Aug 29, 2011

A commoner reviews Gerst Bavarian Haus, Evansville, Ind

Earlier this month, as fate would have it, I accompanied a mysterious and exotic Gypsy and her equally mysterious daughter to Evansville, Ind., and the University of Southern Indiana, where Gypsy’s daughter was going to school.  Our mission was to help her move into her new apartment on campus, so we hitched the Gypsy wagon and off to Evansville we went. 

The school’s location was very scenic, nestled in the hilly suburbs east of the city.  Although I could live without the roundabout that greeted you as you entered the campus.  Honestly, what is the purpose of that?  Maybe I’m just getting more directionally challenged in my old age.

The entrance looked nice, though.
But this blog is less about our trip to USI and more about where we dined that Saturday night – the Gerst Bavarian Haus.  We were looking for something out of the ordinary in a town that seems to have cornered the market on chain restaurants (even more so than Springfield), so I did some research on Urbanspoon and other websites, got an additional personal recommendation, and Gypsy treated us to an authentic German dinner.

Aug 19, 2011

Random thoughts from the 2011 Illinois State Fair

I made my annual pilgrimage to the Illinois State Fair last weekend, which is always entertaining if only for the people-watching factor.  The fair is sure to bring out elements of society you just have to wonder where they hide during the rest of the year. 

Anyway, here are a few observations from this year’s fair from a commoner’s eyes:

Aug 9, 2011

Back to blogging – a brief time Downhome

Well, it’s certainly been longer than I anticipated between blogs.  What started as a summer cold last month turned into bronchitis before morphing into full-blown pneumonia.  For a commoner who likes to travel and be on the go, being out of commission for more than three weeks is enough to drive me stir crazy.

Fortunately, even in my weakened state, I was able to make it to downtown Springfield last Saturday for part of the inaugural Downhome Music Festival.  And even more good fortune that it was so close to my personal “Cheers” – the Brewhaus, which also happened to be one of the bars sponsoring the festival. 

One of the key selling points of the Downhome Music Festival was that its devotion to “supporting locally grown original live music.  So, all gate proceeds went directly to the artist performing at the festival.  That made the $5 admission a very good deal and well worth it, even if I was only there long enough to see a couple of bands. 

Gypsy Collabo

Dave Littrell Band

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...