Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Titties and beer

September 18, 2015
One of Marin's Gestalt bikes. I should've snapped the Four Corners, which is a pretty tasty-looking piece of machinery.

One of Marin’s Gestalt bikes. I should’ve snapped the Four Corners, which is a pretty tasty-looking piece of machinery.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MDM) — Well, almost.

Dinner last night was at a Mexican place none of us had ever been to before — Mike Deme, the Adventure Cycling Association’s King of All Media, picked The Eldorado Cantina after sifting Yelp recommendations online — and when we all piled into the cab and gave the hack the address he says, “Strip club.”

interbike-bug“Naw, it’s a Mexican restaurant,” says Mike.

“Strip club too,” replies the cabbie.


So, yeah. We were expecting the worst. Pasties in the posole? Instead of a napkin in the lap, a writhing young person of the female persuasion hawking watered-down $20 margaritas? Tony, Silvio and Paulie Walnuts leaning on the bar, serving up heaping helpings of fresh stinkeye, on the house?

Nope. Nice little place, good food, excellent service. Bada bing!

Anyway, we discussed the future of tech coverage in Adventure Cyclist, and I think you can look forward to some good stuff there, though I can’t say much about the details at the moment because Tony, Silvio, Paulie, etc.

Before dinner, there was more wandering about at the show, during which I got a look at the Marin Four Corners and Gestalt series; the Masi Giramondo; and the Giant Toughroad SLR 1, a rare flat-bar adventure bike.

The monster-crosser, fat-tired, all-conditions, disc-equipped adventure bike, with compact double or even single-ring drivetrains, is definitely the industry’s latest wet dream.

But I did see one lonely, overlooked traditional setup tucked away in the corner of one booth — a Fuji Touring bike with a triple crank, Tektro rim brakes and bar-cons. No pasties.

Next: The long and winding road that leads to my door.

And so it begins

September 16, 2015
Run away. Even if somebody else is buying.

Run away. Even if somebody else is buying.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MDM) — Should you ever find yourself forced to choose between eating at the Public House or doing a full-gainer freegan dive into a Dumpster behind the Luxor, I recommend going for the garbage.

interbike-bugThe Bicycle Retailer crew had a prix fixe deal going on — at the Public House, not the Dumpster — and you’d think that would have greased the culinary wheels of progress somewhat, but no.

Getting “served” required more than two hours, during which time several of my colleagues’ beverage orders went walkabout, and as for what finally arrived at the table, I’m going to go out on a limb here and call it “food,” if only because it came on a plate.

This Starbucks has been the cornerstone of my mornings at the show ever since it moved from the Sands to Mandalay Bay.

This Starbucks has been the cornerstone of my mornings at the show ever since it moved from the Sands to Mandalay Bay.

The racket was abominable, and holding a conversation was impossible, which is kind of a pisser when you have two-plus hours to kill waiting for the grub. So we all shouted at those closest to us — mostly “What?” — and as a consequence this morning I feel like I’ve been gargling with broken glass.

Hey, there could have been anything in whatever that was on my plate. The foundation of a first-rate weight-loss program, is dinner at the Public House.

But, hey, First World Problems, am I right? It’s a brand-new day, I’ve had a couple $5 cups of coffee, and I didn’t have to wait two hours for them, either. Off to the show.

Next: Day one of Interbike.

Putting on the Dog

September 15, 2015
For today at least, Sin City is not a scorching hellhole.

For today at least, Sin City is not a scorching hellhole.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MDM) — Early rising makes me disagreeable, even more so than usual. So rather than make my usual pilgrimage to Late for the Train, I fled Flagstaff for Vegas, where one more bad attitude is the equivalent of a mouse fart at a sewage treatment plant.

interbike-bugOddly, my arrival was completely incident-free. I checked in at the Luxor, picked up my show badge, and settled into my spacious Cycling Journalist’s Suite at the Luxor, awaiting the first of what I hope will be many meals at someone else’s expense.

The kickoff is always dinner with the Bicycle Retailer and Industry News mob. Then Adventure Cyclist takes a pounding for the duration.

That's Smirnoff, but not of the Yakov variety.

That’s Smirnoff, but not of the Yakov variety.

Throwing a few meaty bones to the old Dog is a small price to pay to keep me out of the office, and indeed across state lines. More than one of them, too, BRAIN being a California concern while Adventure Cyclist is based up Montana way.

On the way over to score my badge I noticed that someone had already had his dinner. Well, like they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Specifically, in and around the toilet at the Luxor.

Next: It’s showtime!

Friday the 13th

March 13, 2015
The skies are rarely boring above Duke City. Looks like we're getting a visit from an alien spacecraft that overshot Roswell.

The skies are rarely boring above Duke City. Looks like we’re getting a visit from an alien spacecraft that overshot Roswell.

Eek eek eek eek eek, etc.

