Random Notes on Mula, Zucchini, Maha, Guardians and Chubby Cyclists

Here’s what’s on my mind this week...

Mula — We checked out new “Mexican kitchen & tequileria” last week, located at 40th & Farnam streets. The restaurant offers a broad selection of traditional and not-so-traditional dishes with origins south of the border served in a cozy, laid-back, well-lit space in the heart of New Midtown.

Dining at the bar (which has become our table of choice these days), we ordered a couple Mula Margaritas, a pair of salsas (the charred pineapple; the roasted tomato, both sublime though the pineapple was a bit too sweet for my taste) and a side of guacamole. Along with a mountain of fried flour tortilla chips that would be enough food for any normal couple, but we went ahead and ordered the Al Pastor (chile guajillo pork) and Carnitas (cerveza-marinated steak) tacos for full bloat effect. 

The tacos reminded me of the traditional bite-sized (well, three bites, anyway) tacos served in the best authentic Mexican diners on South 24th Street, thanks to the house-made tortillas and delicious marinated meats. 

I skipped trying a Fresa Margarita (with the house-infused strawberry tequila) since someone had to drive. Next time, because there will, indeed, be a “next time.” The bottom line: Mula is a strong addition to Omaha’s Mexican food landscape. 

Zucchini — I, like many of you, have a small garden in my back yard. My selected plantings: Roma tomatoes (doing poorly); cucumbers (doing well); sweet corn (an experiment that may or may not pay off), peas (ravaged by rabbits), and last-but-not-least, zucchini. 

Going unnoticed among the zucs' broad, umbrella-like leaves was one squash that somehow remained hidden, a squash the size of an 18-month-old baby. Massive. Heavy. A half-foot wide. 

Based on the number of photos I’ve seen floating around Facebook of people carrying their own giant zucchini like unexploded WWII ordinances, I have a feeling I’m not the only one with this burning question: What do I do with this f***ing monster? It’s too big to slice up into fried zucchini or add to a soup. In fact the only thing I can think of doing with this mammoth mellon is grind it up and use it in zucchini bread, but really, how much zucchini bread does one man need? 

That’s where you come in. Send me your recipes for giant zucchini dishes. I’ll try as many as possible and post the best one(s) here in the column. Email them to tim.mcmahan@gmail. com. Come on, let’s hear from all you burgeoning Masterchefs before these giant zucs begin to rot. And while you’re at it, go ahead and post photos of your giant zucchini on The Reader’s Facebook page —facebook.com/thereaderomaha.  Share in your pride (and horror). 

Maha Music Festival — A reminder for those of you hiding out in a cave without electricity or the internet: The Maha Music Festival is a week from Saturday at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village, and you may want to consider getting your tickets now. 

The $50 ride pass gets you a day’s worth of some of the best indie music going, headlined by Death Cab for Cutie and including Local Natives, The Head and the Heart, Doomtree and The Both, a new combo featuring Aimee Mann and Ted Leo (whose wisdom will be shared in an interview by yours truly in next week’s issue of The Reader). 

Add to that arguably the best local stage line-up in Maha history — M34n Str33t, Twinsmith, Icky Blossoms, Matt Whipkey, The Envy Corps, Radkey and the legendary Domestica (get there at noon or you’ll miss them) — and you’ve got all the makings of one of the best concerts of the year. 

Seriously, I’ve been going to Maha since it started way back when and it’s never been anything but fun. Get your tickets at mahamusicfestival.com. 

Guardians of the Galaxy — This is the funnest sci-fi movie I’ve seen since, well, the original Star Wars, which I screened at the long, lost Indian Hills Theater way back in 1977. It’s a rare combination of action, adventure, humor and nostalgia. And yes, the myriad of alien culture references can get confusing for non-Marvel comic book readers, but the basic plot is easy to navigate — don’t let the bad guy get the shiny metal ball. Along the way you’ll meet a talking raccoon and a dancing tree that will STEAL YOUR HEART. Believe the hype.

Chubby Cyclists — Finally, I’ve developed some sort of strange nerve pain in my left foot, which I’m going to have looked at by Benson foot doctor to the stars Dr. Patrick York, this afternoon. The worst case scenario: It could mean the end of my jogging career. 

I’ve been running 5k every other day for the past three years or so, competing in three Corporate Cups and the inaugural Indie 5k, and along the way lost close to 40 pounds. Unfortunately,  I fear my running regimen is what’s causing the stabbing, unexpected, agonizing electric pain that shoots through the toes of my left foot seemingly out of the blue. A trip to my regular MD could not find the cause of this strange malady.

If jogging no longer is in the picture, my only option will be to replace running with cycling. I already ride my bike a few hundred miles a year on the Keystone Trail, maybe 20 miles a week. That mileage would rise substantially, but here’s the thing: I know a number of people who cycle thousands of miles per year — literally riding “centuries” over any given weekend — who sport big ol’ bellies. You’d think cycling that many hours per week would make them as slim as a Tour de France mountain climber. But instead, they’re chubs. How is that possible? 

Come to think of it, I can cycle for well over 90 minutes and never feel nearly as wiped out as when I finish my usual run, which takes about 30 minutes. Is cycling really a substitute for running where fitness is concerned? Unless my foot doctor can come up with a solution, I’m about to find out. 

Over The Edge is a weekly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com.

posted at 09:08 am
on Tuesday, August 05th, 2014

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