Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rainy and Random

Saturday morning around 9:20 here in Durham. We're in full-fledged rain and wind mode (from Hanna); it's been raining steadily since the middle of the night and the wind's picked up. But, Mr. B checked on-line and found that Hanna should be moving out of the area by this afternoon. Ike's on tap to go towards LA so, other than some rain and storms perhaps Tuesday, we might squeak out of being pommeled by Ike. I'm not sure what Josephine is up to right now; probably too far out yet to know.
Lucy is pouting because she can't go outside. Well, she CAN, but, each time she goes out means someone has to dry her off with a towel. This must be real torture for her, though; rain usually brings out the frogs.
There is a flock of geese grounded in the backyard a few doors down. There is no landscaping in that yard, so, that translates to a ton of muddy puddles. Mr. B says the geese can't fly in this wind.
So, it appears that we'll have a weekend of being stuck indoors. This means while Mr. B works on various projects in the garage, I will have to otherwise occupy myself. Hmmm....might be a good time to update our investments? Nah, too depressing. Maybe I'll try to work on Clyde's album.
Lucy keeps staring at me quite intently. "Let me out! Let me out! Let me out!"
Last night we went to a restaurant in Chapel Hill called 411 West. It's an Italian cafe type place; the sister restaurant to a similar one in Raleigh called 518 West. Anyway, we were in Chapel Hill dropping the BMW off for service (inspection). So, we decided to eat out.
I used Open Table to make the reservation, that's sort of a cool and easy process. Here's their web site
Anyway, 411 West was okay. No great shakes but ok. The food was decent enough but I didn't much care for the atmosphere (nowhere near as neat as 518 West). We were stuck in this room that seemed to be an add-on. As it got darker, it became very difficult to see (very little lighting). Also, the service was too fast. Say what? Yeah, too fast! We wanted to relax over our cocktails but the salads were brought almost immediately after we ordered them. I'm sorry; Caesar Salad and Manhattan's don't go that well together. We should have said we wanted to enjoy our drink, but, I guess we've been spoiled by the likes of Magnolia Grill where they simply don't bring your food (unless you ask) until you've finished up with your cocktail.
When the waitress brought our salads, Mr. B asked her to hold on bringing our entrees until we'd finished our salad. I asked for the wine list. She came back about five minutes after she'd brought the list and wanted to know if we wanted to order wine. Not yet, still drinking this Manhattan!
Anyway, the entrees were good (she brought them almost immediately after the salad plates were taken away). I had pan seared scallops with gnocchi, arugula and caramelized shallots. It was listed as a "small plate" and it was. I thought at first, "What a rip!" but, it turned out the food was more than sufficient; it was also extremely rich. But, good enough to try and duplicate at home. Mr. B had the black pepper linguine with salmon which he said was good enough but he wished they'd flaked the salmon and mixed it in with the pasta rather than just laying big blogs of salmon on the top.
We did end up ordering a glass of wine (which came AFTER the entrees).
So, all in all, I doubt we'll ever go back there.
Onto another subject. For whatever reason, every time I go into the dry cleaners, I forget something. I wonder if it is the chemicals in the building? Usually I try to leave without picking up my clothes (that are hanging there right next to me). Or, I leave my tote bag on the counter. The other day, I actually left my credit card. Luckily, Jackie (the manager) knows I tend to forget things so is prepared to be on the alert. Seriously, 1/2 the time I go there, I hear, "Miz B, Miz B!" as I am climbing back into my car. I don't get it! I don't usually leave anything behind anywhere else and certainly not plastic!
We've been watching the miniseries "John Adams" (via NetFlix). We're on the final episode. I've really been enjoying it and would highly recommend it to anyone who is remotely interested in that period of time. Boy, what a difference between now and then, politically. The cast is fantastic. I never would have pictured Paul Giamatti (from "Sideways" fame) as John Adams but, he's pulling it off. There is a lot of red wine drinking in this miniseries; Mr. B said he keeps expecting "John Adams" to take a sip, look at the glass, make a face, and say, "Is this MERLOT? I don't want any stinking MERLOT!" Ha ha. I really dig the music from this series; it's real catchy and seems to make one want to stand up tall and be proud
BTW, I finally let Lucy out and now she's pacing on the patio; back and forth, back and forth, wanting back IN. But of course you silly Goose, it's RAINING out there!
Mrs. B


Shannon said...

The service at 411 West is called "too many in college servers." Enjoying before dinner drinks, etc. is something that one definitely grows into. I remember that in college I used to wolf down my food in order to get back to the library (amazing how motherhood reverts you back to those bad eating habits!). At any rate, Jon and I always mention something (something that my parents taught us), but I have to say the only servers who have actually listened and obeyed with consistently have been at Anotherthyme restaurant. The only thing that I like about 411 West is the 50% off bottles of wine on Monday night...used to go there with friends. But now, you don't have to venture to Chapel Hill anymore as Tosca Ristorante offers the same deal.

Happy frog hunting to Lucy!!!

* a . n . a . l . e . e * said...

we ate there early last year (2007) and it was very slow service. it also was packed. that was right when i found out i was pregnant and i couldn't get anything good to drink.

and i didn't want to eat, either. everything made me sick.

willow wanted out this morning, and out he went (it was during one of those no-rain periods). he was back pretty quick though once the rain started to really come down - wet as expected!

does lucy foam at the mouth when she eats (or tries to eat) frogs?

Mrs. B said...

She doesn't so much foam as she smacks her lips. And she drinks a lot of water afterwards. I guess frogs are salty!


Mr. B said...

She is probably trying to wash the taste out of her mouth. You'd think she would learn that the frogs don't taste good and would stop doing it.