Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Patios to Know

Every time I find a little hidden gem of a patio, I promise myself that I'm not going to tell anyone else about it. But then it's too nice not to share with my friends! What kind of friend would I be without sharing. So, everyone knows about the Black Forest Inn and W.A. Frost, but who ever eats there? I don't know about you, but I'm not usually in the mood for schnitzel in 80 degree weather. Nor can I afford steak with purple mustard sauce and mixed veggies that costs $25, but tastes like about $5. (And, by the way, don't ask me what a purple mustard sauce is, 'cause I didn't see or taste anything other than unseasoned, questionably cooked steak and sad veggies.)
So, here you have it. A list to refer to when it's a gorgeous summer day and you can't stand to sit indoors, but can't decide where to go.

1.) The CC Club - I know what you're thinking! Gutter punks, surly old drunks.. you can't even hear the juke box outside, what's the friggin' point!? I'll tell you. It's the best kept secret back patio in the city. It's gorgeous, new and decorated with flower boxes and hanging geraniums. And there are umbrellas and ceiling fans! And they serve food out there. Best yet? Well, my sister would consider it the best part - YOU CAN SMOKE!! Order food and smoke? What are you nuts? We're all gonna die! That's right. We are. So, why not go out in style with a Marb, a stiff drink and the geraniums drown out the gutter punk smell!

2.) Fabulous Ferns - This is more for late season sunning. Their patio faces West, so you can milk it for all it's worth. The food ain't half bad, but it's not fabulouso either. For something really good try the wings. Especially the good kakookie wings. Okay , that's not what they're called, but something like that. They're good.

3.) Amore Victoria. Because it's right nby house and works for me. And the tortellini alla panna is a gift from God, really. Directly from Da Man hisself. If you'd like something with less cream and cheese go for the Penne Alla Arrabiata. It's penne with tomatoes, capers, pepperoncini, olives and dusted with mozzerella before being quickly broiled to melt the cheese. It's wonderful. And you might see a semi-celebrity there. On other occassions dining there I've seen the snotty guy who owns Henn-Lake liquors, Robert Skoro (local musician) and Al Franken. Who is really frumpty, but seems to be a happy enough sort of chap.

4.) El Meson, since they expanded a couple of years ago, they've added a lot more outdoor seating. Actually, if memories serves, there was no outside seating before. But it's gorgeous and shaded in the afternoon. The best is to go on a half price bottle of sangria night and share a bunch of the little plates. These little tidbits are fantastic. I especially love their take on ceviche. It's diced seafood dressed in cilantro and lime juice and served on little corn tortilla chips. They are refreshing and tasty.

I'll post more as the summer goes on. Hopefully, I'll discover more. 4 is kind of a measley list.


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