Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Saturday date night

Last Saturday, later in the evening, we decided we were hungry, and sushi sounded good.We headed out 71st street, and before we got to where we were planning to go, we saw a new restaurant called Suki. (sounds like sushi, right?)Unique dining, food cooked right at your table. Hmmm, I'm thinking something like Shoguns.Then I see read it's cooked right at your table....in a pot? Ok, so it's like The Cajun Boiling pot, except maybe not Cajun. I'm good with that, I think.We are seated and the chairs are elegant, high backed leather covered. The table is solid sculpted marble. The menus are wood, over an inch thick, yet have only three pages. Very exquisite to say the least. In the middle of this table that cost more than I make in a month is a sauce pan. A 6 quart sauce pan, just like my mama used to make chili.It sits upon a built in hot plate, and that is where our food is cooked? Well maybe just one course is cooked there, I don't know. There are very few entrees from which to choose, and they all are a little pricey, but what the hey. I am excited about this new eating experience. The choices are steak, seafood, lobster (market priced) and a combo of steak and seafood. We debated about splitting the steak and seafood, but our waitress advices that may not be enough food unless we just really aren't hungry, so Dana ordered the steak, and I order the seafood. We also ordered a sushi roll. The steak was a top quality sirloin, and the seafood consisted of mussels, scallops, and jumbo lobster prawns. Sounds good, huh?

Well, to begin, they bring out two small dished with some sort of cabbage, which smelled a little funky and had an odd texture. I opted out on that one. The salads were small, and the dressing that the waitress descibed as awesome was less than her description. Our sushi roll was pleasing to the eye, with shitake mushrooms standing tall from the end pieces, and bright red roe garnishing each slice. However, the "tuna" tasted more like shaved turkey, and was way to salty for my taste. Then, the saucepan was filled with a "specially seasoned vegetable stock". Mmmm. Then a platter of veggies were dumped in to the pan. There were leeks, a strange variant of lettuce, 2 red bell pepper wedges, 3 different kinds of mushrooms, something that looked like a pin wheel, some thinly sliced butternut squash, some asparagus, and some broccoli chunks that were somehow crossed with cauliflower. I was trying to have an open mind about all this, yet the horrid image of eyeballs floating around in the pot kept coming to mind. Now I do eat my fair share of vegetables, and helped myself to the mix with guarded expectations. The normal looking mushroom was not cooked quite enough, so I cut off the part I bit and put the remainder back in the pot to cook some more. Next, I tried the squash. It was crumbly, and had no flavor at all. Not bad, but not good. Next I had the shitake mushrooms, which seemed like rubbery spaghetti. The leeks were impossible to cut since no knives were furnished, so I skipped them. The broc/cauliflower again had very little taste. Then the other species of mushrooms, which looked like someones ear, tasted like a nice soft thick piece of leather. 

Next came the meat.The "steak" was shaved beef. Dana questioned the waitress about it, thinking we were getting a nice sirloin, maybe grilled? Medium rare?. Nope, just top quality beef, and shaved and cooked (boiled) right at out table in the saucepan that they cooked our veggies. Same seasoned vegetable stock. That's good, right? Cooked right in with the mussels, prawns (looked like plain old shrimp to me), and 2 HUGE scallops. The steak tasted like boiled meat with hints of a nice bland vegetable broth. The mussels were good. The prawns were probably no more than shrimp....not much taste, and tough to chew. Maybe I should have leaned on more of the 3 sauces provided, but none of them were particularly good to my taste. The scallops, however, were a nice surprise.... good texture and flavor, although I should have let them cook a little more. Dessert? We declined, fearing it also would be dumped into the pot of vegetable broth.

How much for this unique dining experience? We would have spent 35 bucks for sushi, 40-50 at Red Lobster, maybe 50-55 for Shoguns, but at Suki, we ended up paying 70 dollars for this "unique dining experience", including the tip. Plus, we had to cook the food ourselves!! Worst 70 I have ever spent!

