Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

More soon on the AWESOME meal prepared by guest celebrity chef Stephanie Izard, but until then, here's a sneak peek.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Top Chef Winner Coming to Revolver Restaurant

If you're a fan of the reality TV Show Top Chef, then you may very well soon become a fan of Revolver Restaurant in Findlay, Ohio.

On April 24, Revolver is hosting Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard. There are two seatings at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. for a 5 course meal made by the celebrity chef. Reservations are $95 per person.

Not to brag, but FD and I will be in attendance, and I'm planning on wearing one of my best Orla Kiely dresses from the Grey Colt for this very special event.

For more information check out this clip from Fox Toledo.

Apart from this special event, consider Revolver for your dining group, family birthday party, special gathering, or for just a superb meal out. I recently had a very special dinner at Revolver with some very special friends, and breaking Revolver's very tasty salt rolls and sharing such thoughtfully prepared local foods with my friends in such a comfortable and fun environment made us all feel even closer.

As we hear in the news and in our conversations with others, the economy isn't great, but it doesn't mean we need to change what we value in our lives. If you value good food and independent businesses now is the time to support them or they won't be around when the economy "changes." Bypass that Mickey D's you get a couple times a month and save up your Starbucks change, and I bet you'll have enough for a solid meal at Revolver or a local farmer's leg of lamb. Just some food for thought!

Hope to see you soon at Revolver!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Some Bad BBQ

One of the things I miss most about Cleveland is Bubba's Q. I could eat there every day. Seriously. The BBQ is dynamite and the sides are pure south--total badass!

Because of Bubba's Q I crave quality BBQ every month, so I was delighted to see a new BBQ place in Rossford (about 20 mintues from Bowling Green) behind the Giant Eagle: Bad Bobs.

This past weekend on our date night FD and I went to Bad Bobs. And it was bad, not in the good way.

Let me begin my review by saying I have high expectations for BBQ joints; I realize this. But I know good BBQ can be done in Ohio, and I expect it. I am a food snob and I'm food conscious. I have high standards when I spend my hard-earned money on a meal I have not cooked. Maybe you aren't as particular as me, that's fine. But this is my review.

Upon walking into Bad Bobs, the first thing I noticed was how clean the joint is. It's immaculate with their practically sparkling clean tables and well-swept floors. I was happy.

The wait to be seated was about five minutes, which is pretty good for a busy Saturday night, and the place was pretty packed.

Our waitress promptly took our drink orders, which was fine. Everything was fine until I asked for a glass of wine. Then it went downhill. Bad Bobs only serves beer. If you like beer, you're in luck; it's pretty cheap and they have a good selection, according to FD. If you want anything else to drink, it's going to be pop or water. I understand liquor licenses can be tricky, so while this didn't make me especially happy it didn't ruin dinner.

Once FD got his beer and I got my water, our food came about 15-20 minutes later. The service is quick and friendly. There was no question about that.

The food is where my issues began. My beef brisket was exceptionally dry; I thought it would come with bbq sauce or I thought the waitress would tell me how it came: wet or dry. I was surprised because the waitress didn't tell me either way. The flavor of the brisket was okay. It was a little bland, but when I put bbq sauce on it, it tasted better. What was truly upsetting were the sides.

My side salad was clearly taken from a bag and plopped in a bowl, which what I expect from most BBQ places. However, at least it could have been spun a bit so it wasn't still wet from the bag. My green beans were runny and tasted metallic, which means they came from a can. That's disheartening. And my mac and cheese was runny, bland, and not cheesey at all. In fact, I told FD I would prefer to eat boxed mac and cheese over what was served. Additionally, the two plate sides were served in little plastic cups, which I didn't understand. Why not be eco-friendly and not use the cups? Just put the sides on the plate. I'm guessing because the plate would be a wet mess...Needless to say, I didn't eat my sides and only half of my brisket.

FD ordered a full slab of ribs: 1/2 wet and 1/2 dry rubbed. The dry rubbed ribs were exceptional: juicy, moist, flavorful--a real delight. His sweet potato casserole was pretty good too. Nothing special, but much better than the mac and cheese and green beans.

We walked out of Bad Bobs having spent about $48 on both meals and two beers. The prices weren't bad, but the lack of food quality (apart from the ribs) made me regret spending that much on the meal.

I would recommend Bad Bobs for those who aren't food snobby like me. It's a fine establishment. However, I won't be going back. I would rather just wait it out and go to Bubba's Q when we visit Cleveland.

