A May 2008 trip
to Idaho by Wildcat Dianne
Quote: Mothers Day and moving out of Idaho means dining out and a big farewell bash thrown by friends. Also new tastes in Pensacola, Florida.
Restaurant | "The Blue Ribbon Artisans"
Mom and I got dressed up nicely for the occasion and met Karla and Lauren in the restaurant parking lot for our brunch. After exchanging hugs and hellos, we started to look for the Bistro. We went up the stairs to the pub and realized that wasn't it. So we all went to the bakery/ice cream place to ask where the Mother's Day Brunch was, and the guy behind the counter said it was on the lower level of the next building where we just had gone to. The Bistro is actually an Italian Restaurant that has Sunday brunch, and the Mothers Day Brunch was open from 10-3 instead of 10-2.
The nice young hostess seated us in a booth that Karla requested for easy access for Lauren, and we told her right away we were there for the brunch, and she told us to help ourselves as soon as we were ready. Our hostess then told us that the two Mothers present got complimentary mimosas to drink, and asked me if I was a Mom. Unfortunately, being a fur Mom to Loki, Katie, Zoe, and Xena didn't count, but it was an A for effort in trying so I settled for water!
After we settled down, we hit the buffet which was four or five tables piled high with tons of food. One table had breakfast goodies like scrambled eggs, Eggs Benedict, sausage, bacon, and muffins on the bar. Karla got an Eggs Benedict, but Mom and I passed on breakfast and went for the dinner buffet which took up the remainder of the tables. One table had roast lamb and prime rib, which I passed on but Mom got a little piece of beef on her plate.
I started my meal with some appetizers and filled my plate with cold shrimp, pita bread, hummus, salmon with cream cheese, etc. Karla filled Lauren's plate with fruit, shrimp, and salmon. Lauren will eat almost everything, and she is one kid who hasn't been raised on Chicken McNuggets!
Plates full, we all sat down to enjoy our appetizers. The Hummus had a bacon taste that didn't appeal to me, but the salmon and shrimp were yummy and everyone at the table was looking forward to seconds on those dishes.
After eating the appetizers and letting them digest for a moment, we headed to the buffet tables for Round 2 which was more salmon, shrimp, and beer steamed mussels. I also got some cold basil pasta and roasted red pepper pasta which was not much to write home about but edible. Not being a mussel fan because they sometimes taste too strong for me, I was pleasantly surprised that the Blue Ribbon Bistro's mussels were fresh, hot, and tasty. I also had some black beans and rice that was pretty good, but that salmon and shrimp was heaven.
I had thirds on the salmon, shrimp, and mussels, and Karla and Mom had another mimosa. "Enjoy", I told them since it was Mothers Day, and Mom wasn't driving. After indulging in my thirds, I waited for Mom, Karla, and Lauren to finish their meals before we went for dessert together. My beloved Nana, who passed away in May 2003, always said, "I always leave room for dessert!" and had an incredible sweet tooth that I think I have inherited but keep it at bay except for special occasions.
Mothers Day was one of those special occasions, and Karla, Mom, Lauren, and I made a beeline for the dessert bar which was on the bar. Hearing there was cheesecake for dessert, I made sure I grabbed a slab of that along with a fruit tart, a cream puff, and a small serving of chocolate mousse with a cookie garnish. Mom and Karla also got some mousse, and Lauren shared a dessert plate with her Mom.
The desserts had to be one of the best things about the meal. The mousse was so decadent, but there was one problem with it: It wasn't in a big enough bowl! The cheesecake was divine, and everyone enjoyed the meal immensely.
At $24.99 per adult and Lauren eating for free being under 5-years-old, Blue Ribbon Artisans' Buffet is pricey, but worth it. Our bill was about $85 after Karla and I had tea and coffee plus tip. My bill for Mom and me alone was about $52, but Mom is worth it big time!
Along with the bistro, Blue Ribbon Artisans has a pub upstairs that has dueling piano players on weekends. There is also a separate ice cream shop that I vowed to check out before leaving town. Reservations are recommended at the Bistro on weekends and special occasions. The food is great and the service is, too.
