Saturday, July 17, 2010

Don Quijote

This month has been officially designated as "Travel Month" here at the Hackknife Commissary (hence the lack of recent postings). We packed up the family truckster and traveled to Youngstown, OH over the 4th of July weekend for Cousin Caroline's wedding, which will soon be followed by a longer car trip to Ocean Isle Beach, NC for the annual DeToro family beachhouse excursion (I'm sure this will provide plenty of fodder for future postings, probably in the form of Carolina BBQ joint reviews). Because we are insane, we also opted to make a last-minute day-jaunt to Indianapolis last Saturday (a mere 400 miles round-trip) for a 75th birthday party at Broad Ripple Park. The timing of our return home worked out so that we reached NW Indiana around dinnertime, prompting a stop at one of our favorite tapas restaurants, Don Quijote, located just a block or two from the Porter County Courthouse in downtown Valparaiso (the visit was also encouraged by an incessantly-howling Hackknifette, who was protesting her extended car-seat imprisonments of late). The folks running the place bill themselves as the only Spanish restaurant in Indiana and I, for one, am not in a position to debate this assertion.

This was our second visit to the restaurant, both times on a Saturday evening with the progeny while returning home from a day spent outdoors in the Indiana sun. Both times, Mrs. Hackknife and I have been very pleased with our food offerings, not to mention the hospitality of the place to overtired children reeking of sunscreen. We began our meal with fresh bread/garlic butter and a very tasty cold potato salad, washed down with a nice glass of red sangria. We chose to again do a combo tapas platter, which included tortilla a la espanola (omelet w/potatoes and onions), albondigas (Spanish-style meatballs), chorizo, champinones a la plancha (grilled mushrooms w/garlic and olive oil - as always, I politely declined this mushroom dish), and patatas bravas (potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce), plus we added on higaditos de pollo al Jerez (sauteed chicken livers w/onion, garlic, and herbs in a sherry sauce) and alcachofas rebozadas (french-fried artichoke bottoms). To their credit, the kids ate a little of these here and there, but were mostly satisfied with their kids menu choices. All 4 of us left the table full and feeling refreshed despite our earlier dosing of recirculated car air. One of these years, me and the missus will have to make an evening of it and return here (only 45 minutes east of the commissary) just the two of us.

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