Friday, July 31, 2009

As Promised

We did go to Pete's Waterfront Ale House for a few beers and a nice rack of ribs. Gaid, demonstrating his skills, was changing the prices of the beers based upon how many people were drinking which kind. A bit like mutual betting at your local bookie joint. Actually, I think that is where Gaid developed his chalk skills.

A Man Of Many Talents

We decided to order the ribs, just so we could have some left over for the evening. Some of the best ribs in town. And I love their coleslaw and sweet potato fries.

Can't Be Beat

I, of course, couldn't help but gnaw into mine.

Gnaw't Any Better Anywhere

Waterfront Ale House on Urbanspoon

A Trip Delayed

Well, I thought I would be going to Quebec City today, but such was not to be. I checked my flight information online before leaving home and saw that it was supposed to an on time departure. But when I went to the kiosk to try to check in I got a message that my itinerary had been changed and instead of leaving at 11:30 AM as scheduled I was now slated to leave at 9:10 PM. Hmm, I didn't change my itinerary. Oh well, I got a receipt for the later flight with my seat assignments and a message that I would have to come back later for my boarding passes. Boarding passes couldn't be issued until 12 hours before departure and I was a bit early

I called Expedia, through whom I had made my reservations, and they had no record of an itinerary change. Well, I had a receipt and seat assignments for the 9:10 PM flight and decided to wait in line to talk to a check-in person to see what was going on. I figured something was up because the line took forever to move and everyone seemed to be involved in a prolonged discussion.

When I finally got to a check-in person I was told that my flight had been cancelled due to weather conditions. Well, what can you do. So then how about the 9:10 PM flight that I was now confirmed on. She said that was cancelled as well. In fact all of their flights flying anywhere that put you into Canada had been cancelled. The best they could do would be to put me on an Air Canada flight connecting through Montreal that leaves at 8:50 AM tomorrow.

So back home I went, having now spent over $150 in car service and cab fees to end up back where I started. It isn't cheap getting to Newark Airport from where I live in Brooklyn and just as expensive getting back home. You can do it cheaper using the train, but even that is $15 per person and another $2.25 each for the subway. I guess I could have saved about $50 if we took the train home, but at that point I just didn't want to put go through the hassle. And I kind of broke even because I get a $165 refund for tonight's hotel room in Quebec.

Ironically, if I check online it still shows the 9:10 PM flight as departing on time. And the weather here is still nice and it is overcast but not rainy in Quebec.

I did learn one valuable lesson from all of this, and that is to check the size of your aircraft before booking reservations. All the larger aircraft were taking off as scheduled, but the smaller aircraft such as the ones Continental was flying were not. Next time I will book only on a larger aircraft.

Luckily, the first firework competition for which I have tickets isn't scheduled to start until tomorrow night so I hope that I won't miss anything.

I went to Pete's Waterfront Ale House last night for what I thought would be my last meal here for awhile. I had a delicious smoked brisket sandwich with their most excellent coleslaw and the Mysterious Chinese Woman had one of their great cheeseburgers with mozzarella cheese. I don't know where they get their bread and buns, but they are excellent. We are going to go back there for a big lunch today and then skip supper. Maybe we will get ribs and have the leftovers later for supper. I didn't take any pictures last night but if I take any today I will post them before I leave tomorrow.

Oh, Sam was their so I finally got to tell him how great the pork butts turned out when I cooked them the way he recommended. Low and slow, 185 F for 14 hours. This works either in a smoker or, as I did them, in a large cast iron dutch oven in the oven.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Floating Birthday

The Mysterious Chinese Woman has two birthdays every year. Here official United States birthday which is February 1st, and her real Chinese birthday, because she was born in China. Of course that one is based on the lunar calendar and, much like Passover and Easter, is never the same date two years in a row. I rely on the Mysterious Chinese Mother-In-Law to keep me posted on this one.

This year the Mysterious Mother-In-Law decided not to rely on me taking the Mysterious Chinese Woman out for a birthday lunch, she decided to treat. However the Mysterious Chinese Woman got to pick the restaurant.

I am not sure this was the one she really had in mind. I think this was one side of the restaurant next door but has now been partitioned off and opened as a separate entity. It is right on Pell Street where it ends at a candy store, kind of.

ABC Restaurant

I am not sure what the name would be in Chinese, but I sincerely doubt it would be ABC.

The Mysterious Chinese Mother-In-Law did the ordering, so we had plenty to eat. She wanted to get an appetizer too, but the waiter told her we already had more than we could eat. And, we did.

We started out with a chopped up duck with a very nicely crisped skin and quite flavorful. They served a little bowl of flavored salt on the side to sprinkle on it, but that wasn't really necessary.

Crispy Duck

We then had a nicely flavored chicken with vegetables.

