July 31, 2008

Dinner in the bar at Hannah’s

Why the bar? Is it the wine list? No, though it is impressive. The martinis? Honey, no. With concoctions like: Key Lime Pie; Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend; and Geisha Girl crapping up the offerings list, no one is there for the martinis. (Though it IS possible to get a proper martini. I assume you know that’s gin; your server may not, so be specific. I like mine extra dry, with a twist.)

You want to eat in the bar at Hannah’s because that’s where you can order from the tapas menu or the cheese board, which is literally a black board.

Let me go back a year or so. Back in the day, Hannah’s had a much larger, much more affordable dinner menu so it was possible to make it your ‘local’.
You know, “What do you want for dinner?”
“I don’t know; what do you want?”
“Let’s go to Hannah’s.”

(Disclaimer: It was MY local. “Bitter? Party of one?” “Here.”)

Granted, it was never cheap, but it was certainly doable, without too much aforethought. Not so now.
Hannah’s has moved their dinner menu straight into ‘special occasion’ ($19-$30) territory.
Which is lovely for them, I’m sure, but too bad for the rest of us. The old menu had plenty or fancy–delancey dishes in the $20ish range, not to mention the fabulous evening specials, all appropriate for special occasions, but it also had plenty of choices in the $12-$17 range, which meant you could go there for, well, the hell of it.

And, not to belabor the point, if I‘m going to make a night of it, I may want to see an indie flick, or a play, or take in a museum, etc. All of which, sadly, I still have to go further south to find.

Now, all that said, you can still hit Hannah’s for a quick or not so quick dinner with friends or fam, without special budgeting, if you order from the excellent and changing tapas menu. I met a friend for dinner there the other night and got out for $16, before tip. I had an order of the Crispy Pork Pot-stickers ($7), a bowl of the amazing poblano corn chowder ($8) and an iced tea ($2). (Side note – Am I the only one outraged by the global jump in price of iced tea? You think your tea is still $1 or $1.50? It’s not. Look at your tab.)
Now, I agree, at $8 the soup is on the high side, but it’s just so good, and the pot stickers were really too numerous for one person – plenty to share. My lovely dining companion had the shrimp cocktail ($13) and the one eleven salad ($8), from the dinner menu. I think she may have gotten a half-price cocktail as well.
Ah! And that IS good to know – Happy Hour is every day, from 3-6 p.m. Featuring half-price martinis & wine by the glass, $2 domestic drafts, and $3 import drafts & wells, you can certainly get have a couple civilized drinks, without breaking the bank.

So, go on; try it. Goodness, I may zip over there tonight.

Update – I DID go back, with another charming dining companion. We stayed a bit longer, so I DID run up the tab swilling gin, but drinks aside, another very affordable meal. I had the one eleven salad ($8) that night (it was as good as it looked earlier that week). From the tapas menu, my charming companion had the Greek Steak Salad ($11). Huge. A bargain at that price and as delicious as you’d expect, loaded with med rare beef and kalamata olives. Completely share-able. We split the Kobe Beef Sliders ($13). If you don’t know that a slider is a mini-burger, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t these. Happily, they were excellent, and surprisingly large. (In fact, there was a half left over, and I snacked on it, cold, while making dinner last night. Delicious.) Now, since we were having such a nice time, we were psychologically compelled to order desserts. (OK, so gin, on-tap Dos Equis, and desserts ran up the tab.) I won’t bore you with our choices, but if you want some reliably good sugar-delivery mechanisms, by all means, see the dessert menu. And, if there’s a sorbet on the menu, do yourself a favor and order it.

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July 28, 2008

The Denton Freecycle Community

Bargain Hunters! Cheapskates! Freegans! Pack Rats! Neatniks! Slobs!
Clean Freaks! Felix! Oscar! Collectors! Rejectors! Newly Weds! Newly Un-Weds! Reducers! Re-users! Recyclers! This post is for you!

If you’ve got too much stuff or need some more stuff, you need to get to know the Denton Freecycle™ Network where… “One Person’s Trash Is Another’s Treasure!”

Note: That’s their line, not mine. Whatever.

Freecycle is just what it sounds like – a way to find or be rid of stuff – FOR FREE!
100% free – no strings, no catches.
Have a few things cluttering up your home that are too nice to throw away, too few to yard sale, or too random for a charity shop? List them at Denton Freecycle.
Heck list ONE thing.
Folks, I can tell you, from my own experience, nothing is too random to list, and someone will come take it off your hands.
Don’t believe me? I listed 2 floating candles, cinnamon-scented and made in China. I got 5 takers!
A random collection of those free wine glasses you get on vineyard tours? Gone in 60.
Nothing is too big or too small, and someone comes to your door, porch or curb and picks-it-up!

Let’s look at that word ‘cycle’ for a minute. I’ve been stressing the joyous ease with which I’ve unloaded stuff I didn’t want anymore, so much so that I sort of glossed right over the flip side of this endeavor – you can get-free-stuff!!
Sure, maybe my wine glasses and candles don’t float your boat, but what about the old TVs, VHS cassettes, clothes, exercise equipment, furniture etc. that other folks are about to kick to the curb? You might like that…

Seriously y’all, you could reduce your footprint, help your neighbors and score GOOD KARMA all in one neat little post.
Check it out.
Go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Dentonfreecycle/
Go to www.freecycle.org and search “Denton” (or your OWN great city!)