Posted: August 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Restaurant Reviews | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on zpizza

After skating at our favorite skating rink, my daughter and I decided to try the new zpizza in Round Rock. They use quality, organic ingredients and, most importantly from my perspective, offer the option of a gluten free pizza crust! As the employee who greeted us was explaining how to order for our first visit, my daughter actually spoke up and told him that I couldn’t eat gluten before I could say a word. He didn’t miss a beat and immediately told me the crust was available for the 10 inch pizzas and handed me the list of gluten free ingredients. I ordered the Greek pizza on the gluten free crust and my daughter ordered her personal favorite, ham and pineapple, on a white glutinous crust.

As we waited, I observed the preparation. While they don’t have a great deal of space in which to work, I noticed they have a smaller, separate work area for the gluten free pizzas. It had its own cutting board, its own slicing knife, and everything. I was concerned about the risk of cross contamination in the confined space and was impressed with how well they had thought it out.

The pizzas? Mine was delicious and my daughter assures me hers was as well. Two thumbs up to zpizza! We’ll definitely be going back again someday.

Alamo Village & Inglorious Basterds

Posted: August 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Movie Reviews, Restaurant Reviews | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Alamo Village & Inglorious Basterds

Alamo Drafthouse

One of the joys of living in Austin has been the opportunity to experience the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for years. We first visited Alamo Village not too long after it opened when the original downtown location and it were the only Alamo Drafthouse cinemas to be found. Recent years have seen a lot of growth with franchises and new owners. Today, the Ritz (downtown), Lamar, and Village cinemas are owned and operated by the founders. The also have their own, Original Alamo, site. I have visited some of the other Alamo Drafthouses and while you will have a similar experience at any of them, the ones operated by the founders continue to have a somewhat different quality to them.

I haven’t been to Alamo Drafthouse since I was diagnosed with celiac disease because the thought of trying to navigate the process of locating safe foods in the more chaotic theater environment intimidated me. However, when my wife said she wanted to see Inglourious Basterds this past week, I decided it was time to investigate. I easily and quickly found comments online about gluten free menus at the original Alamo theaters, but not much about any of the others. So I sent an email to Alamo Village explaining that I had recently been diagnosed with celiac disease and asking about their gluten free options. Jay Nolan quickly responded and attached a PDF of their current gluten free menu. (Note that this is the menu in August, 2009 and may not reflect the current menu. Ask for the current one when you get to the theater.) When I had questions about the menu, he referred me to the Alamo Village executive chef for answers.

We arrived at the theater early and ordered the Nachos Libre for an appetizer. For dinner, I had the Once Upon a Time in Mexico salad and it was spicy and delicious. (My wife had one of their amazing, but decidedly not gluten free pizzas.) The waitress understood that I was ordering gluten free and passed that information on to the kitchen so they could be aware as they prepared my food. For dessert, we shared the Creme Brulee. All in all, it was a great experience. Have I mentioned before that I love living in the Austin metropolitan area? đŸ˜€

Inglourious Basterds As I already mentioned, my wife and I watched Inglourious Basterds. It’s definitely a Quentin Tarantino film. Don’t expect any sort of correlation in the movie with actual history. It’s more a reimagining of the WWII war movie genre. And it’s a lot of fun in a rollicking, gory, tongue in cheek way. Every character in the movie has at least one screw loose and often more than one.

This film is not as good as Pulp Fiction, the standard against which every Quentin Tarantino film is judged these days. But it is a great deal of fun. If you liked Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, you will enjoy Inglourious Basterds. If you find the Quentin Tarantino style too gory or vulgar, you probably won’t much like this movie either. It’s very much in the same vein.

And, of course, if you live where you can watch the movie at an Alamo Drafthouse, so much the better!

On the Incarnation of the Word 6 – God’s Goodness

Posted: August 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Incarnation of the Word | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on On the Incarnation of the Word 6 – God’s Goodness

God’s goodness is the phrase I hear echoing in this chapter of Athanasius’ treatise.

For it were not worthy of God’s goodness that the things He had made should waste away, because of the deceit practised on men by the devil. Especially it was unseemly to the last degree that God’s handicraft among men should be done away, either because of their own carelessness, or because of the deceitfulness of evil spirits.

I wonder at the strength of the text in the original that led this translator to the awkward phrase, unseemly to the last degree. I sense the strand of the idea that true goodness compels action on behalf of others. Athanasius continues in this vein.

So, as the rational creatures were wasting and such works in course of ruin, what was God in His goodness to do? Suffer corruption to prevail against them and death to hold them fast? And where were the profit of their having been made, to begin with? For better were they not made, than once made, left to neglect and ruin. For neglect reveals weakness, and not goodness on God’s part—if, that is, He allows His own work to be ruined when once He had made it—more so than if He had never made man at all. For if He had not made them, none could impute weakness; but once He had made them, and created them out of nothing, it were most monstrous for the work to be ruined, and that before the eyes of the Maker. It was, then, out of the question to leave men to the current of corruption; because this would be unseemly, and unworthy of God’s goodness.

Our God is good. We say it, but then we often describe God in ways that make him seem something other than good. I think we often cannot grasp what it means to be unfailingly good. We chase after angry or neglectful gods for we understand those gods. We are often angry. We are often neglectful. But the Christian points to Christ as the fullness of the revelation of the true God who is not angry, who is not capricious, who is unswervingly faithful, and who is unfailingly good. This is the God who begrudge any of his creation, the just or the unjust, existence. This is the God who saves.