Showing posts from 2012

Where'd ya eat?

It was over twenty years ago, and I told Martha that I was planning a trip to Manhattan.  “Bobo, you have to go to Carnegie Deli and get the hot pastrami sandwich.  I swear the pastrami is piled on this [her thumb and index finger formed a big ‘C’ with about a four-inch gap] thick!  And please get me a hot pastrami sandwich to go and bring it back to me!”

Maybe you’ve had this experience: You tell someone that you’re going to New York (or San Francisco, or Little Rock for that matter) and their eyes glaze over and they start reciting a list of restaurants that you simply “have to” go to.  I have been on both ends of this conversation, so today we’re going to pretend that you’ve just told me that you’re planning a trip to New York City.

I want to send you to two places.  Piadina Ristorante ( and Fairway Market CafĂ© ( .

Piadina (at 57 West 10th Street, near 6th Avenue) is named for the thin Italian flatbread from the Romagna region of Italy.…

The Holiday Doings

This is the scene at our house this evening.

Long days at the deli during the holiday season. Days are still filled with our great lunch business - lots of delicious soups and salads and sandwiches - and lots of evenings are spent catering holiday parties. Tonight we're catering a party where Mr. Beers's homemade lasagne is on the menu. Yummy stuff - I got to taste it. But our own dinner was considerably more simple: triple cream cheese, artisan crackers, and a little bit of fig preserves.

These are also the days when I feel like I have the opportunity to force my musical tastes (again) on my friends and family. I make Christmas "mix tape" CDs. I put them into people's hands when I see them at the deli, or at a party, or I might even mail them to friends and family who think they're safe because they live far enough away.

Usually my Christmas CDs are a mix of older, classic holiday songs and other, more current stuff, and maybe an obscure or forgotten hol…

They're baaaaack.....

The crazy next-door neighbors are in town. I guess they're not really next-door neighbors. I mean they own the property next door, but they don't live there. We'd heard of them, but we'd never seen them or met them before, but here they are. And when I got home this evening Mr. Beers was standing our front porch with her. The one who inherited the house next door. There she was, looking all kinds of crazy with long, thick white hair, and long, thick grey toenails hanging off the front of her orthopedic sandals.

The house has been vacant for at least ten years. There used to be a thirty year-old rusted station wagon with four flat tires in the carport, until recently. Somebody called Code Compliance and complained. Then arrangements were made and the car was removed.

But that's the only activity that's gone on over there in years. Until a few days ago. The heiress and her husband and the adopted daughter blew into town in their white minivan with those luggag…

Sweet Potato Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year we'll be enjoying some great company and wonderful food with our friends Wendy and Kathryn. We had the pleasure of having them at our place last Thanksgiving, so this time we're going to their beautiful home. They told us not to worry about cooking ANYTHING - they would take care of EVERYTHING. Sweet!

But, of course, we're not satisfied with that. We insist on bringing dessert, and maybe some hooch. So, in the course of the week, Mr. Beers mentioned to one of our regular sweet customers (Hi, Paula!) that we would be making/taking dessert to our friends' house on Thanksgiving day. Paula immediately volunteered that she had a great recipe for sweet potato pie. And then she recited it.

This will make two pies. You'll need:

Two pie crusts
One really large or two medium size sweet potatoes
A small can of sweetened condensed milk
A cup of sugar
A stick of butter
A teaspoon of vanilla
One egg

Boil those sweet potatoes until they'…

Maybe these cookies will make you feel better.

Earlier today I got a phone call at W. D. Deli from a guy in California. He wanted to know if we would deliver some cookies to a someone he knew in San Antonio who was in the hospital. After checking the catering schedule for the day, I told Brandon we could probably do it.

So this afternoon I delivered $50 worth of cookies and a gallon of milk to Northeast Methodist Hospital. I took the tasty treats right into the patient's room. But the patient wasn't there. His wife and his mom were there though. "Are those for Victor?" the wife asked. I checked the catering work order. "Yes, they are." She wanted to know who they were from. I told her the cookies had been ordered by some people in California. "Well, that's the least they could do." I looked at her, saying nothing. She continued. "He was hurt by a bull. When he jumped from a helicopter. For a TV show." Confused, I found myself saying, "We'll, I guess that makes sense.&qu…

Let's get our social network on.

