Edelweiss German Restaurant, Fort Worth

I wouldn’t say that C and I are connoisseurs of German cuisine. I have about 5 different establishments under my belt, tops. But, 2 out of those 5 were decent, and 2 were downright tasty (don’t even ask about the other one). So although I can’t really tell you if something is “authentically German” (although in FW, TX, probably not) or if it’ll be like your momma used to make (I don’t know your momma), I can tell you if I liked it! And that is valuable information.

photo 1We drive by Edelweiss on a pretty regular basis, but it’s a bit on the pricey side so we hadn’t made it a priority to go. When they offered a Groupon, though, I was on it, and C and I finally got a chance to try it out.

Pro: there was plenty of seating and quick service.

Con: it was a bit dilapidated and you only hope they keep the kitchen up better than the rest of the place.

photo 3Pro: the braised pork ribs were juicy and delicious

Con: the accordion player hung around our table so long, said ribs got cold

Pro: the accordion player was pretty talented

Con: he talked more than he played

photo 4Pro: the portions are HUGE!

Con: the portions are HUGE!

Pro: we liked pretty much everything we tried – the ribs, the potato pancakes with apple sauce, the pickled red cabbage and sauerkraut, the sausages, the jaeger schnitzel (I realize pictures of juicy meat do not photograph particularly well. Sorry.)

Con: although we liked it, we didn’t love it

All in all, it was a fun little stop, but the prices are probably a little too high for us to go back much. Suggestion to the owner: cut back on the quantity (by half! at least!) and make it a little more affordable!

C and K’s rating of Edelweiss: 7/10 mangoes

 

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I read this on the internet – True Crime, The New Yorker

If you haven’t heard yet, The New Yorker has given free online access to it’s content since 2007. Yay! Longform.com listed some of their favorite available articles and I read this one first:

2008 WROCLAW  FOT. LUKASZ GIZA / AGENCJA GAZETATrue Crime tells the story of one Krystian Bala, a Polish man that commits a murder, publishes its details in a disturbing novel he writes years later, and the policeman that hunts him down. Engrossing, if disturbing, story.  As of publishing (2008), Krystian was awaiting a retrial. According to wiki, he was found guilty in his second trial as well and there is an option for a movie based on the New Yorker article.

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The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer

interestingsThe Interestings, by Meg Wolizter

Our latest book club selection was The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer, the story of a group of friends that meet at a summer art camp and the directions their lives go as they mature and age.

(Spoilers below)

This is a difficult book for me to review. It was interesting enough (tee hee) but I still didn’t really find myself enjoying it. Although I became much more interested in the story lines as the main characters passed the teenage and college years, it still felt a little too packed to really get to know any particular character well. For a relatively short novel following the lives of 6 friends, it may have been a better choice to focus on a specific period of time rather than trying to handle the scope of 6 individuals and their families over the course of 50 or so years.

In addition to the overall structure, I struggled with a couple of specific problems. Of the 6 friends, Cathy is the one that is given the least amount of time and color. I find this particularly problematic as she was the victim of a rape by another friend in the group, who’s story is visited again and again. Not only was Cathy not believed or supported by her friends (and to the extent she was, it was only secretly and revealed late in the novel), she was very nearly erased from the narrative, too. Disappointing.

I also felt like the diagnosis of Ethan and Ash’s son on the Autism Spectrum was treated oddly. I admittedly have little experience with children (much less a child of my own) that has ASD, but it felt as if the characters were treating the diagnosis very near to a death sentence. I could not relate at all with Ethan’s inability to love his child, nor really with a 40 year obsession with a woman that does not love him.

I’m not sure if I’m just not the target audience for this book, but I didn’t connect with it at all. After getting about halfway through I realized I had read another of Wolitzer’s novels, The Uncoupling. I struggled with that one as well, so in hindsight it’s not much of a surprise.