I hope I don't seem like a dumb redneck not appreciating finer dining. I just had more boiled food than I wanted.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bad news

While driving home today, something yellow passed by me in the corner of my eye. I stopped and backed up and here is what I saw.I backed up, grabbed my camera, and gave this sign a good hard look.If this land is developed for commercial or residential use, it will wipe out all of the trails west of the power lines, including all of the 10K portion in the Turkey and Taturs event. I would suggest taking note of the time and date of the hearing and let out voice be heard. I plan on being there, and I'd like there to be a lot of other concerned trail runners and mountain bikers with me.

Another major annoyance is the continual trash dumping on the west side.It will be a bad day for the trash-hole who litters here if the Zombie ever catches him.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In a meeting this morning, I overheard someone saying today that they might start running "when pigs fly!" 

As a matter of fact, I have a flying pig right across the street from me!

Today, I headed out for a midday run. 3 miles? 10 miles? I had no clue.

 It was cold, but even so, I think I overdressed. 

I no more made it to the trails before I had to shed my fleece pullover and tie it around my waist. 

Grayness reigned over the sky, casting it's dull lifeless color on the landscape around me. 

Shades of green and colors of spring were banned from Turkey Mountain today.I am not the only one wanting for warmer days ahead.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mother Road part deux

A year ago last November, I finished my 3rd 100 miler. It was the Mother Road 100, a one-time running of route 66....ALL ON PAVEMENT!! After the run, depite it being my fastest time, I vowed to never ever do another 100 miler on roads.Fast forward to January this year. I am 0-for-3 in my last 3 attempts in the 100 mile distance. I finished 4 of 5 laps at Rocky Raccoon in 2007 and just sat down and watched the time limit go by. I just gave up. At Western States, I started the race with a fever and sinus infection. That, with the altitude and under-training got me pulled at the first time check-point. My blood pressure was 195/115, and I was the 1st runner pulled from the race. At the AT 100, I again was pulled due to missing a time cut-off, although I felt fine and was running ok albeit slow. This streak of three haunts me. And in January this year, some yoyos decided to have another running of the Mother Road, on another portion of Route 66, in the state of Oklahoma.
All of my friends who ran it in 2006 are back running it again this year. Kathy, Steve, Dan, Earl, Randy, and 100 mile newbies Johnny, Steve, and Brian are thinking of throwing themselves into the mix. Then, the RDs make the announcement that if you sign up by March 31, you get the same race number as the last running. I was #3. # 1 and 2 were the Race director and co-director. How can I let a low race number like #3 go?So it's official, I am in.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I am back!

It's been a while since I've posted. Last week, I took a week off and got away for a little R and R. Dana and I met My Mom and Dad, and my brother and his wife in Galveston and boarded the Carnival Ecstacy for a cruise to Progessa and Cozumel. Galveston was socked in with fog and our ship was 6 hours late arriving, and we were 5-6 hours late in boarding. The evening brought in a thick layer of pea soup, so we sat at port until the crack of 7:00 am. This meant that our first port-of-call was cancelled and Cozumel was to be our only stop. For 2 1/2 days, we plodded across the gulf over medium sized swells. I decided to go without motion-sickness pills, and did ok.

After a very long ride, we finally reached our stop and got to go ashore.Zombie acting goofy.

Dana at Senor Frogs. (She's the one wearing blue.)

Follow that donkey!!

On the ship, consuming food is the most common activity. I still have cramps in my biceps from lifting cones and holding them under the soft serve ice cream machine. That, plus the occasional lobster, filet, and yes!!....escargot!!!I can't believe I ate the whole thing!!!

Shouldn't have had that last margarita!

And of course, I had to run a little. If not, I might have gained 20 lbs instead of 10! There was a rubberized track on the top deck. At times it was so windy that the headwindws made it seem like hill training. The tail winds led to some sprint in the 4:00 minute mile range. I ran a total of 13 miles on the cruise, 10 on the track (that was 110 loops!!), and 3 on the treadmill which with the rough seas was a nauseating experience.