Food, (Less Than) Glorious Food

Two things about it . . .

1. Where has all the Puffed Rice gone? Long time passing. Where has all the Puffed Rice gone? Long time ago. I’m a huge fan of this cheap, filling, low-calorie, low-taste breakfast cereal, either in the big red Quaker boxes, or the generic bags of it that most grocery stores carry. But I’ve had a problem lately: for some reason, the two grocery stores where I shop have stopped carrying any kind of Puffed Rice. So I need to know if you can still find it at your grocery store, or whether I need to find some secret online source for bulk ordering. And if it’s all gone, then I need to know why. Explosion at the puffing plant? Rice weevils run amok? This mystery must be solved.

2. I’ve written about my love for diners before, and have a rotation of several in the Capital Region that I hit on regular basis. My standard order is a grease group masterpiece comprised of a grilled cheese sandwich on rye bread, with a side of link sausages. There’s a stunning variety of experiences possible within that seemingly simple order: different tastes and textures of sausage, different thicknesses of bread, whether it is seedless or seeded rye, how melted the cheese is, what type of cheese is used (pasteurized American cheese food product is the proper ingredient, though it’s up to you as to whether you use the orange or the white kind), how dark the bread is grilled, whether there are sides provided with the sandwich (I deduct many points if you put cole slaw and/or a pickle on my plate and either of them touches my sandwich, and I will eat potato chips if you give them to me, but I am happier if you do not), etc. etc. etc. You can go to the same diner two days in a row and have a completely different grilled cheese and sausage experiences. So I am happy to report that I’ve had a couple of nearly definitive breakfast experiences over the past couple of weeks at the Metro 20 Diner in Guilderland: thick, seeded rye, grilled dark, oozy white American cheese, no chips, no slaw, no pickle, and two firm links of mildly-flavored sausage that crunch when you bite into them. Bravo!

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