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C&C have once again researched places to eat in our host city. Unlike past years, however, we are only publishing a general list of the places we found that fit our standards (close, reviewed well, good menus, etc.) The times allowed for meals in the schedule is quite short. We suggest people plan accordingly. See you in SLC!

– GA 2009 –
Salt Lake City
Raft Ports o’ Call

Martine
Popular tapas restaurant (North African, Spain, Provence) – Not Veggie Friendly
.2 miles 22 East 100 South 1.5 blocks East
M-Fri 11:30a-10p Sat 5:30p-10:30p Lunch $9-12 Dinner $8-31

Bambara’s
New American bistro with worldly flair, winner of green biz award – veggie doable
.3 miles 202 S. Main 1 block East, 1 block South
M-Sat 11a – 10 p Lunch $10-20 (special $13) Dinner $10-45 (special $30-33)

Siegfried’s Delicatessen

German deli, very popular – NOT VEGGIE FRIENDLY
.3 miles 20 W. 200 South 1 block South, ¾ block East
Mon-Wed 9a-6p Th-Sat 9a-9p $7-11

ACME Burger Company

Gourmet burger joint. – Veggie doable
.4 miles 275 South 200 West Almost 2 blocks South from West Exit
M-Thur 11:30a-9:30p Fri-Sat 11a-10:30p Sun 11a-9p $10-30

Squatter’s Pub and Brewery

Brew pub dedicated to economic, social, and environmental value – veggie friendly
.4 miles 147 West Broadway 2 blocks South (not counting Pierpont), ¾ block West
M-Thur 11a-Midnight F 11a-1a Sat 10:30a-1a Sun 10:30a-Midnight
Weekend Brunch 10:30a-3p $7-25 (daily specials)

Takashi, Sushi

Busy, top-rated sushi restaurant – ?
.5 miles 18 W. Market St. 2.5 blocks South (not counting Pierpont), 1 block East
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30a-2p
Dinner: Mon-Thu 5:30p-10p Fri-Sat 5:30p-11p $$$$

Market Street Grill

SLC’s finest seafood restaurant – NOT ONE VEGGIE OPTION
.5 miles 48 West Market Street 2.5 blocks South (not counting Pierpont), ½ block East
M-Thur 6:30a-3p 5p-10p Fri 6:30a-3p 5p-11p Sat 7a-3p Sun 9a-3p
Lunch $10-52 (specials $12-15) Dinner $10-55 (specials $20)

One World, Everybody Eats

No set menu, all-organic, non-profit, everyone eats – Veggie/Vegan friendly
.7 miles 41 South 300 East 4 blocks East, ¾ block North
Daily 11a-8p No set prices, pay what you think is fair free Dal and Rice

The DoDo

Funky, eclectic bistro – veggie friendly
.8 miles Gateway Mall, 152 S. 400 W. 2 blocks West (from West Door), ¼ block South
Lunch 11 a – 3:30 p $7-15 Dinner 5 p – 11 p $10-25

The Wild Grape New West Bistro

Updated western café using local ingredients – veggie friendly
1.0 miles 481 E. South Temple 6 blocks East, 1 block North
Lunch M-F 11a-3p $10-20
Brunch Sat-Sun 9a-3p $10-15 Dinner Fri-Mon 5p-10p $10-30
In-Between 3p-5p Late Night Sat 10p-12 $10-15

Stoneground Restaurant

Family owned, Pizza & Italian, with late night dining (11p) – veggie friendly
1.0 mile 249 East 400 South 3 blocks South, 3 ½ blocks East
M-Sat 11a-11p $7-18
Sun 5p-9p (Sin Sunday – only pizza and salad on menu) $?

Thai Lotus

Family owned, epic menu, highly rated – veggie friendly
1.1 miles 212 East 500 4 blocks South, 3 ¼ block East
Lunch M-F 11a-3p Sat 12:30-3p Dinner M-T 5-9p F-Sat 5-10p
$8-18 (lunch specials $8)

—– Special Treats —–

Les Madelines

French bakery, pastries, sandwiches, salads, soups – veggie doable
1.3 miles 216 E. 500 South 4 blocks South, 3 ¼ block East
M-F 8a-6p Sat 8a-4p $8-15

Fendall’s Ice Cream

Gourmet ice cream, sherbet, gelato, etc. – family owned (not a regular meal place)
1.7 miles 470 South, 700 East
Mon-Fri 9a-6p Sat 9a-4p

C.Kay Cummings Chocolate

Unique hand-made candy creations since 1928.
9.4 miles 2057 East 3300 South
Mon-Fri 9a-6:30p Sat 9:30a-6p

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C and C celebrate Boxing Day.
Not in the traditional sense, of course. We celebrate it in our own fashion.

