Hoffman's Houston
Pet of the Week

Pet of the week Zader riffs on rebellious tacos, a hot dog disaster, and Golden Corral

Pet of the week on rebellious tacos, a hot dog disaster, Golden Corral

Pet of the Week - Zader Aussie
Zader knows all his "sit' and "shake"commands.  Courtesy photo
Pet of the Week - Zader Aussie
The Aussie Shepherd mix loves to chill with the fam.  Courtesy photo
Pet of the Week - Zader Aussie
How about this face? Courtesy photo
Pet of the Week - Zader Aussie
Pet of the Week - Zader Aussie
Pet of the Week - Zader Aussie

Name: Zader. I had to look this one up. It’s from Star Wars. Confession: I have never seen a Star Wars movie. Or a Star Trek movie. So here’s the deal, whoever adopts this fine animal, feel free to change his name. Or I will.

Birthday: July 6, 2012. I’m in the prime of life, a middle-aged pooch who has taken care of his body and mind. I am a Modern Man. I got “the look.”

Ethnicity: You know that us Australian Shepherd mixes are like the most intelligent, most even-tempered dogs, right? It’s true. I love to play with kids and just hang with the family. I know the “sit” and “stay” and “shake hands” routines. I’m protective of the house and family. In other words, I will make your life more fun. In the immortal words of the Texas Hammer Jim Adler … I’m waiting.

Come and get me: I'm available for adoption at 11 am Friday, September 7 at Citizens for Animal Protection (17555 Katy Freeway; 281-497-0591). Tell them, "Ken sent me."

Zander’s zaps: I love tennis. I think it’s the best sport to play. Also love to watch pro tennis, especially the Grand Slams, like the U.S. Open currently going on in New York. But tennis is stupid. Like the other night …

During the first set of the Rafa Nadal vs. Dominic Thiem match under the lights on September 4, Pam Shriver interviewed NBA commissioner Adam Silver in the stands. During the conversation, Silver said that it’s critical for a sport to get involved with young people and hook them as lifelong fans. Totally agree.

Then what does tennis do? It started the Nadal-Thiem match at 9 pm on a school night. The match, a nail-biting, emotional “Match of the Year” candidate, ended around 2 am. Never mind that kids were sent to bed long ago, it looked like many of the fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium were gone by the fifth set.

If they’re going to play best of five sets, you can’t start a match at 9 pm. Dumb, dumb, dumb. The sport is hurting itself. That said, I stayed up for the whole match — incredibly exciting, loved every minute.

During an earlier match, ESPN cameras caught a woman dipping her chicken tenders in a cup of icy soda. That is even dumber than starting a men’s five-set match at 9 pm.

Try this taco 
Congratulations to “Rebel Yell” on being named Taco of the Month for September at Torchy’s Tacos. Here’s the breakdown: grilled shrimp on a bed of cabbage slaw with chopped bacon, grilled pineapple, Jack cheese, guajillo and garlic-fried onion straws, barbecue sauce, cilantro, and a drizzle of chipotle ranch on a flour tortilla — $5.50. Can't wait for the Torchy's Taco opening in my neighborhood on Bissonnet and Weslayan.

Tom Rinaldi is creepy
Who’s creepier: the Chevy guy or the MyPillow guy or ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi? Memo to Rinaldi: not every comment has to be dramatic poetry. He treats the most mundane thing like an historic moment. It gets very tiresome.

Hot dog-gate continues
Fallout from my July 4 Hot Dog Judging Debacle has started. Joey Chestnut tells me, starting next year, contestants will have 10 hot dogs on each plate instead of five. That will make it easier for judges to keep track on dogs downed.

Also on the “need-to-do” list: keep unnecessary people off the judges’ platform. I was in front of Chestnut last contest. I had a co-judge on one side of me, an ESPN guy on my back (literally) yelling at me to turn around and show my scorecard, an ESPN camera person shoving me on my right and an “eating coach” screaming at the top of his lungs directly in my ear. Most important, my co-judge, who was in charge of counting Chestnut’s dogs, couldn’t see over the table in front of us. Total zoo. No wonder the totals were wrong up and down the table.

CultureMap visits Golden Corral 
So the other day, I arranged a team-building lunch for employees of the Gow Media empire ...  at Golden Corral. I expected the riffraff to show up, you know, guys like Steven, Brandon, Trey, and Josh.

But Eric Sandler? The CultureMap food editor? The guy who dines at fine restaurants and knows what he's talking about? He eats things that I can't pronounce. I had to ask him: What was your favorite thing on the Corral buffet?

"The best thing was the mashed potatoes, creamy and fluffy. I'm almost willing to believe they were made with actual potatoes instead of from a package," he says. 


Dog lover? Ken Hoffman introduces you to an adorable pup available for adoption in Houston every Thursday.