Food and games

Fabulous foursome
At Ken G.'s Cinco de Mayo party

Around Easter a few weeks ago, Janice and I visited her extended family in Pennsylvania. We had a pleasant time, and spring greenery had arrived there a few weeks ahead of New England (my allergies have since caught up).

In addition to seeing Janice’s grandmother, we went to Zern’s flea market and Talarico’s sandwich shop. On the way back, we stopped at Cracker Barrel, which reminded me of the Ninety Nine and the Black-Eyed Pea, a homestyle Southern restaurant near where we once lived in Virginia. I’m a big fan of family eateries, even it’s not healthy to visit them too often.

I’ve recently started reading and contributing reviews on Zagat and Yelp, as well as coupon e-mailing lists Groupon and Living Social. Just over a week ago, we used a Groupon at Pomodoro, a nice Italian restaurant in downtown Needham, Massachusetts.

On Tuesday, 3 May 2011, Janice and I went to the Needham Public Library for a presentation on the Phantom Gourmet, a local television show that focuses on New England restaurants. Mike Andelman, part of the family behind the show and its events, was approachable and informative. Even with the economic recession, Boston has become a “foodie town,” with numerous cuisines and options.

Although I was disappointed at the Phantom Gourmet‘s defense of the Upper Crust’s exploitation of illegal immigrants, I appreciate that the show has focused on affordable eateries and not just fancy ones.

During the Boston Comic Con, I had lunch at CafĂ© Jaffa, a Middle Eastern restaurant in the Back Bay. Like a few friends, I’ve been on a falafel kick lately, and if I had to become a vegetarian, it would be a staple of my diet. Speaking of vegetarian friends, Janice and I attended Ken G.‘s annual Cinco de Mayo party at Jillian’s in Worcester, Mass.

We enjoyed the food, drink, and company, including former co-workers Michele L.D. and Bob R. and fellow blogger Thomas K.Y. While I get along well with my current co-workers and gamers, it takes years of common experiences to build a strong rapport. We also played pool, air hockey, and assorted carnival and video games.

Unfortunately, on the way home that night, my car started making a lot of noise. The next morning, I took it to Boch Honda, where pipe repairs and a fluid flush totaled $800.

Coming soon: Thor, steampunk festival, and more!