Archive for Shrimp

Joe’s Crab Shack, a Mistake I will not make Twice.

Posted in Entertainment, Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by urbannight

Today we went out to lunch, my roommate and I.  We were passing one of the malls that has a number of restaurants in the parking lot.  Two were newer.  Granite City Bar and Grill and Joe’s Crab Shack.

I mentioned that we should try one of them since neither of us had been to either yet.  My roommate stopped at Joe’s Crab Shack, since it was the first of the two.  I was first in and stood there with a horrified look on my face. The staff was doing a song and dance number.  She told me it was almost over and then only do it about once an hour.   They call it a ‘dance break’.

I should have tried this instead.

My roommate, being a little bit behind me be asked it I wanted to leave.  I figured we could order, eat, and leave in an hour.  They were pretty slow.  I should have left.  Even after the louder music, singing, and dancing had stopped, I still had trouble hearing.  I also got very congested while there.

The waiter seemed nice and pleasant.  He asked if we had been there before.  I said no.  He then shoved a bucket in my face and told me it was out trash can and told us about the drinks specials.  Or told me anyway, my roommate couldn’t hear him very well because of his tinnitus.  He was the bucket and assumed it must be the garbage.

The waiter left and came back 2 minutes later and asked if we had any questions.  We hardly had time to look at much.  I had looked at the specials menu and noticed that it didn’t have a single price listed and had moved on to the normal menu. He proceeded to reach across me to turn the page of the menu I was holding to recommend the steam pots.  He was WAY to far into my personal space bubble.  I also got the impression that he was pushing the steam pots because that was Joe’s Crab Shack’s ‘THING’.

I told him I was still looking and he left.  I looked over at the roommate and said, “Pushy Much?”   While I would have liked to have a steam pot, there were no lunch options.  These were very pricey dishes and not what I want to spend on a Saturday Lunch.  Maybe for a nice dinner.  But not one that could be interrupted by unpleasant song and dance acts by the staff.  If I want dinner theater I’ll go to something like the Murder Mystery Dinner Train.

He was back again in about two more minutes.  He then started telling me about some of the items he would NOT recommend.  Which is not considered good business practice in the food industry.  Recommend what you actually love.  People can usually tell the difference in body language between someone recommending something because it is expansive or recommending items that they truly like.

Somewhere during one of these conversations, the waiter asked if we wanted any starters and we had said no.  Somewhere along the line, he also asked if I liked seafood.  Yes, I do. I’m from the Northwest.  I’m used to good seafood, even if some people don’t think of North Idaho as part of the coastal region.  I do, but I also know that I grew up about a 5 hour drive from Seattle.  We may not have a coastline, but we have access to good seafood.

At this point, I looked at the table and thought about the fact that we only ordered water so far.  I very nearly said, let’s go to Granite City and try them out.  I was less than happy.  I was also getting more and more congested and having a lot of trouble hearing the waiter.  I know Jeff had to have been having trouble.  He thought the waiter was just talking to me.  The waiter had tried to address some questions to both of us but Jeff never looked up or took any notice of it.

The waiter again stopped by after a bare 2 minutes and asked if we were ready.  I asked him to give us more time.  The manager came by after that and left us her card.  The waiter didn’t come back until both of us closed out menus.

We should have gone here.

He took our order and mentioned that the staff and wanted to dance again but that he had asked them to hold off on it a little bit since we thought it was too loud.  Maybe that was why the manager has stopped by with her card?  It had NOT been an hour. It could have been 20 minutes.  We would have ordered a lot faster if the waiter didn’t keep interrupting us as we were trying to read the menu.  It wasn’t just the loudness that bothered me.  It was the entire concept.  I want to have a relaxing meal when I eat out and there is nothing relaxing about a staff that interrupts your meal and conversation with song and dance.

We ordered and our food was out quickly.  Jeff had coconut shrimp and I had fish and shrimp.  The shrimp was good.  The fries were good.  The coleslaw was very good.  The tartar sauce was good.  The fish, not so much.  The coconut was nearly burnt but Jeff said that the shrimp under it was good.

I did not take my leftovers.  Some fries and 1/2 piece of fish.  The larger, fatter half of one of the pieces.  Jeff’s comment was, “I’ve never seen you not take home your leftovers.”  This was a noticeable commentary on the quality of the fish.

