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The Red Chord’s Mike McKenzie on Bacon-Filled Pancakes. Yum.

The Red Chord is currently on tour with Decapitated as part of Summer Slaughter 2010 Tour. Here’s the first installment of the Red Chord guitarist Mike “Gunface” McKenzie’s (left, second from right) tour blog, exclusive for, about the things that really matter.

"I Brought My Own Fork"

Vegas. A city known mainly for its buffets. That is what it’s known for, right? Just buffets. Not anything else.

We checked in the Green Valley Ranch Hotel with the intention of resting and getting clean, but so much more awaited us. The self-proclaimed Original Pancake House was beckoning us with offerings of bacon-filled pancakes. Wow! What a concept! Could it be? Has someone enshrined crisp, salty bacon in a fluffy sweet cake like Han Solo in carbonite? Am I Jabba the Hut? I like the rancor better.

Of course I ordered these hotcakes along with some bacon and eggs. I ordered the additional bacon to have a grasp on how it tasted outside of a pancake so I could accurately describe what I was eating. That’s a lie. I’m just a pig, no pun intended. The actual pancake was a little mushy for me. I prefer a fluffy and light pancake, cooked until crisp on the edges. These were the opposite of that. Somewhat dense and lacking in flavor. The bacon was a little rubbery and lent nothing to the bacon-pancake experience. The two tastes seemed to exist separately and unaffected by each other. Or maybe the two flavors cancelled each other out? Regardless of the food paradox that may have occurred, they weren’t tasty. At the end of the day, isn’t that what really matters?

Bacon-filled pancakes aren’t the only things on my mind. The Depot Tavern next to First Ave., in Minneapolis, made a pretty good first impression on me. Playing First Ave. granted us the half-price deal at the Tavern, so I walked over after our set. As many of you know, I’m a burger enthusiast, so my eyes wandered to that area of the menu first. But the moment I read that they had a four-cheese baked mac-and-cheese dish with havarti being one of the cheeses, I knew what my dinner would be. It was just how I prefer it; a heavy blend of strong cheeses, chewy pasta and crisp edges. It was incredibly rich and filling. The seemingly small serving on the plate was more than enough. So good I would punch my own face! I washed it down with a Killabrew Root Beer. Killabrew is an RB to write home about. You know how Barq’s claims to have bite? Well, this RB really does. Very spicy and delicious. Comparable to Sparky’s, if you’ve tried that. Check out the Depot Tavern’s Facebook page.

Another restaurant I had the pleasure of enjoying recently was the T-Mex Cantina in Fort Lauderdale. Not only did they have some crunchy and delicious chicken and beef tacos, they also served a dessert similar to the ice cream truck favorite, the Choco Taco. The difference is that this version was made on the spot and topped with nuts. I didn’t eat this myself, but my good friend Karim thoroughly enjoyed it. In hindsight, I should have ordered one, too. Next time.

So what do bacon-filled pancakes, homemade choco tacos and baked mac and cheese have in common? They’re all unhealthy, delicious, and devoured with haste by me. Except the choco taco. Remember? From before? Hi.

Zakk Wylde cover of Revolver, including Black Label Society Patch, Available now