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Ten Questions with Comedy, Food, Sports Host Patrick Dodd

Patrick Dodd- Host of Comedy, Food, Sports

Patrick Dodd- Host of Comedy, Food, Sports

Patrick Dodd is a man with three passions in life: Comedy, Food & Sports. Luckily, he is also hilariously funny, so he balled all that up into a great late nite live show called, suprisingly, “Comedy, Food, Sports“. Patrick brings in local and national comics, food celebrities and sports know-it-alls to talk about the holy trinity of awesome.

Patrick was nice enough to do our very first “10 Questions with…” segment! Please go see his show this Friday Night, March 29th at The Twisted Tail (2nd & South, Phila. PA). The guests are James Hesky (host of the new “The Monthly Hour with James Hesky” at the Philadelphia Improv Theatre) and 97.5FM The Fanatic Radio Host Jason Ashworth.

Food, Sports & Comedy are the three things that more or less run my life. How did you decide to combine those three things into a show instead of, say, just doing standup and talking about food and sports?

It’s my three favorite things in the world.  I’m a sports nut and I’m an above average cook and I’ve been doing stand up for about 5 years.  In the past couple of years I got married and we had a kid about 9 months ago, so I can’t really hit the open mics and work out new material.  I knew I still wanted to utilize my creative side, so I threw some ideas around and thought why don’t I just blog about these three topics.  I wrote a couple reviews and op-ed type pieces and I realized I should be interviewing the pros in these three arenas.  I reached out to Jim Florentine (I featured for him a few times down in Atlanta so we had somewhat of a relationship) and he turned out to be the perfect person to use as sort of template as to how these interviews should go.
The blog really took off and I knew I wasn’t taking full advantage of the potential here.  What is now our production team (The two hosts of the NQAPodcast) and I started talking about the idea of a live version of the blog.  It started with the concept of just a live podcast and it eventually developed into “Conan O’Brien-esque” talk show.  There is still plenty of tweaking to be done, but the concept is rock solid and we’re really happy with it.

We here at DidjaEat? want to punch people when they use the term “Foodie”. How do you feel about the evolution of that stupid term and the explosion of people being interested in cooking, eating and culinary stuff in general?

I HATE terms like that!  Everyone in the US that can afford to be a foodie; is a foodie.  You know where there aren’t any foodies?  Sudan!  Terms like that enrage me.  There is just this combination of narcissism and abusing of food combinations that has taken over the culinary world and it’s pretty annoying.  Every place is now a “gastropub” and serves up some sort of over the top “pork belly and banana burger with chocolate bacon and a fig and absinthe reduction” that they over charge for, but every trendy “foodie” goes there for brunch and writes some shitty blog about it (of course DidjaEat is not one of those blogs!).

Also, I hate when people use the term “well it takes an educated palate to enjoy that.”  So you have to teach your mouth and taste buds to like something that it naturally doesn’t?
That felt pretty liberating…great question!

Your hometown is Rochester. Are there any regional foods that you miss (isn’t Genesee Cream Ale from Rochester?) that you just can’t get here (or if you did, they just destroy it, like getting a cheesesteak outside of the Philly area)?
The “garbage plate.”  It started at a place called Nick Tahou’s in Rochester, but now lots of places in the greater Rochester area make their own version of it.  It’s amazing drunk and/or hangover food.  The “classic” and probably most popular one is the cheeseburger place.  Half the plate has home fries and the other half has a pretty bland macaroni salad.  On top of that are two cheeseburger patties with no buns.  The toppings are onions, mustard and what people from Rochester call “hot sauce”, which is actually like a spicy, fatty, greasy meat gravy of sorts.  You cover the thing in ketchup and cut up the patties and start heaving it into your drunk or hung-over mouth and the comfort and flavor is unexplainable.  Instead of patties, you can get hot dogs, sausage, eggs, fried fish, veggie burgers, and a ton of other stuff.

The previous chef at the Ugly American was originally from Rochester and he made a garbage plate that they still have on their menu.  It’s kind of deconstructed, almost “sober” version that is good, but much different that the Rochester version.  It’s very tasty, but much smaller and it’s missing some crucial elements.  It’s more of a gastropub version of it for lack of a better term.

