• Category Archives Food
  • Medieval Faire in the news

    Looks like the acting troupe I work with got into the paper recently:

    Orlando Sentinal

    Sun Sentinal

    I have been working with this group for eight years now. I started out as a fighter, moved on with the group to become a trainer, and have now hung up my fighting boots in order to cook for them instead. Next year, I’m just going to run around and do stupid stuff, because cooking is bloody tiring. Yeah, I have become a bit burned out from it all, so I need a rest from it. There are others in the group that are becoming the same way, so hopefully this coming year we will get a number of new people to step up to the plate and take the reigns for a while.

  • Another ride and food

    Went for a ride this morning, leaving around 10am. Headed out to the beaches via SR 100 and Palatka. Took 100 all the way down to Bunnell and US 1, then US 1 down to Ormond Beach. When US 1 crosses under I-95, there is a huge motorcycle superstore there at the intersection, and I stopped in there to take a look at things. The Harley shop had bupkis for me, and their saddlebags (which I am in need of new ones) frankly scare the daylights out of me. Why would you ever pay $800 USD for a set of saddle bags? I don’t care if they are made of leather… that is just too much.

    There was another place in the same complex that does after market stuff and stuff for metric bikes, and they had some decent bags there. I didn’t buy any, but I took note of the manufacturers of the bags that I liked, and I will probably just order them online instead.

    Kept going down US 1 and took the turn off to Ormond Beach, then headed north on A1A until I got to one of my favorite places to eat lunch… High Tides at Snack Jack. The food is decent there, and the view is incredible, overlooking the ocean the way it does. All cage parking is via valet, as they have a limited amount of room for parking and they know how to park vehicles better than the rest of us do, at least for their parking lot. Bikes on the other hand simply park in a small area they have designated.

    I just had the wings this time around, and they were quite good. Lots of meat on the bone, and the sauce was just spicy enough for my tastes, which means that a normal person would have been unhappy. It wasn’t drowned in the stuff, however, which is something that I have found a number of places do in order to make their wings “super hot” (as an aside, for those that have been to The Blog of Unnecessary Quotes, I believe I used those quotes quite appropriately.)

    Left there and headed further north into Flagler Beach, where I hit another of my favorite places to eat… the A1A Burrito Works. They don’t have a website, but they can be searched for on Google and an address found there. Ordered a large beef burrito with all the works, and it was incredible. Their burritos are different from those found at Burrito Bros. Taco Company, and I really can’t say that they are better or worse. The one key ingredient that made their burritos so darned good, I have to say, is the large amount of cilantro they put into it. That gave it a spiciness that was just heavenly.

    After finishing my burrito, I continued up the road until I reached another favorite stopping-off point, the Hammock Wine and Cheese Shoppe. They are normally closed on Mondays, but their front door was open so I took a peek inside. Turns out that they are remodeling the place a bit and moving some things around to make things easier to sell and stuff. They should be done by the end of the week, and on Saturday they will be having a wine tasting event as a grand re-opening of the place. I was able to make a purchase, since they were there and I gave them a much needed uplifting of attitudes. Bought a bottle of dessert wine, which I will have to try out… it is a red Muscat.

    By this time it was starting to get late, and I curtailed my plan to head all the way up into St. Augustine and then home, and instead just cut across to Palatka when I got to Crescent Beach. The ride home was uneventful.

  • Blue Highway Pizzeria

    Went to the Micanopy Blue Highway Pizzeria last Friday, and enjoyed every bit of it.

    Went there after work after going for about a 50 mile ride on the bike. I took the reverse 100 mile route, skipping a good portion of it since I really just wanted to eat something, but didn’t want to take the direct route to the pizzeria.

    Blue Highway was as good as always. Ordered my favorite there, a thin crust Hawaiian with onions. I know, it’s odd, but I enjoy it so much.

