Tell Your Story

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Originally posted on Stronger at the Broken Places by David Chrisinger, story told by Christian Nooney
I’ve always been a social creature. My parents and close friends can attest to that. I’ve always been able to make fast friends in unfamiliar situations. Maybe that explains why I’ve always been attracted to storytelling. And just maybe 10+ years in the army has made me a better, or at least more comfortable, storyteller.
The first time I told a deployment story was my first night of mid tour leave from Iraq in April of 2007. My company had already taken 8 KIAs and a handful of WIA’s that wouldn’t be returning. We had moved from south of Baghdad, just off of MSR Tampa, to an OP on the outskirts of Fallujah, proper named Delta.
I had turned 21 two months before, and after spending six months downrange I had understandably gotten drunk. The story started innocently enough, with a friend of my girlfriend asking me what we had been doing in Iraq. Then came the canned “Have you ever shot anyone?” question.
I proceeded calmly, trying to bring back all of the sensory details I could about the night I had sat on the highway, waiting for the sun to come up to Police Call pieces of my friends from the pavement. I’ll refrain from the detail here, but as the story went on, I brought these civilian college students to a cold December night in a country they might struggle to find on a map.
I talked about the pervasive smell of gunpowder and blood, the guys in the truck with me, the relief as the last Marlboro Red in our truck was shared. I talked about the men who had gone that night, about the absurdity of Giff, and the calm coolness Linck had always displayed.
And so the story went.
By the time I had finished, I looked up at the circle of kids surrounding me, two girls held back tears, soft sobs punctuating the silence, three boys had their heads held down. To this day I could only imagine what went through their heads. Tension hung in the air; all of us were in unfamiliar territory with what to do next. But I wasn’t in Iraq so my sense of ease was better. One of them attempted an apology, condolences, something. But it all came out lacking, choppy, and eventually faded off. The confidence of combat pushed the cavalier attitude I was into. Their apologies to me were met with the soldiers’ equivalent of “Thanks for your service”—“Hey. It is what it is, no problem.”
The rest of the night and the rest of my leave I never hesitated to tell my stories, our stories, if someone showed a genuine interest and had the time to listen. I’m sure it got old for the people who were around me the most, and I know it made more than one relative stranger uncomfortable. But at that point it wasn’t about fitting into an image the public had painted me into. It was about getting everyone on the same page.
Similar  events have played out over my time and in multiple trips down range—both on the deployed side and the storytelling side. Some of it is probably therapeutic, putting words and validation to the dark thoughts that can run around in anyone’s head. Some of it is a desire to get people on a level understanding of me and my peers, to understand what the country has asked us to do for them. It’s not a plea to get behind the mission or the GWOT, it’s a plea to get involved and fix the way we implement foreign policy if you don’t agree (we can save that for another talk though).
The entitlement culture (as popular media would call it) hasn’t skipped the military. We feel as if we’re entitled to special treatment, often in the form of not waiting in a line; or not being bothered in public; or people being more situationally aware on the roads, clubs, restaurants, what have you. We feel as if we should get immediate respect without ever having to back that up a little. It turns civilians off from us, and it turns us off from civilians.
Let’s start to bring our stories to the average guy on the street, to get him to understand a small bit of our culture. We volunteered to serve as protectors of this country. Its people need to know what the country asked of us, and what we did in our service to the flag.
Take the time to tell your story, and tell it well. If you weren’t the hero or the centerpiece, that’s fine. I never was. You could just be someone involved in the events, maybe carrying a litter, maybe just sitting in the turret, but they were valid and real experiences nonetheless. Relive that event with the civilians you’re sharing the story with. You’ll find going back through it with company isn’t as bad as the first time it happened.

© The Traveling Barnacle

Would You Like Some Cheese With That?

