I think it’s safe to claim victory here. This section is going away until further notice.
Last Saturday was the annual Ukrainian Christmas party hosted by Brent and Ron. I’ve mentioned my Prethanksgiving dinner here a couple of times, and I have to say when it comes to food and scale I don’t hold a candle to what they accomplish. It’s days worth of work, and I can’t even imagine having to clean up all of it afterwards. As always it was a fantastic time with great friends and even better food.
Because I still know the way, I boarded a Southwest flight to San Jose on Sunday. San Jose means all sorts of weird things for me – quick flight, same time zone, and getting a chance to hang out with friends. Monday night saw me out with a good friend and his wife at a tapas place, and them Wednesday found me out with a couple of friends at a Moroccan restaurant. The rest of the time was basically just me either working or running.
In keeping with my “no chains” rule when I travel, my dinner dates took me over to a Moroccan restaurant called Menari. From the outside it looks like a single story warehouse or factory, but inside it’s decorated like what one might imagine a desert oasis tent might be. The tables are all low to the ground, surrounded with little pads to sit on or, if you must, a low level couch that runs along the wall surrounding the room.
All the food, outside of the couscous is all eaten with your hands, and there’s really no being dainty about it – you just have to dig in. And dig in we did. We did a chicken dish (which was curry-ish), honey glazed lamb chops, and a couple other odds and ends. Top the whole evening off with a belly dancer, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic dinner and night.
The Travel Note
Maybe it’s just my luck with Southwest. But my return flight featured yet another delayed flight, a guy in the middle seat who elbowed me no less than 6 times during the flight, and the kid in front of me who spilled his soda down the side of his seat and all over my bag underneath it. Have I mentioned how much I hate flying Southwest?
With all the slagging of chain restaurants that I do, it’s worth noting there are quite a few good chains out there, or at least chains that I like. If you’ve been paying attention over the last couple years I’m sure you can probably predict my list, so I don’t think there’s a lot that needs to be said after each.
- Famous Dave’s – I think I may have professed my love for Famous Dave’s on occasion.
- White Castle – Cheap little grease spots on a bun.
- Maggiano’s – Love this place, even if it is a chain.
- Outback – Not the best steaks on the planet, but for the price they sure do a mean one.
- Hooters – but not for the obvious reason. If I land in a city on a Sunday the Chargers are playing, there’s guaranteed to be a Hooters and they’re guaranteed to have the game on. Just makes life easier to go there.
 Just for you, Brenda.