Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taqueria El Charro

Since Taqueria El Charro is in the old Fuegos spot, I somehow expected this to taste like Fuegos. My rational mind knew it wouldn't, but I'm not always rational. This wasn't like Fuegos at all. In a town with hundreds of Mexican food restaurants, this is one of them.

It was about 6:30 on a weeknight, right after the time change, so it looked like midnight outside. The place was empty and dismal. It had the vibe of an all-night diner at closing time. There was no music playing, so the only noise was the loud hum of the refrigerator next to us filled with sodas, and the swish swish of someone cleaning the grill or sweeping in the kitchen.

Our waitress was nice, but unenthusiastic. She seemed a little intimidated by us. I have no idea why. I ordered cheese enchiladas and Hubby ordered a combo with enchiladas, a taco and a chalupa. I feel like I've had this plate of cheese enchiladas at a hundred other mediocre Mexican restaurants. I blew on my enchiladas to cool them. No need. They were served lukewarm. (The worst temperature for enchiladas)

One other lone customer came in and sat at the opposite end of the restaurant while we were there. He held his head down and completed the late night diner picture. I wish I'd had a better experience, but it left me depressed. Taqueria El Charro just doesn't have the bustle of Taqueria Arandas on Burnet or the vibrance of Cheko's or the family-owned friendliness of Ramos. It was just blah.

The combo plate

Cheese enchiladas

The mural tried to lighten the mood. 

Taqueria El Charro on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pizza Paradise

Pizza Paradise is a solid little neighborhood pizza joint that is take-out & delivery only. The pizza's reliably good and the guys that work there are friendly and fast. Check their website for specials. They are very reasonably priced.

We usually get the Meat Eater. I love the way their little pepperonis curl up into little pepperoni cups on top. This is a special kind of pepperoni that reminds me of a childhood pizza joint. I don't know if they taste different, but they do get nice and crispy, which seems to deepen the flavor. The sausage is nice, and has a little bit of heat. They load on the toppings. If you have them add garlic, it's fresh chopped garlic, not the stuff from the jar. Hubby said their pizza reminded him of when we liked Rockin' Tomato's pizza (they went through a bad spell, but we like them again). Pizza Paradise's "specialty" is that they offer a garlic cream cheese for dipping. It's really yummy. 

The crust here is a little on the thick side, compared to a New York style. But, is far from deep dish. It has a nice subtle sweet yeastiness I like. 

Again, this is a solid choice for pizza if you're in their neighborhood. 

Cute little pepperoni cups excite me. 

Pizza Paradise on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bombay Bistro (South Lamar)

Let me preface this blog with a huge disclaimer: I know very little about Indian food. I've had Indian food exactly one time before from a buffet, and it was kind of mediocre. This blog may as well be titled "A non-Indian girl describes her second experience with Indian food". Decidedly un-foodie, I know. 

Bombay Bistro is casual, but very beautifully and tastefully appointed. The service is impeccable. The wait staff helps each other out, and all were so polite and attentive, yet non-intrusive. The service is on the level of a much more expensive restaurant. 

The first thing they brought to the table was the complimentary giant chip and two sauces. Kind of like chips and salsa. The big chip is folded over like a taco shell and is a whole lot spicier than it looks like it will be. I was amazed at how much flavor the chip could hold, unlike other chip-like things I've had. There was a reddish colored sauce and a green sauce for dipping. I tasted the sauces, I'm hard-pressed to describe either one. They had some familiar flavors, like cumin in the red sauce and mint and cilantro in the green. But, then, they were also very different from anything else I've had. 

For an appetizer, we had fried potato skins. Aloo Bhaja. All the years in Texas caused us to pronounce the "J" like an "H". The waiter very quietly corrected our pronunciation, without trying to shame us. I'm glad he did, because I will definitely order these again and I want to say it right next time. The potato skins are lightly fried in something like a tempura batter and the herbs they were seasoned with were akin to herbs found in falafel. I really enjoyed these. 

One of my husband's favorite things is saag paneer. This is kind of like creamed spinach with homemade fresh cheese lumps, sort of like fresh mozzarella. Bombay Bistro's was seasoned and spiced well. There was much care in the seasoning and preparation of each dish we had, which set it apart (by miles) from my one previous experience with Indian food on a buffet.

