Erbert & Gerbert's: Hedgies or a Sandwich?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 
To many of my friends here in Indy, they know of Erbert & Gerbert as my two fun loving hedgehogs.

Gerbert is on the left, Erbert is on the right

You may have a few questions.

  1. Why hedgehogs? I had wanted some hedgies for quite awhile.  My best friend, SB, had one when we were younger and I adored him.  That is where my need for hedgies came into my life.  So when hubs got them Christmas of 2006, I was delighted with this fantastic gift.  Hubs specifically picked these two (they are brothers) because they resembled yin & yang when they sleep curled up with each other.
  2. Why two hedgehogs?  Because you can't have Erbert without Gerbert and vice versus.
  3. What do they eat? Hedgehog food of course.  You can buy it at pet stores (and yes, not all sell it.)  In addition, they enjoy meal worms (both fresh or dried) and cheese.  They also munch on yogurt treats and other small snacks, like what you would give a hamster or bunny. I imagine they would also love some Erbert & Gerbert's sandwiches (yes, we'll get there below...)
  4. Are they 'spikey?'  Why yes, of course they are.  They have soft underbellies, but essentially are similar to porcupines, just smaller.  They do keep the spikes down most of the time.  If you "pet" them, it is a rough (but not hurtful) surface.  They do poke them up when threatened - our pup, Nala, has interacted with them briefly until she realized trying to paw at them probably wasn't the best idea.
  5. Where do they stay? A cage? Yup, they have a cage in their own room (aka - the guest room.)  We do let them wander, but under our supervision so they don't wander into areas that we can't find them.
  6. Why did you name them Erbert & Gerbert?  They were named after my favorite sandwich shop, Erbert & Gerbert's of course!
The story of the two brothers: Erbert & Gerbert

Erbert & Gerbert's is a sandwich shop in GBC.  They have three locations there and from the looks of it, Wisco is not the only lucky state to have these.  Some may say Jimmy John's is similar, but E&G is the best sandwich place hands down.  After a night out with friends (back when I would visit Wisco on my breaks from UMass-Amherst,) we would order E&G.  My fave back then was the pudder.  Simple and basic, but oh so good, the pudder is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The ingredients are always fresh, perfectly chilled and delectable.  And the bread!  The bread is freshly baked (they do sell day old bread too, snatch that up if you can!) and oh so good.  They don't waste the middle that is gutted for your sandwich ingredients either, oh no they don't.  They put that chunk of bread in the wrapper with your sandwich so you can devour it as well.  And if you like pickles - get one of those too.  Not to mention the chocolate peanut butter bar.

My other two faves from the amazing list of sandwiches?  The Girf (ham, turkey, provolone, tomato, lettuce & mayo) or the Narmer (turkey, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, lettuce & mayo.)  NOM.

E&G is one of those GBC establishments that I must frequent every time I'm in town.  This past week was no different as the hubs and I stopped before leaving town.  Leaving the restaurant with a Narmer in one hand (for me) and a Girf in the other (for the hubs,) I was one happy lady.

 Mmm, Narmer...

Now, if only I could a.) have one open in Carmel, IN or b.) have enough money to start a franchise of my own.  See if E&G is in your area - you don't want to miss out!

And think of my two hedgies too while your at it.

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Jason R!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 
My dearest cousin, who I refer to as Johan, got married this past weekend!   Johan is like a brother to me.  We grew up living across the street from one another (him and his two sisters, who I also dearly love!) and shared many wonderful memories growing up together.  I heart him!

Johan is a great time.  If you don't know him, he is one of those people that you have to have in your life.  He is always making me laugh with his comments and jokes, plus he is just a bunch of love.  Not to mention he does give fabulous hugs.  A bad bone doesn't exist in that body of his - he is full of love to all his friends and family.  I couldn't be happier that he found someone to share that love with because there is a lot that he has to give!  Did I mention the hugs?

Family weddings in the good old GBC (Green Bay for those who don't know my reference) allow me to see my entire family in celebration.  It is rare that my cousins, aunts and uncles can all get together and weddings provide the perfect opportunity.  We wined and dined at the Rock Garden Supper Club (yes, another SUPPER CLUB!) for the evening festivities.  Family style dinner consisting of beef tips, chicken, and lots of fixings were provided. 

And I love weddings.  I do (haha, no pun intended,) I just can't get enough of them. 

Just a few photos to showcase the wedding festivities with many people that I love!  Welcome to the family SR!

Mr. & Mrs.

