood. If there’s one thing that Jersey is NOT, it’s Hollywood, and if you have not left Jersey that is precisely the reason why. Not only are we on opposite sides of the country, but we lead extremely different lifestyles. Regardless of our differences, I’m glad there’s a little more of Jersey being spread around L.A!

To get “real” Jersey grub, you don’t need to sing “Born To Run,” while cooking or stop at a catering truck. For tips on the best Jersey cuisine check out Jersey Bites and also read Pete Genovese’s book, Food Lovers Guide to New Jersey. But the best way to find authentic Jersey cuisine is to discover it for yourself. Your best bet is heading down to that family owned neighborhood dive, it will surprise you.

You can friend The Jersey Grub Truck on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter.

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My Green Hornet Toys from Carl’s Jr.!

Green Hornet Toys

Green Hornet toys at a burger joint? What? Was I reading that correctly? I first heard the news of The Green Hornet toys at Carl’s Jr. via their Twitter account. I immediately tweeted back to them that there are no Carl’s Jr. restaurants in my vicinity for thousands of miles, (which isn’t an exaggeration) but I desperately wanted to get my hands on these toys. I’ve been a Green Hornet fan since my father introduced me to the classic radio shows on his old Philco radio when I was a kid, then by the time I saw the Batman TV series, I was already familiar with the character. Even though there have been a few toys associated with The Green Hornet, there’s just something memorable about collecting movie/fast food tie in toys.

Green Hornet Toys
Carl’s Jr. Green Hornet and Kato Action Figures

The Carl’s Jr. Twitter account told me to follow them and they would try to work something out. I waited a few days and heard nothing back, so I immediately wrote them off as a second rate fast food craphole that for some asinine reason only exists out west. Sorry if you swear by their food, but it must be the same type of feeling if you live in state that doesn’t have a White Castle…you poor thing! I feel for you because that truly sucks.

Green Hornet - Jay
About to spring into action wearing Carl’s Jrs.’ Green Hornet Toy Mask

Scouring ebay for these toys at a ridiculous price would probably be my destiny, although I did have an alternate plan up my sleeve. I started to think of people I knew in states that had Carl’s Jr. restaurants to see if maybe they could hook a brother up. Meanwhile, my stealthy girlfriend, who can’t tell the difference between The Green Hornet and The Green Lantern, had a little covert operation of her own going on. She asked her cousin out in California to get me the toys and send them to Jersey. What a girl! So f*ck Carl’s Jr. for not getting back to me and not having a location in Jersey! BOO to them. And thank you to Miss Sexy Armpit and her cousin for confidentially procuring the Green Hornet toys for me!

Click HERE to read more of The Sexy Armpit’s Green Hornet related posts