Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Almost mid-week meanderings

I've been putting together some topics that I have in draft mode that I can post when I have nothing to talk about, the side effect of this though, is I keep wanting to post those topics and not come up with new ones. So I'm going to break that habit today.

Not a whole lot going on here in my neck of the woods of Cleveland, but a couple things that I thought might be interesting to write about.

We didn't eat at Melt last Saturday even though we got an early start 4:30 and headed right there, the wait for a table was 3 hours at that point and for take out was an hour. I think our first experience with Melt will wind up being take out. I just can't see myself in this day and age waiting around for food, regardless of how good it is. (It should be noted that poisedinparma pointed this out in her comment last Friday, thanks again).

We decided to see about eating at Dave and Busters since were were out in that area of town and the place was packed, hour and a half wait for the dining room and the midway was filled with people and noise, definitely not conducive to grabbing a booth and eating there, so we wound up skipping Dave and Busters and heading to Stancatos.

Stancatos is a small Italian restaurant off of State and Pleasant Valley. It's what I would consider old school style Italian, decent prices and good food. It's not going to blow you away, but the quality is consistent and they have some tasty entrees. There big hook is their sauce, which is bottled and sold in a number of local grocery stores, it tends to be a bit sweet for my tastes, but my wife loves it and considering she has the Italian background, I leave it to her to decide whether it's good. Their chicken parm. is very good and what I order when I go there. To give you some background , I never order chicken parm. at a restaurant, I'm not a huge fan, although you'd think that it would be a staple for me, as I tend to gravitate toward chicken dishes, especially when pan fried. It's just a dish that I usually find to be sort of 'bleh' so I don't order it, I gave it a shot though at Stancatos and I've had it twice since and highly recommend it.

After dinner we were stuck for something to do, heading out early for Melt screwed up our whole timeframe for the night. We couldn't find anything at the movies that we wanted to see and it was much too early (7pm) to head to a club for a band or to indulge in karaoke. We decided to head to Jammin' Java place on Pleasant Valley, a coffee shop that I always wanted to check out.

The shop has a nice sitting area, although I think they could touch it up a bit, it still has a bit of a convenience store feel, which it was converted from and feels like the tables were just thrown in there. They had an average selection of coffees, coffee drinks, and beers. I wasn't impressed with the selection they had or the drinks they put together, but I like the concept of a hangout with beer and coffee without the hassle of a bar or club. They run open mic nights during the week and on Saturdays they do karaoke. The nice thing was it started a bit earlier (8:30) then a lot of the bars do, so we hung around and sang some songs. I don't know if I'd go back and I can't exactly tell you why. If I had to guess it would be that I just never warmed up to the place, even though I love the concept of music, coffee, and beer for people to casually hang out.

Sunday was sent doing absolutely nothing much to the distress of my fire signed daughter, who has a severe case of cabin fever right now, but we just couldn't come up with something to do outside of making soup for the week and baking a cake. Next weekend we'll hit the auto show, at least it will get us out of the house.

I do have some news on the singing front. I had a second session with the drummer from my former band and a couple of guitar players he knew on Friday. It looks like we are going to give it a go in putting a group together and getting a set list ready to play out. It's likely going to be a bit of a different style than we had before as the new players are more familiar with some different music, but at this point it works for me, as I just want to get out and do some shows. It's interesting to see the differences in guitar playing styles for these new guys compared to the former band member. I'm still hesitant to talk about it too much, as I want to see how things go, I guess I'm fearful of jinxing it.

Interesting tidbits from the weekend. (at least to me)

Table next to us at Stancatos with about 8 people, on of the men ask the waitress if they have Patron, she says they do. 2 others follow suit and order it as well. Waitress brings the shots back and one says to her, "I thought Patron was a beer". (The other's said the same thing after she left, as they looked at the shots and realized they had screwed up) Oops. The part I found really funny though is five minutes after the shots arrive one of the guys is talking to the other two and asks them if they know where Patron is made and then goes into a little spiel telling them. I have no idea if he was right on where it was made or not, as I stopped listening, but I did find it fascinating that he was sharing his knowledge of it, considering he didn't know what type of drink it was in the first place.

I stopped into Walmart on Saturday to pick out my new glasses and was immediately approached by the sales clerk. I got a kick out of the fact, that she seemed to be trying to set expectations with me on what frames were the ones on special and that lenses were more. I assured her, I understood that there were only so many glasses in the $9 frame range and that lenses would be more dependent on the type. It started to get annoying though, when I sat down with the two pairs I chose and she continued to seem to be concerned about how much the 'lenses' were going to cost, even though I assured her I was aware they were going to be rather expensive, but that it had been 6 years since I last bought a pair. I'm all for associates setting expectations and I get that 90% of the people that come in to that store are looking for the specials, but it's also a bit irritating to have to be told repeatedly that these are going to be expensive. At some point as a clerk, you need to take a step back and realize that you've done what you can to try and avoid issues later and if the customer proceeds then they really are intent on spending the dollars that it's going to cost.


poiseinparma said...

Thanks for the shout out, but sorry to hear you didn't make it to Melt. I was hoping I would have been wrong, for your sake.

You seem to have ended up in my neck of the woods. Stancato's does solid Americanized Italian food. I had to explain to my brother-in-law that chicken parm isn't Italian, but Italian-American. He looked at me like I had three heads. I do love their salad bar options. My husband loves their chicken parm too - the ridiculous portion size doesn't hurt.

As for the Jammin' Java coffee shop: I haven't been there in over a decade - I used to hang there when it was Java Joe's, but don't travel the Ridge/PV intersection enough to stop in. Sounds like it hasn't changed though!

Michael said...

I'm sure we'll get to Melt in truth I was sort of hoping for takeout anyway, just dreading the drive back and forth a bit and the cooling of the food.

Even though I grew up in Parma, it's funny that the Ridge/PV area is still a little unknown to me, but then again, I grew up in the Pearl/Brookpark area, so a bit of haul even from there.