FD said he would go back and get dry rubbed ribs for take-out and make his own sides. I would consider that; those dry rubbed ribs were amazing. And I bet they'd be even more so with my homemade mac & cheese and some fresh farmers market veggies.

Bad Bobs: 2.5 stars out of 5.
Bubba Q's: 4.5 out of 5.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Other Than Dog

Like many dog owners, FD & I have given Bleu various cutesy nicknames: baby dogbert, Bleu-ser, boo-boo-tron.

In addition to these nicknames, we have others. Ones that represent the various other animals Bleu embodies:

A Bear: He stands on his hind legs and tries to dance with us like a circus bear.

A Lion: Sometimes he has a mane. And his jaw is huge.

A Shark: He surfs a counter like a shark surfs a crowed beach.

A Pig: The way he eats and waddles and rolls around in mug makes us think he was a pig in a previous life.

This is just a sampling. The list could on much longer than my lunch break.

What animals does your dog or cat remind you of?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Once Forgotten

While rocking out to my Twilight mix (of course, made for each book, chapter by chapter--in some cases paragraph by paragraph--if you want a copy, let me know!) and prepping goodies for my cook-ahead, Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole, I heard a song I haven't really heard in ages: "Have You Forgotten" by Red House Painters.

When I first heard that song was in my in-between-years as manager of the Saks Off-Fifth Women's Department at Aurora Farms in Aurora, Ohio, when I wanted to study poetry in a MFA program but more importantly I wanted to find myself. I listened to the song many times during many late nights doing stupid shit (there's no other way to put it) with my then (and still) bestees: Gattozzi, PL, & Stokes.

My most vivid memory with "Have You Forgotten" is in Grad School, though. I had wandered down to Falstaff's on my way home from teaching one Friday evening--early on in my Grad career, my first semester. This was my fav bar which happened to be the best burger joint in town: in Grad School my two favorite things comboed in one.

The owner and cook, John, knew me by name. (Yes, it was a Cheers moment every time I walked in.) I was in there one night sipping my Jack & Coke and devouring my cheeseburger and fries after a rough week when I heard "Have You Forgotten."

John was an avid indie radio supporter, and the song was most likely playing on the college radio station. I don't remember. But what I remember was in a bar the size of any good college bar with glossed oak wood counters and four pool tables, it was just me and John listening to "Have You Forgotten."

No one else was in the bar.

That was the loneliest moment of my life.

I missed my brother, my sister, my parents, my Stokey, my Gattozzi, my PL, my Alice, my life in Kent, my job with designer clothes perks, the love of my life (wherever he was), and myself.

What's weird is I never remembered that specific emotional state until tonight. I've heard that song countless times since then, but never with any emotional potency.

What made tonight so special? The smell of onions browning in a non-stick LeCruest skillet?

Food and memory are intrinsically linked...

At first I thought to include this memory in a private letter to my friend PL with a stack of CD burns I've been promising to send him since December, but for some reason that didn't seem to be enough.

This past weekend my sister-in-law Suz told me I needed to update my blog. That she missed it. That she enjoyed reading it.

I thought to myself, "For real? My blog is a joke."

I complain. I whine. I rant.

But the smell of onions reminded me:

I share.

I remember.

I appreciate.

That's good enough by me.

What else are blogs for?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolutions...Then Again...

The holidays have kept me MIA.

But while the potatoes are roasting in the oven and before I stem some greens & carve up some ham, I thought I'd wish you, dear reader, a Happy 2009!

Of course, last night FD & I, joined by a fabulous couple we absolutely adore, dined at Revolver for their special 8 course celebration meal. As always, it was the best meal ever. They continually top themselves.

Which got me thinking.

This year I'm going to continually top myself. ("That's what she said.")

Seriously, this year I'm going to challenge myself--in my job AND my art. I'm going to disregard "What If"s and push myself to live without reservations or worries. I'm not going to second-guess myself; I'm going to accept humanly fallible. And most of all I'm going to embrace the facets of myself I truly love and focus on strengthening them & sharing them with others.

(Why is it so much I say can be followed with "That's what she said"?)

I'm excited to see what 2009 has in store for me as a skeptic, composition instructor, assistant director, writer, reader, doggie-mama, techie, Alicia's Voice board member, Wick Poetry Center alum, locavore, SmartWater drinker, daydreamer, & queen of typos.

Actually, I resolve to reduce my typos...