Halleluja to a Good-Eatin’ Healthy-Drinkin’ Weekend!

By Trinessa Dubas

Lawd, I have fallen in love and begun to stalk good eats! Columbia has been doing its best to please my ever-growing palette, and I am one thankful gal. In my new search for healthier, more wholesome foods, I have stumbled across the one I will stake a claim at the most. Have you guys heard of Good Life Café? Have mercy. Not only does this casual vegan spot have the most delicious alternative foods THEY SERVE WINE, organic wine at that… What? Did you think this was a get your good bite column? No ma’am(or sir). This was an opening about where to wind your Wednesday down. Ha!

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Wednesday (7/9) Good Life Café 1614A Main St. will be open for a Healthy Happy Hour 4-7. Get your friends or grab a coworker and stop in for a quick bite of something new, fresh and delicious. The Bar and serving staff are beyond friendly and rather knowledgeable about these good eats. Go on, break those old habits and start a new. When you get there ask for Dustin or Tyrelle, tell ‘em Trinessa sent you. BOOM!

You may also be inclined this same evening to join Trustus Theatre’s Managing Director, Larry Hembree for his Bring Your Own Dinner; Dinner Theatre. We all know and love Larry and this fundraiser I know will be above the limits in fun. The show is at Trustus Theatre 520 Lady St. You will get the best and worst (on purpose) in dinner theatre with this two act show. Guest are encouraged to wear their worst tourist outfits and bring food to enjoy. This sounds too fun to not be a part of. I’m thinking about taking my “at publix famous” chicken in the box. Doors open at 6p. Show starts at 7p and tickets are $20. If you know what I know, they may be sold out (but give it a try anyway!)

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Thursday (7/10) I have found something that looks interesting for all of my peeps that enjoy a good corny movie every now and again. Columbiana Grande 1250 Bower Parkway will be hosting RIFFTRAX LIVE. The screening will have the stars of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” commentate on the “ridiculousness” of “Sharkanado”. I have a few folks in my life that got a kick out of the television production and am sure they’d love this. If your with ‘em in this foolishnes. Feel free to join them and a host of others. It’s sure to be a good time. Tickets are $12.50 fandango.com

Oh, Friday (7/11) how I love thee. Get your pre- teen this evening and head out to Prime Time in the Parks. 8-11p. This event will be held in two places Hyatt Park 950 Jackson Ave and Booker Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center 2611 Grant St. This “late night” event provides a safe environment for teens 13-18. There will be games, music, sports and refreshments. FREE FREE FREE.
Back over on the grown folk side of things, join me in supporting another of our beloved local acts as The Grand Opening feat. FatRat the Czar, Matt Monday and BLVCK will be performing at Conundrum Music Hall 626 Meeting St. Man, I really enjoy conscious rapping and an environment in which I don‘t feel threatened in attending due to the crowd (not so much the artist). This brother and his team are sure to bring it!! And if you are a lyrical lover this is the beat for you…doors open at 9. Admission is $10
I will be also spending a part of this night saying goodbye to a dear friend of mine, who has found better opportunities in Atlanta. Love you Tywila Walker, I will miss you something terrible…. (quick shout out to my roadie!!!)

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Saturday (7/12) I will be off ushering for the show I mentioned a few weeks back. The Hallelujah Girls. Midlands Technical College Harbison Theatre 7300 College St. Chapin Theatre Company is a group I find to be fun and full of talented local artist, such as George Dinsmore. Show starts at 8p and tickets are $18. I am excited and expect to have a romping good time. Side note: for those of you who love theatre, but can’t always afford to see a show…VOLUNTEER. It’s a secret myself and fellow ushers kind of keep to ourselves, but I am letting the cat out of the bag! (so to speak). Ushering is one of the easiest jobs no matter where you do it. Take patrons to their seats and keep it moving. Watch a show for free and go home (unless it’s Trustus, you gotta straighten up, then go) J . I do this as often as I can and will be doing it again in the next week for The Evil Dead closing at Trustus.
Before I conclude this weeks budget-friendly venues and activities, I have to toss in an event occurring NEXT Tuesday (7/15). I usually start off the column with hump day and by the time I am working on next weeks events, The New Word Order will have been here and gone. So, prepare yourself now for then. All of my spoken word loves will get a kick out of this. Whether or not you have attended a Session’s Live event. This new face and phase from the same folks that brought you the award winning forum are back with a new place and brand. Savalis Restaurant and Lounge1710 Main St. presents The New Word Order with Spyrit the tattoo poet as host and Kyla Lacey as feature. This is one of the best most relaxed atmospheres I have been to in quite some time now. I have been following these local cats and like what I hear. If you love spoken word and the power of it in our lives, then put on your most casual of attire and beat me there!! Show starts at 8. Admission is $7

Honey, I’ll see ya!
Wine1

CHEAP DRINKIN’ WEDNESDAY – WEEK 2: COLT 45

by FRANK THOMPSON

Admit it, we all wanted to be him.
Admit it, we all wanted to be him.

