Saturday, May 28, 2011

Parade on Sunday!

As Stamford Downtown reminds us, there is a Memorial Day Parade tomorrow starting at noon. Yay for community spirit.

Lola's Take 2

So my friends and I went on an undercover mission this past week to Lola's Mexican Kitchen (135 Bedford Street) to see if they could do a little better than last time around. I don't think they knew it was me, and my husband checked out the other tables and found that we were all just about in the same boat.'d they do?

Much better! The size of my party changed, and the waiter was very accommodating and helpful about it. Gone were the days of sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for my water glass to be filled. Our waiter was prompt, attentive and altogether charming.

After some helpful menu suggestions, when the food came, we were pleasantly surprised. One friend raved about the salmon special. Another noted that the tacos were solid and, while not necessarily authentic, the taste wasn't muddled with too much cheese and sour cream. She gave them high marks, and the same held true for the quesadillas. The chips still seem slightly stale, but MUCH better than last time around. Even the place settings seemed more attractive.

All the food came out at the same time too, which was a nice surprise. There was a lot of inconsistency last time around, and the wait was far too long. This time it seemed much more reasonable.

The atmoshpere was fun, upscale, clean and festive. None of that is so different from last time around. They've always gotten good feedback on atmoshpere. It's attractive, interesting and altogether well done. We all liked that it wasn't too "theme-y" - in other words - no psudo hacienda with piƱatas and such. Modern sophistocation is refreshing.

No review is worth its salt without some constructive criticism. One friend wished they offered Sauvignon Blanc by the glass, but she was reasonably happy with her Chardonnay substitute. One friend said the sangria could be a little better (too "syrupy"), and arrived with too much ice. On the other hand, the mojitos were a hit!

We paid using an irritatingly large number of credit cards, and the waiter didn't seem bothered in the least.

All told, we had an excellent time, and I'm thrilled to report that Lola's is moving in the right direction. One friend said that Lola's was just what she was looking for in a fun Mexican restaurant. Another friend agreed, and they both said that Lola's filled a void in the neighborhood. I'll definitely go back and hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Sculptures are Here!

What a nice surprise today to see the happy little summer sculpture series out and about today. So far, we've seen stacked up little white guys cartwheeling over each others' heads, a colorful square-shouldered computer-looking dude and bright splashes of color on the corner of Atlantic and Tresser. You can see the list of sculptures and artists here. Some of the names are intriguing. I'm partial to Comfy Couch, Ta Dah and Pigeon. The sculpture series always makes me aware that summer is upon us - hooray!

Monday, May 23, 2011

What a Nice Break!

Sorry for the long absence, citizens, but I needed a break - and I got one! In the last few weeks, I've been to Atlanta, Chicago and Vegas. Lots o' flying, but also lots o' fun. So anyhoo, back to business.

Now I know I'm a little late to this game, but I reserve the right to be excited about the Alive @ 5 lineup. So you got your:

- June 23rd – Third Eye Blind. I sort of like How's It Going to Be, and I can't think of any song of theirs that makes me want to shove 16 cotton balls in my ears.

- June 30th – Lee DeWyze. Ok, so I had no idea who that was, which I'm sure is proof that I live under a rock, but the interweb tells me he's the guy who won the 9th season of American Idol. Good for him! I'm sure people other than me care a lot more than I do, and you should come show him some love.

- July 7th – MC Hammer. This. Is. Awesome. I'm praying for parachute pants. I realize that he's become slightly less legit, but I am dying to know what he's got left in those dancing shoes. Can it still not be touched? Guess we'll see!

- July 14th – Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx. Now I'm not big on Lady or Come Sail Away, but I'm totally down with Mr. Roboto.

- July 21st – Vertical Horizon. Everything You Want is pretty catchy. I remember the video for You're A God, but I'm not sure that Tiffani Amber Thiessen ever really achieved deity status.

(photo from sk8geek,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sculptures are back!

Anybody who has lived in our neck o' the woods for more than 15 seconds knows that every summer we welcome a gaggle of new summer sculptures. We've had cats-n-dogs, realistic people, crazy wild animals and many other seasonal visitors. This summer's theme has been revealed: Wit & Whimsy. Stamford Downtown and the City of Stamford bring you 40 sculptures by 12 different artists on display from June to August.

They get the summer party started on June 8th at the Stamford Marriott. You can learn more on the DSSD website or by calling 203.348.5285. You can see a list of sculptors and sculptures here.

(photo from aussiegall,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Give Props to the Cops

Tomorrow, Friday May 6th, Bedford St will be closed for an event to honor our local police. There will be a parade, and lineup begins for it at 5pm in Veteran's Park. There will be a block party immediately afterwards up and down Bedford hosted by Brickhouse, Bradford's, Tigin, Telluride, BUtterfield8 and Lola's. For a five dollar donation you can enjoy a hotdog or hamburger, and drink specials include $3 bottled beer, $4 draft beer and $5 mixed drinks. The event proceeds support "Killed in the Line of Duty." Good cause and cheap drinks - what more could you ask for!?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Help Japan Rebuild

Once upon a time, one of my nerdy friends convinced me to watch this Japanimation film called Spirited Away. To be honest, I've never been a big fan of the genre, but I figured it was better than doing actual work. Much to my surprise, I was completely taken by it! It's bizarre and beautiful, and I couldn't look away.

Take a look for yourself and help Japan recover by joining in for Movies for Japan. The event takes place on May 5th from 7-11pm at University of Connecticut-Stamford (1 University Pl).

The charitable event will also feature live music and all proceeds (thanks to AMERICARES™) will support the Pacific Earthquake and Tsunami Fund. For more info, contact Jack O'Brien at 203-858-0720 or Tickets will run you a very reasonable ten bucks.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lola's Mexican Kitchen

I admit, I was excited when Lola's Mexican Kitchen opened up on Bedford. Lord knows we need more busy storefronts on our main drag. I've given the place a few opportunities to impress me, and so far, I'm really underwhelmed. Here's my take:

- Good: The vibe is festive and fun.

- Bad: The service is incredibly slow. Water refills: slow. Taking food orders: slow. Food service: slow. Book a good long window of time if you plan to check it out for dinner.

- Good: The decor is hip.

- Bad: The food is mediocre. I've paid less for better Mexican food on more than one occasion. It seems to be served without any care, and just glopped onto the plate. They tell me the chips are made on site, but every chip I've ever eaten there has been stale. The guacamole tastes like it was squirted out of a plastic sack.

- Good: The drinks aren't bad. If you're there to make your after work hours happy, it's perfectly fine.

- Bad: The service is questionable. I pulled a waiter aside and asked that they bring out a cake for my husband's birthday. I was pretty surprised when a waiter just sort of tossed it our way without any sort of fanfare. Is it too much to ask for a candle?

Hopefully, my experience isn't indicative of yours. I'd love to be proven wrong. What do you think, citizens?

Personally, I'm pinning all my Mexican food hopes on bartaco which is headed to Summer Street in the near future.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Nice Reporting, CT Bites!

Great story about Bar Rosso on CT Bites - very exciting! They report that opening day is May 12th! Can't wait...

Butterfly, Breaststroke, Benefitting Others

So this long, cold winter you probably spent a good long time sitting on your duff. Summer is the time to get into shape and - even better - to do it as you help others. On June 25th starting at 7am, join the 5th Annual Swim Across America. The event benefits cancer research, and you can pick from a number of distance options:

- 1/2 mile
- 1 1/2 miles
- 3 miles
- 5 miles

Not into swimming? Volunteer as a boater, kayaker or a supporter on the ground. Learn more about the event here and register here.

(photo from Ed.ward,