Posts Tagged ‘the empire restaurant’


Thursday, August 23rd, 2012


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So THIS is why people like lobster.

Crockett and I met up for a quick happy hour yesterday after work, and noticed that lobster rolls were on the specials menu. Having recently dissed lobster, I decided I should probably try a lobster roll. Right?

Oh my god right.

Crockett and I shared this one, and in retrospect that was a freaking terrible idea. Just god awful.

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My half was not enough.

Seriously, lobster lovers. I get it now. Ok? Ok.

Also, I had the drink that Lexi (bartender/owner) was slinging – she called it the Mexican Word. It was Herradura Reposado (I think – definitely Herradura somethin’), Chartreuse, Luxardo (maraschino liqueur), and lime juice.

It was fantastic. I mean, it was no lobster roll, but it was fantastic.

Everything else I ate yesterday was stupid in comparison.

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Don’t my fruits and veggies and tiny container of peanut butter look cute in my new lil lunchbox thing? It’s a ‘Box Appetite’ from a company called Black and Blum. They have it on Amazon, but I got a better deal on (That sale is way over now). There’s another triangular container that fits into this one that’s holding my chickpea salad here, but I didn’t use it yesterday.

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I also got their Bento Box, in orange. Yesterday thats where I put my chickpea salad.

I made a lot of chickpea salad.

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There was also peach crumble. It was fine. Whatever.

I want another lobster roll.


on demand

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

People, I’m not going to lie right now.

I’m kind of tipsy.

I didn’t MEAN to get tipsy! It’s my half birthday (no, seriously), and Crockett was like ‘well then let’s have half happy hour!’ and so we did, at The Empire.

Except it was like extra happy hour.

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There were buffalo wings.

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There was wine.

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There was a tiny cheese plate.

For Crockett, there were:

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old fashioned…

me: how do you pluralize old fashioned?

Crockett: olds fashioned.

Ok then. Crockett had olds fashioned. Also a mini calamari salad. And?

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Mini mac and cheese. This was not as good as my cheese plate, which featured a cheese that used the milk of THREE DIFFERENT ANIMALS, but pretty good.

OH guess what. I got my standing desk today.

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It’s super tall. Like, I’m standing on the ground (floor, whatever) and that’s where my elbow is. SUPER tall.


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This is not breakfast. I know it looks like breakfast. It’s lunch.

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Look at my cute kitchen at work. It’s in a weird pod thing – there’s a convex wood wall behind me that has soda machines and stuff. Cute, right? This is one of … ten or twelve identical cute kitchens in my building.

Cute cute cute.

Crockett and I just had a conversation about concave and convex.

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Since Crockett doesn’t have a cute kitchen at his office, he had to drink the coffee I made in the am. It was early, but he enjoyed it. Plus, FORESHADOWING with the mug. You know, since we went to Empire tonight. No? Ok, no. Not foreshadowing.

Last night we had bbq again, and it was fabulous. I love Lulu’s so much that when they place an entree in front of me, I forget to take pictures.

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These are Crockett’s leftover sweet potato tater tots and fried okra, though, and I did eat some of these.

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He loves it when I eat his food.

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Listed among things he did not share: his Utica Club beer.

I did do things other than eat and drink yesterday and today, I swear.

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See? This was my run this morning.

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And this was my after lunch walk.

… I have no good questions. I’m sorry. True Blood (season 2) is on – no spoilers, please!

the return to real life

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I graduate in two months and two and a half weeks.

It’s all very exciting.

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Doesn’t he look excited about my upcoming graduation party? (Yes, I’m planning the party months in advance. It’s nice to have things to look forward to – dontcha think?)

The thing about graduating is that when you graduate, you sort of have to find a job. Tomorrow I have my first interview. Today, I did a lot of prep.

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I spent some time with my computer, reviewing the company’s website and my resume.

