Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vacation - Day 6 – Tucson, AZ – aka Gerd’s Birthday

Generally on Gerd’s Birthday, my only duty is to drive her around to do whatever she wants, and hold out the credit card when the time comes. Today would be no different, except we wouldn’t be near home nor near her favorite restaurants. We would have to make due.

We woke up too late to eat breakfast, so I avoided that bullet. Ha ha ha. I was also told I would not be playing disc golf, so she avoided a bullet herself. Well played, friend.

We headed to downtown Tucson to check it out. We heard the 4th Avenue area of downtown has some cool shopping and food places. We also heard it may not be as happening on a Monday as a lot of the places use that day as a day off of working. Most places were open though. It wasn’t a thriving metropolis of shopping, but it was interesting to walk around there. We already knew we were going to El Charro, so we were only walking around trying to get hungry for this lunch-time adventure.

Gerd found this place online and found about a billion reviews all saying it was the best. And they weren’t lying. El Charro claims to have invented the chimichanga and I won’t dispute it. It was amazing. Their claim to fame is some sort of beef which they dry on the roof of the building and then shred. It’s called Carne Seca, and you NEED to get this if you go there. Best chimichanga I’ve ever had. I also got a sampler kind of thing called Enchiladas Banderas and discovered the best shredded chicken enchilada I’ve ever eaten. This place is incredible. We had their special margaritas complete with a Grand Marnier float which were amazing. I apologize for the bluriness of the photos, but you should get the point.

We had heard about this steak place called McMahon’s while researching restaurants on line. Gerd likes to eat steak on her birthday, so we needed to find someplace classy for her. We overheard some random guy in El Charro talking to the waitress about McMahan's Steakhouse, so Gerd turns around and starts talking to him about it. Apparently, it was one of the VPs of the company that owns McMahon’s. Really nice guy. He even offered to make a reservation for us. We politely declined, but when Gerd mentioned it was her birthday, he bought her some birthday flan. It was also awesome and neither of us really like flan that much. We’re converted flan fans.

We drove to the Foothills Mall and checked things out there. We did some light window shopping and bought Gerd a couple of things. She had recently seen Twilight, but wanted to see it again, so we dropped in and caught a matinee. Great vampire film and it’s no wonder she wanted to see it a second time. I’d recommend it. We then drove to La Encantada – a really fancy mall. It was pretty classy. We didn’t buy anything there, except gelato, but it was fun to walk around. We were killing time until our reservation at 8pm at McMahon’s.

We tried to kill time by finding a minigolf place. However, this one was super scary and super closed forever. The internet says people loved the scary tackiness of it, but I was bummed it was closed.

We drove home to change into nicer clothes and then headed out to McMcahons. It was really classy. The waitress however told us that Rodney, the sommelier, would help us pick out a bottle of wine. However, she pronounced it like salmonelliay – as if he was some harbinger of disease. Hilarious. Rodney was awesome and very down to earth. We knew what we wanted, we just wanted him to decide for us. Besides, they had a 70+ page wine list - THAT's serious. Gerd had a Bone-In Filet Mignon and I had a full rack of lamb. Both were incredible. Super tasty and flavorful. The potato Gerd had was perfect as were the Scalloped potatoes I got. We got a nice Malbec to accompany dinner and thanked Rodney for his recommendation. The place was louder than a lot of restaurants we’ve been in but there were a lot of large groups there. We would both heartily recommend McMahon’s Prime Steakhouse.

We drove home to partake in some boat drinks with the cousin. Her boyfriend calls girly drinks boat drinks. I think girly drinks is a more descriptive term, but whatever. They’re both fruity and tasty. Gerd fell asleep before she finished hers, so the cousin and I made sure her drink got disposed of properly… heh heh heh.

Top 5 things
1. Best Mexican food ever – El Charro
2. My cousin had a birthday cake for Gerd
3. Got to see Twilight
4. Got some new Wii games
5. Awesome Malbec from Argentina

Bottom 5 things
1. Salmonelliay
2. Scary mini-golf place was closed
3. Gerd is another year closer to being old like Chao
4. No cool shirts in our sizes at El Charro
5. Downtown Tucson

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