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Archive for the year 2013

Breakfast with Grandma

Posted on December 21, 2013 by under Family, Food and Drink.    

Brian and I took grandma to breakfast at Livingston’s Diner last weekend. It was her first time there. She got the Mickey Mouse breakfast, which she seemed to enjoy.

My favorite thing to get there is their corned beef hash.

There’s not many restaurants or diners here in town that serve it.

Livingston's Diner on Urbanspoon

Mmmm… Homemade biscuits and gravy.

I didn’t get any pictures of our cinnamon roll because we annihilated it. The cinnamon roll disappeared from our table almost as soon as it arrived. How can you pass up their yummy cinnamon rolls, though? I would eat a dozen of them in one sitting if I could.

We got grandma a cinnamon roll to go also so she could have some at home later that day also. I think she really liked Livingston’s Diner. At least I hope she did. It’s probably one of my most favorite places to eat breakfast here in town.

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Bruff’s in Emporia

Posted on December 19, 2013 by under Food and Drink.    

We had our department holiday luncheon last week at Bruff’s in Emporia.

We all got smartphone gloves for Christmas. I love, love, love mine!

I have to post a couple of pictures of food, of course.

Bruff's on Urbanspoon

We have teammates from all over, mostly Topeka and Wichita, so we decided to cut the difference and have our holiday luncheon in Emporia. There are not many restaurants to choose from in Emporia so we ended up at Bruff’s. The place is kind of out of the way and weird. I think they used to be located downtown, but there was a fire and they had to move. Now the restaurant is housed in a metal building. Don’t let the unusual exterior fool you, though. The restaurant has an extensive menu and I’ve heard their burgers are pretty darn good. I think that’s what I should have ordered. Instead I ordered a salmon, which was just okay. My mashed potatoes and green beans were just okay too.

Bruff’s was a good choice for our team but I’m not sure that I’d actually go out of my way to go there. And, if do, I’m probably getting a burger next time instead.

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Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge

Posted on December 17, 2013 by under Games, Things to Do, Travel.    

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Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge is definitely one of the best features of Hotel Blackhawk. And, Laura, our bartender, was fantastic.

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I had fun hanging out with Faith and Lance and sampling their delicious martinis the first night. I didn’t stay out late, of course, because Brian and I always video chat whenever I travel. I heard that Faith and Lance had a jolly good time with Laura after I left, though. There may or may not have been sing-a-long at the bar that night.

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Here are some drink photos. Why? Because you can’t go to a “martini lounge” and not have any martinis. LOL.

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You can’t go to a bowling alley and not bowl either and so we did.

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After seeing this photo, dad said there was probably more martinis than bowling going on. But, in my defense, I didn’t actually bowl my best game until after two martinis. Thanks, Lance!

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Here’s Lance trying to figure out what to do with this split.

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We played guys vs. gals. Isaac was feeling pretty confident after the first game because he and Lance obliterated Faith and me.

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It was a friendly competition and both teams were cheering each other on. The guys won the first game. Faith and I won the second game, but we were still seven pins behind in overall total. That’s when we decided to bowl another — deciding — game.

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Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge on Urbanspoon

It was Isaac’s worst game and he wasn’t very happy. Guess who won our third and final game. Yup. Faith and I did. We’re awesome that way.

We had such a great time that it made me wish we had a place like Blackhawk Bowl here in town. The closest thing we have is The Alley and it’s just not the same. Blackhawk Bowl has a cozy, intimate feel. I love that they only have a few lanes so you don’t have to deal with huge crowds.

The only downside about Blackhawk Bowl is their rates. Five dollars per game and three dollars for shoes is a little expensive. The hourly rate of $35 is more reasonable but still up there. We were lucky that Laura hooked us up.

I’d probably go back to Blackhawk Bowl if I’m ever in Davenport again. The bowling is expensive but it’s a really cool experience. Totally worth it. If you’re ever in the area, you’ll have to check it out for yourself. Be sure to say hi to Laura for me!

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Duck City Bistro

Posted on December 15, 2013 by under Life.    

While in Davenport we had dinner at Duck City Bistro, a restaurant that was recommended by our awesome bartender Laura at the Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge. The restaurant is also conveniently located just across the street from our hotel so that worked out well for us. It was a no-brainer.

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When you enter the restaurant, which really doesn’t look like much from the outside, you are greeted by a very enthusiastic chef and a display case full of beautiful food.

