January 27, 2011

Pretty Cool

Something pretty cool happened last night. After watching President Obama's State of the Union address, I took to my organization's Twitter account and immediately began engaging the Greek community. I felt that Obama's speech was important and addressed several key issues that have been major talking points for my organization this year; the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, Education Reform, and immigration have served for the basis for many events nationwide Chi Upsilon Sigma has sponsored. Staying true to our political roots, I was interested in starting a conversation about Obama's speaking points. Little did I know that one, in a flurry of tweets, would appear on the home page of the New York Times website. It may have been only for a fleeting moment, but it was pretty cool that someone from the paper recognized us out of thousands of tweets. Go CUS!

January 23, 2011

Techie Weekends

I recently purchased a new phone. It was time, I was still using a Blackberry 8900, you know, the one with the trackball? I've upgraded (for a discounted price due to my loyalty to T-Mobile) to an Optimus T, and I think its pretty awesome. Its an Android phone which is great for apps moreso than Blackberry. Every time I loaded an app on my Blackberry to would slow to a near halt, but the updated Android OS is fast and responsive. Its all touch screen and has Swype capability for texting which is really cool to use. I'm a little addicted to the swype feature because of its ease and just sheer "how does it know what I'm typing" effect. I couldn't be happier with my new phone and all the apps I can now enjoy...mainly playing Angry Birds. If there's one complaint I have its this; I don't get real time updates of Twitter, Facebook or my e-mails, if anyone has tips on how to do this let me know! I guess the rep I called when activating my Android web package was right, "you're going to LOVE this phone".

January 21, 2011

Restaurant Week: The Verdict

Today concludes the first half of restaurant week, and boy is my belly tired! The huslte and bustle of making reservations was well worth my experience yet again! Here's the verdict on the two places I went for this season:

Phillip's -- This place is a childhood favorite of mine. Growing up in D.C., my family and I used to go to Phillip's on The Wharf. The Wharf is a seafood market lined with a few unique seafood restaurants, everything from mom-and-pop, to fine dining. Sure its by the water and smells like fish, but the Wharf is one of those places that always mesmerizes you because each time you go you find another gem. Another stand with fresh seafood, another vendor with his own exotic mixture of spices, and for me Phillip's was always the place that brought the experience together.
Their restaurant week menu included, soup, salad, a main course and dessert. Cream of Crab soup had real chunks of crab, which is always a plus, and the salad cleansed my palate just in time for the main course. I went with a couple of friends, so we all got something different to share. I got the steak, one friend got the crab cakes, and another the shrimp linguine. Steak was cooked perfectly, crab cakes were to die for, and the shrimp linguine was decadent. The plump prawns were an awesome compliment to the garlic, buttery pasta. The garlic and oil tossed broccolini was a pleasant surprise, and the mashed potatoes were perfectly creamy. The carrot cake was moist and delicious, and the cheesecake was gone in no time! I've never had a bad experience at Phillip's and the wait staff was just as pleasant. None of these portions were too small and filled us to delight, needless to say, Monday ended very well.

Fogo De Chao -- I've already been to Chima and loved it there, but people have been telling me "go to Fogo, its so much better!" While both have a delicious meats cooked to your liking, Fogo's atmosphere felt more open and bright. Again, the waitstaff at both places were top notch, and the food was amazing, but I think the general consensus last night was; Chima was an overall better experience. Chima's aisles were bigger, the salad bar had more options and the polenta had more flavor. In no way am I knocking Fogo, that place is amazing, but personally I felt my style and personality suited Chima a little better, and the frozen cheesecake at Fogo pushed that message home for me.

I'd love to try some places for the 2nd half of the week, but all of my funds have been reserved for "grown up" things (bills). If you haven't been to Restaurant Week yet, pick a place and go! Your wallet, and palate will thank you.

Also, CONGRATULATIONS to my friend and fellow Greek & Blogger Eric C. for being voted "Professional of the Year" by the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 2010 was a big year for you! Much success in 2011 mi amigo!

January 17, 2011

Restaurant Week Winter 2011

In a few hours I will be partaking in Philadelphia's Restaurant Week. I've spoken of this week many times; I truly believe its a gift from God. A three course meal at some of the city's finest restaurant's for less than $40?! I've saved up to hit up two places: Phillip's Seafood Restaurant (a sentimental favorite) and Fogo De Chao, which I've been told many times to try. I wanted to aim for a third restaurant, but that's not part of getting "financially fit" this year. I'll be sure to report my experiences like only a true foodie can! Bon Appetit!

January 12, 2011

New Year, New Challenges

No one said it would be easy. We all take an oath every January first to improve or become "better" in some way. We anticipate that it will be challenging, but we struggle through to get to the end result. No one said it would be easy, but I never anticipated it being this hard! The struggle is what makes the reward so sweet, but when you feel like the struggle can/will break you, what do you do?

I've made a conscious decision to never give up (a side affect of pledging I think), and follow a plan through. This year I made no resolutions; I just promised myself I'd continue to do good things, have good thoughts and make smart decisions. Staying focused and sticking to what ever I decide to take on will have to get me through. Even though I must say, its really hard to be your own biggest cheerleader.

January 4, 2011

Club Sexism

Its a typical Friday night and you're dressed to the nines. You accompany your crew to the hottest club on its hottest night. After what seems like a forever wait in the line, you go to whip out your ID and cash when the bouncer tells you, "we can't let you in". Dumbfounded and searching for answers, you and your crew say in unison (stank face and all), "why"? "We can't let you in here dressed like that" Really? Your outfit clearly fits this clubs dress code, no white tee, fitted cap, sneakers, no excessive skin, actually not much skin at all....and therein lies the problem.

You've become a victim of "Club Sexism".

Its a phenomenon that sadly exists and always has. I've been the victim of it many times because I don't wear heels, skirts, dresses, extremely tight skinny jeans or show a little boob when I go out (but it doesn't mean I don't look fly). This doesn't just happen to women, it happens to men as well. Think about it, men usually pay 50-100xs as much as a woman to get into a club, and they mostly pay for the alcohol (some have even been denied bathroom privileges for not buying a drink), for a typical guy to drop $100 on a night out is par for the course.

Playing devil's advocate; yes, every club has the right to keep membership exclusive, no one wants a club full of duds. However, if I fit all of your basic "rules" what's the issue here? I'm not sexually enticing enough to elicit a drink from a man? Or since a guy doesn't want to drop $50 at your bar he's a loser? Absolutely not! Most clubs need to get over themselves really. I don't know about everyone else but places I've been recently, who enforce ridiculous rules on prospective patrons usually have one, if not more, of these 3 issues:

1.Wack Music
2.Not enough people behind the bar/rude bartenders
3.No one in the club

And you still turn people away?! Word to the wise, avoid these clubs, they usually don't last. Good bars, clubs, lounges, etc... will accept you no problem, as long as you don't look like a thug or a homeless person. If you do become a victim of club sexism, just leave, never return, and spread the word to all your friends. Word of mouth = reputation. Remember that.