Lou’s City Bar

Great Good and Value

After a long Sunday, starting at 5:30 AM with a 62 mile bike ride and volunteering at the Capital Pride Festival, I was tired and hungry!  I had wanted to try the new sports bar in Columbia Heights and finally had the chance.  It is located near the metro next to the now closed “Commonwealth Gastro Pub.”

Walking by

Walking by I always noticed the large flat screens in the covered outdoor seating area which seemed to be unique.  I would think they would not be out if the weather was poor, but it was certainly a nice touch for those patrons who wanted the fresh air and a view of the game.

Sports Bar….

We had dinner around 8 PM and it happened to be NBA Finals and all of the TVs were changed to the same station and the young fans started pouring in.  We definitely got there at the right time!

Menu

The prices seemed very reasonable and there was a specials board outside which added to the single page menu.   I enjoy American food so there were plenty of $10 burgers and salads along with dinner entrees.  My stomach was definitely talking even though I just ate 6 hours before at Buffalo Wild Wings after the Air Force Crystal Ride.

The 3 course price fixe menu drew my attention at only $25.  For that price you got…

  1. Salad: House or Caesar
  2. Entree: Ribs, 16 oz Porterhouse Steak, or 16 oz NY Strip and 2 sides
  3. Dessert: Chocolate Mousse, Apple Pie a la mode, Brownie marshmallow thing, all but one dessert item was eligible.

I was full!

It was a great deal.  The salad was large, the 16 oz steak was very tender and the sides of mac and cheese and fries came on separate plates and were very generous.  The Mac and Cheese seemed to be homemade, but pretty plain.  Only one cheese and it was more creamy than cheesy.  There was no oil floating in it which is characteristic of cheesier versions.  I have a weakness for even boxed versions though, so I was happy 🙂

Dessert… 🙁

While the portion was very generous, the whipped topping and the mousse were not homemade.  The mousse seemed a bit “gritty.”  My partner is a chef and after he tasted it told me it was that way because it was a mix.  Needless to say I did not finish all of the mousse since it tasted a bit odd, but I did leave stuffed.

Okay, so I do like chocolate mousse and have made it from scratch on occasion since it is rather easy.

  • Egg Yolks
  • Egg Whites
  • Heavy Cream
  • Melted Chocolate

Whip and mix them all together and refrigerate and viola!

Go 🙂

Great value, good food, and sports.  Give them a try!

Review: Red Riding Hood

Watching the preview you may ask, is this movie about the fairy tale we all know?  The answer is yes, only it has been enhanced to make it a feature length film.

Setting

Rustic village in an undisclosed location, the community lives in fear of a Werewolf that comes on every full moon night to feast on either an offering or individual of the community.

Synopsis

Werewolf kills community members, they decide to go hunt it and end up killing a regular wolf when a priest comes to save them.  Lots of killing happens and finally the werewolf is killed.  There are lots of references to the fairy tale we grew up with in the movie which makes it more interesting for sure.  There are several love stories in the movie to get the young crowd engaged.

Impression

I really did like the movie, though last night there were only 8 others in the 107 seat theatre when the movie only came out a week and a half ago.  Unfortunately, like most movies today, either it has to be sure to have the sexy actor, or has the likeness of another successful movie to make big bucks at the box office.  I would have to say this movie is a cross between “Twilight,” you will know what I mean certainly when you get to the end, and “The Village.”  I would have to say it very closely resembles the The Village as far as dress, setting, and behaviors.

Criticism

Besides the similarity to “The Village,” I would have to say that the actors are a bit too well kept for the environment they are living in.  Maybe I say that because I had a hard time keeping my clothes and skin clean back in my Boy Scout camping days, but to see the actresses so clean all of the time and their brightly colored clothes free of dirt, I found the setting a bit hard to believe.  I will need to watch The Village again as I may have the same issue with that movie, but think they did get dirty from time to time wandering through the forest.

See it

So if you liked that type of movie, give this one a try.  At the very least, add it to your Netflix queue when it comes to DVD.

