Archive for the tag “steak”

A weekend with Pops… 24 Grille, Detroit, MI

I’ve been sitting on the content for this post for a while.  Dad and I were going to co-write a post (he is an established writer, after all!), but we both dropped the ball.  As I was going through pictures from my recent trip to Singapore, I rediscovered some of the pictures from my night out with dad several weeks ago, and decided to bite the bullet and write this post.

During the last weekend in October, my mom was going on a road trip with her cousin for the weekend, so dad had free time.  The traveling Vietnam Wall (“The Wall that Heals”) was fortuitously coming to Dearborn, MI, and since my dad is a veteran of the war, I thought he might enjoy (a weekend with his daughter, and) the opportunity to see the wall.

Dad (“TK” to most of my friends), and Molly (my boys’ younger sis) came in midday Saturday.

Molly (on couch), Riley (left floor), and Seamus (right floor)

Molly (on couch), Riley (left floor), and Seamus (right floor)

We needed lunch, so we grabbed a burger at Miller’s Bar (a best in the nation burger <– read about just how “no frills” this join is!), and then headed over to The Henry Ford Museum.  TK LOVES museums, digs cars, gets caught up in history – and mom and I don’t.  That said, The Henry Ford is a cool museum, and I appreciate that Masco (my employer) provides us passes to visit the museum regularly.  I’m also very excited to check out the Lego exhibition that is currently at THF.

Dad, at The Henry Ford

TK, at The Henry Ford

After checking out the museum, we went over to the Ford World Headquarters building to check out The Wall that Heals.  I have to say that Dearborn did not do a tremendous justice to the wall, in that it was set up on sand bags, in the parking lot.  Despite the setup, it IS a moving tribute.  Dad and I located the name of his neighbor and friend, who passed away just past the height of the war, at the tender age of 20.  We talked with volunteers working the memorial and were advised that a permanent memorial is in the works, and that pictures would be appreciated.  We’re hoping someone in the family/friend network can find a picture of dad’s friend.

Dad, standing in front of the panel of The Wall that Heals on which his friend's name is etched.

Dad, standing in front of the panel of The Wall that Heals on which his friend’s name is etched.

After leaving the memorial, dad and I headed downtown to 24 Grille in the Westin.  I had originally wanted to dine at Roast, a Michael Symon restaurant (since he’s a big Cleveland chef and all), but even ten days in advance, I could not get a reservation for a table for two.

I have no regrets in taking the recommendation of a coworker of mine. She told me that 24 Grille is great dining, and less pretentious than Roast.  She made a very sound recommendation.  24 Grille is more of a bar-like atmosphere, which was perfect because we were there during game 3 of the (dreaded) World Series.

Prior to ordering dinner, I had ordered a glass of the 2009 Newton Cabernet (Although this was prior to my vacation, I think Singapore drove home the fact that 2009 Cabs are amongst my faves!), which was quite a nice glass of wine.

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Dad and I both perused the menu, and pretty quickly deduced that we would allow our server, Stephani, to choose our meal.  She was cool about it!  As my notes reflect, her response was “What?!? Okay! Any objection to seafood? A preference for short ribs over steak?”  She tipped her hand a bit, but it was all good to us.  Oh, and I did make one request…I wanted a side dish of the Brussel Sprouts. I know many people don’t like Brussel Sprouts, but both dad and I do really like them.

Shortly thereafter, we were served a basketful of warm deliciousness!  Asiago cheese bread that was incredibly delightful.

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Next came our delectable Brussel Sprouts (huge, flavorful and delicious!)…

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and our meals…

TK’s: Filet Mignon with green peppercorn & ruby red glace de veau, spinach, braised parissiene potato, and herbs.

2012-10-27 19.58.11And my dish: North Atlantic Swordfish with fall corn reduction, autumn relish, and a potato crisp crust.

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TK and I both thoroughly enjoyed our meals.  Thoroughly!  Such flavor in each of our dishes…we each got lost in our dinners.

We allegedly cleaned our plates. 🙂

2012-10-27 20.21.11And, then…dad ordered dessert!  Mind you, his preference for dessert is something light, and if possible, fruit-based.  No triple chocolate decadence for him! Although I might have ordered something different (had I been hungry enough), the trio of gelato he ordered was quite tasty. The plate contained scoops of lemon, chocolate, and peach (as seen below).  I was most partial to the peach, which surprised me!  I typically wouldn’t reach toward peach.  As I recall, TK was most partial to the lemon gelato.

