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Gina’s Birthday Dinner at Abuelo’s

Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy on Urbanspoon

Brian and I were bad again last night. Not only did we eat out but we had dinner at around 9 pm, which is a lot later than we are used to eating. We planned on having dinner at 8 pm to celebrate Gina Ann’s birthday, but Abuelo’s doesn’t take reservations on the weekends any more. Not even for large groups. They accept “call ahead” but we still had to wait. What made it worse was that this group of people would not leave. They were done eating, but they continued to sit there and sip their sodas and waters even after numerous hints from the wait staff.

Two of the tables we needed were ready, but we were waiting for the people at that last table to leave so that the three tables could be put together. There were several things suggested like buying them a round of drinks at the bar so to get them to leave the table, but then we weren’t sure if they were of legal drinking age. They looked young, but appeared to be of age. However, they were drinking water and soda so we came to the conclusion that they probably weren’t drinkers. Stephanie knew who they were and she said they didn’t drink, so that idea was nixed.

It was terrible because the restaurant and the server couldn’t make any money while they were sitting there tying up a table. On a busy Saturday night, you want a continuous flow of people coming and leaving. When you’re done and you’ve paid, then leave so that the restaurant can get the next group in. If you want to keep your table, then order dessert or order some more drinks or something. At least make it worthwhile for the server and the restaurant. It wouldn’t have been as bad if it was during a slow period and there was no wait but, when there are starving people waiting for you, at least try to be considerate.

Half an hour later, they were still sitting there merrily chatting. We were like, chat at the bar or chat in the restaurant lobby. Just chat elsewhere so that we can finally get our table. Coley finally took matters into his own hands and spoke to the manager. Shortly after that, the manager went to speak with the group to politely ask them to leave. I’m pretty sure they weren’t happy about that, but we didn’t care. We’d been waiting a while and some of us were very hungry.

I didn’t get pictures of everyone’s food because Coley hates it when I do that. I didn’t get pictures of mine and Brian’s food because we always get the same thing. It’s really not that exciting. Besides, I think most of us were starving, so if I would have asked someone to hold off eating until I got a photo of their food they probably would have chopped my head off.

I did get a picture of Stephanie’s dinner because she ordered French fries — of all things — at a Mexican restaurant! LOL. She tried to order mac and cheese, but she was denied. No mac and cheese at Abuelo’s apparently. Not even for kids.

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BTW, Brian and I are only supposed to eat out no more than once a month, but there were so many things that went on this month that I have lost count. Valentines week/month is almost worse than Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I hit my lowest weight ever this month and promptly gained back the weight I’d lost and then some. I swore that I gained five pounds in the span of a week. Blech.

Flip and Ching’s Annual Holiday Gathering

Because we love traditions, we decided to do something again this year that we did the year before. It happened quite accidentally actually. Jay invited Brian and I to brunch with Becca, Cory and April. Since it was the holidays, Brian and I figured we would do something nice and pick up the tab. It was a spur of the moment decision.

This year we wanted to do the same thing, but we did it more deliberately. Brian even set up a Facebook event and invited our family and closest friends (aka extended family) to have dinner with us at Pacific Coast Pizza. We weren’t sure if we would see the Phelpi and the Feifels before the holidays so we wanted to use the opportunity to give them the gifts we had gotten for Gavin, Ethan and Ben.


Though Jay and Becca couldn’t join us (they’re currently living in the East Coast) our group actually doubled in size compared to last year. We still managed to end up with way more food than we needed, though. I blame that on Brian because I tried to talk him into ordering one less pizza and he wouldn’t listen. There are no pictures of food unfortunately because we just had fries and wings and pizza, which are not really interesting to take pictures of but are delicious to eat. LOL. We had two orders each of the China Town, Wild West BBQ, and Thai wings and one order of the regular mild wings. We had six large pizzas in various flavors. Although, I think four large pizzas probably would have been sufficient. We had way too much pizza left over at the end of the evening. We had to beg everyone to take some home. I’m guessing most everyone got full on fries and wings before the pizzas came out.