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I like wine.  I drink it with my meals, in a constant symphony of flavors and tastes.  And sometimes I just drink it because life is hard and wine makes everything better.  Yet, sometimes the best meals I've ever had is a simple glass of wine paired with the perfect cheese.
Cheesy, salty, nom nom nom.  Seriously, cheddar paired with a Tempranillo or Cab is lovely.  And if you really want to play with those taste buds, pair it with some ham.
I'm not a big Rose girl.  Nor am I actually a big Parmesan lover either, so surprise surprise that these two go quite well together.  Add some hummus and toasted pita bread and you've got a great summer meal.
Manchego is one of my favorite cheeses.  It's made from goats milk and has a nutty-sweet taste that pairs beautifully with a Sauvignon Blanc.  It's crisp and really refreshing, so cut up some veggies and crunch the day away.
This is the sweet version of our Cheddar & Tempranillo pairing.  The Gruyere adds a nutty-sweet taste with a sherry that embodies salty, nutty and sweet.  You can even pair it further with some pretzels for more salt, peanut butter m&ms, or even some cheesy popcorn.
This is like the OG of wine pairing.  Just ask Burgundy, where they've been eating Gouda and washing it down with Chardonnay for hundreds of years.  Obviously something magical is happening here.
Creamy dreamy Camembert and Chardonnay.  Suddenly I feel so french. And while I'm not a fan of Chardonnays, paired with a roasted chicken and mushroom cream, these two can be the cherry on top of the perfect Sunday afternoon.
Picture a heavy creamy rich cheese, paired with light sweet bubbles. Need I say more?
Riesling is a seriously misunderstood wine.  People tend to box it off into the sweet category, but pair it with a brie and you're going to get those fruity delicious tones, rather than the sugary horrible ones you are probably thinking of.  If you're really hungry add more salt, like a bratwurst with sauerkraut, Thank you Germany.

The epitome of your desert option.  I'm not a fan at all, but the rule "Your desert wine should always be just as or sweeter than it's pairing" remains true.  Rich earthy Gorgonzola balances out a sweet Muscat any day.

And if you're still lost when it comes to my favorite meal, check out why you're probably drinking wine all wrong.

© The Traveling Barnacle

The Lion's Share; SDRW Continued.

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I couldn't help but make the most of San Diego's Restaurant Week, first with 94th Aero Squadron and then revisiting one of my favorite holes in the wall in the city; The Lion's Share.  When my dinner-date sat down across from me, I smiled and told her this was one of my favorite places.  "That's because if you owned a restaurant this would be it, Sarah.  Look around, this entire place screams YOU".  She was right, it was all mine.

The decor combines steam-punk with a vintage hunter's living room.  Animals decorate the walls in murals, collages and antlers.  The ambiance is romantic, dark, full of secrets and lovers.

The menu is incredibly extensive on it's own, and while most restaurants only give diners a peak into their menu's, The Lion's Share doesn't hold back, putting most of it's regular dishes in their SDRW Menu.

For starters I opted for the deviled eggs.  Each came with an exquisite topping, each more tasty than the last.  I must say, I usually go with their boar sausage poutine, because nothing about that sounds wrong ever, but the deviled eggs did not disappoint.  The Caviar and Truffle & Prosciutto came close to a tie as the best, and the Espelette simply made me want to go home and prepare deviled eggs asap.  After all they're so easy to make, yet somehow the Lion's Share goes above and beyond with each one.
 Deviled Eggs $9 Espelette, Caviar, Truffle & Prosciutto, Quail Confit
For my main course, there was no other choice than the "Chicken" Fried Quail, over a duck fat waffle, complete with Maple Mustard.  Holy Yum.  Seriously one of my favorite meals in all of San Diego, it's a real game changer when it comes to "Brinner" (Breakfast for Dinner).  The quail is cooked to perfection, not too dry, perfectly crispy.  And the waffle is both sweet and savory, sorry all you purists, this is not a meal for you.

Chicken Fried Quail $18 Duck Fat Waffle, Maple Mustard
For those of you who haven't caught on as to why "Brinner" is basically the best thing ever, don't worry, The Lion's Share has a ton of other menu options for you.  Their Steak is to die for, while their Burger proves to be out of this world.  And if you happen to get hungry past 11 p.m. on any night of the week, stop by for a bourbon and a plate of their Boar Sausage Poutine.  Trust me on this one, you're welcome.

© The Traveling Barnacle

Appearance Is Everything

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"Wow Sarah, you really have your sh*t together".  I could have laughed at my friend, but instead I smiled, knowing that the illusion had worked!  Truthfully, I don't really have it together.  Just like the rest of the average 20-something world, my life is less than perfect and tends to linger more on the chaotic side of things.  But I've figured out some key things that not only make me feel like I've got my life together, but make me appear as though I indeed have "my sh*t together".

I use a planner.  Holy hell would I be lost without it. Also going to take a moment and thank the lovely Mr. Lochtefeld for probably one of the most useful and amazing Christmas gifts I've ever received.  My planner contains all things purposeful.  Not only that, but when someone wants to make plans I can say "Let me look at my calendar" while I open up my life's Bible.