We shared the Bombay Mixed Grill (which comes out sizzling like a fajita platter). This was delicious. The chicken was marinated, bright red and moist and reminded me of the bright red short ribs at Chinese restaurants, in that it was both sweet and salty. The lamb was a bit dry, but the flavor was nice and mellow. The shrimp were fine, but not memorable. There was a sort of Indian sausage thing (ground lamb with seasonings) that I didn't care for, but Hubby liked. The naan, oh my goodness, was so delicious, especially the pashawari naan, which was sweet with a bright red filling of nuts and raisins. Naan is cooked in a tandoor (clay oven), which allows parts of it to get a sweet char on it (like a good pizza crust). The other breads were delicious too. The plain naan was so flavored with butter, I said I felt like I was eating a pancake without the syrup. The breads and the meats complemented each other so well. We ordered way too much food, so we had plenty leftover to take home with us. We did order with wild abandon this time. But I don't know what we'd leave out on the next visit. 

This recent visit to Bombay Bistro inspired my husband to stop at the bread aisle in the grocery store and ask, "Should we get some naan?" To which, I replied, singing the great Marvin Gaye hit, "Let's Get the Naan". Yeah, I'm a dork. 

Any errors made in the description of the food are mine and mine alone. 

Indian chips and salsa

Aloo Bhaja. Herbed fried potato skins. 

Paneer Kulcha in the back. Peshawari Naan in the front. We also had plain Naan in a separate basket. 

Basmati Rice

Saag Paneer

Bombay Mixed Grill

Bombay Bistro on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Sheep Lodge

Oh, Black Sheep Lodge. There is nothing lodgey about you aside from the Banff posters on the wall. But, I forgive you the deception. This is really just one of the bars of Austin that has really good food. I like that combination, but I'll have to remember to not go on a UT game day. The noise level reminded me of The Tavern. There was a sea of burnt orange, and every so often (probably not often enough for the fans) the whole place erupted in a cheer. Except for me and Grumpy. We were there for the food. 

We pulled in to meager parking in the front, but it was early in the day, and the tattoo parlor next door wasn't open yet, so we snagged a spot there. And snagged our front bumper, so be careful pulling in. Oh, and I swear there was not a sign when we went in, but when we came out, there was a sign warning us not to park there unless we were getting a tattoo. I pondered it for just a minute to make us honest.

They have a dog-friendly patio in front, with a great view of South Lamar (she says with sarcasm). The patio is practically on Lamar itself. We sat inside, at long heavily-stained and shellacked wood tables with benches, picnic style. There was a cool breeze coming in from doors left open out to the dog-friendly patio. I always marvel at the well-behaved dogs at these dog friendly restaurants. I watched one sweet-eyed German Shepherd sit calmly next to his owner, never begging for food. But his eyes begged me to throw him a corn dog bite. I wanted to. 

Our waitress was really good and completely on top of things despite having to really hustle since they were pretty busy. It's exceptional service for a bar. In fact, we got exceptional service compared to some non-bars we've been to. 

Knowing Grumpy's favorite things, I quickly pointed out to him that they have corn dog bites as appetizers. He volleyed back pointing out they had fried cheese curds. He knows me. We decided to get both apps, but to then split a cheeseburger. I found the corn dog bites, made from Nathan's hot dogs cut into bite-sized pieces, to be a bit too salty for my tasted, but Grumpy liked them. The cheese curds were delicious, but perhaps a bit too greasy. They weren't heavily battered. In fact, I wasn't sure if they were battered at all, or just lightly dredged in flour and corn starch. Maybe the grease just didn't get drained off well enough. The ranch dressing they serve with them was a nice consistency, but it too tasted salty to me, and I normally have a high threshhold for saltiness. 

The burger was one of the best burgers I've had in Austin. And I've had 156 different burgers here. Just kidding. I did keep a count of burgers at one point, but I've lost track of the number. Not that I couldn't figure it out from the list of burgers I keep. I thought it was particularly considerate that, knowing we were sharing the burger, they served it cut down the middle for us. They also served the lettuce and tomato on the side, at my request. Their lettuce is actually field greens, which is nice. 

