Monday, January 31, 2011

The Eighty-Second...

Number Eighty-Two:

Mexico Restaurant, Lunch, Chicken enchiladas verdes

OMG! My first late blog post! I did this napstache on the right day, promise, I just forgot to blog it! Anyway, this lunch special wasn't; too green saucy and the tortilla was too...meh. Still I did manage to get a mural shot out of it!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Eighty-First...

Number Eighty-One:

Dots Back Inn, Lunch, Corned Beef Hash

We went with Michael and Melissa to go see The Breakfast Club at Movieland. Lisa had never seen it before and I was curious to see how it would hold up. I remember that movie during my youth and thought it was okay, not the best John Hughes, kind of pedestrian characterization, very school play-like, but for a young teen, wow. I also remember when I saw certain scenes (Emilio Estevez's getting stoned dancing) and heard some of the dialog ("Hey wastoid, you're not going to blaze up in here!") I thought it was dumb. Still, you think everything is dumb when you are young, right? Seeing it today, those moments are still kind of cheesy, and I still feel the same way about it, but it was a blast to go see it! After hooting it up with several other people who were culting it up on a Sunday morning, the four of us hit Dots for some lunch. Good times!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Eightieth...

Number Eighty:

Balkan Restaurant, Lunch, Chicken Gyro

After reading the recommendation in Richmond Magazine, and me doing Yelp mapping, Lisa and I finally had the chance to try this nice little restaurant in the West end. We started with some cheese Burek, very tasty and fluffy. Then we each had the chicken gyro with two sauces to choose from; one was a red pepper sweet thing and the other was a sour cream and feta thing that was terrific. The bread they make is homemade and fantastic! I asked if we could get some to go for our dinner in the evening, but they said they couldn't because they only made a certain amount. I think our waitress thought I meant for free, but we were wanting to buy some. Anyway, she said we could call ahead for any large orders like that. Good stuff. Service was very friendly and it felt very much family oriented. Very culturally Balkan as many people came in, families, speaking the language and yucking it up like it was a neighborhood restaurant. Recommended spot, wish it was a little closer to town however, because I don't think we will get out there much. The Bookmobile however...



Friday, January 28, 2011

The Seventy-Ninth...

Number Seventy-Nine:

Greek Grill Cafe, Lunch, Hummus and Spanikopita

Friday lunch! This place is a nice little spot on Westwood run by the family that used to run Su Casa around the corner. Nice hummus appetizer with warm pita, fresh tomatoes, cukes, and olives. Hummmmmmmmmus! So Lisa has librarianly and smartly noted that I should include Murals as a tag! Yes! Look at this puppy! So blue, so many things going on, so Greek! Plus this stache kind of looks like the ectoplasm from Victorian medium photos.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Seventy-Eighth...

Number Seventy-Eight:

Firehouse Subs, Lunch, Steak and Cheese

Computer woes still abound at home, so on the kid's laptop. This photo is from my desk at the office. It's a great view that used to be better before some townhomes came in across the way, still some nice birds come in and sometimes even deer and turkeys. My window shelf has lots of things I like a lot; pictures of Lisa and my daughter, robots, Ghost in the Shell, and other randomness. Also, proof of my dedication to the Napkin Stache A Day, the Jeopardy Question a Day Calender with today's date!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Seventy-Seventh...

Number Seventy-Seven:

Cheeseburger Cheeseburger, Lunch, Duh.

The thing about Cheeseburger Cheeseburger is that is SEEMS like a great idea and burger in your mind, but by the time you get there and eat it with the onion rings, it winds up just mediocre. The funnest part about the place? The snapshot photos on the wall of random people who ate an entire pound of beef. They get a burger moppet to pose with and a sharpie to write shout outs or brag.

Also, my laptop died at home, so working on it. Might be some weirdness on the blog post for a day or so.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Seventy-Sixth...

Number Seventy-Six:

Home, Soup and Sandwich, Chicken Salad

A quick bite for dinner, Lisa and H. were full from their lunches but they kindly ate anyway after I threw a mild tantrum. Homemade chicken salad, which is really just the precooked chicken from Martin's Ukrop's Cafe, sweet relish, onion and the kicker, Duke's Mayonnaise. Oh, and fresh ground black pepper. LOVE pepper pretty much in anything except maybe pudding and cake. It certainly is better than a salt habit, that is for sure.

Speaking of Ukrop's. Note the web link, which is now touting a new name for itself, "Homestyle Foods" which then gives you the redirect to the new name link. So it was awkward typing the above phrase, "Martin's Ukrop's Cafe", too many possessives going on in that. I guess I should call it want it wants to be called now, "Ukrop's Homestyle Foods Cafe at Martin's". That doesn't cut it much either, does it? How about, "Ukrop's Homestyle Foods now, but soon to be just a Martin's prepared fresh food area". There, that's more like it.

Anyway, a quick meal and a quick photo, catching H. mid-bite! Ha!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Seventy-Fifth...

Number Seventy-Five:

Jason's Deli, Lunch, Soup and Salad

Special guest on the Bookmobile this week, Tammy, who got to witness a 'staching. I was attempting to get the guy behind me, one of the army of white guys in starched shirts that flip the ties over the shoulder while they eat, but it failed. Still, I like my facial expression, which is pretty much how I feel when armies of white guys in starched shirts flip their ties over their shoulder while they eat.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Seventy-Fourth...

Number Seventy-Four:

Home, Dinner, Warhol Chicken

Nice dinner at home with the first meal we ever all had together. I remember trying to find a recipe that was easy, kitschy, fun and tasty. I asked around the office and two Headquarters employees (both now retired, but were WONDERFUL people to chat with) recommended this "Mozzarella Tomato Chicken". They gave me a copied print of it and I noticed the second item immediately: "1 can condensed tomato soup". I knew I had a winner. But it needed a new name, begged for it, so I dubbed it from the bland title to "Warhol Chicken". Get it? Like Andy Warhol and his Tomato Soup can art? Okay! So the recipe:

Warhol Chicken

-Preheat oven, 350 F
-Shallow baking dish, greased

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 can of condensed tomato soup
1 tsp dried basil leaves or 1 tbsp chopped fresh
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1) Rinse and wipe chicken with paper towel then in a large sprayed or greased skillet (nonstick) saute chicken on med/high heat for 5 min each side until browned.
2) Put chicken in prepped baking dish. Combine soup and basil, then put over chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or till chicken is no longer pink inside.
3) Eat!

Pasta is usually a good side, but Lisa made some buttermilk biscuits and asparagus was the veggie. Very good!

This stache is with our cat. She really is healthy, so don't let the Jabba-like pose fool you!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Seventy-Third...

Number Seventy-Three:

Thai Diner Too, Lunch, Red Curry Tofu

H. and I had another chance to get to Carytown for some Carytowning. I scored on some great 45s at Plan 9; Good Foot Pt 1 and 2 by James Brown, The Grunt Pt 1 and 2 by the J.B.s, some cool Rough Trade compilation 33 from the 80s, Funky Robot Pt 1 and 2 by Rufus Thomas, and some outer spacey funky thing that borders on disco, but I bought it for the opening song which has some silly bit about the band being beamed up by aliens. Awwww yeah!


Friday, January 21, 2011

The Seventy-Second...

Number Seventy-Two:

Athens Tavern, Dinner, Athens Chicken

Athens Tavern was our first date! This evening wasn't an anniversary date by any means, but we still love eating there and remembering that. Lisa was running late, having a beer with a friend, dubious of my sincerity. We pulled off the first date anyway! She had the chicken kabob, I had the Tiropita platter, then we finished with a stroll to Bev's for some ice cream.

What is great about Athens is that it is usually not overcrowded, a very much old school Richmond type restaurant, not trying to angle for the bar crowd. A tasty meal with nice atmosphere and service.

I tied a knot in the napkin so...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Seventy-First...

Number Seventy-One:

Lewis Ginter Garden Cafe, Lunch, Chicken Salad & Roasted Red Pepper crab soup

Nice place to see a lot of ladies in various packs donning hats and dressed to impress so they can probably talk about the other ladies that didn't show, oh, and stroller babies with their moms. Love the soup and salad combo option. Yum! This is me being VERY cosmopolitan at the fancy place to impress the ladies!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Seventieth...

Number Seventy:

Casa Grande, Lunch, Fajita Taco Salad

G. & I on the road. Love restaurants with painted art walls. This one is kind of interesting, because the Casa Grande in the painting is right down the road from the Police station and across the street from the Cantina. Inside the Cantina door, next to the guy asleep on the chair, are shadows of two sets of feet (either drunk or shot dead), a guy chugging some booze, and finally someone shooting a pistol. That's kind of how I feel after eating there sometimes too...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Sixty-Ninth...

Number Sixty-Nine:

Peking Restaurant, Lunch, Chicken Imperial

C. & I at the Mechanicsville Peking. On the way out, C. noticed a credit card on the counter, apparently the second one there forgotten in a week. The lady at the register said she called the people from another card left there last Thursday for three days and STILL hasn't heard back from them!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Sixty-Eighth...

Number Sixty-Eight:

Dots Back Inn, Lunch, Tuna melt

For the past few years, L. & I have been a part of the park pick up service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. To give back to the parks by picking up litter that accumulates intentionally, accidentally or incidentally. This year it was at Joseph Bryan Park. We invited G. to participate and we think she had a good time as well. The three of us combed the banks of Jordan's Branch, getting a LOT of plastic bag product, beer cans and almost a complete clothing ensemble. Weird things: flip flop, shuttlecock, golf ball, tennis ball, pants, purse and a volleyball.

After working hard picking up litter for a few hours, one of the other rewards, besides the satisfaction of supporting the community, was a trip to Dots for lunch!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Sixty-Seventh...

Number Sixty-Seven:

Cafe Ole, Lunch, Veggie Burrito

L. needed bagels and so I came up with a cunning plan to do some Carytowning. Elwood Thompson, then lunch at Cafe Ole, then while she did some things at Mongrel and Goodwill, I would hit Plan 9. Came together nicely, it did.

We followed that up with a Bollywood movie playing at Virginia Center Commons called "Yamla Pagla Deewana" starring classic B-wood actor Dharmendra Singh Deol (Sholay as well as tons more) and two of his sons Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol. L. and I started off being the only two in the theater, then a bunch of people came in, all appeared to be Indian. This only added to the joy of watching this film because they were laughing at parts that I was culturally ignorant of, but could understand through their laughter the gist of it. The film itself was really fun, nearing three hours, as any good Bollyfilm should, and having action, drama and comedy -an afternoon well spent with a throwback screwball type comedy.

Can I call this one a Bollystache?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Sixty-Sixth...

Number Sixty-Six:

Home, Lunch, Farfalle

A nice evening at home with L., watching The Truman Show, drinking some wine and enjoying the Fungalow lifestyle. Home rocks!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Sixty-Fifth...

Number Sixty-Five:

Crabshack Seafood Restaurant, Lunch, Crab cakes

A four day weekend equaled a day trip to somewhere! How about to The Mariners' Museum in Newport News. This place is huge, we barely scratched the surface after three hours, most of that on the Ironclad (Monitor vs. Virginia) exhibit. That exhibit is spectacular. You are immersed (and submersed, heh) immediately as you sit in a ocean blue room to watch the witness testimony and shadow recreation of when the Monitor sunk, then you make your way around to the actual red lit lantern that was brought up, after just seeing the drama of it being the last thing anyone ever saw of the ironclad over 140 years ago. Well done. But that is not all. You then come out to a partial lifesize replica of the shipyard where the Virginia was clad in irons. And more, more more more! So thorough, and the finale after all that goodness; you get a window view of the actual Monitor being conserved! Wow. And that was just a small portion of this spectacularly well done (and well financed) Museum. Wow.

