Sunday, March 20, 2011


I intended to go to my office yesterday to try to finish some of what I started Saturday. Fortunately, I did not follow through on my intent. Instead, I had a truly good day on Sunday, instead.

My day started later than normal. I woke up well after 6:00 am, more than an hour later than I normally get up, thanks to getting to bed much later than usual last night. Usually, if I get up late I tend to have a less-than-stellar day; I feel like I've missed a part of the day, and my life, I can't get back. Not so yesterday, for reasons I do not understand. Yesterday, I just got up, made coffee, and went about my life.

My wife got up before 7:30 and reminded me that we'd talked about going to Hypnotic Donuts, a business that operates only on weekends and then only for a few hours in the a pizza shop that doesn't open until much later. So we went. And it was interesting.

My wife got a Canadian Healthcare donut, which comprises a glazed donut topped with a whipped sugary goo made from maple syrup that was further topped with crispy bacon. I had what they called the Kaye's Killer Queso; fried chicken, cream cheese, pickles, etc. on a biscuit. We weren't as overwhelmed as we'd hoped, but they were good.

Then, we headed toward the Dallas Arboretum, where a friend and former employee had taken a booth to sell her hand-made jewelry in an art show. Before visiting the art show and our friend, we wandered all over the Arboretum, taking in the spectacular display of flowers, flowering trees, bulbs, etc., etc. It was truly magnificent. Then we visited Julie's booth and then took in the other 100 exhibitors at the show.

Yesterday being the first day of Spring, the Arboretum was packed, as was the parking lot. The Arboretum had arranged for parking at a lot several blocks (maybe a mile) away, with shuttles getting the inhabitants of the newly-parked cars back to the Arboretum. As we pulled in to the parking lot from which we soon would be whisked away in a bus, we noticed an old, beat-up-looking bar across the street, a place called The Goat. I suggested we try the place out after visiting the Arboretum...something about its uttlerly unpretentious face made it attractive to me.

After the Arboretum, my wife needed food and, from what we could tell, The Goat did not serve food, so we drove off to the Lakewood area, where we had a late lunch at Matt Martinez' Rancho. After lunch, we were stuffed and decided to take a walk. The short walk enlivened us and convinced us to really go back and try The Goat. Which we did.

The Goat is a neighborhood bar. Really. Everyone in there (it wasn't crowded) knew everyone else. The bartender was super friendly and jovial. She invited us to have Nathan's hot dogs and cucumbers...she said they wanted to keep their patrons sober and coming back. But we'd already eaten, to no hot dogs for us. Yet. We drank a beer and observed. We liked what we saw...or at least I did. It's a very friendly, very casual tavern. The owner's (?) dog wandered around, nuzzling up to whoever was in the mood to pet it.
After an hour or so there, we jumped back in the car and headed toward home. As we wandered in that direction, we made up a list of "to-do" items, including getting my wife's car washed, going to the greengrocer and the grocery store, washing sheets and towels, etc., etc. And so we did those things.
Now, my wife's car is clean as a whistle. We are stocked up on tomatoes, onions, celery, cucumbers, tangerines (or some relatives thereof), etc. We have clean sheets and towels. And I grilled a long-frozen New York strip steak that should have been grilled many months ago but turned out OK, anyway.
My wife likes her steak very basic. I like mine jazzed up. So I ground some coffee beans and mixed them with lemon pepper and some hot chile power to serve as a rub for my half of the steak (after I drizzled lemon juice on it). I let it sit for an hour before I grilled the steak. At the same time, I grilled calabacitas (Mexican squash) that I'd sprinkled liberally with Vegetable Magic, a seasoning blend associated with Chef Paul Prudhomme. It was very, very good.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being spectacularly wonderful beyond words, I'd give yesterday an 8.75. It was a damn good day!


YourFireAnt said...

Well, it's about damn time. ;-)

TaraDharma said...

it DOES sound like a damn good day! Next time, you'll know the Goat serves food. Great sounding pub/bar -- every neighborhood should have one.

Since being in San Diego, I've not been to an arboretum and your post makes me want to go so much. Think I will try to head over to Balboa park today for a walk through some of their giant hot houses - next best thing.