It's been said over and over, but New Orleans really is the best. Especially for football. The fans are welcoming (weird, but pretty great), the open container laws make walks to the stadium an event rather than a chore, and they sell reasonably priced bowls of jambalaya in the stadium. If the Super Bowl weren't such a monumental cluster f*ck I'd give anything to be there right now.
Baltimore Ravens +4 vs. San Francisco 49ers
If everyone who has been picking Baltimore to win this week were actually betting on them the line would be four points in the other direction. Instead it's a perfectly reasonable +4. Don't get me wrong, I hate Baltimore. I want them to lose so hard.
I want it to be the kind of soul-crushing loss that sends Ray Lewis into a downward spiral that doesn't end until he's living on the stoop of an abandoned row house muttering his own twisted play-by-play of the game that ruined him.
But yeah, I think they're a decent bet to cover, with the 49ers winning on a very tense David Akers field goal. Give the MVP to Vernon Davis and call it a day.
Now for the picks that really matter.
I'll take FLATS over DRUMETTES.
Give me a good SESSION BEER over MIXED DRINKS.
Lastly, I'll take SPINACH in a landslide over BUFFALO CHICKEN in the dip-off.
UPDATE: TMZ says they caught some 49ers out at the strip club last night, so I'm officially changing my pick to San Francisco. It's science.
Previously on Top Chef: Josie lost. Just in case you forgot. Or maybe you got really drunk and forgot what happened like last week’s judges. Seriously, the only reason they waited until morning to axe Josie is because they went through two cases of wine and some paint thinner Chang found in the pool shed.
When things pick up everybody is really sad to that Brooke is still there. Just kidding, they love her because she’s great, and Josie was a hyena. Josh talks about how glad he is to see Josie gone once and for all. Josh is the voice of his generation.
Padma enters the stew room to announce that they’re going on a cruise...
PADMA BIKINI BOOBS AHOY!
...to Alaska. Aww. I forgot they were in Seattle.
Everyone is really happy, then Stefan makes things weird by putting his hand on Brooke’s knee. Then he puts his arm around her and brings her in for the head kiss. He’s about five minutes away from laying down the implication.
“I’ve never been to Alaska.” -Everyone
But Lizzie has been on a boat before. A big one. But it’s from England so you’ve probably never heard of it.
Stefan was a boozer in his younger days (shocking confession time).
So one day his mom told him they were going on vacation then dropped him off at an army base for a year. HAHAHAHAHA. Stefan’s mom is awesome.
Brooke doesn’t like boats. Well don’t worry, Brooke, because you’re traveling on a ship.
Everyone gets a tropical cocktail like they’re on a real cruise and not on a long ass trip from a cloudy and cold place to a cloudier and colder place.
Stefan starts dancing with Brooke. Tell us Brooke, how does this make you feel?
“You’re too close.” -Brooke, with the quote of the season.
Challenge time. Everyone to the galley (nautical term, no big deal)!
“This kitchen is enormous.” Damn it, Lizzie, it’s called a galley. And if you want the ladle it’s hanging on the hook on the starboard side. I’m starting to wonder if she made up that whole story about being on that British boat.
Curtis Stone is the guest this week. He looks ah-mazing. Stefan might try to lick his face.
The cheftestants have to make a one-bite dish with iceberg lettuce. Don’t worry, Stefan gets the joke. He’ll be sure to explain it to poor landlocked Josh.
Brooke is rocking braids because she knows I like that. Stefan probably calls them handles but they don’t show it. Still pretty sure it happened.
Stefan: “They're freezing up there. Padma should have something warm in her mouth.”
It’s weird that more chefs don’t make blowjob jokes.
Padma asks Curtis what he’d do with the lettuce. He shoots her a knowing glance and they adjourn to her stateroom for a highly satisfying half hour, probably.
Josh doesn’t like iceberg because it lacks flavor and he doesn’t get Titanic humor. No worries, he’s frying up a giant vat of bacon. “It’s going to taste like a wet salad in your mouth.”
Lizzie’s dish will have bacon as well. And yet no t-shirt professing her affinity for cured smoked pork belly...
Stefan serves a pastrami type meat with potato and lettuce braised with bacon. BAAAAACON. Some lady thinks the pastrami is ham. What a rube. They should set her adrift in a lifeboat with a canteen and rum ham. Yep, that’s two Always Sunny references. I enjoy cable programming.
Sheldon made a Vietnamese lettuce wrap. So nobody made some food porny galbi or daeji bulgogi? I can’t masturbate to this.
Lizzie’s bacon salad is a salad with bacon. Inspired stuff.
Josh made his version of a wedge salad. It actually looks pretty special, which is a weird thing to say about a spoonful of wedge salad.
Brooke makes a pretty tasty looking lettuce wrap. Needs more gochujang and KY.
Sheldon has to get the win here. And he does. Hooray. They are set free to enjoy the ship.
Fun boat time
Lizzie and Sheldon head off to get manicures. Where Josh comes from men don’t get manicures. They are far too busy sculpting their old-timey mustaches for such pursuits.
Stefan tells the story of losing his virginity on a cruise. Nobody talks for a while. Let’s go back to that manicure scene.
Josh reveals that his baby is due to be born today. Awww, we like Josh. Also, he’s wearing a hat from Sheldon’s restaurant. Respect.
Time for a weird ass dinner with whimsical dishes presented in cabinets. They goof on the food a bit, but it looks pretty good. Hey, if I were getting critiqued on everything I cooked I’d probably unleash HELL when given the opportunity. Za’atar? More like Za’crap. Right? Right???