My Mr. 
Mom & Dad!  

 Love her - MC, my cousin

Second cousin - JL (too cute!)

NL, who is Johan's sister, & who I also see as my sister.
My brother & sister-in-law.  
My brother, CN, decided it was time to be casual and changed toward the end of the evening....

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. JR - I wish them nothing but love and happiness throughout the years!

Supper Club?

Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 

A supper club.  I've been asked multiple times in conversation after mentioning a supper club, "what is a supper club."  I always look back with a "what do you mean what is a supper club?" type of expression.  I try to explain, after I realize it is definitely an upper MidWest thing, "you know, a supper club.  A restaurant that serves American cuisine, has a bar...a supper club." 

And the blank stare continues...

A supper club is circa 1950's, maybe a little before or maybe even a bit later.  You frequent the social club atmosphere by having a cocktail before dinner (this is a must in Wisconsin) then indulging in steak, prime rib, fish, pasta, etc. at an affordable price.  This meal is usually served with dinner rolls, choice of potato (unless you get pasta, but by all means, I'm not judging carb lovers.  Twice baked and baked potatoes are always a guaranteed option) and of course, the salad and soup bar.  Supper clubs are the places that after dinner, you head back to the bar for an after dinner drink.  And not just any drink, but maybe a Grasshopper (made with ice cream, not cream) or White Cadillac (once again, with ice cream.  Make that bartender get her/his arm workout!) 

All that in one establishment.  A supper club.

Back in the day they were social clubs for people to get out of the city for a drive, have cocktails, listen to live bands, indulge in some surf and turf, have a few more drinks with friends and then head home for the evening.  So yes, a restaurant, but with flair.  Maybe even prohibition esque, who knows.

I understand outside of Wisconsin (and maybe Michigan and Minnesota,) supper clubs are an anomaly.  But, I grew up with these and frequented them with my parents.  When I visit the big W state, I continue to visit these establishments.  This week I've already dined at Eve's (had a great mediterranean wrap with pub chips, and of course, beer battered onion rings as an appetizer to share with the group) and just last night, my dad and I made our way to the outskirts of Shawano for the Cotton Patch.

Ahh, circa 1960's signage

My father is a member of a few Corvette clubs in Wisconsin.  Last night, he invited me to join him as his date for the Corvettes of the Bay May run.  I absolutely look forward to poppa time, so we hopped into his yellow Corvette and enjoyed driving to Shawano (about 30 minutes outside of GBC) with about 17 other "vettes" on our way for some great food.  If you haven't seen a plethora of Corvettes driving together, it is a sight to see.  Just sayin'...

I also learned the average age of a Corvette owner is 55.  I brought that average down last night, let me tell you.

Just a few of the cars - the yellow one in the back is my poppa's.

At the Cotton Patch (with my hair all messed up, forgot to tie back the hair with the car top down) we all sat at the bar and ordered a drink.  My dad is a lover of gin martini's.  I myself ordered a dirty martini, extra dirty, with olives (though I was sad that no bleu cheese was in my glass, it was still mighty tasty.)  This is another thing about W that other people do not usually experience outside of the state: the beverage "old fashioned" and Kessler's whiskey.  The 30+ that were sitting with us were mostly drinking that. No beer before dinner, another unspoken rule of supper clubs.

We made our way to dinner, where I ordered wild mushroom stuffed ravioli with duck confit, drizzled with a bourbon cream sauce and balsamic vinager.  Dad - he ordered himself some Jack Daniel's ribs with a baked potato.  We were then encouraged to indulge in the simple, yet satisfying, salad and soup bar.

The soup, labeled "Cheesy Potatoe" (yes, potatoe, not potato) was fantastic. Homemade of course, it was creamy and indulgent as cheddar soup should be, seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper. The potatoes, with skin still on, were chunky but sized for easy chomping. And of course, topped with more shredded cheddar...this is the big W after all.

The salad is your basic salad bar, and when I say basic, I mean it.  You have some iceburg lettuce (my dear friend SB, the up and coming registered dietician, would frown on this water based, nutrient lacking green) and simple accompanients.  Your choices are the dressings, ranging from your standard ranch to (if you are lucky) hot bacon.  Both my dad and I are lovers of hot bacon dressing, so we opted for some bacon love and finished it off with croutons.  Simple, but hey, you aren't there for the salad. 

Main course - this is what you are there for.  I was going to order the Macadamia encrusted mahi mahi, but was informed people "keep returning for the duck confit."  Who am I to say no to a firm suggestion?

