"Americans used to say where there's a will, there's a way. Nowadays, it's where there's a pill, there's a way out." - - Burnt Toast

Good Eats, Bad Music. . .

Last night a group of four of us donned our Sunday best and hit the streets in search of a good meal.  This, after 45 minutes of arguing over where to go and what to do.  Everyone had their own opinion of what and where and not, and it wasn't until during the stalemate of ideas I suggested a sackful of Krystal burgers and a trip to the bowling alley did we finally agree that Ely's Restaurant was the choice.

We arrived abound 8:15 without a reservation and we expected to have a wait, but they quickly slipped us into a cozy four top.  The waitress named Becca, Rebecca, some kind of -Ecca was attentive and courteous and quick with menus and drinks.

After a brief perusal of the menu, I didn't have a very good feeling about our choice as the menu options were fairly standard and nothing out of the ordinary jumped off the page to me with the exception of the appetizer of Baked Kibbeh, which did not disappoint with a depth of aromatic spices as it should have.  Of our group, only one other person ordered an appetizer which was the Seafood Bisque that lacked the depth of flavor and intensity one would expect from a bisque.

The entrees fared better with two Center Cut Filet Mignons topped with sauteed crab, one stuffed flounder and for myself, the Sesame Yellow Fin Tuna, medium rare.  The filets were cooked perfectly for my guests, that is if you like your meat absolutely bludgeoned to death until there is no sign of color left, but to each his and her own.  My tuna was fabulous and perfectly cooked and a bite of the flounder proved worthy of consideration for another dining trip.

The real highlight of the meal was the bottle of 2005 Far Niente Chardonnay which paired perfectly with the tuna and flounder and even complimented the melange of spices in the Kibbeh.  On the other hand, this is one of those places that likes to over garnish the plate so that dustings of spice and chopped herbs end up on the plate's edge which is a huge culinary no-no and a personal pet-peeve of mine.  You know what goes on a plate's edge right after it comes out of the kitchen?  Your waiter's dirty thumb, that's what.  And who wants a dirty thumb mingling with the garnish that might somehow end up attached to your food, fork and mouth?

And another thing.  Here is the a al carte asparagus I ordered:


Before I proceed, let me just say that the asparagus was cooked perfectly and had a delightful and peppery citrus aroma that blended perfectly with the earthy vegetables.  However. . .why serve giant asparagus in a giant coffee cup?  I understand that it looks more interesting, but it made for a rather awkward consumption experience as I was sure at any moment one or a piece of one was going to launch itself from the utensils and land in some inappropriate place.  Like someone else's lap, wine glass or hair.  Also, note the messy splattering of parsley along the saucer where someone's dirty thumb was likely to be.

I skipped desert as did my friends, but I couldn't pass up a glass of port as an after dinner digestif.  Fabulous.

Overall, I'd give Ely's a positive review and I am sure to return again as I would like to sample a couple of their other creations, but they really need to ditch the plate garnishing from the top of a stepladder because it is adding nothing to the appearance and delectability of the food and seems like a pathetic afterthought.  The wine was great, the service was prompt and acceptable and the pricing, well, maybe a little more than what we got in food, but hey, they are trying and there are scads of restaurants of there that don't even give it that much effort.

After dinner, our plans for a money game of poker was quickly replaced with the idea to go downtown to Fire for some live music.  Hey great I thought, I haven't seen a good local band since three years ago when I saw MissUsed tear the joint up.

The place was jammed packed with rowdy folks and I had no idea how to interpret the band's name which was Splendid Chaos.  One of our group knew the brother of the bassist or something and it was all she could talk about on the way to the club.  The bassist this, the bassist that.  I could only imagine from the back seat that this was not an encouraging sign for her date who was driving with a rather grim, hard-set look on his face.

When the band came on, I can only explain the scene as chaos but not of the splendid variety.  The music was loud and the vocals sounded like, well. . .stick your head in the toilet bowl or a five-gallon bucket and yell as loud as you can while you shriek from time to time.  I made it through five songs and was ok until the band thoroughly butchered a Tool song when I threw up my hands and announced to no one in particular that I was leaving and with that, I left.

Alone in the parking lot, I wandered across the street to Martin's Restaurant and Lounge where there was a nice mix of college kids and old drunks in the filthy old place.  The featured band was Good Enough For Good Times who offered a neat funky jazz and rock vibe.  I felt better.  And it wasn't long before I was joined by two of the other three in our group.  The bassist girl was left behind to fare for herself and the remainder of us closed the bar out until there was nothing left to drink and no one left to drink it with.

Chaos being was it is, at the end of the night I felt good enough for good times.  And a good time it was.

Anonymous –   – (Monday, July 19, 2010 at 6:33:00 AM CST)  

Dude, thanks for getting me home the other night, the tequilla shots were too much.

I got an angry phone call from Julianna on Sunday morning bright and early lol. I told her I left her cuz she chews her food like a cow. Guess we won't be going out again!

Give me a holla this week bro.

Mike

Burnt Toast  – (Monday, July 19, 2010 at 8:55:00 AM CST)  

No problem, you really weren't any trouble till we got back to your place and you started a fight with the shrubbery. I just let you swing yourself out and rolled you through the door. I think you were out before you hit the couch, which is what happens after four shots of Patron in a row. I am glad I abstained from that.

And next time you decide to ruin a meeting of the He-Man Woman-Haters Club, please let us know so we can put your "date" through the pre-approval process. Remember, no food smackin allowed!

Anonymous –   – (Monday, July 19, 2010 at 11:18:00 AM CST)  

Yeah ok, well go through the established rules.

Getting yelled at first thing in the morning while i was trying to puke beats waking up trying to chew my arm off fo sho!

I figured ol' butt nuggets had his eye on her anyway and never said anything.

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