As a comic, do you feel like traveling comics have the most interesting (good and bad) food stories? The horror stories are aways the most interesting. What are some you have experienced or heard?
Surprisingly, the stories have been pretty tame.  I’ve been lucky enough to interview mostly A-list comedians and they kind of have somewhat sophisticated tastes.  Bobby Kelly had a great story about waking up from a Chick-fil-A coma.  He was eating healthy 6 out of 7 days every week, but he splurged hard on the unhealthy day.  He actually shot a video of himself, at a Chick-fil-A drive-in, buying three chicken sandwiches, a twelve piece chicken nugget, an Oreo shake and a large fry.  He passed out after he finished everything off and had some crazy dream about shitting in a garbage can at a family picnic and trying to get his maid to blow him.  Needless to say, he’s one of my favorite comedians to talk too.
Sports are always linked to food. While we would stab our mother for a Schmitter at Citizen’s Bank Park (sorry, Mom), are there any particular foods, tailgate or at the park, that you connect to memories of being a kid or with friends at the stadium or ballpark?
I’m more of just a beer drinker at games, but I usually do something somewhat traditional like a hot dog or sausage at the games.   It kind of depends on what city I’m in.   Fenway and Wrigley have ridiculous sausage rolls.  Yankee Stadium food pretty much sucks.  Hockey and basketball games are pretty much the same everywhere…very blah.  The Union actually have some decent stuff that’s pretty reasonably priced.  I think the overall experience there (specifically the Sons of Ben section) is very under the radar and underrated, but that’s a bit off topic I guess.

As a kid, I always remember getting ice cream right around the 7th inning stretch.  They would put it in the little batting helmet and that was always my favorite part of the game.   I don’t do that now, but I remember almost counting the outs and potential batters to figure out how long it will take until it’s ice cream time.  It was usually the Triple-AAA Baltimore affiliate that we would go see in Rochester, so if they weren’t playing the Pawtucket Red Sox, I didn’t really give a shit if they won or not really.

Are you a fan of the tailgate? If so, what sport and what is a favorite thing to eat while there, bought or cooked. If not, how about just while hanging out at home or at a bar to watch a game?

When I interviewed Rory Scovel, he said he wishes he could just tailgate all the time.  Even if you’re just grilling and drinking beers behind a car in their driveway with no game associated with it.  I always thought that was a hilarious take on it, because tailgating is the best.  Everyone is drinking and eating and trying to one up each other by having the most over the top set up.  I lived in Atlanta for a couple of years and I had season tickets to their games, because anyone can get season tickets basically anywhere they want there.  Anyway, the tailgating was out of control.  People would have huge tents, with DJ’s, competition size smokers, huge RV’s decked out with Falcons logos, and the food was unreal!  Every type of pork imaginable and legitimately some of the best BBQ in the country.  Even though Atlanta fans are pretty fair weather and most people down there aren’t even from Atlanta; it’s kind of a must see.  When the Eagles came down a couple of years ago (Vick’s first time back to Atlanta), you would’ve thought you were at an outdoor concert and BBQ competition.  It’s hard to even explain to be honest.

At a bar, I’m a major sucker for good nachos.  Unfortunately, bars fuck this up all the time.  First off, lettuce has no business being in nachos! I can’t stress that enough.  I would need a full page to explain the rest of my problems I have with most how most bars in the city, and all cities for that matter, serve nachos.  McGillin’s Olde Pub probably makes the best overall nachos I’ve ever had.  I can’t say enough good things about their nachos or the place itself.  Definitely a great spot to watch the game!
When I’m at home watching a game, I try to make everything from scratch.  So I’ll usually make a pizza or two with some nachos or wings or something of that sort, but I try to make sure to create everything from scratch. During the NFL season, I usually make something that’s kind of an all day event.  I’ll make my meat gravy or chili or something like and just let it simmer till midway through the first games.  Meatball sandwiches or just meatballs in sauce are definitely in my top 3 game time at home foods.

Do the comics you have on lean more towards food or sports in their interests?

