Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mesa Latin Kitchen

I've been meaning to try this restaurant since it replaced Gregoria's.  I'm always looking for good Cuban food, and though Mesa Latin Kitchen's offerings range over a wider culinary map, they do include some tasty Cuban dishes.  After sampling quite a few of its offerings tonight, I'm happy to report that Mesa Latin Kitchen is worth a visit.

The presentation of the ropa vieja resembled a flag, with long strips of the meat, green rice, and black beans.  All three components were tasty and flavorful; I'd go back for this dish alone.

The Cuban sandwich sticks were exactly what they sound like and delicious enough to make me wish they served the full sandwich.  The Cuban sliders with chorizo and pork belly and the cassava flat bread with exotic mushrooms were also standouts.  The lemon mojo sauce on the grilled asparagus had people wiping the plate clean.

Of the many dishes our group sampled, only one, the mussels, was a loser; at least two of the mussels were simply bad.

My only other complaint about the place was the volume of the music of the live band.  I liked the music, but it was so loud that talking was nearly impossible.

On balance, though, I recommend Mesa Latin Kitchen and hope to eat there again.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hugo nominations are drawing to a close

The nomination period for the Hugo awards ends this Thursday night, March 31.  You can see the details and nominate works here.

A lot of controversy has surrounded the Hugo awards in the last few years, so it might be tempting to walk away from it all, but I won't.  I think that the more fans who nominate and then vote for the Hugo awards, the better.

So, if you're eligible to nominate works, please do.  If you don't, then don't complain about the works on the ballot or the fact that your favorite writers' works never win awards.

P.S. Somewhat to my surprise, each year quite a few fans ask why none of my works has won a Hugo.  The answer is simple:  none of has inspired enough people to get them to nominate one of our works on an award ballot.  When you consider that a hundred or two nominations will land most works on most ballots, that statement sounds particularly sad, but it's the truth.  It is also equally true of many, many writers with far larger sales than mine.  We all should write because we must, not to win awards.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,

A group of ten of us went to this movie earlier tonight.  I quite enjoyed it, though it has many, many flaws.  Honesty compels me, however, to report that I am the only one in the group who left the film not annoyed at it.

I must accept that I have a strong ability to find the good in movies and enjoy them, even when they are heavily flawed.

It's not that I can't see the flaws in films in general or in this one in particular.  I can.  Scott, for example, pointed out many problems in the movie, and indeed they were all issues.  In this case, though, they did not drag me out of it or ruin it for me.

The movie is long, dark, and, to the tastes of almost all of our group, overwrought.  Yet for whatever reason, it worked well for me, and I was alone in never for a second being bored.

Gal Godot's appearance as Wonder Woman was a highlight on which everyone seemed to agree.  I had not liked this casting choice originally, but she completely owned the role.

If, like me, you find this type of superhero story compelling, don't miss this movie.  If you're not in the mood, though, for angsty demigods in tights, give it a pass.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I am once again embarrassed by my state's government

Today, North Carolina's Republican governor signed a bill from its Republican-controlled general assembly, which met in a special one-day session, that institutionalizes discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.  You can read takes on the story here or here.  

This story started out being about bathroom usage, and the legislature tried to make it about safety, but that was BS.  The Charlotte law allowed people to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify.  The legislature argued this could open the door to any man going into a women's restroom and putting women there at risk.

In the end, the bill turned into much, much more:  denying rights to a group of Americans, and reserving to the state government the right to pass anti-discrimination laws.

Not for the first time, I am appalled at our state government.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ballard. Hiddleston. Craziness.

The upcoming film, High-Rise.

Sure, I'm game.

P.S.  Ignore that date, unless you're in the UK.  For us in the U.S., maybe May, if we're lucky.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Two very different beautiful things

A recent Panciuto dessert, cinnamon-sugar dusted ricotta doughnuts with vanilla custard.

Click an image to see a larger version.

They tasted even better than they look.

The spring sky at noon today.

Sure, today was colder than I'd prefer, but it was also absolutely gorgeous.

Beauty, like magic, is all around us.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

[ONE] Restaurant is closing

I just learned this news via a bulk email message.  I'm sad.  [ONE] was the best restaurant in the Triangle, a place I recommended to everyone and ate at regularly.  The food that Chefs Kim Floresca and Daniel Ryan produced combined modernist techniques with local ingredients in inventive ways that always resulted in delicious dishes.

April 2 will be the last dinner service there.  If you live in this area, do not miss this last chance to enjoy their wonderful creations.



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