We went through Culver’s on the way home.  He got a Sunday and I got a Pepsi.  These items were to help us recover from the trauma of eating at Joe’s Crab Shack.  It is interesting to note that as soon as we got home, my sinuses cleared up.  I think something in the restaurant was bothering me.  Jeff’s take on it is that I had an opportunity, even two opportunities, to leave and go elsewhere.  But since I didn’t, it was my body’s way of punishing me.  I actually didn’t argue with this.  It was a terrible, headache inducing, dining experience that I do not want to repeat.

I started to tell my roommate that if I ever mention going there again he was to slap me and mention Granite City instead.  But then I said that it will not happen because I don’t think I am likely to ever mention them again.  So he bopped me on the head.  He didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity.

I also told him if I ever look like I’m contemplating leaving a place and seem uncertain, just to mention “Joe’s Crab Shack” as a reminder of what happens when I ignore my gut reaction.

Lair of the Lion and My Crazy Week, Happy FRIDAY!

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Food, Life, Tea, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2012 by urbannight

This week has been on the crazy side.  So I’ve missed another couple of days.

First, I ended up being very sad when I watched Eureka and Dr. Holly Martin (?) was killed.  Yeah, my favorite character and I can’t remember her exact last name.  From the first episode with Felicia Day, her character became my favorite character.  The way she was killed off seemed so senseless.  I see some people hoping that she is somehow saved.  I just don’t see it happening with the way the Senator instructs some people to dispose of her.  I don’t think Beverly would have the chance to try to save her.  She flatlined.  Flat out flatlined.  I just don’t see it being changed.  I do agree with the people who feels this motivates Beverly to change sides.  She always thought she was on the right side, the good side, the side not under the thumb of the military.  She always tried to avoid causing real injury to people.  So the Senator’s actions are anathema to her view of the Consortium or whomever they really are.  And based on the teaser for next week, it looks like I might be right.

Then there was the car trouble that turned out to be relatively painless and easy to fix.  (White smoke from tail pipe.  Oil Change and Engine Coolant.  56$) And then work issues with my keyboard.  Or more importantly, the soda (Dr. Pepper) I bought that kept exploding all over me yesterday.  I was so happy to get home to rinse off.  I couldn’t open a soda to save my life yesterday.

I managed to get some Tempura that was okay, but not as good as I like.  So I’m still jonesing for proper Tempura.  Still, a Shrimp Tempura and a Veggie Tempura appetizer makes a decent Tempura dinner for 11$. And work was crazy for a couple of days, but then it slowed to a crawl. 

The really important but utterly irrelevant and rather meaningless and useless thing is I got my Tauntaun in SW’TOR.  It is very tiny and very cute.  I also got the GW birthday pet.  I think my bird was prettier.  The Hell Hound looks like super heated stone.

I finished a book and I had to do my review for Goodreads.  Since I’m feeling Lazy, that will be most of this blog.  It probably isn’t the most in-depth review.  But it is better than some of the two-liners I often see.  Okay, two sentences, but two-liners just sounds better.

Christine Feehan’s books have gotten highly repetitive. Sometimes it feels like the same people with different names. In fact, it reached a point that I only read them because of the story arc that spanned many books was more interesting than the individual books themselves. Lair of the Lion was a nice change.

Clearly a book outside of the other sets she has going, this 2002 book is about people under a curse rather than a completely different race of people. I give it four stars because it was a refreshing change from most of her books. It may be a tad high because there were so many places where the story could have really delved into more deeply. Much of the back story that created the personalities and motivations was glossed over.

Romance novels are usually stand alone books that may have a series tying various characters together. But each book is only about one couple. This book had so many areas that could have been explored that it could have been taken out of the realm of romance and into a multi-book drama/fantasy.  I would have like to have read that.

In a sing song voice:
I like tea, tea likes me, tea makes me pee.
It’s Friday, just go with it.   HAPPY FRIDAY!


Do Not Call it ‘Cajun’ and the Mayor’s Tax

Posted in Economics, Economy, Food, Life, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2010 by urbannight

This morning I went to try out Wheatfields.  A new eatery just a block away from home.  ‘New’ meaning it’s been there a year but I refused to eat there.  It used to be a wonderful European pastry shop with some soups and sandwiches.  You really went there for the desserts.  The building was sold and the owners forced them out because they wanted to charge a higher rent on the place.  So they brought in a regional chain.