Christmas Eve Day – I work. Vocational hazard, really. (This year we did spend it with a friend who also shares the vocation.)
Christmas Day – We visit with family, if they aren’t elsewhere. (Spent it with C’s dad this year.)
Boxing Day – Our day. No work. No family. No friends. Just us. Our main Boxing Day tradition is this: no leaving the house and as little work as possible. It is a day to spoil ourselves and luxuriate in each other’s company.

Highlights of this year’s Boxing Day:

1. A crackling fire in the fireplace.

2. An in-house visit from our favorite masseuse (I managed to keep the identity of our visiting masseuse a surprise until she was at our front door. Yay, me!) Two ~80 minute massages in front of the aforementioned fire.

3. An apartment filled with the most delightful smells: scotch pine Christmas Tree, burning oak, minty massage oil, baked egg dish, and monkey bread.

4. Brunch (baked egg dish and monkey bread, fresh from the oven.)

5. A long afternoon nap. (on freshly cleaned, flannel sheets.)

6. An exchange of presents. (more on those below)

7. A Peasant Plate dinner of three platters.
Fruit – honey crisp apple slices, organic plump grapes, sweet pears, roasted walnuts, kalamata olives
Bread – caraway rye bread, sourdough white bread, garlic flat crackers, butter, and cranberry honey
Meat and Cheese – turkey breast, summer sausage, marinated skirt steak, medium cheddar, Irish swiss, Casablanca goat gouda, Knight Veil aged brick, and butterkase.
(served by candlelight with a delightfully sweet champagne)

8. A time to reflect on the past year and recommit ourselves to each other and the adventures of the new year.

Presents–
I gave C a Storypeople ornament.
It says, “In those days we finally we chose to walk like giants and hold the worlds in our arms grown strong with love and there may be many things we forget in the days to come, but this will not be one of them.”

In her usual gift-giving exceptionalism, C gave me a print of two labradors in a canoe and a homemade collage of a chalice with the following hand-written along the edges, “Speak Truth. Weave Connections. Stir Spirits. Bring Laughter. Bestow Hope. Light Darkness. Witness Grieving. Heal Hearts.” It is gorgeous.

I don’t remember the last time I wept when opening a present.
It’s been a hard year.
C’s greatest gift, other than her constant support and presence by my side, is this reminder of who I really am.

Happy Boxing Day, everyone.
I hope yours was as fun and filled with as many blessings as ours was.
(If not, feel free to start your own tradition next year. We highly recommend it.)

Feel free to share the highlights of your holidays with us.

C&C have been busy. We’ve also been sucked into the world of Facebook. Hence, no new posts for a while. Today, we’d thought we’d bring something from Facebook to our blog. One of the most recent memes on FB has been “16 things” where you write 16 things about yourself. The idea is to put some on there that people wouldn’t already know. Both C and C did this on FB.

Here we present our shared list.
16 things about C & C.

1. We both like job interviews. (We’re very good at them, so that might explain it. Or maybe we’re very good at them because we like ’em.)

2. We were both born in America’s Dairyland. (Cheeseheads by birthright.)

3. We both love holidays. (This has dimmed somewhat these past few years, but we hold out hope that this fire will be rekindled as our lives get less limbo-like.)

4. C & C are both organizationally challenged. (To be fair, C’s desk at work is neat as a pin. C’s is a disaster area in need of a purging not unlike the vast fires that used to sweep across the American plains.)

5. C & C are apple folks. (Both the fruit and the computers.)

6. C & C have been in two weddings together. (Yes, I’m counting ours as one of them. Of the two, our wedding was 100x more fun.)

7. C & C celebrate Boxing Day. (It is a day dedicated to being with one another. We do not leave the house. We do not answer the phone. We pamper ourselves. No work. No family. No friends. Just us. It is a glorious day.)

8. Both of us have a thing for teddy bears. (and, apparently, rubber duckies.)

9. Both C and C realized they wanted to marry this person when they were in Door County, WI. (Different moments, but same weekend.)

10. C & C both have been known to write poetry. (C’s is better, though.)

11. C & C do not like dark chocolate, liver, brussels sprouts, or cigarette smoke. (Together we aren’t as fussy as people seem to make us out to be. Or, I guess, if you added in all of our individual dislikes… never mind. Forget I said anything.)

12. C & C prefer feather pillows. (Lots of them. No, really, more than that…)

13. C & C think the first snow fall is special. If we are apart when it happens, we call each other to make sure we both see it. (If we are together for the first snow fall, we go out and dance in it.)