Pretty much the only lame thing about it were the gift shop employees, who would rather talk about going to the movies with friends than answer any questions with accuracy or knowledge; the dingbats could not even answer where Route 60 was, which happened to be the road out front, complete with proper signage for when people leave. Their best answer to that question? "Ask the people at the information booth of the museum, they're like a hundred years old and would know that. Oh Cindy, did you go to the movie theater blah blah blah..."

That's okay, I would rather get information from them anyway, and I most certainly did!

One kind of rule that I like to have if we visit the tidewater area for an extended time and go out to eat is that it must have seafood. We were originally going to some place called the Train Station, but another good rule to go by when you are looking for a lunch spot is to ask a local. This "hundred year old" lady suggested the Crabshack, right on the James, right by the James River Bridge. Score! Some damn fine crab cakes!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Sixty-Fourth...

Number Sixty-Four:

Padow's Hams & Deli, Lunch, Pastrami and Swiss Sandwich

G. brought her lunch again, so we had to find a place that let people bring their food in and eat. We hit the Padow's near the Border's Books which kind of used to be my favorite chain bookstore until today. I'll tell ya that in a minute. First I have to tell you about these two dudes that came into the Padow's while we were eating. One was a good old boy, older in his 60s, complete with muffin hat, beer belly and vest-like jacket, the other dude, we deduced maybe his son in his 30s or 40s, was dressed in a monks outfit. FOR REAL. We were all cool with that until...

Well, the monk dude went back to the bathroom, while the older dude stood by the front door. Okay, he's waiting for him to use the restroom. Then the old dude starts heading back there too, and finally monkman comes out. Okay. Then the old dude resumes his post by the front door and monkman sits at the table closest to the old dude, all spread out casual looking. I didn't care that the pair were an odd match, nor did I really care that one was a monkman, but they were acting sketchy. Words of wisdom: sketchy comes in all shapes, sizes and religions. What was up with that?

Okay, so we get out of there, fearing the worst, be it religious confrontation or maybe a kung-fu battle, and head over to Border's, as often we do on this particular BK day, if anything, to see what is being pushed as far as retail. As we pull up, I notice they have huge signage claiming 75% off clearance, etc etc. Now I had heard of this whole bankruptcy thing and was looking forward to maybe jumping on the sales a la Tower Records downfall like a shark on chum. I get inside, and it's pretty much the same shit they try and peddle, mingled in with leftover Christmas. Okay, fine, browse browse -what's this, Ken Burns The War, with a sticker $49.00? Now, I see the sign just near my face reading: "75% off off sticker price". Hmmm, doing math in my head, that would be about 14 bucks if this is true. I would do that. Still, the dubiousness in me raises the question to the nearest employee where she promptly points out that the current sticker price of $49 bucks IS the discount. She completes the transaction with a "look" that says, you're cheap mister. Oh, well, that's kind of sneaky Border's. And bullshitty. And to think I actually TRIED to join your little keychain cardholder club by registering for 5 minutes before I got frustrated and quit anyway. Well, forget you pal! Go bankrupt already!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Sixty-Third...

Number Sixty-Three:

Home, Dinner, Crab cake sandwich

After lunch on the Bookmobile at Panera Bread, G. and I walked around the Fresh Market, a fancy grocery store in the old Saxon Shoes place on Parham. I remember going into that shoe store when I was a kid because my mom had to get some fancy shoes, and how completely bored I was! My parents often took me to places I was utterly impatient with; see also Franco's and Jos. A. Banks. I am pretty sure I got into trouble once or twice when I was young at these establishments.

Anyway, the Fresh Market is like Trader Joe's, only more colorful and snobby. The first thing I noticed when we walked in were a bunch of employees huddled around complaining about working. Ahh, so this is more like a Food Lion. Okay...
I have to remember to go there to get some fancy groceries sometime, because it does look like some nice comestibles. I bought a crabcake to go (meh) and some cookies for band practice tonight!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Sixty-Second...

