Sunday, January 14, 2007

happy new year, date night.

it's quiet right now. and thank god for that. i've been going full steam since 7 am this morning, and now, eleven hours later, i'm thankful for this little breather and eager to type out details of our most recent madison date night (and keep the new year's resolution to write up our date nights before we're out on our next date).

phew. that's a lot of "dates" on one sentence. anyway, i digress ...

so last monday night, after an afternoon visiting a church (which may end up being home to our wedding ceremony) and writing up a potential guest list of 300+ friends and family members we'd love to invite to celebrate our vows with us, i was exhausted and eager for a night with jon ... sans talk of wedding hoo-hah.

and where better to avoid drama than the low-key, ultra-casual tex tubb's taco palace? the brainchild of eldorado's kevin tubb, this not quite one-year-old "palace" exceeds its classier relative in worth. how can you not love walking into a restaurant and spotting a sign offering $2.65 tacos? love it.

though the bill was far more expensive when we were done ordering (two two-taco platters with yummy rice and beans, some chips and perfectly spicy green salsa, one negra modelo and one new glarus IPA came out to about $25) , it was absolutely worth it. kitschy-texmex western music and some live songs from john hiatt played over the stereo, adding to the come-as-you-are vibe. the casual waitstaff was attentive, but relaxed enough to make you feel like you were just all hanging out together, watching the ohio state vs. florida championship game.

and the food? again, really excellent. jon thinks eldorado's food was still better, but i'm so swayed by environment that i'd hit tex tubb's again in a heartbeat before even considering eldorado. we ordered the same thing (in the interest of trying new things, we usually attempt to order different dishes, but we're just getting back into this date night thing again after the holidays and we just wanted what we wanted, you know?): one carne asada taco and one el pastor taco. i can't really say which one was my favorite, though the girl who took our order up front was right in telling us we'd be fine with just one taco each. i was pretty stuffed later that night.

afterwards, we walked 20 feet to our car (this is the advantage of a monday night date night - we don't fight many other people for parking lot spots) and headed to barnes and noble on the west side. we'd considered going to dejope since neither of us have ever been and learning their (evidently different) version of bingo, but ended choosing the barnes and noble on the west side near jon's house for coffee and games. jon found cheesy little "do you know your bride/groom?" quiz books and we spent the next hour or so discovering who knew more about who (or is it whom? sorry, i can't remember). i won't tell you who won because i think i got cheated. i'll just say that jon's questions were way easier.

so it was a good welcome back to date night. after two busy weeks of family, friends, and traveling, it's a pretty excellent thing just to spend the evening with the person you love most.

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