Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Black Diamond BBQ
Indy just hit a new record! For the snowiest winter on record :-( We are all SO very tired of the snow. Late last week I looked at our calendar and realized that the next opportunity for grocery shopping MIGHT be Sunday. And, there wasn't time in between for much cooking. But, we did want to eat - LOL. So, I suggested to Connie that we stop at Black Diamond Barbecue on the way home. It's our favorite and it's on the way home. Super double bonus.
We picked up beef brisket, pulled pork, mac and cheese, greens and green beans. Wednesday was a feast. Thursday and Friday weren't bad at all.
Thursday I headed south to my Columbus office. My first appointment was at 10 and my second wasn't until 1:00. So, I took goodies for lunch. Then, as I was talking with Daryl and Dot during my 10 appointment, they found out that I'd never been to Shorty's. Off to Shorty's we went. It seems that Shorty is long gone and the place is now owned by the ladies who run the kitchen. They specialize in pork tenderloins. Not the platter-sized, pre-formed mell of a hesses you get all too often. These are nice sized pieces of pork that fit on the bun. Novel concept. I bought an extra tenderloin to take back to Connie. My thought was a pork-a-licious sandwich for dinner.
We had some leftover onion buns to go with all that fabulous pulled pork. I fried a bit of bacon with garlic and pepper sprinkled on it, toasted the buns and put together some really fun sandwiches.
Friday we had tickets to see Steel Magnolias at Civic Theatre. It's a mere 9 miles from our home. But, you see, the 1-2" of snow predicted was turning out to be 5". Indy streets were a mell of a hess. And, to top things off, it was Valentines Day. So, we knew there'd be no running in and ordering fast at any restaurant! Leftovers it was. This time, I made savory French toast with some cayenne and grated Gruyere in the batter. Then, I sautéed a diced portabella mushroom and mixed it in with some of the leftover mac and cheese. We made open faced sandwiches like this:
Good thing we left the office a bit early and didn't make a huge production out of dinner because our short drive took 54 minutes! The other good thing is that Civic realized a lot of folks were in the same situation we were in and held the start for about 10 minutes. That meant we didn't miss a minute of this fabulous play. The casting was about as perfect as you can get. The set was just amazing. And, the acting was great. We absolutely loved it!!
Saturday was a long day at the office. I had LOTS of appointments the next week to prepare for. And, I had loads to do to finish up from last week's appointments. We had tickets to see I Love Lucy at a venue downtown. Needless to say our first thought was to go to our dear friend, Chef Joseph's restaurant. Then, we parked by the Murat and started hiking. The sidewalks were barely cleared. We were done walking. The closest place would have to do. It was Shiraz Wine Bar and Art Café. Ok, so I'm going to be critical here. Really critical. I don't expect this place to be around long. Initially we were the only two patrons. The waiter said he was a friend of the owner's and was helping out so please excuse him if he was a bit rusty. Rusty? Both James the waiter and Patty the owner had NO clue about the wine menu. I asked if the Pommery Pink Bubbles was sweet. That led to a lost cause of a search. No, they didn't have any. Some tv show had featured it and it was way overpriced but folks wanted it... Enough already. I never did find out how sweet it was... How about your Pinot Noirs? Well, in addition to those on the menu we have this one. We were handed a bottle plus a written explanation. Nothing verbal. Ok, so you really don't know what you're selling here. We'd asked when we walked in if they had food. Yes, tonight we actually have entrees. Great. So, we've got lasagna and chicken scampi. How much are they? I don't know, I'll have to ask the owner. We finally found a little board with the menu. $15 including salads. The menu also listed a charcuterie board and olives. By this time Patty had shown up. So I asked her about the charcuterie board. Well, it's whatever cheese she wants to put on it plus ham and salami and olives. The olives sounded good. We ordered olives and two entrees. Pretty soon we had a bowl of olives. Green olives. No pimentos. Cold green olives. Ugh. The breadsticks were great. Tasted like Olive Garden's. Oh, and what I didn't mention was that we ordered a bottle of the Pinot Noir that wasn't on the menu. I actually got a great shot of the taste.
Then, James poured the glasses. And, poured. And poured. About twice the appropriate amount. The kind of pour you'd like when you order a glass of wine and WANT TO GET AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. But, not the amount you want when you've ordered a bottle of wine and want to enjoy every bit of it. Our salads appeared. With snow peas. Enough snow peas for Connie and Kate and a dozen of our friends. And, maybe their families. It tasted like soggy salad with snow peas added in. Before we'd even gotten through half of our salads, our entrees appeared. The chicken scampi pasta had angel hair and rotini. Interesting mix. The lasagna was good. Cold, but good. James came back by and offered to top off our wines. Connie said thanks but he'd handle it. By that time I was debating how tacky it would be to tell Patty exactly what we thought. She walked by, I opened my mouth and offered some constructive criticism. Turns out she wants to have a wine bar but not do the food. But, she says, Hoosiers want food. Well, and I can tell you that having a nice appetizer menu will help sell wine. The salad was indeed soggy salad with snow peas added in. And, yes the breadsticks tasted like Olive Garden's. That's where she'd gotten them. Totally frustrating. It was a great space with a nice wine list. Something that Mass Ave needs. But, what it really needs is a proprietor who wants to offer the public what they want... Otherwise, she's out of business!
Monday it was back to normal. More snow. Ice too. Connie skipped bridge. I had to scramble a bit for dinner. There was still some mac and cheese. And a serving each of collards and green beans. I had a palmful of pulled pork. And, ground beef to make glop for Tuesday evening. That's when I'm teaching my Social Security class so we're at the office til about 9pm. I figured I could use a little bag of cooked ground beef from the freezer and mix it with half of the newly browned ground beef. That'd leave quarter pound burgers. Ah, but they'd be a third of a pound if I added in the little bit of leftover pulled pork. Sold. Then, I looked at the mac and cheese and wondered about adding some blue cheese. And, a tablespoon of browned pancetta. That'd work. And, it did. Connie gave the mac and cheese a five. Me too. And, unfortunately, thanks to a crazy afternoon I was focused on getting dinner on the table and not taking photos... But, suffice to say - toss a bit of blue cheese in your mac and cheese. Your taste buds will thank you.