German Food, Cigars and Boat Rides

Good morning friends! Hope everyone has been having a nice, relaxing weekend.

The Chef and I drove down to Cape Coral on Friday. We met up with some family members to have a belated birthday dinner for myself and The Chef’s brother. We were finally going to get to try this German place that his family has been raving about. It didn’t disappoint!

German-Austrian Pavilion is tucked away in the Broadway Palms shopping center. It’s a bit like BayWalk in St. Pete in that it’s practically a ghost town except for a few store fronts. This is the type of place that you wouldn’t know is here unless someone told you about it.

It is the cutest place. I was expecting hole-in-the-wall, but I wasn’t expecting all of these trinkets and fun kitschy European memorabilia hanging from the ceiling and on the walls.

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The atmosphere was really homey and the dim lighting set the mood for a nice, intimate dinner with family, friends or a date.

They had an amazing summer special going on…for $29 you could choose a meal for two and get a bottle of wine. Crazy! I couldn’t get over how good of a deal that was.

The Chef and I each tried one of the two soups. The pancake soup, which was beef broth with shredded crepes. Very good.

And the vegetable soup, which I wasn’t expecting much of, but it was the better one! Peas and carrots swimming in a luscious cream based soup…the flavor was wonderful.

For my entree I had the “Coach Man” schnitzal, which was stuffed with prosciutto and gorgonzola. Mmm…this was out-of-this-world good. The best part? Hearing them pounding out the pork in the kitchen as they’re preparing it ๐Ÿ™‚

I also got to try a bite of The Chef’s sauerbraten (which by the way was 100x better than Cafe Vienna where he first tried it and got “scolded” and told he just didn’t understand the dish…sorry Cafe Vienna) as well his sister’s goulash, which might have been my overall favorite.

And then of course dessert had to be had ๐Ÿ™‚ I was so full by this point, but when apple strudel appeared on the table, looking like this…

I had just had to try a few bites! (Sparklers were courtesy of our birthday celebrations ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Although I also managed to try a little something out of this box when we got home…

Birthday gift ๐Ÿ™‚

They’re going quick…

I haven’t had Godiva in so long…I forgot how much I love their truffles! I must admit I have become a bit of a chocolate snob though.

We pretty much passed out from food coma when we got home.

The next morning The Chef made a scrumptious breakfast…fritatta!

With a side of cinnamon raisin toast from Panera. Pretty good! First time I’ve had actual bread from there that wasn’t on their sandwiches.

We then proceeded to have one of the laziest days ever. We watched the most random assortment of movies too…Matinee, Blue Crush and Frida. We’d never heard of Matinee, but it was really good! We’d seen Blue Crush…definitely not a blockbuster hit or anything, but nothing was on…and then Frida was wonderful. We’d never seen it and while there were many um *spicy* scenes, it was very artistically done and a well done film.

One of our friends came over to join us for dinner.

Meatloaf, green bean salad with homemade balsamic and roasted potatoes.

Then it was out for a night on the town.

We went to Cigar Bar in downtown Ft. Myers, which we forgot was another place that we liked. A bit smokey inside, but if you find the right place to sit, it’s not too bad. Good atmosphere and ย good drinks.

We represented all alcohol: wine, beer and liquor ๐Ÿ™‚

We did end up going to Bacchus as well. And, much to my constant complaints, ended the night at Indigo Room *shudder*.

Today was quite the leisurely Sunday. Woke up to blueberry pancakes with fried apples and sausage.

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And some much needed tea.

Then we stopped by The Chef’s brother’s house and got asked to join them on an impromptu boat ride. Don’t mind if we do!

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We rode over to Tarpon Point, which I’d never been to. We pulled into a cute little shopping plaza and had lunch at Marker 92. The Chef and I were still so full from breakfast, but I knew I needed something before dinner. So I ordered a salad for us to share and a bloody mary. The salad was a bit over dressed with a citrus vinaigrette, but otherwise was very good. If I was hungrier I would have wanted more chicken, which was chargrilled and quite tasty. I also had a bite of The Chef’s brother’s pastrami sandwich, which was delicious. Not only was the meat fantastic, but the pretzel roll was really a nice addition.

