The only problem with our visit to Tony Packo's is that K makes his own version of chicken paprika, a recipe inherited from his grandmother... and that's what he was expecting when he ordered the same dish at dinner tonight. K's version involves stewing chicken in paprika, tomato, and other spices, and serving it over large bread dumplings. Tony Packo's version, on the other hand, was a lump of chicken breast served over a heaping mound of little bitty potato dumplings, with paprika sauce poured over it. K's sauce also uses approximately three times as much paprika, which makes it much spicier.

There's nothing wrong with Tony Packo's chicken paprika, per se. It's just not as good as K's version, at least in our humble opinion. Same goes for the cucumbers in sour cream, which K makes with garlic and vinegar. Tony Packo's version was much sweeter -- tasty, but again, not what K was expecting. We're thinking they might have used sugar and apple vinegar, but that's just a guess.

The chili that I got, on the other hand, was absolutely heavenly, fine ground beef drowning in sauce, rich with tomato and peppery spices. The hot dogs arrived slathered with the same spicy chili, and the whole thing was just... really good. The hot German potato salad came as a bit of a surprise, though. It tasted a lot like a savory sort of applesauce. Took me a few bites to get used to it, but after dinner, I really enjoyed it with the coffee.

And oh my goodness the coffee. I would not normally order coffee with dinner, especially on a hot summer day, but the coffee had an entire paragraph of praise in the menu, which piqued my curiousity. It turns out that Tony Packo's roasts their own beans, and the resulting brew is a smooth, wonderful, flavorful cup of coffee that was totally worth the $0.89. Accompanied the meal nicely, too.

At less than $10 per entree, the price is definitely right. The food was very good, the service was prompt and efficient, and I would go back for the chili and the coffee alone. Next time, we'll just make sure that K doesn't order anything that he's made before.
K had to get up at 3am, and since I couldn't go back to sleep, I decided to get up also. I had a design review scheduled at work, so I read over some schematics while I made coffee. And man, this was seriously good coffee: freshly ground beans in my French press, frothed milk, dark melted chocolate. Totally set my mood for the morning. And I got to work by 6.

on design reviews )
on climbing )
I attended the write-in at the Columbia Borders with a certain amount of guilt, since my laptop was K's only access to the internet (his computer's in pieces waiting for his room to get painted). Nice people there, all very supportive; very high nerd quotient (when you can start recommending anime series to one another after a bare five seconds of conversation, that says something about the crowd), not very many males. Most of the women were either mothers or students. Makes me wonder what the gender/age distribution of Nanowrimo participants in general, and how that might correlate to how willing they are to go out and meet new people over a cup of coffee.

Got over 2100 or so words out of the evening, and another punch on my Borders frequent coffeedrinker card. Also, the "Faces" magazine on the stand a few feet away from me had a cover with yellow print on top of a brown pattern; from a distance the two colors were unfortunately juxtaposed, because I swear it looked as if the magazine was named "Feces." I was inordinately amused.
12:43am, K says suddenly: "Did you have caffeine?"

"Yes... why?"

"Because you haven't complained about not going to bed yet... it took me long enough."

fuel )


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July 2011

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