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Date Nights with Joe and Abbey

Tuesdays are special in the Turner household: my mom has court and my dad has a weekly office meeting. This means both get home and don’t want to lift a finger in the kitchen, so they indulge in one of their favorite little luxuries: healthy, macrobiotic food cooked by a wonderful family friend.

And so, Tuesdays became Joe+Abbey date nights. On our first Tuesday in town, we discovered our go-to spots: Taqueria Picaro and the Brickroom (always visited in that order). The Taqueria occupies a small, upstairs space downtown, home to many previous restaurants. I hope this place sticks, because man did it hit the spot every time. Animal skulls, painted masks, mirrors, bits of cloth and other eclectic décor hover around the colorful, dimly-lit bar, and the stools are actually comfortable. Tuesdays featured all day happy hour (score!), and among a number of excellent choices we typically selected delicious, juicy and tender street tacos along with zesty, punch-packing, fresh-squeezed margaritas – all served with a thoughtful and attentive smile by Brian, “our” trusty bartender. Who, of course, went to high school with me (gotta love small towns!).

After we’d had our fill of tacos and margs, we would wander down to the Plaza and up the trendily black and white tiled stairway to the Brickroom (which will forever be “the old Alex’s” to me). We always grabbed stools at the long, burnished bar and were happily greeted by Tim and Drew, bartenders extraordinaire. They made us feel right at home and just a little bit special at the same time – an unbeatable combo. In addition to a well-curated beer selection (we discovered a new favorite: 10 Barrel’s Hucklebier, a TO DIE for sour), the food consistently impressed us. Stacked beet salad sat next to crab and artichoke ravioli alongside a much better-than-average French dip. We always looked forward to coming back for more.

One more (newer) watering hole deserves mention here: Gil’s Growler Bar and bottle shop. It was not part of our Tuesday routine, but we returned several times – not just because they have a fairly good (and less expensive!) bottle shop, but because the food was tasty and well-priced and you could compose a flight from an unusual and well-picked selection of (mostly local-ish) beers or wines for just $8. The charming little beer garden out front was icing on the cake. A real gem!


Ex-archaeologist, business development and networking wiz, people person, aspiring author and travel writer. Loves horses, the sea, exploring, history, good food and wine, and Joe.

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