A Tale of Two Tony’s

Well, it’s the end of the month already and my favorite blog time is here….

Restaurant of the month!

NavySeal and I were out and about (again) and while heading home, we passed 2 Tony’s in Bucktown. Now, I gotta say, for me..it’s always been hard to go to  II Tony’s.

It’s not that I’d heard anything bad about them but, II Tony’s is walking distance from Deanies Seafood.

It’s hard as hell to pass up Deanies!

But, I did.

I held my head down and passed Deanies and all of that delicious seafood…

and went to  II Tony’s.

and was I ever glad I did!

We arrived before the lunch crowd. The place is small…the atmosphere, really nice.  NavySeal said that, inside of it reminded him of the scene in the Godfather when Michael killed  “The Turk” Virgil Sollozzo and  police Captain McClusky.

yeah, I can see that.

Hey, don’t be surprised that I know the characters in the Godfather off the top of my head( I know the Oracle and Andrea aren’t surprised…lol.) I’ve had a small obsession with The Godfather since  high school.  I read the book in 1978 and have seen both versions of the movie…most people don’t know they’re two versions. They tend not to show the other version which I happen to like because, it’s more detailed. It’s also my “holiday movie” to cook to.  For some reason, whenever I’m cooking for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I end up playing that movie.  I think it’s because part one and part two are so long,  that they keep me company while I’m cooking.

See, this how obsessed I am with the movie.  This pic was taken in 2006. NavySeal and I had gone to Universal Studios in Florida and they have the Genco Olive Oil Company front with Michael Corleone name on it… and I just HAD to take a picture by it.

NavySeal started with a salad and me, well…I had the seafood gumbo.

I usually don’t like my gumbo with Okra in it but, this darned gumbo was so frigging good!  I ate the whole thing and that’s something I don’t usually do because, I like to leave room in my tummy for the “big kahuna” dish.

NavySeal had Veal Parmesan as his big kahuna dish.  The veal was so tender and juicy…I wanted his dish after he let me taste it.

I like the fact that, it’s a nice serving…not too much not too little. NavySeal ain’t trying to bring home no doggie bags if ya know what I mean.

I was torn between two dishes and eventually decided on  the Lasagna. I was surprised that it looked like this. I’m used to my lasagna having more length than bulk. but, after tasting it…who the heck cared? It was delicious!

The wait staff was mediocre but, the food was great.

I had been looking at II Tony’s it seems like forever but, as I’ve said…it’s so hard to pass up Deanies and go somewhere else when you’re right there.

I’m glad I went though.

Would I go again? Probably not.

Why?

Because Deanies will trump them every.single. time.

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YellowJacket

It was a YellowJacket weekend. Saturday, ole’ girl had a volleyball game and then her homecoming dance was that night. I had no idea my child could play volleyball that well. I should have known she was going to be awesome because for some reason we tend to excel at sports. Track and gymnastics was my thing when I was her age. I was great at both.  This child is a darned POWERHOUSE! I even heard the other team talking about her before they started the game.  The team leader said, “watch out for #8…she hits the ball hard and deep so when she serves, everybody step back.”

She wasn’t lying.  YellowJacket served the ball and the darned ball looked like it was gonna go in the basketball goal!Those are just practice pictures…I couldn’t get her serving in the game because, my camera broke.

Later that evening, she went to her homecoming dance. I love to watching her make that transition from ” musician or sports chick” to “girly girl” (she’s been playing the trumpet for 5 years now.) She does it so well.  Most of the sports chick I knew (me included)hated the transition to “girly girl.” But, not her….she soaks it right up.

16 year olds didn’t look like this when I was one.  Finding a dress that’s not “too hoochie” and not too “grown up” ain’t easy when your 16 year old daughter is built like a grown ass woman.Yeah, we got guns…a lot of  guns. LOL. She’s a good girl and I like the fact that, she’s a kid at heart. So many girls today want to grow up fast  but, she still loves to color in coloring books and hang out with her friends.  She’s  a big baby…even though she’s standing over 6 feet tall in this pic. Without heels…5’9″ …still tall for a woman.

