Another great weekend is coming to an end. We’ve had some absolutely wonderful weekends this summer. The weather has actually been (dangerously) full of sunshine (great for being outside, not so great for the city’s water supply) and it seems like there is a never-ending supply of new places popping up around town, and we’ve been trying to get to as many of them as we can in between our regular weekend chores and our long training runs.
Take me to the car wash, baby!
My poor car gets washed about once a year which makes it quite embarrassing to drive around. Apparently, though, not embarrassing enough for me to do anything about it I guess. I’d rather spend money on almost anything else than a car wash, and the thought of doing it myself brings up bad memories of high school car wash fundraisers and having to wash dirty, dirty cars for dirty old men who liked the thought of scantily clad teenagers washing their car. Aaron on the other hand tends to keep his car in much more pristine condition. Probably doesn’t hurt that he has a much nicer car than I do and drives his around much more than I drive mine. Because we’ve had about 2 days worth of rain since last summer, we decided it was safe to wash both cars, and I even helped…even though it doesn’t look like I did more than take pictures of Aaron.
We probably hang out around Nob Hill every weekend. We do a lot of our shopping there, and the restaurant/bar selection is great. This weekend we also took a quick stroll around Downtown. I try not to hang out in Downtown Albuquerque as much as possible. There isn’t much there except office buildings and a bunch of bars that we don’t like with crowds that we don’t like. But there are a few neat little corners of Downtown (The Kimo Theater, Chama River Microbrew, and Gold Street Cafe), and the area is in the middle of what is looking like a fantastic urban renewal. We even stumbled upon the 2nd location of the cafe that inspired Giuseppe’s name! (The other one is of course in Nob Hill).
One of the new restaurants we tried out was The Slice Parlor in Nob Hill. We walked by it last weekend during Summerfest, and thought we’d give it a try. The pizza is New York style (thin crust, big slices), and they have the typical pizza toppings and three different sauces to choose from (tomato, white, pesto). The food and atmosphere were good, but what Aaron enjoyed the most was the bathroom decor!
All That Jazz
I have been stalking Jazzbah since friend Peter (owner of BRGR downtown) mentioned that a new, upscale jazz bar was opening on Gold. As the weirdo who listens to more Frank, Nat, and Ella than Katy, Bruno, or Ke$ha, I was quite excited to imagine an entire establishment dedicated to Amy music. After “liking” their Facebook page I found out about their soft opening this weekend, and would stop at nothing to make sure we got there.
I knew I was in the right place when I saw a huge picture of Frank hanging on the wall, and comfy looking couches surrounding the tables. In between sets of live music (last night there was a piano player and a bassist), my beloved crooners played in the background. The menu was surprisingly CHEAP. The entrees are smaller than the average heaping portions you find most places, but my shrimp entree was $8, so I’m not going to complain. I think the steak was the most expensive thing on the menu at $16.
The cocktail menu is quite impressive, and our speciality cocktails actually ended up costing more than our entrees. But our drinks were pretty and tasty, and from what I can tell on the Facebook page, the bartender is kind of a big deal.
Jazzbah was great. Upscale atmosphere, good food at a reasonable price, fancy drinks, classic background music, live music, and couches to relax on while taking it all in.
I really hope that this place not only makes it, but does well enough to not lower their standards. Albuquerque is in desperate need of places like this that offer an alternative to the usual late night bar scene where you don’t feel overdressed actually wearing a dress or button up shirt and where the music doesn’t involve lyrics so vulgar that you hope your parents (or kids) never hear them. Jazzbah is having their grand opening tomorrow, and I’m guessing once they get the typical new business kinks worked out (for example our berry flambe dessert didn’t quite flambe because the alcohol wasn’t quite flammable enough), they will find a loyal client base. I hope to be among them!
And so, there we are. Another wonderful summer weekend comes to an end as the Lavenders enjoy mojitos (except Giuseppe who is enjoying his frog toy).