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I painted my nails. (I realize they’re not as beautiful as they could be, but this was before I cleaned up the edges. And also I don’t intend to let anyone get this close to my hands tomorrow – instead I shall keep them at a distance where they are like ‘ooo pale pink how nice’).

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I picked out my outfit.

(That’s it, folded neatly (ha) onto my dresser under my mini bedroom art gallery.)

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I had to do all of this while Crockett packed for his Tahoe snowboard vacation. He’ll be gone for five days, which is fine, except he won’t be here to debrief me from my interview.

He tried to make up for that by pre-debriefing at The Empire. He tried something new:

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pan roasted chicken with potatoes.

I went with the usual:

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calamari salad.

I know, I’m predictable. I plan to list that as one of my strengths during my interview.

flu shot friday

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

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The tazmanian devil (upsidedown) helped me get through the pain of my flu shot.

I’m so-so on things like flu shots – especially as a relatively healthy young person. However, flu shots are free and encouraged at school, and while TAing I feel like I’m probably extra at risk. I went for it yesterday, not considering how crappy it was going to make my arm feel and how that was going to impact my planned workout (spoiler alert – I skipped the workout all together in favor of happy hour. It’s the flu shot’s fault, I swear.)

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Lunch was another version of Thursday’s watermelon salad. I swapped out the mixed greens for just arugula, and topped the whole shebang with a little bit of warm pulled pork. The pork perfectly filled the hole that I’d said needed mango or avocado. This was so good. SO GOOD.

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Also? Yoplait parfait.

So gross. (I literally threw half away, which I HATE doing, but it was just nasty. I think it might have been good if I hadn’t just had so much natural sugar in the watermelon – it tasted super chemically.)

I took the dogs for a walk and then futzed around my homework for awhile. (Futzing around your homework: looking at it, ostensibly creating a plan of attack, without actually doing anything useful.)

Then Crockett said ‘let’s go play’ and I said ‘badass. Let’s do it.’

We went to the Empire. Since I ate lunch fairly late, I focused mainly on the happy hour menu in lieu of dinner.

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Fried chickpeas (shared with Crockett).

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I usually have the same thing to drink here (Basa, a Spanish Verdejo), but tonight I decided to branch out.

This is the Bubby St. G – a mix of St. Germaine, gin, prosecco, and lemon. It’s just barely sweet, just barely bubbly, and quite delicious.

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To round it out the meal, I had a piece of Humboldt Fog with some crunchy bread.

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Crockett went with the pulled pork sandwich (because apparently he hasn’t had enough lately?), and Dale’s Pale Ale.

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Sometimes, happiness is a local restaurant with tasty food.

Right now they have a High Holidays menu, too, but I wasn’t hungry enough to dive in. Maybe we’ll go back before they’re over, and I can have me some kugel.

After dinner we went home to watch Paul – it was surprisingly sweet, but lacked the hilarity of Shaun of the Dead. It did only further my love for Kristen Wiig, so if you like her, I totally recommend it.


white whale

Saturday, September 17th, 2011


Yesterday I got a (the last!) spot in my favorite parking lot.

It was obviously a sign.

I had a little snack while I walked to my car, so that I’d have enough energy to go to…

Since I had such good luck on campus, I thought maybe I’d try my luck after school at Target. Perhaps they would be restocking the Missoni zigzag sweater coat for the Saturday shoppers!

What. It could happen.

Sadly, the Missoni coats were still MIA. I did get the groceries and stuff that I like to get at Target though – cream cheese (always cheaper there), cotton swabs, stuff like that. Not produce. Never produce. (Why do I feel that Target is less reliable for produce than, say, Albertsons? No idea.)

Also, yes, everything in that picture that isn’t in a Target bag was in my car prior to my shopping trip. It’s all school papers and clothes (eventually) headed for Goodwill.

When I got home I stirred some rice and soy sauce up with an egg in a fry pan. I wanted a little lunch because last night was…


Yeah, I know yesterday was September 16th. Since I’m not entirely sure what the history of Oktoberfest is, I’m not sure that’s wrong, but doesn’t it seem like Oktoberfest should be in October? Silly Louisville.

