Thursday, August 29, 2013

Doctor Shopping


I was recently shopping in a local jewelry store doing a quick preview of the merchandise to help select an appropriate birthday gift for my husband to give me.  (I do this because I am just give, give, give and I always put his concerns first and I would hate for him to make a bad birthday gift choice - like the time he gave me a book on the architecture of Buffalo.  That will NOT be happening again!)

Selfie of me and Dave when we got engaged.

The saleslady and owner both knew me well.  This is where we had my engagement ring custom designed and again the place where many birthday, anniversary and, of course, Bastille Day gifts come from.



Then it happened--

a doctor in scrubs walked through the door and the owner of the store flew to him like a moth to a flame.  

The saleswoman who had been showing me diamond studs was so taken by the blinding light of this doc's scrubs that she could barely look at me or complete a sentence in response to a question.  Then I had to wait to see the earrings I was interested until after my doctor friend finished with them.


 Hmmmm.  So I went over to a fine art gallery in town where I was really enjoying looking at some paintings.  The lively gallery assistant was showing me lots of beautiful abstracts and describing the techniques the artists used.  They were pulling pieces out of the back to show me and even offered to come to my home to do a trial installation of any art piece I desired.

A favorite Marc Chagall knock off.

when it happened -- AGAIN!

a doctor in scrubs walked through the door.  And I got handed off to another person who had been shuffling through items in the back of the gallery.

What's up with this!?  

Moral of the story:  Next time I decide to go shopping, I will wear green scrubs and tuck a pager onto my waistband for better service.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chicken Vindaloo at Sitar Indian Cuisine

Sitar Indian Cuisine in Birmingham, AL

I didn't expect much when we stopped at Sitar Indian Cuisine in Birmingham.  But I figured almost any Indian food is better than no Indian food, thought we would give it a shot.

Extra napkins, please!

But, WOW, was I surprised -- the food here was excellent.  We ordered  Chicken Vindaloo that just about knocked our socks off.  It was spicy and fabulous.  The garlic naan was to die for.  Get extra napkins!  You will need them to mop up the delicious buttery naan and to dry the tears from your eyes if you order it "Indian hot" like I did.


Prices were student friendly - that is to say - CHEAP!  Would love to pass back through Birmingham and eat here again.

Sitar Indian Cuisine in Birmingham is located next to UAB's medical school campus.  Wish I could transfer to their PA school!  I would eat here every day.

Sitar Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Crave on Hertel Ave: re-styled but searching for an identity.

New decor at Crav(ing) on Hertel Ave. in Buffalo, NY

  Crave:  Eclectic or Pub Grub?

Crave, or Crav(ing) as the logo on the window says, is a new kid on the block on the new hip Hertel Ave in Buffalo.  Here's hoping this will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood after La Dolce Vita.  

Though I was expecting a little healthier more new age, fresh menu, I am very willing to give them a try.  

I liked their decor and color scheme.  Chocolate browns, rich orange and "go BIG or go home" art work make for a splashy contemporary feel (except for the cluster of smalls I photographed above).  The small dining room feels warm and inviting with a comfortable but stylish chocolate faux (?) leather banquette, though the back of the narrow dining room may need more light in the evenings, especially as summer turns to fall and winter in cloudy Buffalo.

Crave is still waiting on their liquor license, but I like the look of their bar with two over sized oil paintings flanking the mirror so I am hoping they secure it soon.
Takeaway message:  I like the decor and if they can match it with a fun ambiance, a mean Martini and a good wine list, I will be back. 
Chopped salad

Chopped salad and Greek wrap 

I had the chopped salad, which though tasty and large, was really an unimaginative mix of half-way chopped romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, chick peas, some red onion, blue cheese crumbles and a few kalamata olives.  Something tells me that they could really claim ownership of their menu by making their salads more distinctive and including some locally grown fresh produce.  
Takeaway message:  Kostas Greek restaurant is practically across the streetDon't offer a boring chopped salad or half hearted Greek salad when the neighborhood knows where to get a nice basic Greek salad already! 
(Plus I could dash to Dash and pick up an equivalent basic salad to go.)

We also had the Jenny Greek Wrap today.  This was a whole wheat wrap around a weak Greek salad (see comments above) and some grilled chicken.  Again, adequate and palatable but mostly lettuce and nothing exciting.
Takeaway message:  See above!

Make a decision: crave it or lose it!

It seems that they are trying to satisfy a traditional Buffalo desire for a heavy, hearty sandwich, with offerings such as their Fried Chicken Sandwich while still offering a quasi-eclectic selection of salads and Asian or Korean interpretations on a standard sandwich.  Frankly, not sure how this will work out.  I think they need to throw their hat over the wall in one direction or the other.   
Takeaway message: Crave it or lose it!
Crave on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 29, 2013

20s Glamour in Buffalo

Parkside Candy 1927 interior

Parkside Candy on Main St. in Buffalo, NY

Meatball Sandwich lunch at Parkside
I drive up and down Buffalo's Main St. twice a day.  Parkside Candy catches my eye as a place that time has passed by.

Faded facade hides historic beauty:

The outside is rundown and in sad need of maintenance.  The wooden sign is weather worn, decayed and hanging by a nail.  The awning is tattered beyond existence.  And the brick and concrete of the entrance is crumbling.  The store displays are 4th of July, Christmas and graduation all at once in late April.  I thought Parkside Candy was out of business decades ago as their facade suggests.
(Plus the apparent abortion clinic on the second floor does not fit with the falsely 1950s cheery attempts of Parkside Candy's window displays.)

