Archive for the tag “Corporate America”

The Lazy Blogger – Dinner at The Lazy Goat, Greenville, SC

I have not been making time to write my blog, and I’ve regretted not doing so. This is a form of therapy, and I do get feedback from readers that they enjoy the “She Ordered What?” concept. In some cases, I get feedback on the restaurants featured, the meals delivered, or suggestions on new places to visit.

I’m glad to be back!

Back in April, I made a visit to one of my favorite places, Greenville, SC, with some of my favorite colleagues. Two of my closest friends at work in the Midwest and I flew in early to have dinner at The Lazy Goat with two of the best people at our manufacturing plant in G’ville. Aside from really important business discussion, we had extraordinary small plates, a few cocktails, and lots of laughs!

IMG_3266

If I recall, and this was the first of a few cocktails, four months ago, this was the St. Germaine Cocktail.

To boot, we were overlooking the river, so the scenery was fantastic too.

IMG_3263

I love that our plant manager, Jamie, “orders” like I do. He encouraged our server to bring us dishes until we determined we were full. No plan, per se. “He Ordered What?”

 

Here’s what we were served!

 

As you can see, the food was full of flavor, influenced by Spanish, Moroccan, Italian, French, African and Middle Eastern recipes.

The Lazy Goat encourages diners to share plates, slow-down (it’s Southern, y’all), and take in the flavors. And, we did!

We shared a few desserts to end the dinner.

To sum it up, The Lazy Goat was a great spot for business and casual discussion, trying many new dishes, enjoying a lovely atmosphere, appreciating very good service, and even better company!

Being that I love Greenville so much (it’s my dream retirement spot!), I’m sure I’ll be back, and The Lazy Goat will be on my list of places to visit again.

To my Clemson followers, and everyone else, have you been? Was your experience as fun as mine was?

Cheers!
Ker

 

Montreal Smoked Meat – Can’t Beat Pete’s!

Typically when I travel for business, I don’t have much time to really enjoy touring the cities I’m in. This trip was no different.

On Monday I flew from Milwaukee through Detroit to Montreal, arriving at 1:30AM. I flew out of Montreal through Detroit to Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon. I left Cleveland for Miamisburg on Wednesday afternoon and left Miamisburg to stop in Cincinnati on Thursday before flying out to Milwaukee on Thursday evening. There was not much time to see anything but the inside of airports and rental cars, folks! I was fortunate enough to have a meeting less than five miles from my parents’ house, so I did get a chance to say hi to them while staying overnight at “home”.

Map

At least in Montreal we had time to stop for a local lunch prior to heading back to the airport. My colleague loves Smoke Meat Pete’s because of the food, and because of the live blues music they have in the evenings.

Outside

Since this was a lunch stop, no live music, but still plenty (I mean plenty!) of good smoked meat! (it was tough to get a photo of the stage because of the sunny glare coming in through the windows, but here it is…)

Bnad

In case you’re not familiar with it, smoked meat is a type of kosher-style deli meat product made by salting and curing beef brisket with spice, either “lean” (my preference) or regular and served as a platter or on a sandwich. I had asked the man behind the counter suggest his favorite menu item for me – whoops! He had “recently decided to become a vegetarian” (an interesting choice for working at a joint known for its meat!), so he couldn’t make a personal recommendation. Fail.

However, he did recommend the “Pete’s Special” which is a smoked meat sandwich with yellow mustard, french fries (frites) and cole slaw (salade de patates – vinegar based). It was a LOT of food, and it wasn’t healthy (evenly “lean cut”), but it was a tasty indulgence. (much like a REALLY GOOD corned beef deli sandwich is)

Special2

The meat was thicker than I thought it would be for “lean cut”, but I forgave it because of the flavor! It’s also one of those sandwiches that has to be (at least partially) eaten with a fork.

And, those fries… so good! Real cut potatoes, perfectly fried to heavenly perfection!

As any great joint has, here is the ever-present “neon sign”!

Sign2.jpg

And, for good measure… great press for Smoke Meat Pete’s

Lord of the fries

I’ve seen smoked meat spots in the US, but admittedly have not tried it. If you’ve had smoked meat, in Montreal, or elsewhere, did you enjoy it? How do you think it stacks up to US style deli meat? Please comment below!

Cheers!

Ker

 

Business travel: It’s not always glamorous! Missing a golden opportunity in Philly…

Not all posts have to be long narratives, right?  Today, I flew from MKE to DTW – where I was delayed, delayed, and further delayed before finally making my way to PHL.  I was attempting to meet my colleague for dinner prior to a customer visit tomorrow morning.  It turns out he was even further delayed and we missed the opportunity to meet up.

