Forgive the Reminiscence…

February 8, 2008

My wife called up with severe cabin fever earlier this week. Another night plopped in front of the television was not going to work for her. As it was a Wednesday, and there was nothing to do, no one to call to watch our son, and work the next day, we decided to put this off til the weekend.

Now, this would have been perfect, as one of our favorite bands, Marah, was SUPPOSED to play at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. But, apparently they’ve had a major band squabble , leaving them with just the core of the Bielanko boys and Christine Smith.

So, we were going to go see a cover band, but the timing wasn’t working out. But one of the bands we were thinking of seeing was the Sensational Soul Cruisers. One of the last great Philly cover bands from my younger days… just a phenominal band.

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Gambling for Profit?

September 27, 2006

Okay…. here’s the setup.

My wife mentioned that in her past, that she and her friend Rick were in FoxFire Casino, and they won enough money to pay for their hotel bill for the entire trip through New England.

Secondly, My last trip to Atlantic City was not my best. I wasn’t feeling it, and I just threw down money at the Craps table, just to throw money down. And that’s the worst way to gamble. You gotta want it, you gotta feel it, and you gotta not care about the money.

When I leave A.C. without at least enjoying my gambling experience, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, where I wanted to cleanse it.

To top it off, a few weeks ago, Suzanne and I were kicking around the idea of going to Atlantic City. There’s some new shopping that she wants to do, and she heard that Toby Keith had a restaurant or something (we couldn’t find it if it does exist), and we could eat well, walk around a bit, and gamble. It wasn’t a good idea at the time, so we decided to push it off to out “Anniversary Weekend” when we’d be coming back from Sea Isle.

Okay, fast forward (or is it rewind, as it was earlier this week) to Monday. Suze and I are heading to A.C. I get $150 additional out for food, gambling, and shopping, with the notion that we will spend probably $120 on gambling, as she just likes to play the slots.

We wander the boardwalk. We hit the Pier at Caesars, and wander around the very elegant shops. (By the way, Tommy Bahama is a very evil store) There was a cool place where you can make your own chocolate bar, but as you had to wait 15 minutes for it, we didn’t go there. And there was a cool water fountain display, which was pretty decent, especially as it was free.

So, we head back to the Showboat Casino, which is where we parked. I’ve always liked the vibe at that casino. I never walked out with any real money there, but I just liked the Mardi Gras theme, and when I turned 21 they had free parking because they were a new casino. And as they recently added a House of Blues club, it made me gravitate there even more.

I had spotted a $5.00 crap table when we arrived at 2:30. But it was now around 4:30, it was raised to a $10.00 table. I was hemming and hawing, but my wife said, “Oh just go for it.”

I put my money down, and after a few throws of the dice, I’m up a few chips. The dice come to me, I put my money on the pass line, and hand the dice to my wife. She goes on a run. She’s rolling sevens as the coming out roll, she’s making numbers, and has at least five throws before she craps out with a seven (once the point was established.)

We stuck around, because if luck is with you, you at least make sure that it’s not offering seconds. The table was not filled, and the dice came back to Suzanne, and she crapped out on her second roll, and I figured we were done. We walked away from the table with $185, from an initial $100 bet.

So, we cash out, and I am perfectly willing to let her play the slot machines, as I’m thrilled that her lady luck, beginners luck, or whatever had me/us leave the craps table with my best day gambling ever. We go to the slots, and I give her ten bucks to start, perfectly willing to give her more after she blows this.

She plays the first one, a traditional slot machine, she is up to $22.00. We move onto some weird Pirate Video Slot machine, and she gets the bonus game immediately, though we have no idea what’s she’s doing, and she’s up to $40.00. We go back to a traditional slot, and she loses money. And finally we go over to the Powerball Video Slot Machine, and she plays that. She hits the progressive jackpot for $68.00 or so, after two plays. We stick around the machine waiting for the complimentary drinks we ordered to arrive. when we arrive, she is up over $200.00.

We are up $285.00 (or so) for the entire day. We go have dinner at the Bourbon Street Buffet or some such nonsense, and still leave A.C. with a boatload of cash.

So I left A.C. with money, which is amazing enough. But now, I know that if we go back, and I expect this to happen again, it most certainly won’t. I have to casually make a point to go back, some time in the future, when both Suze and I need a break from our kid.

A.C. baby, A.C.

Naaah, just doesn’t have the same ring to it.



Dining at Freda’s 2006

September 26, 2006

We all have our favorite restaurants, nice ones I mean, not the corner place with the cheap burgers, or the place that makes a Penne with Vodka Tomato sauce like Mom does.  I mean a really good restaurant, where you are going out to dine, not just have dinner.

My ultimate favorite restaurant is called Freda’s Cafe in Cape May, New Jersey.  Cape May is well-known for its restaurants.  Freda’s is not one of the best known, it is not the most elegant, it is not the hot spot.  But it may have the best food on the cape.

Well, let me put it this way.  If you are someone who goes to a restaurant and looks for the 16 oz Porterhouse, this isn’t the place for you, though they have it.  One review site called Freda’s modern cuisine, and that’s the best way of describing it.  The chef, Steve Howard, changes his ‘specials’ menu every week or two.  Now, every place has specials, but his are always just tremendous.

My favorite meal I ever had there was a southwestern style pasta dish, with chicken, scallops, shimp in a black bean and tomato salsa.   I had Paella there last year, which was wonderful.  My mother always gets the rack of lamb crusted with pine nuts, feta, spinach, rosemary, and black pepper and some other spices.   My wife had a tremendous steak this past time, topped with grilled shrimp.  (She loves crabmeat and shrimp, but the ob/gyn said to stay away from the shellfish)

This past time was a truly wonderful dish.  I had crispy cuban pork tenderloin (two of them), in a black bean sauce (no, not a theme), topped with crabmeat and banana.  I know…  but the banana worked with the creaminess of the crab meat.  Tremendous.  The type of meal where your mouth thanks your legs for bringing you into the restaurant.

It’s my favorite place to eat.  Just tremendous.  It is a BYOB, so you cut the cost of having a $50.00 liquor bill on the menu.  The only drawback is that you have to go outside the restaurant to use the bathroom, as I said it’s not very elegant, but WELL WELL worth it.

If anyone reading this blog, who I don’t know, ever has a chance to go to Cape May, New Jersey.   I highly, highly recommend it.  Best restaurant that I know of, bar none.



P.S.  The primary purpose for this entry is to remember what I ate at Freda’s cause I always forget.