Restaurant Review: My House

Tuli dinner setting
My House is distinguished by its informal dining atmosphere.

In general, I think “informal” best describes the atmosphere of this establishment. In going for the relaxed, comfortable feel, the proprietor fully succeeded, but perhaps went too far. No one greeted me when I arrived, and when I shouted “Hello,” the only response was a shout from another room saying hello back (although the person returning my shout did appear to know my name, which I thought was a nice touch). While I’m not about to set the health department on the place (everything seemed clean enough in general), I must add that there was a cat wandering casually around, and at one point, even a dog came up to me as if it expected me to share my meal! The result is a pretty “homey” atmosphere, enhanced (for me, though I realize not for many of you) by the fact that I was actually able to smoke between courses.

I started with a cocktail, a simple Irish whiskey, served neat, that of course was perfectly satisfactory. The liquor selection is small, yet, remarkably, well supplied with items that I like. They even had my preferred hard cider, Angry Orchard, although I didn’t have one on this occasion.

The appetizer I selected was the “Olives and Cheese Plate,” which proved to be garlic stuffed olives and Cahill’s Irish cheddar cheese with porter. An unusual combination, to be sure (feta is more typical), yet I found it worked rather well.

The salad was exactly the sort I like: Iceberg lettuce (yes, iceberg lettuce—don’t judge me) with red onion, scallions, cucumber slices, radishes, and red bell pepper, served with balsamic vinaigrette dressing that was distinguished by a truly remarkable olive oil called Arouri. If I had to complain about anything, I’d say that the balsamic vinegar was a bit cheap, and the salad could have used cauliflower and red cabbage, but all in all it was quite good.

For the entree I went with the chuck roast. It was thinly sliced, and had been slow roasted over low heat in a mixture of olives, garlic, onion, tomato juice, cumin, and balsamic vinegar. It was tender, and the flavor was most satisfactory, especially when accompanied by a sauce that was, I was told, simply the roasting mixture reduced and pureed. To go with it were roasted baby red potatoes served with salt, pepper, butter, paprika, and sour cream. For wine, I selected an Egri Bikaver. On reflection, I think a pinot noir or a Burgundy would have done better with the roast, but I can hardly blame the establishment for my choice of wine!

Dessert was a fruit salad, surprising in its simplicity: grapes, orange slices, and strawberries, mixed with whipped cream and a dash of Cointreau.

My biggest criticism has to be the service: It varied between abysmal and non-existent. In the end, I was required to fetch all of my own food from the kitchen, which was extremely annoying, and to return the empty plates. (I also had to do the dishes, but as that was in lieu of payment, I’m not complaining about it.)

In summary, I was not dissatisfied, and I intend to return soon and try the sukiyaki.

Four stars out of five.

Crowdfunding Difficulties: An Exchange of Emails With Indiegogo


Indiegog screen shot - Copy

From: [me]
To: Indiegogo <>
Subject: Re: Update Your Indiegogo Campaign

I am terribly concerned at what you tell me. I wonder if I might ask for your help. As I do not have an Indiegogo campaign, and therefore do not have any contributors, I am at a loss for how best to reassure them.

I have often been aware of my inadequacy when it comes to finding the right words for troubled friends: to decide just how to tell them that things are fine, or aren’t as bad as they seem, or, at least, that I am here for them. Finding these words for strangers is even harder, and finding them for strangers who do not exist presents a whole new level of difficulty.

Could you, perhaps, consider inventing some of these people, and then letting me know what they are like as human beings? Perhaps that way, I can use my fiction writing experience to find the right words. If you think it necessary to first invent a campaign I am fine with that, and only hope that it is for something I would enjoy.

I also wish to express my admiration for what you have accomplished. The notion of people “reaching out” from beyond the grave is well established, at least among fantasy writers, con artists, ecclesiastics, and other members of the profession; reaching out from non-existence is something entirely new, and you should feel proud of creating a platform that permits it.

Thank you again for taking the trouble to let me know about these concerns.

Warm regards,

Steven Brust


Staring Into Space on a Typical Afternoon

Whose desk this is I think is clear.
His cat-bed on the desk-tray dwells;
He’s using it while I work here
To write at least one book this year.

My silly bird thinks he excels
In helping, though he never tells
What the next plot twist ought to be
As concentration he dispels.

And this is now a dog I see
Who shows up just to punish me.
His stupid head upon my lap
Hinting that he needs to pee.

So soft my bed, so warm my wrap
But I’m caught in contracts like a trap.
And shit to do before I nap,
And shit to do before I nap.

Still More Stevefirmations

The phone calls, emails, blog mentions, speaking invitations and requests from talk shows that resulted from my previous self-help posts have never been greater.  I see it, therefore, as nothing less than my duty to continue this work, which is as important, in its own way, as the discoveries of Franz Joseph Gall.  Therefore, here are some Stevefirmations that I hope will lead my good readers to Stevespiration of their own.

Exploring is good 2

introspection is good

family gatherings are good