Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

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Weekend food ramblings

The weekend's food was up and down. Friday's lunch was a treat, at the Waffle House, shortly after we left the airport, though not everything was delivered promptly, or right. Dinner on Friday evening at Sagebrush, a few blocks from the hotel, was so-so. The ribs were quite good, but the sirloin was unimpressive. The sweet tea was good, and the waiter was quick to keep things filled and bring requested items. Too bad the food he was delivering wasn't better.

Saturday's lunch was supposed to be a hot dog cookout prepared by the executive committee, but it seems whoever did the supply run forgot to get anything but hot dogs and buns! There were mayo packets that someone must've swiped from Hardee's, and though there were allegedly mustard and ketchup packets, there weren't many, and they went fast. Last year there was also potato salad and baked beans, which made for a well-rounded meal. Nothing of the sort this time. There also weren't quite enough hot dogs for everyone; a few people at the end only got one, and I'm hoping no one was left with none. I only ended up helping a little; I mostly stayed out of the way of Chris and Mike and Les and Joost, who were manning the grills, and did a little expediting, opening bun bags and such for a bit. It was tempting to go find some better food after lunch, but with the general session starting at 1, there really wasn't time.

I was about to write about how the Saturday evening banquet was fun, though the food was on the bland side, but I just realized that the kicker was that the food got caught in traffic and we weren't eating until an hour after the scheduled start time! I'm hoping Ben and/or Linda got the caterers to reduce their fee sharply. Again, the food was running out quickly, and Linda made them go get more, which took a while. I do like that the banquets have been held in an open pavilion on a grassy area near the hotel building, rather than in the typical hotel ballroom. There are even "walls" that can be unrolled to block out bad weather, but we were fine last night with the sides open.

As I said, it was a Scottish-themed banquet, and the shepherd's pie and toad-in-the-hole were inventive, if not all that flavourful. They could each have benefited from some sauce or gravy. The shortbread, on the other hand, was outstanding, and the tea was good once Jyll and I realized there was sweet as well as unsweet. I think this is the caterer they've used before; they always put out pitchers of tea without making it clear what's what.

The continental breakfasts included with the rooms were passable, with some cold cereal, instant grits and oatmeal packets, bread and bagels and English muffins to toast, and coffee and juice. I had an English muffin with cream cheese and cereal both mornings, but I was glad to get a proper breakfast at Cracker Barrel this afternoon. (Mmm, breakfast.) Contrary to my usual approach, I skipped Grandpa's Country Breakfast and had the cherry pancakes they're featuring, with some country ham and other assorted accoutrements. Ricky ordered a chocolate Coke with his meal... Coke with chocolate syrup. Tried it. It's good. Must remember that.

I'm still stuffed from my dinner in Pittsburgh! Oh, and as usual, there was someone I know on my flight back to Ithaca... though this time the same guy was on the flight on the way out Friday, too!

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