Blue Ice Vodka

So my New Year's resolution was to post more stuff more often, and while I'm sure it will be every bit as successful as all the previous times I've made that promise, I figure I should at least make an effort.  The good folks at Blue Ice Vodka apparently wanted me to post, because they sent me a bottle of their Handcrafted American Potato variety to make my annual Christmas cookie baking marathon more tolerable.

Eureka! (soft opening)

I first heard of Eureka! last year, when it was announced that they'd be opening a location in downtown Boise.  Downtown probably needs another burger joint like, well, like I need to eat more burgers.  Still, they do have a burger featuring bone marrow, and a selection of small batch whiskeys.  It's pretty safe to say I was intrigued.  Now I don't seek out freebies.  I don't contact restaurants or PR firms and hint that I'd like to be able to access a place early, or for free, or whatever.  Still, sometimes these people contact me, and I was kind of hoping that would happen in this case, simply because I expected them to be annoyingly busy when they first opened and knew I would likely wait a few weeks or even a couple of months before I finally got around to trying them.  A few weeks back, I signed into my email to see a message from Eureka!'s PR awaiting me, but it turned out to just be an opening date, a press release, and an offer of high res photographs.  You know, just in case I wanted to give them a little free advertising.  Now if you've been reading my stuff for a while, you'll know this is a pet peeve of mine.  I don't just post other people's words and pictures.  Still, I wanted to check them out eventually, and I figured I'd just post my own words and pictures when I got around to it.  I mean maybe they weren't even going to have a soft opening.

Nope.  They did indeed have a soft opening, and yours truly scored an invite, albeit in a completely unprecedented and unexpected way...

Meraki Greek Street Food (soft opening)

As usual, I'm several months behind in my reviews.  I've been easily distracted by family, friends, road trips, movies, books, TV, video games, shiny objects, you name it.  I've actually had to junk reviews because I just don't remember enough about a particular visit to a place to turn it into a cohesive write-up.  But forget about all of that for the moment, because I'm not dipping into my queue right now.  You may be wondering what got my brain out of storage and my fingers back on the keyboard (FYI, there's a big hint in the title)...

On the Road: Vertical Diner (Salt Lake City, UT)

So, a couple of months ago I took a trip to Salt Lake City to attend a concert.  My road trip buddy this time out was one of my oldest friends, and someone I haven't traveled with in a couple of decades.  She wanted to attend the concert as well, and she was in desperate need of a weekend out of town.  The last time we hit the road, she was a lapsed vegetarian (my bad influence, I'm afraid), but over the years she has rebounded to become a vegetarian with vegan leanings.  Not exactly an ideal dining companion for someone like myself, but what the hell.  I'm a (relatively) nice guy and I enjoy a challenge.  I researched a lot of places that were vegan, vegetarian, or at the very least had very decent options for those types (SLC has become a very good place to eat for them, a surprising number of the highest rated restaurants on Yelp are geared that way).  But of course she had her own suggestions, and I decided to risk her favorite place in town despite the serious misgivings I had based on the menu and the reviews I'd read.  If you're wondering if I was pleasantly surprised, the answer is no.  I wouldn't go back to this joint even if I were offered a free meal.  Feel free to stop reading if you like, but if you want details you can find them below.

I didn't take this picture, it's from their Facebook page.  I just wanted out.

On the Road: The Lot / à la carte (Bend, OR)

A couple of things to apologize for today.  First of all, I'm WAY behind on my posts again.  Secondly, a lot of the upcoming posts will be road posts, so I guess I should half-heartedly apologize to those of you who think I spend too much time writing about places that aren't local.  That having been said, this will at least be a quick one, so bear with me.

In my last post, I mentioned that I had two coffees in pretty short order on my last morning in Bend.  After that I headed to 7-Eleven to stock up on cherry Slurpee and Red Bull for the trip home, and discovered that they don't have a public restroom.  I couldn't remember where the nearest rest area on the freeway was, so I asked the cashier who was ringing up my purchases where the nearest public restroom was, and he told me it was around the block where the food trucks were.  Food trucks?  On a Sunday?  This I had to check out.  And that's how I found myself at The Lot.

The Lot