|Everyone but Mike at Banditos (he was taking the picture)|
We decided to celebrate doing things that would make Bill happy: eating Mexican food, singing karaoke and listening to country music.
First stop: Banditos in Federal Hill, where Cooper and I had a surprisingly good dinner on a rainy night about a year ago. It was Halloween weekend, which is totally entertaining, and the staff was dressed like Where's Waldo (convenient if you want to find anyone who works there; less convenient if you want to flag down your specific waitress).
We were happy to find that the food is still just as good as it was last fall. The menu's a little longer now but still simple and the ingredients and prep are still high quality. Plus, the music was good and everybody was friendly. It was a great first stop.
Then, after a quick drink at Mad River to celebrate Kyle and Mary's sixth anniversary of meeting there, on to Nevin's, the Cross Street karaoke bar where a bunch of friends met us to sing a few classic hits. They had to be classic...Nevin's karaoke list doesn't include much from this century. But still, good times had by all - especially Bill, who convinced me to sing "Livin' on a Prayer" with him. I am a terrible singer. But very enthusiastic. Also, shots of some sort of pumpkin pie moonshine - it had no label and yes I drank something from behind a bar with no label - gave the night a little seasonal harvest flair.
Finally, we made the last-minute call to take Bill to Cowboys & Rednecks (which Cooper and I also reviewed), knowing that he'd be all about the bar's brand of cheesy country-fried...and that there would be some great people-watching. We don't go out to bars a whole lot so it's easy to forget how ridiculous people can look and act around midnight. (Note: not judging. I have been those people. I might still be.) It was funny and also fun.
Finally, back home (via cab - and we took Uber cars down). For Cooper, Bill and I, that meant a stop at Royal Farms for late-night chicken - some for us and some for our cab driver, Julius, who had never had RoFo chicken before! He was planning to take his box home to share with his girlfriend. I like to think that Cooper's strong argument in favor of the RoFo made a believer out of him.
And then it was over. Which means we're on to the next: only a year and a week until Mike hits the big four-oh!