The half-pound medium rare burger was almost perfect. The grind of the meat was perfect. It was cooked perfectly. The quality of the meat was perfect (no gristle, very juicy, good fat content).  It had a backyard flavor of charcoal grilling and was seasoned lightly with only salt and pepper, letting it actually taste like a burger. We added American cheese (good choice), which continued the backyard home-grilled flavor. The bun was the only thing slightly less than perfect. It wasn't a store-bought bun, but not the bakery style I'm spoiled to. The bottom bun soaked up the beautiful pink juices without getting too mushy or disintegrating completely, but it could have been perfect with a denser bun. Fries were frozen, shoestring (McDonald's style), but freshly fried and very well seasoned.  

I will definitely go back to the Lodge. I've spied several other things on the menu I expect will be good. I'll just make sure it's not on a game day.  Loud cheering doesn't aid digestion. Oh my. I do sound "Fed Up" now, don't I? 

Black Sheep Lodge on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vivo on 620

Hubby: "Where are we going for dinner?"
Me: "Vivo. We have a coupon."
Hubby: "Where's that?"
Me: "You know. Vivo. On 620. By the karaoke chicken place. We've been there before. You liked it."
Hubby still looked puzzled. 
Me: "The place with the booby pictures. The wall of booby pictures. The booby wall."
Hubby: "Oh yeah. They don't have nipples, which is weird."

So, with that sorted out, we went to Vivo on 620. We've been to the original Vivo on Manor Road and it also has booby pictures, but we sat on the beautiful patio at that one. The Vivo on 620 has a patio as well, and they've done their best with the potted plants to make it lush, but it still overlooks a parking lot. And we aren't really patio people anyway, most of the time. 

This is kind of a hard place to describe. It has a weird loungy feel to it, that my Mom would likely describe as "swanky". She wouldn't be wrong, but this is Austin. So the first time we were in said swanky lounge, crammed into a half-moon booth probably meant to be romantic, but we're an old married couple, and how romantic is it to have to slide all the way around in a booth to sit by each other? Anyway, the first time we went to Vivo, there was a loud, large table with a newborn, the new parents, and the in-laws. One of the grandmothers, probably liberated by the presence of booby pictures and booze, was going on and on about breastfeeding her younger son, presumably the very embarrassed-looking college-aged kid at the table who looked like he was plotting how to skulk out unnoticed. But, not before he told a story about his brother (the new father) and an old girlfriend (not the current wife and new mother). So, honestly, as an old married couple with no news of the day to share, we sat at in the half moon looking out onto the table at which this Lifetime drama was unfolding. Most fun we've had in a long time. I'm sorry that same table of people won't be if you go. 

On our most recent visit, we were seated at a table instead of a half-moon booth, which was more comfortable both socially and physically. There were quite  a lot of "girl's night out" tables. Middle-aged "girls".  (Hey, I'm one of them, so I'm not complaining. But, seriously, we're really annoying when we get a "girls night out", aren't we?) I didn't see any families this time, because really, you can't have the "booby wall" conversation with youngsters, can you? Oh, and they play some club-like trance music, but it sounds far away, like the real lounge is through a secret door. 

The food is really delicious. I wish the place were more down to earth, and we'd probably eat there all the time. It's not expensive, it's just not always the vibe we're looking for. The chips are always freshly fried and puffy and crisp. I actually love their salsa (and I rarely eat salsa). Theirs is the kind where everything is roasted to a dark brown, then pureed. It's got some heat, so I dip carefully. But, there is a depth of flavor from the roasting that I really enjoy. We also ordered queso, and I said "I know it's just Velveeta, but it's sooooooo good." Actually, I don't know that it is Velveeta, but it is a smooth creamy cheese with a dollop of something hot and smoky in the middle. Just try to stop eating it. I dare you. 

I ordered the chile enchiladas... yummy cheese enchiladas drowning in a pool of rich ancho chile gravy and smothered with more cheese. Why did I just use "drowning" and "smothered" in my food description? Foreshadowing? Will these enchiladas be the death of me? Maybe. The rich brown sauce is both familiar and unique to Vivo. It's familiar in that it reminds me of my Mom's brown gravy she makes with a pot roast. (Do they throw in some real beef stock and Kitchen Bouquet and love?) But, if you're thinking you don't want roast beef gravy on your enchiladas, these are punched up with the chile, so they still have the Tex Mex flavor you're expecting. And the cheese... oh, the cheese... Vivo takes just up to the bar where you might think it's too much cheese, but doesn't step over that line. (The line which is just shy of the cheese sticking to the roof of your mouth as you eat.) The tortillas are soft and seem to have "become one" with the cheese and the sauce. In a small way, the tortillas remind me a bit of pasta, like manicotti, when it's there holding stuff in, but has also absorbed the flavors around it. The rice and beans are also good at Vivo. They use brown rice, which I usually find pretty bland, but their rice is good and I like to eat it with the extra enchilada sauce. Their beans are particularly good here, but I can't for the life of me tell you why. Maybe they just season them better than most places. 