We ended up heading over there later than I’d expected, so I had a nectarine that had been in the fridge so long it was all wrinkly. It was so amazingly sweet – it literally tasted like I’d dipped each bite in honey.

Maida wanted some too.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera. I did, however, remember both my phone and the always crucial ID. Dale’s Little Yella Pils for me thank you very much.

The band that was playing when we got there was (were?) The Beloved Invaders.

They’re surf rock.

I sort of feel like Louisville was phoning in the whole Oktoberfest thing.

The food choices were pretty limited.

Along with bratwurst and pizza by the slice, there was this guy – frying up Oreos and funnel cakes like there was no tomorrow.

Since we didn’t feel like sausages, we headed to The Empire for dinner after we’d had our Oktoberfill.

(See what I did there?)

Crockett had a BLAT.

I ate half.

I had a calamari salad.

Crockett ate half.

I guess, if you have someone to share dinner with, the white whale (or Missoni sweater) isn’t that important after all.






3 days of middle school girls has tapped my reserves

Thursday, June 9th, 2011







yay face

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

I can’t believe that I forgot to give public credit for some of the happiness that befell me last week.

I don’t really know if that sentence made sense.

Doesn’t this look like calamari salad, from The Empire?

But doesn’t this ALSO look like my kitchen table?

Oh – I just realized this probably isn’t confusing at all unless you know that The Empire does some takeout, but only a limited amount, and calamari salad isn’t included. They say it doesn’t travel well.

Thank god Crockett is a regular – he busted out his status to get me a salad for when I was finishing up my term paper last week.

I let him have a couple of bites.

Because I’m generous like that.

I give credit for the last five pages of that paper solely to this salad.


why is there no cheesecake truck?

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

It’s been a weird week. The kind of week where you wake up and say to yourself, self, I bet you could make a pretty good cheesecake.

I’m not going to tell you how it turned out yet though.

First, I’m going to tell you that Crockett and I went to The Empire.

I had to deposit my first rent check as a landlord (SO EXCITING), and the ATM is just up the street from The Empire, so we met for drinks.


This one is in case you were just wondering what happened to the light at The Empire bar. It was behind my head, so I had to make the first picture fancy.

Not only were there drinks, there was calamari salad.

I’ve missed my calamari salad.

Ok, NOW I’ll tell you about the cheesecake.

While I was making cheesecake, I had some hot chocolate.

See? You can sort of see my head in the reflection.

Ok, just kidding.

New York Style Cheesecake with Strawberry Coulis
inspired by Martha Stewart herself

Note: this makes a little cheesecake (6 inches). It’s still a lot of cheesecake. Two people’s worth for SHOOOORE.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature, plus more for pans
Coconut cookies, not macaroons but the kind that come in a package, crushed to measure to one cup (or wafer cookies – they’ll work too)
1.5 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 pound cream cheese
3 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

  1. At least an hour before you’re going to make the cheesecake, put the yogurt, cream cheese, and eggs on the counter to come to room temperature.
  2. You’ll either need a six inch round cake pan or a six inch round springform pan. Line the bottom of whichever with parchment paper. Get out a baking container that’s larger than your pan (an 8 x 8 works well).
  3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Crush the cookies and melt the 3 tablespoons of butter, then pour the butter in. Add the 1.5 tablespoons sugar and mix it all together. Smoosh it tightly into the bottom of the prepared pan, as evenly as possible, and bake it for 12 minutes.
  4. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the ever loving heck out of the room temperature cheesecake in a container that’s large enough for all the remaining ingredients. Add the yogurt and continue to mix. Once it’s all aerated, pour the sugar and flour into the middle and gently mix those two together, then beat the sugar/flour into the cream cheese. Do a lot of scraping at this point. Make sure there are no lumps.
  5. Put some water on to boil – enough to halfway fill the larger container.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing gently after each addition. Your heavy mixing days are over as soon as the eggs come into play. Add the vanilla with the first egg, and as soon as both eggs are incorporated, stop. NO MORE SCRAPING. Anything that’s stuck to the sides at this point is lost – scrape and get chunks in the final cheesecake. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.
  7. Pour the mixture onto the top of the hopefully-now-cool crust. Put the cheesecake into the baking container, and put the whole thing in the oven. Pour the boiling water in around the cheesecake, so that it comes about halfway up the sides.
  8. Close the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 325 and bake for another 15 – 25. You’re looking for movement but no jiggle.
  9. Open the oven and stick the handle of a wooden spoon in to keep it open. Turn it off and let the cheesecake cool where it is, overnight if necessary.

