And one of our favorite restaurants is Butch's Drydock in Holland MI. Especially as they do special wine pairings dinners from time to time. Tonight was the latest. 7pm.
Now, several years ago they did a special dinner during Tulip Time, and realizing that streets would be barricaded and parking lost due to one of the Tulip Time parades going on at the same time, they arranged to have valet parking and put the cars in the neighboring closed lot. It was brilliant and such a pleasant evening. The servers who did the valet work had a ball, too.
Since this week is (a) Tulip Time and (b) Mrs. Dr. Phil is in Nicaragua, I thought it'd be nice to have a special dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. But given my leg, I knew I couldn't hike far -- especially after dinner (grin) -- and did my research. No parade was listed for tonight. I figured it'd be crowded, though, and arrived "early".
Instead I drove straight into...
The Hell Hole That Is Holland At Tulip Time
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. When I emailed my reservation to Butch, I raised the issue of parking and he made a passing reference to klompen dancers and I didn't bite, thinking generically and not A Bloody Big Event With Thousands of Tourons Clogging Every Pore in the Concrete.
8th Street barricaded two blocks from Butch's, which also means all that street parking is lost. Now I know a few tricks around Holland, so I dove down to 10th and cut up through a bank drive-thru to 9th -- the lot behind Butch's is full. I looped around several times, missed a couple of spaces because others were hunting, too.
Eventually, well after the 7pm start time and forty-five minutes of hunting, I gave up. Headed to a drive-thru away from the madness -- McDonalds on 8th was jammed so I hit B.K. on 16th -- in anticipation of maybe catching a movie, but I was in between start times for anything I wanted to see.
So while Butch's Special Dinner guests were dining on...
Appetizer:... after two hours of driving and fifty-five miles of gasoline, I got a cheeseburger.
citrus mango scallop ceviche
LangeTwins Generations Viognier 2010
duck with wild mushrooms and parisian vegetables
LangeTwins Generations Pinot Noir 2010
pancetta, fried haricot verts, sweet peppers, pecorino cheese and honey balsamic dressing
LangeTwins Reserve Chardonnay 2010
sautéed twin tournedos of beef with crimini mushroom demi-glace accompanied with gorgonzola rosemary au gratin potatoes and grilled aparagus
LangeTwins Midnight Reserve 2008
chocolate lava cake with raspberry sauce
LangeTwins Estate Zinfandel 2009
Yeah, it's a first world non-problem, but I'm still pretty pissed about it. Two dinners, same problems -- you already know how to solve the problem and you don't do it the second time? Yeah, I got within fifty feet or so of a table, but I couldn't exactly leave a Bravada smack in the middle of a parking lot blocking the turnaround. Or at least I'm not the asshole who would. So after looking forward to a really fine meal and learning some more things about wine -- I don't even drink, just taste or cook with alcohol -- yeah, it's a huge letdown.
Sorry, Butch: Total institutional memory failure.