That night, Mom thanked me profusely for one of the best Mothers Days she has had in a while, and being with friends like Karla and Lauren made it even more special!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 16, 2008
Blue Ribbon Artisans
1441 North Eagle Road
Maridian, Idaho 83642
Restaurant | ""Sex And The City" Dinner at Legends Pub and Grill"
Mom and I arrived at the movie theater about 6:15 p.m. and had to wait a short time for Karla to show up. The complex is a huge area with benches for one to sit at and wait for friends or rest. There is a statue on one bench that reminded me of my time in Bratislava. Intead of Napoleon Bonaparte leaning over a park bench, a man reading the newspaper is sitting on the bench. There is also a fountain of pioneer children playing in the water with their dog which is great for throwing coins into or photo ops.
Finally, Karla showed up about 10 minutes after we did, and after we hugged each other, we made our way over to Edwards' to get our movie tickets. With the gift card, we had a little money to spare for a popcorn during the movie.
After we got the movie tickets, we walked the short distance over to Legends Pub and Grill, which is a sports bar/restaurant decorated with many photos and sports memorabilia and artifacts. As we were being seated by the host, Mom and I saw photos of Ted Williams with Joe DiMaggio along with a document of the Boston Red Sox official end of The Curse in 2004. Of course, I had to get pictures of those pieces of Red Sox history!
After we got seated, Karla, Mom, and I were wondering when our waitress would get to our table because we didn't want to be late for the movie. But rest assured, about a minute later, our waitress showed up and asked us immediately if we were part of the movie crowd. Karla told her, "Yes we are, and we are seeing Sex And The City!" Our waitress then told that it was faster to order sandwiches and not steak or any other big entrees for dinner, and we had been planning to get sandwiches or appetizers. The waitress also told us that last week when Sex And The City opened, a lot of women showed up dressed like the movie's four lady characters, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte. Mom and I were in jeans and nice tops, so I guess that can be "Sex And The City Casual Chic!"
We all ordered Cosmopolitans ($6.25 each) to start our Sex And The City Night, and perused the menu. Legends has a pretty extensive sandwich and entree menu, and they also had a good appetizer list. I was tempted to order a Calamari appetizer, but when I saw another waiter going by with a huge dinner platter, I quickly changed our mind. It didn't take us long to decide on what we were going to eat, and after our waitress came back with our Cosmos, she took our order. Mom got the Turkey Sierra Club Sandwich, and Karla and I got the Customer and Waitress Favorite Wasabi Chicken Wrap(all were $8.99 each). Mom, Karla, and I all got French Fries with our sandwiches and after the waitress went to put our order in, we toasted to our friendship and to Art for his generous Christmas gift of the gift card. The Cosmos were smooth, and Mom and Karla ordered one more for themselves after finishing theirs. I just stuck to water after finishing my Cosmo since I was driving home after the movie.
The time passed by quickly with lively conversation between us three girls about our move to Florida. About 10 minutes later, our food arrived along with Karla and Mom's second Cosmos. The food was in huge portions with Mom's Sierra was piled high with turkey, veggies, and bacon. Karla and my Wasabi Chicken Wraps were huge and stuffed with chicken, apples, grapes, lettuce, onion, and a wasabi sauce that had a little kick but wasn't so spicy, Karla and I would be shooting flames out of all ends during the movie! The fries were fresh, homemade, and made yummy with sides of ranch for Karla and me. Karla wound up taking half of her wrap home, but I was starving after spending most of the day packing the last-minute things for the moving van that was coming on Sunday instead of Saturday and ate everything on my plate.
Shortly after finishing our delicious meals, our waitress returned with our checks. Altogether, our meals cost about $65 plus tip, and Karla paid for her order separately from ours while we paid for our order from proceeds made from selling my Kia Sephia. After paying our bills, arm in arm, Karla, Mom, and I left the restaurant full of food and ready for an awesome movie night.
Armed with popcorn and sodas, Mom, Karla, and I enjoyed Sex And The City immensely. The entire night proved that I was going to miss Karla very much, and I hope that we can have another night of good food, movies, and friendship in the near future!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 15, 2008
Legends Pub & Grill
7609 W Overland Rd # 100
Boise, ID 83709
At noon on Sunday, the moving van and the three movers showed up on time to clear our house out of its furniture and our other worldly possessions. Any worries of their not finishing on time for Mom and me to get to the farewell party were diminished when they quickly went to work loading everything into the moving van. I had made arrangements to go to Joe's with my former boss Art and his wife Joanne while Mom was to follow after the movers left about 2:30 p.m.
