Sorry for the delay in this post; it has been a pretty hectic week. As I told y’all, my parents came down to Columbia at the end of last week and took Weezer & me out to dinner. We were lucky enough to grab reservations at Solstice for Thursday night. I did a pretty bad job of taking notes and pictures while I was there because we were busy catching up with my parents most of the time. Solstice is one of our favorite establishments in Columbia and we always love making the trek out there.
Solstice is a fairly new restaurant (last couple of years) in Northeast Columbia. While it isn’t the most convenient for us “in-towners,” I know it does a good business with all of the families nearby. It is owned by the same group that runs Mr. Friendly’s in Five Points. Mr. Friendly’s has always been one of mine and Weezer’s go-to nice restaurants and my parents have really enjoyed their experiences when they have taken us. My dad has recently developed a severe case of lactose intolerance and the staff at both of these restaurants have been more than accommodating. We started out with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese on top. They ended up being just a quick preview of how delicious our entrees would be. The tomatoes were lightly battered and fried in cornmeal, topped with thick, but creamy house made pimento cheese. After this teaser and a couple of drinks, the main event showed up at our table. Weezer & my mom both got the fish special: a pan-seared Kingclip. Nobody had heard of this fish, but it turned out to be almost like a grouper: white, flaky meat that falls apart with the slightest touch of your fork. My dad stuck with the scallops, a safe call for someone with his needs. They left the grit-cake off the plate and replaced it with some extra veggies. I went for the flat iron steak. My steak was cooked to perfection (mid-rare with the center still pink & juicy) and the sides it came with completed the meal well. As if these dishes weren’t enough, my parents insisted on ordering desert. They split the in-house gelato and Weezer & I had the mango springrolls on the suggestion of our waiter. He knew what he was talking about, as within minutes of getting the springrolls, we had taken them all down. The nice cinnamon-sugar coated crusts were stuffed with fresh mango and puree that seemed to melt in your mouth. It seemed like we had just gotten there when it was time to go, but I guess thats what happens when you have great company over delicious food & spirits.
The main event didn’t happen for another two days. On Saturday, Weezer threw one of the biggest & best Fiestas on the East Coast. She rented a margarita machine, picked up a bunch of decorations on our last trip to San Antonio, and even ordered a tres leches cake to fit in with the theme. People started arriving for the party around 3:00 on Saturday afternoon which was perfect timing: The Margarita Man had just dropped the machine off about an hour earlier and our first batch of ‘ritas was just getting frozen. For those of you that don’t know, the Margarita Man provides a frozen drink machine and mixes to help spice up any party. You are provided with the machine, instructions, and how ever many mixes you want and are left to enjoy the rest of the day. The biggest thing is that there is no worries about who is cleaning up the machine the next day; the Margarita Man comes back and picks up the equipment and cleans everything later!!
This was the second annual Fiesta and it was more than twice as big & bad as the first year. We had streamers in the tree, papel picados hanging from the house, cactus & succulent centerpieces, a piñata stuffed full of candy, & a giant Sasquatch statue in the yard near a photo booth with all kinds of costumes. Weezer also had the great idea of having door prizes: we had a contest for how many pieces of candy were in the piñata, and who could get closest in a game of pin the tail on the donkey. The winners got a Bojangles gift card (we were going to do Chic-Fil-A but that would have been a cruel awakening for those hopping to use it on Sunday after the party) as well as their choice of cactus or succulent to take home.
My wonderful Weezer had spent hours that morning making homemade salsas, dips, & shredded chicken tacos and our good friends Hambone & the Corn Queen brought shredded beef for tacos. All of the meats had been marinating for hours so the flavors had soaked in and kept the meat moist. Once the food was put out, people began piling plates with food and a couple went back for seconds (maybe thirds).
After a couple more ‘ritas, a game of ladderball, and some more socializing, the center of all birthday celebrations, the cake, was finally brought out. Weezer went above & beyond when she ordered not one, but two, tres leches cakes for Ally & Eloise Bakeshop which just opened on Forest Drive. In an example of how small the world really is, Ally is actually family friends of Weezer from back in the Lone Star State!!! These cakes were some of the best cake I have had in a while (probably since our wedding actually!). They were light but filling, not too rich, and very moist. People kept talking about how they don’t eat cake at things like this, but once they stuck a fork in that first slice, people were lined up to get their share. Because so many people were full from the tacos & saving room for more drinks, we ended up with 1 whole cake left over. I took about half of the left over cake to work on Monday, and after a few questions as to what was in it (tres leches = three milks, duh), I went to check to see how much was left only to find a tiny little sliver remaining. Obviously the people at work enjoyed it as much as we did!
Again, sorry for the late post with the lack of pictures, but this is all new to me and I promise it will get better. I want to thank my wonderful wife Weezer again for caring so much about me to put such a great party together and to all of our friends who turned out to help celebrate. Weezer knows how to put a party together, so if you every need any advice, she would be glad to help.
Thanks Weezer! I love you!
Until next time…