Now we’re relaxing back at The Chef’s parents’ house and are waiting on a pork roast to finish cooking ๐Ÿ™‚

On a more somber note, it is a sad day of remembrance today. I grew up close to NYC and have family there so I am familiar with the city and the tragedy that happened 10 years ago really “hit close to home”. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I remember standing in the hallway at school in between classes and them announcing it over the loud speakers. I remember being angry and confused and walking away from my friends to reflect by myself. No matter how close or how far away this tragedy was to you, it is still a big part of our history now. Let’s all take a moment today to remember the lives that were lost and the lives that were changed that day.

Conversation Starter: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing 10 years ago on 9/11?

The Day of Fails

This week is just flying by! Can’t believe it’s already Wednesday.

Yesterday I continued my goodies from Rollin’ Oats with making a simple sandwich with their special tuna salad with apple. Quite good! I’m always happy when places don’t over-mayo their “salads”. I enjoyed a 3 bean salad on the side as well.

After work I finally got my butt over to Revolve Clothing Exchange with a bag of clothes I’ve been meaning to sell. Unfortunately they only took 4 items and gave me $10 and some change. Boo. I donated the rest of the clothes. While they were sorting through my items I looked around the store and within 5 minutes had an armload of dresses and rompers I wanted to try on. Also unfortunately…none of them worked ๐Ÿ˜ฆ They either didn’t fit right or look right. One dress I had high hopes for but the zipper was broken. Fail.

While I was out I got a call from the guy saying he’d gotten out of work early…translation: what’s for dinner? My original plan was to eat more Rollin’ Oats goodies and lounge in front of the TV. This quickly changed to a night out at Central Avenue Oyster Bar. We had a Groupon!

Unfortunately…our experience was not as good as mine and my friend’s last week. Although I should note that the guy and I are pretty convinced we have a “going out to dinner” curse set upon as most of the time something goes wrong.

Our server was very nice and accommodating. He stated the specials without a pause and only gently suggested an upgrade to a bottle of wine and house salads. We each had a glass of Crossings Sauvignon Blanc, which was very nice, and each had a house salad. I’ll note right here that it is also somewhat different dining with someone who works in a kitchen. The guy knows all the ins and outs, what’s fresh and what isn’t, what could easily be fixed for little money, what preparations went wrong, etc. On the salad I loved how they added green beans (though they were not fresh). But it still makes a plain boring house salad a little more special. The bread we were served was not the same as last…the bread we got were dinner rolls and while they were good they didn’t exactly go well with the equally yummy olive oil and parmesan cheese mixture they serve.

Then the entrees…I ordered the Grouper Picatta, which they stated is red grouper that comes in fresh. Served with a scoop of mashed potatoes and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. The grouper was excellent and the sauce was light and lemony. The aspargus was a little overcooked (I like a bit more crunch) and the hollandaise on top was broken and looked like butter. The mashed potatoes had nice bits of potato in them, but were just okay. Of course I don’t think I’ve ever had mashed potatoes at a restaurant that are as good as making them at home.

The guy ordered the Lobster Pasta, which was probably a mistake from the start as he knows he loves their oysters. But he wasn’t in the mood for them and wanted pasta instead. The pasta is served with a sherry cream sauce and while the flavor was there his dish came overflowing with sauce (which was thin). It looked like noodle soup instead of a nice pasta dish. As a result the guy only could handle a few bites.

Once the owner got word he did come over and agreed with how the pasta looked and offered his apologies. They quickly took the pasta dish off the bill and our 2 glasses of wine, which was great customer service, but a bit too much since we also had a Groupon. Needless to say we left the server a nice tip and left feeling a bit guilty. But a bad dish is a bad dish, am I right? Double fail.

We wanted to end the night with a nightcap at our favorite bar, Mandarin Hide, which is only a few steps from Oyster Bar. Only to find they’re closed Tuesdays. Triple fail.

We then decided to try Ruby’s Elixir, which I’ve been anxious to try. The decor in there is not really nice at all…and they had the doors wide open so the sticky FL heat followed us in. We sat down and started to look at the drink menu, but then quickly changed our minds and left. Quadrupal fail.

We finally ended up at Central Cigars, where I was thankful there weren’t too many people actually smoking ๐Ÿ™‚ The guy was happy with his gin martini and I with my glass of Malbec.

Hopefully today fares a bit better. I have a busy after work schedule this week that doesn’t leave much time for workouts. I tried for the first time in months to get up early to get in a quick strength training workout…but I definitely hit snooze and slept until I had to get up to get ready for work.

On the agenda tonightย  is dinner at BJ’s and seeing The Help with some Junior League ladies. Excited!

Conversation Starter: Have you ever just had one of those days where it seems nothing goes right?