As soon as the movers left with a tip for drinks on us that night, Mom was just about to jump into the shower when the phone rang. GRRR! Perfect timing, it was her sister who loves to talk, and I told Mom with an eye roll to keep the call short because we had a party to go to. Of course, Auntie Ruthie was as usual her talkative self, and I left with Art and Joanne wondering if Mom was going to make the party at a reasonable time.
Joe's is located near the Doubletree Boise Hotel in Downtown Boise and is located on the Boise Greenbelt and Boise River. It's not on the ocean, but the decor inside and outside makes Joe's look like it's on the ocean rather than a small river in landlocked Idaho.
Art, Joanne, and I arrived at Joe's Crab Shack right on time for the 3:00 soiree, and I asked the hostess if Karla and the party were there, yet. Of course, the girl knew right away who Karla was, and we were escorted into the main dining area where Karla, Lauren, and about a half dozen of my friends and some of their family were. After a little applause, PJ came and hugged me immediately, and I walked around the long table to say hello to Molly, Sarai and her sister Lucie, Francine and her two kids Brody and Hailey, and Julie and her two daughters Jennifer and Julia, who gave me a nice little basket with Bed, Bath, and Beyond Soaps.
After sitting down at the head of the table, the place of honor, Karla immediately poured me a Corona. Since some of the girls had to leave early for other obligations, they had already ordered for their kids and themselves, but Karla, Molly, and I decided to wait until Mom got here. Joe's has kids meals for the little ones, and within minutes, Lauren and the gang were chowing on shrimp and other seafood yummies. Karla immediately poured me a Corona from the bucket of beer that she ordered for all of us, and Molly said that she wanted to buy me a drink before I left. I told her I would take her up on the offer after I got some food into me.
A lot of talking and laughter went on and time flew. Mom finally showed up about 4:00 apologizing for her sister's big mouth, and everyone was glad to see her. After introductions and more chatter, the waitresses came by to take our appetizer order. Karla, her sister Janey, and I split an order of Bucket of Shrimp, which was cold shrimp in Old Bay Seasoning and cocktail sauce. They were just right spicy and really good. After a little longer, Karla, Janey, Mom, and I ordered our dinners. Mom and I got the appropriate East Coast Platters ($16.99 each) while Karla got the Shrimp Platter and Janey got an appetizer of Crab Stuffed Shrimp. Molly had ordered Steamed Mussels with Garlic Bread. Karla ordered another Bucket of Beer for everyone, and I took advantage of Molly's drink offer and got a Frozen Margarita with Strawberries. When the Margarita came to the table a few minutes later, I told Mom she was driving to Karla's after the party because the drink was huge in a big glass and was nice and cool going down my throat but gave me a little buzz on a somewhat empty tummy.It took a little bit longer for our food to show up because it was Sunday and other people were in the restaurant and we were part of a big group. PJ had to leave early to get her son from church, and Julie and her girls had to leave for their trip to Las Vegas. So I got up from my meal to hug them good-bye and told them to keep in touch.While the adults ate and talked, the kids sat in the window playing and talking with each other. The East Coast Platters were good portions of fried fish, crab cake, onion ribbons, and shrimp. Tartar and Aoli sauces completed the meal, and we enjoyed every bite along with conversation with our friends. Art, Joanne, Francine and her kids had to leave early, too, and once again, we had to hug everyone good-bye and get addresses and promises to keep in touch. It was only seven of us left after they left, and we were able to sit at only two tables and complete our meals. Our waitresses did a great job making sure our meals were OK and any requests were taken care of quickly. The party came to an end with our bills and saying good-bye to Molly, who had to go to the airport to get a friend. The entire meal for Karla, Janey, Mom, Lauren, and me came to close to $100, including the gratuity for parties of eight or more people. Mom and I kicked in $10 when Karla asked for a little help since she and her better half Steve were planning to treat us the whole time. The rest of the party paid their own way. No problem. Waitress paid and tipped, we continued the party at Karla's house where we watched the Celtics beat the Lakers in the NBA finals. Being Celtics fans, Mom and I were very happy, and Karla and Steve, the Lakers fans, are still talking to us! There were plenty of tears, hugs, and kisses when Mom and I had to leave for the house in order to get enough sleep for our trip the next morning, and we will have many fond memories and pictures of our friends' love and generosity at the Farewell Party at Joe's Crab Shack.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 15, 2008
Joe's Crab Shack
2288 North Garden Street
Attraction | "Joe Patti's Seafood II"
Three days after moving into my sister Erika's home in Pensacola, Mom and I made our return to Joe Patti's for our seafood fix. Before leaving Idaho, Mom and I made a vow that we would go to Joe Patti's for fresh seafood once a week in order to satisfy our seafood cravings.
