Saturday, February 29, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 02/28/20: Greek Liquor Run, The Dipper, Arizona Over Stanford and the Ducks Win

1. Maybe I could have found the Retsina, Ouzo, and Metaxa Brandy in one of the liquor stores in Coeur d'Alene or Post Falls, but a website search assured me this wine and these spirits were available at Total Wine, so I leapt into the Sube and floated over the 4th of July Pass and on into the sprawl of Spokane Valley. I sashayed into Total Wine and purchased these Greek potables and so began my quest to stock up for Sunday's family dinner.

2. I belong to the Facebook group North Idaho Foodies, and, over the last couple of months or so, I've read copious posts praising the French dip sandwich at The Dipper at 1500 Northwest Boulevard in Coeur d'Alene. Byrdman and I agreed to meet there at 1:00. Upon arrival, I was very happy to see on the specials board that mac and cheese was available as a side today, so, once Byrdman arrived, I ordered a Little Dipper, a four inch French roll, freshly baked and seasoned with with garlic butter loaded with a pile of thin slices of medium rare fire roasted Angus beef, and a side of mac and cheese made from scratch. I loved the sandwich and the au jus that accompanied it and the mac and cheese was creamy, comforting, and delicious.

Carol, the owner, dropped by our table to make sure we were happy and told us that, before too long, she is adding a chicken sandwich to the menu and they will begin to serve wine and beer.

After lunch, Byrdman went on a tour of some back roads south of CdA, continued to yak and listened to some superb tunes spun by Earl Bailey on Sirius-XM.

After our drive, I vaulted back into the Sube and did some leisurely shopping at Fred Meyer and I think I have the food I need to prepare dinner for the family on Sunday.

3. Once back home, I flipped on the Vizio and caught most of the second half and the overtime period of a barn burner in Tuscon between the Arizona women's basketball squad and Stanford.

Except when they play the Ducks, I am a fan of Arizona's team. They play scrappy, intense basketball and are led by their mercurial and inspiring point guard, Aari McDonald. McDonald is injured and played sparingly for much of the game, but in fourth quarter and overtime she gritted her way through the pain she was obviously experiencing and, with the help of Sam Thomas on offense and a gritty defensive effort, spearheaded the Wildcats to a thrilling 73-72 victory. This was an especially impressive win for Arizona considering how their secondary players had to step up when Aari McDonald had to rest her injury. Sam Thomas, Dominique McBryde, and others filled in beautifully and the entire team played inspired defense.

For the past two seasons, I've enjoyed watching Arizona coach Adia Barnes' interactions with her coaching staff and players during games and have enjoyed her post-game interviews. She was a star player at Arizona and sometimes star players have problems coaching players -- but, such is not the case with Adia Barnes. She is guiding this team beautifully and Arizona is a program on the rise.

I also watched the Ducks women's team thoroughly dismantle Washington State, 88-57 and I stuck around on television to watch their very impressive post-game celebration of winning the conference championship. The game's only scary moment came in the third quarter when Satou Sabally landed awkwardly and twisted (?), rolled (?), -- well, definitely, tweaked her ankle. She sat out the rest of the game with an ice pack on her injury. During the post-game ceremony and celebration she appeared to be walking around pretty well, was all smiles, and it appeared that she might very well be back in action before too long.

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