14. C & C are sneaky elves. We’ve put up a Christmas tree in the backyard of the ‘rents at 2 am. We’ve built a snowamn on a friend’s front porch. And we’ve done other things we haven’t even been suspected of yet. (Tee Hee.)

15. C & C have delicate constitutions. (Sad, but true. We also can’t hold our liquor.)

16. C & C have very high standards for friends. (Surprisingly, we’ve met a lot of people who live up to those standards. We are constantly amazed by this.)

C&C were travelin’ around the southwest earlier this month.
I had started an in-depth, day by day, travelogue– when it occurred to me– that it was the equivalent of making people come over and look at your vacation slide show.
Decidedly un-fun.

So… here are the highlights and lessons from our walkabout.

• A good friend is one who will drive you and your stuff to the airport.
(A great friend will pick you up and then serve en-route snacks and beverages.)

• A good host will serve a good meal or two while you are there.
(A awesome host will bake pastries in the morning so you wake up to yumminess.)

Warhammer Quest is fun when played in NM.
(After some discussion, we’ve decided that NM does not count as a stop on the WHQ World Tour. Since it counts as home base for half our party, it doesn’t count as a tour stop.)

• You know it is a good restaurant when everyone enjoys what they ordered.
(You know you are dining with good friends when everyone shares what they ordered.)

• Santa Fe is cool.
(Friends who drive to Santa Fe to “exchange” us host-to-host are cooler.)

Restaurants that are also bakeries do not always have the best desserts.
(But the sandwiches and the pizzas were deeeeelicious.)

• The Moon Rabbit is a toy store run by really nice, friendly folks.
(Zombie Flux is a cool game. Less with the backstabbing and friend-eating–see Zombies.)

• The Chuck Jones Studio Gallery is my new favorite gallery.
(I’m adding the Sorcerer’s Apprentice print to my b-day list.)

• The Santa Fe Cathedral is worth visiting and is very awe-inspiring.
(At the very least, the statue of a winged St. Francis dancing has to be seen.)

• Again with the friends cooking us breakfast. How did we ever get such good friends?

Bandelier National Monument is very cool. We did not climb the ladders or tour the caves.
(Don’t miss the nature trail. We saw prairie lizards, mountain skinks, a garter snake, and a pocket gopher.)

• Visiting the White Rock overlook is a good idea.
(Stopping at the grocery store and picking up stuff for a picnic lunch at the overlook is absolutely brilliant.)

• Back to Santa Fe for another host-to-host exchange.
(The best brisket we’ve ever had was at the restaurant where we met. Yummy. The Tres Leche cake is also amazing and unique.)

More WHQ. More games. More good food and good friends.

Zombies is not a bad game.
(Unless you don’t like games where you stab your friends in the back, mess with them, and generally win by successfully feeding them to the zombies. For the record, C does not like those kinds of games.)

More bakery to greet us in the morning.

• The Wildlife West Nature Park was the best $7 (per person) we’ve ever spent. The park only takes in animals native to the southwest that are unable to be released to the wild. Some are injured, but most are victims of being illegally kept as pets or imprinted to the point where they can’t fend for themselves.
** I can tell you how many front teeth an elk has, and what their breath smell like.
** Bears eat a lot and they get very itchy when it starts to rain on them.
** Gray foxes smell almost as bad as skunks, but are way cuter.
** Mountain Lions are really fast and sneaky and their teeth are HUGE.
** One of the mountain lions has a crush on our friend.
** If you go, try to be at the mountain lions at 1:30 when the handler goes in and “plays” with them. (We missed that. Maybe next time.)
** If you are smart enough to bring your camera, and smart enough to put the camera strap around your wrist, do not bump the battery compartment latch while leaning over the animal enclosure. (When we get the pictures, we’ll try to post them.)

• Being on a television set is very cool. Watching them film a television show is interesting/boring depending on your point of view.

Geocaching looks like it might be fun.
(I’m adding a mobile gps unit to my b-day list.)

• Pizza on the grill is yummylicious.
(Grilled pizza on the deck of a friend’s house watching the sun set on the mountains is…priceless.)

Hey, look, more WHQ. (We’re told they haven’t put the game away yet. They’re waiting for us to come back. Awwww… that’s sweet.)

And now we’re back.
And the biggest highlight of the whole trip:
being cared for and pampered by such good friends.

It is better than we deserve and more than we could have hoped for.
And we’re going to go back.

Some of you might be planning a regular trip in the very near future.
C has just finished planning for that regular trip. (C isn’t coming this year. We are very sad.)
Anyway, just because she wasn’t traveling, doesn’t mean C was going to stop planning.

