Thursday, July 2, 2015

Culinary Adventures Part 2

With Alison gone for the week, Jeff and I have been exploring the city looking for great food within walking distance of either home or work. In addition to the walkable rule, we can't have had already had a meal at the establishment.

We violated the walkable rule with a day trip to Jungle Jim's in Cincinatti with a side trip to Rooster's there. Also, we drove to the Lincoln Square Pancake house over lunch -- which we've been to before but that was a date set with Chris Austin before our other rules were established. 

By happy accident so far, we haven't yet spent more than $50 for any of our meals. The asterisk is that it really was an accident caused mostly by either snacking/drinking at home before we made it to the restaurant.

We discussed the North End BBQ  already and the leftovers meal at home Saturday.

Sunday was Roosters. I won't cross the road for wings, but we were on the Cincy trip with Team Jasheway and Duane and Jeff love their chicken wings. And beer. It was worth stopping, but I wouldn't drive two hours for it. Both Jeff and Duane would, I suspect.

The only real disappointment was that our waitress couldn't explain what the "Donkey" sauce was. "We get that question a lot," said Brittany. Despite the prevalence of the question, she wasn't curious enough to figure it out. We assume it has a kick, a revelation that came about only on the way home.

Jungle Jim is a huge grocery store with more beer, wine, cheese and olives than anyone needs. There's a section for every nationality you can think of and stuff I'm not sure was really food.  I'm fairly certain the US Marines could be fed for a few years before the place would run out of foodstuffs. 

On Monday, we went to Twenty Tap, which we've been planning to go to for the year or so it's been operating up the street from our house. A-MAY-zing shrimp and grits. Jeff had a beer, of course. There are tons of them to choose from. He had a Reuben, which he said was better than my meal. As he's not a fan of grits, he's not qualified to judge. I win.

Tuesday found us at the movies where we had drinks at home to prepare then diet popcorn and bits of coconut dark chocolate bark from Jungle Jims that we smuggled in. Yeah. Not our finest culinary experience. But it paired well with Ted2. I DO recommend the chocolate.

Wednesday I had a work outing to the Indianapolis Indians game so I was kind of wiped before I got home. I had a black bean burger, peanuts and a beer at the game. I'd meant to have my standard chocolate ice cream cone but the machine malfunctioned and I ended up with about 1/2 gallon in a cup. Not a wasteful person, I felt compelled to finish most of it. Indians won 2-1.

Dinner was at Ambrosia, outside. Neither of us was super hungry so we skipped appetizers. The bread was great though, and my ravioli was super good. Jeff had Rustico (I think) penne pasta with sausage. It was the spicy opposite of my pillows of creamy spinach goodness. We switched plates about 3/4 through the meal.  Perfection.

Today, Jeff and I met our friend Chris Austin for pancakes. Chris and I work together and had gotten into an IHOP pancake habit. Jeff joins us when we can get it together. It's always fun. 

Dinner tonight was a triumph. Indy Tacos -- a newish, authentic Mexican place on 54th Street just west of Keystone. It will be on our favorite dive list for the rest of our lives. Corn tortillas that brought us back to our days of old Cancun with Eric and Tracy. It's not fancy. But the tacos are fabulous.  Dinner rang up at $17 and it was too much food. 

It helped that we'd shared guacamole and mojjitos at home made with mint and cilantro from the Angie's List garden.  But really. It's a great low-key place if you like authentic tacos.

I'm going to have to eat nothing but from the AL garden or start working out harder if I'm going to make it through Alison's time away from us and still be able to wear my clothes. I should probably stop letting her have a life away from us.

Speaking of Alison, while away at camp with Auntie Jen, she prepared lobster tail, her famous spicy zuchinni and rice for Grandpa and Uncle Peter (and Jen) as a late Fathers Day treat. Grandpa declared it wonderful. I wonder where she gets this taste for great food?

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