You wouldn't expect this from a "supper club" would you?

The server was right - the duck confit was fantastic.  The bourbon cream sauce over the wild mushroom ravioli was beautiful and oh so tasty.  Though heavy, the creamy base complimented the al dente pasta.  The wild mushrooms were great, but masked a bit due to the heavy sauce.  The balsamic vinegar finished the tender duck confit like it should - deliciously.

Of course, we wrapped up the dinner and after dinner drink.  My dad and I broke the rules and had a beer, while those around us enjoyed their Grasshopper's. 

Now, for all of you non Wisconsinites - you want to dine at a Supper Club, don't you?

Thanks for a great evening dad (and I know you are reading this...)

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. James Ahrens

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 
It is wedding season!  Three weddings in April and May brought two more.  Both of the May weddings are one week apart and in Green Bay, so I decided to take the whole week off to enjoy time with my friends and family in the good old GBC.  Lots of fun times during the week so far, and all that will be recapped at a later time.  However, our trip began with the wedding of my BIL and future (now) wife, J & H!

The wedding was actually in Oshkosh, and we drove from Indy that day to make it just in time.  Rehearsal went well, I had my reading down (2nd reading) and we were ready for W day.  Just a few photos to showcase the day!

The groom (pretending he wasn't nervous) with his daughter, CA

Our other neice, KA - she's adorable!

This girl is a hugger!

Our adorable (and happy) godson, A!

All of the children of the A's

Cousins (and newest twitter followers) SC & NC
(if you need flowers in GBC, you need Petal Pusher!)

The wedding was a great time to see all of the hubby's family members and spend some time in the "city" with some people I truly care about.  Weddings are always great, especially when you have great people to spend the evening with.

Next up - my cousin J (who I will kindly refer to as Johan despite his hate of my nickname for him) and his future wife S this Saturday!

Diners, Drive-ins & Dives - Cempazuchi

Monday, May 17, 2010 - 
I think (most) Food Network people have fantastic jobs.  Oh, and the Travel Channel, those people are hooked up too!  Reason why?  They get to go to all of these fantastic places to try all different kinds of food.  Lucky people...

Guy Fieri, Food Network personality, has one of those great jobs.  He travels around the country to scope out diners and other casual establishments to find people who are passionate about food.  And what do they do with their passion?  They make the locals passionate about it as well.  Guy gets to "find" these places (I use "find" because really, I'm not sure if he does it all, but either way, fantstic for him) and try their creations.  Guy's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, is a show I never seek out to watch, but as the Food Network is my default channel, I end up watching a lot of them.

I imagine driving around the country to eat at all these places that he finds.  When I pass Triple XXX in West Lafayette on my way to Purdue University, I always say, "I have to try that place!"  And yes, it is only because Guy was there and said it was good.  I would have never thought about stopping there otherwise. 

So when hubs and I were on our way to Milwaukee post wedding (more to come, it is wedding season after all!) I started to search my phone to see if there were any Guy recommended spots in Milwaukee.  And yes, there was, a spot on Brady Street.  Brady Street is too cute, lots of fun shops and restaurants that scream "dine here!"  The weather was perfect, so we parked a few blocks away and made our way on the East side of Milwaukee to get some authentic Mexican food at Cempazuchi.

Yes.  Not beers or brats.  Mexican food.

We grabbed a booth inside the brightly decorated restaurant, opened our menus and started to drool.  We were greeted by a friendly server as well as a basket of chips and salsa.  After the welcome, I grabbed a chip because I just had to try the salsa.   The chips were perfect - the right thickness, perfectly salted and fried to perfection.  Not heavy, not greasy, just a delicious chip.  But the salsa is what got me.  There were two salsas, one which was a peanut based and the other was a garlic based.  Amazing.  The right amount of spice to balance out the main ingredient.  Tim said "I need to know how to recreate these at home."  This was not your everyday salsa, and I had to restrain myself from drinking it.

Perfection on a plate

We decided to get the queso fundido to start off our lunch.  There were a few options to the queso fundido - with housemade chorizo or poblano mushrooms.  I chose the chorizo - you just can't say no to homemade chorizo (unless you are a veggie eater, much love to you all.)  The queso was greasy, but I expected that with the chorizo.  It was served with their homemade tortillas, and I dove right into them.  I like cheese (insert Wisconsin jokes here) and the fundido was just that, cheesy goodness with chorizo spice.  Nutmeg and cinnamon shined through, but it was definitely something I couldn't eat a lot of.  Rich goodness, but share with friends!