So, together, with some help from some friends, we have a RAFT ready to go.

If you want a copy, just let us know. (We’re not posting it this year.)

Also, for those who are wondering about that other event– it’ll be Friday at 8 pm.
(oops, misread our own secret plans…)
Location, as usual, to be determined. Invite only, again, as usual.
Want an invite, see C or contact him.

Secretive enough?

Earlier today, C&C were in C’s hometown.
We went out to breakfast with BB, C’s dad.
When the food came out…

Waitress: Honey, who let you order three pancakes?

[confusion on our faces]

C: Um… the other waitress…

C thinks to himself, “Let? Let? What do you mean ‘let’, C can order whatever she wants…”
(He’s so cute when he thinks someone is messin’ with C.)

The waitress then sets down the plate of three HUGE pancakes. Bigger than C’s head.

We look at the pancakes. We look at the waitress.

Waitress: Do what you can, dear.

C: I feel so at home.

Last week, C & C went to see the new Harry Potter flick.
We attended it at a new multi-plex that has a sit-down dinner service.
Pretty swanky with waitstaff and a special Harry Potter themed menu as well.

I apologize for not remembering to keep the menu to share with you.
But, I did order myself a butter beer. (It was either that or the gilly water.)

The muggle version of butter beer, apparently, is root beer with a shot of butterscotch schnapps, topped with whip cream and caramel.
Being the root beer snob that I am, I was repulsed and intrigued at the same time.
I ordered one.
It came.
It looked damned silly. (No umbrella, but there was a plastic spider perched on the straw.)
I took a sip.

It was warm.

I said, “It’s warm.”

C said, “Yeah. I know. They said it was warm.”

I said, “They did? I didn’t hear that. Root beer shouldn’t be warm.”

C said, “I know. I didn’t order one.”

She did, however, try some of mine.

C said, “That is horrid.”

I wouldn’t go that far. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad.

It would have been a hell of a lot better if it has been cold.
(Why was it warm? Is Butter Beer served warm in the books?)

The movie, in case you are curious, was enjoyable. Lots missing.
Lots changed.
On the bright side, I enjoyed Harry more in the movie than I did in the book.
In the book, I thought he was a right awfull little git.

So, C & C took a little road trip this weekend. Work took me up north and west in our fine state. I will summarize the preliminaries in order to get to the 9$ cheese curds.

* C & C met a pal at a German restaurant for dinner. Service and food and fellowship were all excellent!
(On the off chance the nice young server reads this blog, I do feel it is my duty to let her know that (1) we are very glad you moved the 5 strands of hair away from directly in front of your mouth and nose– the effort to not giggle as they poofed out during the reading of the specials was almost more than we could handle, (2) the plural of salmon is salmon, and (3) if your mobile dessert cart is bigger than the tables in your restaurant and almost as wide as the doorways–then it should probably have a speed limit and/or maybe fenders.)

*Unlike many places, when this hotel says it has two person whirlpool tubs in the room, they actually do mean a whirlpool tub that will fit two real people–at the same time.

* If one is traveling for work and has to get up in the morning, it is wise to listen to C when she says, “Should we set some kind of alarm?” and to not listen to C when he says, “Nah… we never sleep that late anyway.”

* Some towns are prettier than others. This town was not one of those towns.

* When driving around in a strange town on a Sunday it is worth noting the local customs. (1) Many restaurants are closed. (2) The bars and the adult book store are open. (3) The gas station we really wanted to stop at (The Tank and Tummy– we kid you not) is also closed.

* In a state better known for pine trees not http://www.units.muohio.edu/dragonfly/itb/palm_tree.htmlx and snow forts not sandcastles, there are an unusual number of “tropical paradise” themed eateries.

We ate lunch at one.

There were the required fake palm trees outside, fake parrots inside, and fake pictures of beaches and bue waters everywhere. (There were also old black and white photos, tuscan prints, and packer paraphenalia. The decor was… muddled.) We took our seats and opened the day-glo menu. Nothing tropical about the menu. Pretty standard American family restaurant fare. But there was nothing standard about the prices.

C: Eight dollars for an omelet? You have got to be kidding.
C: Yeah, look at the cheese curds. Nine dollars. Nine dollar cheese curds? They better be the best cheese curds I’ve ever had.

Now, we could have gotten up and left. But, we were hungry and we had just spent 20 minutes driving around looking for a restaurant that was open that didn’t have a neon beer sign in every window. The prices were high, but it wasn’t going to break us.
So we ordered.

One omelet for me. One burger for C. And an order of the $9 cheese curds.