I’ve somewhat handpicked the comedians I interviewed that I know are into sports and potentially pretty knowledgeable about food, so it’s not super easy to answer that accurately.  Florentine knows tons about sports and not much at all about food, while Nick DiPaolo knows a lot about both and then Dan Levy, literally, knows nothing about sports and is really into crazy types of unique foods.
If I had to guess, comics generally are probably more into food.  It seems like a lot of comics grew up a little bit more on the nerdy side and that’s a big reason why they are so funny and successful, but their sports knowledge is usually pretty below average.  Philly and Boston are probably excluded from that list, because of how into their local teams they are.

You have a little kid under the age of 3, and it is notoriously hard for parents of young kids to eat out. What kind of food do you and the Mrs. go for when you have some time to yourselves?
There are a handful of places we love, depending on how much time we have. Taqueria La Veracruzana is definitely our quick fix for amazing and affordable Mexican food.  That place is an absolute must for people that prefer their tacos not to be wrapped in a nacho Dorito’s shell.  The Royal Tavern is a place that we probably wish we went to more often, but is definitely high up on the list of places that we love.  Kennett So. 2nd is right next door to our place and they really serve up some great stuff and they have a great craft beer selection.  Dimitri’s is our go-to seafood spot if that’s what we’re shooting for.  Outside of our neighborhood, we love Lee How Fook in Chinatown.  That place has never steered us wrong.

You are a member of Red Sox Nation. What foods would you cast as Bill Buckner and Roger Clemens (pre-jerkoff steroid Clemens).

I hate to be “that guy”, but Buckner was a total scapegoat.  There were so many poor coaching decisions that put them in that awful situation.  That being said, I’ve give him some sort of acai berry, blueberry, super fruit smoothie so he can wake up his brain to have some hand-eye coordination to make a play on a simple grounder that my fucking 9 month old son could’ve made.
For Clemens, I would give him some steroid infused pulled pork.  He’s a redneck, so he loves his BBQ and he supposedly started doing roids after he left the Sox.  I think the issue was that no one in Boston was giving him his juice.  He won back to back Cy Youngs after he started pumping needles in his ass cheeks.  The Sox should’ve been feeding him roids from day one!

What is your favorite thing to cook at home and the thing you loathe the most to cook at home?

I love making anything from scratch.  I think it’s just a pretty cool feeling when you create something delicious that came from completely unprocessed, raw items.
I’m really started to love the “low and slow” techniques.  Something like braised short ribs that just cook all day in just a cornucopia of tasty juices.  A lot can be said about how much flavor and texture can be almost perfected with that “low and slow” method.  The comfort level is through the roof if it’s done properly!
I really don’t loathe cooking anything.  I hate working with processed items, but that’s pretty easily avoidable.  I’m not big fan of baking mostly because every measurement has to be so precise.  There isn’t much that you can play around with outside of adding a flavor here and there.  I really don’t measure anything, so it’s tough for me to follow a recipe completely but you pretty much have to with baking.

Thanks again to Patrick for being our guinea pig for “Ten Questions with..” and check out his monthly show!

Flyer for the March 29th Comedy, Food, Sports

Flyer for the March 29th Comedy, Food, Sports

Photo Roundup!

Hey Everyone!,

So I realized I had a bunch of stray pictures hanging around. I am the asshole you see snapping pictures of food at inappropriate times (“I know you are having that cookie because of your low blood sugar but it looks cool”…Snap!) but not all of my pics can be a whole blog post unto itself. So, here is a roundup of assorted pics that I thought would be cool.

First up! In a previous post, I drooled all over the internet about a Prime Rib that my cousin-in-law, Bob, the firefighter chef, had made. Well, what I did not mention was that his wife Chrissy cut me a giant piece to take home. So, later on, home alone on New Years Day, I wanted to eat it. But how? I cut it up, threw it in a cast iron skillet and started to just heat it up.

Leftover Prime Rib & Eggs

Leftover Prime Rib & Eggs

In a little bowl I mixed some ketchup, A1, sriracha, worcheshire sauce and water and threw it in so it wouldn’t get dried out. Then I thought, what should I eat with it? Duh.

It was a thing of beauty. The sauce had cooked down and caramelized on the meat and the eggs were cooked but the yolks were still kinda dippy. I sat in the green leather armchair in the living room with this plate on my lap and welcomed the first day of 2012 (yeah, I had to check) with reckless abandon. And lots of meat!

