Lunch at Grimaldi’s at the Shops at La Cantera…

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Yesterday, Bill and I went shopping for some new work clothes for him.  After a successful trip to Saks Off Fifth, we went to the Shops at La Cantera, which is a huge upscale shopping center where I happen to see my dentist.  Bill had heard about Grimaldi’s, a New York pizzeria style chain in a few states.  They have a coal fire oven there and it’s been awhile since we last had decent pizza.

When we got to Grimaldi’s, it was very busy.  They gave us a “beeper” shaped like a slice of pizza and told us to stay in the area.  We went next door to Teavana, where a very aggressive salesman proceeded to try to sell us a complete tea set.  We did end up going back and buying some tea from the guy, even though he was really pushy!  They had a lot of nice samples there.

Bill looks hungry…

We each ordered a glass of wine, which came to us in little carafes.  Mine was an unexciting glass of Sangiovese that was priced at $10.  Bill had a glass of Super Tuscan for $7.  I think his was better for the money spent.  

 

We ordered a large regular pizza with spinach, red peppers, and Italian sausage.  The crust was really thin and the sauce was a bit bland.  Still, it was pretty decent compared to some of the other pizza I’ve had in San Antonio.  Grimaldi’s offers white pizza (no sauce) and pizzas with pesto instead of sauce, too.

I was ready for pizza.  After two slices, we packed up the leftovers.  You can get a small or personal pizza if you prefer it.  I like sharing with Bill, though.

For dessert, we split a piece of Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake.  It was very nice; not too heavy and a delicious chocolate cookie crust.  The plate was drizzled with Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup.

 

Our waiter was very friendly and attentive and we got good service.  Our bill came to about $49 before the tip.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad experience, though it doesn’t come close to our experience at Dough.  We need to go back there sometime soon for some really great pizza!

Fabulous evening last night… impromptu par-tay!

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Bill and I went to Dough last night to meet his old high school friend and his wife.  As we were going there, we were commenting on our runaway electric meter, which Bill says shows us using 10,000 kilowatt hours.  So we were bitching about that as we pulled into a crowded parking lot at a strip mall.  We found a place to park and walked up to the restaurant.  There were many people there and a musician was playing jazz.

Suddenly, I saw the back of a guy who looked very familiar to me…  In 1993 and 94, I was the cook at Camp Paddy Run in Star Tannery, Virginia.  Star Tannery is a beautiful place, but it’s tucked away in the mountains and isn’t even noted on a lot of maps.  Anyway, in the summer of 1994, I worked with some great folks and one of them was a guy named Jason who grew up to become an Episcopalian vicar and is now married to a former Paddy Run attendee who is now a San Antonio surgeon.  I knew they were in San Antonio, but I didn’t know they were going to be at Dough last night.  And we ran right into them while they were waiting to buy wine!

I had not seen either of them since 1994, but had reconnected with Jason on Facebook.  I must say, he looks very much the same as he did back in the day.

Bill’s friend Matt, and Matt’s beautiful wife Jess, showed up a little later and we enjoyed two bottles of wine and a couple of pizzas, along with a delightful appetizer.  Matt, Jess, Bill, and I were getting along great… then Jason and his wife, Susannah, finished up and came out and chatted with us for awhile.  I was amazed at how well everyone meshed, despite most of us being strangers.  After all, Jason and I were not really close buddies in 1994, but we were friendly, as most everyone at Paddy Run was.  I remembered Susannah as a “counselor in training”; she was a teen when I last saw her and was only at camp for a week.  I had never met Matt or Jess before, though Bill knew Matt in high school and recently had lunch with him and I had chatted with him on Facebook.

But there we all were, hanging out like long lost friends.  At one point, I got excited and went to drink some water, but missed my mouth and spilled water all over my shirt.  I guess my “drinking problem” is flaring up again.

Our appetizer… Dough makes all cheeses and breads on site.  

This pizza was called Pork Love…  Supposedly, it was showcased on the Food Network and after tasting it, I can see why. It was quite nice.

This was a sausage pizza that had onions and pistachios and it was insanely good!

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We shared a couple of bottles of wine and then Jason gave us the half he didn’t drink.  The three hours we hung out together passed very quickly.  It’s not often you run into a small group with that much chemistry!  Bill and I really had a marvelous time.   I hope we can do it again sometime soon.

When we got home, Zane and Arran were happy to see us… and Arran had pulled The Joy of Cooking off the bookshelf.  Guess he got hungry.

San Antonio is already turning out to be better for me socially, even if I already want to find a new neighborhood.

Pizza tonight…

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Bill has a long lost buddy from high school who lives in San Antonio and he has asked us to meet him and his wife at a restaurant called Dough.  Bill met his friend last week for lunch and it was the first time they had seen each other in about 30 years.  Naturally, I have not yet met this guy, but I have chatted with him a bit on Facebook.  In fact, he chats more with me than he does Bill.

Bill’s friend has a wife who works for Novica.com, which is my favorite place to blow money, except SeaDream, of course.  Apparently, San Antonio has a very small Novica office staffed with a couple of people and she happens to work there.  My house is full of Novica stuff and I have many scarves and pieces of jewelry from that site.  I bet our houses could rival each other with all the Novica stuff there…

Novica is a site run by National Geographic that offers cool art, furniture, jewelry, gifts and such from artisans in India, Mexico, Central America, West Africa, Bali and Indonesia, Brazil, and the Andes.  The goods are mostly handmade.  I have loved most of what I’ve bought there and have actually bought so much that I am considered an “ambassador”.  That means I get half price shipping and certain incentives to buy more.  Every quarter, I get credits based on how much I buy, plus they send me codes  around my birthday so I can load up.  It’s a sweet deal.

I will try to get some photos for a new post.  I don’t have any travels in the works for the near future, so I may be reviewing a few San Antonio area restaurants for the time being.  Hey… San Antonio is a tourist destination, right?  It was for me until a few weeks ago, anyway.