Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want!


First, let me make again to you my apology for not having provided any stellar photos! Jessica had asked me if I was going to blog about anything we did this weekend, I told her, “No.”

Not because I didn’t think what we were doing was fun, but because I was pretty leery of posting too much about food and restaurants on a blog that is supposed to be about BEER and RUM! With that in mind, I left the camera in the car.

As the story line, that was my Friday evening and Saturday in the city, progressed, It became clear to me that food is a very big part of what we do. Not just Jessica and I, but all of us on the quest for the best that life has to offer.  You can drink plenty of rum on an empty stomach, but you’ll feel a lot better if your belly has something to help buffer it!

Post Saltgrass disaster from a few posts back, I was ready for a good steak and the Outback was just across the street from our hotel. A wait time that exceeded the estimate by 150% was irritating, but the customer service of the manager more than made up for it. Free food is the best food! But still, had they paid me to eat that Rib Eye, I still would have left it. YUCK! Maybe I just don’t like steak! It has been since early summer that I’ve had a steak that I really thought was on the money!

The appetizer was pretty good, and the drinks were stiff, but the overall atmosphere had me thinking more along the lines of a bad episode of Seinfeld rather than “World Class Steakhouse!” Just not a really great experience for nearly a day’s pay!

A late night lead to our missing breakfast at the hotel, so on to a destination that I have been wanting to try for some time!

Jimmy John’s Sammaches make great breakfast at 11 a.m. And Yes, I CAN see you all smirking at the poor hillbilly kid that lives in the country that never had a JJ’s! So quit!
Let me just say, “I APPROVE!”  Let me also say, “I’ll Be Back!” (You read that with Arnold’s accent didn’t you?

A 5 year Barbados Rum certainly makes things better!
As far as the liquor store shopping went, I found a special bottle for a friend that is dying to make a decent Caipirinha. The Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail and is made with cachaça which isn’t exactly common fare here in “Bud Lite and Jack Ville!” I also scored a bottle of  Grande Reserve, Plantation 5 year Rum from Barbados. This one is for me!

The day took a long detour and my mood sailed south (Not in a good way) as we searched for the second meal of the day. After several hours of shopping, I was ready to refuel!
I spent 30 minutes driving without cause across Denver thinking that the wife was looking for a place to eat as she merrily poked at the buttons on her phone. As it turns out, she had agreed that it was time to eat, and then retreated to a silent text conversation with someone else, assuming that I had a plan!

After driving for a full hour across Denver, we called for reservations at Cinzzetties Italian Buffet on 104th near I-25 in Northglenn. Traditionally, they have a fairly long wait, but excellent food and fair prices make it worthwhile... if you’re not in a hurry or starving. We were told that there was no need for a reservation, come on over. 15 more minutes of the worst traffic in America and as it turns out, the first 2,457,562 cars in front of us were headed there too!
We were quoted an hour-and-a-half wait.

Luckily, Jessica went in, as I may have built a small fire, cracked a bottle of wine and roasted their receptionist over the fire and shared with everyone in the lobby!

Frustration level at 11, hunger  at a solid 10, and patience GONE, We lucked upon a sports bar called LODO’s at 3053 W. 104th Ave in Westminster!

An empty parking lot at 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday? At a Sports Bar? This can’t be good. But at this point, I didn’t care! I was ready to dig the bird out of the car’s radiator that we had hit on the way to town and see if it had cooked through!

Our waitress was attentive, there were about 300 TV’s on around the joint, but the music was low, the beer was cheap and the food was great!

Hazed and infused from the Boulder Beer Company was first on the table, at 4.8% abv and plenty of  Crystal and Centennial Hops, I could have skipped dinner and sucked these down all night long! (See above comment about no food and RUM)... but alas, I was starving. 
Baja Fish Tacos! Just the way this Kahuna likes!
 I was a shadow of a menahuni compared to my usual self by the time my Baja Fish Tacos arrived.  But they were worth the entire stress of the day that lead me to that very point in my life! Just as a fish taco should be! Fresh, Crispy, Tropical, and plenty to eat!

Yearning for something, a bit more, as I approached the last taco on my plate (and the bottom of my pint glass) I thought I remembered seeing a tap handle of  a New Belgium Belgo IPA, and it didn’t take long for the waitress to have one in front of me!


Another really good brew from New Belgium, I love the texture and Carmel flavor that the Crystal 120 bring to this party. Also hopped with Centennial hops (and simcoe, cascade and Amarillo) this beer followed the Hazed and Infused nicely. A bit more assertive at 7% ABV, and certainly more interesting with the Trappist yeast esters floating around, this beer paired much better with my Fish Tacos!

All-in-all, LODO’s provided the most pleasurable dining experience in recent memory!

There was no $90 Lobster, not an oz of over priced crap quality beef, and the beer I chose was local not loco!

The best things in life are what you enjoy, not what you are told they should be, or what others may like! It’s a personal thing. Find happiness where you can and drink it up!
~Cheers!
*Image of Belgo courtesy of New Belgium Brewing, Ft. Collins Colorado. 

UPDATE 12-18-2011
We returned to the scene of the crime and I picked up five more bottles of the Plantation Rum. After getting some advice from Carl at Coast Lines and Tan Lines And reading Mike's writeup about Plantation Rums at Rum Connection I simply could not resist!

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The adventure never stops

The adventure never stops
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