Monday, November 17, 2008

More travel and eating

Each Thursday, for the last three weeks, Marilyn and I have piled into a car and set out from our home. Three weeks ago it was to head East, a trip already posted, and last week it was our jaunt to Murphin Ridge. The trip in between was to Chicago and St. Louis and this reporting will bring the traveling up to date.
Thursday, Nov 6, after picking up Graeter's for our hosts, we "sponge" a lot. We headed to Chicago. The fist stop was Lafayette, IN and lunch at "Chick-fil-A". This chain serves a mean fried chicken sandwich(breast) and a great milkshake or fresh lemonade. As we approached Chicago the traffic increased and the rain began. Because of this it took and hour and a half to make it thru the city and to the northern reaches of Cook County.
Dinner the first evening was at "Max and Benny's" restaurant in North brook. "Max and Benny's is one of several true delicatessens in the Chicago area but is the top one closest to where we stay.
I had excellent sweet and sour cabbage soup and a half of a chopped chicken liver sandwich on great, tough crusted, rye bread. Marilyn had mushroom barley soup and half a corned beef. Why can't we get someone to open a real delicatessen in Cincinnati? Any volunteers?
The next morning we took the train into the city and spent about 6 hours at SOFA( Sculptured Objects Fine Art). SOFA Chicago is probably the largest show of it's kind and has amazing glass, wood, metal and jewelry. Each year it has grown and we probably will have to schedule 2 days instead of one.
Friday evening our "Lobster Group", four couple who have gathered at least once a year for the last 40 years. got together. As the name implies the purpose is to be together and enjoy steamer clams and lobsters. We either meet in one of the couples homes, and do it ourselves or we head to an area restaurant. This year we landed at the "Davis Street Fishmarket" in Evenston IL-847-869-3474. Besides lobsters and clams some of the group had fish, ceviche, friend oysters and sweet potato fries and salads. All things were sampled by all. Too much food and drink.
Saturday morning we headed to St. Louis, after a light breakfast with out host. The reason for the St. Louis stop was a memorial service for the wife of one of our best friends. The "Michigan group" is make up of 5 couples, all the men having attended the University of Michigan and been "brothers" at the same fraternity. This was the first loss of any member of either group.
The women was extremely active in St. Louis and the state of Missouri. She had a stint on TV and ran for Lt. Governor. She was a well know consumer advocate.
One of the widowers sons and I spearheaded a carry in dinner for 30. The family have a regular Chinese restaurant they frequent, often, and the owner was only to glad to do a semi -catering job.
We ordered some standards, egg rolls pot sticker etc and had several "house" specialties, Wan Fu Shrimp, General T's Chicken and others. The evening went smoothly with all the guests, from 8 to 80 enjoying themselves and mixing well, just like some of the Chinese dishes.
Sunday was the "beautiful" memorial service at which the children and there father spoke as well as several community representatives. Even the "brothers" got into the act with a serenade. After the service there was on "open house" at the home with again too much food, but much good feeling.
Around 8 PM 10 of us, including several of our friends and our granddaughter and her "boyfriend" went to dinner. We chose "Oceano Bistro" 44 N. Brentwood Blvd. Clayton, MO-314-721-9400. I had a fine cup of Chowder( I spelled it right this time) and a large chop salad served with medium sized sauteed shrimp. The table had everything from Pork Chops to Profiteroles and everyone seemed well satisfied. The "boyfriend' does not eat any seafood so if the main theme is from the water we always make sure there is chicken or steak.
Monday morning after breakfast, at our Motel, we headed back to Cincinnati. A Burger King stop allowed us to try their new Steak burger, Mushroom and Swiss Cheese sandwich. It has a sauce with a nice Worcestershire flavor and half sandwich for each or us was sufficient.
I think I've covered the out of town sojourns for us and now it's home, at least in the area for the next month or two.

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