And speaking of notes, I always have a post-it note pad ready to jot down whatever I need/want/have to do.  I stick these notes everywhere, giving off the illusion of actually having things to do and possibly accomplishing them.  And honestly one of the most satisfying thing is crossing those things off the many lists.

I sleep in Pajamas.  Like real pajamas.  Not just a baggy tee-shirt and undies, like legitimately pajamas.  Somehow this makes me feel like even in my sleep I've got it together.

Same goes for my underwear.  There is something that screams "ADULT" when you actually wear your days-of-the-week undies on the actual day of the week written across your butt.  No more "Wednesdays" on Friday, and if you've got a matching bra, then that's a game changer right there.

I make my bed every morning.  Even if I just pull the comforter over the messy sheets, at least it looks like I made my bed.

Own some fantastic books and actually read them.  I have novels, biographies, and even coffee table books littered around my apartment.  And even if you don't read, all my house-guests now think I do.  Same goes for my yoga mat, it's totally propped up against that coffee table on purpose.

Skim the daily news.  Seriously it's not that hard to skim some sort of news outlet daily to get in the loop of what's what in the world today.  Instead of hitting snooze, I take that extra 5 minutes to read about what happened overnight and it makes what could have been awkward silences through out my day turn into riveting conversation about the world that make me seem wicked smaht.

Drink wine out of an actual wine glass and buy bottled water.  Seriously, sometimes it's not even about what you're drinking but how you're drinking it.

Personalize your stuff.  Like your email, use a signature.  Or if you're writing a letter, use actual stationary.

Get your kitchen somewhat sorted out.  Own actual spices instead of stealing a salt and pepper shaker from Burger King.  And have at least one decorative bowl or vase in your house, filled with something fresh like lemons or flowers.

And maybe, last but not least, own a plant.  At least people know you can keep more than yourself alive.

© The Traveling Barnacle

A Spicy Microwave-Less Kitchen

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"Where is your microwave"?  He said as I walked him through my small apartment.  The grand tour consists of three rooms, a large closet and a giant backyard, in which my small cat was already rolling around to prove to my guest that this was his area.

I don't own a microwave.  I haven't for nearly 3 years now.  Sure when I first moved to the United States from London, I wasn't going to bring my British microwave with me, and my financial situation made a microwave the last thing on my list when I got my first apartment.  So I cooked.  I learned that if I was hungry, I needed to start preparing the meal then, cuz by the time I was done making my feast from scratch, I'd be starving.

Over time I found I didn't really need a microwave.  When I had leftovers sure it would have been easier  to pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds, instead of heating the oven to 350, then leaving it in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.  But re-heated oven left overs taste so much better.

Then there's the stuff that I've accumulated in lieu of a microwave.  My spices, culinerary risks like that strange vinegar from the farthest ends of the earth, and endless condiments.  Cooking has slowly become one of my favorite things to do of an evening (Sorry Netflix) and the learning is endless.  But the clutter needs to end.  So like any good education, I began working on just how I can not only clean out my cupboards but perhaps stop spending my money on specialty ketchup.  I mean isn't it just tomato anyways?


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme
  • 2 cups tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch allspice
  • Salt, as needed
  1. Using a medium sized pot, heat oil and add onions and garlic.  Simmer until onions are translucent, which should only be around 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  
  3. Reduce to low heat and simmer until it is slightly thick.  This should take somewhere in the 35-45 minute range.
  4. Puree the ketchup in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  5. Refridgerate until needed.

Hot Pepper and Garlic Sauce

  • 6 green hot chiles, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  1. Put Chiles and Garlic in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. Put mixture in a bowl and add lime juice, oil, salt and pepper
  3. Mix well.
  4. Refridgerate until needed. (Lasts about 2 weeks)

And the best part?  You can customize all these recipes to your own taste, add a cup of blackberries to that ketchup (trust me) and enjoy.

Why Are So Many Maine Towns Named After Foreign Countries and Cities?

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Written by Nora Flaherty and originally published on MPBN News, Maine's NPR News source.

Dave in Portland asks: "Why are so many towns in Maine named after foreign countries and cities? There's Norway, Paris, Denmark, Rome, Sweden, Belfast, China — the list goes on! How come?"

