Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oyster lovers alert

Last night, at the "Oriental Wok" Hyde Park, 513-871-6888, they had fresh Oysters. The selection and preparation were both outstanding. If you like Oysters do yourself a favor and go there while they are available. Suggest you call first, just to make sure I haven't been back and eaten them all.
Last night, they served, East Coast, either on the "half shell" or as Oysters Rockefeller and large Oregon prepared several ways. I had the East Coast with just a bit of fresh lemon juice and then had the Oregon, which have to be cut, if you are at all polite, Wok sauteed with a very light ginger and scallion sauce. Don't know when I have enjoyed the mollusks more.
Sharing some of their wonder full appetizers and a Bombay was plenty. Others, for main courses, had Oysters, Egg Foo Yong, and Chicken Chow Mien, but who in their right mind would pass Oysters, when they are fresh and available? At "OW" always check what is being offered as a special, and as I have said, don't be afraid to ask for a dish or presentation to your liking. The owners and staff are in the "hospitality business" and understand what that term means.
Also in the past 10 days we have dined at "Bonefish Grill" still one of the better Seafood places in town. "Nicholson's Tavern and Pub" 625 Walnut St(between 6th and 7th)-513-564-9111 and "Trio's" in Kenwood. Since St. Louis I have made some effort to shed a few pounds, put on that weekend, with slight success. Therefore, most nights I have stuck with salad, often topped with Grilled Salmon.
All caution went with the wind last night, and I'm glad it did.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Goodby Columbus" and St. Louis

Saturday morning, May 16, we turned my CRV into a small truck and loaded Trisha's possessions. It was a fairly full load. We did save room for our luggage, but barely. Then we visited with a longtime friend before returning to the apartment for a final check. We all adjourned to a neighborhood sandwich shop and coffee bar, where most of our group shared something to eat, I declined.
Some friends of all of us dropped by and after a pleasant visit we parted to see a few other people and get ready for dinner.
Saturday night there were only 5 of us eating in our group. Trisha and her family meet some of her friends and their families and dined elsewhere.
One of our party had recommended "Atlas Restaurant", 5513 Pershing, St. Louis, MO 63112-phone 314-367-6800,a neighborhood French-Italian Bistro. It is in a residential neighborhood about 6 blocks from the University on a pleasant tree lined street. The restaurant is also pleasant with full bar service and a lovely varied menu.
After my Bombay I had a marinated Beet and candied walnut salad served on a bed of chilled greens. For the main course both Marilyn and I had Walleye Pike presented in a most attractive way with fingerling potato's, green beans, glazed carrots and cherry tomato's. A colorful plate containing very good food, prepared perfectly. The portion size, was correct, not too much or too little. The others varied their dinners from rack of lamb to Spaghetti and meat balls.
Everyone had saved room for dessert. I chose Butterscotch Pudding, a throwback to childhood, with fresh wiped cream and cashew nuts while Marilyn had the richest dark Chocolate Pave imaginable. Both were excellent, but the hit of the table was an outstanding Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp, served hot with double vanilla ice cream, hardly caloric.
The server was pleasant, knowledgeable, attentive and efficient and the whole place has an aura of well experienced management. Diner, drinks and gratuity was $48 each.
The next morning it was off for home. A stop at "Burger King" for lunch where we split a Mushroom, Swiss Steak burger, enough calories and sodium for a week and then on to Indianapolis for an exhibit of European Design during the 1990 decade, at the Indianapolis Art Museum.
I suggested we stop at "Shapiro's" Delicatessen, several locations, for the kind of things we can't get in Cincinnati.
We packed our cooler with Cabbage Soup, Corn Beef, Pastrami, smoked Tongue, Chopped Liver and also purchased a a large loaf on rye bread. We could hardly wait till we got home for a delicious "Sunday night Supper"
A fitting ending for a marvelous and glutinous long weekend. No more college graduations for three years.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Friday, May 15, was Commencement Day at Washington University. Approximately 2600 students received degrees from Bachelor to Doctorate.
There were 15,000 chairs set up in the main quadrangle, most had dried out from the previous rain, 2 nights before, but, almost all of then were in the sun. The procession started exactly at 10 AM and by 10:20 we had moved inside to an air-conditioned, big screen viewing room.
The program was well run and the Commencement Address was given by Wendy Kopp, the 43 year old head of "Teach for America". Wendy started the program upon graduating from Princeton University in 1990. She had written her Senior thesis on the need for upgrading education in under served areas. She recruited 500 volunteers and since then has grown to 6200. A remarkable record.
The ceremonies ended about 11:30 and each college held their own reception. Trisha's, the largest, was held on the "main green" and people were served, buffet style from 5 separate tents. The food was Mediterranean, efficiently handled and surprisingly good. Salad, spreads,pitas, crisp potato chips and small sandwiches, mostly vegetarian. Soft drinks and Waters were also available.
The afternoon was spent pre-packing 4 years of belongings and cleaning the student quarters, in her case, a 3rd floor walk up in a University owned apartment building.
After a shower and brief rest we, the six of us remaining, were off to "Franco" 1535 South eighth, St. Louis, MO 63104-phone 314-436-2500 to meet another couple and their children. St.Louis that weekend was full of families and graduates.
"Franco" is in an old baby carriage manufacturing building which is now office suites and 2 year old restaurant. The decor is fairly modern with, of course, the sand blasted brick walls and new window treatment. Attractive and com temporary. You are greeted by a large bar and dinning is behind the "back bar". Clientele is a mix of all ages, especially on this weekend.
I had two small plates, one sweetbreads and a warm crispy chopped green, not spinach, and the other three large frogs legs served on " ground grits" and sweet red cabbage. This followed several Bombay's to celebrate the occasion. Marilyn had wonderful French onion soup and a glazed pork chop with polenta and glazed carrots and green beans. We split a mixed green salad. With her non-alcoholic drink and coffee the total cost, including gratuity was $105.
The food and service were both very good although the server could have been slightly more attentive. I was not a fair judge as I was still enamored with the meal at 1111.
It had started to rain and so we headed home to get some rest before wrestling with Trisha's belongings and the car loading, on the marrow.

