Thursday, March 31, 2011

LUKE Restaurant

Last night I meet up with 20 other gals from SA Newcomers at John Besh's new establishment, Luke.  Now, if you are not a Food Channel fanatic like I am, you may have never heard of him, but trust me he is BIG in the chef world.   Doesn't hurt that he is cute and seems like a really nice guy.  I had pretty high expectations, considering he judges the best of the best in chef competitions.

Started off with the champagne cocktail, cognac, lemon juice and champagne. Fortunately, got it for the happy hour price!  Yep, it the one right at the top of the menu, the French 75. YUM!

The bread was okay.  The butter was excellent European style.

Then.......dinner.  The LUKE burger and pomme frites.  When you serve french fries in a fancy silver cup they are called pomme frites, but a burger is still a burger no matter what.
The burger had bacon and carmelized onions on it.  Sigh....The bacon was not crispy (uncooked fat is NOT good) and I discovered I HATE carmelized onions. Pfftt..phooey...spit!  and it was cold.  I know, it looks good, doesn't it?

Pomme frites, alas, also not hot, LUKE warm. 

Now other people had some different dishes that they said were good and some people had stuff that was so-so.   Honestly, I have had better burger and FRIES at Red Robin.

Now, it wasn't all bad.  The cocktail was great and the company of some new friends was fun.  Here are some photos of the evening.

Dear Chef Besh, 

 Please come to San Antonio and check out your new restaurant, Luke.  I think you need to whip these guys into shape and tell them they need to serve food HOT, especially pomme frites. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Yours Truly,  Robin

Sunday, March 27, 2011

D'Hanis Texas

I decided to go for a little drive today OUT of San Antonio.  I headed for Uvalde, where Matthew McConnaghy is from, which is about 75 miles from where I live.  I got about half way there and Kari called and said to wait where I was and she would meet me.  She mentioned an interesting cemetery and suggested that I might want to see that while I waited.  Well, I found A cemetery, but turned out it wasn't the one she was thinking of.

It was a few miles out of the little town there was nothing around it and nobody there.  In fact the gates were locked.   So.....I climbed through the fence.  The first thing that struck me was the scent of strong incense burning, although I never did find any.  Now, I have always loved cemeteries and they do not scare me or creep me out.  I actually find them soothing. 

The first part of the cemetery was "inhabited" mostly by the Caucasian townfolk.  Here are some pics of that.

Next I head for the Hispanic section of the cemtary.  Now this was very colorful. Graves that were
50 and 60 years old were tended and decorated by their loved ones.  Then there were others
that were rather sad and forlorn looking.  When I go to cemetaries I try to be very respectful and walk around graves and not on them.  Occasionally, I will touch a headstone and pay my respects.
Some graves had wrapped Christmas presents, small decorated trees, and other sentimental items left on them.  Some grave markers were obviously handmade by family members. 

These pictures are an abandoned gas station that was in the town.  People in this little town did not seem nearly as friendly as the rest of the people I have run into in Texas.  I was either stared at or ignored, even when I said hello.  I didn't hang around this area very long at all, just grabbed a couple of pictures and left.

After I met up with Kari, we headed on to Uvalde where we had some of the WORST Mexican food I have ever tasted.  The funny thing was, the waitress was so sweet we did not want to hurt her feelings, so every time she came to our table to ask how it was we said "GREAT", would take a bite and smile.  Before we left, I tried to push food around and stack it up and then covered it with my napkin so she wouldn't know I didn't eat it.  The flour tortillas were very good, but she said they didn't make them there.  Hmmmm, you don't say.
Next stop was a HUGE antique store where I found a great little table to use as a dining/sewing table.  Lucky for me the owner was there and lowered the price enough that I bought it.  She also was orginally from Spokane.  Small world.
Take care Peeps!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Botanical Gardens and Olive Festival

Today Kari and I went to the Olive Festival at the Botanical Gardens.  The best part was....the Botanical Gardens.  They were beautiful!  It wasn't that hot out today, but very, very humid.   Here are some pictures from the beautiful gardens.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Castroville Texas

Today's hike was in the little town of Castroville, which is only about 10 miles from my place.
They have a great park on the edge of town, with hiking trails.  Today we had decided to do an easy hike
after last weeks killer, plus I wasn't feeling very well.  We ended up walking/hiking a total of 4 miles, about half of that was flat.

As we walked through the neighborhoods we caused quite a ruckus with the local dogs.  OMG! Almost every house had at least one dog,  Thankfully almost all were fenced in.  And the birds....hundreds of them, tweeting, chirping, squawking.  And every car that goes by waves at you.  Texans are FRIENDLY!

These are some of the little houses and gardens.

After agitating every dog in town we arrived at the trailhead and did a little climbing.  Well, it was uphill.

Now back to town.   Came across this little beauty.  How much fun would it be to ride this around town?

Went to this little shop.

Wouldn't this old gas station make a great little coffee shop/bakery?  It was empty.

Finally!  Lunch time!

Of course, we sat outside under the trees.

And were tolerated by Normie the cat.

I sucked this icy cold one down in seconds. 

Another fine day in paradise.
Tomorrow......Olive festival at the Botanical Gardens.