That’s her with her best friend.They’re two peas in a pod.   Time is going by so fast, in two more years she’ll be spreading her wings. She’s the last of the lot so, what will I do then?  I wonder if I’ll go through the empty nest syndrome.

I better enjoy the  moments while they’re here….and I do.

We’re In The Guinness Book Of World Records!

Wednesday, NavySeal and I were out running errands and while listening to the radio (AM 87.0) Garland Robinette was broadcasting live from the Superdome .  He mentioned that, they had the world’s largest king cake at the dome and Haydel’s Bakery was setting a world record not once but, twice.  The public was invited to the event and the proceeds from the cake was going to the Susan G. Komen cure for breast cancer foundation.

Well, with a win-win situation like that, there was no way I was not going! I get to eat king cake in September and the proceeds are going to the fight against breast cancer…count me in!

So, we headed off to the Superdome and boy, was I surprised when we got to the dome parking  lot and found out that, parking was free!

This cake is (was) the Anaconda of king cakes!

The inner ring is the cake that broke the previous record, which to our surprise, was held by a bakery in Houston, Texas.

WHAT!?  How in the world did a bakery in Houston have the world record for the largest king cake?  Well, we’ll have no more of that!

Don’t they know we’re food snobs down here? Ya gotta be from “da boot” if ya gonna hold that record *humph*

The outer ring broke the inner ring’s record.

We hit the dome around 11:30, they started cutting the cake at noon.  Garland was still broadcasting live when we arrived.

I just love Garland…he tells it like it is!  The line of people in the front was a line for free t-shirts.  Yeah, in addition to the king cake, if you arrived early enough, you could get a free one compliments of Monogram t-shirts.  I don’t know how many folks were able to get one but,

y’all know I was getting one of those bad boys! Especially with the controversy surrounding the “who dat” phrase going on.

After awhile,the crowd starting snaking around the dome just like the cake,The turn out was great, king cake was awesome. It was hot as hell out there, but we’re used to that so…no biggy here…and they had free water for everyone.NOLA, anytime you need me to eat something  “fantabulous” and it’s going to a great cause as well…I’m there.

Blogging on the Bayou…Transitions.

Hi Y’all!

Haven’t been ’round these here parts lately because, I’m preparing for my daddy to return home.  Seems that, he was in the hospital  a few weeks ago (and didn’t call to tell anyone.) We found out when one of my brothers called him and he “just happened” to be in the hospital.  Said he didn’t call anyone because he didn’t want us to panic.

Are you kidding me? I panic when I DON’T know about something, not when I do.

I swear, sometimes my family forgets that I’m a nurse.

His current state of health requires him to either enter a nursing facility or come back home by me.

That’s a no brainer…dude is coming home.

So, I have more than a few things to do before the transition is final. But,when he comes home, that’s one less thing I’ll have to worry about.  Him being in Houston was kinda stressing me out because, my dad is hard-headed and thinks his 80 year old body is that of a 50 year old…and it ain’t.

Just think of  Albert Lambreaux  in Treme and you pretty much have my dad. Stubborn, a man of few words but, when he does speak, it’s pretty heavy.  Hard-headed as the day is long…yep, that’s him.

It’s gonna be quite the battle when I have to take those car keys from him.

Purpleknight and YellowJacket are ecstatic that their “paw-paw” is coming back ( I guess so, he gives them everything and anything they want.)

To be honest, so am I.  I miss the old man. He’s my rock. If all I have to do is make sure he’s comfortable in his elder years and well taken care of  until he makes his final transition…I can do that standing on my head.

NavySeal is beyond amazing because, he supportive of  everything.  He had taken care of his mom until she took her last breath so, he understands.

It’s wonderful when you have a partner in life that’s on the same page as you are.

Now, on a lighter note;

I never thought KEVIN would win Top Chef!  How’d that happen?