We looked into this, and after consulting with many town historians and the incredibly helpful and interesting book "Maine Place Names and the Peopling of its Towns" by Ava Harriet Chadbourne (available in its entirety here), we have some answers for you. Or at least some theories.
One thing to keep in mind is that Maine just has a lot of towns — in fact, it has 491 cities, towns and plantations, according to the Maine Municipal Association, and that's not even including the Unorganized Territory. And with a population of only 1.33 million people, that's a lot of towns per capita.
But out of those nearly 500 towns and cities, why are so many named after places such as "China" and "Norway"? There are a few different stories going on.
Place of settlers' origin
This is the most obvious answer, and it applies to many of the towns in Maine that are named after places in England. Settlers in the Province of Maine envisioned New England, Chadbourne says, as a very English place, and many upper-class town founders wanted to make it known that not only did they love England, they loved the king.
So, many of Maine's earliest towns (such as Maine's first three towns, Kittery — named after a manor in Devon in southern England — York and Wells) are named for places in England. Many later settlers did the same thing, although for slightly less highfalutin reasons: as with lots of towns in Maine, Topsham is the English town where many of the settlers were born.
Yet other towns in Maine — such as Leeds in Androscoggin County — are named after English cities and towns in honor of people the settlers knew. Leeds, for example, is named after the father of two of the town's settlers, who was — wait for it — originally from Leeds.
As for settlers who weren't from England, the French don't seem to have been very into this practice. And of the Irish-named towns, Belfast, Limerick and Newry are all named for the birthplaces of early settlers.
Other towns so named include Frankfort, Dresden, (possibly) Lubec, Stockholm, and New Sweden — although, interestingly, not Sweden.
For the most part, these towns weren't necessarily enclaves of immigrants from one country — in many cases, they were named for the hometowns of just a few settlers.
What about all the other towns?
Let's go back in time for a moment and imagine that we're the people in charge when many of Maine's towns were being incorporated. Yes, I know those woolen underwear are itchy, but let's try to stick to the topic at hand.
As often as people may have just wanted to name towns after themselves, at least in Maine they generally refrained from that. But there were certain trends that people did tend to follow so they didn't have to reinvent the wheel every time.
Most towns started out with fairly unsurprising names, based, for example, on the names of early residents, (such as "Thompsonborough," later Lisbon, named after a prominent family in the town), or geographical features (Palermo, first called Sheepscot Great Pond Plantation.) Names were often changed upon incorporation, some in an apparent bid to make them more notable. Here's a look at what was hip and now in the world of place names when Maine towns were being settled and incorporated.
Towns named for revolutions, wars or political events
Maine was being settled in the 18th and 19th century, a particularly vigorous time for revolutions in many of the European colonies. Obviously, many of the newly American settlers of Maine had a particular regard for this revolutionary fervor. So Mexico in Oxford County, incorporated in 1818, was named in sympathy with that country's ongoing war of independence, which it won in 1821. Similarly, the people of Peru — south of Mexico in Maine as in the Americas, although not as far south — changed the name of that town from Partridgetown upon incorporation in 1821, just after the original Peru won its independence.
Other towns named for political reasons after foreign places include Belgrade in Kennebec County, which Chadbourne says may have been named "because of interest in the plight of the Serbians," who were caught in the middle in several wars between Austria and Turkey. But it may also have been named by a prominent resident of the town who had traveled in Europe when he was young.
Moscow in Somerset County seems to have gotten its name because town leaders who were pushing for what was then called Bakerstown to be incorporated were somewhat swept up by the news of the French invasion of Moscow. The Muscovites had largely abandoned, and then burned, the city, to foil Napoleon's troops; Napoleon's retreat from the city is considered a major turning point in the Napoleonic Wars.
Towns named for religious reasons
Many Maine towns' names have religious origins — including some you might not expect. China in Kennebec County is a great example of this. It's often mentioned as the pinnacle of foreign place name weirdness in our state, but it's actually named after a hymn called "China," which was popular with the town's settlers. And it's not the only one: Poland in Androscoggin County is likely also named after a religious song of which the person who named the town was fond, and Bangor may have been named for a hymn as well, although this is somewhat controversial.
Towns with foreign place names taken from the Bible include Lebanon, Mars Hill (a hill in Athens dedicated to the god of War, where the Apostle Paul spoke to the Athenians), and Hebron.
Historical admiration
In the early 19th century, there was something of a surge of interest in history, particularly the classical period. Since it wasn't really practical for early Mainers to wear togas or eat a "Mediterranean" diet, this interest is reflected in several town names, such as Athens, Palermo, Rome and Troy.
A few towns and cities in Maine are, or may have been, named after foreign places because their geography seemed reminiscent of the geography of the original cities. Woolwich, for example, may have been called that because its location on the Kennebec River was similar to that of the English town of Woolwich on the Thames. Sweden and Norway may have both been so named because of their similar locations with respect to one another. Calais may have been named for its position opposite Dover, New Brunswick, on the St. Croix River, just as Calais in France is opposite the English Channel from Dover in England. In all of these cases, there are other explanations that compete with these.
Maine towns, once removed
Many Maine towns have names that are originally from towns and cities in other countries, but that were actually named after towns and cities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Most of those, including Andover, Bradford, Bridgewater, Chelsea, Gloucester, and Waltham, were named after English towns. A few had more exotic origins, such as Canton (Mass.), which was named in honor of the idea that Canton, China was on pretty much the opposite end of the earth from Massachusetts; and Sharon (Mass.), named after the Sharon Plain in Israel.
Lost in the mists of time
Sadly, we don't know — or at least we don't know for sure — the reasons why several Maine towns and cities were named after the foreign places they were. These include a lot of English town names (such as Acton, Argyle, Guilford, Falmouth, Newcastle and Portland), Sorrento, Madrid, Verona (Verona Island) and Lisbon.
At least one of these towns has just kind of a weird story. Norway, which we've previously mentioned as perhaps being named in honor of its location with respect to Sweden, has another possible origin: When the people of the town petitioned for incorporation, they asked for it to be called "Norage," a native word for falls; but when the petition came back the name of the town was Norway. It's thought that this is because the court thought "Norage" was a misspelling of the name people actually wanted. So they assigned Norway, although it's really not clear why.
Yes, but what about Egypt?
Carolyn Chute's novel "The Beans of Egypt, Maine" made the fictional town of Egypt famous — or so Chute thought: She intentionally chose the name because she thought it evoked Maine's strange place names, but wasn't an actual place.
It turns out that Egypt is a real place in Maine, although not a very big one. It's a village (more like a neighborhood) of about 30 people in the town of Franklin in Hancock County. Town historian Helen Canton says she's not sure why it's called Egypt, but that she thinks it has something to do with the real Egypt.