    Shoot… forgot to include a link to their website:  Blue Highway Pizzeria

    I have yet to try the one in Tioga Town Center. It seems to me that there is just no way that one could be as good as the one in Micanopy, which is the original.

  • Great Outdoors Restaurant – A Review

    So yesterday I went for a bit of a ride on the bike, despite the weather being not so warm (went by the dealer today to pick up some winter gloves… the summer gloves just don’t cut it!) and decided to stop off at a place in High Springs for lunch.

    Now, I went in during the lunch rush on a Sunday, so I hit them when they were getting hit by the typical church crowd in their Sunday finest, while I am sitting there in a pair of ripped up jeans and a T-Shirt.

    Their Website


    The service seemed to me to be on par with that of a diner, despite the decor of the restaurant. Really, the place is beautifully decorated, and really I figure it was a chain or something given the amount of cash that has gone into setting the place up. Oddly, it is a one-shot place. There must be about $30,000 invested in just canoing equipment hanging from the rafters alone in the place.

    Back to the service… I walked into the door and was somewhat ignored. Watching throughout my time there, the host was very lax in his job to greet guests and escort them to their seats… I blame this partially on the design of the entryway, whose view from the rest of the restaurant is blocked by a partition, so none of the servers can see people when they walk in.

    I was waited on by Kayla, a nice southern bell who obviously has grown up in the High Springs and Alachua area all of her life. She was nice, and had a good attitude, and knew the menu very well, including the current specials.

    The Food

    For a drink, I ordered the peach iced tea. This was a nicely flavored iced tea, and it was hard for me to discern whether or not it came from a pre-packaged mix or was brewed properly. Regardless, it was quite nice, and I enjoyed two glass-fulls.

    For an appetizer I ordered the chicken vegetable soup. It was a good soup, and had lots of chicken chunks in it. I am still not too sure about the corn that was in it, but it tasted fine. I am just not used to seeing corn put into a vegetable soup, I guess. Perhaps it’s a southern thing. The only real comment I could make about the soup is that I felt it needed a bit more salt to bring out the flavors more… but that is just me, and quite frankly I have no problem in adding a bit of salt to something, rather than having it come out to me too salty to begin with. Sure, it is a bit of an insult to the chef to have to salt their food, but this is not exactly what would be considered “High Cuisine” by any means.

    For my main course, I ordered the cheeseburger. I think it was called either the “Suwannee” burger or the “Savannah” burger… for some reason I didn’t write down the actual name of the burger… grrr. Anyway, it was your basic cheeseburger, which I ordered with jack cheese. It came with a slice of tomato and a huge slice of red onion (nice touch! It got me wondering what they do with the rest of the onion, because they probably only get about three of these slices of onion per full onion…) along with a piece of lettuce. This was all separated from the burger itself to be added on by the diner, which is how it should be done. The onion was incredible, and really added to the burger. The lettuce was useless, however. It was too big and unmanageable, and slightly wilted. Since it was on the bottom of the vegetable stack, it was also a bit soggy and somewhat unappetizing. The bun of the burger was slightly toasted, which was a nice touch, but I felt that the bun was a bit too small for the burger. There needs to be some amount of overlap of the bun compared to the burger patty, otherwise it is impossible to eat. These buns were the same size as the patty, which made it a bit hard to eat.

    Oh yes, there was a pickle spear as well, which I ignored. First of all, I dislike pickles. Second, I couldn’t see how it could be placed on the burger. You would have to eat it like a french fry. Also, pickles are annoying when they are placed on top of other things on the plate, because they have a habit of leaking into those other things and corrupting them. In this case it didn’t, but that is partially because I was quick enough to remove it from the good stuff underneath.

    The patty itself was done to perfection. I ordered it medium rare, and that is how it came out, with some bloody juices flowing. It finished cooking right there on the plate so the juices didn’t run too much.