The service was great.  My server was rather delicious looking himself.  Very pleasant and he went back to the kitchen to get me more seasoning for my soup.  I’ll get to the soup in a moment.

First, I’ll tell you about the half order of hot beef sandwich.  The potatoes were good with no lumps.  Since moving to Nebraska, getting mashed potatoes without lumps is a challenge.  They think that they much leave lumps to prove they used real potatoes.  I’m from Idaho.  Lumpy mashed potatoes is a sign of a lazy cook.  In grade school I could quickly use a hand masher and get smooth potatoes without using butter or a lot of cream.  I used about a table spoon or two of milk depending on the number of potatoes.  That’s it.  So the mash passed my standards.

The gravy was nothing to write home about.  But it was homemade beef gravy.  Not the super dark brown glop you often get on open faced hot beef sandwiches.  On one hand it was my father’s ordinary gravy.  On the other hand it was better than most everywhere else.  And I didn’t even need to add any pepper.

The beef was to die for.  It was an amazing roast that was shredded and put on the sandwich.  No slices folded together.  I thought it odd that it didn’t come with a steak knife.  Until I cut into it with my fork.  No knife needed for this sandwich.

I ordered a half order.  It was huge.  Half of the half order is now in my fridge for tomorrow.

They had two soups for today.  One was Tomato and Cheese.  I don’t like cheese soups in general and don’t like tomatoes.  I tried the other one.  Cajun Shrimp soup.  Let me count the flaws…..

1. The shrimp was salad shrimp.

2. Bland

3. Beyond bland into absolute lack of flavor.

The soup seemed to be a broth with a little bit of onion, some chopped carrots, and some cut tomato.  To this was added rice, salad shrimp, and some tomato paste.  There was supposedly some Cajun seasoning in there as well.  Cajun food is not normally bland.  Even if it isn’t spicy it normally doesn’t have a complete lack of any flavor at all.

I asked for some Cayenne pepper.  They didn’t have any but the kitchen sent me two little tubs of spice.  One had about 1T of cajun seasoning and the other had a chili power that was paprika based with some cayenne and some other chili in it.  I put half the cajun and a bit of the chili in it.  Better.  I then added all the rest of the cayenne and half of the chili.  MUCH better.

Rice, shrimp, and tomato paste does not make a dish Cajun.  Scaring the dish with the bottle of Cajun seasoning does not make is Cajun.  You have to actually USE the Cajun seasoning until it tastes like a Cajun dish before you can use the word Cajun to describe it.

Now you may wonder what a Mayor’s Tax has to do with this food rant.  If you are from anywhere near Omaha, NE you probably know where I’m going.  The new 2.5 % tax that gets added to your restaurant bill AFTER the state taxes.  So you also get taxed on the tax.  Different places have labled it differently on their sale’s slip.  I had to laugh when I saw that Wheatfield’s is labeling it the “Mayor’s Tax”.

People want to recall Mayor Suttle.  I understand the few people who are saying the economic and budgetary situation he inherited was not his fault. They are right.  But the people who want to recall him are not doing so because they think he created the situation.  They want to recall him because of his reaction to the situation.  The city council actually soften his ideas when they passed the budget.  The people of Omaha hated his ideas and plans once he got into office.  As much as people are screaming now, it would have been 2 – 3 times worse if the budget has passed as Mayor Suttle envisioned it rather than the way the council modified it and softened it.

The worse is, of course, the wheel tax.  People who live outside Omaha but work in Omaha now have to pay a wheel tax.  It will be collected via payroll deduction.  The issues is that these people are being taxed who have no way to vote on it.  No representation in Omaha.  There is a very large portion of couples who live outside the city and drive one vehicle to work.  But both will be charged the wheel tax on the one vehicle.  A person who happens to have two jobs in Omaha is going to get charged the wheel tax twice.  Once for each job even thought it is one vehicle.

People who live in Omaha already pay a wheel tax when they register their vehicle,  but only once per vehicle. Our wheel tax is going up as well and for less than the mayor wanted.  The city council lowered that amount as well.

The Mayor is very tax happy.  I understand they needed to raise taxes but he was going way out over the deep end about it.  The fact that Wheatfields now shows a ‘Mayor’s Tax’ on their sales slips seems funny and appropriate.