John Collins/Bass player/The Evaporators/Vancouver, BC
(Mon 12 Nov 2001 23:09:52 PST)
A critical 'examination' of what the Evaporators ate on tour. Traveling in another country is
always a challenge around mealtime. Regional flavours and spices can take the unwary
rock band by surprise. Unfamiliar customs make for confusion and can lead to
embarrassing situations. What the average Vancouverite has learned to recognized as
normal table manners can easily be misinterpreted as rude, even antisocial in other
cultures. For a rock n' roll band it's twice as hard because you stick out like a sore thumb
(particularly in the state of California). You eventually can get really down when day after
day you find yourself struggling to acquaint the people of a given area with the simple act of
eating as you've grown accustomed to doing it. The Evaporators have been working on a
more stealth approach to dining out over the last many years. We have learned not to raise
eyebrows with comments such as " Pardon me, if it's not too much trouble, may I have
some white vinegar for my fries?" or " Waiter! There's some chunky bits in the ketchup! And
the same prankster, it seems, has dumped Tabasco in as well!" The Evaporators have
made a silent pact to blend in, damn the costs be they economic, physical or spiritual. I'm
grateful our efforts were documented by Nardwuar who, many a time and at great personal
peril, valiantly forewent his favourite meal, the increasingly elusive soup and sandwich that
we might dine as a unit at one of Western U.S.A.'s more than nine-million mexican
restaurants. It's been my experience, during these trips away, to have a slight lifting of the
spirits, accompanied by a slight compromising of my physical well being. The experiment
is far from over. I can't wait for our next junket. Perhaps one day we can venture as far away
as Louisiana or Florida. I bet the Taco Bells in Alabama are a trip! John Collins /Bass
player/The Evaporators/Vancouver, BC
(Tue 11 Dec 2001 17:08:27 PST)
John, I enjoyed reading your insights on the
nuances of western U.S. cuisine. Although I
have never toured outside the U.S., I have
toured all over the U.S. and have my on theories
on tour food. I have noticed the existence of
what I like to call the "Burrito Belt".
the Burrito Belt is the border between
acceptable and readily available Mexican food
and places where you should just stick with
the local favorites. The States were it's OK
to eat Mexican food include; California, Arizona,
New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, parts of
Utah, parts of Louisiana, Oklahoma. the cities
outside the belt that have good Mexican food
are, Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Boise.
The best Mexican food is by far found in Austin, TX.
In the rest of the United States I found that you
get the best results from eating what ever it is
they do best. Missouri,Bar-B-Que, New York, Pizza,
Pennsylvania, Cheese-Steak sandwiches, the South,
Catfish or Alligator tail.
the worst Mexican food, it's a tie between Ohio, and
Florida. In Ohio the salsa was catsup, the cheese was
Velveeta and the freholes were bake beans. In Florida,
although the ingredients were somewhat correct they
had no idea how to wrap a burrito. It looked
like a ball warped in a tortilla and twisted on top,
and that was at a Taco Bell.
I hope this will help if you guys ever tour the rest
of the United States.
PS tell Nardwuar I say Hi.
(Thu 13 Dec 2001 20:04:08 PST)
May I make a suggestion? If you are in the Santa Monica area, try "Cha-Cha Chicken". Great carribean food! It's just a little shack on Ocean Avenue. Don't miss it!
Another great place in Santa Monica is "Chez Jay's". It's kind of famous, but if you didn't know you would think "What a dump!". They served me one of the best meals I've ever had. A bit pricey, but worth every penny.
(Thu 24 Jan 2002 22:21:49 PST)
Thanks Very much Ema_three/Fred M and RJB! Don't, either of you, think, even for a second , that the evaporators havn't seriously taken your advice re: Mexican food. That stuff is pure gold and I thank you again from the bottom of my heart! I had one of my all time burrito experiences in Chicago. I guess that works within the perameters of the 'Burrito belt' rule. Alright, See you!
(Thu 24 Jan 2002 22:26:28 PST)
PS I think that the picture above is from a nice little spot in navada. Or, at,least on a smaller highway off the main one that goes from LA to Las Vegas (actualy could be in California). Dave would remember the name of the town. Not that it matters to anyone but me. JC
(Sat 19 Aug 2006 17:18:51 PDT)
where is the Panic! at the Disco interview Nardwuar did?!?! I NEED to know. If you have it.. email it to me at CrazyEggnogBarba@aim.com thank ya.
It was a great pleasure to see the Evaporators on the road again. Got me
to thinking. Thinking about past Evaporator road trips. Some of these even
I was a part of! Who could forget the trip to Long Beach, Vancouver Island,
in the big safari dune buggy? Scott decided in would be fun to reverse into a river. So we
did. And we started sinking! "Put it in drive! Put it in drive!" I cried.
"It is in drive," Scott replied as water was gushing about our ankles. I
can't even remember how we finally made it, alive, to the shore. And who
could forget, on this same trip, on the massive deck of the BC Ferry,
panoplied under pink blankets, the roots of the word...Nardwaur. And
impossible to forget, the No. 1 Skippers restaurant in Canada, in Kelowna, BC
. Well,... at least I'll never forget.
Grant Galbraith/Sacramento, CA