He will be retiring in less than two weeks, so this was a bummer for a few reasons: 1) I enjoy spending time with him – talking “family life’ and always learning new things about our business and industry, 2) we seem to have a knack for having good food togethernot always fancy, but tasty, and 3) this will probably be our last business trip together – then he’s off to chilling by the pool and babysitting the grandkids!  (I’ll still be working – for a long time!)

Instead, I find myself in the hotel restaurant, choosing what seemed like one of the healthier and more appealing options:

Hummus, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and mixed greens, with warmed pita points.

Hummus, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and mixed greens, with warmed pita points.

It’s not what I had in mind when I thought Loren and I would meet for dinner, conversation, and business discussions, but it’s the reality of business travel sometimes!  And, the hummus was tasty, the veggies were fresh, and the dish was light.  I could have done much worse!

I’m off to Vegas for work next week (I’ve already refilled my anti-anxiety pill prescription, knowing what that city will do to me!).

vEGAS2

I am, however, looking forward to some good food!  If you have any “must-do” suggestions for Vegas, I’m open to reading them in the comments!  I need all the help I can get to survive that nutty place!

🙂

Cheers!

Ker

Tapas, mom, not topless! Cafe Tu Tu Tango, Orlando, FL

I was traveling for work last week and found myself in Florida in February – there are worse places to go at that time of year!  My colleagues and I were staying at The Grande Vista Marriott, the world’s largest Marriott property.  At least that’s what the bell man told me as he drove me from the lobby to my hotel room!

After our fist full day at the ICE Convention in the Orange County Convention Center, nine of us went for a late dinner at Cafe Tu Tu Tango.  One of my colleagues, Lianne, had been there before and really enjoyed the tapas menu, the energetic vibe, and the local artistry on display in the cafe.

The wall behind our table...Campbell's soup artwork.

The wall behind our table…Campbell’s soup artwork.

Even the the silverware was a little work of art…

IMG_1394

Now, the reason for the name of this post is that my mom thought I said we went to a topless place for dinner when I told her it was tapas.  Ahhh, Pamcakes…

Back to the evening… In addition to a bevy of cocktail, beer and wine options, we enjoyed a slew of small plates.  Each of us ordered a couple of plates to share with the table.  Here’s the list of delicious orders…

Guacamame (Edamame, chickpeas, avocado, salsa roja, chips) and Tuna Sashimi (Yuzu vinaigrette, cucumber salad, avocado, sesame seeds, jalapeño, micro cilantro): 
Guacamame and Ahi Tuna

Guacamame and Sashimi Tuna

Spiced Alligator Bites (Local florida wild gator, key lime mustard):

IMG_1387

Goat Cheese Timbale (Whipped goat cheese, arugula, nuts, parmesan baguettes, balsamic glaze):

IMG_1386

Dynamite Shrimp (Crispy shrimp, sweet chili aioli):

IMG_1384

Hazelnut Lemongrass Mahi Mahi: (I failed to take a photo of this beautifully plated dish!)

Blackened Fish Tacos (Citrus and cilantro marinated white fish, avocado coleslaw, fresno peppers, microgreens)

IMG_1400

Picadillo Empanadas (Chipotle spiced ground beef, manchego, cilantro sour cream):

IMG_1395

Southwest Chicken Flatbread (Chipotle spiced ground beef, manchego, cilantro sour cream):

IMG_1398

Cajun Chicken Egg Rolls (Blackened chicken, roasted corn, red onions, cheddar, goat cheese, creole mustard sauce):

IMG_1396

Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza (Ricotta, eggplant, tomatoes and basil):

IMG_1397

Pork Belly Reuben (Roasted pork belly, house-made sauerkraut, thousand island, pretzel bun ):

IMG_1405

Argentinian Chimichurri Steak (Tostones, marinated steak, garlic mojo):

IMG_1407

Jalapeno Mac & Cheese (Oven-charred tomatoes, crispy pancetta, caramelized onions, jalapeño-horseradish mornay sauce):

IMG_1406

And…saving my favorite for last… the Short Rib Wraps (Kimchi, scallions, cilantro, bibb lettuce wrap): 
IMG_1408

Such a light dish, but rich with flavor.  Tender meat, the right amount of heat (I’ve loved Kimchi since I dated man of Korean descent in high school), and perfect flavors surrounding the dish.

While I enjoyed most of the dishes, my three favorite would be: 1) the short rib wraps, 2) goat cheese timbale (I’m a cheese fanatic, so please take that into account), and 3) the Cajun chicken egg rolls.

I was not a huge fan of the pork belly reuben, and I found the spiced alligator bites to be a bit lackluster.  The other dishes were great, IMO.  I loved the guacamame as an appetizer, and the dynamite shrimp was another worthy plate!

Have you been to Cafe Tu Tu Tango?  Do you have a favorite dish?  Have you ever purchased artwork there (I had my eye on a Michael Jackson, circa “Beat it” days painting)?

