Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cloud 9


This summer evening, my friend and fellow blogger The Cajun and I took advantage of the buy one get one free offer at the Cloud 9 restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. Under normal circumstances, we would not dine at the Cloud 9 restaurant because the prices of their entrees are over our budget for dining out. Normally, I work at the Inn on Thursday nights and thus, not able to take advantage of the "buy one, get one free" offer of the Cloud 9 restaurant. However, this summer Thursday evening, the heavens aligned and we were able to dine together as friends at this delightful restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. The Cajun had baby back ribs that were advertised as "falling off the bone" which, indeed they did. I ordered a seared raspberry brie stuffed chicken breast. It was heaven. We obviously were not eating at Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans. The only downside was the bartender. Once before I stopped in the Cloud 9 restaurant/bar and left because I was being ignored by the bartender. Unfortunately, most of the gay bars/restaurants in Rehoboth are very cliquish. Unless you're a member of one of the many gay cliques, the bartenders tend to ignore strangers who wander into their sacrosanct area. One might as well be invisible. This is unfortunate. I'm in the hospitality business and I know that the first rule of my business is that you welcome all, especially first time visitors. I'm not asking for someone to fall all over me. All I'm asking for is to ask me what I would like for a drink. To recognize that I am in their establishment. I don't think that is asking for too much. Just to be waited on. Maybe a smile. In all my years of frequenting businesses that cater to a gay clientele, I have found that they are distinctly unfriendly to outsiders. The years I used to visit Provincetown, Massachusetts, I encountered this situation often. In fact, I was greeted with more warmth in straight owned establishments. For many years I tried to understand why so many gay people employed in the hospitality industry were so unfriendly to other gay people who wasn't part of their known cliques. I think their attitude is based in their own insecurity. That's a shame. They should just relax and welcome all people to their establishments, gay or straight. Not to toot my own horn, but I go out of the way to welcome all to my establishment where I work, gay or straight. That said, I did have a pleasant dinner with my friend, The Cajun. Our waitress was delighful (see picture in this blog). Obviously, she was not a gay man beset with insecurities.

6 comments:

  1. Well, now I've got a new recipes for chicken!

    I'm going to mash up some fresh strawberries; put a bit of sugar and balsamic vinegar on them - let them sit, and drain.

    I'll cut up some brie (which I love); put in some shaved ham slices - crumble some blue cheese, and stuff all of that into boneless chicken breasts that I've pounded out.

    I'm going to wrap the breasts with strips of bacon to keep the moisture in; add a touch of the flavor, and bake.

    I've got it all figured out, and your 'post' made it possible!

    Since I already make baby-back ribs that fall off the bone, I don't need a recipe for that.

    Looks like you had a wonderful evening!

    Diane

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  2. Well, now I've got a new recipes for chicken!

    I'm going to mash up some fresh strawberries; put a bit of sugar and balsamic vinegar on them - let them sit, and drain.

    I'll cut up some brie (which I love); put in some shaved ham slices - crumble some blue cheese, and stuff all of that into boneless chicken breasts that I've pounded out.

    I'm going to wrap the breasts with strips of bacon to keep the moisture in; add a touch of the flavor, and bake.

    I've got it all figured out, and your 'post' made it possible!

    Since I already make baby-back ribs that fall off the bone, I don't need a recipe for that.

    Looks like you had a wonderful evening!

    Diane

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  3. I bet you are really a good cook! I just have that feeling. What's your best recipe for fresh salsa? I just recently became a devotee of fresh salsa and hummus.

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  4. Chop up about 3 to 4 tomatoes - medium size.

    Chop up a red onion (use about 1/2). If you like a bit more of a bite, use a Spanish onion/yellow onion. I never use white onions in this, but it might not be a big deal.

    Get a bunch of Cilantro - chop that up - use about 1 cup for the 3 to 4 tomatoes. If you think that might be too much, only put in 1/2 cup - taste/test, and add more if you prefer.

