Nice day

Grand and Perkins

The weather today was a little unsettled but very nice. Early in the morning we had the first wave of rain. Pretty heavy, and since Nate commutes in the wee hours, he had to deal with it. For those of us who commute by slipper, it was not a problem. By midmorning we had clear skies.

Dave called and asked if I was free for lunch. I was, so we went to Luka’s Taproom and split a couple of sandwiches. He ordered a reuben and I chose the grilled chicken with carmelized onions and roasted sweet potatoes. In a twist that I really appreciated, sandwiches come with a tossed green salad. If you want fries, you can substitute for $1.50. I love a restaurant where the healthy choice is the automatic choice. That it’s also the cheaper choice is pretty sweet, too. (Question to restaurateurs: does it really cost more to serve a handful of dressed salad greens than it costs to serve a plate of fries?)

The sandwiches were tasty, due partly to the fact that they were made on delicious bread. This is something that we missed in the Midwest. Bread with thick, al dente crusts and tangy flavour. The grilled rye for the reuben was substantial and flavorful. The ciabatta used for the chicken sandwich was just crusty enough to feel and taste hearty, without causing the sandwich ingredients to spray out the sides when bitten. The salad served with the sandwiches was a generous portion of mixed greens tossed in a light vinaigrette. Perfect.

The restaurant is in the building which used to be Oakland’s Hof Brau. I remembered that restaurant as being dark and a little gloomy. This place is bright and not at all gloomy. The staff is cheery and accommodating. Our only complaint was that the button to open the door for a wheelchair didn’t work. Fortunately a patron was standing by to push the door open so I was able to help Dave get inside.

After lunch I came home to work on a couple of projects. Mid-afternoon I heard some thunder and noticed a flash of lightning. (Not the big show we used to get in Moline, but at least it was a little weather.) The rain followed, augmented by a minute or so of pea-sized hail. The gutters on Perkins street filled pretty quickly and the storm drain across from our apartment looked like it might not be able to handle the flow. A few minutes later the rain stopped and Anna called to say there was an amazing horizon-to-horizon rainbow. (I couldn’t get an angle from our terrace to take a picture. Fortunately, a neighbor managed to snap one.)

Anna and Nate are in the kitchen now putting together a delicious smelling meal of Indian food. Gotta run!

Tuesday January 19, 2010 — Mark —