Number Sixty-Two:

Home, Fajitas, Dinner

Been eating later and later these last few days for some reason. Anyway, this is me eating fajitas and watching Black Adder (Goes Forth season), one of the great Britcoms. So many great comedic actors in this series!


Monday, January 10, 2011

The Sixty-First...

Number Sixty-One:

Balliceaux Restaurant, Dinner, Burger

So after starting a new yoga class, L. and I met up with work G. for this storytelling event called, "Secretly Y'all...". We got to hear some pretty good yarns from various generations about some famous Virginians, living in Virginia or just being southern and what the rest of the world thought of that. Basically they already had 6 or 7 people prepared to tell stories, but they also drew four names from a hat for the second half of the show to let anyone in the audience who could spin tales give it a go as well. We love these kind of evenings where you become enlightened or your brain juices flow. There was a good crowd that night too. Anyway, this is the first post I forgot to post on the day I did it, and this post being done in the wee hours of the next day. However, the stache was done in the proper day!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Sixtieth...

Number Sixty:

Dots Back Inn, Biscuits and Gravy, Brunch

Dots again, mixed it up this time with sausage gravy over biscuits. Very tasty! By the way, the tattoo waitress to the left is the waitress from the first post! L. and I enjoyed the brisk walk and we also noticed a strange thing; many many Christmas trees laying on the side of the street, we guessed for city pick up. I couldn't help but to think of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail line: "Bring out your dead!" Kind of sad, odd, really...

Oh, and guess what? Twofer! I was perfectly content with the one 'stashe, but since I knew there was a WRIR event at Gallery 5, why not do another! It was a volunteer social and nicely done for the most part; always nice to talk with other volunteers from the station in a relaxed atmosphere!

Gallery 5, Beer, WRIR 97.3

Mellow Madness DJ greatness Michael Murphy peeks in for this shot.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Fifty-Ninth...

Number Fifty-Nine:

Thai Diner Too, Lunch, Red Tofu Curry

Met with author and new pal Beth Brown this afternoon for lunch to discuss an anthology writing project that I will not yet disclose, but it is going to be GREAT! Very much look forward to this and it seems like we are getting some other people interested as well. It was great talking out the finer points and ideas for the project as well as reflect on both of our 365 A Day projects and how they are going; she does a Trinket a Day. Then a quick walk to Chop Suey to see WonTon and approach Andrew Blossom. Wheels are in motion!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Fifty-Eighth...

Number Fifty-Eight:

Granola Cereal, Home, Breakfast

Ahh! I love Friday, especially payday Friday. And you know what? The bowl of Giant Food brand granola cereal is actually pretty not bad! This morning's Friday Breakfast Blend Show was the Best of 2010, you can read the blog article on my other blog. Hopefully I will also have a podcast up at some point of the show. By the way, I have freaky funky hair!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Fifty-Seventh...

Number Fifty-Seven:

Trak's Restaurant, Lunch, Soup and Salad

This place has been around forever. L. and I every once and while get here for a late lunch (or early dinner, depending if she was working the night shift or not). Good stuff. And the decor is over the top awesome. Plants and Christmas most of the year round. C. had not been there in a long time (20+ years) and I was hankering for some hummus. Since Zorba's had burned their kitchen up and was closed, this was just as close to our next Bookmobile stop anyway, so we hit it. Speaking of hitting it, doesn't it look like Santa is gonna wallop me with the light? I'll call this:

Bludgeoned by Santa!

Well, okay, more like looking in my ear the way a Doctor would, but calling it "Dr. Santa" just sounds wrong.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Fifty-Sixth...

Number Fifty-Six:

Mexico Restaurant, Lunch, Chimichangas

Remember when Mexico restaurants were the best, if not only Mexican place in town? Still good, but sooooo many others to chose from these days. M. and I went to the Mechanicsville one, huge, along with the big old hunter trucks at intersections.

