2018-06-29 The Railcar Cheeseburger and Other Random Unrelated Drama.. 4 🍔👍🏻

Yesterday I met one of my former coworkers for a happy hour drink at a place called the Railcar. I probably meet up with Her about once every six weeks or so. We first met at my last job and as fate would have it, we started on the exact same day in 2012. We were on different teams but got it off pretty much right away.

She was very much my confidant, for both work related rants and personal issues. Toward the end of my relationship with Matt she was the one who said something that I took to heart. One afternoon I had had a lunch Meetup with him where my already broken heart was crushed into a thousand small shards because I said “I love you” and he walked away leaving me unrequited. It was such a stabbing pain and I cried my eyes out all the way back to the office. Arriving back to work, Sam and I crossed paths at the front doors. She recognized my state (trying to pull that shit in and get it back together) and she said to me “..you deserve better. You deserve someone who can’t wait to talk to you everyday, someone who is excited to see you..” There was more to it, but in my delicate state, that’s all I remembered and it finally sank in.

That was a turning point for me. A huge step forward acknowledging the truth in her words. Of course now I know how it feels, to have a person who wants me like that in my life. It’s glorious.

Anyway, Sam outlasted me at that job but in the end it was very much the same end to the same story. They use you until they loose you. Endless human capital out there in the world apparently, but a terrible way to operate. Her story is not mine to tell but I can say this much… she’s worlds happier where she is now. And what’s more, the weight of the world and the fate of the company is no longer hanging in the balance and depending on the success of pushing past limits week in and week out. We do our jobs well and then we clock out. Get in and get out and leave the drama in the cube.

Well Hell – is this a post about my life struggles or a cheeseburger review or what?😜 Getting to the point now…

So we met at Railcar to do our regular catch up session and tell the stories of the day. It was good. I’ve had their Happy hour cheeseburger before and have been remiss in actually writing about it. What I can say is that it’s one worth repeating.

It’s a little smaller than a normal restaurant burger. It’s bigger than a slider but not nearly the size of that half pound beast I had at Garbos. It’s because it’s their happy hour special and just a slightly smaller version of their dinner entree offering..

THE RAILCAR WAGYU BURGER
red top farms ground short rib, bacon apple jam, red onion, romaine lettuce, brie cheese, garlic aioli

One thing I would comment on right away is that it is really tough to grill a smaller party and get it right. So easy to overcook, but this one is spot on. The only change I requested from the standard was swapping cheeses. I had cheddar instead of Gouda. Typically I would say hold the lettuce too but since this is not my first Rodeo at the Railcar, I know they don’t overdo it like they do at some places. Some places pile on the lettuce like they think you wanted a salad instead of beef. Either that or there’s not a lot of substance and they are making the burger look bigger using a giant stack of green. Totally unnecessary. Railcar gets that. There’s just enough lettuce to add some fresh texture and crunch and it serves as an excellent topping to hold onto the sauce, which is quite tasty in its own right. A little sweet and a little savory… nothing at all akin to ketchup and mustard which is a good thing.

The cheese was melty and the bun was slightly toasted. My only complaint would be that it could use a slightly larger portion of cheese. Being a happy hour treat it’s served solo so at some point I’ll have to try the full entree. In any case, it’s a solid 4 and I’ll definitely be back for more.

(I’d go back again anyway since this spot is a regular meet-up location for Sam and I). 😊

Until Next Bite,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-06-25 The Key West Garbos Cheeseburger.. 4.5! 🧡🍔

My Key West vacation might be over, but I’m not closing the book until I capitalize on the opportunity to do a review the two Cheeseburger experiences I had on my journey. All I have to say about this first one is “move over burger boys, you never stood a chance”. In all fairness, my score of 4.5 is somewhat biased due to the overall experience. This was truly a Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Mid-way through our trip I mentioned to JS that I’d like to find a delicious burger and like everything else in my life right now, it was “ask and you shall receive”. No sooner did the words slip from my lips, and he was hot in the case finding the perfect place. That place turned out to be the Blackfinn Bistro.

That afternoon we drove the familiar route from our condo to where all the hustle and bustle of the Island starts. The island is small, 2 miles by 4 miles. Lots of people get around on bikes and scooters and parking a car is a serious bitch, so once we found a spot and paid for it, we were committed. The bistro was a short two or three blocks away and when we arrived we were met at the door by a printed page that indicated the establishment was closed for an indeterminate amount of time for renovations. What??!! It would have been nice for them to put that on their web sight. Epic fail.

Not to worry, Jim was Johnny on the spot with a backup plan. Soon we were off on foot to find Garbos, which was number 2 on his list. We walked almost 2 miles, which if you are paying attention, is most of the distance across the island. When we arrived we found a dive bar and nestled in back of that lot was a tiny food truck. That’s Garbos.

The reviews of this place are great and they are known for their spectacular fish tacos, but that’s not my game. Nope.. for Miss SugarCookie it’s all about the Cheeseburgers. There’s only 1 on the menu.. the Umamiburger:

UMAMIBURGER

1/2 pound angus, topped with a heirloom tomato, applewood bacon, chipotle gouda then served on a brioche bun. If you are feeling a little adventures ask for the Landon Calrissian.

Since I don’t care for chipotle flavor, I had them substitute their smoked Gouda instead. It was a Gouda choice! 😜 After we ordered, we had a seat inside the bar and had them pour us a couple of cold ones while we waited. There was no AC and it was damn hot out. I was sweaty, hot, and hungry from our little walk across the island and so when they placed it in front of me, I dove right in (after getting a quick pic for posterity of course).

Can you say “amazing”? Say it with me… “Amazing”. Like the Universe was rewarding me for all my good deeds, this burger was perfect for me. The burger was cooked to my liking, medium rare and had just the right amount of juicyness. The Gouda cheese was melted on the patty and topped with bacon and tomato, also at just the right proportions. The brioche bun was delish. This burger was proof that if done right, no sauce is required. I would not have wanted it any other way. It’s also proof that a food truck can turn out food just as good or better than any fancy Bistro. Sorry Blackfinn, you loose.

My 4.5 rating out of 5 is a comprehensive score that takes the experience into account too. That’s why I’m saying there’s a little bit of bias in it. I mean, having something that you love with someone that you love in a wonderful place is tough to top.

Well done Garbos.. if I ever get back to the Keys, I’ll be paying you another visit. Maybe next time I’ll get the fish tacos instead. (Hahaha, fat chance).

Enjoying Every Bite,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-21 Key West Day 2

We’ve already done so much here I can hardly believe we’re only in the middle of day 2. Yesterday we went on a glass bottom boat tour around the see and it was about 45 minutes out, 30 tooling around out on the aqua water and 45 back. What can I say about Florida so far?… it’s hot and the sun is brutal.

When we arrived back at port we walked around that very touristy part of town and stopped in a few places to have a drink. One of those places was Captain Tony’s which had live music and hundreds of dollar bills stapled to the walls and ceiling (it also had a bunch of bras hanging from the ceiling too). We sat for a bit and talked and then moved on down the street. I’m not much for shopping so just walking around and talking was nice. We It’s a very interesting area with lots of rich history. In the evening we had dinner reservations for a really nice place.

We had crab cakes and oysters for apps and I had rated my crab cake at lunch the day before at a six out of 10. This one was a solid 8. It’s about the crab and the way it is prepared, but also about the sauce. A good sauce can elevate any dish a few points and is absolutely necessary to hit the top. Cheeseburgers might be my main jam, but crab cakes are on my top three list. If I go somewhere they have these things, I’m commanded internally to order them. The third thing on that list is a Reuben sandwich. If I ever go somewhere and they have all three, then I know I am in trouble.

The name of this place was Prime – and I knew JS would be getting the surf and turf and I didn’t really feel the need to have a steak also so I elected to have order the pork chop with mashed potatoes instead. Again it was the sauce that made it what it was. At dinner we had more great conversation and I ended getting a little teary confessing my feelings. Not that the alcohol had anything to do with that but I had had a few more drinks with dinner and they were not made for a lightweight like me. I know he feels the same as me because I can see it in his eyes. He reciprocated my affections and we finished our meal and walked hand in hand around the docks. It was wonderful. Everything with him has been wonderful. He has gone above and beyond to make this trip really special and has done a great job planning everything.

When we got back to our condo, I was still really tipsy and insisted that we get in our swim suits and head out to the pool. We grabbed another cold drink from the fridge and did just that. By this time, the sun was long set and it was dark save for the lights around the pool area. We were the only ones around and swam back and forth for a little bit. I suppose I was just trying to get the most out of the day as I could, because that’s just who I am. I didn’t want the day to end. I know I will never have an opportunity to re-live the day, so I didn’t want to waste a minute.

I don’t even know what time it was when we decided to head back inside, but it eventually seemed like the right thing to do. Of course we had a little bit of sexy time and then both fell fast asleep for the night after that. A very full day indeed.

Today has already topped yesterday which is tough to imagine. I definitely intend to write all about it because I never want to forget all the things, but we are soon to be headed out to explore a different area of town soon.

Loving Every Minute,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-07 The JS Cheeseburger 🍔- A Solid 3.75

3.75 Out of 5. I’m going to try not to focus too much on the fact that my rating scale is flawed and needs some refinement and just roll with it.

I had another JS burger experience last night and it’s the 4th or 5th time so it’s about time I broke down the facts and shared about it.

First, the beef.. Nebraska grass fed obtained from the local Whole Foods, cuz that’s how we roll. No spices, just smashed into patties and cooked on a medium/high gas flame grilll. Five minutes each side and I get to hang out and talk with the cook while he works his magic.

Once the burgers are done, it’s back to the kitchen so the assembly can take place. For mine, it’s two slices of cheese, one aged white cheddar of unknown origin and one Kraft medium orange cheddar (white on the bottom and orange on top). Dill pickle slices and Dijon mustard on top of that. All between a gluten free ciabatta bun. There were als more dill slices on the side with lays potato chips. Delicious!

On the down side.. The burger was cooked a little more than I like it and the post grill prep of the rest of the food took too long and by the time we sat down to eat, it wasn’t very hot anymore.

On the plus side, I really was in control of my own toppings and got to snuggle up next to my sweetie when we were done eating and continue watching our new show. We finished “Lost In Space”, which was great, and started “The Colony”. Last nights got we got through episode 3 and so far so good. But this isn’t a review of TV shows, it’s a review of a Cheeseburger. 🍔 😜

This particular time, I’m giving it a 3.75 because it’s still better than most but there’s definite room for improvement. I’ve had 4s and even 4.25 here before but that was under different circumstances. Nameley a different bun. The quality of the bun is on me. I’m gluten free right now and that’s mostly so I stop eating so much bread and pasta. I wouldn’t even be having gluten free bread if it weren’t for the fact that eating a burger without a bun is against my religion. So for this I have to make an exception.

The great news on this one is that I’m gonna have lots of opportunities to improve the score. I’m seeing a long happy future with JS perfecting ‘our’ cheeseburger.

After dinner and the show, we jumped in the car and did a loop around the city to watch/follow a pretty bad-ass thunderstorm. It came from the north and bypassed the west part of town so we headed east. We ended up seeing a couple intense cloud to ground lightning strikes and were pretty close to the action. By the time we finished the loop it had dissipated and I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch. It was a great night. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another Burger in the Books,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-04 List Of Ten Things…

… to do when you fall asleep at 9PM and wake up before the butt crack of dawn:

1. Open the curtains and windows cuz it’s a beautiful day.

2. Realize the sunrise is amazing and put on sweatpants to stand in your driveway to take some pics.

3. Decide better shots are waiting at the top of the hill and get in your car and drive.

4. Take some great snaps of a pink cloud filled sky from your car while stopped at stoplights.

5. Go to Wal-mart cuz you are out of oatmeal and cilantro and you’re in pajamas already so you’ll fit right in.

6. Get in your car and drive home cuz the sunrise is finished and you’re so over it.

7. Put your groceries away.

8. Change out the filter in your water pitcher.

9. Check Sunday stats in your AWS environment and update the customer metrics spreaadsheet.

10. Hit the Gym!

That’s been my day so far.. and it’s just now only 7:30am!

I’ve got other lists if you are interested. Just ask me. 😜

Getting to the gym early and some ass-hat is on my machine. Not only am I on a different machine, but I forgot my water and that bites. On the bright side, the tunes in my ear are brilliant so far. Right now it’s “The Fear” by Lily Allen. A classic. She was pretty much a one album Wonder, but I still dig when those tunes come up in the shuffle.

Sprinkle in a little Cake and some Imagine Dragons and “Walaa” … Magic!

And just about the time I think it can’t get better, I realize I’m playing one of my favorite gym mix playlists. No wonder. It’s not the Universe that’s magic, it’s just me and another one of my lists.

It’s Monday again and I’m on this kick where I choose some area to focus on and set a goal for the week. This week it’s got to be food and diet, and crossing not one, not two, but 5 things off my June list. Since I’m traveling about half of this month, I’ve got a limited amount of time to work with, and a seemingly never ending list of “stuff” that needs to get done.

On the food thing, I’m instituting a list of restrictions and a few other “rules”. I’m not going all cray-cray with it, like starting that Whole 30 nonsense again (yet). I’m going to see how I do with just a few steps in that general direction first.

1. Gluten free. Yeah… no bread. Bread makes you fat.

2. No added sugars (with a few realistic exceptions). Sugar makes you fat.

3. Minimize dairy.. just a reasonable amount of cheese.

4. Drinking at least 120 oz water every day.

5. Fasting from 8pm till 11am each day

I think that’s enough for now. We’ll see what turns out to be the hardest part.

On the monthly goals list I’m planning to check off the following:

1. Get my W4 changed.

2. Order my summer school books.

3. Get the recall maintenance on my car scheduled/done.

4. Use my Recyclebank points before they go away forever (hey that’s today).

5. Get tomato/pepper cages and get them put in.

Ok, I think that’s enough lists for one day/week. It’s time to stop planning and start crossing that shit off.

Making Monday My Bitch!

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-03 A Sunday with Significance

But first.. weekly stats! The top areas of focus this week were sleep and work so I’ll start there.

Sleep.. 7 hours and 12 mites average sleep per night. Score! That’s 12 minutes above goal and I only missed hitting that two of 7 nights. Next stop – 7 and a half. It’s all about baby steps though, and not being too unrealistic. This week I’ll be with My sweetheart and that means I’m liable to get less sleep. I should set an overall long term goal to be to average out to 7 hours a night. My Fitbit supports calculating averages for a week, month, three months, and for the year. Interesting that I’m already really close to the 7 hour mark for this year (6 hours and 57 minutes) so maybe I should shoot for 7.5 instead. 🤔

Work.. The last two weeks have been great. This past week I clocked my new minimum of 30 hours. It’s my new minimum because now I have to foot the bill for the kids’ health insurance which got dropped when my ex quit his job in April. It’s an extra 600 bucks a month. Gross! Interesting side note, he’s just this week quit yet another job. Supposedly he has another lined up AND is saying he’s putting the kids on the new company plan. I’ll believe it when I see it cuz i just can’t trust anything really unless there’s proof. I. Short.. I’ve got to maintain at least 30 hours to stay qualified for my company plan. And those extra hours will not yield a higher paycheck because the cost of the insurance will be more than the extra I’m making. 🙄

Now for the best of the rest..

Exercise. Average 11k steps and zero Jazzercise classes. That’s right, a big fat goose egg for the exercise classes. I also happened to do my monthly pulse check on finances yesterday and those classes cost me 60 bucks a month. As a consequence, and figuring the low class participation is a trend that’s going to continue all summer, I went ahead and cancelled my membership. WHAT??! 😮 Words I never dreamed I would write, but I’m realistic and if I’m not getting out of it what I put in 💲💲💲, it’s not worth it. The dollar rules a lot of life decisions, this is no exception. 🤑

I’m going to take a break for at least as long as I need to in order to take advantage of the bonus plan. Which are deals they offer former customers to return like 1 whole year for 399. That would basically cut my cost in half. That’s a sweet deal. In the mean time, I’ll be doing more outside and can pick up some classes at the gym to compensate, when I have time.

In other news, my diet/eating still needs to be reined in. I weigh more now than I have for like 10 years. I know exercise is not my problem… I know it’s food and potentials changes in my metabolism. Getting old sucks. The most ducked up part of all of it is this trend started when I did that insane Whole 30 diet with my sister in January. I didn’t loose any weight those 30 days and have been steady climbing ever since. I’ve gained about 10 lbs, which doesn’t sound like a lot but for me it is.

It’s bothered me so much I’ve considered going back on the Whole Foods diet just to see if it has any affect doing a second round. I’ve also considered going gluten free again. If I do either of these two things, it will be a good test of how JS handles me having food restrictions. Matt never took that well and was not supportive. It always bugged me the way he would roll his eyes about that stuff. Whatever.

Actually part of my weight gain could be a result of being in a new relationship and happy and just enjoying indulging in all the wonderful things in life together. Yeah, we work out together but we also eat together and having someone else cooking and serving me means I haven’t been choosing my own portion size. That’s gonna change this week.

Which brings me to why today is significant. Today is our 3 month Anniversary AND later today we are having a Meetup at his house where our kids will meet for the first time. Yowza! I’m trying not to think about it too much. I mean, they are all teenagers and I’m sure it will be fine. But I can’t help but have some anxiety thinking about it.

It’s going to be a fantastic Sunday! It’s beautiful out, the birds are singing, and everything is going my way. I’m so fortunate and I know it. This June is going to be busy and just balls-out amazing with the trips planned. Cheers to a great start to it all.

Rolling Into Sunday Sumner Fun,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS. If you tuned in to see how last nights cliffhanger turned out, all I have to say about it is that Sleep took over and after I posted I never even got back out of bed. (So lame! 😜)

2018-05-19 Eleven Week Meetup

It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon. I’m at the gym trying to work of a big lunch. JS an I were talking last night about the foods we used to eat when we were young and in HS and college and it reminded me of my very favorite thing ever (or was a hundred years ago).

Blue box macaroni and cheese paired with applesauce. It had to be Kraft and from the box, none of that easy Mac stuff they sell now. Talking about it gave me such a craving. When I was at the grocery earlier getting stuff to cook dinner I picked up a box and some sugar free organic applesauce. I made that for lunch today for C and I and it was so good. I overate a little and now I just feel full. Hopefully 10k steps on this machine will make me feel better.

Big deal for me later.. not only am I cooking dinner for us (first time for that), but he’s also meeting my kids. I mean, it feels like a big deal even though it’s really not. He’s a cool cat and my kids won’t care much. Hopefully we’ll have a nice dinner and good conversation and then he and I are headed across the Missouri to go to an art exhibit at my sisters building (she lives in an artist complex that’s an old building downtown turned into apartments). I’m sure it will all be fine but I’m kinda nervous anyway hoping it goes well.

The cooking part is kind of funny actually because he’s cooked for me no less than like two dozen times (or more) now. Just about every time I go to his place we have a meal and he’s never let me help. Well one morning I was on bacon duty. 😜

I’m totally not used to that. He pours me a glass of wine and I just sit there and watch him while he cooks, and we talk. This time I’m cooking and one must remember I’m used to cooking for my kids and I and we don’t ever eat anything fancy. Mostly because they are so picky and don’t like flavor. I’ve always been good at my job, but with all the domestic stuff, I’m very so-so.

After cooking for Simon a couple of times he sort of always gave me a look when the subject came up. “Oh honey, not everyone can be good at everything”. Gawd, but that was Simon.. always making me feel inadequate. “Can you crack an egg?” What a patronizing thing to say. JS would never do that and, of that, I am certain.

Anyway, so that’s going down in a couple of hours. It will be fine I’m sure. The trick will be to cook a meal everyone will like and nobody will turn their nose up. I want the kids to leave a good impression and People eye rolling and refusing to eat will just not do. I just really want the kids to like him and for him to like the kids. Today is the 11 week anniversary of the day we met. Wowza! Time flies. That’s a good amount of time to wait to introduce the kids right? I hope so.

I’d better get back to cleaning up the house now that my lunch has settled.

Peace Out, ✌️

~Miss SugarCookie