On this last visit, the service was interesting. They are pretty good about keeping the chip basket filled because they share that duty. Food comes out when expected and the staff is nice. But, this particular tattoo-sleeved waitress on this night, kept my husband's glass full at all times and even topped off his tea, while I sat with an empty glass she pretended not to notice. Not cool. If we're going to get bad service, it better be both of us. And normally, at the end of the meal both Vivo locations have a nice tradition of bringing the ladies of the table a rose. I didn't get a rose this time. Oh well. 

We ended the meal with flan, which was good, but not the greatest flan we've had. Maybe we were too full. Or maybe I had a bitter taste in my mouth from the waitress. 

Here's a link to Hubby's blog about Vivo. 

Yummy Chile Enchiladas. Notice how the cheese gets nice and browned on the top. I don't know why, but that single chip they put on each plate is always stale. 

Creamy queso with a dollop of smokiness. Sorry about the picture quality. I took it too quick before it got molested. 

Hubby's Emma's Plate with Puffy Taco and Enchiladas. 

The half-moon booths are all padded in black leather and each have a spotlighted pop art picture. I'm not sure what they're saying when they put you in a padded booth. 


The wall of nippleless boobies. 

Vivo Cocina Mexicana on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

360 Uno Trattoria

Outside the main entrance to 360 Uno Trattoria, there is an added room with windows onto the parking lot and a neon sign in scroll-y letters announcing their "Pizza Gallery". My husband, The Grumpy Fat Man said "Pizza Gulag? Where are you taking me?" Here's a link to his funny recounting of our trip to the Pizza Gulag, I mean Pizza Gallery, which is really just the restaurant side of 360 Uno.

Entering the main door, you are in the casual side of 360 Uno, where you can order coffees, glasses of wine, gelato, or other cafe items. There is a doorway midway along the way, heavily draped with a foreboding velvet curtain where you can await to be granted entrance to the full service dining side. We know that because there's a weird little sign at the velvet curtain saying "Full Service Only". Hmm, should I hand them my car keys and tell them to top off the air in my tires?

Anyway, a young man in white shirt and black slacks asks if we have a reservation. I can see in. The dining room is less than a quarter full. I said "Do we need them?" (This is a Pizza restaurant, right? Or is it a Pizza Gallery where the waiflike patrons of Westlake just look at pizzas on the wall and comment on the pizza artist's angst as defined by the placement of the black olives?)

Oh, his answer was "No", we didn't need reservations, but he told us he'd ask the manager if we could take the reserved table that someone had not shown up for at 7pm. (It was at least 8:30 at the time, oh and there were still more empty tables than occupied ones.) It takes the host an eternity of at least five minutes to come back and let us know we could have the Reserved table. During that time, my husband was about to walk out. I didn't have to look back to know he was rolling his eyes. He doesn't abide pretentiousness, but I can see how this place might use it to their advantage in Westlake.

Our host turned out to also be our waiter, who quickly snatched up the wine glasses the table had been pre-set with when we declined wine. I think he may have huffed while doing this. This set off more eye-rolling, actually from Grumpy and me. Oddly, our Reserved table had no flatware, although a few of the other tables were pre-set with utensils.  They brought out my husband's salad and we almost played the "how long will it take them to notice" game. Actually, to try to smooth out the evening, I offered to grab some off one of the empty tables, but hubby wouldn't hear of it. I finally asked a passing waitperson and she was apologetic. He finally got to start on his salad, which was simple and delicious (he shared with me). It was just bright fresh arugula, some grated parmegiano reggiano, and a lemon vinaigrette.

