Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Village Pizza scores in Big Bear

Big Bear, Ca - It was the 58th annual Old Miner's Day Parade that brought us to the quaint little city in the mountains.  Having a little cheerleader in the family, we as parents get to traverse all over the southland in pursuit of the next parade our princess is marching in.  Last Sunday we made the long, beautiful drive up the mountain to Big Bear Lake.  Parade entrants check in early, so we take that chance to peruse the local eateries.  With parking spots at a premium, we snagged the first spot we saw next to a Starbucks and Village Pizza.

Village Pizza is a family owned and operated restaurant at 40568 Village Drive, Big Bear, Ca.  There is a small arcade just in front of the open kitchen, plenty of tables and booths inside, as well as covered tables on the patio.  We walked in at 11:30am, right when the doors opened, so we were the first in line for pizza.  Village Pizza does not sell pizza by the slice, but a small cheese pizza (10 inch) is only $8.50.  We ordered a small salad ($2.95) and a fresh brewed ice tea ($1.95) to go along with our small pizza.  The salad was typical side salad fare, though it was very fresh and plenty for the two of us to share.  The ice tea was real brewed tea, not fake imitation crap; real tea gets bonus points from me.  The cheese pizza was delicious.  The crust was light and crispy and cooked to golden perfection.  Underneath the pile real California cheese was a sweet tomato sauce to blend it all together.  Even two hours later the pizza was excellent.

Village Pizza also serves up soups, sandwiches, pastas and side dishes if you are not in the mood for pizza.  Come in before 2pm and take advantage of the lunch special, $5.75 for a personal pan pizza with one topping, a salad and soft drink.  For the grown up in the group, Village Pizza also has wine, Burgundy, Blush or Chablis; and a wide variety of domestic and imported beer on tap and in the bottle.  Next time you are chillin’ in Big Bear, take a break at Village Pizza.  The food is great, the prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is relaxed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Simpson’s Movie saves the day

I will admit I have not watched an original Simpson's episode in quite sometime.  Still, I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the feature film.  Trying to avoid a packed theater, I went with the family to the 11am showing on Monday morning.  Doing so I had the haunting tune "Spider Pig" stuck in my head for the rest of the day!

Staying true to the original Simpson's, the family is heavy on the character stereotypes.  Lisa is trying to save Springfield from pollution, Homer, inevitably, is the root cause of the major downfall.  Marge is the nagging worrywart who suspects Grandpa's rambling to be a sign of the end and Maggie is the hardest hardcore baby with a pleasant disposition in town.  The only real difference is Bart.  Still up to his old school shenanigans, we get to see the troubled softer side of the mischievous older brother.  After being dared by Homer to skateboard naked to town and back, Bart realizes his father's selfishness after he crashes and Homie doesn't help him.   Keep a close eye to the screen while Bart is skating and you may see more of the boy than you had hoped.  Rumors of the full frontal scene is more than just hype, it is a reality.

All in all, The Simpson's Movie was a success.  It made me laugh and didn't make me think too much.  Everything you want from the beloved cartoon family.  Most of the characters are there, considering the whole town was locked under an inescapable dome through most of the movie it would be hard not to.  As well, we are introduced to a few new characters along the way.  It took twenty years to get America's favorite family on the big screen, but Director David Silverman and writers Matt Groening and James L. Brooks get it right.  The Simpson's Movie is silly and stupid, heartwarming and funny, a great comedy for the fans and first timers alike.