While the son is away and the trial is away, both temporarily, it is time to hit the streets. And what good timing while the Jeux Olympiques are underway. I have an intense schedule for my GM-style Olympic games: work efficiently and productive at day job, exercise, eat, drink, write about the GM Olympics. The GM Olympic Games involve one new food or cocktail venue per day while the son is away (and the trial continued).
The one new food or cocktail venue a day rule has been relaxed some to account for new beverages in old familiar places.
Here's the running start of this past weekend leading into official Day 1 (Monday, 30 july):
- Friday Night: Talk son into going to Hopdaddy. It is officially in the dinner-time/acceptable places for the picky son's rotation. And though it takes more than 5 minutes to drive there, I think I can get son over there pretty often so long as we arrive when there is no line going out the door. Food (mine): watermelon/feta salad and pumpkin seeds. Libation (mine): "Sandia Rose" (watermelon lemonade, rosemary, gin).
Friday Night Part 2: To eliminate headache from the Sandia Rose, friend recommends that I have another cocktail. (This actually worked.) We went to Fino.
Cocktail No. 1:
scarlet ibis rum | honey | lime | sparkling wine | 10.
Cocktail No. 2 (I was not driving):
TOTAL ECLIPSE OF LEMON HART
dolin dry vermouth | lemon hart 151° demerara rum | lemon
vanilla syrup | elemakule tiki bitters | 10.
The latter - though the palate may have been off given the duration of the new cocktail experiment of Friday - is currently the best cocktail I have had in my life to date.
Or it may be tied with the Aviator, which I also had at Fino a few long months ago. Of course Fino has been very well known for some time for exquisite and inventive cocktails. So I tend to branch out beyond the usual red wine rut when there. (The Old Fashioned is a thing of beauty with that one large bold architectual statement of an ice cube.) This lemon libation was perfectly seasoned with layers of interesting flavors, with an overall effect that was not too lemon, not sweet, just darn interesting.
Fino is such a great, reliable standby. And I am old enough to remember when it was the original Granite Cafe -- lines going out the door, waits for hours some nights -- then the bad re-invention of The Granite Cafe. It was a great relief when that wonderful space, and so close to me, was reinvented again -- as Fino.
The food standout that night at Fino was the pork. Pork Pinchitos with sea salt. This stands out as one of the most fantastic, awesome spicy foods I have had in a very long time. Three to four small pieces of tender spicy and succulent pork, on a skewer, and a set of 3 of 4 skewers. And the Tzatziki (cucumber, mint, yogurt) is a fabulous counterpart to cool off the palate from the hot flash of the pork pinchitos - if the palate wants to be cooled off.
Movie at Violet Crown - Bernie. So ironic that I would have just been in that very part of East Texas just days earlier. Driving from Shreveport, Louisiana to Marshall, Texas for pre-trial conference, there was the exit sign off I-20 for Carthage. In case you have not seen the movie yet, and if you are from Texas, you absolutely should see this movie as part of your cultural heritage. The movie takes place in Carthage, and the locals' starring roles and observations of East Texas life are a major part of the movie's charm.
But the restaurant should be named "Entrada" as that is the only signage that really stands out there, oddly.
And because nothing says "day off" or rather "night off" than popcorn and a movie, I indulged, badly, in popcorn for the movie.
I also indulged in the featured cocktail (it was a noon movie showing....):
the "Hey Rhub" featuring Strawberry-Rhubarb infused gin, Yuzu Lemongrass Sour, and Prosecco.
- I almost left the movie to go get another one.
- It was a good call by me not to.
And so the GM Olympics continue....with an early morning swimming workout on Monday morning to mitigate some of those over-indulgences over the weekend.