Friday, July 20, 2007

Why I live in the Grove

You know, it always seems like people who live in the Grove just love to bitch about the Grove. Why does anyone live here then? Id like to see a post on something like that. "Why I live in the Grove." So, Im posting it on my blog. Please take a second and add to it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Spam is annoying

I dont understand email spam, I just dont. It really doesnt matter how many times I get an email from Devry or the University of Phoenix, Im not signing up. I also dont need a Guide to Cabinet Refacing, or anything from Target, JetBlue, or JC Penney. I literally get 4-5 of these daily and each one gets sent right to the Junk Email folder. Somehow, these idiots that send these things are able to switch email addresses and they end up in my inbox again day after day. What is the point of spam? Does anyone actually click on these emails and open them? If so, are they so excited by the ads to buy something or enlist in school? I doubt it. Funny thing is I got 3 of these emails (Cabinets, JC Penney, and U of Phoenix) while I typed this...

So, what is the point of "blocking" senders on my junk email if they just morph into another address? How can this be stopped?

Monday, July 9, 2007

The New Delta Airlines

On Friday, I drove thru one of the worst lightning storms Ive ever seen to FLL airport to hop a flight up to MA for a weekend on the beach in Gloucester with the fam and friends. Lightning was EVERYWHERE and the strangest thing about it was that the bolts were really, for lack of a better word, thick. As I approached the airport, I saw a few bolts of lightning totally annihilate the runway with sparks going everywhere. "Great", I thought to myself, "Im definitely going to be delayed..." When I got to the airport, I asked an employee if they were going to shut the airport down due to the storms, a common practice at airports like DFW, and he said "Nope, they wont have baggage handlers out on the runway, but the planes that are loaded will take off." I asked if that was dangerous seeing that lightning striking an airplane didnt really seem like something that you would want to happen, but he said it was fine and it happens all the time. I guess you learn something every day... Luckily, the flight was only delayed for 15 minutes.

So, back to the point of this whole story. I was flying Delta Airlines who had recently emerged from bankruptcy with a new logo and new service to international destinations. I also found out soon enough that they have some new planes. When I boarded the aircraft, a MD-88 with 2 seats on the right side and 3 on the left, I noticed that everything looked new. The lights were a nice halogen bulb that lit up your seating area for reading, the seats were new leather seats and really comfortable, and there was plenty of leg room in every seat which was key for long legged people like myself who like to stretch out on a flight and catch some zzz's. During the flight, they take on a similar approach to that of JetBlue where one attendant comes around with snacks (a decent assortment of munchies like Sun Chips, Cheese N Crackers, etc.) while another attendant takes drink orders. I had a nice nap, woke up for a snack and a beverage, and then we landed. I will say that the seat did start to become a little uncomfortable, but that was probably because it was new and hadnt had many asses in it to break it in.

Fast forward to today, where I am currently blogging at Logan Airport terminal A. My flight was scheduled to leave at 945am, so my old man and I hopped in the car at 615am to make the trip. It took about an hour or so with traffic and on the way I got a courtesy call from Delta advising me that my flight was delayed until 1030am. THis made me a little pissed because I absolutely LOATHE delays, but at least it was only until 1030am. I arrived at the airport and checked in only to find out that the delay was now until noon... No other flights to hop on either. Not happy. After getting thru security, I sat down and plugged in my laptop and began the wait. I got another call from Delta advising about the noon departure, then another one saying the same thing, then another call saying we would be departing at 11am. "Thats a good sign...", I thought. THen the dude sitting next to me who had gone to the ticket counter saunters up and says that we arent leaving until 3pm!!! Now Im pissed. I call Delta and talk to some really nice and apologetic customer service people who try to help me out but no other flights that make sense (i.e. - have earlier departures/arrivals, go to FLL where my car is and not MIA) are available except a 315p flight w/ a connection in ATL that would put me in FLL at 1030pm, which also didnt make sense. So, here I sit broken hearted, came to fly home but havent departed...ugh. Travel woes continue...