I’d hide under the bed with Turkish if I didn’t have so much to do. Plus it looks like a nice day to ride the old bikey bike, if you’re not allergic to cedar, juniper and/or elm. Snurk. Honk. Ptui.

Herself and I popped round to Scalo last night to celebrate her (mumble-mumble)th birthday and it was a pleasure as always. Tasty food, excellent service, reasonable prices, and someone else does the cooking and cleaning up afterward; if you’re ever passing through town, feel free to take us out to dinner there. I had the penne con salciccia, and she had grilled sea bass over polenta. We split a plate of insalata di cavolo.

In other news, the MacWizards are still waving their iWands over my sickly computer down to the Apple Store, and this being a Friday the 13th I’m anticipating evil tidings and contemplating strategies.

I have the MacBook Pro, but I can’t say I’m a big fan of extended work on laptops. It’s hard on the neck, and the screen real estate is extremely limited for a guy who’s used to running side-by-side 22-inch monitors. There are workarounds, obviously— add an external monitor and a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo — but it’s kind of a clunky setup, and my office already looks like the den of a crackhead who’s great at stealing technology but poor at selling it. Plus one must leave room atop the desk for passing cats. That’s Scripture.

Then, this morning, I happened across a news item I’d overlooked while sneering at Apple’s new MacBook and Watch. Seems Cupertino also dropped the price of its Apple TV to just 69 smackers, which is less than we spent on a birthday dinner last night. We’ve been using a 2010 Mac Mini to stream our TV, but it’s total overkill, about like driving a tack with a barrel bomb. What if I were to buy an Apple TV for streaming video and repurpose the Mini as my main work computer? Other Pat is using one and early reports are encouraging. Eureka!

It’ll take me down to one 22-inch monitor, but that means more room on the desk for cats. Another First World Problem solved. Winning!


Take that, Graham Watson

July 21, 2014
Sorry, but I couldn't find a peloton to drop behind this lot.

Sorry, but I couldn’t find a peloton to drop behind this lot.

Missing the Tour de France on this second rest day? Me neither. But here are some sunflowers just in case.

Oh, yeah, I'm gonna get her for this.

Oh, yeah, I’m gonna get her for this.

Herself is road-tripping again, leaving me in charge of quarters, a change of management that Mister Boo finds repellent. The bug-eyed little weirdo is accustomed to constant attention from Herself, a.k.a. That Lady Who Gives Me Things, and when I’m down in the weeds doing a job of work he occasionally feels deprived.

I feel his pain, particularly when someone sends me photos of a delicious Aspen breakfast after I’ve just inhaled a dollop of yogurt, an English muffin and a cup of Joe.

We’re not in Albuquerque yet, but we’re inching ever closer. We’ve opened negotiations to turn The House Back East™ into a full-time rental, which would solve some logistical issues with running an Airbnb op’ from six and a half hours south. And in about 10 days Herself will relocate to temporary quarters in Duke City and take up her new gig with a bit of house-hunting on the side.

So Mister Boo has some more tough rows to hoe. And I anticipate further dispatches from The Breakfast Club.

Stoking the furnace

March 22, 2014
Eat 'em up!

Eat ’em up!

Temperature? 23, feels like 13. Chance of rain and/or snow? 80 percent.

Springtime in the Rockies? Check.

When whisky is unavailable, what a auld fella wants on a brisk morning such as this is Bob’s Red Mill organic seven-grain pancakes with butter and maple syrup, two eggs over easy, black coffee and tea, mandarin segments and some warm socks (don’t eat that last item unless you’re really, really hungry or in dire need of fiber).

Like a dumb dog, I’m always surprised when spring looks suspiciously like winter, the way eastern Colorado looks like Kansas and Paul Ryan looks like a baboon’s ass. But last year, samey same. And the year before that. Annnnd the year before that.

You get the idea.

One of these days I’ll wise up and move to the desert. Where, naturally, I’ll bitch about the heat.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

February 18, 2014
Pikes Peak has a dusting of snow, though the 'hood seems clear ... for now.

Pikes Peak has a dusting of snow, though the ‘hood seems clear … for now.

After five hours of drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds, I’m back in Bibleburg, where the winds have been knocking down trees, launching trash cans into low-earth orbit and generally annoying the mortal shit out of people. With more of the same on tap today it looks like fine weather for a hike, wearing ski goggles and a respirator.

I felt guilty about giving our old hometown of Santa Fe a miss on the way to Albuquerque, so on the return trip I stopped by Ten Thousand Waves for a much-needed soak and grabbed lunch at La Choza, primo to The Shed. Both places were nuts, it being a federal holiday, and I didn’t get home until 7 p.m. or thereabouts.

Training camp was a qualified success — I added miles, but didn’t subtract any weight, thanks to meals at Scalo Northern Italian Grill, Mary & Tito’s Cafe, Satellite Coffee and Zacatecas Tacos & Tequila.