I thought everything tasted great with the exception of the fries. The fries tasted okay, but I was very disappointed that they switched from the skinny homemade fries to the fat frozen kind. Blech. I think we are moving the annual holiday get together to Louie’s next year. What do you guys think?

Nontraditional Thanksgiving Fare

Mom made sure that my Filipino food craving was satisfied at Thanksgiving by offering a variety of my most favorite Filipino dishes. We had pancit

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Banana turon

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…which I am not really a fan of, unless you lace it with jackfruit and serve it a la mode. Vanilla ice cream makes everything ten times better. LOL. No offense to my mom, because she really does make good turon.

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Mom also made fruit salad and macaroni salad.

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Jen Teves’ friend, Georgia, made a couple of dishes that they serve in Cyprus where she is is originally from. She made a main dish and a dessert dish that resembles what we call maja blanca in the Philippines.

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We also had some American foods like ham, turkey, stuffing, and corn on the cob, just to cover all the bases.

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Ate Lou made pumpkin cake.

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Jen Teves brought cake from Bagatelle.

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Ching did not make anything. LOL. I brought some wine for everyone to enjoy (but mostly Jen Teves and me because we have similar taste in wines) and also champagne for our mimosas.

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I picked up Korbel Sweet Rose from Extremo Vino at Shane’s recommendation and it turned out really well. I will have to remember that one.


As if that weren’t enough, we had Thanksgiving part deux at the Feifel’s. Needless to say, we ate way too much that day. I’m amazed that I didn’t fall asleep at the wheel on the drive to Kansas City.

Susan G. Komen Benefit Dinner at Carrabba’s

Please join Carrabba’s Amici Club at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, September 21, for a special four-course wine dinner benefiting Susan G. Komen of Wichita. You’ll get a taste of a variety of wines from Carrabba’s award-winning wine list paired with four delicious courses of hand-prepared house favorites.

The cost is $40 per person (cash or check only). Credit Cards will not be accepted. Half of the proceeds will be donated back to Susan G. Komen of Wichita.

Insalate and Zuppe
Carrabba’s House salad served with their Spicy Mama Mandola’s Sicilian Chicken Soup

Fire Roasted Portabella Mushroom
Rosemary roasted portabella mushroom topped with chicken and stuffed with a blend cheeses and spinach.

Espresso Rubbed Ribeye
Ribeye rubbed with espresso and seasonings and cooked on our wood burning grill.

Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding
Homemade brioche bread pudding baked to perfection in a chocolate custard, topped with vanilla ice-cream, crunchy hazelnut brittle and drizzled with a warm chocolate sauce

Does that sound delicious or what? BTW, some of these events are invitation-only so be sure to sign up for the Amici Club to start getting invites. Seating for this event is limited so you’ll need to RSVP by Tuesday, September 20, if you plan on attending.

I will unfortunately be unable to attend as I missed Zumba today because Brian and I had swing dancing lessons. So I promised Gina Ann that I would not miss on Wednesday. These Amici Club events are awesome, though. This one is even more special since 50% of the event proceeds go toward a great cause. Anyway, you have to sign up if you’re not already a member!

Donna’s Birthday Dinner at P.F. Chang’s

In case you were wondering why Brian was all guzzied up the other day, it’s because we had a dinner date with his parents that night to celebrate his mom’s birthday. She picked P.F. Chang’s (the same place we went to last year).

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We were actually looking forward to it as we hadn’t been in what seemed like forever. I originally thought it had been years but, after looking at old photos and old blog entries, I realized we were there last year. LOL. =P

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Donna had her hair and makeup done for the occasion and looked fabulous!

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Here she is holding a gift from Cousin Tracy that we brought back from Texas.

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Here come the barrage of obligatory food photos…

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The Mongolian beef with eggplant that Brian and I shared.

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Donna’s chicken lettuce wraps.

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David had regular Mongolian beef. He’s not a pain like I am. I always substitute stuff and change things up.

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Donna with her birthday dessert. I exercised self-control (for once) and didn’t have any. Amazing, I know. It was tough. Trust me.

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David had a couple of bites…

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As much as I restrained myself, I still think I ate more than I should have. Dinner was yummy, though! Thanks for letting us celebrate with you, Mom and Dad B!

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