I have to admit that I might have a little bit of a problem, I have been eating at a Hemingway’s, local restaurant (less than 1m from my house) regularly, not just like once a month regularly, nor regularly like Chicken Day (which is every Tuesday at the same Plucker’s restaurant). This is several times a week, this week it has been Thursday, Friday and Saturday and to be honest, I would have eaten breakfast here on Wednesday as well (they have BOGO breakfast tacos on Weds now), but on Weds Jeremy and I left very early to go Kayaking.
The food here at Hemingway’s is what I would call decent, on occasion some of their stuff is really good, the first time I had the crab cake it was amazing, this last time it was good, but sort of like what I hear about chasing the dragon. Their kalamata olive tapenade that comes with the red pepper hummus appetizer is amazing, I can’t get enough, but one time the made it with WAY TOO much garlic, I thought it was great, but apparently I reeked of garlic for like two days.
I do have a slightly addictive personality, when I find something I like I latch onto it and try to learn as much as possible, eventually this focus wanes and I become less interested, if it is something that I really enjoy then I will still revisit it once in a while (take the game Master’s of Orion II, I played this game to death back during my Freshman year of college, and even after I moved to Texas I could be found playing it quite a bit, but eventually I stopped playing, but I had a hankering for some MOOII a few months ago, so I installed it on my Macbook (found a nice dos emulator that makes it play like a native game).
In terms of Hemingway’s, I have been trying to try everything on their menu, but I already have some favorites. When it comes to breakfast, I like the simple eggs and toast (with side of bacon), I have ordered their breakfast plate what feels like a dozen times. But on occasion I try one of their other breakfast dishes as to try and finish their breakfast menu off, there is just one that remains, the Salmon Omelette.
(Review on Yelp)
I am not a big fan of Salmon, I like it smoked and in cream cheese, even grilled some onetime and put it in cream cheese myself (we had leftovers after I made I grilled a particularly large piece for Gina one time). But since I don’t care for it, I have been leaving it for last, rather than getting it over with. I will probably try it on Monday, as to complete the breakfast menu before I head to Michigan for the summer.
Hemingway’s opened up here in early February and has had many favorable reviews and some not so favorable. The favorable ones are more recent, as with most new establishments there is an initial period where, well they suck. I can’t think of a single restaurant that I have been to that was < 2 mos old that didn’t suck in some capacity, either the food or the wait staff or worse yet, both.
So I avoided eating at Hemingway’s for what I thought was two months, apparently it was more like 5 weeks. I ate here the first time on my own and I had some good food. Gina and I ate dinner here a few nights later I think and her meal was not great and mine had to be sent back (they smothered my chop steak in gravy, when I asked for the alternate prep of just sautéed mushrooms).
But since I knew they were still getting the hang of it, I sent it back, they brought me a fresh one relatively quickly and I have continued to eat here. Partially, it is now habit to wake up, throw on some clothes and head to Hemingway’s to get my caffeine fix and some food, I don’t think I have mentioned it in this post yet, but their coffee is BADASS!!!
It is very similar to the blends that I make for brewing in my french press, a little bit more bitter/dark roasted, but I am cool with that. Back to the aspects of human nature, I have lived in my house since 2000 and as I posted last year, I am just now beginning to learn about my neighborhood, and to some degree about my neighbors.
I am truly beginning to enjoy walking around the neighborhood, part of this is due to my fitbit, it pushes me to want to get 10k steps in every day. I take walks to the Texaco gas station that is down and back at Cypress and Cluck Creek, that is about 2,000 steps if memory serves. Hemingway’s is about 5,200 if I take the short way back, if I take the long way it is closer to 6,400. I have found myself walking (at night, 9-10pm) to Randall’s a grocery store that is about 1.5 miles away, down and back is right around 9000 steps, if I walk around the store I can end up getting a full 10k steps, usually I walk down to Randall’s buy some fruit (bananas, apples, tangelo whatever looks good) and head back.
I think what I am trying to say is that I am trying to embrace my slightly addictive personality in a way in which is healthier for me than just sitting around playing video games (I know I haven’t mentioned that I got Diablo 3 and have to keep my playing to a minimum), I am trying to get out into the neighborhood, trying to walk to more places, trying to build some healthy habits.
On Saturday mornings I generally walk down to Hemingway’s have breakfast, and sometimes I bring my iPad or like today I brought my laptop, futz around for a bit, then head back. I get changed and go to the gym for my 11am workout (Chris my trainer just rescheduled on me), then I have my massage at 2pm. Advanced Therapy Massage is within walking distance of the house as well, they moved from being slightly farther than the Texaco (about two blocks farther) to being about a block closer than the Texaco in the opposite direction. Therefore, I try to give myself enough time to be able to walk over to my massage, which takes about 10 minutes, it takes me about 15 minutes to get to Hemingway’s it takes at least 30 minutes for me to be able to get down to Randall’s. After my massage, I generally and hungry (I likely have only had a protein shake after my workout) and find myself taking the long way down to Hemingway’s, Buttercup to 183, to Cypress to Hemingway.
After grabbing some half-priced appetizers (happy hour special from 3-6:30pm EVERYDAY) and maybe an Imperial Pint, I head down to Jeremy’s to record the ‘Bacon Tastes Good‘ podcast. This means MORE walking, from Hemingway’s to Jeremy’s is like 6k steps if I am remembering correctly, I could be wrong, I’ll update it later if I am wrong. We record, then I head home, generally stopping at Randall’s for some fruit and I mosey on back to the house. (Once or twice Gina has picked me up as we had plans that didn’t afford for me to walk back.)
I would say that routine is relaxing for me, even though it is probably one of my busiest (physically) days of the week. I think that I have forgot the purpose of this post, which as I sit there typing while the tables here at the restaurant fill up, is that I believe it is human nature to seek a routine.
Hemingway’s and walking to things near me has become a major part of my routine. A routine that I am also attempting to embrace to the fullest before I head to Michigan, as for a few months I will be establishing a new routine in a somewhat familiar, but what I have no illusions will be a foreign environment to me, northern michigan lake culture (not upper peninsula lake culture, which I imagine is more like a deer camp or something).
There is part of me that fears that Hemingway’s won’t last the summer, that I will come back and my routine will no longer be possible. Therefore, I want to get in as much as I can before it goes away. This possibility is even more reality as another Cedar Park (technically Leander I think) eatery the O’Leander Cafe closed, they had been in a previous location for 5 years and moved closer to Cedar Park (presumably farther away from Leander, I really don’t know where they were before) and just closed the restaurant due to lack of business. Their food was OK, their southern cooking was AMAZING, their PIES were award worthy, their Italian dishes (they were dubbed an American-Italian place, were only ok, I didn’t care for them).
We ate at O’Leander probably a half dozen or more times, but it was a place we had to drive to, not 30 minutes, more like 7-10 minutes, but a drive nonetheless.
Anyway, my coffee is finished and I need to head back to the house and I now get to decide what to do with my day, since my 11am workout has been cancelled, do I head to the gym or do I head to El Salido, it looks like it will be a nice day, I am thinking a swim is in order.