Try not to eat it all at once. I’m going to have to tell you about the coulis tomorrow, because my local showing (in the bedroom) of Season 2 of Deadwood is apparently starting (based on the yelling coming from that direction). Happy Saturday!

BLAT pizza

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

That’s right. I am kind of a big deal.

Because I made BLAT pizza.

I made a whole bunch of pizza crust earlier in the week (also used for the breakfast pizza) and then half forgot about it until Crockett said I made the best scones ever and I said what about our BLATs?

Just like that, BLAT pizza was born.

Oh, should I stop saying ‘BLAT’ like that means something?


The Empire makes this into a sandwich, and it’s Crockett’s most favorite thing evah. They make a lemon garlic aioli, which I replicated with some lemon zest and minced garlic stirred into some whole milk ricotta. I spread that over the crust dough, and then topped it with sliced tomatoes, quickly sauteed bacon (floopy still so it could crisp up more in the oven), and blanched kale that I then sauteed in the leftover bacon fat. I sliced up avocados afterwards to put on top.

It was no Empire BLAT, but it was pretty tasty none the less.


and with the ow

Saturday, March 5th, 2011


I woke up at my mother’s house yesterday morning and did not immediately find oatmeal.

I almost had a panic attack.

Fortunately, after walking her dogs I was able to head home to my kitchen where the oats run free and brave and sometimes even seem to be reproducing and are frequently made into muesli. This particular version was the same yogurt/oats/water mixture as Thursday, topped with sliced almonds, honey, and a segmented orange and its residual juice.


Well fortified, I went for a run (half marathon in three weeks, yo) and then proceeded to go to the doctor so they could make me want to cry.

There’s really no good way to explain why I was there without oversharing – let’s just establish that it was nothing gross and wasn’t something that a man would ever have to deal with. And it hurt a lot.

Next week is midterms, so after I got home Crockett fried me an egg for lunch while I studied.

Yesterday was first Friday, and due to the aftermath of my doctor torture I didn’t really feel like walking around in Denver. We went to the Empire (it’s ok, you can go ahead and be shocked) and I had wine (I know, again with the surprises).

Crockett had an old fashioned (is the thing where I pretend you’re shocked getting old? Yeah?) and I really did think I was focusing on it, but apparently I was focusing on the gorgeous copper bar instead.

The last time we were at the Empire, Crockett gently suggested that perhaps, once or twice, we could share something instead of me having a calamari salad and protecting it from his intruding fork like I’m a mama wolf and my calamari is my adorable wolf pups.

That I’m going to eat.

Yeah, that simile got gross fast. Sorry about that.

I acquiesced and we ordered a tuna burger and a calamari salad. The tuna burger shown here did have a bite taken out of it. It’s done medium – they’ll do medium rare but I have tuna issues so Crockett kindly let me determine the cooking temperature. They serve it with wasabi aioli, and that was damn delicious.

Also, please note the plate of calamari salad in the background.

That there is proof that I did share.

I kept some for myself, though, too.


Afterwards we hit a couple of Louisville galleries (there are actually four, I think) and were not moved to be patrons.