It was music to our noses arriving in Joe Patti's parking lot and smelling the Gulf air and the smell of fresh seafood. Upon arriving in the shop, Mom and I immediately started looking at the huge selection of fish, and I was still looking when they called a number, and it was our number. Mom had taken a number when we first came in, and I needed to hurry and make a decision on what to get for our weekly seafood supply.
It didn't take long for Mom and I to make our decision from the huge smorgasbord of fresh fish and shellfish. Mom and I got a huge slab of swordfish ($7.99/pound) followed by some fresh wild salmon filets ($6.99/pound). Then we weren't going to leave Joe Patti's without fresh shrimp, and we settled on a pound of raw peel-yourself 21/30 headless shrimp.
After getting our fish from the fish shop, Mom and I wandered around the shop where Italian delicacies, Joe Patti souvenirs, baked goods, and spices are sold. Mom and I got hickory smoking planks for the grill ($11.99 for 2 planks) followed by some homemade bread for dinner. Then Mom and I hit the deli part of the shop and drooled over the huge selection of Italian and Greek olives and HO HO HO! the gelato. This time will power won us over, and Mom and I passed on the gelato this time. But the Alphetta Olives were calling my name. These olives were huge black pearls of heavenly goodness and at $3.99/pound, they were cheaper than the kalamatta olives they had for sale. I grabbed a pound of the olives, but I was really getting hungry being around this good food. In an container full of ice in the center of the fish shop, there were containers of shrimp salad and other goodies for reasonable prices. After getting some Greek seasoning from the spice shelf for $2.99, I grabbed a shrimp salad, and Mom and I went to pay. We spent about $53 this time around, and after getting our goodies, sat down at the bench near the registers to eat the shrimp salad before heading home.
The shrimp salad is very good and addicting. Full of pasta and lots of shrimp in mayonnaise and relish, I enjoyed every bite of this salad, and I am making this a weekly fix for me that's how good it was!
The swordfish, salmon, and shrimp Mom and I got went into Erika's big freezer in her garage. I haven't heard her protest about stinky fish in her freezer, but fresh good fish doesn't smell, sister.
Mom and I grilled the swordfish one night with lemon, olive oil, and other seasonings, and it was heaven. The salmon was also grilled, but with an orange BBQ sauce that gave the fish a tropical touch. Mom and I also grilled the shrimp with rosemary, olive oil and other seasonings, and I thought peeling shrimp was going to be a pain in the butt, but it turned out to be easy peeling 25 shrimp for marinade. But everything was soooo good, we were looking forward to next week's trip to Joe Patti's.
The last time Mom and I went to Joe Patti's was last week, and we fell to the temptations of the gelato and got a scoop each of pistachio for Mom and tiramissu gelato for me. Thank goodness for Erika having a treadmill because we needed to use it after eating that rich and delicious gelato. Heaven on the tongue for sure!
For fish, we got two pounds of shrimp, the 21/30 for Greek Shrimp Pasta Salad, and bigger ones for grilling. We also got more salmon filets and for something different, mahi mahi. Grilling this fish is the best way to enjoy the flavors of freshly caught seafood, and I am looking forward to this week's trip to Joe Patti's already.
In addition to fresh seafood, Joe Patti's has frozen seafood dinners and prepared Cajun goods like sausages and etoufee for quick meals. There is also octopus and peeled and deveined shrimp in two-pound bags for quick meals.
