Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Random Bites In Jeff City: Baklava, Bunco and Bones

There was much to celebrate on this latest trip to J.C., most especially Keith's sister Kim's graduation. This past weekend provided many opportunities to savor some flavor this capitol city that is also Keith's hometown.

Yanis Coffee Zone-I'm first of all sorry to say that my entire experience at Yanis Coffee Zone was limited to takeout baklava. The regret stems from the fact that the baklava is some of the best we've ever had (as most of their Yelp reviews attest) as well as the clear fact that a pervasive sense of humor clearly abounds around this joint. The menu features a "death before decaf" motto; lists their house coffee as 'rocket fuel' and describes some delicious-sounding Mediterranean grub. The website, powered by Spaces, is frequently hilarious and includes the hilarious Funny Or Die Coffee Snobs video. Oh, and that baklava...we had both pistachio and walnut and also tried their chocolate rugelach and wow, they are amazing. Can't wait to go back.

Cafe Via Roma- This little taste of Europe in the capitol city features a nice view of the Capitol itself and several different savories. I had the Vesuvio salad; a zesty mix of hot Italian-spiced chicken breast, pico de gallo, salad greens and guacamole. Keith enjoyed his vegetarian panini with fresh Italian mozzarella, Roma tomato, fresh basil and salt and pepper on herbed foccacia bread. I also had a tasty drink called a Frozen Hot Chocolate. Cafe Via Roma is a fine little stop in downtown JC.

Bunco-I admittedly have not been much of a board game player since I was in college but K's family digs the occasional roll of the Yahtzee dice and my first visit to the larger family holiday party hosted by Helen's side of the family at the Knights of Columbus hall revealed a new game(for me)-a Bunco tournament. Kim talked us into coming early and participating and indeed, it was big, fast-paced fun. Sixteen of us played and the game moves quickly. I ended up with one Bunco and an even-steven amount of wins and losses. I would find out later that they used to pay out for even stevens....damn the luck. In the end, Keith's dad Ken a.k.a. Lucky Kenny won the game, to no one's surprise. We moved on to the meal and this family is not one to skimp on the food, so there was much to relish here. Pork steak, corn casserole, scalloped potatoes, broccoli salad and of course Rhonda's righteous rice pilaf were among the highlights and the truffles and pudding cake helped round out this gutbuster of a meal. Big thumbs up also to Rhonda's excellent gin rickeys which made for some brilliant bunco fuel.

- Finally, Kim's grad party took place at a funky little joint called Bones in downtown Jeff. Many a friend and family member took part in celebration of our girl and it made for a great time. I got to know Aunts Annie and Joanie a bit better and we had a great time catching up with folks. We enjoyed munching on toasted ravioli and buffalo wings while watching the kids looking fairly hilarious while playing their Hedbanz game. Little Lindsay entertained us with her creative use of black olives. The highlight of the day was of course, watching Kim relax and have fun....she's certainly earned it.

We'll be back in JC for Christmas and I'm sure there will even more munchiness to follow...


best baklava said...

I never thought to make baklava before, but you make it sound great and i love the way you cut them!

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