Geez…what a wonderful finish to a spectacular day!

2012-10-27 20.32.46Stephani was sweet enough to take a picture of dad and me at dinner. (check out the caption, and feel free to chime in!)

He says I get my good looks from him...what do y'all think?

He says I get my good looks from him…what do y’all think?

After dinner, TK and I decided to walk downtown for a bit.  We were only approximately 1/2 mile from Comerica Park (a fantastic ballpark (that Detroiters call a stadium – grrr…it’s a ballpark, not a stadium!)), so we walked in that direction and checked out the incredible energy surrounding the Detroit Tigers in their quest to win an MLB title in 2012.  Dad was amazed at the number of people out in the streets, at the infrastructure in the city (the People Mover), and the bars/restaurants in the area.  Clearly, news of the “good stuff” in Detroit has still not made it outside of the city limits.

Dad’s words were something like “Why do people say Detroit has nothing to offer, this city has it all!”

In fact, we have giant Tigers!

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And, lighted baseballs… in Tigers’ mouths!

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Dad also dug the mounted police that were on duty during the World Series.  This poor woman had SO MANY pictures snapped!

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The next morning, we headed back downtown – toward the DIA district – to have breakfast at Good Girls Go To Paris (which I first chronicled here). My dad really enjoys breakfast, but I’m not sure he’d ever choose a crepe place.

To quote Taylor Swift – “like, EVER.”  When all was said and done, he really did enjoy the crepe – we both enjoyed our breakfasts!

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I’m so glad that my dad took the time to visit, share some history, personal experiences, and plain-ol’-simple-QT with me.  In my book, it was a great weekend.  I’m also thrilled that he, an architectural influencer, saw the current delights, as well as the potential, of Detroit.

I’m sorry it took weeks to write this post, because it truly was a lovely weekend with my Pops.

If you’re in Detroit, 24 Grille rates up there in my recommendations!

Cheers!

Ker

Great company cannot save a so-so meal…

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a few weeks – for a couple of reasons.  If I’m truthful (and I am!), the first reason is that I didn’t want to write this post.  The second reason is that I’ve been so incredibly busy wrapping up last-minute details for our annual Digital Summit (people…registration deadlines are not meant to be a suggestion!) that I haven’t really had time to sit down and give this post proper attention.  Thankfully, the conference was wildly successful (based on the feedback that I received), and I can get back to “She Ordered What?!?” business!

As I start to go into my carb coma from The Mac Shack’s “Papa Smurf” mac ‘n cheese I devoured tonight,  I decided I should finally share this lackluster dining experience.  If you missed my post about The Mac Shack, please find it here.  And, for reference, here’s a picture of the “Papa Smurf” and the “Koh San Road” mac ‘n cheese dishes.

“Papa Smurf” (left), “Koh San Road” (right)

While I was in NYC, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, I had a business dinner with ~40 other folks who were at the Forrester Research client dinner.  The group was full of terrific people – I really enjoyed the company and the associated conversations.

A wonderful group at dinner!

The only downfall about the evening is that the food was not properly prepared, and was a quite a let-down.

Now, proper disclaimers: we were a large group, we went to a chain restaurant, and it is a steak joint, so my expectations were really not set too high.  That said, Smith and Wollensky really dropped the ball, in my opinion.

I handed the waiter, Carl, my blog card.  He read it, and acknowledged my request.

After sharing several platters of shellfish, onion rings, veggies, and salad, Carl and his coworkers began to deliver our entrees.

A plate with a rib eye was placed in front of me.  I’m not a huge steak connoisseur, but I was surprised that Carl chose a rib eye.  In any case, my request for beef is to have it prepared medium-rare.  The steak I received was medium/medium-well (medium-well, I’m being honest again!).  Not much flavor, and not prepared to order – but not the worst of it!  At least my hash browns were pretty tasty!

What was worse was that my dinner companion to the left, my Forrester Account Manager, Matt, had ordered a medium-rare Porterhouse, and was served a WELL done steak that had essentially been butterflied.