K’s rating of The Interestings: 5/10 mangoes

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 2013

A fun remake of the Danny Kaye classic (and originally based on an awesome short story), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty unfortunately suffers slightly from a little too much silliness in places. Otherwise, the acting is well done, the adventures are exciting, and we root for Walter the entire time.

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a man prone to daydreaming. He works for Life Magazine, processing photographs, primarily from superstar Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn), and has to get out of his head and into real life adventures when a very important negative goes missing.

It was fun to see a couple of Parks and Rec favorites – Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) as the evil corporate man made my heart hurt, and Jen Barkley (Kathryn Hahn) as the goofy sister was a surprise.

Marks off for dragging just a little, but overall a fun watch.

K’s rating of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: 6/10 mangoes

C’s rating of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: 6.5/10 mangoes

 

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How To Train Your Dragon 2, 2014

C and I enjoyed a double feature for his birthday weekend extravaganza. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, followed by How to Train Your Dragon 2.httyd2I’ll admit, my expectations were low for How to Train Your Dragon. We both LOVED the first one, and it’s so easy to be disappointed by sequels. (Cars 2, anyone?) Also, Dreamworks. I’m not as much of an animation snob as C, but still. It’s not like they wow us every time. 

But we absolutely loved this one! In order to avoid giving away any spoilers, I’ll only say this: if you loved the first one, you will love this one, too!

Also, this (starting around 0:40):

K and C’s rating of How to Train Your Dragon 2: 9/10 mangoes

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Japanese Palace, Fort Worth TX

frontThere is a Japanese-style building on Camp Bowie near the house that we pass by almost every day. It’s not open during the day, is dimly lit, and has no windows. I, obviously, thought it was the site of a classy geisha-esque escort service (keep in mind, I don’t think I actually know what a geisha is, but I’ve heard about them on The Office, so…) under the guise of an innocent family restaurant. In my defense, there are a number of strip clubs nearby.

Le Menu

Le Menu

C assured me it was likely a Japanese restaurant, as did all the Fort Worth natives I asked.

I was not convinced.

We determined we had to investigate it ourselves and stopped by for C’s birthday weekend extravaganza. Alas, C was correct. Japanese Palace is nothing more than a hibachi grill style restaurant a la Jinbeh, Benihana, and many others.

Open only for dinner, Japanese Palace was surprisingly empty on a Saturday night and we had an entire hibachi table to ourselves, which was actually a little odd. The chef was new and was doing his best, but our food was absolutely saturated in butter and salt (not in a good way) and my medium filet was all the way past well done.

Soup (chicken broth) and salad (decent dressing)

Soup (chicken broth) and salad (decent dressing)

Let's just admit right now that heaps of meat photographed in a dimly lit restaurant don't look appetizing. You can look at this instead.

Let’s just admit right now that heaps of meat photographed in a dimly lit restaurant don’t look appetizing. You can look at this instead.

I suppose you pay (and you really do pay! Dinners averaged probably near $25.) for the entertainment, but this is one of those places that you go to once for “the experience” and never go back to again.

The best things? We both ate eggplant that was really good (neither of us are lovers of eggplant), the decor in the bar area is cozy, fun and inviting, and I love love love all the bean sprouts. (Something I almost never buy because they seem to go bad so very quickly.)

K’s rating of Japanese Palace: 4/10 mangoes

C’s rating of Japanese Palace: 6/10 mangoes

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 2014

YYYEEEESSSSSS!!!

Honestly, that’s all I really need to write to review the second installment in the Planet of the Apes prequels.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was the perfect summer blockbuster and C and I loved it! It was beautifully shot, acted, and animated. I was stunned that in an action packed movie, I walked away being absolutely in love with the characters. There is a scene where Malcom’s son, Alexander, is reading to Maurice (the orangutan, and my favorite). Touching and beautiful.

How is it that a movie about the dawn of dystopia, and really, apes taking over the planet, be something that moves me so deeply?

Although a little violent (not graphically, just incessantly during a couple of scenes), this was an outstanding summer movie. Highly recommended.

K and C’s rating of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: 9/10 mangoes

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