Day in Bozeman

Today was a strange day. We drove downtown to have breakfast at Nova, our favourite cafe, but we had slept in until Sunday Brunch hour and everyplace was lined up for half an hour or more. We chickened out and ate at our hotel’s restaurant. We usually avoid it because it has about two dozen televisions. I cannot sit facing a television and have a conversation or even a coherent train of thought. Anyway, breakfast was fine, but Montana sized. I ordered two eggs, sausage, hash browns and two pancakes. The sausages were as big as bratwurst , and the entire plate was buried in hash browns. Two huge pancakes came on their own large plate. Caroline’s western omelette was also large and meat-laden. We think Montana must have the highest per-capita meat consumption in North America. And proud of it, I bet. Too much food, so we made no attempt to have lunch.

Picked up paperbacks and picnic supplies on a quick shopping trip in the mid-afternoon, after doing our laundry in the hotel.

Went out for dinner downtown. Sometimes we have a meal so good that we wish we could relive the whole evening from the time we entered the restaurant. Tonight was not one of those times. If we could have relived the whole evening, we’d have gone to MacDonalds. Over the Tapas is a trendy sounding place downtown with a constantly changing menu of hip Spanish cuisine. The staff were wonderful, and the winelist, although limited and perhaps a little expensive, was strong on Spanish wines and they had expensive wineglasses by Reidel. Which brings us to the food. We started with crab cakes with cilantro lime aioli and avocado. The crab was very good, but I did not see or taste any aioli, so it was kind of plain. My choice was ‘curried lamb empanadas with house-made tzatsiki’. The pastry was good, but there was no hint of curry in the lamb, and Dino would have laughed at the tzatsiki, which was a runny yellowish liquid with no flavour of cucumber, yogourt or garlic. Since those are the main three ingredients of tzatsiki, I am mystified. And unhappy. Caroline ordered the traditional paella. It did indeed have rice, mussels, chicken, chorizo and shrimp. It was so spicy, she could not eat it. She did enjoy the mussels, but the shrimp was rubbery and the chicken dry. At this point, we gave up. We paid our bill and attempted to leave.

Here begins a new adventure. When I’m not happy with a restaurant, I like to leave, swiftly and silently. Once I open my mouth, stuff like you just read is likely to pour out. Unfortunately, I had persuaded Caroline that she could leave her blackberry in our room for a couple of hours, and I did not, as she assumed, make up for this lack by bringing my cell phone. The bartender tried to call our hotel, but the number was ‘temporarily unavailable’. So was the toll-free number. Without our mobiles, slipping out for a walk and calling for our shuttle from somewhere else did not seem wise. Caroline sat tight in the restaurant while I went for a walk to cool off. I mean that literally, the place was busy and very warm. We were eventually rescued by our van driver, and finished our evening eating some of tomorrow’s deli ham and Wisconsin Swiss in our hotel room. It was way better than our $80 dinner.

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