I was able to hop a flight to LaGuardia on a shuttle with a connection to West Palm. From there, Delta would shuttle me to FLL so I could get my car and drive home to the Grove. Right now, Ive been sitting at the airport waiting for a flight that was supposed to leave at 820p. Its now 855p and we're waiting for the plane to pull up to the gate... This is the worst flying experience Ive ever had and I fly about twice a week. Total bullshit.

Got to PBI last night at about 1250a, 1.5hrs late. By the time I got a shuttle to FLL, got my car, and drove to my place in the Grove, it was 3am. Im a zombie at work today. Only sorta funny thing about the trip was the cute Italian girl sitting next to me falling asleep on my shoulder while I was asleep. She was married, of course...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Restaurant Review: French Kiss, Coconut Grove

The French have brought 2 great things to America - French cuisine and French kissing. So, its only fitting that an ambitious restaurateur attempt to combine the two for an unforgettable experience. OK, so we aren't talking about making out with your escargot in a bed of pommes frites, but we are talking about French Kiss - a relatively new restaurant hidden away in Coconut Grove that specializes in French cuisine.

French Kiss is located on 2779 Bird Road right next to Flanagan's in Coconut Grove. The restaurant is set back a ways, which allows for a decent little outdoor area for dining. There is also seating inside and a small bar that contains a nice variety of wine and beer. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a lovely woman who was the wife of the owner. She welcomed us and gave us our choice of seating, and we opted for the screened in outdoor deck. As we looked over the menu, our waiter came by and offered us complimentary champagne with a very thick French accent that my female companion loved. Its always nice to go to a restaurant where the people are from the country where the cuisine originates. In this case, we were being served by some legit Frenchies, so I knew we were in for some good food served with some great sauces.

Our waiter brought out some menus along with some french bread that was fresh from the oven and served with a creamy tarragon butter that I could not get enough of. The menu has a variety of appetizers, salads, and entrees. I opted for the escargot - my all-time favorite - while she ordered the french onion soup. I was blown away by the portion of escargot. Usually, escargot comes in a dish with 5 to 6 divots around the edge and one in the middle, with each containing 1 escargot. This one was LOADED with escargot and had 2-3 per divot! I was in heaven and took down another loaf of bread by dipping it into the garlicky pesto juice. My lady friend said the french onion soup was great as well, especially with the crusted cheese and large croutons on top.

One of my favorite things about eating out is finding out the specials for the day. I get bored with menus pretty easily as most of them are similar to other restaurants in some way, shape, or form, so having the option to order off-menu items based on availability is appealing to me. Today, I was in luck. Not only did they have some special entrees that sounded great, but one happened to involved scallops, another one of my all-time favorites. The scallops were offered with creamed leeks and came in a lobster bisque broth and, seeing that I had already devoured almost 2 loaves of bread, I thought it would be a nice light course. Now, I cook a lot at home and if there is one thing Im great at its cooking scallops to perfection. Well, the chef at French Kiss must have that talent too because these scallops were spot-on perfectly cooked. Nicely seared outside, tender as all heck on the inside. The leeks and lobster bisque complimented the dish perfectly and I was able to resist mopping up the little remains of the bisque with another piece of bread even though it took a lot of willpower to do so. She had the salmon which came with pan-roasted potatoes and some crispy green beans with a nice butter sauce. The salmon was cooked perfectly as well and the beans and potatoes had a great crunch to them that contrasted the smoothness of the salmon.

My willpower was on a roll, so we resisted the chance to sample some dessert. Id had their creme brulee on a previous visit and it was a nice, creamy vanilla that hit the spot just right. Instead, we opted for the check and spent a few minutes enjoying conversation over a glass of savignon blanc. My date was happy to see that our meal only came to $90, including a 20% tip, and mentioned . Not bad for 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 4 glasses of wine, not to mention the free champagne and killer bread and butter. With a polite, friendly, and welcoming staff to compliment great food, French Kiss definitely earns a "highly recommended" rating.