Friday, April 30, 2010

Centennial Park/Parthenon and Burger

So, our hotel room and the hospital were a little less than a mile away from one another. I tended to get a little work done at the hotel and then walk on over to meet up with Mom and Dad for the rest of the day. I especially liked my evening walks back to the hotel, as I would cut through Centennial Park just as the sun was setting. Or maybe just after the sun set would be the more accurate way to put it. There is a Parthenon replica in the park. Our hotel's information packet phrased it 'like the one in Greece,' which I thought was pretty's like, as opposed to the one in Paducah? I liked the, are these willows? I think so. I liked them.
This is not a willow. This is some other tree altogether. The weather was lovely.
Dinner after the walk above was at the hotel with the Daddy-o. We shared the fried green tomatoes, which tasted like they had been fried in old grease and had none of the delicate tartness or lush fresh fried crispiness one would want from the dish.
We both ordered burgers with sides of mashed potatoes as well. Decent enough, kind of. Dad liked his burger more than I liked mine. Though they were the same. Go figure.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hospital and Hotel Meals

Another day found my mother eating meatloaf, mashed potatoes and extremely overcooked peas for lunch.
For her evening meal, she ordered a cheeseburger and baked potato. I was convinced that I wanted that same meal for my own dinner later on...but ended up going in a slightly different direction.
My own dinner was served c/o the bar/grill in the hotel's lobby. The establishment has almost nightly singer/songwriter events. So, after eating my chicken quesadillas and beer, I stayed around and watched for a while.
During my lingering time, I momentarily fell in love with this musician. Man's got a voice on him, and the song he sang that night (which isn't on his MySpace page) was just delightful, and a welcome change of pace from the relatively predictable country acts that came before, and after, him. I decided we were going to get married and raise ourselves a brood of Tennessee chil'ren. Except he's actually from Pittsburgh...and married already. Oh well. The food was fine in that predictable kind of way and while I liked the attitude of the waitress, I didn't enjoy the 10 minute wait for a menu and then the additional ten minute wait for my beer (when she finally did appear she admitted that she had forgotten about me).

Meals Mom Ate, and a Momentary Return to Subway/Cafeteria Fare

On Monday I started taking photographs of the grub my mother was having come her way. I think a day after this particular set of meals, we realized that she could slightly tailor her fare to her preferences, but things were pretty grim in terms of the food department. I believe this meal consists of a tomato soup, canned pears and cottage cheese.
I fell back into thinking that maybe Subway sandwiches and cafeteria food were the way to gain food strength on this day, but I was wrong. The sandwich was a total let down, and the corn fritters, which looked great from the outside, were not pleasing on the inside. I think this could have been more a matter of my always expecting corn fritters to be more savory, and their tendency to be rather sweet. Across from the hospital was Centennial Park and the Parthenon. A really great outdoors space, with all these magical glider benches. Any time I took a break from the hospital room I'd end up on one of these gliders, reading a book, making a phone call, eating a sandwich, or staring at my hands.
Dinner that day was a peanutbutter sandwich, chocolate cake and milk. Maybe this was another lunch? Or maybe this was when Mom started to get to decide what she was going to eat. Though I'm not sure she touched the cake. Some of the desserts were straight up disgusting to look at. I didn't try them to know for sure.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dinner c/o Bombay Palace

Another night I went to Bombay Palace for dinner. I ordered their Bombay Special Dinner, which, for $17.95, was well worth it. The combination dinner included "A mouth-watering Bombay Special Tandoori Chicken, Lamb Rogan Josh,& Vegetable korma served with Mulligatawny soup, Raita, Rice & Naan Bread." So much food. The lighting of the restaurant was pretty hard to navigate as it was low and heavy on the reds. The soup was nice and hot and a wedge of lemon informed the flavors of the lentils quite nicely.
The lamb rogan josh and vegetable korma were also quite good. The chicken, which did not photograph well, was also yummy.
I took leftovers back to the hotel for later consumption. A very good deal. Quick service...and I didn't have to wait half an hour for the check, which is usually my complaint with Indian restaurants.

Breakfast c/o Fido

At the end of Saturday evening, K. expressed a desire for pancakes the following morning. So, when I awoke, I did a little research on where we might get pancakes and decided that Pancake Pantry was the obvious spot (no, really, take a look at their menu...ginger pancakes!). We were, however, on a bit of a schedule, so when it became clear that we would have to stand in line for at least 45 minutes before entering the hallowed halls of the pantry, we had to come up with a plan B. This new plan involved an eatery just down the block, Fido. Fido is basically a coffeehouse with a kitchen. We ordered at the counter, took our little doggie decal as proof of our purchase and sat at a table until two cute coffeehouse girls came out with our breakfasts. I had the eggs benedict with smoked salmon.
They were good. The Hollandaise sauce wasn't too thick or thin, but could have had just a hint more flavor. But, on the whole, quite satisfying. And look at that lovely orange yolk. Bask in the glory of its sunny insides. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brother and Sister From the Same Mother and Father

I don't exactly remember how this photograph came to be (it was taken during our pizza eating), but let me assure you that my uncle has never looked like this before, nor do I expect him to start rocking the look any more often now. He threatened to sue me if I posted this photograph, but I don't think he was serious.
And this photograph of my mother, which she also isn't overly happy about having on the internet, is a reaction to the photograph of her bro.
What a pair.

Beer and Pretzels c/o Blackstone, Pizza c/o Pie in the Sky

On Saturday evening my cousin, aunt, uncle and I walked to Blackstone Brew Pub for another taste of their delicious Chaser, which, due to a disparity in our walking speeds, became two and a half for K. and myself (it was a good mile + walk, and my uncle and aunt ended up eating our proverbial 'dust,' which means, of course, that we were sitting at the bar with beers in front of us for many a minute before our elders arrived).
We had plans for dinner, but my aunt thought the fortification of soft pretzels would help us before we reached our dinner destination.

We went to Pie in the Sky for pizza. Our waitress was very friendly, the pizza was very good, and their 2-4-1 beer special took us very much by surprise...and resulted in slightly elevated levels of silly (as you will see in a later post).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicken and Two Sides c/o Calypso Cafe

On Saturday I went to Calypso Cafe and got their half chicken and two sides deal. I asked for the jerk sauce, the callaloo and a bean, corn and onion salad.
I'm not going to lie, it was straight up delicious. The chicken was so moist, and had some flavor to it...I wish its skin had been maybe just a tad more crispy. The jerk sauce wasn't as spicy as they warned, and had a little underlying typical marinara tomato sauce taste to it. Doesn't matter, on the whole this was a great lunch, which I enjoyed while sitting in Centennial Park.
This wasn't really authentically caribbean/Jamaican food, but I didn't care. Tasty is as tasty does. Yeah.

A New Method

So, to visit my mom's room, we had to wear gloves and a mask in an effort to prevent nasty little anythings from jumping from our mouths or hands to her compromised immune system. You kind of get used to it, though I found using a computer's built in mouse a challenge...and that there is definitely something to be said for breath mints. But the most important thing gained (other than keeping my mother from getting an infection) was the realization that this look is a pretty foolproof way to hide a double chin.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dinner c/o Blackstone Brew Pub

On Friday, my cousin K. and my aunt and uncle came to town. For dinner we tried the Blackstone Brew Pub. Though we were very much confused by the fifteen minute wait after being seated in a room with plenty of unpeopled tables. We ordered the beer flight to determine the beers we would actually want to drink. I enjoyed the nut brown and ordered one, K. ordered the IPA and my aunt and uncle ordered the Chaser.
We shared some fancy soft pretzels with two kinds of spicy mustard. Soft, and very buttery hot.

I had the fish and chips. I guess it is possible to do fried things wrong. Yes, actually, a few meals come to mind in the 'bad fried things.' In this case the fish and chips fryed-ness worked in its favor.
The beer was really good. The Chaser has this depth of flavor while being really light, a low hoppy quotient, and not a hint of heiffewesen. Mmm, tasty.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Subway Again

As I said before, one gets into a routine when hospitals are involved. So, I thought I'd try to get into the routine of eating Subway sandwiches. It's funny, ish, I have great memories of eating Subway sandwiches. First, with T. during high school breaks. We'd go to a mall with a plan of watching a movie, but first grab a sandwich. I think it was Subway that first made me realize that mayonnaise was not gross, but delicious...which is slightly strange since now I think Subway mayo is kind of gross. Full circle! I also ate a fair amount of Subway grub during my time with the ebf. I'm not sure why that was, since we both had pretty good palates. But I do remember Subway sandwiches punctuating the relationship. This sandwich was not as well constructed as the first, and disappointing on the whole. Also, eating a sandwich in a hospital cafeteria is unnecessarily depressing. You will see, I think, a marked change in my lunchtime eating habits soon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tom Yum Soup, Mini Spring Rolls, Pad Se Ew & Fire Mouth

For dinner my father and I went to Siam Cuisine. I had a Singha.
We shared mini spring rolls. They were hot and crispy, but not memorable.
Speaking of memorable things. I tried a little of the pepper spiciness in the top jar of the photograph below. I don't know what I was thinking, so boldly going where I had no business going. Oh it burned. Oh my, yes.
Dad ordered the fried cat fish special. I had the pad se ew. Dad's fish was nice and crispy, and he liked the sauce. I enjoyed my noodles, though they weren't as thick as I expected...they were more like real fettucini. I thought that was pretty weird. Or different. I don't know!
Pardon the lack of color correction.