If you can’t trust Billy Dee Williams, friends, who can you trust? I mean, this man brought an intergalactic Rat-Pack-style cool to the Star Wars saga. Han Solo may have been the growling Sinatra, but Lando was Dean Martin, baby, all the way down to his patent leather space boots. And you know he would have been getting Princess Leia drunk if he’d had half a chance. And then there are the commercials…

With this in mind, I decided to try out Billy Dee’s favorite brew, Colt 45 Malt Liquor, only $2.85 for a 40 0z. bottle. (Yes, I could have gone with the tall boy can for about a buck less, but if you don’t drink Colt 45 out of a fawty, it just doesn’t count. )

Not the same.
Not the same.

The lovely Shell Station On Beltline, my usual stop for supplies when doing research for Cheap Drinkin’ Wednesday, was running a special on Uncle Ray’s Sour Cream & Onion chips, so I decided just to make a hootenanny of the whole thing and go all in. My total outlay was right around $4.00, which seemed right reasonable for an afternoon of fun and refreshment.

 

Breakfast Of Champion Drinkers
Breakfast Of Champion Drinkers

Taking the Colt 45 bottle in hand makes one feel at one with Billy Dee. Indeed, it inspires one to channel one’s inner Billy Dee; to hold the golden flagon slightly aloft, beckoning the fates and the slinky beauty at one’s side to come hither and partake of life, of sustenance, of the elixir that is…COLT 45…

"Works every time..."
“Works every time…”

I have, if I may, shot the 45 a time or two in my youth, (of course those were the days in which getting very drunk very quickly overrode all other concerns) but did not recall much about it either way as I began the sampling. The aluminum twist-off cap didn’t inspire a great deal of confidence, but its scratchy metallic palm-bite was familiar in a nostalgic way.

One thing I had completely forgotten was the amount of foam these babies can produce. Along with a yeasty odor with vinegar undertones, the uncorking (as it were) released a great deal of effervescence, topping off the pour with a head about half the size of the glass. I realize it may be a bit dandified to pour Colt 45 into a glass, but I just can’t see Billy Dee swigging from the jug and passing it to his lady friend.

Mr. Bland, we've had some issues with your specimen...
Mr. Bland, we’ve had some issues with your specimen…

The aroma is, as described, overwhelmingly yeasty, but with an underlying sharpness. You know how sometimes something that stinks also smells oddly good in a weird way? Colt 45 smells rather like cat pee, but not in an entirely unpleasant way.

Now, for the taste test…

 

Bottoms up...
Bottoms up…
At first it perplexes...
At first it perplexes…
...then the whang kicks in...
…then the whang kicks in…
...then you fear you may be ill...
…then you fear you may be ill…
...followed by a skunky stank that makes you pucker...
…followed by a skunky stank that makes you pucker…
...the bitter finish catches you by surprise...
…the bitter finish catches you by surprise…
...leaving one unsure how to feel about it all.
…leaving one unsure how to feel about it all.

…and that pretty much sums it up. Although not really.

You see, the odd thing is that after a couple of sips, I found myself strangely enjoying it. It’s almost as if the first wave of taste-numbingness had to do its business before I could settle into the drink. It became crisp, almost citrus in its nature, and after about half a glass I found myself quite cheery, indeed. I had a sudden urge to call up old friends I hadn’t seen in years, just to wish them well. I was filled with vast, expansive impulses…to write the world’s greatest novel, to solve the problems of society, to…to…

db

…and after a few minutes I just wanted to sit down and close my eyes for a bit. This stuff lives up to its name, managing to be cold, steely, explosive, potent, and likely the cause of more than one violent incident. Approach with caution, and don’t try to down the whole thing unless you’re in training. You have been warned.

The Uncle Ray’s chips were quite tasty, albeit with a definite chemical zing beneath the crispy onion-flavored goodness. In fairness, this may have been a residual vapor burn from the Colt 45, which was, by then proving itself to be persistent, indeed. Half a bag of chips, a couple of bites of cold rice pudding and a glass of water had yet to eliminate the 45’s lingering fumes.

notbad

In all, I just can’t bring myself to give a full thumbs-down to the Colt 45. It’s a cheap-ass malt liquor that’ll sneak up and punch you in the back of the head, but that’s not always a bad thing. If you’re young and bulletproof and/or just looking to get messed up fast for not much money and devil take the consequences, I recommend giving it a try. Tell ‘em Billy Dee sent you.

