Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Five

The Excuse

I had to work on Friday (again), so I just didn’t get a chance to peck one out.

The Week

This week found me in Tampa for a second week. As a result Karin came out to visit instead of me going home. He had a fantastic, if quick, weekend together. Saturday was off getting a really nice dinner at Malio’s. Sunday morning was brunch and then me doing laundry[1]. That night we went up to IBG to hang out with Michael and his family. The next morning she headed back to San Diego.

The rest of the week was pretty mundane. Work, dinner, sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The Restaurant

Karin and I had planned on going to Charley’s for dinner on Saturday. Alas, we couldn’t get in. After a little searching through Yelp, we settled on Malio’s, a steakhouse. Located in an office building, they’ve done a very nice job with the space they have. They also have a nice patio are that over looks the Tampa River.

With the economy doing what it’s doing, and the fact that they just opened up the new digs, they’re offering some fantastic deals on their steaks. Karin and I both settled on the New York strip, Pittsburgh rare. While the steak was cooked perfectly, it wasn’t as tender as it should have been. The sides, however, did shine. Their au gratin potatoes (done up with crab meat) were out of this world, and the green beans were sautéed with bacon, almonds and pearl onions.

They also have an extensive wine list that features many affordable options as well as the $1,000 bottles.[2] Their drinks were well made; my Manhattan was near perfect, and Karin loved her lemon drop. Their bourbon selection was also pretty solid, which made a fantastic dessert for me.

The one thing that did drag down the experience was the service. While the waitress was pleasant, she wasn’t overly friendly nor attentive. We sat for a good half hour with empty plates and a waitress nowhere to be seen. Even after requesting our check and having it taken away from us, we still sat with empty plates in front of us. Anyone who knows me knows how rare this is for me – I only left about 15%.

The Exercise

<Insert clever excuse here>

The Travel Note

I’ve been very lucky over the past couple of years. Not once had I fallen ill or had need to go to a doctor or dentist. Well, until this past Thursday. I lost a filling in a tooth, which sent me off to the dentist.

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about a single payer system for healthcare[3], but I will say this much – getting my insurance flipped around for a single dental visit in Tampa was a pain. I had to add the Tampa dentist on as my primary, and come the beginning of December I have to switch it back to my San Diego dentist. It should be simpler than that.

The Five

I’m a simple man. I really am. I don’t need a lot out of life. Even when I order food and drink, I generally want simple. Here are the top five simple things I always have hard time getting.

  1. Water without ice. High near impossible. Even if I say, “water, no ice”, I’m getting ice at least 50% of the time.
  2. Whiskey without ice. Again - “<insert bourbon> with just a splash of water”. Way more often than not, ice in the glass. In fact, on Saturday night I ordered the same thing in two different bars and had to stop the bartender from pouring it on ice both times. The second bartender even had the gall to imply that it was my fault, forgetting the fact that at no time did I say “ice” or “rocks”.
  3. Black coffee. The number of times I’ve had this conversation is innumerable:
        Me: Black coffee, please.
        Server: Do you want cream or sugar?
        Me: No.
        Server: So, black?
        Me: <sigh>
  4. Anything without cheese. One of the little things I avoid (like it makes a huge difference) is cheese.
  5. Beer in a room temperature glass. This one really isn’t even worth the battle. Anyone who likes good beer knows it’s supposed to be served in a room temperature glass – especially bolder beers like IPA’s and stouts.

[1]Do I know how to show a girl a good time or what?
[2]Another of my biggest peeves is wine lists where you can’t find a bottle for under $80. I like wine just as much as the next guy. That doesn’t mean I feel the need to throw down a bill just for a bottle with dinner.
[3]I hope to do a blog posting on that later. We’ll see if it actually happens.

No comments: