Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chilly Saturday

Last week there were 5 days of 90+ degree weather. Our a/c could barely keep up! Then there was this past Saturday and a sudden plummet into chilly, grayish, breezy, mid-60 degree weather. Fall-like weather.

I didn't take a jacket when we left Saturday morning - I'm not used to thinking about if I'll be warm enough, my mind is still trying to decide if I've dressed cool enough! I quickly found myself wishing I had. We both had hair cut appointments and my appointment was first. It took the usual 1.5 hours since I got it colored, and SP patiently endured the gossipping ladies and read a magazine. Then we went to his hair cut place (of course we can't get our hair cuts at the same place!), but while SP got his hair cut, instead of patiently waiting and reading a magazine while sitting surrounded by hair styling products, I relaxed in Loafers, reading the new Sports Illustrated and munching on this:

Cherry-Almond Scone. Yum! I washed it down with some hot coffee - did I mention it was breezy & chilly?! I needed something to warm me up.

After about a half an hour, SP joined me, as did my friend L and her eldest son. While L & her son shared a delicious cinnamon roll (I tried a bite - very tasty), SP enjoyed a lunch of Gazpacho:And Egg Salad Sandwich:He said the egg salad was delicious, not too much mayonnaise, and a terrific dill taste. The lettuce was a lovely, leafy green.

After filling our bellies with tasty food and warm coffee and visiting with L, we headed out to do a few errands plus the weekly Costco and grocery shopping stops. After dropping all our purchases off at home, we headed to the South Side Works. We still had some Cheesecake Factory gift cards, so we had decided to eat dinner there. I don't think SP & I had been there since my last birthday (although my mom and I had lunch there in April).

As usual, there was a wait. As usual, the 10 minute wait turned into a 20 minute wait. We were seated in the bar area and our server promptly greeted us, told us the daily specials, and took our drinks orders: regular iced tea for me and green iced tea for SP. We received a basket of the usual breads and quickly ordered our meals.

I like people-watching at Cheesecake Factory! It always seems super busy with all kinds of people - from people in jeans, sneakers, and Steelers shirts to people teetering on high heels and trying to keep their skirts/dresses from riding too high up... from older couples to young high school kids to families... It's always entertaining.

There was a college football game on the TV. The bar was a bit loud, but not too bad. CF always seems a bit loud no matter where you sit. It wasn't long before our appetizer arrived, a 'fresh baked pizzette' with shiitake, asparagus, bacon, mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan:This was quite tasty. I tasted a bit of garlic but not too much - it didn't bother my stomach. We would get this again - we really liked the combination of shiitake-asparagus-bacon. And the cheeses. Mmmm.

The pizzette was the extent of us trying anything new! SP ordered Fish Tacos, which he orders about 99% of the time when we eat at CF:This time the beans and rice came in a separate small casserole dish, not on the same plate as the tacos, which SP thought improved the dish:And I got what I order every time I am at CF: the Grilled Shrimp & Bacon Club (with a side salad):The salad was tasty and SP helped me finish it. The sandwich was, as usual, delicious, enormous, and messy. I ate half and took the other half home.I couldn't help but feel a wee bit guilty for eating an entire half of this sandwich - that bacon and toasted buttery bread (3 slices!) plus the 'special sauce' plus a lot of grilled shrimp - not especially healthy plus I'd just read a report on dining out and portion sizes, so that was on my mind! I definitely ate more than a single portion. Probably just 1/4 of this sandwich is a single serving. Maybe less...?

But pass up dessert? Even after eating 2 servings? Don't be silly. SP had been eying a Lemoncello Cream Torte when we walked in the front door, and that's what he ordered:It's "layers of vanilla cake and lemon mascarpone cream topped with streusel and served with strawberries and whipped cream." I liked it, but it was a bit too lemony, and I actually like the Lemon Raspberry Cream cheesecake better.

I got my usual Tiramisu cheesecake:Yum. We each ate about half of our dessert and brought the rest home.

We noticed that prices at CF have crept up a bit in the last year. It's definitely not an 'inexpensive' chain. We didn't have any alcohol and our bill was about $56 including tax but before tip. Iced teas are almost $3 (although refills are free) and my sandwich was $13.50 -- much more than a sandwich at a chain like Applebee's. Of course, it is a huge sandwich and I did get 2 meals out of it.

Our server was very friendly and attentive. One of the best we've had at CF. We will go back because we do like CF (in spite of the long wait for a table) and the sandwich I always get is unique to CF. Plus, we like that there is such a huge menu. There's something for everyone. We like the 'small plates and snacks,' which are smaller sized appetizers for about $5 each.

After CF, we walked around South Side Works and did some shopping, then we headed over to Te Cafe. I had a couple pots of Pumpkin Spice tea while SP enjoyed pots of White Peony.

A busy day that started early, but it was nice to be outside enjoying the autumn-like weather and it was definitely nice to have dinner out with my sweetie and to end our 'night out' at one of our favorite places, relaxing and enjoying tea. We got home in time to put on our jammies, curl up on the couch, and watch some TV together.

1 comment:

  1. You make CF look appetizing! Honestly, I'm not a huge fan. Well, I should say, I'm a fan of the cheesecake and the drinks, but have generally skipped the food there. Now I'm thinking fish tacos!