Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mimes and Insurance

So the Yelp event was awesome. But, I'm also an idiot. As someone who basically speaks for a living, I was dealing with a slightly hoarse voice as of late. The crazy volume levels at Oz Korean BBQ have left me almost completely without a voice. I've been miming my way through insurance today when I wasn't at home resting.

When I DO speak, I sound like someone who has been smoking for 50+ years. Not a very pleasant phone voice, at the moment. So I'll be doing my best to not talk (which is a challenge for me) and relax my poor, strained vocal chords a bit. In the meantime, trying to pantomime my way through  my last appointment of the day should be interesting!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My first adventure in Eliteness

It should come as no surprise that I'm a big fan of food. I'm also highly opinionated about food! Ask any of my co-workers in the deep, dark insurance mines where I reside most of the day, and they'll point you in my direction if you're looking for a good place to eat. So, not surprisingly, I've taken to Yelp like a fish to water. So much so, that I've been Yelp Elite for the past two years

I'm ashamed to admit it, but despite being an Elite member for 2011 and 2012, I've never actually taken advantage of any of the perks that come with it. They'll often put on events and gathering of various types, and they always seem to fall on days or times that don't work out for me. What a waste, right?

That streak stops tonight!

Tonight's event takes us to Oz Korean BBQ, a place that I've been meaning to try for quite some time. Grill your own delicious meats right at your table? Yes please! And to be able to do so for free with additional goodies thrown in for good measure? You might need to pinch me, because it sounds like I might be dreaming.

So if you happen to be a member of the Elite community yourself, give me a nudge and say hi! I'm always happy to meet other foodies. As long as you don't mind that I'm staring down grilled meats while I speak with you, of course.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Things I'll splurge on

Just like with cars, clothing, or for folks like myself, food and insurance, people are always willing to spend a little more for certain things. They'll pay more for quality, or for a specialty item, or for an awesome personal agent (wink wink, nudge nudge). In my case, one of the things I'll splurge on is cookware.

My recent obsession has been with Le Creuset cookware. Non-stick stuff drives me batty since it gets damaged so easily and in the long-run, you can potentially endanger your food and your own health if the non-stick materials start to flake or if you overheat it sans food. It's not likely, but it can happen! Plus, I've run through skillets like you wouldn't believe. Le Creuset ends all of this insanity. Plus, it's beautiful!

Presenting, exhibit 1:

My awesome fiancee got me my very first Le Creuset item for V-Day. You wouldn't think that this would be an ideal gift for a guy in his twenties, right? Well, for this guy, it was. I was bouncing off of the walls. I'm thrilled with it, and I'll probably be using this as long as I'm cooking. These suckers last.

And don't think this will be the last! My registry is chock-full of these, and I'll be supplementing my collection to fill in any gaps after the wedding.

Everyone has their thing! In my opinion, the quality and longevity makes this pay off in the long run. Now, I hope you feel this way about your insurance too, but I'll forgive you if you're not quite as obsessed as I am.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Either in the land of the foodies, or when dealing with insurance, the power of the recommendation is an amazing thing. Many of my clients come to me via referral, and I'd imagine that the same can be said for any given restaurant. Sure, clients come about by other means as well, just as folks will occasionally wander off the street into a restaurant, but it's not nearly as likely.

So, I come to you with a request: recommendations. Sure, if you happen to be a client of mine, I always appreciate if you send someone my way, but what I'm really looking for here is a food recommendation or two.

Here's the situation: date night Friday has become a weekly deal with my fiancee. I happen to love it, because on top of spending some quality time with her, it gives us a chance to try out new places around town. Our goal is to avoid repeats if we can.

So here's what I'm looking for! Any restaurant in the Sacramento that you feel would be date night worthy. We're open to the whole gambit of things, be they dressy, hipster, dive-y... pretty much anything you can imagine. I think we just want the food to be awesome. Recent trips have taken us to Selland's Market, the Magpie Cafe, the Shoki Ramen House and Paragary's, if you need an idea of what we like.

Heck, if anyone is super-fast, I'd even appreciate a recommendation for this evening!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On Burgers

Sometimes when I get really hungry working in the deep, dark insurance mines, I daydream about food. A thought came to me earlier today: to me, one of the great, unappreciated forms of art is the hamburger. Yes, just about anyone can make one, but to make one WELL is the trick.

Is calling a burger a form of art a little much? Maybe, but consider the sheer variety in what you get when you talk about a hamburger. You could be talking about anything from a McDonald's Happy Meal cheeseburger to a Double Double from In-N-Out, to a local monstrosity like the Squeeze with cheese from The Squeeze Inn. The differences are vast!

Just this weekend, I visited a place called Nationwide Freezer Meats and I experienced one of the better burgers I've had in quite some time! The bun was delightfully toasted, the veggies solid, and the meat itself was incredibly tasty. It's the last part that makes me wonder about the term "art". I just couldn't put my finger on why it tasted so good. If given an exact method to recreate it, I somehow doubt it would be the same. Did it have something to do with the spices used? The seasoned grill? The quality of the meat? I'm not sure if' it's really any of those. It's that certain intangible quality of the burger that made it work, if you ask me.

So, work of art? Maybe you disagree, but think back to the last REALLY good burger you had. Put yourself in that moment and reconsider things. You may see things like a certain food-crazed insurance guy.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Would Work For You?

I've been musing on this thought for the past few days, but my question is tough for me to answer. The reason? I'm incredibly biased. Being an insurance guy, it's tough for me to put myself in non-insurance guy shoes, so to speak.

So I'll ask you the question: what would make you interested enough to get a quote for auto or home insurance?

Yes, I know. Insurance is boring. Most people don't want to talk about it on a day-to-day basis unless something brings it front-and-center in your mind. A bad claim, or a large increase in price, for example. But what would make you investigate on your own?

For example, if I treated you to a delicious meal from one of Sacramento's gourmet food trucks while we discussed the quote, would it be worth your time? If I made a donation to a charity for the opportunity to quote, would THAT be worth your time?

In all seriousness, it's one of the things I've never been able to figure out. So, you tell me! Heck, I might even see about making it happen for you if it's reasonable.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Recurring Food Truck Lunch Stop: How Does It Happen?

Having my time split between running around the office and running to various appointments and meetings, my food truck time has been WAY down as of late. And frankly, that saddens me. I love me some trucks. Mini Burger Truck, Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen, Wicked 'Wich... I miss you all!

And the worst part about this for me? Having to watch them all stop at other offices all week long. I work in an office building with hundreds of insurance-related employees, and presumably, they get hungry on occasion! I know I sure do. But thus far, our experience with food trucks has been minimal. Back when we had our old building manager, they kicked a truck out without hesitation.

We have a new building manager, and he's shown that he may be a little more open to things, but the question remains: what are the steps to make it happen? I, sadly, don't have the pull to get mass E-Mails sent out to the building. I can probably get clearance for a truck to make a lunch stop, and we're not in Sacramento city, so timing won't be an issue... but how can I get them the exposure they'll need to make it a SUCCESSFUL stop? I don't want this to be a one-time thing! I want this to be so awesome, that trucks want to stop by every week.

So, food truck owners, employees and enthusiasts, I ask for your help. How can I make this happen?