Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vacation-What I Ate

One of my friends, half jestingly, asked where the food post was. "You always post about the foods you eat when you go somewhere. It's October and I'm waiting to read about the food you ate on vacation." A wee bit late, here it is.

The way out and back is defined by what's fast, easy to get into and out of to facilitate travel, and what I feel like eating. I have my preferences and I tend to be a creature of habit with regards to those. Therefore, Arby's was my fast food restaurant of choice.

I find that a roast beef or one of their deli sandwiches fills me up and doesn't make me feel like it's same old same old.

A deli sandwich is far messier to eat while moving, unlike the roast beef. Plus, they have Dr Pepper, which puts any restaurant far above the competition.

Once I got to Richmond, we decided to go out on Friday night. Carole's friend, Larry, had never been to a Red Robin Restaurant. We had one in Wheaton for a long time.

Larry was thrilled when he could order a Guinness.

You have no idea. He wasn't going to order a beer in my presence, as he knows I can't have alcohol, but I'm not usually affected anymore by people drinking around me. I really wanted one. Larry did let me sniff it. So many memories.

I ordered a wrapped sandwich.

I believe it contained an Americanize Oriental-sounding mixture. It was good, but that is the sorriest looking fruit salad I have ever seen. It advertised that it had been made, at the very least, at 9 a.m., if not the day before. Diced fruit never keeps well over long hours. I don't pretend to understand how a restaurant can gauge how much of x they need to prepare for a day. Some days, there could be a run on fruit salad. I'm thinking this wasn't one of those days.

Dessert was chocolate, of course.

This is a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream, strawberry compote and hot fudge. It was okay, if not anything new. The strawberries in the compote had a firmer texture than the strawberries in the salad.
On Sunday, we stopped at Tortilla Coast-Capitol South.

This restaurant is across the street from the Capitol South metro station. They had brunch going when we got there. We started with their freshly made tortilla chips and salsa. I'm not one for salsa but the chips were good, crunchy, with a hint of something, maybe lime, and just the right amount of saltiness.

I tried their Cap'n Crunch covered French Toast.

The slices were large. I couldn't eat all of slice number three. It was an interesting taste combination. Served with maple syrup, I felt that it was borderline too sweet. The fruit was a very nice addition.

On Monday, we met Jon for dinner at Keagan's Restaurant.

It's located in an area of Glen Allen where the streets are brick, approximating an "old towne", with the "e", feel to it.

There's a very large Whole Foods two blocks from Keagan's. I'm not convinced brick streets do anything more than give a fakeness to an area, but that's just me. If the stores lining the street are places I want to go, then sure, it's nice, but if the street construction is an excuse for higher than usual rents and general snobbery, then you can have the noise and the upkeep.

Given what I know about road construction, a brick lined road requires more intense maintenance than brick inscribed asphalt, which is what downtown Wheaton went with. It looks just like the old brick street that used to be in downtown, but survives Illinois winters much better. I suppose that makes me something of a snob, too, in a reverse manner.

The allure of Keagan's is it's Irish/Scottish/Celtic vibe. I saw Black Watch and Royal Stewart kilts, mini-skirts, actually, on all the servers. I wondered, if you were Scottish and had a specific kilt, would you be allowed to wear it? Thankfully, I didn't see the gals wearing sporrans, even in a modified state. A sporran is the pouch that is worn on the front of a man's kilt. It can be considered the Scottish equivalent of a large pocket or even a purse. I have seen women wearing them, but it's not part of the woman's dress.

The food here was good. We started with warm pretzel appetizers.

Technically, this would be a German food, but we won't dither about that. They were soft and chewy and the mustard at the top, the "brown-style", was a great compliment to the pretzels.

I continued with the pretzel idea with my sandwich.

This is a deli thin-sliced ham, turkey and swiss cheese sandwich on a pretzel roll with warm baked apple compote. We were eating outside on the terrace. It was a delightfully warm evening as the rain from Sunday had passed and this just filled the bill. No, I don't eat onions and only rarely add any kind of sauce to my sandwich.

Dessert was a let-down. It sounded interesting in the menu.

These are balls of deep-fried peanut butter cookie dough. Deep-fried anything is a staple of the Iowa and Texas state fairs. You name it, they have deep-fried it. Perhaps the intent was to create something unique. Perhaps the intent was to ride in on the coattails of the deep-fried bandwagon. Whatever the reason, these were not good. The dough inside was tough and chewy. I suppose that exemplifies the "raw" nature of the interior. I'm not sure if I was to dip the spoonful of dough into the ice cream or eat the ice cream as a chaser. I make better peanut butter cookie dough than that contained in these globs. In the end, I wound up eating 3 of them and the ice cream and claiming I was full. They were just not good.

Beyond that, I had Pizza Hut pizza and cooked a meal for Carole. The route home was marked by a lunch stop at an Arby's in West Virginia and, as a pick-me-up, a McDonald's along the Ohio Turnpike.

That's a plain ol' McDonald's hot fudge sundae. At 4 p.m., that was all that I wanted.

In the grand annals of culinary vacations, this wasn't one of them. I ate familiar. Sometimes, consistency in presentation and taste is what you're looking for.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


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