Sunday, September 30, 2007

Floriana: No Fork For You! And a Rude Ass Beyouch of a Bartender

So the restaurants along 17th Street, Dupont aren't destinations, and especially not Floriana. They failed on so many fronts, and for the higher than usual price point for that part of the neighborhood, double thumbs down. But the most egregious of the offenses, which I will serve up first, was the b*tch-face bartender. Is it cause we're breeders, guy, that you ignored us when no one, NO ONE, was in the gross cellar bar, save for some fat, obnoxious slob whose jowls were hovered over his slop--looking up only to shout "shut the door" at us? Even when I approached the bar, sir mix-a-not was too busy watching the television and shaking up some green apple martinis.
So, that was the beginning of the sub-par experience. So we get seated, and were hopeful, as the menu looked pretty decent. In fact, we were walking by and stopped only because the menu looked so promising. We got a seat outside that beautiful evening after waiting for a bit in the dungeon of dolts. We wered greeted, thankfully, quite warmly by a young woman who seemed fairly knowledgeable and enthusiastic. But that was the only good about the experience. First came my starter, a salad of orange and fennel...what should have been a great combinationwas ruined by an overly-creamy dressing and listless fennel that had no taste and was more like biting into thinly sliced potatoes than the unctuous and liquorish bulb that I'm used to. So, after finishing (and when I say finish, I mean after four bites I put my fork and knife down), the table was cleared. BUT THEN, our server apologized and asked us to keep our utensils, handing me back my fork, as they ran out and couldn't replace them. No (new) fork for me. Grrr. I'm not that persnickety, but c'mon! The final straw was the sausage tortellini: too heavy, too bland, too chewy.
Oh, but I forgot the one minor bit of joy: a diner who sat behind us, brought along his two very large German shepherds, both with equally large personalities. Cute! (That is one good thing about this neighborhood, you can walk around with your dog and grab a bight to eat outside--but keep walking pass this place.)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Petty Thought of the Day: Foodie

People who call themselves "foodies" bother me. Maybe it's the irony of self-pronouncement--like describing yourself as "attractive" or "classy"...kinda makes you neither. Or maybe it's the sound of the word itself that I find so irksome, like "moist" or "sniff" or "squirt". Let me stop.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What-Washington-Eats-Wednesdays: Larry Craig

They're baaaaack. Yes, after a long hiatus, "Wednesdays" are back. Cut me some slack. I've been lazy this summer, and traveling, and did I mention lazy? That's what hot weather does to a girl. Anyhoo, so here we are...

Okay, this one sort of wrote itself. But for the uninitiated, a brief lesson in "cottaging." Cottaging is a gay slang term referring to anonymous male/male sex in a public bathroom (a cottage), or to the practice of cruising for sexual partners in public lavatories with the intention of having sex elsewhere.

So the good Senator from Idaho, Larry Craig, was arrested at the Minneapolis airport on suspicion of lewd conduct, the nature of which included such cottaging. According to the police report, a police officer sat in a bathroom stall as part of an undercover operation investigating complaints of sexual activity in the restroom. His incident report read as follows:

"At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. ... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his left hand under the stall divider several times, with the palm of his hand facing upward."

Craig had explanations for the behaviors, and suggested that he has a "wide stance" when using the bathroom. Awesome. He ultimately plead guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges and then announced his resignation. However, today his lawyers tried to convince a judge in Minnesota to let the Idaho Republican withdraw the guilty plea. He was to leave office effective September 30th. However, if the judge approves the request, Craig will likely stay in office until the end of the trial.

I know a place where the good Senator doesn't have to defend his wide stance. In fact, the lavatories are one-sies, meaning they're just for one person, and they're pretty big, so he can stand as wide as he wants. And he can be as openly gay as he wants. I'm talking about Logan Tavern, a great restaurant and bar in my gayborhood. And next door is a pretty hoppin' gay-centric club, Halo. Anyhoo, the menu at Logan Tavern is comforting and terrific. Might I recommend the very sexy and tender and fleshy Seared Tuna, Baby Arugula, Spicy Chili Slaw as a starter, and then move to the melt in your mouth
Wasabi Crusted Meatloaf w. Caramelized Onion Gravy & Mashed Potatoes. It's great for that Midwestern boy who likes a little bit of a different take on his meat (and of course no Idahoan can be without his oh so creamy mashed studs--I mean, spuds, right? ).

Okay, enough with the bad innuendo.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

17th Street Cafe: Decidedly Limited (But Good)

A few months ago, a new neighborhood eatery opened its doors on the 17th street corridor of Dupont. We stopped by for dinner the other weeknight, not looking for a great culinary experience, but something simple to satisfy our hunger. And we came to the right place. Seventeeth Street Cafe is decidedly limited in its menu of salads, soups and sandwiches, but focused and thoughtful.

The menu has all the trite basics from hummus, to quesadillas to burgers. But somehow they make it worth coming back. Perhaps it's for the level of care put into the simple food and the reasonable prices. I guess I'd describe it as earnest and, like Avis, they try hard(er). They're trying. I'm not sure if they're there yet, but I like the effort. The service is very friendly, while the decor fumbles towards hip and spare (unfortunately, the industrial/office building blue carpet on the second (lounge) floor betrays this aim).

Anyhoo, I had the very yummy grilled cheese! (They have grilled cheese!) And it was done very well and very honestly. The Swiss on sourdough was lovely dipped in a perfect tomato bisque. I think the soup was made with chicken stock (?) along with a bit of cream which made it very satisfying and substantial. My dinner companion had the walnut and cranberry salad which was equally well done and was only "$6 1/2"--cutely written on the menu. The hummus and flatbread appetizer didn't taste the least bit like the packaged stuff that you tend get at other places (say, around the corner).

Seventeenth Street Cafe is like that nerd we knew (or were) in highschool: a little awkward, yearning for cool, kinda smart, and most likely will be very popular at the fifth year reunion.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I love fruitcake

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