Speaking of vittles, I don’t expect to be shopping at Reid’s Fine Food in Charlotte when I visit the 2014 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in North Carolina next month. It probably wasn’t smart of cook Drew Swope to lip off to a customer, even a punk-ass bitch like Gov. Pat McCrory — hey, Pat, I’ve got a gourmet snack option for you right here — but it wasn’t exactly brilliant of owner Tom Coker to sack Swope for speaking his mind, either.

Sunrise, sunset

January 15, 2014
We had quite the sunset the other night. And tonight brings a micro-moon, in which Luna is at apogee and will appear to be the smallest full moon of 2014, according to National Geographic.

We had quite the sunset the other night. And tonight brings a micro-moon, in which Luna is at apogee and will appear to be the smallest full moon of 2014, according to National Geographic.

With cyclo-cross nats over and a couple of deadlines beaten into submission, I finally have a bit of downtime, and as nature abhors a vacuum, the to-do list is filling up like an open bar at a press conference.

First and foremost, of course, is cycling. The weatherperson says we have an extended stretch of fitty-sumpin’ ahead of us, so, yeah, time to sweat a little gravy. I have a review of the Cinelli Bootleg Hobo due in a couple weeks, and just got hold of a Kona Sutra, which is next up in the Adventure Cyclist pipeline.

Then there’s grocery shopping — seems some fat bastard has eaten everything in the house — and last but not least, I should perform a spot of computer maintenance.

Anyone out there upgraded their Macs to Mavericks yet? I’m thinking of making The Great Leap Forward with the two Macs that can handle it, the iMac and MacBook Air, but the tales of technological horror I read online give me pause.

Herself has successfully updated her MacBook Pro, but she is beloved of the gods. Me, not so much.

Wild at Ivywild

January 1, 2014

I had not yet been set loose upon the world on Jan. 1, 1954. That blessed event occurred nearly three months later, on March 27, in the hospital at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

As family legend has it, Mom’s obstetrician, upon learning I was to be named Patrick Declan O’Grady, proposed inducing labor to get me born on St. Patrick’s Day. Mom declined, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Out west in Colorado Springs, the Ivywild School was already open for business, and had been for years. In fact, it was one year older than my old man, who was born in 1917 in Bogalusa, La.

I didn’t attend Ivywild — by the time we got here in 1967, I was a ninth grader, and anyway, after a brief flirtation with a bomb-shelter-equipped home in the Skyway area we settled well outside downtown proper in what a newspaper colleague would later confirm was most emphatically not part of Colorado Springs, our suburban trilevel being well east of Hancock Avenue.

Ivywild gave up the ghost as a school in 2009, but was reborn recently thanks to local entrepreneurs Joe Coleman and Mike Bristol, who turned the picturesque old pile into the new home of Bristol Brewing, plus a number of other ventures: The Principal’s Office (booze and java); The Meat Locker (deli and charcuterie); Old School Bakery (breads and pastries); Hunt or Gather (seasonal foods from area farmers); Bicycle Experience (the second location of a neighborhood shop); and office space.

I hadn’t conducted an inspection tour since Ivywild’s resurrection, but last night Herself and I, along with a neighbor and the latest tenants of The House Back East®, dropped in to scope out a New Year’s Eve bash in the gym (think back-in-the-day sock hop, but with the booze actually sold on site, plus more and older wastrels).

It was pretty damned impressive, as you can see from the pix if you clicked the link above. The music was less so — the gym was a mighty small space, with either an indifferent sound system, poor mixing or a combination of the two, plus lots of chatter in the audience — but still, chapeau to all involved in making the Ivywild revival happen.

Ivywild is a welcome reminder that it’s not all Industrial Christianity and LiberTea here in Bibleburg. I plan on sentencing myself to a few rounds of detention there in 2014.

A chile reception

December 16, 2013
Chicken enchiladas in red sauce, potatoes roasted in red chile, and Anasazi beans in chipotle. The blank space on the plate is for the side salad that I did not make.

Chicken enchiladas in red sauce, potatoes roasted in red chile, and Anasazi beans in chipotle. The blank space on the plate is for the side salad that I did not make.

Weird dreams this morning. I was working for a newspaper (!) again, so I guess it qualifies as a nightmare.

So I walk into the newsroom, late as usual, and a receptionist type hands me a note with a short clip attached, whispering in dire tones about some class of tragic typo.

I reply, “D’you have any idea how many people we have reading copy these days? I tried to get the city desk to read one fucking thing yesterday, but nooooooo. …”

Then, since John McCain is sitting in front of this person’s desk for some reason, perhaps awaiting an audience with the publisher, I whip a Three Stooges routine on him, poking him in the chest with one finger and then, when he glances down, flicking his nose.

Moving on, I notice that nobody is at their desks. They’re all in the big conference room, and the mood is not evocative of a holiday party.

“Uh oh,” I think to myself. And then I wake up.

I think maybe I overdid the red chile last night.


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