Watching Deadline Whitehouse, making chicken stock and dinner — I must be home. The sky is leaden, rain imminent — I must be home.
Trip to see younger son in Colorado was a little disorienting because we had no room to furnish or apartment to find or supplies to buy. Didn’t drop several hundred dollars at Target, so we went out to eat instead!
Best meal in Denver was not either of the three-dollar-sign dinners, but rather a reasonably priced lunch at Rotary Eats, one of the stalls in a place called Avanti. Avanti : like a food court, only good!
Exterior of Avanti, above, and interior, below.
My selections were roasted chicken thighs, roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce and golden raisins, and the best homemade potato chips I’ve ever had.
Our first special dinner was at The Black Cat in Boulder. The place gets great reviews and takes seriously the farm to table model of dining, but I didn’t like all the pickled vegetables or the flavor of the sauce served with my artisanal pork, so I was a little disappointed. I’m prepared to admit that the fault lay with my palette and not the food preparation. Salad was outstanding — greens picked that morning! — as was the service.
Brunch at “duo” in Denver proved disappointing, too, probably because I’ve had southern biscuits and the biscuits in my breakfast were grainy and muffin-like. K loved his meal, shown next to mine below.
(Biscuits and gravy with two eggs).
Sharing the meal with Denver friends we see about once a year, Marc and Kim, was great though. Marc and I went to law school together.
The other restaurant in the “duo” is located in Vermont.
We had another special dinner in Denver at a place called Vesta. I had braised lamb shank on a hot pepper infused polenta. Delicious! The meat fell off the bone, as it should! Those yellow chips are deep fried garlic slivers — insanely good.
The place is known for its sauces, so we started with a selection. The most popular was the hot pepper, horseradish a strong second.
I’ll leave you with “crack bacon.” I misread the menu at the breakfast joint “Syrup” and thought the dish was “cracked bacon” (as in crispy). Oh no. The strips were sautéed in brown sugar. Caramelized. They meant “crack” as in instantly addictive!
The phone is ringing and it’s not my sister. If you’re tired of her and my relationship, consider this post done!
My sister got very anxious whenever I left town — amped up worry informed mostly by abandonment issues and imagined travel mishaps. She never could keep straight the dates, so for weeks ahead of time, I would have to keep reiterating the plan. It got annoying. It didn’t help to write it on her calendar because usually her calendars went missing.
My sister magnanimously deemed my time away as vacation from her, partly because she knew I needed a little separation and partly because she kept forgetting about cell phones. Even so, to her utter amazement and gratitude, I’d generally check in at least once while away.
Obviously, this trip there was none of that. And no quick call immediately upon arrival home to quell her anxious misery. I missed that a little because her intense relief at my being back was a form of welcome.
On the other hand, there’s the relief: no need to scramble and rush up to the North Shore for a visit during the very same days when I need to settle back into being home. The car engine smelled like burning rubber or oil today while out for groceries. Instead of irritation I felt only gratitude — it wasn’t happening en route to Salem! I wasn’t gonna have to juggle car repair and a trip to Salem! I was headed home, where I would stay for the rest of the day!
It’s been two months and a week since she died — a fact I find amazing.