P.S. – You would think that you should pay less for a movie in a small theatre with a smaller screen, but next time I think I will just call and ask before getting tickets 🙂

Logitech Harmony Remotes are Awesome

I am a sucker for sales and Best Buy had one on Logitech Harmony Remotes so I decided to try them out.  I heard good things in forums and there were many good reviews on various electronic sites so, $65 dollars later I have the Harmony 650.  The main difference in the different remotes are the number of devices that you are “allowed” to control at a given time.  You can of course change your mind and change which devices are controlled.  Logitech claims that is is about memory in the device, I think that it is really just a limitation imposed on you due to the cost of the device.  That being said, I opted for one that can control 5 devices.  Turns out I would have liked 6 or 7, but not for an extra $100!  I ended up getting 2 of them one for the living room and one for the bedroom.  Have not opened up the bedroom one yet in case I find I don’t really need it since the setup in there is not as complex.

Living Room

What I have…

  • AV Receiver
  • DVD Recorder / Digital Tuner
  • Blu-Ray Player
  • HD DVD Player 🙁 (I was an early adopter)
  • Apple TV
  • Projector
  • Projection Screen

I had learned about home automation control options with the Harmony and though perhaps I could control my projection screen too.  Who would not like to press one button and have the lights dim, screen lower, pop corn machine start and movie play right? LOL.  I am exaggerating a bit of course.  You need to watch the popcorn, but a auto grinding coffee maker…..hmm.

Software

There were many “advanced features” I wanted and was able to read about in online discussions.  After talking with level 2 support, they were not able to assist me.  I did however find a link to an old version which I installed.  Sadly, it did not work with the web site it was supposed to enable, but I was able to just open up the application file on my Mac and was ready to go.  It scared me a bit because it insisted on updating itself before it allowed me to use it.  If I did not allow the update, it would just close.  I was concerned because the version I was using seemed like just a few minor revisions away so it would likely be updated.  For example I installed 7.1.3 based on what I saw online to get the functions I needed and when it was done updating I was at the current version 7.1.6.  It was not like I installed 6.0.1 and upgraded to the latest 6.1.2 in which case I would not have been worried.

To my happy surprise the application opened and viola!  I had access to so many more advanced features.  Granted the software is not nearly as intuitive as the new online version, but for the advanced features, is quite necessary.  Your average user would do well with the simplified and very quick to setup version.

End Result

So I needed to choose the devices that I controlled with the remote and came up with the following.

A nice thing about the remote as there is an “All Off” which turns all devices off and puts up the projection screen.

If you switch an activity the appropriate devices are turned on (if not already) and any that are not used are turned off.

  • TV Activity
    • Screen
    • Projector and Select Input
    • DVD Recorder
    • AV Receiver and Input
  • DVD Activity
    • Screen
    • Projector and Select Input
    • Blu-Ray DVD
    • AV Receiver and Input
  • Music Activity (Apple TV – Manually Control)
    • Screen
    • Projector and Select Input
    • AV Receiver and Input
  • Custom Activity (HD DVD – Manually Control)
    • Screen
    • Projector and Select Input
    • AV Receiver and Input

As you can see I was limited on the 5 devices I chose to use, but have the other settings automated on the HD DVD and Apple TV.

GRRRREAT Product Logitech!

So I would highly recommend these remotes to those with lots of devices that need to be used for multimedia systems, but not for the user with TV speakers.  HDMI control of the TV input by new HDMI devices would make that input switching on your TV automatic and not really worth the money 🙂

Initial Reaction: Apple TV

My initial reaction to Apple TV is fair….

  1. Where is the power button on the remote?  I know they use the same remote for every other computer, but it would be nice to turn if off with a button and not have to navigate a menu.
  2. Great Quality!!!  I had some Digital Downloads from Blu-Ray disks and they look great!  I am thinking I will keep it and not send it back 🙂
  3. Unable to Multitask?  It appears that while I was watching a movie from iTunes, Apple TV was unable to download my rental.  I figured I would do something else while I waited for my slow DSL connection to grab the HD rental.  The progress bar on the Download did not move at all.
  4. Unable to Buffer Rental.  I was a little bummed to find out that I needed to download the entire rental before I was able to play it.  Amazon UnBox lets you download movies locally, but also lets you start playing them about 10 seconds after you start.  That would be nice.  Apple TV told me:  Ready to watch in 10 hours.  Granted if I had a faster connection this would not be a big deal, but until now, I did not see a need to have the $100 /month Internet Speed.
  5. Shady HD Rentals – I should not have to pay an extra $1 for and HD rental.

So…my initial reaction so far….I like it and it will do what I ultimately wanted it to do, play video files at a DVD quality level.  I don’t think I will dump my Blu-Ray anytime soon, but I may start picking up old movies from Apple for $4.99 if I don’t see the need for the Blu-Ray edition.