Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Coffee Call in Baton Rouge

We are going to grab a bite of breakfast before we check out of our Baton Rouge hotel, when we catch sight of the line, the very very long line, and people are carrying plates of rolls and cups of coffee back to their room; there is no place to sit and eat because the conference room is all set up for the final meeting of the conference.

LOL, no, we are not going to stand in line for breakfast. I know just the place to go; I found it earlier on TripAdvisor, but with breakfast included in our room, I hadn’t a hope of getting there. But it is nearby, and just what we need! We check out, and head for Coffee Call.

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The minute we walk in, we love this place. There are businessmen reading the paper, sipping their coffees, there are families with children who have put several tables together, there are all kinds of people just kicking back and enjoying this place.

We figure out that we have to go up to the front to order our coffee, tea and beignets 🙂 but because we are about to hit the road, we also order sausage biscuits for a little protein.

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The beignets are loaded with powder sugar. As we get ready to go, I go into the ladies room to wash hands and find another grandmother, trying to get powdered sugar off her two grandchildren, LOL.

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The Coffee Call gave our day a great start and sent us on our way with smiles on our faces 🙂

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October 27, 2014 Posted by | Cultural, Eating Out, Food, Hotels, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Road Trips | , , | Leave a comment

Jubans in Baton Rouge

So we’ve just had this strangeness with my new reinstated-credit card and my driver’s license, and AdventureMan is HUNGRY, and some very kind and helpful Baton Rouge friends have told us we have to try Juban’s for dinner, which sounds like exactly the place we would love our last night in Baton Rouge. Oddly, it is located in a non-descript strip mall, and the parking lot is so full we have to circle a couple times to find a spot.

When we find Juban’s, we are enchanged. It breathes elegance and atmosphere.

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You evidently can dine outside, but no-one was dining outside.

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There were a couple groups and a couple in front of us walking in; there were four large groups in various rooms (you can see this is where you schedule engagement parties, good-bye parties, getting-together with old friends parties, etc. This place is geared towards special times.) The groups were whisked away somewhere, and the couple in front of us was seated, and we were seated, almost immediately. We breathed a sigh of relief; we had no reservations, but we had a lovely table.

All around us were people gathered to have a good time. My favorite tables had children at them, and several generations, and the little girls all had dresses on and bows in their hairs, and the men were in coats and ties, and the groomed women wore nice dresses and pearls. At other tables, people were having business dinners, all dressed in coats and ties or nice business attire, the lighting was dim-but-good-enough-to-read-a-menu-by . . . . if we had a menu. We had no menus, and we didn’t seem to have a waiter.

We had plenty of time to observe.

After a good ten minutes, a waiter appeared and brought us two glasses of very very good wine . . . but no menus. He seemed annoyed when I asked for the menu; he was probably annoyed at the hostess, or something, I don’t know, but while he told us we had “the best waiter in the house” waiting on us, he never made us feel welcome in any way. He was entirely correct, in a very rushed, perfunctory kind of way.

We ordered. Food arrived fairly quickly. Our waiter never stopped by to ask how it was, or if we wanted more wine, or anything. It seemed to be an exceptionally busy evening; I didn’t see any of the waiters smiling or chatting cozily with any of the clients, so I wonder if it is part of the training that the waiters be rushed and perfunctory?

00JubansInterior

AdventureMan was the winner, with his Seafood Pasta. The sauce was intense, and truly wonderful, a sauce I would love to be able to make.

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I had a perfectly nice salad and non-fried seafood, the Salad Napoleon. The salad part had taste; the seafood, not so much
:
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I did order coffee, while AdventureMan finished up his exquisite Seafood Pasta. Normally, on a night like this, in a lovely restaurant, we might also have dessert, but we were so nonplussed at our non-welcome that we decided to pay the bill and leave.

I would go back, one time. I would give them the benefit of the doubt; it might have been just a very very unexpectedly busy evening and they found themselves short-staffed. I would give them another try, but I just have the feeling that maybe stuffy, rushed service is the norm rather than the exception. Pity, that, because the venue itself is wonderful.

And it was just another little strangeness . . . .

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Civility, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, Food, Living Conditions, Restaurant, Road Trips | , , | Leave a comment

Baton Rouge Strangeness

Baton Rouge was a city we really wanted to like, and there are so many things about Baton Rouge we DO like. While we were there, however, every single day, we experienced a little bit of bad JuJu, a little bit of strangeness. By the grace of God, it was ameliorated by the goodness and kindness of others, but it was just strange.

First, I have to tell you I am not a huge fan of shopping, but every now and then when I find the right thing, I know it and I buy it. When I found Trader Joe’s, I knew just what to buy, quality products we love. Then, I headed out to Macy’s, a store we do not have in Pensacola.

The Mall is huge, but it was early in the morning, I got a great parking spot, and although I had ended up far from Macy’s, I enjoyed the stroll. This is the first thing I saw, and it delighted my heart.

MallAnimals

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What is not to love about this menagerie of zoo animals for little children to ride through the mall? Children HATE mall shopping, but this is a game changer 🙂

I actually didn’t find anything I loved at Macy’s, but I did find two very classic T-shirts I knew I could use, nicely made, so I went to buy them and the cashier asked if I wanted to use my Macy’s card. I said “sure” but it turns out because I hadn’t used it in a while, I had to re-instate it, and when you do that, you get 20% off all day and the next day, plus a WOW card that gives you more discounts, plus another 20% off when they bill you. Holy mole, sign me up! But even though I looked, I really didn’t see anything else I wanted.

Back at the hotel, I told AdventureMan about this hot deal and talked him into going back to Macy’s with me. He looked, but he also didn’t find anything he liked, and then I found the children’s section, ummmm, errrrr . . . .. grandchildren’s section, and there were all kinds of things I liked a lot, and Christmas is coming, so lets get a little dollar-cost-averaging going. (AdvntureMan is rolling his eyes.)

When I went to pay, the patient salesgirl rang everything up, and then had to call some number because my total was high, and then asked me to show my driver’s license. I knew I had it, because I had it earlier when I re-instated my card. So I dug. It wasn’t there. I dug some more, I looked and looked, but no card. I was so embarrassed. The patient clerk held all the grandchildren clothes while I went downstairs where I had shown my card earlier, and sure enough, there it was. Thank God! What if we hadn’t gone back to the Mall? Months go by where I never show that card, and months from now I wouldn’t have known where to find it. I felt like my guardian angel was sitting on my shoulder. And it still felt like strangeness.

When I went back upstairs to the cashier, I showed the drivers license, and she called the security number again, and he asked me all kinds of questions, places I lived years ago, what cars are associated with my accounts, it was totally strange, and AdventureMan is looking bullish, steam coming out of his nostrils, stamping and huffing and puffing (he is hungry). Finally, he tells the cashier I am OK, and she rings me up, very apologetic. I told her it is just the times we live in, and honestly, I want security to be tough on people who might pretend to be me, so it was just a minor inconvenience. But just another little piece of Baton Rouge strangeness, little things that could eat away at happiness and well being if you let them . . . .

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Character, Customer Service, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Road Trips, Scams, Shopping, Technical Issue, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Big Ooops, Pardon Me

So I discovered that no, I cannot blog well with just an iPad on vacation; I can use safari to access WordPress or the “special” (i.e. limited) WordPress for iPad but I cannot seem to get it to allow me to modify the size of photos when I insert them, so I had these gigantuan data-eating photos dominating the entire blog entries. So sorry. I have fixed the earlier entries, and now will finish up the trip.

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Blogging, Technical Issue | Leave a comment