Monday, August 30, 2010

Texas grows 'em BIG

The TX work trip was o.k. I had to be there and there was no point in being miserable. Since I didn't have Furry Husband or horses or dogs or cats or dairy goats, I worked out each morning in the hotel's gym or would swim laps in the hotel pool.

I walked each day to Twin Sisters and it was simple and tasty. I really love that little place with it's wonderful breads, soups and salads. It is comfort through and through.
The first night there, I stopped at a place called Zinc for dinner. It's a wine bar with a great little patio (IF you wanted to sit in the humidity and heat... I'm sure it's wonderful in winter when temps drop into the 90s). Fabulous! I had the special for $18, a small salad garnished with goat cheese... you know they had my heart with the goat cheese... and a petite filet mignon with grilled asparagus and a little potato medley. I like my filets rare enough a good vet might still be able to save 'em and that filet practically melted in my mouth. I ordered a nice pinot from the Carneros region in CA and appreciated a lovely, light meal in the city.

Tuesday I went to a place called DeWeese's Tip Top Cafe. It was featured on the Food Network's Diner's Drive-In's and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri. People from work were skeptical but my high energy suckered 'em into giving it a whirl. Who doesn't like a little adventure when you travel?

I coerced 9 other people into sharing 2 taxi's and heading to the Tip Top for chicken fried steaks the size of your face. The onion rings were incredible... the fried chicken would put the best home grown Southern cook to shame and the chicken fried steak was fabulous. One woman we were with ordered chicken livers. I've never had liver in my entire life.

We passed plates around so everyone could get a sample of just about everything. I had my first liver. It was a lot more tender than I thought it would be. I figured Furry Husband had foie gras in France on a "work trip" at a French winery served by white gloved wait staff... how different could chicken livers in a Texas dive be? grin. I didn't mind them but only had a bite to see what it was all about.

We ordered one slice of each kind of pie - custard, buttermilk and chocolate ice box. Our waitress told us the pie was going fast so we ordered it before dinner. I did NOT share my chocolate ice box pie. Someone almost lost a finger trying to get a bite.

The only thing about TX that freaked me out were the crickets. Evidently there is a massive cricket migration in August? Crickets the size of your big toe or bigger and they were spastic! Jumping and pinging and flying willy nilly all over the place.

The hotel had letters about them and if you had one in your room, someone would come up to remove them. One woman at our conference came back up to her room to find over TWO DOZEN crickets leaping to and fro all over her room, bed, belongings....

If I woke up to crickets in my hair, I would definitely need to be locked away because I may never stop screaming. Every Twilight Zone sort of t.v. show or movie involving masses of insects ran through my mind.
NONE of those situations ever turned out well.

I was sort of waiting to see some gigantic 50 foot cricket peering in my hotel window at night, mandibles working and antennae waving grotesquely. It probably didn't help I was reading a Peter Straub horror novel... "lost boy, lost girl". (GREAT read by the way if you like a little spine tingle now and again)

I am so happy to be back here in my dry climate with crickets of normal size and the sort that hide in the shadows and don't want to be seen.

I love Colorado. There is no place like home.


DebH said...

so glad you had a good trip and I loved your comment on " a good vet could possibly save it" hysterical!! I love watching Guy Fiero and the Diners, Drive Inns show and always say..I would try any one of them if in the neighborhood. I wonder about that whole cricket thing this year, we got loads of them and they seem to be on some sort of death march. They are in everything.
Smart girl in getting all your coworkers to get in the spirit and venture out..seems it takes some real spirit to move people..then when they do, its fun for all! Too bad it takes so much work getting some to break out of that same ole same ole...You are just definitely my kind of Gal!!

~Tonia said...

I use to think rare steak was gross!Lol Till I looked past the ooze and just ate it.. It was wonderful!LOL Sounds like a good time despite the heat and work.
Oh and I was one of those strange kids who liked Liver Especially fried chicken or rabbit liver..
There is no place like home!

Laura Crum said...

Shanster--I usually can't get my computer to interact with the comments, but I'm gonna try, just to tell you how much I enjoy your stories. The photos of you and Sera at the show before Estes really show how pretty she is. You guys look great. I know nothing about dressage, but it doesn't suprise me that you did well once you relaxed. Congrats--this refers to your last post, but I also want to say glad you're home safely. Cheers--Laura

Shanster said...

DebH - we are being overrun and I mean overrun by grasshoppers... they are eating EVERYTHING and ruining my plants! grumble grumble. I do get some energy going which either makes people roll their eyes at me or they go along with the adventure. This time the adventure was FUN! I almost hate to watch Guy's show cuz it makes me so hungry and all the places are so far away! *sniff* Was glad to visit one of 'em!

Tonia - You aren't wierd! I just never had liver when I was a kid so never had a chance to love it! grin.

Laura - THANK-YOU! Yeah - lack of sleep really knocks me for a loop and makes me very unlike my normal self. I'm so glad to be home too!