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I love Gordon Ramsay. I watch all this shows. Hell’s Kitchen is the least interesting, just because I feel like he comes to America and has to scream more. It was when I started watching Kitchen Nightmares and MasterChef that I realized he really does care about food and people, and just wants things to be excellent all the time. I think it’s a good lesson to live by in business…excellence first, everything else after that.
When I learned that Ramsay has a restaurant in Las Vegas, I knew that’s where dinner would have to happen. It took me about 16 read-throughs to realize there is no “e” in BURGR because the GR is for Gordon Ramsay. Of course.
The restaurant is located in the Planet Hollywood casino on the strip, so the atmosphere is not exactly quiet. We got a place in line and had about an hour to wait. Once we were seated in a very orange, very fiery dining room that was an obvious homage to Hell’s Kitchen, it was on.
The menu was full of burgers…er, BURGRs, and I chose the Brittania…medium with arugula, sharp English cheddar, and chutney. We shared the sweet potato fries (dusted with powdered sugar) and the truffle fries (dusted with crack). This is turning into a poorly written food blog.
It was amazing. I am not exceptionally picky with food…I travel so much I have to just eat stuff sometimes, like those triangle sandwiches from gas stations (when it’s desperate). I do like to think I have watched enough Ramsay TV to know what to look out for, though. The burger was cooked really well, the bun was sturdy but not hard to chew (architecture is important), the ingredients were few but perfect in proportion and taste. I once heard Gordon say that any item on a menu really only needs 3 components…any more and you’re mucking it up. This makes sense for a lot of things in life.
The only thing I noticed that was a LITTLE odd was that the SECOND you finished, they took your plate and silverware. I am pretty sure this is because so many Vegas tourists have tried to walk out with a Gordon Ramsay souvenir fork, they have to be on the ball. Aside from that bit of weirdness, we had an amazing meal.
All burgers will pale in comparison from now on, even the In-N-Out we had on the same trip.
What do you do when your college roommate is getting married (yay Beth!) in Northern California and you decide to road trip with your college friends?
You stop in Vegas. It was legitimately halfway. California is a deceptively long ways from New Mexico…you might think “oh, they’re all Western states.” Well, the West is HUGE. I had been the Las Vegas but I had never driven through Nevada before. That state is a national treasure, and I lump it into a category with New Orleans…a completely unique culture in the middle of the rest of America.
The first thing we did when we got to town was go see the art gallery at The Bellagio. It was Jamie’s idea, and I was so relieved when she suggested it. I am not really the gambling type, and to discover that there was something museum-y to do made my day. We walked in under a Chihuly glass sculpture.
My aversion to burning money through gambling did not stop me from being drawn in to the Jurassic Park slot machine area (because of course there is a Jurassic Park slot machine area), where I lost a dollar in record time. I then got away from the slots as fast as Dr. Grant running away from a flock of dinosaurs.
We happened upon the Pawn Stars shop from the fabled History Channel show, and wandered in. Oddly, Chum Lee (Chumly? Chumlee?) happened to be there “working” meaning he was taking selfies with a long line of people. Selfies are the new autographs, by the way. I took a distance selfie because I don’t wait in lines.
Then we proceeded to drive hundreds of miles through nothing aka Nevada, skirting Area 51 and being shocked that we could see brothels from the highway. As opposed to the opulence of Las Vegas, where even the public bathrooms were gilded in fake gold, prostitutes in Nevada are still forced to operate in trailers, apparently. Weird.
Dinner was its own adventure for the next blog post…
I know people know that I am a New Mexican and we love our chile, but do you KNOW, really? When one doesn’t live in New Mexico and it’s chile harvest time, one does things like…buys a bushel and drives it 12 hours home in a cooler. Because it’s necessary. Some photos of the process:
1) Refuse to do it the easy way:
2) Get a bushel freshly roasted and almost faint from the delicious aroma.
3) Take it home in a giant box and smell up your car.
4) Divide into smaller bags for ease of use (and maybe to share…maybe not).
5) Enjoy it while it lasts.
