Thursday, December 21, 2017

Unfinished Blog #2 : TOP GOLF

Okay this one was a bit weird.

What was supposed to be a humorous take on a "stranger in a strange land" type of scenario (aka me in an upscale driving range golf concept, say no more) totally backfired. And it was all my fault.

The nice people at TopGolf sent me an invite to their media night for the new one that just opened in Marana and after I had a few free drinks in me I posted on social media calling the whole event a "wank".

What made it worse is that someone I know got a job there and she had a talking to by the higher ups asking what my comment was all about and, yeah... Not good.

So let me apologize to everyone at TopGolf for being a turd that night. If it helps I was also on the cusp of being sick so I was edgy going in. But still.

Thing is, I had a totally good time. Now, I am not much of a golfer...hold up, let me rephrase that: I AM NOT A GOLFER!, so getting the chance to hang out at a place I would probably not go to voluntarily was really cool. The place is huge. Three levels of bars, driving ranges, restaurants, etc - TopGolf is set up to be a destination for corporate events, parties and general sporty mirth. Oh and is equipped with like 500 humongous 3D plasma screens. Again, not my scene but it is for a lot of people who got the cash.

The food was really tasty. We got to sample rare prime rib, charcuterie boards, cheesy meatballs, amouse bouche bites and dessert balls that you get to inject cream into. All of it was good. But this was just media night fare. The regular menu includes chicken and waffle sliders, flatbread pizzas, brisket grilled cheese sandwiches, a kids menu and best of all...tater tots.

How can I insult a place that serves tater tots? Idiot!

Thing is after my gaffe I'm sure I wont be invited back so if I want to eat that food I'm going to have to go in incognito and, sigh, pay for it myself. Oh the humanity!

But I deserve it. What I should have done is just added an S to that word and the whole thing would have been 'swank'. Then things wouldn't have gotten sticky. Or at least as sticky.

Not to mention but we also got free water bottles as we exited. I insult a place after drinking and eating on their tab alongside getting a gift? C'mon man.

For all my smarts, sometimes I am just not that bright.

Anyway, that said here are the pics I took from the media event and I'm sure you'll get an idea of what you are in store for when you visit TopGolf.

Oh and I  removed all of the posts once I got word that the wank hit the fan. So...we/I got that going for us/me.



Can't go wrong with a meat and cheese board

Bacon with a side of sprouts

Bite sized nibbles

There's a lot of balls at this place

You get to inject cream into these balls

Very Metal

S'long Top Golf!

Eating, Drinking and Not Golfing
"Metal" Mark Whittaker
Early December, 2017

Metal Influence:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Unfinished Blog #1 : BACON FEST

So this is part 1 of 2 blogs that never got, well...blogged. For some reason (oh I don't know, having a full time day job, writing for the Weekly and trying to be a good husband and cat dad) after I uploaded these pics they just sat there until I realized that, wow, I never did anything with it.

The Bacon Fest happened in mid-November and it is now mid-December so the heat from the competition has pretty much cooled off.

As you know when I Homeskillet I try to get content out as soon as possible but this one lingered so apologies to all that were involved.

To break it all down I had a super awesome time judging this one. Although, honestly, it was a little odd having it start at 2pm and not later in the evening, as they traditionally do, which might account for the Tucson Convention Center being not as packed with people as it could have been or how Bacon Fests of the past usually run. Still! The turnout was good and the food was even better.

As a judge, this one was an endurance test. Myself and the four other judges had to sample 23...23!!!...different dishes that were all infused with bacon.

Not to mention we were also sampling beer from the various local breweries that were in attendance, along with tequila and some whiskey. Hoo doggies were we feeling good!

We had bacon mac and cheese, a pork and bacon Cubano sandwich, bacon ice cream, bacon cake, bacon cotton candy ( heard that correct), bacon wrapped hot dogs and sometimes just bacon. By mid judge I was pretty stuffed and I wasn't even finishing what was placed in front of me. Just tasting, getting the gist. I ate a lot of veggies the night before and the day after and only had some fruit for breakfast that morning to get the belly ready but not content. It was a lot to take in but we did it and when all was said and done I had a freakin' blast.

I'm pretty sure that Cubano sandwich won 'Best Of' because that is exactly what it was: the best. So flavorful, juicy and above all so bacon-y.

I love being a part of the Tucson culinary scene and getting tapped to judge events like this just makes me so happy. This was my last one for 2017 and hopefully 2018 will be chock full of competitive local food awesomeness.

No...I know it will.

2018 will also be a year when I take the Homeskillet into a new direction. It's an ambitious endeavor on my part and was easier when I first started it a few years ago because I had the time. Now that the Tucson Weekly keeps me busy, uploading a minimum of 10 pictures and 1,000 words at least once a week is tough when you're trying to manage life and other responsibilities.

For now just enjoy some of the images from the 2017 Bacon Fest. was porking good.


Chef Gary and his prized pig

Let's get this started

Bacon mac n cheese

This hammy Cubano was the best thing all day

About halfway done, getting full

Bacon whipped cheesecake with candied bacon

We were 20 plates down here...insane

The debacle on the judges table

And the winner is!

Camera, Typing and Eating of all the Bacons
"Metal" Mark Whittaker
Novembacon, Swiney17

Metal Influence: