Just to let you know how confused I am in south Johnson County, at this moment, when I started typing, I have no idea where the Houlihan's is in Leawood. I'm going to look it up in a second, but I just find it interesting that I can't remember where I drove last Thursday. If that nugget of information doesn't interest you I will give you a refund on the price you paid to read this blog.
So, with that out of the way, Stella and I went out to dinner at Houlihan's at 119th and Roe right over by the 810 Zone in the parking lot of Town Center Plaza (Google really is wonderful). We were celebrating the 17th anniversary of the Andover tornado or as my wife calls it, our 4th anniversary. Once again, I had gone the whole day without eating, I've got to quit doing that because it makes me stupid. Needless to say I was starving which is not really the best thing to be when you're confronted with the novella that is the Houlihan's menu. Braised goat tail with buffalo penis could have been on the menu and I would have been able to talk myself into it (Meesha please don't tell me this is some sort of Russian delicacy).
The first thing I was confronted with was what alcoholic beverage I was going to consume with my dinner. I didn't want to order more than one, but I wanted something that I would feel. It didn't seem like a wine flight would get it done, a beer certainly wouldn't have done it and I don't really like martinis with dinner, much less "Sex and the City" martinis. Then I saw a way to combine the words rasperry, rum and 1 liter into a fine drink that would last all dinner. I was going to get the raspberry long island iced tea in an individual 1 liter pitcher. Stella got a wine flight with a couple of pinots and a sauvignon blanc.
With that order out of the way, I concentrated on choosing between the 50 entrees that all sounded good (they don't all sound good now, but I would have licked the snot from a moose's nose, at this point, if it would have made me full). I decided to go with the simple (salt and pepper) salmon, Stella went with the stuffed chicken breast.
I don't know about you, but the word "pitcher" implies to me, that there will be a glass to pour the liquid in the pitcher into. Apparently it doesn't mean the same thing to the fine folks at Houlihan's. All I got was the pitcher and a big straw. Since I'm not 5 years old, I tossed the straw aside and then had to wonder how to drink this monstrosity. The pitcher was more tall than wide and almost half of the lip was curved into the pour spout. That left only about 2 inches on either side to drink from. I was never one to drink beer from pitchers in college and I would wager that I never actually did, but, if I did, I never did pick up the skill to feel right about drinking from a pitcher. I assumed the waitress meant for me to drink from the pitcher, so I figured it out.
The raspberry Long Island iced tea tasted alright. I'm not certain about this, I could be wrong, but I thought the words vodka, rum and gin in the item description implied that the Long Island iced tea would contain alcohol. I certainly didn't sense my good friend alcohol's presence. I didn't do any experimenting with the alcohol to discern if it was present*, but my taste buds certainly didn't sense it.
*The term "experiment with" has always bugged me when used by people like "I experimented with marijuana in college". I always picture them wearing a lab coat and putting weed in a beaker and measuring stuff. I just wish people would cop to their behavior and say "I smoked some bowls and had a rocking time". There was no experimenting going on, you knew what the findings would be when you toked. So now when confronted with this nonsense, I like to ask "so, were you published?"
Stella chose wisely with her wines in her flight, which for $7 is a great way to try some wines without having to put on a turtleneck dickie and go to JP's Wine Bar. She's been raving about them ever since that night.
As I was contemplating the pitcher and talking to Stella, I noticed a lady (I use the term loosely) sitting at a table near ours. She had come with her husband and 2 kids. I initially noticed her because one of her kids, who was just a little older than my youngest, was enjoying a toy that I hadn't seen before, a rare occurrence. This lady (again loosely) was wearing a matching sweat suit which I will start calling "a Leawood". Now Houlihan's is not a fine dining establishment and I guess it is pretty kid friendly, but can we all agree that a Leawood is not appropriate attire? This lady had also slipped off her thongs and was sitting indian style (is it native american style now?) in her chair. This lady was really interesting to me for some reason and I started to empathize with her after a while. First, something was wrong with her appetizer and she had to send it back. Then, everyone at her table was served their dinner, including the 1 year old, while they waited on her food. She had to watch the rest of her family eat while she just waited. Then her food came and something was wrong with it too, I mean really wrong, not just that she was a complainer. I mean she couldn't have too high of standards, she wore a Leawood out to dinner and she had 2 kids (so she hadn't had her way in a number of years). I thought the kitchen staff was going to come out and urinate on her for an encore. A manager eventually came over and told the table that dessert was on Houlihan's. Whoopty diddly ay.
My salmon was fine, maybe a little overcooked and dry. Stella's chicken was enjoyable. We had a fine time. Stella really likes Houlihan's and had signed up for some sort of anniversary rewards program, so we had a coupon for free dessert (and we didn't have to be urinated on to get it, unless you're a cynic and would prefer golden showers to marriage). At Houlihan's they have mini desserts and our coupon was for a mini dessert trio. We chose a white chocolate banana cream pie, bourbon pecan pie and lemon meringue pie. When Houlihan's says "mini" and I think "mini", a bit of a disconnect occurs. Any one of the 3 would have been enough dessert for us to share. We should have just gotten 3 of the pecan pies because they were wonderful.
I wish that I had remembered that we were going to have dessert because I would have gotten the seared tuna salad which sounded great, but I was worried about my hunger. So because of the hunger I went with a full on entree, a liter of fruit juice and more pie than a frat guy at a sorority house could eat. Not too bad of a mistake on most nights but on this night we went to see "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". Let me tell you, if you're a straight dude (or even some women), the last thing you want to see on a full stomach is Marshall's (from "How I Met Your Mother") naked penis. Mmmm salmon!