M. points to truck:
"That's how you can tell Mechanicsville from Short Pump."

Yup, Short Pump would mean big old SUVs and minivans.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Fifty-Fifth...

Number Fifty-Five:

Stronghill Dining Company, Dinner, Grilled Hanger Steak

L. had a work reimbursement windfall, so we were going out for dinner. Options were places in the Richmond Magazine January '11 or a few other choices. Stronghill was in our "second chance" files, the first time we went felt a little overpriced and just not the right vibe. Redeemed on this visit; great service, food and decor --I guess my eyes were more open this time or they adjusted accordingly. Got this one without anyone looking, although I have the feeling if our waitress would have caught sight, she would have found it amusing.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Fifty-Fourth...

Number Fifty-Four:

Chicken Fiesta, Lunch, Chicken Nachos

So having an eleven year old Bookmobile, it tends to need to be in the shop more often than say, a NEW ONE. That being said, this had nothing to do with the reason why we didn't have it on the road today. We put it in the shop for general maintenance over the holidays. Of course so did every school bus driver in the county, so we had to wait just like the rest of them. Well, G. & I managed to drop off some of the day care books and even make a few stops for our seniors using the county car. We also swung by the garage to see how the Bookmobile was doing, and picked up some books that were on the shelves we needed. Yup, sure enough the BK was housed in a bay with various attachments on it getting its check-up, so they weren't feeding us a line of bull when they told us it wasn't ready yet. We got to go to Chicken Fiesta on the way back for lunch. In front of us in line were a couple in matching hospital or dental scrubs, being all huggy huggy kissy lovey dovey vomit and they let us go in front of them. Oh gee, thanks, ya'll could probably use a prophylactic and hotel room rather than a taco, how about you get a room. Ah, work romance! Anyway, good freaking nachos!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Fifty-Third...

Number Fifty-Three:

Home, Dinner, Foil-pack Chicken

Goofy shot here, (like what Napstache ISN'T!), I really wanted to accent my friend James Conkyln's art, a rendition of one of those random photos you accidentally take with your digital camera, realized creatively here. Monument Avenue during the annual Easter Parade. One of our favorites in the house. Thanks James!

To the right behind me, three random photos of my grandfather and grandmother, from Jonesville, Va. I received copies from my Aunt who had them scanned from the originals: one of them at some random gas station or garage in the 30s; the second, my grandfather looking dapper with his homemade mandolin in front of the house he and his father made; the third being another of them looking cute as a couple. Being a lover of history, seeing these photos really gives me a different perspective of my grandparents. I was so used to seeing them as old, grey haired and making banana pudding or helping me pick worms from the tobacco when I helped them one summer or even shooting a rifle from grandpas lap while he smoked his pipe, that I never realized they were young. Seeing these pictures, I imagine them so cool in that southwest Virginia farm-folk kind of way; genuine, full of life, picking and dancing on Saturday nights, going to Church the following Sunday. Maybe we all could realize the stories and lives of our seniors. I know, Phil, quit making a cheesy statement. Screw you, I love hearing tales from the elderly, they have some great yarns and often are nothing like the world we live in today. They had no cell phones or weekend trips to Target or stress concerns of what gaming platform their kids HAVE to have. Today we seem more like a housebroken bee colony obsessed with technology and branded by consumerism and what we own. Yeah, sure, back then, they still had the same problems with hard times and people, but I think there was more poetry then.

Sorry, waxing....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Fifty-Second...

Number Fifty-Two:

Erin, Lunch, Pork Tenderloin

Missing last week's family gathering in Erin, we got to celebrate New Years Day instead. Full house with Lisa's Aunt and Uncle, Brother, Sister-in-Law and their kids, L.'s folks and our crew. Gifts, a walk through the woods by the fellows, food from Java Jacks out of Tappahannock, then lots of being full. Ahh the holidays come nicely to a close with this get-together. I think L.'s Mom, N., likes the 'staching, so I am really going to make an effort to get her in a photostache soon! She had me cracking up when I was taking this one. Notice L. and her squirrel bomb attempt.