Sunday, September 28, 2008

Phil's in my Future

I had never been known as a real big meat eater, but that all changed when I met Phil.

Phil's BBQ is a San Diego favorite despite having only been around 10 years.  Before their recent relocation to a barn-sized building in Point Loma, Phil's was just a hole-in-the-wall in Mission Hills.  Rumor has it that the local residents were so overwhelmed by the intoxicatingly potent barbecue smell that they actually forced the restaurant to move elsewhere.

I hadn't been to Phil's in about a year when, a few weeks ago, I stopped in at lunch for some take-out.  I was running a little late, but such is the power of the Phil that I could not resist.  And that's where I met my new love: the pulled pork Broham sandwich.  A giant mess of sweet, tangy pork grilled to perfection slathered all over a toasted bun.  It's impossible to eat without getting sauce all over yourself; I actually had to stop off at home that day just to wash up before going  to work, lest people in the clinic think I was some meat-crazed savage.  Which is exactly what I have become.

That sandwich was so good that I had to have more.  The very next day, while Malerie was out of town, I convinced our friends Pete and Rachel to try it out.  Pete liked it so much that he reportedly lobbied to go there a week or so later for their anniversary dinner (didn't happen).  Since that first Broham, I have had many other Brohams like unto it.  Malerie thinks the sandwiches are a bit much for her, but really likes the onion rings.  Madeline hasn't yet had Baby's First Broham, but that's coming.

Any non-vegetarians who read this, do yourselves a favor and go to Phil's.  Vegetarians, it's for the best that you stay away -- eat a little of the good stuff and you might just switch teams.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Grand Rounds

Grand rounds are a time-honored tradition of medicine, an age-old practice that even predates waiting rooms and breezy hospital gowns. Formerly, grand rounds were led by a wizened clinician who would present a patient's case to the group of attending physicians, fellows, residents, and students. The group would meet in the hospital, discuss the case, then go see the patient.

Sadly, that type of grand rounds has gone the way of leeches, lobotomies, and the four humors. Today, grand rounds typically consist of that same group meeting in an auditorium somewhere and discussing the patient's case. . .but without ever seeing the patient. Some dumpy auditorium and no visiting patients? Maybe grands rounds are neither grand nor rounds.

So then what are they? Last week, I got the chance to find out.

I got up extra early on a Wednesday morning and made my way over to UCSD's campus, to Liebow Auditorium, where these supposed grand rounds were to be held. Much to my chagrin, I had actually heard this same exact lecture twice already from the same presenter. And there was no discussion whatsoever of any patient's case. Luckily, there was food.

Afterward, I had to hoof it back over to Thornton Hospital for my day's work. Despite it being only 9:00 am, it was already blazing hot and humid outside, and I was in my dress clothes and white coat.

This is the route I was forced to take. You'll notice the drastic northward deviation I had to make in order to cross I-5. You'll also notice I ended up passing through a rather unfortunate locale there near the baseball field. I was running late, and if climbing over a giant mound of whatever is the only way to get to work on time, then that's what I'll have to do.

Basically, I've decided that the term "Grand Rounds" must actually refer to the following three things:

1. The approximate shape of my route to Thornton Hospital.

2. What I'd like to fire off at the person who decided that spot was perfect for a compost heap.

3. The waste products of the various animals through which I was forced to walk.

Anything in the name of patient care.