Sometimes the amount of cool stuff I have on my radar makes it impossible to fit into one Facebook post, and thus another “Rad Stuff” post is born. I have some really great friends putting out records this week. Czech it:
Drew Kennedy – Sad Songs Happily Played
There’s a cool concert series in League City, TX called the San Benave Series, and Drew did a show there. It was an amazing show. He didn’t know they were recording it, and he was pleased when he found out they had. So pleased, he’s releasing the show! Drew is aces at storytelling and of course his songs are articulate, smart, and singable (which is the best combo). BUY IT.
I had a lot of time to read in the car this trip. One book that particularly sucked me in because we spent a lot of time in Northern New Mexico, Eastern Colorado, and Western Kansas was “The Worst Hard Time” about the Dust Bowl. This is the real story of the Dust Bowl, not the glossed over “it stopped raining and there was dirt everywhere” grade school version. Short version: humans messing up the environment made more problems for humans. Imagine that. READ IT.
Taylor Swift is this month’s Rolling Stone cover story. I think she’s great. You get to make your own decision.
Hello from fabulous Cedaredge, CO! I like this town. We played at Starr’s Guitars last night and it was hard not to once again spend all my money on an instrument. Luckily I kept it in my wallet (but did acquire a cool strap for the Taylor I bought in Bozeman). I’ve been trying to sneak in little practice sessions when I can because my CD Release Show at Strange Brew in Austin will be here before I know it. Hey, did I mention there’s a CD Release at Strange Brew in Austin? September 11, 2014! 8 PM! ALL THE SPECIAL GUESTS! More on that in another post.
The weekend was spent in Kansas, a state I consider my half homeland. My grandparents lived in Rush Center (approximately: the middle of nowhere) for years and I spent many a family trip there as a kid. My aunt and uncle came over to Garden City to the Tumbleweed Festival to see us which was awesome. I don’t see family near as much as I want and it’s always a treat when we cross paths. Or when they drive to see us play!
Steamboat Springs, CO started off nicely. We had a double rainbow to enjoy.
Then some jerk took off the driver’s side mirror while we were parked on the street and didn’t leave a note. I still suspect a city bus because our mirrors are high. I’m looking at you, Steamboat Springs.
I got to camp out in a little cabin here in Cedaredge last night. I’ve also been reading a book about the Dust Bowl, so this photo by Susan made me feel like a settler, except settlers couldn’t hop in a Sprinter and drive away.
It’s been a while! We’ve been trucking all over the Western United States (well, about 5 of them, anyway). Sometimes there’s no internet in these lovely places. Sometimes AT&T decides you’ve used too much off network data and bricks your phone. Luckily, we’re back in AT&T radius I guess. I have a phone and thanks to some kind hosts, I have wifi!
We’ve had a grand time on this trip…fun gigs and some really lovely scenery.
My friend Lara is Albuquerque made this amazing cake for my EP release in my hometown. It tasted as good as it looks. Open wide!
Don Richmond joined Susan for a great show in Del Norte, CO. These two are my favorites and together…whoa! We get to join Don again in Alamosa, CO for a show on Labor Day.
Did I mention the scenery? We’ve seen some grand things in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and yes…Kansas.
We played Girls’ Night Out in Saratoga, Wyoming…and I’m still now sure why but we had to go all the way to Wyoming to hear this great duo named Whippoorwill…because they’re from Austin. I’m not one for late night post-show jams but hanging out with these girls made my weekend. So glad we live in the same state!
That’s it from Glenn and Lynn’s awesome dining room table in Pueblo, CO. Two more weeks with some pretty fun shows and we are back home. More scenery awaits!
I feel like I have “released” this EP 402,029 times already, but July 15th was the date and I played a couple of shows last week to celebrate.
My friends Anna Harris and Katie Lessley joined me at Superfly Records in San Marcos for a set. Playing in a real record store is about as inspirational as you can get, and we had ourselves a grand time. Then I hustled myself on out of there before I blew my rent money on new albums.
Another neat thing, at the house concert this weekend…my friends James and Sandy surprised me with LIFESIZED ALBUM ARTWORK. A giant mouth with legs that SWING! And a canvas version of the EP cover. Amazing. These WILL be showing up in things, so watch for them. I am in awe of these folks’ talent and patience…because that mouth has a lot of lines in it!
(Thanks to Spring and Kelly for these photos cuz I stole ‘em).