Chicken And Greens

Noodles are always a must because they are indicative of a long life. You aren't supposed to cut them before eating them, but it is okay to bite of whatever dangles out of your mouth.

Long Live The Noodle

And lobster is always a must. We got two and the waiter stopped by our table on the way to the kitchen to show us our two. The Mysterious Chinese Mother-In-Law was quite distressed when I gave them names.

Fluffy And Mitten

Fluffy and Mitten came from Canada. The waiter went to some great length to tell us how the lobsters from Canada are much sweeter and tenderer than those you now get from Maine. He may be right, these were very good indeed, and at $28 for two the price was right as well.

I was hoping to get a better picture of the restaurant, but this UPS truck was rudely parked on the sidewalk and blocking the view, and pedestrian traffic as well.

Sorry About The Picture

As I was walking away I was pleased to see that the driver's crime did not go unpunished. The policeman did, indeed, ticket the miscreant.

That Will Teach You

Our lunch was very good. Old-fashioned home-style Chinese cooking. The waiter was very pleasant as well and chatted with both the birthday girl and her mother. He grunted pleasantly in my direction as well. I would certainly be inclined to go here again, and it is an interesting alternative to some of the other, better known, restaurants in Chinatown. Try it, you might be pleasantly surprised.

I am heading to Quebec on Friday for a couple of weeks to take in an International Fireworks Competition. I will probably take my laptop with me to post while I am there, but it is unlikely that you will see anything new here until Saturday or Sunday.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Trip To London

Once, long ago, before I was the Bar Man, I took a trip to London. Today, while tidying up my apartment a bit, I stumbled across the notebook that I had with me at the time. A notebook in which I seemed to record nothing but the pubs I drank in and what I had. Even back well over twenty years ago I had that interest that would ultimately propel me to my journey through a thousand bars.

Now I didn't seperately record what I had on each visit to a pub, and some, like the first pub listed, the Museum Tavern, I know I visited more than once.

So here, in roughly the order in which I first visited each establishmet, the name of the pub and what I drank:

Museum Tavern

Rayments Special Bitters
Brakspear Bitter
Brakspear Special
Green King IPA
Abbot Ale

The Crown

Tetley Bitters
Greene King
Castlemaine XXX Lager
Ind Coopers Burton Ale
John Bulls Bitters
Friary Meux Best Bitter

Two Brewers

Brakspear Bitters
Watney's Special Bitters

The Bow Bells

Addlestones Cider
Glenkinchie Single Malt

The Coach & Horses

Young's Special
Friary Meux Best Bitter

Sherlock Holmes

Wethered's Bitter
Whitbread's Best Bitter

The Clarence

Wadworth 6X
Webster's Yorkshire Bitters

The Old Shades

Worthington Best Bitter
Stone's Best Bitter

The Salisbury

Taylor Walker Best Bitter

The Red Lion

Ind Cooper's Burton Ale

Shipwright's Arms

Beamish Irish Stout
John Smith's Yorkshire Bitter
John Courage Directors Bitter
John Courage Best Bitter

The St. James

Woodpecker Cider
Ruddles Best Bitter


Newcastle Brown Ale
Wm Younger's IPA
McEwan's Export

The Priory Hotel

Boddington's Bitters
Murphy's Irish Stout

The Town Thistle Hotel

Tartan Stout

The Black Friar

Pedigree Bitter
Tennents Extra
Bass Ale

The Baynard Castle

Charington IPA Best Bitter
Worthington Bitter
Tetley Bitter
Pimm's and Tonic

Founder's Arms

Young's Bitter
Young's Special

Anchor Bank Side

Larkin's Brewery Best Bitter
John Smith's Yorkshire Bitter
Jameson Irish Whiskey

Sadly, I didn't take any notes about the pubs that I drank in. That aspect of my notetaking hadn't yet come to fruition. But now, at least, I can throw out that old beat-up notebook that has been knocking around my apartment for so many years.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Caesar's Isn't Easy

Just made reservations to go to Las Vegas and see Cher and Bette Midler who are performing at Caeser's Palace. Not together but two separate shows. Kind of a strange process to go through, though.

I called Caeser's to see if they had some kind of a package deal, room and the shows. They had a package for Cher and one for Bette Midler, but no package for the two of them even though they are playing just days apart. And they didn't seem to be able to cobble anything together. I was basically told to go to Ticketmaster for the shows and then make my hotel reservations separately.

Then I tried to make hotel reservations online and found out that for stays longer than 7 days you need to call them.

Very strange. I think they need someone new in their reservations or promotions department. I would think putting together a package to see both Cher and Bette Midler would be a natural. And why you can't book resrvations online if you are staying for more than a week is beyond me. And for the eight days that I am staying there I am paying at least three different rates depending upon the night.

I will say, however, that the people I talked to on the phone were all very pleasant.