In general, do you have a favorite tapas plate?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Cheers!

Ker

Si très bon: Le Tire Bouchon Cafe, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I returned a bit early from a mini-vacation in Ohio to visit family and friends over Labor Day weekend because I had business travel planned the Tuesday we returned to work. Once again, I found myself traveling with a wonderful coworker (and one who knows good food!). Loren and I established “home base” in Montreal, but hit the highway and drove (yes, I was behind the wheel that week) approximately 260 km over to Quebec City. We returned that same day, but we did take a quick drive through the downtown area. I’ve marked QC as a place to which I’d like to return. It has a very European feel to it – so much charm in the architecture! I’d love to take a long weekend sometime and really explore the city.

During our only proper evening in Montreal, my coworker chose to take me to a local French Cafe, Le Tire Bouchon. You can see from the images on the website that it’s a small, cute cafe. We were very warmly greeted (in French) by our server, Alexandra. She acted both as hostess and our server that evening.

After reviewing the French menus, Loren politely requested English menus. With he and I in this French-speaking city, it was the blind leading the blind, so to speak! We were ignorant Americans. But…we were polite in our ignorance! 🙂

While we were perusing the menus, we were served a delicious olive tapenade and chickpeas to snack on.

1274259_10201226751484878_515538502_o

Even in English, I wasn’t certain what everything was! I did decide that if I really wanted to be adventurous, I would put my fate in Alexandra’s hands.

The way the menu works is that each entrée is served with either an appetizer or a dessert. The extent of my decision-making was: appetizer or dessert? I like this! And, for the record, I chose to have an appetizer and an entrée.

When I explained that I would have her choose for me, Alexandra’s eyes went wide, and with a huge grin she asked “Really?” and then replied “Okay!”  Her response made me even more excited for the wonderful food I was sure would be served up that evening.

I did lead Alexandra down a path, inadvertently, by choosing to have a glass of Malbec with dinner. It was actually a bit of a destined gesture, as she and I apparently have very similar tastes – in both wine and food!

I was first served this gorgeous plate:

Pastilla mamie Chouchou-style

Pastilla Mamie Chouchou-style

My description is simply not going to do this dish justice, but here it is:  Chicken Pastilla is a meat-pie of sorts, topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar and served with a cilantro sauce.  The baked crust was light and crisp, with the chicken being tender and tasty.  The sweetness on top complimented the salty interior very nicely.  I had never had chicken Pastilla before, so I’m really glad Alexandra chose it.  I also felt like I had won the “appetizer or dessert?” dilemma, because this dish actually tasted like a little of both!

As she dropped off “a hint” about my entrée, Alexandra informed me that the Pastilla is her favorite appetizer.

The "hint"

The “hint”

It’s also a very popular Moroccan dish. You can check out this short video if you’d like to learn more about it!

She had also shared her own serving adventure with the other servers that evening – two of whom stopped by to acknowledge Alexandra’s great choices!  Speaking of great choices…here is the entrée I was served:

Joue de porc braisée à la milanaise / risotto au safran

Joue de porc braisée à la milanaise / risotto au safran

It’s braised pork cheek, prepared Milanese-style, and served over saffron risotto.  IT MELTED IN MY MOUTH!!  Of course, the cheek is going to be tender, but this was simply amazing!  The tomato-based sauce was light and complimented both the pork and the risotto nicely.  The slivers of cheese gave just enough of a “bite” to the flavor, and offset the flavor of the arugula.  It was a perfect combination!  Alexandra told me that she chose these two meals because I had ordered her favorite wine (a robust red), and she likes the juxtaposition of flavors (e.g. salty and sweet).  She was taking a gamble that I would have similar taste.  She was spot on with her gamble!

Even with a pre-appetizer appetizer (the tapenade), a proper appetizer (the Pastilla), and the entrée, I had no problem cleaning my plate!

It appears that I liked my entree!

It appears that I liked my entrée!

As much as I’m sure I would have completely enjoyed any dessert Le Tire Bouchon would prepare, I politely declined.

Friends, this was one of the more fun experiences I’ve had recently, for several reasons.  1) I didn’t recognize much on the menu – much of it would be new to me.  2) My coworker knows how I operate at the dinner table and he is very supportive of my indecisiveness (and the blog!), and 3) Alexandra was “all in” from the get-go, making it really fun!

Seeing the other servers have fun with this adventure was nice as well.  They’d come to the table and say something like “I’m told I need to explain your dish to you”,  or just swing by and share that I was trying one of their favorite dishes too.  How can one not enjoy an engaged and passionate staff like that!?!?

I hope you all enjoyed my latest little adventure.  I hope to have more fun like this when I’m in Brussels and Paris in a few weeks.

Cheers!

Ker

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: