Aussies like the Aristocrat

I helped three Australians find the Holiday Inn Aristocrat.

Not that interesting. Footnote on that I had originally intended the title of this journal to be Steve's Urban Non-Adventures.



I used to go to Del's Charcoal Burgers in downtown Richardson on a weekly basis for lunch while I was an undergrad at UTD. My visits continued during the grad school days, but they certainly weren't as frequent and dropped off almost entirely when I started working in the A.I. Lab.

Since I'm working a couple blocks away from Del's and I drove today, I decided to say hi to my old friends. I got really excited on the way over, wondering what the reaction would be to an old face ordering a "double-9 and curly fries." Well, much to my dismay, my old friends have gone.

Del's itself is still there. It's been in business since 1957 and likely will be in 2057. But the management has changed. It really shouldn't have surprised me, after the death of the principal owner. But it seemed to me like the rest of his family was going to carry on.

The look of the place was spiffed up, but with mail-order signs of yesteryear Dr. Pepper and Elvis. Antique brick facade was glued ontop of the existing brick in places to give it a hole-in-the-wall feel...even though the building has been more hole than wall for years. Overall, it's lost its authenticity. It was cleaner though, proudly displaying a food safety award presented by the Richardson Health Department.

The management, although different, was still friendly and welcoming the guests, including some regulars I still recognize. The old menu hadn't changed one bit, so my "double-9 and curly fries" request was readily understood.

And the food? It seems as though most of the ingredients are the same. The only differences I've noticed are that the cheese is served beneath the meat rather than above it and the meat is cooked longer, likely in effort to maintain the safety award. The obvious downside here being that the well-done beef patty has lost it's juice. And ultimately, a dry burger is not going to keep me going back.


encounters on the rail

There ain't no legitimate reason to carry around your beverage in a brown paper sack. But this man seemed about as close as you get. He got on at Walnut Hill (right next to Presbyterian of Dallas) in scrubs. I think he had a 16oz of beer, though it wasn't like he was eager to reveal this. He sat down looking pummelled. I guess it's pretty easy to have a rough day in a hospital.

About 2-3 dozen women from their early 20s to their mid 40s got on at Pearl Station. They were all dressed rather well, like for a cocktail ball. In a swarm, they nabbed about all of the available seating in the car and some of the standing room. Kind of random.

(Mind wandering...)

Anyway, as I was getting up, this dude sitting behind me asked me if there was a good record store somewhere along the rail line. I tried to help him out, but it's really a disappointing prospect. Chalking that up with a movie theater as necessities for thriving downtown district.


Morning run

Reverchon Park still creeps me out what with all the dudes who roll up, park and sit there in their cars. Plus there was that previous incident with the guy following me.

After Mark called to say he wouldn't make it, I moved my car over to a spot on Turtle Creek. From there I walked to the Katy Trail at Fairmont. It's nice to see police going up and down occasionally on bicycles.



I spent a pretty penny taking my wife to Local in Deep Ellum last night. Cuisine was a bit like traditional American food turned on its head. Fried yellow tomatos composed the base of my salad of arugula and fried proscuitto. On the menu, they had an $18 burger...an $18 burger that they recommend having with a Chimay. Daaaaaamn. I'm going to have to go back and try that one. Might actually be worth it. Great wine selection, although a bit pricey. The alcohol wound up being about $60 for the two of us. I got a split of Renwood 2002...zin was it? And Emily had a French chardonnay with a very nice finish.

Decor was pretty sweet. Homey, yet chic. Guidelive photo really didn't do it justice at all. Half the music they played seemed borrowed from my personal collection. Thievery, Kruder-Dorfmeister, Portishead...oh and Bonobo.

Not an easy place to find if you're driving, and we were given the heat this time of year. They had a small sign in the window that wasn't lit when we arrived at 7:30pm.

Overall, thumbs up. We'll have to go back when we're feeling rich again.

It had to happen

I've been talking too long about starting a blog where my urban encounters are recorded for all the internet to ignore. Episodes like the non-retarded retarded man and the racist black man are already in the past. I cannot afford to lose track of any more.

I'll also occasionally be reviewing restaurants cause I like food and stuff.