Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Five

The Week

I’m looking at all the signs the week has ended – I’m sitting in a bar area, I have a manhattan next to me, and I have my Zune playing. (Low by Cracker if you’re interested)

This week found me in Boston. Well, sort of. One of the small issues with travel is the client will tell you, “Hey – you’re going to Boston!” Then you find out later that you’re really going to a suburb a good 30 miles out of town with no real chance to go enjoy the city FTL[1]. Still managed to make the best of it. A friend of mine, who bears just a small resemblance to Larry David was teaching in the same center this week, and I was able to hook up with another friend. So all was not lost. (Like to Get to Know You Well by Howard Jones) On top of that, I managed to get quite a few loose ends tied up, including starting up my professional blog at

As good of a week as it’s been, I’m still ready to get home, and back to some warmer weather.

The Restaurant

(Free Falling by Tom Petty)

If this is your first time here, one of the things you may not know about me is I’m a bit of a cocktail maven – in particular classic cocktails. As such, when I see a restaurant advertise great cocktails and great food, I’m of course going to give it a shot. The restaurant in question is Alchemy, which is located in a rather cute part of South Park.

Alchemy is a relatively small place, and on the whole relatively easy to get into. The service is a little spotty, but the drinks and food more than make up for it. The few times Karin and I have been there we’ve tried many things on the menu. The winner by far is the stuffed peppers – this is a must order. They also have bone marrow – if you’ve never tried this, you absolutely have to.

I recommend treating the menu like it’s tapas – just order a handful of items, let it come out as it’s done, and enjoy. You won’t regret it.

The Travel Note

(The Guitar by They Might Be Giants)

I’ve dealt with my fair share of surly people on the road. This one ranks right up there. After takeoff I reclined my seat, only to be greeted by a rude tap on my shoulder. The woman behind me asked if I could raise my seat. I complied, and then turned around to ask if we could compromise; I really don’t need to recline it much, just a little bit. She was having none of it, explaining that when I do that I’m taking away any space she has in front of her.

About 20 minutes later, as I’m just drifting off to sleep, she decides to get up by pulling back on my seat. Normally I wouldn’t say anything, but this time I just couldn’t let it slide. I politely[2] informed her that when she does that it pulls me back as well and wakes me up. She glared at me and said, “If this is how you’re going to be it’s going to be a long flight.”

At this point I thought about my options, and decided that just letting her be angry was the best plan and didn’t say anything else.

The joys of travel.

The Five

(World Leader Pretend by R.E.M.)

Since I’m on a cocktail kick, how about my five favorite cocktails.

  1. Manhattan. It’s so simple – rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters. It’s really the king of cocktails.
  2. Negroni. Very similar to a manhattan in profile – equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, a type of bitters. It’s oddly both a bit lighter and bolder than the manhattan.
  3. Gin martini. With a twist. And with gin. Vodka doesn’t bring anything to the party but alcohol; no flavor.
  4. Sazerac. This is an old cocktail born in New Orleans. It involves rye, Peychaud’s bitters, a little sugar and absinthe. It’s got a great bite from both the rye and absinthe, but the sugar really helps both mellow the drink and bring out the flavors.
  5. Bartender’s choice. If you’re in a great cocktail bar, the bartender will find your tastes and craft a cocktail custom suited for you.

[1] For Susan – that’s “For The Loss”
[2] Believe it or not, I do mean politely.

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