Monthly Archives: August 2017

A Chick Evens Story

As I look back now, I suppose I could say, my grandpa was never cut out to look young, one of those guys that looked to me, all my life-in all the twenty-seven years of knowing him-he never got older, he just stayed old from day one, always looking the same; except a little towards the last months of his life, and then it wasn’t his fault, he was tiring over those long 83-years of life and work, he worked up to about three months prior to his death. I called him the Old Russian Bear; he came from Russia, in 1916 (born in 1891) and fought in WWI, in 1918, as an American Soldier.

I remember the way he’d pull on my ears as we walked down the dark gloomy streets at night to get a haircut, for seventy-five cents, at a friend’s house that was a dollar cheaper than the barbershop, back in 1955.

Early on Saturday mornings, we’d rush out of the house to go downtown to the marketplace (in St. Paul, Minnesota), it was a two mile walk, and by the time we got to the market, I’d just be waking up, with the dew from the nearby Mississippi River rising and fading, and shifting north of the city, past the market place, up Jackson Street, the street we had walked down. I’d help him carry his groceries as he went from one street trader to the next, he’d buy fresh chickens usually at the open market, but only the ones he saw himself that the butcher had cut their heads off.

“Come on, kid,” he’d say to me, moving from one spot at the marketplace to another, “let’s get going, we don’t have all day” he’d sternly grunt with his hoarse voice, “keep up, don’t fool around, we got work to do…” he’d tell me looking back from the corner of his eye to see what I was doing, while checking out the cauliflower, or asparagus, for his Russian stew.

Then we’d head on over to Wabasha Street, about four blocks from the Market, to a butcher shop he usually patronized this certain one, he’d be ahead of me, I’d almost have to run to keep pace with him. If he stopped for any reason, I’d walk ahead of him, and he’d catch up to me in a moment’s time. After a little while he’d look in back of him to see where I was, and he’d see I was sweating heavy, and slowing up some, he’d think I was dogging it, purposely, and then he’d squint his eyes, “You kids can’t do nothing nowadays,” he’d say, adding to that, “lazy as a dead mule!-keep up now!”

We’d keep right on walking toward the butcher shop, and old grandpa never once built up a sweat, only a grin, that is how I learned how to grin I do believe, and to every sentence, he’d swear once or twice, and repeat a half dozen times, “Hey, you keep up!” and then we were there. I’d look back towards the market, over towards Jackson Street, say to myself ‘It’s going to be a long haul, walking back.’

He’d now grab my nine-year old wrist, wrapping his fingers tightly around it, squeezing my wrist, then say, “Now you better stay right here, you hear me, or I’ll twist that ear of yours off your head!”

And I’d nod my head up and down, as a gesture of obedience.

Sometimes I’d find an empty chair to sit down on it, and watch my grandpa order his meat-pointing to this and that through a glass window behind a counter, it was usually sausage and beef or large portions of pork, for the Sunday get-togethers. He’d have the butcher cut special sections out of the ham or loin, or a piece of a large section of beef, cut some fat off, and trim around the bones, if they were ribs, he’d hand pick the best part out, perhaps having the butcher cut the ends off, leaving the rest for someone else, but at the end of it all, he’d have to pay double the price.

I’d have sweat pouring off my face in the morning summer heat, especially if it got past 11:00 a.m., before we headed back.

In a way it was a treat to be with my old Grandpa, skip along in back of him, and if he looked, I’d smile and walk normal. Hauling all that meat back in our arms, and by the time we got back home, my arms were hurting as if they were tied up like steers and then untied and I needed to stretch them out. I never thought of it as a burden, or even a task, perhaps more on the line of a morning mission, an adventurous undertaking; I liked meeting the people, and being introduced as his grandson.

He’d start the stew that Saturday evening, and in the dead of night, he’d get up and cook it some more, stirring it for an hour or so; if I was awake, I’d watch him for a while, go back and forth from the kitchen into the living room, and back to the kitchen again, until I fell back to sleep. I did this from the edge of my bed, kept the door open a crack, I’d watch him smoking his cigar or pipe also, as he paced the floor waiting for the stew to get the right thickness (so he could go back to bed, wake up early and put the potatoes and tomatoes, in the stew-and noodles in the chicken soup, and put the sausage around the stew), and I always knew when he was smoking, it left a tail it seemed, that seep into the side bedroom, and more often than not it would wake me up, and I’d love to smell the aroma of the stew, and if he had a good cigar, or tobacco, I’d live the scent of that likewise. My brother and mother and I lived with him in those far-off days, kind of an extended family situation.