My entree came (hubby wasn't feeling the best, so he just nibbled on mine and the chips) and the blue cornmeal perch looked phenomenal.  I had ordered Tacos de Tio Israel - aka. perch tacos.  NOM.  The crispy cabbage gave the perfect crunch component to the blue corn meal encrusted lake perch (I adore lake perch, and you can't get the good stuff outside of the big W.)  The corn tortillas held the goodness, while I used a little of the spicy, mayo based sauce to compliment the black beans and cilantro.  Squirt of lime - you had a fiesta going on.  The rice was perfectly cooked and complimented with ground cilantro, but I only had a few bites as I filled up the tacos (and chips & salsa.) 

Hopefully I can get hubby to stop in Chicago on the way back to Indy...I know Guy has a lot of fun spots there.  I'm such a sucker for restaurants that have been seen on tv.  Anyone else?

Roasted Tomato Pasta Dinner

Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 
Nothing beats getting home to the smell of fresh baked bread.  Hubby has been perfecting his bread skills, and last night, I was enveloped in the delicious smell when I got home from my hair appointment.  And really, I applaud hubby.  He's been on this bread kick, and I like it.


So what better to compliment this bread with some roasted tomato pasta?  Hubby already had the tomatoes ready for the oven, so he popped them in before I took over as he finished up some things around the house.  To prep them, he tossed cherry tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, some red wine vinegar and salt & pepper.  The oven did the rest.

Just enough so they pop and produce yum liquid

I boiled some pasta while the tomatoes were roasting.  Hubs and I can't agree on pasta - I like the whole wheat, he doesn't.  So, we normally compromise and mix it up.We've lucked out with the type of pasta lately (both were from a gift basket we got at Christmas,) so they actually cook well together.

Compromise is pretty

After all is said and done, I tossed the tomatoes & their juice with the pasta.  Then, I added some basil that I chopped up, along with dried red peppers, garlic powder (but roasting garlic with the tomatoes would have been a good idea) and few other herbs. 

And to make it creamy, I added goat cheese to the top.  Delish. Really simple, and yes, lots of carbs, but sometimes you've got to do that.  Lots of different ways to jazz it up, but simple rustic is always good with me.

Now, if only we had a bottle of red wine in the house.  I'm not sure how we missed that one...but I am happy to report that we had enough for leftovers, which definitely made me happy today!

Legally Blonde The Musical

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 
I've been busy, I apologize.  Pup had her spay, and then she was dubbed with the 'cone of shame.'  But my "cone dog" is no longer...this is her on her way to get the stitches (and cone) removed. 

Hubs has been craving corn dogs ever since she was dubbed 'Cone Dog'

Either way, I promise I'm back and will be better...on that note, Legally Blonde The Musical recap!

I had been wanting to see Legally Blonde The Musical ever since I heard it was traveling to Indy, so why did I hold off on buying tickets for so long?  No week to go until it began and it was a "omigod" type moment.  Tickets seemed sold out (or more than I wanted to spend,) but alas, the hubby came through!  So when he said, "I know how much you want to go, so yes, I will be your date!" I was ecstatic!

Love Playbills, they remind me of my friend, TO
The musical took place this past Saturday at Clowes Hall (yes, the same place we saw 101 Dalmatians) on Butler University's campus.  Little did I know this was also graduation weekend for Butler, but we made it in time to grab our seats and see the stage before it began.

Photo taken from phone, but the classic Tiffany's bracelet 

Have you seen MTV's Legally Blonde?  Cause this was so much better! 

The songs are still stuck in my head ("omigod, omigod you guys...") and I can remember all the times I was laughing during the show.  The actors and actresses were phenomenal, especially Elle and the UPS man (oh gosh, the music for his walk, too funny,) as you really believed their characters and the emotions they were feeling.  And yes, I am a Sorority woman, so there are times that made me appreciate it that much more (sisters of Delta Nu with the hand signals and it.)

I was sitting next to two theatre lovers that I did not know, and they just couldn't stop laughing and sighing with amusement.  Even hubby said how it was "one of his favorites, right up there with Wicked" so that goes to show how amusing it really was.  Do I recommend it if you have the opportunity to see it?  Absolutely!  And yes, I'm talking to you Mrs. Shutterboo!

I may need to get this soundtrack...

And on another unrelated note, my dear friend Fun & Fearless in Beantown is engaged to Mr. B!  So excited for these two!  Lots of hugs from this gal to them!