Thursday, February 25, 2010

National Chili Day

Wow, is it THAT time of year again? Did you know that Thursday, Feb. 25 is National Chili Day? In some parts of the world that means a lot, but what are you doing to celebrate the chili? I decided to try Dayton's Second Best Chili Place, Jimmie's Cornerstone Bar & Grille.

The place is small, quaint and had a good crowd.

I grabbed a seat, and right away the server carried a plate of chili-drenched nachos by me that looked just great. Turns out that the dish is called Nachos Susanne. Had a Glass of Great Lakes Brewing's finest to wet the whistle.

It was a really tasty way to celebrate National Chili Day. Will be wandering back to the Cornerstone again one of these days. Parking is tricky, but there is a large lot across the street and a little south of the building.

OK, why didn't I choose the Highest Ranked Chili Place in Dayton? Because residents of Dayton chose Skyline Chili, and that stuff is just plain AWFUL!


What more can I say?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Year of the Tiger

A Siberian tiger enjoying a year named in his honor!
Image Source: Hollingsworth, John and Karen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Welcome to the Year of the Tiger! It's a great year ... because I'm a Tiger, a Water Tiger to be precise. I hope that this new year be a good one for you too.

Bad Juan's Really GOOD!

Went to Elsa's Mexican Restaurant in Dayton, Ohio. Heard a lot of good things about the place and ... they're all TRUE!

The building is quaint and decorated.

The signage is exceedingly small.

On the other hand, the portions are HUGE. Elsa's signature dish is the Super Burrito™. It's built for the BIG appetite, 10” flour tortilla filled with your choice of ground beef, shredded beef, chicken, or pork carnita served with refried beans, topped with a mild sauce, lettuce, pico de gallo, and aged cheddar cheese. GAWD it's GOOD!

This picture doesn't show the scale of this monster. This dish and table settings take up more than half the table. Is that cool, or what? Proof positive that in food service ... nothing exceeds like excess.

To wash this bad boy monster burrito down, you really need to try Elsa's signature drink - the Bad Juan.

It's powerful! So powerful, in fact, that a MAXIMUM of two will be served to a customer. Lemme tell ya, and this is from experience, after just ONE of these drinks, a person is just plain happy that his hotel shuttle makes half hourly runs to restaurant! YES, all that great food, drink and a safe ride home.

Life is very, very good ... even in Dayton, Ohio.

Elsa's Mexican Restaurant
3618 Linden Avenue
Dayton, OH 45410-3025
(937) 252-9635

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Day At The Museum

We braved the wind, snow and cold to visit the Cincinnati Art Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The snow had stopped by the time we finally got to Cincy.

This little guy greets you at the door. It wasn't as cold INSIDE the museum as it appears.

I know that I've talked about this in a previous posting, but I went back to the museum just to see these next two pictures. I love John Singer Sargeant's work. This museum has two of them.

Here's the other. This one was a test question in a college class I took a million years ago. She's still beautiful.

This painting was also a test question.

This snippet came froma painting depcting a slave market. Any doubt about the job series the woman on the left holds?

Contrary to the fifth grade passerby, the title of this piece is NOT "Naked Chick with Leg in Air".

Don't know about you, but red chickens speak to me.

OK, my preference is showing. I confess.

And in reply ... an old fashioned rolling eyes smiley.

This is the man who said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin. (American Statesman, Scientist, Philosopher, Printer, Writer and Inventor. 1706-1790) Most people would probably recoognize him from our highest denomination of currency in circulation - the 100USD. Life is just that good, you know?

Speaking of life being good, aren't everyone of us glad to be a Mammal?

Television is a monster. I get it. I've seen the "Jerry Springer Show".

Speaking of horrors and shame, this one is Eve after being discovered by God in the Garden of Eden. The Fall of Man is mere moments away. This image shows the external only. If you can visit this statue, walk around her side and look up at her face. That image, perfectly executed, is why this is a masterpiece.

In Indian mythology, Yakshi is a female goddess associated with the fertility of the earth, love, and beauty. This mythos considers every woman a Goddess, and I think they have a point.

Wether they look like this ...

or this ...

They're all beautiful, like Miss Sunshine.

The Museum was a lot of fun. If you're ever in Cincinnati, you have to visit.

Cincinnati Art Museum
953 Eden Park Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 721-2787

Monday, February 08, 2010

Big Boy?

It was snowing, cold and we didn't have much time to spare after a visit to the Post Office, so we stopped off at Frisch's Big Boy for lunch. I have two words to describe the experience ... Big Boy? ... or maybe ... Hell No! ... or maybe ... BIG MISTAKE!

The place was bright and clean ...

