So it was my birthday yesterday. The original plan was to get lunch at Moro, a local Italian spot that has been recommended to us by just about everyone we ask for a recommendation.
They, like our favorite Polish spot Sabina's, were closed through the month of June for the summer and reopened this week! So we figured my birthday was a great time to go check it out.
And we had to do lunch because we were planning to dine at the local open mic during the dinner hour. (Spoiler alert: we did dine at the open mic. Literally only 4 people went up, including the host and not including me or Mickey. We did not go up, because I wanted to be a relaxi jacki on my birthday.)
But then Tuesday night, a bug was buzzing in my brain to check out this local (22 whole minutes away!) German spot that I'd been looking forward to trying. Their hours are all wonky - I thought they were only open Thursday through Sunday, so I didn't think they'd be open on my birthday.
Plus, they were also closed for the month of July. But I went to their Google Maps page and saw this (which I immediately sent to KPerks, because she also adores German foods.)
An 89th birthday celebration on my BIRTHDAY!?! Welp, that sounds like a match made in heaven.
I sheepishly asked Mickey if we could change the plans a little bit. He said of course. I mean it was my birthday after all.
So, we being the dorks we are, and also used to how Orlando turns out for beer that cheap, planned to get there when the doors opened.
The place is located, like, smack in the middle of a normal neighborhood. A lot of the reviews warned that it was smack in the middle of a "sketchy" neighborhood, but I didn't find it to be sketchy one bit. (However, if this is something that concerns you they have a very nice secured parking area - free!)
When we arrived at 11:02am, the parking lot was pretty full and there was a literal line out the door. I've not seen so much white hair in one spot since we went to the Polish restaurant the day before.
We parked and prepared to wait in line.
But when we got up to the door... we didn't have to? Like, we walked right in and it was like this place was packed and partying for the last twelve hours and we were JUST NOW getting to the party...but it had just started.
It was the wildest phenomenon.
We sat ourselves at a table and ordered two German beers (the cheapos were PBR and I was NOT at a German restaurant for PBR. I'm there for flavor not for getting fucked up). The menu was limited because it was a lunchtime but there were plenty of options for both eatin' and drinkin', including the best cheese plate this side of the Bull & Bush.
The table behind us must have known literally EVERYBODY, because they cheered loud greetings whenever someone knew came into the door.
At one point a new gentleman walked in with his own stein, flipped open the top and walked to the table behind us where they poured from the pitcher directly to their waiting stein. Another fella had a gorgeous hefty metal stein.
I asked our waitress what I had to do to get my drink served in such a fancy glass and she said, "Bring it."
So Mickey and I are currently stein shopping.
The food was incredible and I already can't wait to go back for spaetzle and pickled herring and whatever they might serve me for dessert. The star was the lil chub of summer sausage that came with the cheese, but literally everything was the best German food I'd had in years.
They had a piano tucked away in the other room and at one point in the afternoon, a fella wandered up to our table (this happened a lot - people would just wander up to us and ask, "Is this your first time here?") and said, "you should peep around the corner. My wife is about to play the piano and you don't want to miss this!"
We had spoken to this same gentleman a couple times during our meal. He had been married for over 40 years and his wife had worked at Dakota Inn for 29 years (I think that is what he said - it was very loud in there). He was so proud of her and the place she worked and it was really heartwarming to see.
We of course peeped around the corner and stayed for the entire Schnitzel Bank and it was a TIME. Our crowd was way more into it than that linked video- it was a birthday party after all.
So, after the emotional piano playing, I asked Mickey if we could go to Third Man Records, because I had been being worried that the yellow stripe-y shirt would be gone before I had a chance to grab one for my friend AJ!
Plus, we now have a record player so I could finally look at the records.
This is what I ended up getting:
In case you didn't know, one of my greatest dreams is to become the lead singer in a Cold War Kids cover band.
I procured the softy soft stripey stripe shirt for AJ, and also a handmade Third Man Records baseball jersey I have been eyeing for a very long time. And a bonus very soft (I'm noticing a pattern here) short sleeved sweatshirt that will probably become my new favorite shirt.
As we were checking out, they heard it was my birthday and gave me an enamel pin. I love it there so much.
Then we went next door to my favorite spot for sweets I've discovered: Bon Bon Bon. If you visit me, we will visit Bon Bon Bon. They are tiny bon bons with complex, glorious flavors. They are tiny works of art that you can buy and eat for $3.33 each and they are worth every single penny. They just released their summer flavors if you wanna see what's up. Mustachio is my favorite, but they are all incredibly tasty.
Aren't they like little works of art?! They are equally delicious and filled with texture adventures!
Then, we got a beer at Jolly Pumpkin, because it is RIGHT THERE.
Pictured above is my TMR pin, a lollipop from Bon Bon Bon for my birthday and their very cool, very sustainable packaging.
After getting the scoop from our bartender, who was a mix between Akeem Woods & my friend Fritz, we decided to explore the neighborhood a bit more before choosing our next spot.
Which ended up being the Belt - an alley way with murals and galleries and bars and stuff. The art was fun, the galleries felt friendlier than the bars so we walked outside of the Belt for a drink and ended up at this place called Queen's.
At Queen's we ended up having a conversation with a fella who was a cross between modern Patrick Bateman and Cillian Murphy. He was Very Into his work, and didn't seem to have many hobbies, but he kept on answering my questions and I kept on asking them.
Then we dropped off our spoils at home and headed to the open mic where I did not feel dorky ordering a diet coke with grenadine - it's a new thing I'm trying out!
OH! When we were wandering around the Cass Corridor area, we wandered into this fashion-y shop called Flo Boutique. I fell head over heels in love with these highlighter colored summer dresses and these very large purses, but I decided that both would likely overwhelm me. I did find a lovely pair of stripey socks and a reasonably funky, yet modestly sized purse.
It's a keeper.