Monday, February 27, 2012

Lent in the Gump: Week 2: The Saga Continues at Commerce Street Soda Shop and Bushwood

Shakes for the shakes.
Monday Lunch: Lent Week 2:

Astrophysicists have located a black hole at 15 Commerce Street that has sucked many a new restaurant into its spinning vortex down into oblivion and beyond.  Remember Bama Bistro?  Gone.  Santa Fe Express? Kaput. Uncle Bimbos Bar-B-Que and tattoo parlor? Poof.

As my efforts to move past the shakes continued (see first post below), I, along with several of the gang [BBMAK, The Younger, Big Easy Slim and Finnekey Eater] passed the Commerce Street Soda Shop (spelled Shoppe in some advertisements/news reports) Monday looking for lunch in all the wrong places. (The Olive Room no longer serves lunch).  So what is more appropriate for a drying-out Irishman with the shakes?  Why a chocolate shake at a soda shop of course. So, we decided to try it out.

Although other wags, like Bama Bing or Tojo, have set the "over and under" life for any restaurant in this location at 150 days, we noted as we waded into the narrow space that the "first dollar" on the wall was dated December 11, 2011, which means this place has already passed the 90-day mark.  Time to load up on the "over" for this place.

BBMAK ordered the Philly cheese steak.  One thumb up.

The Younger placed a complex order for chicken fingers and a cherry coke.  Despite his demanding and refined taste, he was pleased with the results. Two thumbs up.

Big Easy Slim, who is in the midst of some humiliating thing called "boot camp" ordered a salad.  Our ambassador from New Orleans declared it "outstanding."  Three for three.

As for myself, the old Irish prose, I ordered the steak fajita wrap with blue cheese and homemade chips.  Wow!  The chips were right out of the fryer and very good.  The wrap was ample and the blue cheese sauce a different but pleasant flavor combo.  But the cherry on top was the chocolate shake with a real cherry on top of some whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  A very tasty treat and meal for just a few cents under $10.  Four in a row.

Finally, all eyes turned to Mr. Finnekey.  There was a hushed silence, except for the hokey 50's tune running in the background.  After devouring the "special" (a chicken sandwich on Texas toast covered with chipolte sauce) with french fries, Finnekey looked up and announced: "You may put in your little blog the following: 'My companion marveled at having a fresh tomato on his sandwich in February.'"  Well, that's about as high a rating as he ever gives thus making it official: One for the Thumb!

As we left, I made a mental note to pay a visit to 'my man' and lay some on the over for The Commerce Street Cafe.  They may be the first success story in this location in a long time.

Monday Evening: Annual Meeting at Bushwood CC:


If you are trying to cut down on your alcohol consumption, or are a recovering alcoholic, the last place you should visit is an open bar with complimentary prime rib banquet at Bushwood CC.  Monday was their annual meeting and, of course, I ignored my own advice and attended.  After learning that more members had died than joined during the past year, I scurried into the buffet line for some really fine salmon and prime rib both cooked to the correct temperatures and delicious.  At my table were the captains of the legal, securities, real estate and civil engineering professions all enjoying either ice-cold beer or vodka drinks from an open bar nearby.  Fearing temptation, I wolfed down my meal and quickly departed for the festivities in the "Men's Grille" downstairs from the meeting.

There one could enjoy some friendly wagering on dice and cards among other members (for amusement purposes only of course) while our local Doctors of Mixology kept everyone's glasses full.  Cigar smoke filled the air along with the laughter of those whose tongues had been loosened by the truth serum being dispensed from an open bar.  It was not the temptation of the wilderness, but, for a besotted old Irishman who could see the lonely unopened bottle of Michael Collins Irish Whiskey on the top shelf, there for the asking, it was some temptation nevertheless.

To fight off the urge to say: "Reggie, just one of the 'Big Fella' for me my good man!," I immersed myself in a game of Texas Hold-Em with an "Arnold Palmer" as my only liquid refreshment.  Soon I found myself thinking more about what was on "the river" than what was in the cabinet.  My pangs subsided and, actually, I found myself playing cards slightly better than normal.  I actually won some....chips.

After the game broke up I even enjoyed an Arturo Fuente on the porch during a lovely Montgomery evening for a February.  All in all a fine evening for one proud to have stared a small temptation in the bloodshot eye and bested it.  Perhaps it will be downhill from here.

 Commerce Street Soda Shoppe on Urbanspoon

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