    A tiny bit of salt to taste, I don't like much.

    A bit of coarse-ground black pepper - again to your liking.

    About 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin - again, you'll want to put in 1/4 teaspoon - mix, and taste.

    Use the juice of one lime. Heat the lime in the microwave for about 15 seconds to get more juice out of it.
    The trick is not to chop it terribly fine, leave those itty bitty chunks large enough so they 'burst' in your mouth.

    Use a large plastic bowl that you can cover. Put everything in and 'toss' it like you do a tossed salad.

    Now if you want a hotter batch (which you can put in a second bowl), put in hot sauce to your liking.

    Some people want a 'wet sauce', and you can try this too. All you do to get all 3 types, is make up the initial batch. Divide up in 3 parts; keep the one 'fresh and light' (my preference), then the second one has the hot sauce - again, keep that fresh and light.

    The third one, you add in a small can of diced, cooked tomatoes - stir that through the mixture, and it 'wets' it.

    Another nice addition, though not the true salsa, is to use a mandolin, and take about 1/4 of a nice thin carrot, and put in those wafer-thin slices for added flavor and crunch.

    I love salsa on my scrambled eggs. In fact, we put scrambled eggs inside of a tortilla; sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on it - put in the microwave for about 15 seconds to slightly warm and melt the cheese (leave it open when you do this), then take it out - load that fresh salsa on top, and roll it up burrito-style.

    By the way, you can replace the tomatoes and use papaya, and create a lovely savory/sweet flavor. Papaya, onion (definitely use red in this); about 1/3 cup of cilantro, lime juice - a bit of salt, and this time use a dash of finely ground pepper. This is also great on eggs in the morning. It's super along side of grilled chicken - serve the chicken with some rice, beans, and fresh pineapple slices that you've grilled.

    Now I'm getting hungry typing this, so I'd better close.

    Oh yes, all 6 husbands say I'm an excellent cook; I think that's one of the things they were interested in when they met me. Maybe I should have made lousy food, I might have stayed single or ended up with only one husband who could 'stick it out' even if I did burn the bacon.

    Diane

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  5. Sounds delicious! Yesterday I made my best ever batch of salsa. Chopped grape tomatoes, diced red oinion, minced garlic (optional but seemed to be the "missing ingredient from previous recipes for salsa), chopped jalopena pepper (mild), chopped cilantro (a definite I'm finding), just a bit of really hot pepper, and salt (not too much) to taste. Put in the refrigerator to let the tastes mingle. I'm still experimenting. I like lime juice but when I added to my previous recipes, it seems to take away from the other flavors. The key in this recipe seems to be the grape tomatoes. They supply just enough juice that I don't have to add anything else. I took it for a taste test with my two good neighbors, and they loved it. I'm getting hungry now so I'm going to have some. I'll try your recipe. By the way, the key is fresh cilantro (I got it from my garden). It's interesting, before I didn't like cilantro. I heard it is an acquired taste. Well, I've acquired it!

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  6. Fresh cilantro is absolutely the most important part.

    The garlic is not 'custom' (according to my daughter-in-law's mother who makes excellent Mexican food because all their family are native to a small village in Mexico where they still keep a home).

    I'm sure the garlic is good - we Americans have a way of 'experimenting', and making it a bit different to suit your taste is certainly appropriate.

    I use the grape tomatoes myself - I like the texture. Prior to that, Romas were my favorite.

    If you want to make a quick change to something that's also tasty; add tiny baby shrimp to the mixture - lemon juice with the lime juice; and horse-radish to taste. You can also add some baby scallops and have a light supper with some chilled V-8 juice (spike it with a little vodka if you like - or white wine). Add some champagne crackers and fresh grapes with cheese (grapes and cheese for dessert).

    Another thing I love to make is bisque soup; you can pick any favorite from the foodnetwork.com web-site. I always add either sherry to the bisque, or sweet vermouth - just enough before you serve it so it rests on the top of the bisque when you serve it (don't stir it in).

    Fun..........

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