He sure seemed to be having fun-I’d tell myself on the edge of our bed (my brother and I both slept in the same big bed for a few years, during those days), and he done his work, and so did I that day, hard work for me with sweat, and all that leg work, and by 11:00 a.m., the next day, he’d finish, chicken and noodles, with Russian stew, and some long links of sausage. Hard burnt bread and all the family members came over to his house, perhaps fifteen or twenty, every Sunday of every week of every year that was a lot of kilos of food.

And then one day, I was then twenty-seven years old, in 1974, I stopped by to see my mother and grandpa, and he was dead my mother told me, he had died that afternoon. I sat in his sofa chair, gathering my thoughts, I was stunned, “He had a stroke, they were going to take him to the hospital, but he was dead already when the ambulance came. He was lying on the floor when I got home from work.” My mother explained to me.

I went outside in the backyard, tried to hold back some tears, I was angry, and he was awfully dead, and I couldn’t help feeling angry.

And then a couple of family members came over, patted me on the shoulder, my aunts and uncles, and wanted to look around to see what they might find (explore), see what they wanted to take of his, personal things, items, everything. And I couldn’t stop being angry, angry and more angry, sort of mad because everyone was around the house trying to get what they could get before the other person got it. And then some arguments started over how much money he had hidden in the house, and how much money one of the aunts (or sisters) was holding for him before he died. And almost everyone called everyone else a liar, and a feud started between a few of the sisters and brothers-and there were six or seven of them, and it would last for twenty-years, or more.

My brother and I went to the funeral, we parked the car outside the cemetery gates, across the street, and sat in the car, didn’t join the others, as the cars seemed to chugalug in like a wagon train. I wiped my eyes, my face with a handkerchief, waiting for the last car to go through the gates.

Happy Hour Bars and Having Fun

You must be aware of the fact that nowadays, a large number of people prefer spending their weekends visiting bars and restaurants after a hectic week at their office. But for most of the people who have a limited amount of income, cannot afford to visit restaurants and bars every weekend because they do not come cheap. It is one of the main reasons why many restaurants and bars are giving the facility of happy hours to attract more customers. During the happy hours, people get good amount of discount on the food menu and drinks. It is considered as an important and popular trick to increase the customer flow which will be beneficial for the restaurant and bar owners. There are many more advantages in visiting the bars in these happy hours for the customer’s and owner’s point of views.

In today’s day and age, where life is so busy and hectic, friends rarely get time to meet and spend some fun time together enjoying with a couple of drinks. Also, the charges of restaurants and bars are so high these days that, people have to give a thought before deciding to meet in a good resto-bar. But nowadays, many bars provide the facility of happy hours where you can get food and drinks at discounted rates. In the last couple of years, the demand and popularity of pubs offering happy hours have increased a lot. It is mainly because of the discount offers only. Since, there are many such bars available, you should prefer in the one where all of your friends can get together easily and there won’t be much of commuting problem. To find information about such bars, you can ask a friend who has the knowledge about a good happy hour bar. Since, he has the earlier experience of visiting these bars, his advice and opinion will definitely help you to make your decision.

Going through the local yellow pages and the internet will also give you a fair idea about these pubs in your proximity. Also, you can read blogs where people post reviews of happy hour bars will be helpful to you. Most of these bars also offer membership facilities which are quite useful for reaping the benefits of these happy hour bars. But before making your decision, you should discuss with your friends and then decide about visiting which bar will be feasible for all of you. Also. Most of these restaurants and bars always try out new ideas and offers to attract more and more customers. Have a close look at these offers and go for the one which is best according to your requirements, preferences and budget. While selecting such a bar, the ambiance of the place also matters a lot. A fun filled ambiance will add a lot while you will be partying with friends. So, go through these aspects and find a good restaurant cum bar that is offering happy hour facilities and spend some quality time with friends and family.

Sahara Desert Tips and Restaurants

The Sahara is considered as the largest and hottest desert situated in Northern Africa. Many restaurants located near the Sahara offer different specialties that would range from the meat of lamb, chicken or even a mixture of other delicacies. They also love to eat vegetables. They even prepare salads, in form of tuna and vegetables.

Most fine dining restaurants from all parts of the world serve a dish influenced by North African recipes. The restaurants along the Sahara desert offer their best in culinary cuisine. The unique flavors come with the unique way of preparing it. The way they cook in these regions, until after the preparation of foods on the plate are similar to contemporary catering.

Customers always leave the dining areas very satisfied and fulfilled. Some tourists who visit the Sahara also go to fine restaurants nearby or near their hotels in order to experience that extraordinary African cuisine. In fact, they are more recognized for the quality and great tasting sauces as well as the mixture of spices they put in every dish.

There are also numerous restaurants along the Sahara that serve seafood. Most of these restaurants are still influenced by the culinary masterpieces of a North African chef.

