Tuesday, September 2, 2014

El Paso Food

When we travel we look for Olive Garden restaurants -- lots of salad to eat, fairly fast service, and several simple, plain pasta choices on the menu.  OK, not very gourmet but usually dependable. Unfortunately, they've just changed the menu and taken her favorites off, so in El Paso Susan had to make her choices off the appetizer menu.  She thought this item sounded good so she ordered it:

 Inspired by Italy’s southern coast.
Sautéed shrimp served on creamy polenta and topped
with a fresh blend of olives, capers and tomato sauce.
It came served on MASHED POTATOES. What?!?!? Did they think she wouldn't know the difference? While she waited a long, long time for the server to come back and politely ask "How is everything?" she ate the 4 shrimp  Then there was a long, long delay while the offending plate was taken back to the manager and finally we were told that the item would be taken off our bill. No sorry, no kitchen excuses, nothing. But at least she got the 4 shrimp for free.
Very strange. How is it that a restaurant thinks they can get away with that? Maybe quite easily, if most of the people eating there have no idea what polenta really is. Maybe the kitchen staff doesn't have any idea either.

Maybe I need to go into the food service business. After all, this is how at the Embassy Suites in Phoenix I made sure Susan ate some of her daily fruit/vegetables. She did, but that was after she ruined the nose on the great Food Face by insisting she needed the shampoo in the shower.

 The other strange thing in El Paso was the really nice Hampton Inn we stayed at - quick and courteous service at the front desk, clean room located in requested quiet area, and .....
this hole in the bathroom door. It had us flummoxed, because the door didn't back up to anything that would cause a hole and it's down low, not where someone would try to punch a door open.  And housekeeping didn't notice it and have it fixed????
Strangely, their Barnes&Noble bookstore at SunValley Mall has one of the largest magazine selections we've ever found in all our travels.  Go figure.
Thus, to us, El Paso is a strange town and we usually choose to drive on past to Las Cruces or Deming on our way west.  But coming back east there is nothing after it for another 120+ miles so sometimes it becomes a stop before the long 9-10 hour drive back to Austin.

Since we've come back I've been working on some special pieces for my friend Ana - this is preliminary, they will be for members of her family.

My bike rides to the Turtle Pond always give me something to photograph:

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