Good gravy what a(nother) ball buster of a day…I don’t even know the last time I attempted to blog this late at night.
With that being said, I’m beyond full from dinner. One of the best things about business travel is per diem…and being the foodie that I am, I’m willing to spend a little out of my own pocket to save some allotted cash for a really good meal. This evening I cabbed it over to Cafe Annie to eat at their bar. One of the best, and most comfortable from my experience, ways to eat alone is at the bar. Not only are you not left alone to just kind of leer off into the the distance at an under set two-top, you’re also not annoying the poor server who’s just been sat with a solo who most likely won’t run up a tab that results in a satisfying gratuity. So I dined at this restaurant, which I had researched online a few weeks earlier…and it was definitely worth the cab ride, the tip, the service.
Upon arriving at the bar, I ordered a delicious glass of cabernet sauvignon…received my menu and decided on the entree of lamb chops with an olive tapenade…and then I realized I should just ask the bartender what he recommended. At Bar Annie, the more casual counterpart to Cafe Annie, the selection was a bit pared down. But seeing as I was dining alone and feeling more casual, it fit my mood a bit more. My bartender and server Jorge had several recommendations, each fitting a different level of hunger. His first recommendation, their Shrimp Burger, ended up being what I settled on and I was not disappointed. Succulent, moist and amazingly well bound, The Shrimp Burger was served on a fluffy brioche-style bun with a spicy Tabasco mayo, shredded lettuce and thinly sliced red onion. I complemented this with their amazingly thin fries topped (ever so texas style) with crumbled queso fresco. I was definitely not disappointed with my meal and even treated myself to dessert. Typically when I indulge in the sweeter side of fine dining, I settle on whatever I think will make my dining companions happy. I don’t tend to finish a dessert on my own. It’s just not my style. This dessert menu was stacked with about 8-10 options, most of which appealed to my rather slight sweet tooth. I immediately scratched the cheesecake option from my choices, as that’s not my pace. I glanced over the pecan pie-esque option, thinking of it as a possibility. But what I was really drawn to was a plantain tamale with coconut ice cream and grilled pineapple. The possibility of flavor there was beyond intriguing. Plantains take me back to our honeymoon in Jamaica, eating fried plantains nightly. The combination of the coconut ice cream, textured with shreds of coconut, some hunks of grilled pineapple atop the tamale iteself, with ground plantains replacing the typical masa, was completely orgasmic.
It had been a while since I’d dined by myself. I had forgotten that by simply asking the people serving you what they recommended (and adding the caveat that there was no need to upsell, although in this case it wasn’t necessary, the bartender was a good read) you often get one of the better meals, and best service.
I’m pleased with my desire to pursue something decadent on this business trip. Something beyond room service or the Hooters across the highway.