But my Buffalonian friends told me that Parkside Candy is a historic Buffalo landmark that is well worth a visit.

So finally I stopped in for lunch today.  And my friendly Buffalistas were right!

The inside is a tribute to 1927 with original floors, booths and woodwork.  There were few customers but the lunch was fun if a little white bread traditional.  The ice cream sundae was old fashioned and deluxe.

It really is the decor and beaux arts design here that is the story.  The oval room with the frieze work ceiling in plaster and the original mirrored oval wooden doors are outstanding.  You can easily imagine yourself as a patron from a past decade at Parkside Candy.

I cannot understand why the building is not maintained.  I understand preserving the beauty of its past and not marring the historic design.  But crumbling superstructure, a tattered awning and the weathered sign all give me the signal that the owners are not concerned with preserving the appearance or reputation of this long standing Buffalo tradition.

There is much here that is worth preserving and restoring.  The broken neon sign that fronts Main St. alone is worthy of a Buffalonion restoration.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Juici Patties in Jamaica

MoBay: Streetside market in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
This colorful scene in Montego Bay, Jamaica with these beautiful fruits was just outside a Juici Patties restaurant that we visited.

We met a couple on the pier and shared a taxi with them.  The wife had gone to medical school in Grand Cayman, and she was a huge fan of Juici Patties.
She raved about wanting a "juici pattie."
She said it was the must have food of Jamaica.  So we went with them to the Juice Pattie emporium to taste this wondrous dish.
We figured out later that the couple was pretty drunk and seemed to be there to get even drunker and though they loved the greasy, carb laden juici patties-- we did not.

The Juici Patti itself!
Juici patti is a greasy meat pie in a  doughy envelope.  The meat is not especially spicy, tasty or juicy.  It's like a fast food, McDonaldized version of what you think a meat pie should be laden with empty calories and no discernible nutritional value.

Dave & our friends waiting to get a Red Stripe

This comes under the heading of sometimes you meet great folks randomly while traveling.  Sometimes you taste awesome local specialties while on vacation ... AND sometimes you don't!  This day was a DON'T.

Our friends who we met at the pier in Jamaica were from Arkansas and taught us that they were Indians "dot not feather."   Though they were soused- they were fun enough until they started bickering.

Me and the fam in Jamaica.

St. Petersburg, Russia
Me and Vika in St. Petersburg, Russia
But that's ok- it was a fun experience I won't soon forget just like my new friend in St. Petersburg (see photo below) who we shared a fun impromptu dinner with while she taught us about the Russian people and what it's like to live in Russia.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cats in Parkas

Cats in Parkas

Little Boy in his pink parka
My cats wear parkas in Buffalo when it's cold.  They often have words over who gets to wear the more manly brown parka.

Joker gets to wear the brown parka - but looks irritated.

Little Boy with one of his humans

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cats recreate Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel

Add caption
My cats reenact the Sistine Chapel pose
The real deal - God and man.

My cats live a full life.

Here they have chosen to recreate the
work of Michaelangelo as they reenact
the famous tableau from the Sistine
Chapel of God touching man.

Little Boy is God and man is played by his little brother Joker.

Yes, I do have better things to be doing than likening my cats to great
Renaissance painters.  HINT:  See the
Atlas of Anatomy lurking in the background.  Yes, I should be studying that instead.

I did find this interesting article about one man's theory that Michaelangelo really is portraying God has a human brain.

Medical students take note, here is a chance to combine your humanities with your science training.

As an English major with a Master of Arts who went into the sciences and is now a physician assistant student, I live for these moments where art and medicine collide.

Ah well, back to work on anatomy.  Here are the boys in their usual roles--themselves!
The boys as themselves in the Buffalo sunshine.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My cats eat Kleenex while I hide in bathroom mirror

Cornish Rex Cats

Now I know that not everyone loves Cornish Rex cats or even just cats - how CRAZY is that!?
These guys are an acquired taste.  I admit it.  They have little fur and what they have is wavy and fine like down. 
They have minds of their own and just want to do what they want to do when they want to do it!  Oh, they sound like bad toddlers!  Oh my!

Kleenex eating

But here they are eating Kleenex from the box, a favorite pastime of theirs that they mostly perform when they want a snack.  They have several signals to tell me that they WANT FOOD and they want it NOW and this is one of their favorites!!!!!

Not naked

By the way, I am NOT naked in the bathroom mirror hiding behind my iPhone.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Prom of the Dead 2012 - The Whole Hog--How to Eat Good Pig

Flame dancer at Prom of the Dead


This isn't just another chapter in my "PIG GOOD" trilogy, this is the real deal.

The Whole Hog = Pig Good

I love me some Prom of the Dead and the theme this year was Coney Island.
This year was no disappointment - especially when we discovered that there was delicious PIG (aka pork) waiting for us as we exited the Prom!

I went as the Big Cat who tears up her Lion Tamer
After a night at The Prom of the Dead on Genosee St. in downtown Buffalo, the Whole Hog food truck parked outside is just what you want to see.
This couple with baby in utero was my favorite at the Prom.

We enjoyed a spicy pork stew with onions and peppers.  It was steamy hot and spicy deliciousness. 

We enjoy pork (aka PIG) in all its incarnations--bacon, roast pork, pulled pork, BBQ pork and on and on.

Love to roast a pig at holidays.

The Whole Hog knows how to handle pig!  And anytime we see their truck, we are sure to imbibe in some of their juicy well cooked pork dishes.

Prom of the Dead 2012

The Whole Hog (Mobile) on Urbanspoon