Matt and Sue (a firecracker of a woman!).

I gave him a portion of my steak, to hold him over while the restaurant prepared a new steak for him.

To my right that night, two of my dinner companions had ordered medium and medium-well filets, respectively.  The steaks came back RARE (bleeding!) and medium rare, respectively. (I would have gladly exchanged my steak for one of those!)  Seriously, not one person received dinner the way he or she had requested.  Again, we were a big group, but this was ridiculous!

I do wish that we had a better dining experience – to go with the fantastic social experience we had!

One of the “positives” (I guess…) is that Matt did indeed polish off the second Porterhouse he was served that night!

And, he lived to tell about it – he and I had lunch the following day and he claimed he felt just fine.  Amazing!

Another positive is that we all shared several wonderful desserts.  It took some major prodding to get me to taste some pecan pie, but I’m glad I did.  It’s one thing I really miss about living in the South.

A plethora of desserts...

I have experience in the catering and general restaurant business.  I know it’s tough to deal with larger groups.  What we experienced at Smith and Wollensky’s was pretty darned disappointing, IMO.  And, Carl’s choice for me was disappointing as well.  With my only exceptions being maple syrup and scallops, I think he could have found a better option than an ill-prepared and non-descript rib eye.

I hope the rest of the team had a great social experience – like I did.  And, I hope we have a better dining experience next year too!

I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

– Ker

Red Rocks Cafe, Bar and Bakery, Huntersville, NC – Changing up the team dynamics!

As I’ve said before, I work near Detroit, MI.  However, the company I work for has businesses all over the country.  Not too long ago, our entire team traveled (by Corporate jets – a nice perk!) to North Carolina – also known as “God’s Country” (or as close to it as one can get without actually being in SOUTH Carolina! 😉 Go Clemson!).  In total, I think we had 17 people in the meeting.  After a long, and productive day, we all regrouped for dinner at Red Rocks Cafe, Bar, and Bakery.

We were a loud, and boisterous group, though not offensive in any way (I think!).  It was so much fun to enjoy a meal with people I don’t often get to spend quality time with.  I ended up at the end of one of the two tables, across from my then-boss, and next to a coworker who resides in the NC office near the restaurant.  Both really wonderful guys, and it should be mentioned that my former supervisor is a fabulous cook – he knows food!  We were chatting about a myriad of things prior to our waiter (and I SO wish I recalled his name) coming to take our order.  When said server asked for my order, I politely deferred (and declined a salad, as I had eaten enough that day!), and asked him to choose his favorite dish on the menu, instructing him to stay away from scallops.  I think he was a bit taken aback, but he nodded in agreement, continued with taking orders, and off he went.

This generated quite a bit of conversation.  My colleagues were intrigued.  What would I be served? Why do I do this? (pure indecisiveness. Well, with a bit of trust in the restaurant staff – they are the experts!) What if I don’t like it? etc, etc.

A short time later, when our entrees were being served, heads craned to see what I had been served.  I was curious with anticipation as well!  Our server was proud to announce that he had chosen the Filet Oscar.  It was a spectacular choice!  I certainly don’t indulge in enjoying a delicious steak enough – let alone one with crab meat (yum!) and béarnaise sauce!  It was served over mashed potatoes and with asparagus.  Perfectly plated!

Filet Oscar

I believe our server enjoyed presenting his customer with a personal favorite, and I assured him that he did a great job in choosing my meal!

I happened to leave most of my asparagus on the plate, and with a bit of a guilty tone, he told me “You should have told me you didn’t like asparagus!”.  It’s not that I don’t like asparagus, it’s simply that I had so many other flavors to choose from, I focused on those!  I actually felt terrible that he felt he fell short in ordering for me – he had not!  It was an absolutely fantastic dining experience.  And, aside from the asparagus, I wiped that plate CLEAN!

It was a wonderfully memorable dinner, and I’m truly glad it was at Red Rocks.  To top it all off, this dinner happened prior to my kicking off this blog a few weeks ago, and John at Red Rocks was kind enough to fill my phone request to send me a picture of the excellent meal I was served!  Talk about tremendous all-around customer service!

In this instance, “She” ordered a phenomenal dining experience!  Thank you, Red Rocks staff!

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