St.Louis-Day 2-Thursday, May 14

It rained Wednesday night, but luckily it was from midnight till 4 AM Thursday morning. The only vestige was deep puddles in the seats of thousands of plastic, folding chairs, set up for the next day. We knew then and there that we would carry some towels or plastic, to outside events.
Thursday morning was the "Arts and Science Recognition Ceremony" held in the largest Gymnasium. We were seated in an overflow gym, and small world, the people next to me were from one of my friends home town and had grown up with him. We stayed thru part and then while the ceremony ground on, we and our son and his wife walked around the Campus.
Lunch was at "Eleven Eleven Mississippi", 1111Mississippi Ave. St.Louis, MO 63104-phone 314-241-9999. Outstanding.
There were 9 of us, Kathryn having arrive early from O'Hara, and we started with 2 wonderful, very thin crusted Pizzas. One veggie and the other Pear and Fig. I personally don't remember better Pizza, ever. They provided about one piece each. Marilyn and I split and order of Caesar Salad, whole Romaine leaves, and "wild mushroom Polenta. The Polenta was creamy and the sliced mushrooms abundant. I also ordered a side of Brussell Sprout, which again we passed around. The Brussels Sprouts were marble sized and beautifully glazed.
Others had a "1111 BLT" Sandwich, Baked sliced apple, Lobster and fried green tomato. This wonderful combination was served on Croissant, hardly rich. The Grilled Cheese had 3 different kinds of imported cheese and thick sour dough bread. This is no ordinary lunch counter. There were several salads, split, and several soups. As a final stuffer we all sharers one order of white chocolate bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and Carmel sauce. I could have stayed all afternoon and we did till after 3 PM. We ate in a pleasant court yard under a bright yellow awning, on a beautiful afternoon. I could have eaten all our meals there.
After lunch we went to the riverfront to visit the Arch and see a bit of downtown St. Louis.
The afternoon was well gone and so after cleaning up we went to a private home for an "open house" giving by one of Trisha's friends family. The food was plentiful but of little interest to me after lunch.
Later in the evening, those of us staying there, met in the "Pub" in the Knight Center. Drinks and a light snack and the the ancients went off to bed while the younger attendees went to a Pizza place, Obama's favorite, which they reported pailed in comparison to the lurch variety.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


It will come as no surprise that I really can not spell. I just sent out the prior entree without running it thru "Spell Check" Good luck in deciphering.

The Tardy Blogger

I like that title. Sounds like I'm about to write a mystery novel, but don't be fooled, I'm just back to my prosaic reporting after a bit of a hiatus.
Wednesday, June 13 we took of for St. Louis and the Commencment activities, of our eldest Grandchild, Trisha Wolf. She was graduating, with honors, from Washington University.
Approaching Indianapolis it started to rain. That contiued for the next 4 hours to Collinsville IL. It not only rained but stormed and sent a deluge over us and the highway. As it turned out we were in luck, as that was the only interfearing weather of the weekend.
We arrive on the Washington University campus around 3 PM CST and checked into the "Knight Center" a lovely Conference Center, excellently located. It was a "tough ticket", that weekend, and Trisha had stood in line a year eailier to get us our rooms.
Trisha had chosen the restaraunts for the weekend and we, all the imidiate family, who were present, assemble for diner at "Sweetie Pie" 4270 Manchester Ave. St. Louis 63110, phone 314-271-0304. I don't know where Trisha had gotten the suggestion the but "Sweetie Pie" was great.
The restaurant is a "Black" run caffateria with a southern menu. It is on a well lite street corner and has an open, bright ambiance. The clientel seemed about 60% black and 40% caucasion with everything from families to us old cougers.
I chose to bypass the meats, although one of our party gave me one large deep fried chicken wing, but went for good sized portions of sweet potatos, Greens with Cabbage, cooked, of course, with pork, Stewed Okra and Tomatos and the necessary Corn bread, to mop up the "pot liquor" For desert I had wonderful Peach Cobbler, remanisant of my youth when our laundress thru together a heavenly mixture of homemade dough, peaches and sugar.
Others at the table had the Chicken Wings, Roast Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Green beans and the Apple Cobler.
No alchohlic beverages are available but there are the soft drinks, Ice tea coffee etc. The total bill was $100 for the 8 of us, including the tip.
The only disappointment was that Trisha'a sister, Kathryn, was delayed by storms and spent the night in a chair at O'Hare airport. She arrive early the next morning.
I'll move on to other activitetes in the next Blog but before I forget we did attend, in the early evening an honors cerimony where Trisha was awarded her Magna Cum Laude, proud family.

Monday, May 11, 2009

High Calorie Saturday

Everyone has heard of "Fat Tuesday" often associated with Mardi Gras, but I want to report on a high calorie Saturday and possibly some other intake.
I received a call, last week, from "Mecklenburg Gardens" 302 E. University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219, phone 513-221-5353, reminding me that the second Saturday of each month they had what they call a "mustard tasting buffet. A friend and I decided to go and there in lies the Genesis of my "high calorie Saturday".
The buffet is a heavy, German inspired, sausage lunch with 8 different sausages, mashed potato's, sour kraut and soft warm pretzels with a hot beer cheese sauce and 10, not great, mustard's. None of this would be acceptable, to me, without a large stine of beer. I can't remember all the different sausages but I tried the "Bier Wurst", a very spicy (and they meant it), Knottwurst and a Swedish Sausage which was a mixture of ground meat, mildly seasoned, potato's and chives, that one was not memorable. I passed on the potato's but had two helpings of the sour kraut and the pretzels. My beer was a 20 oz stine of very dark creamy brew, excellent. The cost is $10 for the buffet, drinks not included and gratuity, and you can return as many times as you want. The crowd, many stereotypical, heavy German types made for a congenial atmosphere.
After nodding thru my bridge game we prepared for the evening. A couple came by for drinks, nibbles and conversation. My Bombay was accompanied by two vegetable birdnest appetizer's, from "Trader Joe's" and two different cheeses served with various crackers.
About 8:30 PM we decided to go to the "Sky Galley" at Lunken airport( reported on previously) where I had the usual excellent chicken livers with grilled onions and bacon, served with potato, either baked or "Saratoga Chips". Had to have the chips plus another stine of dark beer.
Just to prove I am completely out of my mind, when we got home I forced myself to have a taste of Graeter's Chocolate Chip accompanied by a home made cookie. I'm sure I had gone well past the 10,000 calorie count for the day. Remarkably, on the scale the next morning, I had only gained one pound.

Almost as an after thought I should tell you that we also went, with another couple to "Deweys Pizza", in Clifton, before a class, Tuesday night, where we all shared a very good 17" wild mushroom Pizza and a very large salad. Almost starvation vitals. I think "Deweys" makes some of the best pizza in Cincinnati, but that is not a area, pizza, that I visit often.

Friday, May 8, 2009


As you know I only put on this Blog places I have been and things I have eaten. However several weeks ago we watched, on the Food Channel, a program entitled "Diners, Drivein's and Dives". It spoke of "Glenn's Diner" in Chicago. I emailed my Chicago friends, mostly elderly, like me, and none knew of it. After some research we found the place at 1820 W Montrose, 60613-phone 773-506-1720 and one ancient and one younger couple tried it out.
Here is the report from a good friend who is only 50:

"Hope you both are well. Ok a quick rpt on dinner at Glenn’s Diner. Nice people. Big wait. Need reservation on weekend or an hour wait, somewhat less if willing to eat outside (in lesser weather) or at bar. Menu is fun. Fish is mainly daily menu listed on chalkboard. I had sturgeon –first time for me it was not smoked and from deli – which sort of disgusts me. This was a “fresh” fish – supposedly out of Colorado river, halibut type texture. Don’t remember what the sauce would have been, but they offered to switch the sauce to horseradish sauce (which I wanted with the halibut but that fish, like others I’ve gone after, already got away). Fish was great for all. Don’t recall what fish Jamie had but she ate it all and gave rave reviews. Wendy was smitten with her scallops. Also a treat were the baby back ribs we had as a starter (from lunch menu). Meat fell off bone, was lean and tender though charred, and unusually peppy red sauce. Side of spinach in olive oil was tasty. The potato pancake with ribs was unusual and good. Probably could cause major arterial clot. The dessert was something chocolate I didn’t eat –Jamie liked a lot, Wendy said was ok. There’s a sweet shop / ice cream place across the street. Glenn’s serves lunches and breakfasts at all times. Has some all you can eat wk nites with crab legs, peel and eat shrimps and other stuff. Fun place. Right near bustle of L at Montrose. Definitely worth trying – and taking people otherwise might eat lamb while in your company. Thanks for alerting us. The founding proprietor, Glenn, got his start at Davis St. Fish Market in Evanston, which you may know is also good – more traditional, larger."

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I am torn between keeping my word, not really, and making this posting. In the last posting I said we were going to a new restaurant and that I would report. After being there I decided not to write anything, because it is possible that I would not be fair, but then I had sort of given my word, a high commitment in my book.
Friday night was cloudy with rain squalls. We set out at 6:25 PM to meet another couple at 7 PM at "Basilico" 6176 Tylersville Road, Mason, OH, 45o40 phone 513-492-9519. I had called the day before to get the best directions and spoke with the owner, who is very nice but challenged in English. She was raised in South America of parents who both came from Rome.
I thought she told me to get off I-75 at exit 21, which I did. After a stop at a UDF I was sent back and told I should have used exit 22. We drove Tylersville Road from I-75 to I-71 seeing one building with a street number. Finally past I-71 some young women in a Sinoco station turned me around and gave us a land mark she thought was near the "new "restaurant. When I arrived at 8 PM, probably no place would have made me happy.
"Basilico" had been recommended by a women, in our building, who makes the "worlds best Pasta", not an award I give easily. Following her advise seemed logical.
"Basilico" seems to me to be more of a Pizza place than a full service restaurant. Our friends had ordered a Pizza, I couldn't fault that, and it came shortly after we arrived, without plates. Our server had been in the business 2 days and was pleasant but above her head. Eventually I left my seat and asked someone in the kitchen for a couple of plates for out friends. Their Ice Tea came as "hot tea" and when the owner came to correct the drink order we spoke to her about our dinner.
She makes several Pasta's, and upon her recommendation, I had the homemade Spinach Ravioli in a Vodka sauce while Marilyn had Tagliatelle in a light cream and mushroom sauce. Both made by the owner.
There was nothing wrong with our two dishes, $16.99 each, but neither was outstanding and I will try to wangle an invitation from our neighbor when I want good homemade Pasta. Nothing comes with the main course, which is served in a bowl without a plate. Silverware is wrapped in a paper napkin and glasses are plastic.
If I lived in the neighborhood I might return but if I am going to drive to "Columbus South" I'll continue the journey to a good deli in German town.