Saturday, February 24, 2007

bad blogger, haven't posted for a while

I've been bad. I haven't posted for a while. What has happened since I last typed...

1. Five of us had lunch at Madison and 5th today. 1pm on a Saturday downtown Palo Alto was busy, Madison and 5th wasn't so. Mad and 5th is an Italian eatery with a decent menu, clashing interior and high prices ($11 for a glass of the house red. "It's from Napa!" is all the waiter could tell us about it).

Three of the five diners were vegetarian. The waiter insisted the soup of the day was vegetarian. He didn't sound convincing, so we asked him to double check. The hostess came by to inform us the soup had chicken stock.

I had the Gratin of Pear Carpaccio, a confused dish of thinly sliced pears with lettuce hiding cheese and nuts melted on the top of some of the pear slices. Once I discovered where the cheese and nuts were, I enjoyed the dish more.

For a main course I had the pumpkin ravioli in a brown butter sage sauce special of the day. It was quite tasty, but I would have enjoyed one or two raviolis with a side of veggies instead.

Dessert was a Nutella crepe with what looked like mango in it (!!??) with a fruit sauce on top and vanilla ice cream. The elements were good, combined was a bit strange. I should have ordered a different dish, the dough used for the ravioli and the crepe had similar tastes. The kid had her first chocolate fondue. It was a match made in heaven.

Overall the meal was good. I'd eaten here once before, and was luke warm on the place. I'll give them one more try before passing final judgement.

I'll try to bring my camera next time!

2. Read Tuva or Bust!
A few weeks back a KFJC jock played a Tuvan throat singing piece. I'd heard Tuvan pieces in the past, but this piece caused me to google for information on Tuva. I found mention of Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's Last Journey, and picked it up from the library.

The book recalls the author, Ralph Leighton, and his friend Richard Feynman's attempt to travel to Tuva in the late 1970's, early 1980s based on their interest in the spelling of the capital Kyzyl. Tuva was part of the Soviet Empire. Soviet/US relations were not great at the time. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is the work required to investigate each and every fact, potential contacts, and hoops to jump through for permission to travel to Tuva in the pre-Internet age.

Madison & Fifth
367 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA
(650) 323-3900

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