Subway Sandwich

When a friend or relative is in the hospital over an extended amount of time, one usually falls into a bit of a routine. My first full day in Nashville this included leaving my mother's room/hall for lunch in the hospital's greater cafeteria, which had a Dairy Queen, Subway, and more traditional cafeteria fare (mashed potatoes, corn nuggets, pizza etc). My father left our Subway sandwich construction up to me, so I went with salami, tomatoes, black olives, yellow pepper rings, pickles, jack cheese, salt and pepper and mayonnaise. It was a fine sandwich, in that way that Subway sandwiches can be considered fine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dinner c/o Rumba

Dinner my first night in Nashville was at Rumba Rum Bar and Satay Grill. I ordered a Sweet Tea caipirinha. It was nice.
The rest of the meal was a lackluster at best. Dad and I split the beef satay, which was fine but not all that special. Truth being the truth.
I ordered the chorizo caesar salad and poached egg thing (I'd use the real description but can't find an updated menu online. Dad had trout, I think.
My poached egg wasn't all the way cooked, it had that clear viscous white egginess that I dislike. The salad was okay, but not all that great. What can I say, the meal was a disappointment and the servers were friendly if not quite as observant/timely as it seems like they had the time to be.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

McDonalds Angus Third Pound Burger...Maybe?

So, my mom has been in the hospital for, geez, the last three weeks. So I flew down to Nashville to be with her and my father. On the flight down I was hungry and had McDonalds. I tried some sort of new burger, which I think was probably the Angus Third Pounder. It was definitely a cut above their regular cheese burgers, and I have to admit the tomato was actually looking pretty good. I accidentally spilled my soda all over the airport waiting area's carpet, and didn't know quite what to do. If I were in a restaurant I'd attempt to clean it up while attracting the attention of a member of the waitstaff who would, more likely than not, send a busboy over to clean it up. While airports certainly have cleaning staff, I'm not sure who you contact to get to them. I feel like the airline people are too busy being rude directly to me, then bitching about other passengers to their colleagues right in front of me, to bother with maintenance.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Paint on the Walls

While I was in Seattle L. finished the trim in my room so that when I returned home it was all ready for me to put everything back together. I had really planned on trying to implement a more permanent tent-bed-fort, but the rearranging of furniture that I thought would look good, ended up looking blocky and stupid. So, I put the bed back where it started, slightly changed the layout of where my desk is positioned, and called it a day. Oh and I bleached my curtains as well as I could. I started sleeping with my head facing the windows, which is the opposite of my customary sleeping style. This change had one positive effect, and one negative. The positive was that when I awoke in the morning, I saw the sun shining through my window and across my feet without it being directly in my eyes, a secondary part of that pretty positive was that the tree outside my window was in full flower, so that was a nice way to wake up.
The negative, as you may be able to make out, is that I, at some point, pressed my dirty, dirty foot up against the wall and left a dirty, dirty footprint on the fresh blue. I didn't have time before going out of town to take care of it, but I imagine that a little soapy water should resolve the issue...and if not, it'll be a reminder of what not to do: have grimy, dirty, warm-outside-walk-around-on-the-deck-with-no-shoes feet.
It sure is pretty though, isn't it? I think so. Major props and thanks go out to L., who still has a crab cake dinner coming to her at some point.

Flowers c/o Spring, Pho c/o Pho 38, Pizza c/o Luigi's

Spring in Philadelphia was going along pretty nicely when I returned from Seattle, and continued in fine form thereafter.
The natural beauty of these flowers was obvious in person, but not in the photographs I took; to try to mask this fact I photoshopped the hell out of them.

I had to go to the mall to get some things. On the way back I stopped at Pho 38. It is in New Jersey. I went to the Asian grocery store next to it once. I haven't been back since, but for no very good reason. Every time I go to the Cherry Hill Mall I see this restaurant's Pho sign, and it beckons to me, inviting me to try something new. So I tried something new. Well, not exactly...I have had spring rolls and pho before, but not there. Whatever. I liked that the beef came a little bit more rare, and the broth was good too, but I thought the actual cuts of meat were weird or something. Not weird scary weird, just different.
Then I went over to C.'s to do laundry and eat pizza.
The end.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Garlic Mushroom Risotto

On Sunday I made risotto. Garlic, mushroom risotto to be exact. Liberally sprinkled with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese. It was, if I do say so myself, quite good.

Flower Box

When S. first moved in he quickly declared that he was going to build some sort of plant stand on the deck. I believed him in theory, but figured we'd see how we actually lived together before counting my plant stands/boxes before they hatched.
Turns out we live together just fine, so a few weeks back S. picked up his gumption and got all the materials he needed to make a plant box thing a reality. Above: the plants before Below: the wood before.
Then he went to work with tools and saw things and stains and whatnot.
One more reason why living with a boy is superior to living with a girl. Well, let me qualify more reason why living with a slightly typical boy is superior to living with a stereotypical girl. I mean no disrespect to all the ladies who know their ways around a tool box...I am simply not one of them. And I mean no disrespect to the gentle sirs who have no interest in hammers.
I'll post the end results soon.