Restaurant Review: Nick & Jakes (Parkville)

It’s Friday night and the typical ping-pong Q&A you expect from a 20 plus year married couple trying to decide where to eat out.  I routinely attempt to defer to Terry, since his stomach and diet limit our choices some evenings.  He was craving a steak and none of the local Leavenworth haunts sounded appealing.  Nor did anything at the Legends, which on a Friday night at six o’clock is a frightening experience, especially when looking for a parking spot.

Terry and I occasionally watch KCPT‘s Check Please and recently watched the episode featuring Nick & Jakes in Parkville.   We jumped in the car, and enjoyed a sunset drive down K-5, I-435 and MO-45 in the Bonneville, which has new quieter and grippier tires and full synthetic motor oil (again thanks to Terry who took care of all that car maintenance earlier in the week).  Once we arrived, we easily found a nearly front-row parking spot.  The wait, however, we were informed was at least forty minutes and they were out of pagers.  We weren’t in any hurry (knowing that Friday nights can be crowded) so we stood in the foyer.  Within five minutes, we had a pager, and we were seated in less than twenty minutes.

Our waitress greeted us and asked if we’d every been to Nick & Jake’s before.  We hadn’t, so she cheerfully informed us of the amenities and specials available for dinner that evening.  I chose one of the specials, a grilled king salmon with a walnut crunch topping and bourbon maple drizzle, with grilled asparagus and a salted baked potato (as opposed to the steamed potato most often served in restaurants).  I substituted the potato in for the sweet potato and apple casserole, as I don’t like either sweet potatoes nor baked apples.   Terry ordered the sixteen ounce rib-eye steak  (medium rare) , also with a salted baked potato.  For an appetizer, we ordered the Irish nachos.

Terry enjoyed the appetizer, which was comprised of thinly sliced potatoes (fried like slithly thick potato chips the size of a potato), smother in jack and cheddar cheese (melted) and bacon with a ranch dipping sauce.  I tried a few of the chips with the least cheese (if you know me at all, you know I don’t voluntarily eat most dairy products, especially cheese).  We took half the appetizer home with us, as we didn’t want to spoil our appetites for the main course.

I asked for (and received) margarine with my baked potato (harder to come by than you might think) .  Yes, more of that dairy aversion syndrome I suffer from.  Our main dishes arrived in a timely manner and were presented pleasantly and appealingly on the square white plate.

My first bite of salmon amazed me.  Quite possibly the best salmon I have ever eaten.  Simply astounding.  The asparagus was crisp and flavorful, although slightly larger than I normally prefer to eat it; still excellently prepared and presented.  I saved the potato for last, making sure I savored all the salmon and asparagus before dabbling in starch.  Terry was proud of me for ignoring

Terry proclaimed the rib-eye the best prepared and tenderest steak he’d ever eaten.  I had a couple of bits of the steak and it was delectable.

One final serendipitous perk awaited us, when the waitress informed us desert was on the house for first time guests.  Although I desparately wanted to try the chocolate cake, I deferred to Terry’s preference of carrot cake, which we took home to try later.   Each of us tasted a bite when we arrived safely home.

We will definitely be returning to Nick & Jakes in the future, perhaps to try their Sunday brunch (next weekend – Sunday – is Terry’s birthday so be sure to wish him well!).

To ensure Terry took his after dinner nap (aka a food coma), I stacked some wood in the fireplace and lit the first fire of Fall 2010 in the Moss residence corner fireplace.

First Friday Fringe

This weekend and next are the final rounds of the 2010 Formula One season.  Terry will be watching one of the practices live at home today since Brazil is nearly in our time zone (only two hours ahead of us).  Next weekend will wrap up what has been another competitive driver and constructor championship with the last round in Abu Dhabi.   I’ll be content to watch them on the reply when I burn the GPs to DVD from the DVR sometime in the next few weeks.

Lunch time view South Plaza early Nov 2010

Since I no longer have any science fiction television to look forward to on Friday nights, I’ll continue reading Blackout by Connie Willis. I’m about half done with it and I have All Clear, the sequel, waiting to pick up as soon as I finish Blackout.  Only about twelve hundred pages total between the two and not as heavy as the tome I read in September by Brandon Sanderson:  The Way of Kings.

I’ve accumulated over two hundred points over the past couple of years by giving away books via BookMooch, yet because I read fantasy and occasionally science fiction, I’m not finding many books to mooch from others.  Yet I still need to divest myself of some more books (hardcovers mostly).   So I think I’ll branch out to another swap site, a division of one of my favorite reading and reviewing web sites, the GoodReads swap.   That’s my first project for Saturday morning, to prep and post about a half dozen hardcovers via GoodReads swap.

The second task for Saturday morning involves wrestling the Rotts into the car and heading to the vet for some pre-boarding shots.  In a couple of weeks, Terry and I will travel south to visit our kids in north Texas for Thanksgiving.  Roxy and Apollo will remain behind and make new friends at Deb’s Riverview Kennel.  On the way back, weather permitting, we might let them roam free at the Waggin’ Tails Dog Park for a half hour or so.

Once back home, I should probably make a few loaves of bread, for Terry and for my dad. Most likely I’ll make a Rustic Sourdough (dough in the bread machine, but shaped and baked in conventional oven) as well as Honey Wheat and White Sandwich loaves.  He’s traveling next week to Virginia for a mini-family reunion at his brother’s home.  My aunt from Ohio will also attend.  My dad and his brother were born on November 17 and 18 almost exactly four years apart and my aunt was born on November 29 so they’ll be having mutual birthday celebrations.  I hope to send a loaf or two with dad for them to enjoy.

In addition to their birthdays, I’ll swing by WalMart and pick up a gift card and birthday card for my daughter-in-law’s birthday, which is the 12th.  Terry’s birthday is on the 14th, but at least he’s not leaving town on me.  For a birthday present to him, we may go see Mannheim Steamroller in Topeka that weekend.

It’s a new moon tonight so I’ll probably get the telescope out tonight and tomorrow night for some viewing.  I might even venture out into the county looking for a nice dark spot away from all the light pollution of Lansing (and the prison that’s only two blocks north of my house with all it’s blazing orange halogen lights) and Kansas City.  I should probably dig out some light gloves though since the evening and night temperatures have been dropping down into the 30s most of this week.

Sunday morning I’ll be substituting for the accompanist at Southern Heights UMC during worship, which is also communion Sunday (being the first Sunday of the month) so I’ll be playing a bit more than a normal service.  But the choir took the weekend off and the special music doesn’t require an accompanist.  All in all, should be a fun hour well spent.

Sunday afternoon will be for relaxing, reading or watching movies.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.