Reflection, Motivation, and Camera Phone Pix!

My blog post frequency has been sporadic lately to say the least.  To be honest, I needed some motivation.  I found my muse in the simplest of places, the memory on my camera phone.  Here are pictures that haven’t made it into the blog before, but deserve to be shared.

Dive Bars to Michelin Stars?

During the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to eat and drink at some of the most amazing places. I have experienced food prepared by James Beard nominees and winners, eaten at my first Michelin rated restaurants, and enjoyed my first trip to Napa.  Here are a few highlights.

During my last trip to New York, I had my first Michelin experience(s).  I was able to get a table at both Daniel and the Modern during that trip, and both dinners had me wishing I could have worn stretchy pants.  So many courses and so many amazing bites… Below is a picture from the beginning of a peaceful dinner at the Modern while I was enjoying a Blood and Sand.

blood and sand

You know those folks that always talk about hearing a band before they were big?  Yeah, we do the same thing with food.  Below is a chef’s gift during a five course meal at Bluestem before Chef Colby Garrelts won his James Beard award.

bluestem

In 2013, I went to Napa for the first time.  What an experience!  A weekend full of some of the best wine on earth and some of the best restaurants to go with it!  This is my favorite picture from the trip, a glass of Opus One at their winery.

opus one

 

What about Dive Bars?

Of course Dive Bars have continued to be a way of life for me.  They keep me grounded and it would be a shame to miss out on the entire spectrum of food and drinks available.

Did you know that I like PBR?  Yes, it’s true.  Here are two of my favorite pictures involving that beer that is best served in ice cold cans.  It’s no surprise that both come from watering holes in my home away from home, Lawrence, Kansas.

An excellent sign at Louise’s on Mass Street:

pbr

I just happened to be in Lawrence during one of their Final Fridays.  The Lawrence Arts Center helps setup an event where artists show their work in different spaces downtown. In the picture below you can see a PBR that I was enjoying while listening to live music and checking out vinyl at Love Garden sounds.

pbr2

What is the furthest thing from five and Michelin stars?  A buffalo roast in the middle of nowhere.  To be more specific, the 3rd annual buffalo roast:  It was cool that they kept the head each year on this tree.  It was a good hour and an half drive out of St. Louis, but worth it for the experience.  There is something special about eating meat prepared on a fire out in the woods.

buffalo

Libations Anyone?

I love all things boozy, whether it is beer, wine, or cocktails.  Here are a few favorites:

I have to mention Libertine, as the bartenders do an excellent job taking care of the regulars.  I drank the drink below (the tequila based Voodoo Glow Skull) so often they once told me that I have consumed more tequila than any other Patron…. I mean patron.

vgs

 

The best part about it was seeing a drink that I tasted in its’ earliest form be transformed into something that made the latest cocktail menu.

Skatalites in Jalisco

Skatalites in Jalisco

Just another Wednesday night at the Libertine waiting to see if Ben will accidentally set himself (or the bar) or fire.

old flame

I’m a little sad when I look at the picture below since it’s from the now shuttered Table.  I had some excellent times sitting at that bar.

table drink

Here is a view of my favorite spot at 715 in Lawrence.  I still get a Former Spy martini every time I go to that town.

715 lights

But of course the focus has always been about food

I have more pictures of this dish than any other. However this is my favorite!

Crispy Pig Tails at the Libertine

Crispy Pig Tails at the Libertine

A lobster that was alive just minutes before:

At the Chelsea Market in NYC

At the Chelsea Market in NYC

Some cupcake creativity:

cupcakes

My favorite sushi in STL at Central Table:

central table

 

And let’s finish it off with how my blog started:

My first post ever was an Entre Underground event.  I recently started attending another group’s underground dinners, Rogue Underground.

I love the uniqueness of their decorations:

rogueAnd they experiment with food in fun and creative ways:

Pickled Lam Tongue, Crispy Mushrooms, Arugula, and Tarragon Aioli

Pickled Lam Tongue, Crispy Mushrooms, Arugula, and Tarragon Aioli

"Live" Scallop, Roe foam, Sea beans, Black salt, and Edible flowers

“Live” Scallop, Roe foam, Sea beans, Black salt, and Edible flowers

So there you have it!  My blog will be two in July and these are my favorite pictures from my phone that were never posted.  Some are favorites for how the photo turned out and some just for the moment they captured.  Hopefully it has inspired you to try something new or at least go out and eat somewhere fun tonight.  Now let’s see if it has inspired me to get back on track with some more reviews!  CHEERS!