We then ordered the Polpette appetizer, which is meatballs in a marinara sauce. When our original host cum waiter brought them out, he stated "We threw in some bread". I almost laughed. I guess he figured out the attitude wasn't going over well. Or maybe it was an apology for leaving us without flatware. Um, thank you? The classical music they were piping in suddenly made me feel like I was in some weird cartoon.

The meatball appetizer was good. The meatballs were moist, and I suspected they had been steamed to keep them that way. The marinara was simple and delicious. We enjoyed the dish.

When the pizza was brought out, our waiter slammed our plates down on the table. Did we betray him in a past life? Did either one of us look like a former lover that jilted him? At this point, we were enjoying the food and the "show" and just laughed about it.

The pizza was the Tutti Carni (all meat) and it was delicious. At first sight, I wasn't impressed with the crust. It looks like it's going to be the "cardboard" style mass-produced pizza crust with pre-poked holes to eliminate the beautiful bubbles from a hot oven. And they didn't let any charring mar the beauty of the crust either. It turned out it was a simple crust to allow the toppings to shine. They sliced the Italian sausage lengthwise so that each piece was adorned with plenty of sausage. The pepperoni was imported and was thinner and larger around than most pepperonis. The seasoned meat, when tasted alone, tasted like taco meat. I'm not kidding. But somehow, all of the flavors worked together beautifully.

The waiter, finally loosening up the attitude in the end, told us they have free wine tastings every Friday. Maybe he was just glad to see us leave. But, we'll be back, when we want some good food and a good laugh.

  360 Uno Trattoria & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gourdough's Big. Fat. Donuts

If you haven't been to Gourdough's, forget anything you think you know about donuts. This place redefines donuts.

I first went to Gourdough's first in March of 2010. They'd been open less than six months, but I had been planning a trip there since I heard about them... even before they opened. The thing about being married to a Grumpy Fat Man is that it's hard to get him excited about eating outside at a picnic table. It's hard to get him to drive to South Lamar. And it's hard to get him to any place he perceives to be trendy or over-hyped. This was a nice cool evening and we each ordered a donut, then sat at a picnic table and waited and enjoyed the crisp evening breeze. Grumpy became grumpier and grumpier as time wore on. Grumblings about waiting thirty minutes for a donut made small talk difficult. He said almost nothing while eating his donut, except to comment that they "just throw stuff on them, they aren't filled or anything". I thought to myself, this is probably the last time I'll get to eat here.

That first time, I had chosen to "make my own" with brownie batter, caramel and pecans. The nice guy at the window said "don't you want a frosting?" and explained that the batter was a filling. So I went with fudge frosting. The donut itself was much like a funnel cake. It was cake-ier than I expected, being more accustomed to raised donuts. The funnel cakeness sort of fought with the other flavors. I should have gone with fewer flavors, but oddly enough also thought each of the flavors could have been more... the fudge could have been fudgier. The caramel could have been more caramelly. And I probably wouldn't add the brownie batter again, since that's exactly what it tasted like, but it wasn't as rich as I expected, it was just like batter. Unlike the Grumpy Hubby, I didn't have a problem with everything being on top. You're going to get all of the flavors in each bite whether it's filled or topped. They are super generous with the toppings. I wonder if anyone ever goes there and orders a dozen for themselves. I wonder if the nice guy at the window silently laughs. Just one of Gourdough's creations will put even a sugar fiend like me in a sugar coma.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when my grumpy husband woke up recently and said "I want a maple donut with bacon bits sprinkles on it."
The voice in my head: "Really?" (Because the only time I've seen him eat a maple donut was when he was stealing mine.) But instead of reminding him of the burgled donut incident, for which he paid a high price, I just said "You want Gourdough's?"
He said "They have that?"
I said, "well, it's not bacon bits, it's whole pieces." 
In unison: "Even better".