    The burger also came with fries, and let me tell you, these fries were incredible. I would go back to this restaurant just for their fries. They fry them in some sort of flavored oil that makes them taste incredible. I felt there was no need to add salt or anything else to them, and that they could be eaten just as they were. I did try them with a bit of catsup as well, but really they did not need it at all.

    Other Things

    As nice as this place is, I think they need to put more emphasis on their service. It is too nice a place to have a diner-level service. Things may be different at night, but for lunch that is the feel that I got from it. One other thing that annoyed me… the booth that I was seated in had a light to the side… unfortunately this light was placed a bit too low, and the bulb in it was distinctly visible to me (I’m only 5’11”, so it wasn’t as if some tall freak had sat there…) and caused me to be slightly blinded.


    I would go back to this restaurant, if I happened to be passing through High Springs at the right time. I think I would first explore and see if there is anything else out there really quickly first, but I would consider this to be a place to fall back on for a meal if nothing else felt appetizing. There is a Mexican restaurant just down the road that I feel warrants a try sometime, but for meat and potatoes types of meals, the Great Outdoors Restaurant in High Springs is a decent choice.

  • My weekend

    Let’s see…

    First, I got torque running on the fulong. It works fine, and I am in contact with the torque maintainer for gentoo to get the mips keyword applied to it. Still not sure if I have mipsel tested on it yet, however. The problem with that is that I am not sure if I actually have any mipsel machines to test it against, so it is sort of up in the air. Regardless, it is working for me quite well, and I have the Fulong running it as a client.

    Second, figured out a problem that occurs when installing maui on a gentoo system. Apparently when it installs, it has no idea what kind of resource manager you may have installed on a system, so it doesn’t bother to list one in the configuration. This is a problem on a couple of different levels:

    • Maui should fail or give some sort of warning that no resource manager is configured for use on the scheduler. This may be by design as you may just want it to start without any sort of resource manager, but in that case I think I would want the line to still be listed in the configuration with a dummy module or something defined so that you know that it is set for that kind of operation.
    • The gentoo installer should define in that configuration file what kind of resource manager you have installed. Gentoo already has maui depending on the pbs virtual package, which is only provided by sys-cluster/torque, so this could easily be defined. If another pbs virtual package for resource manager appears, I expect that there is a way for the ebuild language to figure out which one is being provided by the virtual package of pbs.

    I’ve also been watching the Olympics, and rooting for the teams that I feel should be rooted for. The US has done exceedingly well in the swimming events, and they cleaned house in women’s sabre, which I feel is wrong. No one nation should be able to take all three medals in an event. I believe that this is something that is being worked on by the IOC, but apparently not in time for these Olympics. Watching the women’s gymnastics was a bit horrifying, seeing as the floor routines were… well… not pretty. Also, what the hell is up with the apparently required technique of throwing in a double-pirouette into the routine? It looks STUPID!

    So all this, and last night I made dinner for a wonderful woman I know. Pot roast, mashed potatoes, and peas. The pot roast is sort of a specialty of mine these days, because I take the time to do it right. Started the night before by taking the roast and soaking it in vinegar and red wine, then in the morning added some diced tomatoes to the mix for some real breakdown of connective tissues. At around 1pm I added sliced onion, chopped carrot, condensed tomato soup, and some brown sugar to the mix. Then I took the meat out of the mixture and braised it in a pan before returning it to the pot. Then a nice slow cook in the pot at 225F for the next seven hours.

    The potatoes were boiled in salted water for about 30 minutes until soft, then removed from the water and mashed with a masher. A bit of salt, a bit of cream, and bobs your uncle you have some delightful mashed potatoes. Just before serving, pulled out some of the chunky bits from the pot roast pot (you know, the onions and carrots, along with some of the juice) and threw all of that into a blender. Blended it, added a bit of slurried flower, and poof, a wonderful gravy to go with it all.

    Unfortunately, I let the peas go a bit long, so they were on the mushy side.  🙁 She didn’t seem to mind, so I let it go. She loved the gravy, so that seems to be a good thing.  🙂