Upon transitioning into a more traditional 9-5 office job after moving back to the Twin Cities, I’ve become obsessed with office shows.
Office Space and The Office have a whole new meaning. Pete doing all those TPS reports, Andy putting a sandwich into his disk drive to break it so he can finally get a new computer. . .some may find these shows stressful but I find them cathartic.
Corporate (2nd season airing on Comedy Central) is like a more modern version of The Office. Sometimes it’s a little too real.
I’ve been thinking about the last episode of Corporate The Concert all week. It so perfectly and so comically depicts that pivot many of us made moving between our 20’s and 30’s. That of chasing as many activities as possible after work to being completely fine with chilling at home after work.
Someone should sponsor me to test out chain restaurant happy hours with friends. In exchange for sponsorship, we’ll eat and drink a bunch of things, after which I will post a recap (when it’s convenient for me) and even supply my own very average phone photo!
Why P.F. Chang’s?
There’s been a lot of discussion about Andrew Zimmern’s restaurant opening and Fast Company interview in which he calls P.F. Chang’s a rip-off and questions founder Philip Chiang’s Asian identity. Chiang had my favorite response to the whole shirtstorm in this Washington Post interview. He simply responds, ““I am not going to get involved in his muck. I am totally comfortable with who I am and with who I am not.”
I was also struck by local, third-generation restaurateur Edward Fong’s thoughtful response. Growing up in the south suburbs, one of my family members would occasionally invite us over for a take-out meal from one of the Fong family restaurants. It was such a treat and now I want to go back.
Every month I look forward to book club.
It’s a women’s book club that initially formed after the election via social media. We take turns choosing books written by women of all genres. I’ve learned I’m really good at is waiting until the very last minute to cram in each month’s book!
Besides the conversation and exposure to books I might not choose to read myself, I like trying new restaurants. Of course the places have to be conducive to a book club gathering (not too loud, not too small, not too busy where lingering at a table is going to cause an issue). We live all over the Twin Cities and rotate restaurants in different parts of the cities.
Restaurants have included Cooper’s Pub (fantastic veggie burger), Ginger Hop (loved their curries – though on the sweeter side) and Delicata (fantastic pizza with a crisp crust) and . Last month we met at Hy-Vee Market Grille in New Hope, MN. Yup, that’s Grill with an E.
There’s a reason why this post has no photos; If I had taken pictures of my meal I would have gotten kicked out of the theater. But more on this soon. . .
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a Texas-originating chain of movie theaters that recently added a location in the Twin Cities suburb of Woodbury.
These days, many movie theaters have plush reclining seats and alcohol. Alamo offers these things plus local beers, a large menu and strict code of conduct. I found the seats here a little bit more comfortable than the typical megaplex.
I bought our tickets online. The website makes it really easy to choose your seats. The theaters are on the smaller side. When we arrived, we wandered into the theater and weren’t quite sure if we were supposed to check in at the front desk. The employees at the front desk directed us to find our seats in the theater and said they didn’t need to scan our tickets. No one ended up scanning our tickets.
Order beverages near the front desk and bring them into the theater or wait until you’re seated. This location serves 32 local tap beers. I was impressed they offer one of my favorites, Castle Danger Brewery’s nitro stout. My glass of merlot came in gigantic pour.
Sometimes the greatest act of self-love is ordering your own appetizer platter for dinner.
Appetizer platters always make me think of this girl I knew from college named Trina. I hated Trina for really only reason, mostly involving an appetizer platter. To celebrate the end of a big project, a group of us dressed-up and met at Olive Garden. We attended a small college in rural Iowa and an evening at Olive Garden was an event. I decided to let loose and do something I’d always wanted to do: Order an appetizer platter as an entree.
The main reason I ordered the appetizer platter was because it contained a portion of calamari. Trina, my seat mate, was also excited I ordered the appetizer platter and suggested we share meals. Back then, I wasn’t confident saying “no,” so I reluctantly agreed. Trina ordered something completely unremarkable that I can’t remember and then she ate most of my calamari. I watched in horror as her hand kept reaching over, grabbing ring after ring. “I just love calamari!” she gleefully exclaimed.