2017-06-16 Lot 2 – Delayed Review.. 2.5

This one kinda makes me a little sad. I remember when I first had the Lot 2 cheeseburger a couple of years ago and thought it was the bomb. Something about the sauce and the way it was cooked. It was juicy and tasty and the fries and mustard dip were also amazing. But when I had it this week (and it has been quite a while since I have been to Lot 2), it was disappointing.

I went with my friend Amy earlier this week after seeing a show in Benson and so it was late and there were not a lot of people there. Our waiter was good-looking, and nice, and helpful. He was also patient while we deliberated over what drinks to order from the cocktail menu. I ordered the one with vodka as the base, since I’m a vodka girl and the name of it was something so appropriate, like “My own complication”. I don’t remember, I’ll have to call and ask because I remember thinking “That is so me”.

Unfortunately, the waiter and the cocktails were the highlight and perhaps the kale salad coming in third. The salad was exactly how I had remembered and aside from having too many capers, it was pretty delicious. The cheeseburger, as I eluded to, was not good.

The first time it came out, it was extremely rare. So rare, infant, that the bottom bun was literally soggy and smashed down flat to the plate. Totally gross. Since we split it, the first thing we did was cut it down the middle and knew immediately it was undercooked. We had asked for medium. I remember that place sort of undercooking before, slightly. Sort of like asking for medium and getting medium rare, but this was totally off.

We had it sent back and asked for a re-do. This is something I “rarely” do. Haha. When it came out the second time, it was like they over-compensated and it was now over-cooked. Not feeling into a three-peat, we went for it. The flavor was OK, but not as good as I remember and the bun to burger ratio was too high. There were bites that were only bun. I don’t remember the cheese situation (and that should always be memorable) and the other toppings, including the sauce, were also not noteworthy.

The fries were still pretty good, but by the time we were having them, they were not hot any longer and kind of limp.

With 3 being the middle of the 5 point scale, I have to come under that on this one and go with 2.5. Again, very disappointing, and that is totally a reflection of the cheeseburger itself and not the experience as a whole. I would definitely go back for more cocktails, the steak and frites main course, and another chat with that waiter. 😃

Check Please,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-12 Austin – The District Kitchen.. 3.5

On my first night in town Rebecca and I flew solo for a girls dinner out at a place called the District Kitchen, and I had (you can guess), a cheeseburger. It was a bison burger, seasoned and cooked really well with just a touch not enough white cheddar cheese. The fries were good and my only other complaint was that it was not big enough. 😃

According to the menu, the pickles are “house made”, the tomato was farm fresh, and the bun was fresh backed brioche. All of that did not seem to make a difference in the flavor and I would still go with a 3.5. Above average, but not extraordinary.

I’ve had bison a couple of times before and sometimes I can taste a difference in the meat and sometimes I can’t. This leads me to believe that either 1). Somebody’s supplementing their bison meat with cow or 2.) Not all bison are created equal. I also wonder a little bit about the process. I mean, there are tons of cattle ranches across the united states and it is a staple in the American diet. I don’t go hunting for information on it because I think the less I know about it the better. But Bison? That’s an animal that is more “rare” and people seek them out on vacations to national parks and they live on wildlife preserves. They are very wild animals and also known to be dangerous so it just does not seem like the kind of animal that would be on a “farm”. Again, I think the less I know the better, but I still kind of wonder.

At the District Kitchen we had the hummus and veggies and pita chips as an appetizer and I ordered a couple of drinks which went down really easy.

It was all very good but, again, I was not “wowed” by any of it. Truth be told, if I ever go back, I will probably try something else, in the interest of variety being the spice of life. But since my MO is to always default to the cheeseburger first, it had to be done.

One and Done,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-04-13 The VIC Experience.. 4.25

Last night I had dinner at the VI. For those who don’t know, the VI is the Village Inn. It’s an American food chain that is mainly in the midwest states in the United States but does reach as far east as Florida and Virginia and as far west as Oregon and Washington State (not to mention Guam and Alaska). They specialize in breakfast foods and pies, but also have a decent lunch and dinner menu as well. Including Cheeseburgers.

I discovered a few months back that the Cheeseburgers there are pretty top tier, so I thought since I am in the regular habit of describing my experiences in that regard, I would dedicate a blog post to giving the VI a review.

My selection of choice is the All American Cheeseburger. It’s a standard one patty burger on a grilled brioche bun with a selection of several different cheeses to choose from.

I’ve mentioned before that I would never make the mistake of not ordering the fries again because the combo isn’t really reviewable without the fries, but since I’ve had this meal with and without fries for the side like a dozen times, I don’t feel bad admitting that I did not get the fries. Not that they are not good, because they are awesome. I just choose a more healthy side because I know I can already vouch for the fries being delicious.

My choice of cheese is, of course, cheddar, and if there is one thing I think they can do better is use a little extra cheese. Only just because.. well.. cheese.

The hamburger itself is seasoned very well. Not too much and not to bland either and when cooked to medium, is just pink in the middle and very, very juicy. The bun is the bomb and I don’t need catsup or mustard or mayo or any sauce because it’s just so good the way it is. I do add some onion and pickle, for a touch of something else.

I would rate this burger a 4.25 out of 5 and I think that is the highest one I’ve rated so far on this blog. Seriously. There is a reason I go back to VI time and time and time again and always order the same thing. It is not because of the atmosphere in the restaurant as I’m not a super big fan of that. However, the service has always been friendly and the food comes out really fast.

I think the next time I go, I’m going to order the All World Cheeseburger which comes with 2 all beef patties, thousand Island dressing, and an onion ring topper. That will give me something to compare and contrast and frankly just another reason to go to the VI again.

(If you go, go on a Wednesday because you get free fruit pie with your meal. Cherry is my favorite.)

This VIC experience was brought to you by the centers for increased awareness of delicious awesomeness in the form of Cheeseburgers.

Don’t You Want One?
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-04-10 My Own Worst Enemy

It’s still Monday, for another half an hour. I think I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to doing what I know is right.

I declare that the first step to solving my woes is to get enough sleep, yet I’m the one who decides to bake cookies after getting home at 9PM at night. The time it took to make those cookies was 2.5 hours and for sure, I’ve sacrificed some sleep in order to do that.

I know what I should be eating to support a healthy lifestyle, yet I choose to bake cookies and taste tests one from each batch straight out of the oven to see if the slight variations in cooking make a noticeable difference. There is no way I can spin that these cookies are good for me in any way. Sure, they are made from oatmeal and whole wheat flour, but the rest of it is fat and sugar.

That’s all pretty lame and now I’m exhausted and don’t feel good about my decision and can’t even give myself credit for getting 19K steps today (except that I just did). 😉 All the same, I don’t think any amount of exercise would make me feel better. Actually, if the cookies were any good, that might make me feel a little better, but I don’t even like them that much. I’ll probably end up taking most to work tomorrow and giving them away.

So with all these lofty (and some not so lofty) goals, how to I protect myself from myself. How do I force myself to make better decisions. I think part of it comes down to accountability, I wrote a post several weeks ago talking about giving up caffeine. Part of that was the fact that other people I know were also giving up caffeine and that made it easier. We still get coffee, but it’s decaf. I know if we are going to talk about it, then I want to be able to “report” positive things. Maybe the same thing can be applied across multiple areas.

When I was dating Matt, he was the primary person I was accountable to. I would tell him about a thought or a goal and then I knew he would ask me about it again. Like “hey, how is that going?” The people pleaser in me always wants to deliver positive news, so I would make sure that happens.
When I lost that relationship, I lost that one person I was accountable to. I just need more regular contact with my friends and tell them what I’m up to. Maybe they will ask about it the next time and maybe not. Who knows.

I actually spend quite a bit of time with Josh, the guy I went to Saint Louis with and he’s the one who also cut caffeine so maybe I’ll toss some more eggs in that basket and see what scrambles. If I’m going to be my own worst enemy, the answer is to have better friendships.

It’s rolled over to Tuesday so I’d better try and make a good choice now and get to sleep instead of staying up doing something else.

Miss SugarCookie
(the cookies I made were not sugar cookies, how ironic)

2017-04-05 Random Hump-Day Update

This morning I feel pretty good about life in general. I’m well rested and ready for a highly productive work day. I fully intend to get a lot done today and am also looking forward to a sister-date I have scheduled tonight with my lovely sister Jamie. I’ve got a lot to catch her up on and I’m sure she has some good-goodies for me too.

Since I don’t have a lot to write about this morning, how about a random weekly update:

Last night I had 7 hours and 26 minutes.
So far this week my average is 6 hours and 25 minutes.
I’m doing a little better with this balancing act and have not had an “Under 4 hours” night screwing up my average.. yet.

Exercise (according to FitBit)..
Yesterday I had 17,655 steps.
My average in the last 7 days is 16,503.
I had my best recorded day ever last Sunday 4/2 at 26,775.
No Jazzercise since last Sunday. Just not enough time in the day to fit it in this week with work and kids stuff.

Not tracking my food anymore and slowly trying to just substitute healthy choices for not so healthy choices. Sometimes “slowly” means not at all. 😉

That’s it for now, time to get to work.
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-03-28 Jimmi D’s – They Can’t All Be Winners.. 2

Sometimes, it’s just about a Cheeseburger. 😃

On Saturday (yes, I know that was like 3 days ago now), the kids and I met my Mom and Sister’s and my sister’s husband, Bob, at a restaurant and Bar called Jimi D’s. I really like the place, it’s a mid-tier bar, so not a dive and not super schmu-schmu. I’ve probably been there 10 or 12 times in the past so the menu is quite familiar to me and most of the time the food is pretty good.

Strange thing, I’ve never ordered a cheeseburger. I’m not quite sure why that is because as a general rule, if it’s on the menu, I order it (at least once) to see if it’s the next “best thing ever”. I did order it this time, though, and as it turns out, it was not the best thing ever.

The first red flag is when the waitress did not ask me how I wanted it cooked. As the hamburger patty is the star of the show, how it is treated is extremely important. If you don’t find out, and prepare it exactly as desired, then how can it perform on center stage and meet any expectation? As it were, when not asked the norm is medium which is too my liking, but this one was definitely over done.

The patty was dry and somewhat bland. The basic elements were there.. the toasted Kaiser bun, the cheddar cheese (albeit probably not enough for my liking) and some tomato and lettuce on the side. However, there were a few things that were absent from the plate. Pickles and onions are a few that I always like to try with a bite, especially if there is not a lot of flavor to start with.

There was also no inclusion of any other sauce, save for the catsup on the table, to enhance the flavor. I will admit that I like to, again, try to get a baseline without sauce, but in this instance it would almost be a must.

The fries were very average also and did not add anything special to the combo. For a “bar” restaurant, it was pretty disappointing. I would give this one 2 out of 5 and when I go again, I would opt to choose something else on the menu. I know I’ve had good things there, but this one just was not among them. Let’s face it .. they can’t all be winners.

Until Next Cheeseburger,
Miss SugarCookie

2017-03-13 A Test of My Resolve

Yesterday I wrote about giving up Caffeine. I think it was actually the middle of the week last week when I made that decision and had my last sip of sweet french vanilla latte. I did have a couple of days with a slight headache and sort of powered through that. I have not had too many actual cravings, but as I stated yesterday this past weekend I’ve sort of been eating everything my heart desires so that’s probably been keeping me from wanting anything else.

Today, however, I’m running on 2 hours and 38 minutes of sleep (according to my trusty Fitbit). I had to get up this morning at about 7AM and prepare myself for a fairly challenging day at work. I had to power through it. I’m doing it and I’m bound and determined that I don’t need the coffee.

It’s really not been that tough yet, but we’ll see what the day brings.

Also – the sleep thing is so important, and that has to change. I can’t keep doing this to myself and not expect there to be consequences. At this point I’m so far from my daily goal of 7 or 8 hours a night, it’s crazy. I need a better balance.