Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Seem as though the holidays bring about a desire to touch base with people we don’t see often enough. Christmas cards are nice (not that I actually SEND any), but a face to face meeting is always best.

Me, Becca, Kathy and Pat at Luigi's
Notice the wall of fame behind us-
a staple at this great place.
So yesterday I met with a former co-worker at one of my favorite local eateries, Luigi's on South Main Stree, for dinner. Kathy and I used to share the third floor under the skylight so we had the sunshine to keep us company most of the year. Kathy was always a good source for scuttle-butt on what was going on politically around town and I miss that – these days I have to scrounge around on my own to find out what’s happening.

Our mutual friends Rebecca and Pat joined us for dinner and the conversation was lively and the food (as always) was good. We’re of an age now where we’re most of us dealing with the generation up from us in some manner or another. Rebecca’s parents, my parents and Kathy’s Aunt. By the time dinner was over it almost felt more as though we’d formed our own support group than anything else. And truly, there’s not a thing wrong with that. Strength is in numbers!

A downtown staple for many year!

Otherwise it was old biddy chat time and it was really nice spending time with people I don’t get to pal around with very often.

Dinner at Luigi’s would not have been complete without the good natured chiding by Dickie at the front door when we arrived. He’s a staple at that position and arriving there at lunch or dinner and not finding him there somehow diminishes the entire experience. And yes, diet be darned, I ate pizza and a glass of wine and enjoyed every bite and sip.

Today the guys at the office and I trudged through the snow to visit 3 Point, which is in the next block from our office. Frankly, eating here is an adventure every time I walk through the door. Fortunately, the food is terrific; it is the single constant behind this fairly new establishment. Unfortunately, the service is generally very substandard. I’ve eaten here three times at lunch and twice have spent well over 90 minutes to eat a simple salad.

I am seldom one to complain in the blog about places I visit, but realistically, poor service really should not be tolerated in a restaurant where a salad and a drink cost nearly $14. Sad to say, this is not the only establishment downtown where good food meets poor service. I love Lockview, but eating lunch there is ALWAYS well over an hour. Same for Cilantro. I cannot help but think that with better trained wait staff these places would be much busier, at least for lunch.

Feel free to eat at any of these places when you're not in a hurry.  The food at all three is good and as long as you're not dining with someone you don't like, it will be fine.  Sit back and relax and enjoy the prolonged meal.

Pretty little sprouts!  How could
something so cute go so wrong?
Well, there’s no recipe here today because what I thought was a terrific idea turned out to be...well, inedible. Once upon a time a friend had me to dinner and served something from her slow cooker that was Brussels sprouts, chicken and some sort of tomato sauce. I thought it was pretty good and frankly it was because of that I am a true Brussels sprout fan today. I’ve searched for such a recipe and this week I thought I’d stumbled over the right thing when I picked up a small can of dice tomatoes with peppers.

Last night I excitedly cut my sprouts and put them into the slow cooker along with about half the can of tomatoes and a bit of oregano. This morning I added a chicken breast, a little more tomatoes and oregano and came off to work looking forward to a good dinner tonight when I got home.

It was a sad realization that sprouts just do not belong in a slow cooker. I’ve come to love these when they are quick cooked in a sauté pan so that they still have a bit of a bite to them. Many a friend has become sprout lovers after eating them from my kitchen. However, these poor little things that I found swimming in the bottom of the cooker were nowhere near edible. These must be the slimy little creatures that other people are served who are confirmed sprout haters.

The chicken was delicious but the sprouts hit the garbage. So today’s advice from the kitchen – do not try this one at home!

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