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Here are some pictures of the food that I took as Chef Jeremy Charles gave us a quick rundown of each one with flair and flamboyance.

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I have never met a more animated chef my entire life. This guy would give Chef Jason a run for his money. Naturally, I had to take his photo.

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Here’s a picture of the wine list which was stuffed in a plastic mallard.

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We had their appetizer sampler which was “perfectly portioned for the table” or so our server told us. The plate consisted of the Thai chicken skewers, East Coast crab cakes, and portabello mushrooms.

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Isaac also ordered a side of the pomme frites, which is just a fancy word for French fries. Except these fries were fried in duck fat.

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The fries were wonderfully crunchy and fried to perfection but I wasn’t really fond of the duck flavor. Truffle fries will always be my favorite.

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This is a picture of the lobster bisque with pieces of lobster floating in it.

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Isaac opted for a salad instead of the soup and was the odd man out.

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The restaurant has a very masculine feel and great character. I really liked the exposed brick walls and the photos on the walls. If they have mobsters in Iowa, this is probably where they’d eat.

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I had the Iowa stuffed smoked pork chop, which was hand-stuffed with ham and swiss cheese and then smoked. It was served on top of smashed potatoes and beside chunky applesauce.

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This is Isaac’s entree, but I can’t remember what it is.

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This is Faith’s entree. I think it’s the bone-in prime rib chop.

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Lance had the Duck City duck breast served Duck City style. And, true to the chef’s promise, they wrote Lance’s name on the plate.

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By the way, I wasn’t the only one taking pictures of food that night. Then again, food this fancy deserved to be photographed.

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None of us had room for dessert but they gave us chocolate covered strawberries at the end of meal when they brought the bill.

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Duck City Bistro on Urbanspoon

I think this is possibly the fanciest restaurant that I have ever tried. Leave it to Faith to find a super fancy restaurant. I’m actually glad she picked Duck City because I would have never had the chance to try it if it weren’t for her. Everything was good but dinner was really expensive. I’m glad we got full off our appetizers and entrees because we didn’t have any money left for dessert. LOL.

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Hotel Blackhawk

Posted on December 15, 2013 by under Travel.    

I wish I had another reason to visit Davenport because I’d stay at Hotel Blackhawk again. It’s one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed at for work. Of course, my room wasn’t as nice as Darcy’s which had the adjoining parlor room and balcony access. Why is it that smokers always get the best rooms? LOL.

Anyhow, here are some hotel photos.

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I think that might be a pullout couch. I’m not sure. I didn’t check. I did like the separate living room/sitting area.

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The mini bar was stocked with drinks and munchies.

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Personally, I prefer a single king bed but the double queen rooms were all they had available. I can’t really complain. The beds were comfortable and the room was clean. What more can you ask for?

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Darcy got a double queen room also, but her room was far superior.

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Not only did she have access to a separate parlor room with a balcony, her room also had a tub with better water pressure. My room only had a stand up shower with really weak water pressure.

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But, hey, at least the bathroom mirror had a built in TV like the room that Brian and I stayed in at the Peabody Orlando when I attended the Zumba Instructor Convention back in August. That’s a plus.

The hotel also has a gym, a couple of restaurants, a barber shop, a spa, and a bowling alley. Every hotel has a gym and all that other stuff but the bowling alley is pretty special. That’s a pretty unique amenity. We don’t have any hotels here in Wichita with an onsite bowling alley.

The location of the hotel is great also. It’s walking distance to business and restaurants. It also has skybridge access so you don’t have to walk outside as much when it’s cold. It was freezing when we were there last week.

MidAmerican Energy let us use their corporate discount so our rooms were actually reasonably priced. The hotel is an excellent value, given the rate we paid. The property is clean and beautiful and the staff is fantastic. It’s the kind of place where they always say “My pleasure” whenever you thank them for anything.

Hotel Blackhawk also offers shuttle service around the area, not just to and from the airport. I really have no complaints. Yes, the water pressure in the shower was weak but it seems like that was only true for certain rooms. Isaac, Lance, and I were the only ones who had water pressure issues. Faith and Darcy had good pressure in their bathrooms. They both had tubs in their bathrooms, though.

If I had a tip to share, I’d say people who are particular about their water pressure should ask for a room with a bathtub. Some rooms also had better views, but I wasn’t really concerned. I would be happy with any room at this place.

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