The next morning, Thatboy decided to use his family's visit as an excuse to check out a breakfast place he'd be dying to try.
Apparently, Thatboy passes Pannikin Coffee and Tea on some of his surfing trips. Even though I tried to explain to him that it was a chain, with an outpost around the corner from us, he was adamant that this was a "good place for groups" and so we were off.
I can recommend Pannikin for couples like Thatboy and I, but I don't think it's really great for a large family breakfast. The menu isn't extensive so Thatneice and Thatnephew were disappointed by their lack of choices. Of course, part of the problem could be that TBIL and TSIL didn't actually let Thatneice and Thatnephew look at the menu - instead they ordered 2 dishes that they wanted and shared them with the kids. (Really, do you know a lot of 6 year olds that like quiche? Or eggs with basil and tomato in them?)
TSIL and I got the Greek eggs - with basil, feta, and tomato. As soon as it arrived at the table, TFIL pronounced it was his dish and he took it before TSIL noticed. I'm not sure why he thought it was his, since he had ordered just plain ole scrambled eggs, but it caused endless confusion later on when TSIL complained they never brought her meal. Luckily I ordered mine with egg whites - which the inlaws won't touch with a ten foot pole. My bagel, however, was a different story. After finishing his eggs, english muffin, granola, and fruit bowl, TFIL also enjoyed my bagel.
TMIL and Thatboy both ordered the Huevos Ranchero. All the eggs here are "steam scrambled." I'm not really sure what that means, but it sure sounds healthy, doesn't it?
And with that, the inlaws were on their way back home - it took them a lot longer to get back up there, because TBIL insisted on taking the "shorter route" which Thatboy and I warned him usually had a couple hours more traffic than the "long way." As they left, Thatboy remarked that it made him a little sad that the only one who seemed genuinely upset to say goodbye was Thatneice, as usual.
To celebrate their departure, Thatmom took Thatboy and I out for dinner at her neighborhood Mexican joint, since TFIL refuses to eat Mexican. Thatboy still owes me a BBQ dinner.
I'm not used to getting an amuse bouche at a Mexican restaurant, but I must frequent the wrong places.
Almost as soon as we were sat, our waiter came by with these taquitos, a toastada, and some pickled carrots.
Fried bites are a good place to start - but we needed something a little more.....liquidy.
After my week, I thought a tequila sampler would be a good way to go. I had the Frieda Kahlo sampler - with a blanca, reposada, and anejo. The reposada was my least favorite. Usually I'm an anejo girl, for the smokier, more complex flavors - but this time I thought I prefered the blanca. It was so sweet! Even Thatmom enjoyed it and the only time she drinks tequila is if it's hidden in a weak margarita. After finishing the sampler though, I think my heart went back to the anejo, sweet and smokey.
Thatmom ordered the del la casa sangria, which the waiter assured us was the sweetest. He also promised he'd let them know to make it extra sweet. When it came out in a pitcher, we thought they had made a mistake. Our waiter informed us that they've recently switched up the sizes on the sangria - "but it's the same price as the old glass, so it's a really good deal." In these economic downfall times, it's unusual to see a restaurant giving you MORE for your money.
Thatboy, our designated driver, refrained himself from ordering anything but a margarita. He did, however, make sure it was a "grand" with shot of grand mariner.
It's not a dinner out at a Mexican restaurant without some guac and chips. I liked that this one came in the avocado shells and the chips were fun. I just like my guac with some tomatoes thrown in - I'm a tomato kind of girl.
Thatmom ordered the pork medallions off the "specials" menu with grilled eggplant and rice. After a couple bites she told me to remind her never to order pork again. It's not that the dish was bad, she's just not a pork fan. She enjoyed Thatboy's dish much more than her own.
Thatboy ordered the arroz con pollo. He quickly divided up Thatmom and my portions, and after checking to make sure we didn't want any more he came pretty close to licking his plate. He loved the rice, the chicken, the sauce.
I got the blackened chicken burrito. which Thatboy had been thinking about. After eating his part of the burrito, he decided he was glad he had chosen the arroz con pollo since the burrito wasn't as spicy as he would have liked. On the other hand, I didn't mind the lack of spice, since it was a yummy chicken burrito. And Thatmom, who doesn't like spicy, probably enjoyed it more than if it had been up to Thatboy's spice level.