Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Observatory

It was Friday night around 6:00 pm. We were taking care of some business when we bumped into a couple of friends. Someone suggested that it was dinner time and our friends wondered if we had researched any new places to explore for this blog. I had been distracted with life events and hadn't even thought about eating out for a while. I quickly pulled out my Android mobile device and started searching for a place worthy of a visit within close proximity. I stumbled on the The Observatory. It sounded safe enough and was only four blocks or so away.

This was the view from the street. There were a small number of tables outside. When we ventured inside, we noticed the the place was small but busy. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. We were offered a table fairly quickly but our companions suggested to the hostess that it might be fun to eat outside and that we'd be willing to wait a few minutes for that opportunity. She pleasantly responded that that would be fine and she'd see how quickly she could get a table for us. We only waited another short while till one of the tables cleared and we were promptly seated.

The waitress was at the table shortly to deliver the menu and take beverage orders. We each chose water but being a bit hydrophobic I asked if she could supply lemon wedges and the quick response was "of course". One of our dinner companions asked if she could suggest a good value appetizer and she quickly replied that a great choice would be the Oregeno Fry Bread for $4.00. I have to say that the girls were each very attentive, friendly, helpful, and were well worth their wages.

My choice for an entree was the Roasted Pork Loin. Wow! It was so tender that I could cut it with a fork and the sauce was a splendid spiced apple flavor. It came with a couple of light polenta wedges and mustard greens. I ate every morsel on the plate. It was just a delicious dinner. The presentation was wonderful and I really would not suggest any changes.

Our companions chose to split a plate and it happened that it was the same selection as Debbie chose. I don't exactly remember the name because it was a special and is not on the menu. Essentially, it was a pasta dish with penne noodles and andouille sausage with a creamy tomato sauce. Our companions reported that they enjoyed the plate. Debbie wasn't as pleased with it as they were. I had the opportunity to finish off a significant portion of her plate and have to say that though I appreciated my primary selection better, her meal was still very good. You know, one must realize that different tastebuds often just react differently to food.

This "first contact" experience with this restaurant was certainly positive and I would recommend it wholeheartedly. I plan to revisit this establishment and investigate some of the other selections on the menu. I feel particularly fortunate that it is located reletively close to home.

Ok. This next picture probably doesn't belong on this post. Afterall, it wasn't taken at The Observatory. It was taken a few blocks away at a cute little pastery shop that we wandered into after dinner. We each tried a fun little cookie. Actually, it was two cookies with a creamy flavored filling between them. I don't remember what everyone else ate but mine was a couple of snickerdoodles with vanilla cream in between. Yumm!

Yes! This was a great evening filled with food, conversation, and friends.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pine State Biscuits

A friend recently asked if we had ever heard of Pine State Biscuits. Neither of us had so we decided to do a drive by.

Whoa! Sure didn't look like much from the outside. We determined that this place was just the sort of establishment that we needed to try. Adding to our interest was the fact that a line of people was forming outside the building onto the sidewalk. That's always a good sign.

As we get inside the door we notice that there are about four people behind the counter working feverishly. The menu is chalked up on a board hanging over the counter.

We look around the corner and discover that this place apparently only seats about a dozen patrons. Interesting! Being mildly claustrophobic and agoraphobic, I suggest that we get the biscuits to go and eat them in the car.

I ordered the deluxe "Reggie" which seems to be their pride and joy. It is also the first item on the menu.
Debbie's selection was the Reggie, though not deluxe. The only difference between the two orders was the egg on my "deluxe" biscuit.

Anyway, the Reggie is made of a wonderful biscuit with a slab of fried chicken breast, bacon, cheese, and sausage gravy and, of course, an egg if you order the deluxe version.

We each thoroughly enjoyed our selections and our appetites were completely satiated. In fact, I had to finish off a portion of Debbie's biscuit which she would have been unable to finish. This is not the sort of place for the stringently health conscious. It is Southern comfort food in its truest form. I can't imagine what person could have tasted that item and not been completely intoxicated by the flavors. I will give a thumbs up on this place as our experience was pleasent. I understand, however, that a visit on the week-end often requires a significant wait in the line. Oh well, sometimes the best things are the ones for which we wait the longest!