© The Traveling Barnacle

The Big Body Issue

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She's "fat", she runs, and we're celebrating her.  I've seen multiple posts about Fat Girl Running, also known as Mirna Valerio, and her amazing blog and how she "isn't running away from being a big girl".  Am I the only one who sees the huge (pun intended) issue here?

Body Positive Messages are on the rise.  We've seen ESPN's Body issue embrace athletes of all sizes, while Dove Soap continues to remind everyone that no matter what size, we're all pretty frickin beautiful as human beings.  These people aren't the picture perfection of being fit, but they're "trying", they're out there making strides, some literally running, some simply embracing self love.  We use words like "Fat" and "Thin" to describe not only the physical but as a social label. The word "Fat" has become an ugly word, with an incredibly negative meaning.  And still we call ourselves "Fat".  We degrade our bodies, while pretending to embrace them, "I'm fat and I'm beautiful" is used instead of "I'm beautiful".

When will we learn to stop calling ourselves fat?

NBC News recently celebrated "Fat Girl Running" and Mirna's journey.  They praised her for running just because, and advertised the broadcast by saying she "isn't running away from being a big girl" or "trying to loose weight".  But perhaps what we should be asking is why does Mirna's size matter?  She is obviously passionate about putting one foot in front of the other down each and every trail she attempts, after all she is a runner.  Would we be celebrating her strides if she weighed 130 pounds?

Is it really so hard to believe that someone who may be overweight is not working out to try and fit into the perfect size 6, but because she likes it?  What many fail to understand is being "fat" isn't always a choice.  Despite the amount of exercize and healthy diets we follow, some of us are simply not ever going to transform into society's idea of thin, but that doesn't mean we should embrace the negative stereotype of being fat.

Perhaps it's simply our job to embrace ourselves as people, as beautiful, some of us run because we want to run not because our bathroom scales fat shame us into doing it.

© The Traveling Barnacle

Keep the Beat

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I can only imagine it's like growing up on a farm, your childhood shaped by the sounds of clucking hens, braying mules, and groaning cows.  You move away in your adulthood, perhaps to a big city, where the noises change from the barn yard to the urban jungle of concrete of honking trucks and partying people.  But home always waits for us.  So you go back.  The clucking hens, braying mules and groaning cows welcome you with their familiar symphony.