Tips while Traveling to the Sahara
People may find restaurants near the Sahara either through tour guides or by looking at a travel guide book. As a general rule, if you are not familiar with the places around or even within the desert, it is best to hire a tour guide or a local who can take you to the places of interest near and within the area. Aside from the dialect, a guide can help you get the best lodging accommodations and they can take you to the most popular dining spots. They can also translate words or conversations you find very difficult to understand.

When you leave your hotel, make sure that you keep all the important documents in a safe place. Make sure that you have photocopies of these important documents and you have left copies at home.

Make sure you also bring some loose change when you tour the area. Never bring lots of money when you leave the hotel but don’t just leave your money inside the hotel. It is wise to check in a hotel that has a safety deposit box where you can put your valuables.

Although it is practical to check in to cheap hotels, it is best to inspect the hotel. If you think it is not a safe place to stay in or your valuables are at risk, then it is better to go with a hotel that you are familiar with. You’ll never go wrong with a rated hotel.

Sahara Restaurants
There is a restaurant near a fuel station along the Western section of the Sahara, between Guergarat and El Dakla. They have a great selection of foods. They also have an autogril and a rest shop. This fuel station restaurant offers breakfast, lunch or even snacks. It is not that expensive since a meal will only cost you $10 USD.

Another stop-by restaurant is found along the south section of El Dakla. It is located near a fuel station. They serve delicious omelets, breads and yogurts. They have a cafeteria that serves a very popular type of mint tea. You can spend less than $10 USD by visiting this restaurant called brunch en route.

Mexican Food Appetizers

Mexican foods today are increasingly becoming popular and a favorite. Individuals who are looking for different types but delicious foods always ask for Mexican food especially those enticing Mexican food appetizers. Another reason why many are asking for these Mexican foods is that this type of cuisine usually is very healthy. It uses lean meat and variety of vegetables mixed with choice spices. Some of the Mexican foods even showcased the use of maize, corn, tortillas, beans, hot chili peppers and tomatoes among others.

Mexican food appetizers have long been the preference and favorite of many Americans because of its strong flavors and healthy colorful ingredients. Chili, tomatoes and beans are the usual content or main ingredients of many Mexican foods and appetizers in most menus or recipe that you can find today. The taste is also unique but delicious, thus Mexican food really appeals to American people as well as those visitors who like their food hot but appetizing most of the time. The Guacamole, Mexican pizza and Quick Quesadillas are some of the most common Mexican appetizers that are popular to many resto goers.

Today, a lot of cuisine authorities like chefs and food experts are coming up with variety of Mexican food appetizers to serve to their customers and families. One of these new appetizers are Green Stuff Guacamole is an avocado dip that is created with several of the green vegetables. The Edamane Dip or Edamole which is said to be rich in protein and fibers is another new adaptation of the famous Guacamole. It tastes like guacamole to some. It goes perfectly with raw vegetables, pita bread and Mexican tortilla chips. The Montery Jack and White Bean Dip is another of these new appetizers that you may also try to make in your homes today rather than getting the first plunge in famous restaurants.

Actually, Mexican food appetizers are easy to make if you like to have your own. All you have to know are the basics in Mexican food cooking and you may find your way in discovering your own appetizer recipe and dips. You do not have to be chef either. There are several online recipes and Mexican recipe guide books that you can use. You just need to be patient and get your brains working. Creativity is one characteristic that you should have if you decide to make your own Mexican appetizers. This will be your tool to create the best Mexican appetizer of your choice.

The Best Buffets in Atlantic City

Are you heading to Atlantic City and looking for a place to eat in town? Well, you’re in luck. I just took a trip to that old river city a few months and spent my days looking for the perfect buffet restaurants to satisfy my voracious appetite.

What did I find? Here’s a list of restaurants that I found that have really awesome and really affordable food in the Atlantic City:

1. The Melting Pot

If you want to try something different, The Melting Pot restaurant is for you. A well-known fondue restaurant, it is a perfect “date spot” to bring someone special to you.

2. Waterfront Buffet

If you want a resto where there’s a variety of food to choose from, Waterfront is the best option. Whether you feel like eating dimsum, Mongolian, crabs or crispy fried chicken, you’ll find it here.

3. Tun Tavern Restaurant and Brewery

If you want to have fun, the Tun Tavern is the best place to go in the city. It is known as one of the liveliest spots in the city. At the Tun Tavern, you’ll have your fill of great food and great beer.

The best thing about all these places? All of these restaurants are giving out discount coupons online! So, go ahead and check them out!

Warning: A lot of the promos are available only online, so take advantage of this information! Simply type in the restaurant name plus the word “coupon” in the search engine to find printable coupons to make you and your wallet happy!