Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Five

The Excuse

None needed. W00t!

The Week

I was out in Boise, ID this week. It was the complete opposite as my last experience here. Last time I was here it was blazing hot and my good friend Brian visited me. This time around it was cold and nobody visited.

I also didn't get out and see much of the city this time around. It something that's a shame - of all the places I go to, I rarely get out and actually check out the town. For the most part, I was exhausted after class, and as a result I kept a fairly low profile.

I'm not sure what it was that made me so tired. Everyone was complaining of allergies this week, so maybe that was it. It was also rather dark in the morning so I'm wondering if that had an impact. Either way, I had near zero energy all week. And that's even after I started drinking coffee again.

The Restaurant

Boy am I a beer snob, and so very spoiled by living in San Diego. The San Diego area is consistently well represented in Beer Advocate's list of top breweries in America, with 5 out of the top 6 this past year. But since I believe in drinking local, I always try to see what other regions have to offer.

This time I went to Tablerock Brewpub and Grill. The place is rather large, although it was pretty empty on the Tuesday night that I was there for (even with the World Series on). I had their Hopzilla (good, but not great), and a lemon chicken salad (which was just a salad, but I'm not going to ding them on it as it was after all just a salad.) I'd give them 3 out of 5 stars.

The Exercise

I managed to get out to the Y once this week. Yeah, I know. It could have been much better. I'm not sure what it was, but I was lacking energy all week this week. On top of that, the fleabag of a hotel I was in didn't have any exercise equipment, and it was too cold for this SoCal boy to go jogging. What was really annoying is the fact that the Y charges $14 for a day pass. It's about $50ish for a month pass. Guys - how about lowering that rate just a little, or maybe offering a week pass?

The Travel Note

I have a weakness for the Seafood & Crab sandwich at Subway. I think I'm one of about 8 other people nationwide that actually likes this sandwich. There are only certain areas that sell it. As it turns out, Boise is one of those places. And as ashamed as I am to admit it, I usually have about 2-3 of those in a given week.

The Five

This may help nobody or it may be quasi-useful. Since I travel [nearly] every week I have to figure out where to eat. And since I try and avoid chains, it makes things a little more challenging. Here's my tips on finding dinner:

  • Yelp - A user review site that for most metro areas will have plenty of great reviews and information on restaurants. The one problem is you're never quite sure if the person is a good judge or not - do they love everything, or are they the nit-picker type. Did they happen to have one great experience, or just one horrible one? I will say that on the whole I've been very lucky with Yelp.
  • Google Maps - The old standby. When all else fails, do a search for restaurant in Google Maps.
  • iPhone - There are so many great tools on the iPhone for finding restaurants. Both Yelp and Google Maps are available, and since the iPhone knows your location (only slightly creepy) it can point out things that are close to you. One app in particular is nice - Urban Spoon. A little slot machine will randomly choose the area of town, the cuisine, and the price range, and find a restaurant that matches those three.
  • On occasion, I have received tips from my students. One in particular was a recommendation to a barbecue joint outside of Danville that was just amazing.
  • Chain - Every now and then I'm just feeling lazy, so I go off to a Chili's or Outback or whatever. I try not to, but every now and then I just don't want to figure out where to go eat one more time. The one exception is Famous Dave's (have I ever mentioned I love Famous Dave's?). If I'm ever in an area with a Famous Dave's I will always stop by at least once.

1 comment:

~B said...

I have also been dragging...I'm blaming it on the dark mornings. Which means that now I have absolutely no excuse after today. Hmm. And, I've never known anyone before who eats the seafood salad sandwich at Subway! I only go about 4 times a year, but that is the only sandwich I ever order. Weird.