I’m just glad Angelo didn’t win.  Anyone could have won, just as long as it wasn’t Angelo. He was kinda smug the entire show except for when Kenny was eliminated. That shook him up pretty bad because, he considered Kenny his only competitor.  Tiffany didn’t win but, she got some serious cash and a honeymoon out of the deal…not too shabby.

Now, I’m ready for Top Chef Masters!

I’m some glad the Saints won when they played the Vikings.  With all the hoopla that was going on in the city that day…my goodness, it looked like a Superbowl event. All the networks were broadcasting from here, a parade, a concert.  Yeah, glad they won. We would have never lived that one down if they had lost.

I could just here the naysayers screaming in their deepest southern drawl,

Y’all had all that down there for the first season game and ya lost it!

Anyone watching the Apprentice?  Lawd, Mahsa made me wanna jump through the telly and roundhouse kick her!  She is a Tiger!

Poor Nicole…Mahsa  was shaking her like rag doll  in that boardroom.  I found it interesting that, they are both attorneys and around the same age. Mahsa being an ADA, clearly has that “killer instinct” and has no problem going for the jugular.

Yesterday, I spotted a “shrimp vendor” at the old Gentilly Woods Mall selling them for 3lbs for $10. He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse…7lbs for $20!

The best part is, he has some of the prettiest shrimp! Gracious!

If you’re in the area, he’s on the Louisa Street side by the bank.  Don’t sleep on him because his shrimp look great and they’re fresh!

Now, if he would only go get me some crabs…lol

We had shrimp po-boys last night. I think Imma hook up some stuffed bell peppers for Sunday dinner. I have all the heads and shells and plan on making my shrimp stock today to use for my other dishes like gumbo and whatnot.

I hope he’s in the area around the holidays…nothing like a good seafood vendor around that time of the year.

That’s all I got going on random with me.  What’s happening in your neck of  the woods?

Day 11-My Siblings

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this one for a while now. I’ve decided to just tell a bit about  each one of my siblings…that way you’ll get to see more of what makes up ole’ Ali.  My brothers have had quite an influence in my life.

Ok, my parents originally had 9 kids…8 boys and me. I was directly in the middle with 4 older and 4 under however, two of my older brothers passed and I grew up with 6 of my brothers.

Let me add that, my parents had a fetish for the letter D.  All 6 of  my brother’s name begin with D. We used to love to listen to her get all tongue-tied, trying to get the right “D” name out  when she was angry at one of them..totally hilarious.

My Posse’

Brother #1. The Musician.

He’s the oldest living brother. Because, he’s the oldest, he was the disciplinarian out of us kids. He  kept us in tow, and watched us when my parents went out on the town. This is the brother that taught me every new dance that was out at the time. He’d grab me and we’d end up doing the bump, the 4 corners or whatever the dance of the day was back in the late 60’s and 70’s. He’s an awesome dancer and because of him,so am I.  He started playing the drums at 10 years old, went to St. Aug , was a member of the Marching 100’s  and received a full musical scholarship to college. He’s a big shot with the government but, he’s still a musician.  He loves the sound of those drums, and is the reason I’m such a “bandhead.”
I call  him my “2nd daddy” because, treats me more like a daughter than a sister…and that’s fine with me.

Brother #2. The Mechanic.

This dude rebuilt his first engine at 14 years old (yeah, I know.) Growing up, he was the most adventurous one.  He loved anything and everything fast. Every car he ever owned was always “suped up” by him and then, he’d race it.  He rarely lost. Never had any  formal training as a mechanic but, can listen to a car and tell you exactly what’s wrong with it. Some people are just gifted in other areas and this dude is a mechanical genius. He loves cars. Loves to build ’em…loves to race ’em. Very popular, even to this day when someone hears my last name, they ask if I’m kin to him.   Growing up, I would go racing with him or he’d take me riding on his motorbike. Thinking about it now, it seems really weird  because, The Mechanic and I could not get along.  He was oil and I was water. But, we were always together…go figure.  I get my “lead-foot” from him.

Brother #3. Mr GQ

This is the one that had to look “just so.” If you asked him to run to the store for a loaf of bread, he had to take a bath(again), iron his jeans, put on cologne and everything else before he left.   In high school, this cat was on his way to school and before he made it there,  the CREASE fell out of his pants.  He turned around, came back home, re-ironed his pants and then, went to school. He’s still a sharp dresser today. When he married, he married a woman just like him.  When they would come over, my mom would say, the “pretty people” are here.  He’s pretty laid back, the “I”m too sexy fo’ my car” one in the family.LOL

Brother #4.  The Ruff-Ryder

Given the name because, while in California, he was a member of the Ruff-Ryder Motorcycle Club. He has a love for fast bikes and cars like The Mechanic but, he can’t build ’em…just race ’em.  Growing up, he and I were extremely close. I was his big sis and he looked up to me. He had this crazy sense of  humor and would keep me laughing.  We were so close that, when he was in the Navy and I was a Navy wife, we made sure that we’d both end up stationed in the same location…San Diego. And on the plus side,Mr. GQ was in Barstow, just a few hours away. Even the military couldn’t keep us apart!  Brutally blunt and outspoken, he was the most protective of me growing up and would give my boyfriends a hard way to go.

Brother#5. The Testimony

This brother is the one that put a few gray hairs on my parents head. Started hanging with a bad bunch of dudes and did some time or as they say today, “went on vacation.”  For his birthday, I did a post here so, I won’t go into all of that because, I’ve already done it.  Y’all just click and read…it really is a testimony. Growing up, he was really attached to my mom.  When she passed, he took it the hardest. He looks up to me as well and often seeks my opinion before he makes a decision regarding something.

The Musician and The Testimony are 20 years apart…and I still have one to go.

Brother #6.  The Oracle 

He’s the only person in my family who reads my blog. The last of the lot, he was spoiled by my mom and me. His blog name is The Oracle because, dude is a MENSA  genius. That in itself is quite a story. My mom was 42 when she had him. Everyone, including the doctors advised against it. Said that, he could have down syndrome because she and my dad were in their 40’s etc.  Well, she had him and when he was 2 years old, we noticed that, dude was actually reading. He’d sit in my mom’s lap while she read the paper and would actually read the words.

No, there wasn’t any Baby Can Read or stuff like that involved. Are ya joking? My mom had her first child at 18, she had her last kid at 42!  She was tired.  By the time he came along, she had already raised 6 kids…the last thing she was gonna do was give herself extra work.

Nah buddy, you “learnt” to read in school back then….See Jane. See Spot..See Spot Run.

When Oracle  started school, he blew everything out of the water so, they tested him and that’s when they found out. I won’t say his score but, it’s really high. Like I’ve said, he’s MENSA.   I remember when, Ben Franklin High School contacted my parents and told them they wanted him to attend  and he was exempt from any and all entrance exams. That’s quite a feat considering what you have to go through to get into Ben.  Growing up, he was my baby.  He clung to me like a kola bear.   He wouldn’t go to sleep unless I was right there next to him. One time, I went by cousin’s house to spend the night but,  he cut up so bad that, my mom called and said she couldn’t do anything with him.  I had to go back home…thanks Oracle.

He’s the brother that’s the most like me. He’s moody(like me), flip at the lip(like me), and a geeky, nerd(like me.) We share the same sense of humor. He’s the brother that I’m closest to now.

He’s also 22 years younger than The Musician.

Growing up as an only girl was great. My brothers and I rarely argued…shoot, half the time, I had to run them out of my room. We’re still a pretty tight bunch, some closer than others but, that’s normal when there are a lot of siblings.

I never missed having a sister because, I always had so much fun with the fellas.  As you can see from some of the pics, they’re a wacky bunch of dudes…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Day 10-What you wore today

Yeah, yeah! This right here is the super, duper easy one!   ‘Bout time y’all eased up on this challenge!

SCRUBS…oh, I love me some scrubs!  Takes the guess work outta trying to find something to wear to work.

Today, I was out in the field so, I was rocking everything white.

White scrub top and pants

white lab coat

white tennis shoes

white socks

Crisp and clean in white.