Monthly Archives: October 2014

Worth a Visit? Oak City Meatball, Raleigh, NC

Someone asked me how I felt about testicle humor, because there would be a lot of that going down. You can probably expect some of that in this review. You’re welcome. But on a serious note, I’ve been there, so I consider it my duty to answer your burning questions on whether or not a visit is worth your time.

Are you into testicle humor when you’re eating?

Sometimes you have to have the balls to ask yourself the tough questions. And people seem to be nuts about nut jokes at this joint. You will hear the guy who asks, “How do those balls taste in your mouth?” and you will be a little bit disappointed because it was too easy to deserve a laugh. But YOU CAN TOLERATE TESTICLE HUMOR because it would seem disingenuous to not make the jokes.

How do you feel about lighting quick food service?

You’re not a moron if that’s what I’m asking? If you want the food to come later, you’ll just order it later. The fact that compressing meat into a spheroid and smothering it in any number of delicious sauces is a turnkey culinary event is a huge plus. YOU’RE VISITING!

Wait, did you want to talk about sauces more?

Of course you did. YOU LOVE SAUCES! They may not be something fancy like Sage Brown Butter (The Morgan Freeman of sauces), but they don’t need glory. Even talking about them in this fancy, comprehensive review is making them uncomfortable. They’re thick and hearty and keep the praise focused on the star of the team, the meatball. Think of them like an offensive line. Pesto, tomato, meatsauce, parm cream and mushroom gravy leading the way for whatever ball of chicken, beef, pork (pigskin if you like more holistic analogies) or veggie that belongs in your palate’s red zone. THE SAUCES ARE WORTH VISITING FOR!

Do you feel like four meats and five sauces make this an ultimately limited menu that gives you no reason to come back after more than a few visits?

You could feel that way, but you’d be wrong. There’s always a sauce of the day and a ball of the day. Debatably, the best sauce-of-the-day they’ve ever had is the Sweet Chili Sauce, and there may be one blogger who brings up the potential benefit of “permanent menu status” to management every time he visits. The daily offers are great. And the sides (especially the mac and cheese) are the ballz! There’s variety here, so YOU WILL DEFINITELY VISIT MORE THAN ONCE!

Do you like a snug, intimate environment?

You’re talking about balls, so you might think you prefer more freedom (that was the last one, promise), but the truth is that YOU LOVE INTIMATE ENVIRONMENTS. With dim lighting and a chic downtown interior, it’s a good spot that YOU’D EVEN TAKE A DATE!

But what if you don’t think meatballs and testicle humor is the best place to take a date because meatballs and testicles are neither sexy nor romantic? Is this a good spot for the guys to go chow down?

Guys love meatballs and testicle humor. SO PROBABLY!

Do you like whiskey?

Does Pepe Le Pew like interspecies coupling and dogmatic persistence? YOU’RE VISITING! They’ve got a great menu of whiskey-laden cocktails.

In summation, I’d give Oak City Meatball five out of five meatballs, and deem it WORTH A VISIT. It knows exactly what it is and works its lane perfectly.

Wishing I would have used more testicle jokes,
Dusty “Cool Beans” Riedesel

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Kansas City Royals in the ALCS: Faith Versus Science

The Kansas City Royals have made the ALCS, and this makes virtually no sense, other than the undeniable fact that it has happened. We all watched how, so we should know, and yet it isn’t really explainable beyond the old clichés of “they got hot at the right time” or “the game is really all about matchups.” Spend some time on Baseball Reference, and you’ll see that the Royals have abandoned commonly accepted plans for success like “on-base percentage.” Statheads will tell you that KC doesn’t belong in the playoffs (they’re the first playoff team ever to rank last in walks and home runs), and they don’t deserve to advance. But they have advanced. And the meritocracy of sports deems that they’ve earned it. Math can tell you other teams are better or that these wins are convenient statistical aberrations. It doesn’t matter, and anyone who says otherwise is only sparking a debate as old as time. It’s science versus faith.

The deluge of data in modern times creates a thirst for explanation. The more we know, the more we believe we can know how. Millennia of scientific advancement, from the wheel to the iPhone, back that theory. But at the end of every scientific advancement is the less recognized failure of not advancing it further. After all, that iPhone wasn’t always number 6. The point is that our methods, however developed, always carry evidence of being underdeveloped. Because we’re always progressing, we’re permanently incomplete. This is the essence of science versus faith. What is the more we can never reach? An atom is built from protons is built from quarks is built from subatomic unicorns the urinate massless photons. We never reach the end of the rainbow, but logic tells us that something has to be there.

The problem with the faith versus science debate is that most parties are ready to vehemently defend their side, even though both sides openly admit their shortcomings. Faith, in any regard, is defined as complete trust in something, whether proof exists or not. And we experience what science doesn’t know with every time we sleep. Why we feel compelled to fight each other about what believe instead of bonding together over the desire to know more is a shame. It probably springs from our need for personal security, but it’s how it is. We don’t know so much, and it should be completely okay. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing. In fact, it’s very healthy to embrace the fact that you don’t know stuff. That unexplained sleep will come much easier.

A fast, defense-oriented baseball team with a lights-out bullpen isn’t some realized referendum on the existence of the great beyond, and yet they exist as a tiny little nod to the fringes of magic that seems to happen in sports all the time. When a moment is so narratively perfect that it feels as if we’ve all collectively willed it to exist. Even though it’s logically absurd, we all feel it. We did give it a very pointed shot this year with USA Soccer. Science’s analytics tells us that the Royals shouldn’t be able to keep up these wins. They shouldn’t be able to pull this off for an entire post-season. But faith tells us that they are completely capable. It can definitely happen. We can all feel it, and nobody can disprove it. Not yet anyway.

A man of faith and science,
DR