I’ll Have What Phil’s Having

what phils having

Have you seen this show? I don’t watch a whole lot of TV but food/travel shows hook me. Anthony Bourdain rocks. I was browsing Netflix this weekend and came upon Phil Rosenthal’s show, watched one episode and was instantly addicted.

Phil Rosenthal is the creator of the show Everybody Loves Raymond. Since he has more money that he knows what to do with, he did a six episode show for PBS where he travels and eats the best that place has to offer. He starts in Tokyo where he tries food from the fanciest restaurants to the humblest of street food.

What sets this show apart from other travel/food shows is how funny it is. Phil Rosenthal didn’t get to be the creator of a hit show like Raymond without throwing a few yuks in. Especially when each episode comes complete with a Skype session with his octogenarian parents. My God I giggled straight through each epidsode and then I HAD TO EAT.

How can you not giggle at that face?

How can you not giggle at that face?




I did watch them out of order, simpy because there was an episode on Paris and I have to say that I have found a few places that I must visit next month. In fact, sheesh, I need to watch it again and take notes. I have to find the place that roasts chickens in BOTH goose fat and duck fat. That’s right.

I’ll Have What Phil’s Having was originally made for PBS but you can find it streaming on Netflix. Go watch it. But be warned, you’ll be as hungry Shaggy and Scooby. You’ll be positively itching to eat.

Randomly on a weekend…

Kosta and I had the day off yesterday, and it was lovely. We started the morning, as usual, with the Friday Breakfast Club. Afterwards we went home and relaxed, read, and there may have been a nap involved. After a killer day at the library Thursday, it was a balm to my soul.

2016-05-20 16.19.57

My flight from R to L: Liquid Sunshine, Triple C, Rojo Especial, Keewaydin Crusher, Good Goat. My faves were the Triple C and Good Goat.


We met friends at the Naples Beach Brewery that evening. The beer was really good, and the company great, but the place was nowhere near the beach, nor did they have air conditioning. Yesterday it was 92 degrees and extremely humid and the brewery is in a warehouse. Nevertheless, we enjoyed it immensely and look forward to returning, perhaps in November when it cools off again. Except for the lack of cool air, the place was damn near perfect and had a great vibe.

Drink like a local...sweaty!

Drink like a local…sweaty!

This morning we got up early and went to the 3rd Street Farmer’s Market. We each got a ham, egg, and cheese crepe from the madame at Chez Boët and a cup of coffee from Black Tulip. Truly, there has never been a smoother, more delicious coffee than what these folks make. I even went back for a second cup of their cold brew.

While we were downtown we ran into a friend of ours and his son. Tim owns a restaurant down there and we saw the son, Wolf, first. He was standing guard by a traffic cone in the parking lot behind the restaurant.  When Tim came by he told us that he and Wolf were fixing a hole in the blacktop. There is an abandoned propane tank under the street that has an access panel that was covered in concrete. But when the delivery trucks come through they bust it up with their weight. So Tim took it upon himself to fill the hole again so no one would have an accident. Kosta said: “But that’s not your problem is it? You don’t own the parking lot.” To which Tim replied, “I’ve been looking at it for three days and figured I should fix it before someone has an accident.”

Nice guy, that Tim.

Nice guy, that Tim.

And today is Kosta’s name day. In Greece, the name day of your patron saint is just as important as your birthday. And May 21st is the feast day of Saint Constantine and Helena. I am baking him a cake for dessert tonight: a four-layer Devil’s food with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Soon to be a death by chocolate.

Soon to be death by chocolate.

I also got a pedicure today. Nothing like getting your toes done to make you feel fabulous.

Sandal ready!

Sandal ready! And my apologies to Julia, who hates feet.

Forget the Reuben, Focus on the Ninjas…

forget the reuben copyA few years ago I was lucky enough to attend the Sanibel Island Writers’ Conference. It is put on every year by the wonderful folks at Florida Gulf Coast University.  That year I got to attend seminars with some really great authors, but my favorite was with Benjamin Percy. He has written some really great novels like The Dead Lands (2015) and Red Moon (2013).

The first thing you need to know about Ben Percy is that he has the deepest voice this side of Barry White. There is a You Tube video of him reading Goodnight Moon that will give you the Vincent Price chills. But I digress.

There were two pieces of writing advice that I took away from this seminar. The first is that a beautifully written book does not have to be short on plot. Literary prose can be paired with a ripsnorter of a story. In fact, it totally should. If you read any of his books you will immediately see what I mean.

The second piece of advice relates to the first. Literary fiction often describes in luscious detail, but you need to know when to expend that detail. The example he gave was a scene set in a diner where the protagonist has just ordered lunch. Instead of waxing poetic about the corned beef and sauerkraut it would be better to describe the ninjas that just vaulted through the door and are now fighting across the lunch counter.

In other words, choose wisely.

I want to leave you with some other words of advice he gave me about dealing with rejection:  “Keep hammering! Every time you face rejection — and it will come regularly to every writer — say ten Hail Marys, three fuck yous, slam a shot of whiskey and get back to work!”

I so need to embroider that on a throw pillow.