Walking up to the airstream, I had to endure some really bad punk rock music. The particular track sounded like a thirteen year old girl singing about wanting to be a unabomber. It turns out it was early The Donnas. (I had to look it up). Aside from that, we were the only customers at the time and again, the guy was really friendly (being over a year later, I don't know if it was the same guy). Grumpy got The Flying Pig. (Thank you to my hubby's friend Chris for posting the inspirational bacon bits donut from Cali, so we had to one-up him with the whole hog.) I got one bite of his and it was delicious. I got the Heavenly Hash, which on the menu was a donut with fudge frosting, marshmallow and "fudge candy" on top. I actually didn't find any "fudge candy" on top, but it was oddly topped with  Oreos. Well, actually, as Grumpy pointed out, they didn't have the Oreo brand stamped into the cookie, so they were un-Oreos. Or "Faux-reos"? (Do they still make Hydrox? My grandma always had some stale Hydrox at her house. And stale fake oreos are perfectly fine when dunked in milk.) Although, I didn't think the Fauxreos went well with the other flavors of the Heavenly Hash, so I ate those separately. I liked my donut much better this time, possibly because it wasn't preceded by thirty minutes of Grumpy Bear? Nonetheless, it was decadent. Delicious. And I couldn't finish mine. Sadness. 

Heavenly Hash

Flying Pig

Grumpy finished his. He liked it this time. 

Gourdough's on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pappasito's Cantina

I'm going to tell you a secret. This might be the number one place in Austin that I want to be, aside from home. The colors make me happy. The whole place is eye candy for me. The place is festive and alive and has never let me down. I did go to the Dallas location once and was oddly put off by that one. it was a bit too Mexico-meets-Vegas for me, but the food was still good.

Can you say that? The food is good at Pappasito's? It's far from authentic, and yeah, it's a chain. But, still, it tastes good. Starting with that creamy green salsa they put on the table with the chips. You also get traditional red salsa, which isn't bad. But the green. What's in this creamy green salsa? I love it. Yet, I can't tell what's in it. (Not something that usually happens to me.) Every third bite or so had a tiny cilantro fleck that dominated the flavor. One bite had heat, but no detectable pepper flavor. Every bite was slightly different. I know there was no jalapeno in it for sure, though. I could tell if someone waved a jalapeno over the empty dish before they started preparing something. But, what IS in this?

So, normally I order cheese enchiladas here. And the sauce they use for the enchiladas is so yummy, I could drink it. But, this time, I ordered Shrimp Brochette tacos. Shrimp Brochette is shrimp wrapped in bacon, and I think it may have been stolen from the hors hors d'oeuvres platter earlier in the day (wow I almost spelled hors d'oeuvres without having to look it up, thanks to an old friend who would pronounce it "horse doovers".) The shrimp itself was fresh, but they had definitely pre-wrapped it in bacon and it had been sitting for some time. The tacos are normally served with shredded cabbage, but I had them leave that off. (Picky here.) So, mine had the shrimp brochette with cilantro, queso fresca, avocado, and a chipotle aioli. There was quite a bit of cilantro, and that flavor is pungent,  so after a bit I'm suffering cilantro-fatigue. They are double-wrapped in corn tortillas, and I find that the corn flavor is also over-powering, so they were much more balanced when I removed the outer tortilla. Also, I need to remember that the allure of queso fresca on the menu doesn't always add a lot to the dish. I could hardly tell it was there. Or the bacon, for that matter, and I should have tasted the bacon. My husband gave me a bite of his cheese enchiladas and I was reminded I should never stray from my favorite dish again.

For sides, you get a choice of beans. I prefer charro beans to refried. "Cuchi Cuchi". (Please tell me I haven't done my Charo joke before. Oh, who am I kidding? I do that every time I say the word "charro") Anyway, charro beans are more like cowboy beans. Meaty pinto beans. I don't like their rice at all. Which is fine. There's too much food on the plate. Something has to go.

One issue that's made the last couple experiences a tad less than happy. They've seated us in tables squished in by the window. One time, it was cold outside and I was feeling a strong draft on my left side from the window, but some selfish woman had taken an extra chair from our table to use for her coat, so I had nowhere to move. Hubby did offer to switch with me, but I would have had to move her coat rack/chair out of the way to do so, and I wasn't up for the drama. The next time, we were squished at a table next to the window again, possibly the same table. This time, an older gentleman boxed me in when he was seated at the table next to us a little later. He also didn't seem to notice the back of his chair was nudging against the corner of my chair. Near the end of the meal, I started to strategize how I was going to shift my chair so I could get out. Problem solved by my gallant hubby who got up first and pulled our table out a bit so I didn't have to put my ass in the elbow of the oblivious older man. This exit definitely took some tactical planning, but my husband executed my extraction without casualties, and all was well in the end.

Pappasito's Cantina on Urbanspoon