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Weekend Roundup (The Times, Stone Meadow Golf, Ixtapa, Wine Riot)


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The Times

Friday was the first day in Boston this year to hit 70 on the thermostat. I'm not really sure if it did hit 70 or not, but I would be damned if I didn't bust out the shorts and flip-flops and try to enjoy the weather after work. So I met up with a bunch of friends at The Times bar on Broad Street to bask in the sun outside on their huge patio area. Sadly, the sun disappeared quickly behind the tall buildings in the financial district and it might have been a little too bold to be only wearing a short sleeve shirt and shorts and flip-flops, but I was able to get some rays before it went away. In any case, it was nice to hang out with friends outside and play the finger-bang game.

As a bar, The Times is pretty good. I've always have had a good time coming here, whether it's to play some darts on a Saturday early afternoon when the bar is dead quiet, or when it's packed with the after work crowd. No real beer specials, with the Times Lager being $3.50, but the location and the patio make up for it. The food is pretty good too, being slight better than average bar food. The potato skins are the best item on the menu, being really large potato skins and their burgers are nice and juicy and cooked well.

Stone Meadow Golf Course

Located in Lexington, Stone Meadow is a par-3 golf course and driving range. Abby has never played before, and I wanted to dust off the clubs since I haven't played since last summer, so coming here on a partly cloudy day with nothing else to do was the perfect idea. We started out with a small basket of balls to get our strokes down at the driving range, where I immediately shanked a ball and got mud all over myself. Fantastic!

The par 3 course itself is a nice simply course with a few sand traps and one creek running through a few holes. Nothing longer than 90 yards or so. A good course for a complete novice in Abby and someone just trying to get back into the swing of things (no pun intended) in me. I missed a few birdies but managed to save par each time, and Abby even got a birdie chance herself. Fun times.

Stone Meadows wasn't packed, but there was some slow play ahead of us. This was fine because we weren't the fastest players either and didn't feel rushed at all.

After our golfing, we punched in the GPS to find a place to eat some lunch. Nick's Place sounded like a nice bar-type joint so we headed there. When we arrived however, Nick's Place turned out to be a roast beef restaurant. While not necessarily bad, neither of us were in the mood for roast beef. Next door was Ixtapa Mexican restaurant, so we went there instead.


Mexican food is so hard to come by in Boston. Correction, "Good" Mexican food is so hard to come by in Boston. There are a few nice hole in the wall joints that we have been to that met my high standards, but nothing that is convienent for us to get to. Being out in the burbs, we had a chance to try out Ixtapa.

As we walk in I started thinking that Ixtapa would probably be like Acapulcos in Sudbury, and that's not a complaint.

We were seated in a booth and brought out salsa and chips. (The waiters were very nice, constantly saying "Mi amigo" to us whenever they refilled our waters or salsa.) The chips were salted and the salsa, while a bit watery, was fresh and light.

The menu at Ixtapa has all the Tex-Mex staples one expects. Burritos, fajitas, chimichangas, etc. Abby decided for the chimichanga with pork and I went with the Ixtapa Enchiladas, which was three different enchiladas: shredded chicken, shredded beef and jack cheese. Both meals were served with refried beans and rice.

I have to say, my enchiladas were very respectable and were very above average. I've been craving some good Mexican for the last couple of weeks, and this hit the spot. The refried beans and rice were tastier than average as well. Abby had nothing bad to say about her chimichanga, so I take it that she liked it.

While we were eating, we could hear children playing in the back. This helps makes the place for me. Family run Mexican places (similar to Acapulcos in Sudbury) are usually a lot better than corporate run ones. I wish this place was closer than Lexington because I'd be back, especially for their lunch menus during the week. Deals starting at $6.50. That was probably my only knock on Ixtapa. $13 for my enchiladas seemed a bit steep. If it was $10 or so, I'd think it was a pretty good deal.

I give Ixtapa a very strong 3 1/2 out of 5.

Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wine Riot

To end our big Saturday, we went to the Wine Riot festival at the Cyclorama in the South End. We met up with our friends Heidi and Sarah and proceeded to drink a lot of different wines. This turned out to be a great time. I have a few new wines that I want to purchase (perfect for steak nights) and we had a lot of fun sampling the various wines. South Afria and Columbia Valley in Washington were the big winners in my eyes.

This being a wine event, there were tons of douchebags out and about. A big group of them decided to wear blazers over turtle neck sweaters. Man, were they losers. They tried to make it their own personal party and took over the center of the wine tasting area and started their own dance party. Normally things like this would bother me, but really, they weren't bumping into anyone and were just acting like asses and having a good time. More power to them. When the d-bags go a dancing, they gotta go dancing.

And I, myself, had to have a d-bag like moment too. There was this young lady in a very tight dress doing some sort of reporting. Abby and her cousin Annie have a thing for something called the "bumpit". (You can find more about this here.) This young lady reporter had hair that looked like it was modified with a bumpit. Well I had to go find out for them. Sadly, when asked, she said it was her own natural hair and she wasn't wearing one. For some reason, me asking her this just made Heidi and Sarah laugh hysterically. I feel bad if I was bother this young lady and her friends, but seriously, it's a simple, honest question.

The Wine Riot was fantastic fun. I do wish the food inside was free though. Some pieces of cheese or bread to go along with the tastings would have helped immensely. I just didn't feel like spending more money ($45 for a ticket to go in) once we started the tasting.

A couple of pics are found here and here.

Overall, a very fun Saturday.