I've been bouncing around on facebook for over three years now. It's been interesting, fun, and even frustrating sometimes. Mostly it's been great. Now I know what's going on with some of those good old Hope High School Bobcats. I get to see how some of my Hendrix College peeps are doing. I've even managed to track down some of my friends from "the retail years."

I've actually gotten to know some folks better - folks that I might have only considered acquaintances a few years ago. Why is that? How could I feel that I am better friends with and/or closer to people that I am "talking" to via a keyboard or a smartphone?

It seems to me that there's something about this modern way of communicating that facilitates more honest, candid "conversation." Nobody interrupts or talks over each other. Everybody has the opportunity to choose his/her words carefully and deliberately - more deliberately than we might in extemporaneous convers…

It's hip to be square.

Remember when the rock band Chicago hit it really big in the '70s with those songs like "Beginnings" and "25 or 6 to 4"? Band geeks everywhere were pretty jazzed that somebody had made it cool to be a band geek. Chicago was all horns and drums and all the really great stuff in bands. The arrangements were awesome. Of course, the real deal was - and is - that band geeks have always been cool. And anybody who says otherwise is/was jealous of their ability to read music, play an instrument, and march in step with a large group and with a sense of rhythm! Now that, kids, is multitasking. Impressive. And cool.

And now the coolest and newest thing going on at W. D. Deli is our new method of credit card processing. If you've had dinner at a food truck or bought something at an arts fair, you've probably encountered something called Square. Square offers credit card processing through a little white, um, square thing that can be plugged into an iPad or iPhone -…

Eating out.

We all go out to eat sometimes. Some of us more often than others. Mr. Beers and Mr. Bobo probably go out to eat (on the average) ten times a week. Is that a lot? It seems like a lot to me. We eat at cheap places and sometimes at not-so-cheap places. We go to all kinds of places - Chinese, Mexican, Italian, steak houses, burger joints - you name it. So we've accumulated a lot of dining, um, experiences.

But just this past week, we experienced a "first." Some dear friends from Austin were in town and they requested we go to a particular place for dinner - a favorite of theirs when they're in town. A little pricey, but great outdoor seating, a good wine selection, tasty food, and a relaxed atmosphere. So it all sounded good. We were able to get a gander at the patio and the dining room as we walked up and walked in, and there were some empty tables. Good.

At about 8:30 on a Wednesday night, a lovely seating hostess greeted us with a smile and said hello. Then she aske…

The Old Gray Mare

Even though I'm composing this post on something as "with-it" as my iPad, I'm feeling a little Old-Gray-Marish today. I'm scheduled to have my second tutorial with DJ Cobweb this evening. Here's the deal:

Several weeks ago a sweet friend started texting me, asking me if I would consider "spinning" at The Bonham Exchange - in the video bar, also known as The Alamo Bar - for a good old-fashioned retro t-dance on a Sunday afternoon. The texted conversation continued - and now that t-dance is this Sunday.

I began my preparation a couple of weeks ago - going through all my music, listening to a lot of music, thinking about how I wanted to mix certain songs, etc. Then I went down to The Bonham Exchange last week to find out what the equipment in The Alamo video bar was like and what I might still need to do to get ready for Sunday Funday.

An unsuspecting DJ Cobweb was enlisted by the bar management to show me the ropes. And this is what I learned: DJ …

I can't complain.

Today Mr. Bobo is trying to catch up on a few chores around the casa. We got home from a little vacation this past Tuesday night, and I can happily admit to you that we are very nearly almost completely unpacked and put away... Today I am doing a few loads of laundry and still sorting through things from the trip.

At our house, you know, we like to have a little background music going when we're doing anything. Today's soundtrack is coming through loud and clear - thanks to our dear friends Craig & Tom & Fred. Those sweet fellas presented us with the outstanding gift of AppleTV back in January. One of the many cool features of AppleTV is this: It has this screensaver thing that allows you to have a slideshow of your photographs from your laptop (or whatever device you like) playing with your music.

So as I walk from the dining room with a freshly laundered stack of beautifully folded t-shirts I am frequently distracted by this slideshow. I have to stop and watch and s…