That's what the Boston accent is like.

From the moment JetBlue flight 20 boarded, the letter "r" was replaced with an "ah" sound and I knew this was more than a flight, it was the way back.  Back to the place where I come from, a physical "home" full of a different sort of people.  A symphony of sarcasm keeps the beat, while a strength taps a hi-hat.

So you breathe it in, that familiar air, the sounds of your childhood and keep the beat.

© The Traveling Barnacle

SD Restaurant Week: 94th Aero Squadron

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It's that time of year again.  That week where Hungry San Diegans come out of hiding and wreak havoc on our fair city with insatiable appetites.  That's right, it's Restaurant Week.  So of course, I spent hours scrolling through the lists of who's offering what and landed my tiny flying silver fork literally on Miramar airfield.  

94th Aero Squadron is as exciting as it sounds.  Designed to be a World War 1 replica farm house, it's back end opens to the Miramar airfield, while diners watch planes land and take off.  Greeted by a 1920's jazzy bugle symphony, I wandered into the of the house.  Sitting on it's walls was memoribilia galore, replica's of fighter planes, uniforms, pictures and weapons lined it's shelves, while it's benches were full of senior citizens.  Not everyday a 27 year old is the youngest one for dinner on a Wednesday evening, especially during restaurant week, but this was no ordinary meal.

The Menu boasted American classics and I went for the most decadent on the menu; starting with the bacon wrapped jumbo scallops.  And while the scallops weren't on the jumbo side, the perfect crunch of the bacon made up for it's lack of size.  The sauce on the other hand had a spice that was unexpected yet thoroughly appreciated and I wondered if the senior citizens dining on either side of me would have appreciated such a robust flavor.

For my second course I opted for the Lobster and Steak paired with mash potatoes and garlic.  Fancy right?  The waiter, Xavier, recommended the house Pinot Nior which transformed each bite into a work of art.  Starting with the steak, it's outside was crisp and seared to perfection, while it's insides dripped with blood.  Perfection.  The Lobster on the other hand had been removed and balanced on top of its shell, making my job of devouring it, incredibly easy.  The flavors played upon one another, dripping in buttery bloody juice.

Xavier recommended the New York style cheese cake over the creme brulee so, when in restaurant week, order the cheese cake.  It was creamy and rich, Manhattan in each bite.

First impressions left me wondering whether my experience at 94th Aero Squadron was merely a themed-restaurant for the senior citizen population, but it's intense flavors assured me their WW1 styled farm house doors were open for all foodies young and old.

© The Traveling Barnacle

Hook Line n Sinker.

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Like most, I have a love/hate relationship with Netflix.  It's always there when I need a good cry, laugh, or the sh*t scared right out of me.  It doesn't judge me, not always any way, and knows how to keep my 12-hour binge-a-thon secrets.  But it's also needy.  A bad influence in every sense of the word, we get hooked.

So when Netflix recently released information about it's customers, they actually claimed to have figured out that exact moment you get hooked.  We all know that no body actually gets "hooked" on pilots anymore, so when is it?

Here's their list of their top 25 shows and the episode they believe they finally got you hooked on the end of that illuminated screen. I've done you a favor and highlighted the shows I'm hooked on, notice anything?

Arrow - Episode 8
Bates Motel - Episode 2
Better Call Saul - Episode 4
Bloodline - Episode 4
BoJack Horseman - Episode 5
Breaking Bad - Episode 2
Dexter - Episode 3
Gossip Girl - Episode 3
Grace & Frankie - Episode 4
House of Cards - Episode 3
How I Met Your Mother - Episode 8
Mad Man - Episode 6
Marco Polo - Episode 3
Marvel's Daredevil - Episode 5
Once Upon a Time - Episode 6
Orange is the New Black - Episode 3
Pretty Little Liars - Episode 4
Scandal - Episode 2
Sense8- Episode 3
Sons of Anarchy - Episode 2
Suits - Episode 2
The Blacklist - Episode 6
The Killing - Episode 2
The Walking Dead - Episode 2
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Episode 4

I'll be honest, I don't give a show more than 2 episodes, I don't have time for that. And my highlighted choices really don't say much about anything other than my taste in TV.  And if I'm really being honest, each of the highlighted shows had me hooked after their pilot.

Now excuse me, Season 5 of Scandal just started...

© The Traveling Barnacle