14 February 2010

It's no Outback.

Brad has been 32 for three days now, and it's been a fun-filled long weekend. Thursday night we celebrated his actual birthday with dinner at the Chop House. Friday Brad "worked from home" and put together our new elliptical machine (we celebrated with delicious boca burger and fries night and the Olympics opening ceremony). I took a break from the birthday festivities for a lovely brunch with an old friend (who may just be joining the blogger ranks soon [do it Lindsay, do it!]) at Cafe Felix Saturday afternoon. Saturday night we were joined by many of our very good friends to celebrate with some drinks and pretzels and cheese. And today we are tired and sore (dang elliptical!).

I only have a few pics from our dinner at Chop House, kind of a mini birthday present to Brad (he embarrasses soooo easily! haha). I managed to sneak a few quick ones of the birthday boy and the yummy bottle of wine we killed, which renewed my interest in red wine (lately I've only had a taste for sweet white wine or sparklers).

We're both a little on the fence about the Chop House. We were charmed by the service and the atmosphere, and it definitely felt like a special occasion. The 50% off part certainly didn't hurt, either. But when all is said and done, you're not going to get Brad to say the steak was better than his beloved Outback (or even Cafe Habana's chimichurri steak). We started out with our wine and side salads, Caesar for Brad, house salad w/ blue cheese dressing for me. My salad may have been the best salad I've ever eaten. Simple, just some chopped romaine with two tomato slices, but the dressing was amazing and I killed every last bite of that salad, which was actually quite large. For our main courses, Brad decided on the NY strip and I ordered the Dover sole; for sides we got the au gratin potatoes and the creamed corn (I know it's ridiculous but I cannot resist creamed corn). The server delivered our sides noting that we'd received the last order of creamed corn for the night -- if that isn't a rave review, I don't know what is... so that was the first bite I took. And it was amazing.... I don't even know why. It was just amazing and I could have eaten a giant vat of it all on my own (I practically did!). The potatoes were almost equally noteworthy, a giant hunk of multi-layered gratin -- more cream and more cheese. What's not to love? My sole was perfectly tasty, with a side of lemon butter sauce with almond shavings. It was thick and meaty but still light and flaky. But was it the most amazing thing ever, or even probably worth what we paid for it, even with the discount? Nah. I'd rather just eat more creamed corn. So would we go back? Sure. Would I pay full price? Probably not. And next time, I'd just order a salad and sides, maybe an appetizer -- more than enough for me!

Friday morning, Brad woke up and did some work work, then I ran over to Sears to pick up our new elliptical that came in earlier in the week. Props to Brad, who put the entire thing together in just around two hours and didn't even really complain when I kept disappearing when he mentioned he might need help. We've both had a few workouts on in it since (and I've finally just about finished season 2 of Dexter!), and our bodies hurt in all sorts of weird places.

For the birthday finale, it was off to our beloved Grizzly Peak Den, and our birthday karma scored us two whole tables for peeps. Normally we sit at the bar and hang out with our favorite bartender, but we just couldn't swing it with that many people and had to deal with the cranky waitstaff. Otherwise, it was a great night and so nice to be surrounded by so many people that love my dear Bradford. Hugs to everyone that came out! (And a special note to tell you, if you haven't already, order up the soft pretzels with cheese. Best. Evs.) This was also the first time I've been "out" in ages, and it was really nice. Let's do it again soon, folks!

Meanwhile, the kids remain unimpressed with, well, anything, let alone Brad's birthday.


Sara said...

Fun weekend! Birgit looks an awful lot like the actress in Psych in that pic!

Alison said...

Totally agree about the Chop House. It's great, but a bit overrated. Not the best steak I've ever had, but the sides were amazing (I haven't been there in years, but I definitely remember those au gratin taters!).