The table setting promised great things. Excitement. Anticipation ...

Then the waitress brought our neighbors their food. So we asked how much it cost to add an extra patty to our burgers. We didn't find it in here ...

Do you know how much that costs? Hint: $1 value menu item at the fast food chain across the street. Did you guess $1 for the extra patty at Frisch's Big Boy? WRONG! Did you guess $2? Still WRONG! You would need to lay out $2.50 for an extra patty for your burger.

Ok, no extra patty on my lunch. I picked the Swiss Miss burger. It had a rye bun, swiss cheese and the special sauce. I upgraded the experience with fries and a side salad.

Then, my smiley turned upside down.

All four bites of my lunch were ok, but really! Micro-burgers at big boy prices? I shoulda went across the street to a different restaurant.


Snow ... and more is on the way.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Mamma DiSalvo's Ristorante

Some days just don't get better than this! We visited Mamma DiSalvo's Ristorante for dinner and it was simply GREAT.

They have some interesting beer and wine choices. Wine first. Never spend too much time worrying about the perfect wine. Chianti works with every Italian dish. Why? For the same reason that the sky is blue. It's God's Will ... or ... a function of Rayleigh Scattering and the interaction of light with nitrogen and oxygen high in the atmosphere ... depending upon your religious preference. Another "go anywhere" wine choice is also red, Pinot Noir. It's obviously French, forward and awfully naughty, and in no time you'll understand what "fais-moi grimper au rideau" really means.

Now Beer. They have Peroni Nastro Azzurro on draft. If you've tried Peroni in the skunky green bottles, relax! Peroni on draft doesn't SUCK. Peroni isn't beer in the sense of the German Purity Law. It is a light, vampiric elixir made with malted barley, corn and hops that comes together pleasantly ONLY when protected from the Sun. Give it a try. You'll probably like it.

Be sure to order the House Dressing with your salad. It's a tangy, sweet, red wine vinigrette.

What's Italian without the bread?

How do you make the perfect seafood dish? First, you need shrimp. No, not the undersea anorexics from the Super Walmart freezer case! You have to fish Moby Dick's little cousins out of deep waters. You need big shrimp with bad attitudes. For this dish they have be surly, dangerous to catch, and ANGRY. Arrabbiata in Italian means "Angry". Toss in some scallops and mussels and you've got a seafood street gang on your plate. Mamma DiSalvo's calls that dish - Seafood Arrabiatta.

An Arrabiatta is spicy. There's no doubt about it. The perfect Arrabiatta lingers gently on your palate while the top of your head sweats. There's no doubt about this either. Mamma DiSalvo's makes the perfect Seafood Arrabiatta! You can taste the chili peppers, tomato, onions, garlic and Italian spices - all in just the right proportion.

The special of the day was a Lasagna and fettuccine Alfredo combination. The presentation was spectacular. This is the most memorable Lasagna I've ever had. It had it all - a combination of different cheeses, the sauce, the spices, everything. What's makes the best lasagna even better? MORE lasagna! The portion was so generous that I got to bring some home for later. If there was more space on this page, I really would tell you how good the fettuccine Alfredo was AND how the rich, creaminess of it completed the meal.

I'll be coming back to Mamma DiSalvo's! You should too.

Mamma DiSalvo's Ristorante
1375 E. Stroop Rd.
Kettering Ohio 45440
Phone: 937-299-5831

Giovanni's Pizzeria é Ristorante Italiano

We heard about Giovanni's Pizzeria é Ristorante Italiano from friends at work, so we went over for a dinner visit. The place was described as a "unique and one-of-a-kind" in the same sentence no less which made it even more interesting. Of course, when I heard "where value meets quality" that closed the deal.

Giovanni's is a quaint little place that wasn't too hard to find. There isn't much signage outside but you really can't miss it from the street. Parking is a little sparse, so come early.

The place was bright and inviting. The furnishings were retro and homey.

The service was quick.

The Chicken Parmigiana was pretty good. It had a lot of moist chicken breast meat in an tasty sauce. I couldn't wait to get a bite, so that's why it looks "fork ready" in this image.

The pizza had a really great, crispy crust. They were a little stingy with the sauce. It wasn't bad overall, definitely better than a call to Domino's.

Giovanni's was good, friendly and reasonably priced. The food was tasty and the quantity generous. The GPS app on my cell phone listed Giovanni's as a 5 star experience. If you're like me, it would be certainly worth a visit - if for nothing else - to try to figure out where and how they earned those last two stars.

Giovanni's Pizzeria é Ristorante Italiano
215 W Main St.
Fairborn, OH 45324
Phone (937) 878-1611