Wine1

Cheap Drinkin’ Wednesday – Week 1: Happy Juice

by FRANK THOMPSON

Welcome, friends, to the kickoff of Cheap Drinkin’ Wednesday! This no-doubt-soon-to-be-famous weekly look at the less expensive beverages on offer around our fair city will hopefully enlighten as well as entertain. The Girl and I will be purchasing, taste-testing and evaluating various libations that will appeal to the budget-conscious as well as those simply in search of a cheap buzz.

Our maiden voyage begins with the insouciantly-named HAPPY JUICE. Marketed as a “premium malt beverage”, this crimson elixir comes adorned with a smiley face…or is it?

HJ3

The casual imbiber should take note of such subtle clues as the devilishly leering grin on the seemingly innocent logo. There’s evil in that bottle, friends. Pure alcoholic malfeasance in a non-recyclable. Note the malevolent cast of the eyes; the expression that says “you may have the time of your life, or you may wind up pantsless in a dumpster behind a Popeye’s chicken.” Adventure awaits, but you pays your money and you takes your chances…

…which brings us to the economics of the whole thing. Let’s be honest. If you’re anything me, the only reason you might consider drinking this glorified day-glo turpentine is because you can’t afford Chateau Lafite. (If it makes you feel any better, Happy Juice could also be called Chateau La Feet for its very specific bouquet, but more on that in a moment…) A buck-eighty gets you a full 24 ounces of this Jus Du Joie, leaving enough change from a fiver for a big-ass bag of pork skins and a Chunky.

HJ4

The color of Happy Juice is not one generally found in nature, which adds significantly to its allure. A murkily iridescent red, it glows with a sort of evil seductiveness, promising much more than it will likely deliver. (The hot tattooed stripper of cheap beverages, if you will.) There’s also something vaguely medicinal about it, beyond the taste similarities to store-brand Robitussin. It’s Dr. Jekyll’s devil’s brew, or perhaps something in a hypodermic in one of the shitty Star Wars prequels nobody liked.

HJ5

To call Happy Juice a heady concoction would be not only an understatement, but far too lofty a description. A powerful smell of premium unleaded mixed with Fruity Pebbles head-butts those whose noses get within arm’s length of an uncorked container.

HJ6

This is rocket fuel, friends. Make no mistake. This is the overture for a little performance we call Jo-Jo And The Amazing Technicolor Throwup, playing nightly in parking lots and municipal trash cans across the land.

After giving the Happy Juice a few moments to breathe, The Girl and I decided to give it a shot. (No, seriously, we both considered getting a gun and shooting it while we still had time.) For a moment we were befuddled by the etiquette of the whole thing. Does one decant before pouring? Is Happy Juice considered a wine? A beer? A mixer, even? (I must tell you all sometime about the wino my college roommate and I feared we had killed after giving him an extra-large cup of MD 20/20 and Skol vodka, which he promptly chugged. But I digress…)

We settled on tumblers, which seemed appropriate. A jaunty clinking of glasses, and bottoms up…

HJ2

Imagine if you will, a base of cold, flat off-brand lemon/lime soft drink. Something sold by a down-at-heel grocery store and called Melon Yellout or Mountain’s Day, in cans with color schemes and logo shapes identical to the real thing. Open it up and leave it out overnight. Now add some rubbing alcohol to the point that you start to develop anxieties from childhood associations with that smell and the proximity of a doctor’s needle. Got it? Now think of the Jello served in individual cups in grade school lunchrooms, melt one down and throw it in. Top off with Zima, Old Spice, and Listerine yellow.

Happy Juice is neither happy nor juice. Angry Chemical Slurry would be much more accurate.

HJ7

The Girl and I looked for something to kill the aftertaste of stale Pop-Tarts and Windex. I went with salsa, she with dill pickle chips, which proved the most effective. Neither of us can attest to the intoxication brought on by Happy Juice, as a single sip was enough for both of us. I can only guess, but I don’t imagine it leads to a good drunk. Swilling Happy Juice is never followed by smartly dressed Gatsbyesque misbehavior and witty repartee. Undershirt-clad louts in doorway shouting ineffectual threats at grubby neighbor children, yes. Noel Coward around the bar at Antibes, no.

After giving the rest of the bottle a proper burial, we noticed the sink draining much more quickly and efficiently than before. Make of that what you will.

HJ1

The verdict? Happy Juice is likely to appeal to those for whom such dandified concerns as taste, smell, and overall palatability are immaterial when compared to getting smashed quickly. May be of passing interest to teenage girls, who will abandon it for Boone’s Farm after the first good hangover. Again, only speculation, but a Happy Juice hangover has got to be beyond painful. If you ever experience one, please don’t tell me about it.

NEXT WEEK: Colt 45…BANG!!!

Having a life on the cheap

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