Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I know it's been awhile since I've blogged. Big apologies for that. I guess, for awhile, I really felt like I didn't have much to say. That I could ramble on about, at least.
Today, I'll change that. Today's post will be devoted to the little blips and blurbs I've stifled 'cause I felt they wouldn't make an interesting post unto themselves.
Hopefully, there is strength in #'s.

This past week, we went back to a restaurant we hadn't visited in awhile: El Tango Taqueria. When we'd originally gone there, just a few short weeks after they opened, it was pretty straight tex-mex fare. Certainly good, but pretty standard: burritos, tacos, etc. It's been amazing to see how this little joint has progressed. On this visit, we found the ,once bare, side wall covered in blackboards outlaying specials, soups, desserts of the day...each one more tempting than the next. They'd also moved their cuisine on a locale level. No more constrained to just tex-mex, they'd incorporated a Mexican and South American flair to their dishes. I picked out a cinnamon and honey chicken, which was unbelievably tender, served with a (almost overly) garlic sauce on rice and their staple salsa salad. All excellent. Genevieve, obviously, went for the veggie fare, including a tequila and lime sweet potato dish which made me want to scream, it was soo good. Service was friendly and prompt, as it always has been, though the lack of air conditioning in the day's weather did dampen things. But just a tiny bit.

On the other end of the service spectrum was the Central Park Cafe, which we visited on our recent trip to Louisville, while down there to see my Dad. The restaurant was just around the corner from the B&B we were staying at and had been recommended to us by the innkeeper. With the surprisingly good weather of the weekend, we had decided to enjoy the fresh air and eat outside. We were seated promptly and had menus in our hands, but that's where the good service ended. First up, we were promised place mats (the tables were grated), that fell through, as they were never brought and we were later told that they were only for the "wobbly" tables. O-kay.
I'd also made a vain attempt to -gasp- get a beer. First up, I ordered their local seasonal beer (name - I can't remember), which I was told, after 15 minutes of waiting, that they didn't have. I then ordered a Hoegarden ale (a favorite of a friend, Mr. Chris Foldi)...which arrived another 15 minutes later with the warning that they were having trouble with the taps, so that would be the last Hoegarden of the night. (Strangely, I saw another table get some just minutes afterwards). All-in-all, we were there for 2 hours. A perfectly fine time to be at a restaurant, were it not for the inattentive wait staff and overall poor service. I'll give, the food was good, but not so good as to merit the wait staff.

Note: the Service level changed the other way, on the same trip, on a visit to an Indian Restaurant (Shalimar). The waiter there was amazingly friendly and helpful. He even offered Genevieve and I some cooking tips for the Channa Masala we make at home :) Service was prompt and the food was excellent.

Other foodie stuff.
Well, I guess the big thing that I haven't blogged about, but most of you know about, is that I'm planning to attempt Culinary School. So far, I've looked into three schools:
Pennsylvania Culinary Institute
Sullivan University
Icasi Culinary Institute

The latter of that list is a new school in the Cleveland area. Unfortunately, as a new school, they do not have the clout the other schools do, yet. I can definitely see them being a great school in 5 years or so. But, for now, though the temptation is there, since they could be something I could go to without relocating, it just does not seem to be for me.

The other two though, are def. on my list. It's going to be a tough decision, esp. as our recent trip to Sullivan left me very impressed.