Josh starts talking shit to Brooke about her fried chicken. THROW HIM IN THE BRIG (nautical stuff again). Now everybody is talking shit about Josh’s breakfast sushi disaster. FAIR.
Padma and Curtis crash dessert to tell the chefs they’re taking over dinner service tomorrow. The menu is surf ‘n turf. Sheldon gets first choice of protein. Josh is worried because his food isn’t nearly as whimsical as his hat collection.
Sheldon wants to get inspired, but instead he picks beef tenderloin and lobster tails. Apparently his inspiration was “I’m on a cruise.” Bad feelings here.
Stefan goes for the pork belly. Josh asks if he can get in on that. Obviously. Stefan is pairing his portion with eel (fun), while Josh is going with scallops (makes sense) and bacon (COME ON). Lizzie opts for the whole pig (ballin’) and Brooke takes frogs legs, which is kind of surf and turf in one. That’s built in whimsy right there!
Wow, Lizzie is skilled butcher. I am aroused. My wife is disgusted. She’s going to have to go out of town for the weekend when I order my half pig and whole Lizzie. Seriously, Lizzie. Come hang out.
Stefan is braising his pork belly in beer. Well not beer, but Coors Light. Jesus, really?
Sheldon doesn’t want to be known as the asian guy who only makes asian food. Brooke suggests he stops making asian food. He says he isn’t making asian food. By the way, he’s making tempura. Whatever, he can cook all the asian food he wants. Asian food is awesome and he’s great at it. His real problem is that he’s making fillet mignon and the tempura that’s already screwed him once.
Something bad happened to Josh’s dish, so he’s turning it into scrambled scallop egg whites. Yum? Don’t worry, there’s pork belly, so he’ll deal.
The timer goes off just as Brooke finishes her dish. Oh, and if anyone at Bravo is reading, please get rid of that timer. It scares the shit out of one of my dogs.
In other news, the judges really dig Brooke’s dish. Nobody says it tastes like chicken. Progress.
Tom starts chewing Stefan’s crunchy pork belly. Either that or he accidentally started eating his water glass. No, it’s pork belly, and it’s crunchier than Eliza (remember her? no? ok).
The ship’s head chef tells the judges that since they have such a large and diverse staff they can produce any cuisine. Say, for example, that you want Indian food. Why they can call on their chef from Bombay and he’ll make the best Indian food you’ve ever tasted. If you look closely you can see Tom’s eyes twitching as he tries to keep them from rolling. Let them roll, Tom. Let them roll. This boat cook is trying to tell you that he has a world class Indian chef in his employ.
The judges are pretty impressed with Josh’s ability to recover and put out an interesting dish that’s outside his comfort zone. Good on ya, Josh.
Sheldon presents his Korean steak and lobster tempura with dynamite sauce and kimchi. So yeah, asian and tasty. But I still don’t know why he went with filet. Was there no other cut of beef back there? Regardless, everyone loves the steak and questions the tempura. That’s two tempura fails for Sheldon, which means he’s totally going to try to redeem himself in the finals.
Lizzie’s steamed cabbage stuffed with suckling pig and scallops look good right up until people start eating. It’s a total mess. Uh oh, Lizzie. But hey, if you get eliminated consider this an invitation to come to my house and help me cut up that swine.
It’s going to be Stefan or Lizzie.
Sheldon talks himself into a corner in front of the judges. I want to crawl into a very small hole right now.
Now I’m thinking it’s Stefan or Sheldon. Oh dear.
Brooke wins. Her prize is...another cruise! I’d call this ironic but I’m terrified of being wrong about irony the way Brooke is terrified of boats. Don't worry, Brooke. Only like four people die on your average cruise.
Yeah, it’s Stefan. I’m relieved, but not happy. Having Stefan around has been fun, and he’s handling himself well. “See you on fucking Last Chance Kitchen, motherfucker.” I will miss that motherfuckin’ creeper.
Next week: Josh sports a new bacon t-shirt while his wife is actively giving birth back home (dramatic!). Lizzie cries while reminiscing about her deceased father (emotional!).
Also, there will be bears and Emeril. Or as a gay chef would say, bear two ways.
Click your right arrow key to go to the Power Rankings, or just hit that "view as single page" link down and to the right.
Still eliminated: Josie (Last week: Eliminated)- Because it's still important, damn it.
Eliminated (Last week: Stefan)- I think I speak for everyone when I say “Bon voyage, you horny European man.”
4. Lizzie (5)– I appreciate that she doesn't take shit from anyone. Also, that voice. Next week will be big for her. She clearly has an emotional attachment to the ocean via her father. Will that manifest itself into a superlative dish? Eh, I don't know. But I'll probably want to eat it because this show makes me hungry.
3. Josh (3)- I am starting to think that we should hang out and drink some whiskey. I have a LOT of pork belly in my freezer. I didn't mean for that to sound so sexual.
2. Brooke (2)- Once this season is over I'm going to go eat at Brooke's restaurant and order an expensive bottle of wine. I will drink one glass and send the rest back to the kitchen in a misguided effort to woo her. My wife will probably leave with the credit card.
1. Sheldon (1)- Save the hate mail, Brookies (that's what I'm calling the legions of imaginary Brooke fans who email me incessantly to complain about her ranking). She got close, but Sheldon is still the one to beat. But maybe shelve the tempura?
Last Chance Kitchen: Kristen moves past the guy who thinks they're dating. Seriously, Stefan, it's not happening. Those foot massages were platonic, a word I just learned.
Next Week: I think my DVR cut out early, but... cooking? Yeah, probably cooking.
Special thanks to Dan Levy for the fact-checking.
I want more like this!
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