While we were eating our shrimp salad the first time back in Joe Patti's, I asked Mom, "Why the hell did we live in a landlocked state like Idaho for so long and miss out on this great seafood?!" You can order Joe Patti's on-line from www.joepatti.com or visit Pensacola and enjoy it fresh and at its best. They are open seven days a week from 8-6 Mondays-Saturdays and I believe from 9-5 on Sundays. Well worth your time when visiting Pensacola!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 1, 2008
Joe Patti's Seafood Company
524 S. B Street
Pensacola, Florida 32501
1. Make sure that your pets go to the veterinarian's and are caught up on their shots and prescriptions. Mom and I took Loki, Zoe, and Xena to the vet's about two months before leaving Idaho. If your dog is on medication like Loki is for his arthritis, make sure you pick up at least two months of their prescription before leaving because you don't know when your beloved pets will be going to a vet in their new location.
2. Make sure you stock up on your pet's favorite foods and bring enough water to start your trip. Mom and I hit the grocery store the Saturday before leaving Idaho and bought enough Fancy Feast, dry cat food, tuna fish and ingredients for Loki's favorite muttballs to get through most of the trip. Animals will be stressed out a lot on the trip, and they might not want to eat their own food and rely on human food. I know that some know-it-alls say this isn't recommended, but to me, it's OK to spoil the animals while on the road. When Mom and I got into the hotel at night, we would feed Loki 1 or two of his muttballs (ground turkey with parmesean cheese, garlic powder, parsley, bread crumbs and sometimes carrots, and it's recommended by Rachael Ray!) with plain yogurt. Zoe and Xena got some Fancy Feast mixed with a little tuna to help them eat. Our first night on the road in Utah, Loki got a Wilbur meal from Famous Dave's as a special treat.
3. Dramamine is your best friend and your pet's, too. If your pet gets agitated or nauseous while riding, give them a little Dramamine before you leave your morning destination. Loki benefitted from a tablet a morning in order to keep him calm and his tummy right for the long days on the road. Just check with your vet to make sure that Dramamine won't counter with any medication they might be taking.
4. Don't forget the water! An absolute plus when travelling by car with your zoo. Tons of water! Make sure you bring anywhere between 2-4 jugs of water for the trip for your beloved pets and yourself. Animals might not like the taste of foreign water and are used to what they were drinking at home. Mom and I picked up water from WinCo that we were drinking at home, and every stop we made along the way, we made sure that everyone got a drink of water. When you run out of your water, stop at a gas station or grocery store to pick up more gallons because you could be like Mom and I and be driving in the boonies of New Mexico and Texas where there aren't many rest areas or gas stations with good water.
5. Keep a litter box in the car for your feline travelers. I have learned this lesson the hard way. Make sure you have a clean litter box for your cats if they are travelling with you. Cats are nervous drivers, and they will go anywhere if the urge hits. Zoe going back to Idaho from Florida in 2000 is a prime example. No one wants to drive cross-country in a smelly car thanks to your furry friends. Also keep paper towels, cleaning fluids and wipes close by in case an accident does occur.
6. Bring things that they used at home to make them comfortable. An old blanket or stuffed animal is great to keep your pet comfy in the car for the trip. Mom and I brought a fun fur cat bed that I knit for Zoe for her to sleep on during the trip, and Loki had his bed that he slept in Idaho for the car and his bed in the hotel room. Xena was happy with anyone's lap which is where she sleeps at home.
Exercise, exercise, exercise your dog is a must on the road. Dogs that are cooped up in a car all day will need exercise in order to get their circulation back, or you could have trouble in the long run. During our lunch stops on the road and at night at the hotels, Mom and I made sure Loki got walked in order to stretch his arthritic legs out, and Zoe and Xena got plenty of fresh air. Every night at the hotel, I walked Loki around the hotel grounds so that he could go potty and check out his surroundings. Keep them leashed and close by and make sure you carry a bag for any droppings the pooch might leave along the way. Walking the dogs will give them well-needed exercise after long days on the road, and you will benefit from the walks, too.
Along with some calming music (Led Zeppelin and loud bagpipes help our zoo) and tons of love and patience, following these tips from me will help you a lot when you are driving cross-country by car with a zoo!