Changing gears…

I was in North Jersey doing some comedy awhile back with my friend Latice. It was a long drive and I was super crazy hungry. I ordered a burger (an aside: please don’t advertise a big giant burger and then give me a big giant…jetro frozen burger. It takes 20 minutes to make like 45 fresh burgers for the week. Salt. Pepper. Maybe something else if you wanna get crazy. It’s cheaper to buy a chubb (haha, yeah that’s what they call it) of meat from wherever you get your meat and make them yourself then to lie to me and make me angry.) and wanted nachos. I love nachos.

And what they served me made me so angry I wanted to burn the building down.

The Worst Nachos In The History Of The World

The Worst Nachos In The History Of The World

What we have here are the Worst Nachos In The History Of The World. They were over salted regular and blue corn tortilla chips with the bagged shredded cheese and old chili on them. Oh. And olives. Where are the other ingredients? They were on another plate (that I didn’t take a picture of due to being angry) in little cups. There was not enough for the both of us, which irritates the crap out of me, because nachos should be big enough to be shared by at least 3 people. THAT IS WHY THEY EXIST. Some idiot in the kitchen decides to make deconstructed nachos and then doesn’t even mention it in the menu. And then tries to pass off a frozen burger as homemade. For shame. FOR SHAME.

This is what nachos should look like:

Nachos at Urban Saloon

Nachos at Urban Saloon

There is everything you need there. They don’t make their own chips either, even tho it is simple, but there is height, heft and yes, DELICIOUSNESS.

(And the maraschino cherries for dessert? You really get me internet, you really do…)


Frankenstein Cake Pop

Frankenstein Cake Pop

My little cousin Matt turned 7 earlier this past year and he wanted a monster themed party (fitting for Matt, but you don’t know him, so this must seem very inside baseball. You’d be right. But, trust me.). So his mom Lorrie made a very cool cake and gave out these monster cake pops!

Lorrie makes such awesome baked goods that sometimes I daydream about keeping her in my basement to just make me baked goods all day long. But then I remember how silly that would be…my cellar isn’t big enough for that kind of operation. A girl can dream tho.

Anyway, aren’t they cool? The hair is oreo crumbs and the cake is a light and airy chocolate. Did I almost get into a fight with another 7 year old over one sitting on a table?

One may never know…(I sure as hell ain’t tellin’….)

Red Velvet Donut

Red Velvet Donut

I found myself out of my area of cheesesteaks and tastykakes and into another area called Brooklyn. It looks a lot like Philly but with much more annoying Yankee/Giants/Mets crap plastered to all the cards. So instead of making an afternoon out of keying cars, I ended up eating this…a red velvet donut.

I didn’t eat it when first given to me. It sat in the bag for a bit. While I do tend to write about baked goods, I really very rarely eat them because too much carby stuff turns me into a parade float. Ahem. Anywho, this beauty is from the Peter Pan Bakery on Manhattan Ave in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. This thing was freakin’ amazing. Could it have been better with cream cheese frosting? Perhaps. But it was like eating a cupcake, a cake and a dance on a ballroom floor and I’ll take that any day.

Awesome Cupcake

Awesome Cupcake

I’ll end this hodgepodge post with a cupcake. A plain vanilla cupcake. I don’t remember exactly where I had this thing (it might have been another one of Bob’s creations), but I remember the icing. I hate cupcakes that have skimpy sugar-ball icing. They have no flavor. No panache. No…soul.

This was a perfect cupcake. Cream cheese icing. Tiny sugar crystals. It took me awhile to get down to the cupcake but ya know what?

It was a holiday cupcake and I was in love with it. And that was just fine with me.

A Trio Of Burgers

There are few things I love more then a good burger. The more combos the better. Recently, I have had some interesting burgers and, while it took me awhile, I am gonna show you them now.

Burger at The Grey Lodge

Burger at The Grey Lodge

The Grey Lodge had, in the past, really disappointed me with a really nasty cheesesteak. Well, with their new chef Eric, they seem to be turning this around. They now make almost everything in-house, which is refreshing. It is so easy to trot down to Jetro in South Philly and load up on frozen burgers, fries and munchie food. It takes balls to step out of that shadow and stretch the boundaries of bar food, especially in Mayfair, where people are used to Chickie’s and Pete’s frozen crinkle fries.

They have some neat stuff on the menu, including a tasty Cuban sandwich I had one day. But the burgers are pretty good. You first figure out if you want the burger, then pick what kind of cheese from about 6 and then go to town customizing it. The burger you see above has mayo, cheddar cheese, a fried egg and pickles. The pickles are sliced deli pickles, which is a nice touch and added a nice crunch to the whole package. The bun was fresh and the egg was, well, an egg on a burger is always a great touch.

The fries were fresh, hot and overflowing. I hate it when they skimp on fries. I ordered the spicy mayo to dip in and it did not disappoint. It was spicy without your face on fire and I even found myself trying to dip my burger in it too. Overall, the burger was about 12 bucks, which might seem pricey but the base burger is 8 bucks. So, that’s about reasonable.

I am super excited about the food at The Grey Lodge on the upswing. They have fantastic beers and now they have food that’s catching up. Go check it out!

Jack Daniels Burger @ PYT

Jack Daniels Burger @ PYT

PYT is a burger bar joint in the Piazza. They have a burger of the week and this was one awhile back. It’s a burger with cheese and bacon that is basted in a Jack Daniels sauce. Also on this thing are fried pickles.

You would think the bacon would make this burger but the fried pickles actually sneak in and steal the show! Also stealing my heart is the dill mayo dipping sauce for the fries. It is subtle and dances in your mouth when it mixes with the fries and the grease. If I could, I would have swam in a vat of it. Yes, I have no shame.

Peanut Butter & Bacon Burger @ Urban Saloon

Peanut Butter & Bacon Burger @ Urban Saloon

This burger here I almost did not order. I originally ordered a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread but the chef came out and told me they were out of it. So, I ordered this. Wow.

This, from Urban Saloon in Fairmount, is a burger with Peanut Butter and Bacon on Texas toast. While the fries were typical Jetro coated fries, the burger was pretty great! It was done exactly how I ordered it, medium, and the peanut butter was melted just enough to cover the burger but it wasn’t dripping down my arm. They are not skimpy with the bacon either, so extra mega points for that. The patty is a bit small but it does the job.

The only thing I did not like was the texas toast. I am not a fan of texas toast at all, and I think if this was on a nice potato roll, it would be a grand slam. As of now, it’s a home run 🙂

Finally, I did enjoy a Yards Pale Ale with the burger, altho I prefer the Philly Brewing Co’s “Philadelphia Pale Ale”, but they don’t carry the PBC stuff there. Let’s get with the program Urban Saloon!

PYT Cheesesteak Pretzel Roll Burger

Being from Philly, I love many local foods but 2 of them are Cheesesteaks and Pretzels. When you combine the two of them, the result is….fantasticness!

I give you…the Cheesesteak Pretzel Roll Burger at PYT! A burger, with cheesesteak, cheese, onions on a specially made by Philly Pretzel Factory Pretzel bun.

Holy mother of god, this thing is delicious. I had dropped by PYT to drop off some pierogies (disclaimer: I make an exclusive pierogie for them: the Bacon Cheeseburger. They also sell my Pumpkin Cheesecake pierogie!) with my friend Mary Kate from Ida Mae’s Bruncherie, a breakfast and lunch place in Fishtown.

Cheesesteak Pretzel Roll Burger

Cheesesteak Pretzel Roll Burger

Here is the top of the roll:

Cheesesteak Pretzel Roll

Cheesesteak Pretzel Roll

So. Good. You go now.

Mary Kate also got an order of these teeny, perfectly cooked little sliders with cheese fries!

PYT Sliders

PYT Sliders

And! we split an order of thier batter dipped onion rings. Ooo yeah!

PYT Onion Rings

PYT Onion Rings

They used black pepper either in the batter or right when they come out. I don’t know which, but we were stabbing each other to get the last one. I hate Onion rings that, when you bite them, the onion comes right out. These do not! Deeeeeee-licious!! The only thing I can think of to change is to maybe have some kinda dipping sauce.

As you can probably tell, I am working my way thru their menu. It is a bit of work, but delicious work nonetheless!

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