C: So, I wonder why the prices are so high.
C: Yeah, it isn’t like these are unusual items.
C: Maybe the cost of living is higher here.
C: Higher than Chicago? Higher than Madtown?
C: I don’t know. Mabye it is so far off the major routes things are just harder to get.
(C has taken economics and understands supply and demand. He thinks he is smart.)
C: I don’t know, that doesn’t seem very likely.

The waitress returns with our food. It is at this point that the mystery is solved. There is another perfectly logical explanation for the increased cost of the food that we had neglected to consider.

Portions.

The waitress’ hands shook from the weight of our three plates.
The order of cheese curds covered an entire dinner plate, with more piled on top.
The hamburger C ordered was as big as my hand.
And the omelet… OMG.. the omelet was over two hand-spans long and two inches thick.

We gasped.

The waitress rubbed her sore wrist and said, “Yeah, we get that a lot. Especially with the seven egg omelets.”

C: Seven egg omelet? I ordered a seven egg omelet? (What the hell was I thinking? That isn’t an omelet, that is a quiche.)
Waitress: Yup. All our omelets are seven egg omelets. Enjoy!

C & C had stumbled upon the Paradise Diner of Brobdingnag.
(We were glad we hadn’t said something about being hungry enough to eat a horse. We would have been crushed for sure.)

Neither of us could finish more than a third of our plates. We loaded the rest into containers and hired the locals to help us haul them out to the trunk of our car.

We expect to finish our left-overs sometime this month.

Moral of the Story: Paradise means different things to different people. In the North, apparently, it means portions for thrashers.

Tonight was date night for C & C.
A deluxe date night.
No namby-pamby movie or staying home and watching TV.
Nope.

Tonight we went out to a fancy-schmancy restaurant and took in a show.

The restaurant was highly recommended by two very dear friends.
(They will remain unidentified to protect the innocent. And we aren’t just saying that. We know these people. They wouldn’t steer us wrong. They have, however, been absent from Brewtown for almost four years. Things change– as we have learned about our beloved Madtown.)

The food at the restaurant was disappointing– not bad, but not very good.
We’re big fans of Italian restaurants– and we have high standards, and this place just didn’t rise above average.
But that wasn’t the real problem.
No… while the food was average, the service was abysmal. ABYSMAL.
The waiter gave new meaning to the word “inattentive.”
Twice, and I’m not exaggerating this, the guy asked us a question AS HE WAS MOVING PAST OUR TABLE and dealing with the other table.
No slowing down. No eye contact. No, he didn’t return to hear our answer.
It was the oddest, most infuriating, rudest thing I’ve ever experienced in a restaurant.
It was like the guy was on roller skates and hadn’t figured out how to stop.
The third time he tried it, I forced him to actually stop and listen to us for an answer.
He gets brownie points for apologizing– but he then didn’t listen to what I said to him.
(No buttons pushed there.)
As we left, I spoke to the manager about it. The manager did apologize, but did not offer to make the experience right in any way. Very bad form.
We will not be returning.

But, no harm done– because after the meal we headed off to the show.
Our seats were a little high up, but there really aren’t any bad seats at that venue.
The dancing was fantastic. The music, with one very notable exception, was absolutely rockin’. The outfits were skimpy.
There was much fun had by all.
Much laughter.
And… who know, C might actually convince me to take dance lessons.
(It could happen.)

What a fun end of 2006 we had.
Holidays are best when they involve traditions.

Some years ago an old friend of mine started a New Year’s tradition involving Epicurus’ triangle of joy (good food, good friends, and good conversation). He asked all of his friends to come to his house on New Year’s Eve, bring something good to eat, and bring a friend. We had a wonderful night. The food was great. We met new people. There was much laughter. And, of course, there were games.

A few years ago, C & C decided to continue that tradition. On New Years, we invited friends over for a potluck dinner and a night of games (usually poker.)

This year… this year, C & C are in a better place (in many ways) and we could change the makeup of the tradition somewhat. This year, we hosted a dinner party. (No pot luck this time.)

We said goodbye to 2006 and hello to 2007 with

Some Really Good Friends

Some Really Good Food

and some great conversation and laughter. (I lost at poker, but since I was almost comatose from having to work earlier that day, this was not a surprise.)

We were up until 2 am or so. At one point, we called some friends to wish them a Happy New Year. Some of them were actually home. Others were not, so we just left a message.

In the morning, we slept in. And then we had breakfast.

It was one of the best New Year’s Eves I’ve had since that first one that D hosted so many years ago. I can’t waitn ’til the next one.

Welcome to 2007.
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