Monday, September 28, 2009

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

DON'T PANIC: There will be no dirty dancing in this post, but that was the only Havana tie-in I could come up with. Stick around, though, we'll be talking about food!! For those of you not in the Indy area, I apologize. This post won't mean much to you (not that any of my posts really do).

Charlie, our host for the evening.

I wanted to tell you about the dinner I had at a little family-owned and operated place called The Havana Cafe. My friend and co-worker, Jenni (but you can call her Jenelope), discovered this little gem and is all about bringing them new business. It's located in the Honeycreek Shopping Center at  West 38th Street and Moller Road. The family history is far-flung and includes Columbia, El Salvador, and Cuba. There's even some German tossed in, just to keep things interesting. This means the menu is not the standard Hispanic fare of tacos and burritos. Our super-friendly waiter, Charlie, brought out some samples to help us make our selection. Jenni ordered the Picadillo a la Criolla:  ground beef creole, which came with rice, black beans and plantains.

Jenni está muy feliz de tener un compañero de cena deliciosa.

I took a chance on the Masitas de Puerco fritas:  fried pork chunks which came with yellow rice and plantains.  Charlie's mom, Flor, was the chef that evening and she did not disappoint. My pork was delightfully crispy on the outside and incredibly tender on the inside. The plantains were tasty as well. I think Charlie said (if you're reading this, Charlie, correct me if I'm wrong) they soak the plantains in wine before cooking them.


We shared a rice pudding for dessert, which was the absolute perfect, not-too-sweet ending to the meal. The price was fairly reasonable: plentiful dinner, can of soda and dessert - $13. Oh, I almost forgot. We got a couple of complimentary empanadas to take home - mmmmm! The only negative would be that they don't have a walk-in freezer, so they don't keep a large supply of food on hand. They had sold out of what I originally requested off the menu. On the upside, that means they get deliveries more frequently so their food is really fresh! Also, I will grant you that 38th Street can be a little dicey (their hours are 9a-10p - I probably won't be doing any late night dining there), but I admire this family's entrepreneurial spirit. There are some other different ethnic restaurants in this area which I plan on visiting, so I hope they are successful in making this area productive again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tasks Eleven thru Nineteen Completed!

Wow!  I have been a total slacker on the blog this summer. I don't know what the problem is. 

Anyhoo, I was going over my 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days list.  I have accomplished several more tasks, all of which I did completely forgetting they were even on the list.  Here we go:

Buy something at a thrift store:  I bought this supercute sundress at the Goodwill back in May.  It's from American Eagle and still had the tags on it:  $48.  Gah.  I wouldn't pay $48 for it, but I would pay $5.  What I DID pay was $2.50 as it was half-price day.  What a deal!!  Sadly, I'm too fat to fit into it, but maybe it will serve as motivation.  More likely, it will hang in my closet and serve as a reminder of my lost youth.

Reconnect with an old friend:  My friend, Jana, hosted a ladies' night at her house.  It was especially great because she invited Chris, who I have not seen in several years.   Jana, Chris and I all worked at Wishard together 20 years ago.  We hung out in the hot tub and chatted until the wee hours of the morning.  Lots of fun.  I didn't have my camera, so you'll just have to take my word for it when I say we looked exactly like this:

Attend work related class or seminar:  Nothing exciting or humorous to report on this one, but I did a Fundamentals of Supervision class through IUPUI Human Resources.

Grow my own tomatoes:  I did a little experiment here.  I grew one plant in the Topsy Turvy fashion, only mine was the homemade version.  The other plant I stuck in a planter. The tomatoes in the planter did better, but I got quite a few off of each plant.  That was very exciting for me, and I'm doing more next year.  

New carpet in family room:  FINALLY.  Yee gads.  That carpet looked so bad I was embarrassed to even have the carpet guys see it.   Here's the new stuff:

Re-do my blog so IE users can see it:  I actually did this a long time ago.  For whatever reason, Internet Explorer was throwing a monkey wrench into people accessing the blog.   I don't know what the problem was, but just decided to make a new blog and imported the old posts.  So far, no complaints.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Buy a t-shirt from  I don't know how I found the Natalie Dee website, but she is flippin' hysterical.  She can also be vulgar, so if you're easily offended, don't go there.  I was going to buy myself a t-shirt, but ended up getting one for Robin and Lily as well.  Mine is What's Up, Pudding Cup?  Lily's is Anxiety Girl and Robin's is I'm Awesome.  If you know these girls, the shirts make perfect sense.  If you don't know them, the shirts should tell you everything.

Get home wireless mess figured out:  I still don't really know what was wrong with it, but I do know a 17-year-kid who is always hanging out at my house fixed it for me and finally earned his keep.  We now have wireless throughout the entire house, and not just one little corner of one room.  Big shout out to Farmer - YAY, FARMER!!  This even involved him being on the phone with the Linksys customer service help line for a realllly long time.  My hero. 

Play fantasy football:  I have no idea what I'm doing.  We're not playing for money so if I bomb, I guess that's okay.

 That's another $45 in the account which brings the grand total to $95.  Hot damn alakazam!

Okay, if I'm going to brag about my accomplishments, I need to confess to a couple of failures.

Doing a 5k was on the list, and I did sign up for one.  Unfortunately, the race was scheduled for the day after my birthday celebration.  Ever heard of Lemon Drop shots?  Let's just say I didn't feel so hot that morning, so I bailed on the race.  

Also, there was my grand plan to not shop at Walmart for an entire month.  HA!  I couldn't even go a week.  I did the grocery shopping at Kroger once, and it almost killed me. As much as I hate Walmart and its hillbilly clientele, it is definitely easier on ye olde chequebook.  Well...that, and  I have a little crush on one of the greeters: