Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Frankie’s South Beach Hide-a-way April 26, 2010

Filed under: Entertainment,Life,Miscellany,Random Thoughts — Lulu @ 5:30 pm

Last weekend, Fanless and I were walking down Washington Avenue (on South Beach) on our way to pick up lunch at a local taco place (fyi: it sucked). On the way we passed by a place that had a sign in the window that caught our eye (“Salisbury Steak Special $4.95”). We joked about stopping there, but kept going as we had tacos on the brain (specifically fish tacos… which are on their website… but they don’t actually have. But, I digress).


Anyway, on the way back to his place, while grumbling about what a letdown our lunch had been, we passed by the Salisbury Steak place again. This time we caught a glimpse of the name: Frankie’s South Beach Hide-a-Way. Fanless said “maybe we should have gone there.” Oh well. Lesson learned. When we got back home, I went online to google Frankie’s and see what we could find out. The place had just looked like a tiny bar from the outside, but it turns out we were wrong. What I found out was that Frankie’s is actually a sports bar with a really interesting menu, and it had pretty favorable reviews. We decided that we definitely wanted to try it out soon. Well, we finally got the chance to do so yesterday.


Frankies South Beach Hide-A-Way



I met up with Fanless and a few of his friends at Frankie’s South Beach Hide-a-Way for an early dinner yesterday. It was the first time any of us had been there. When I walked in, the four of them were already seated and had beers and hot wings on the table. There was a really nice lady talking to them about some of the menu items and after she walked away, I was told that she was Frankie’s (the owner) wife, Margaret, and that she had explained that they had only been on the beach for a couple of months. (I thought the name sounded familiar and later found out that they were previously located in the Doral area, where I used to work many years ago.) 


Frankie’s South Beach Hide-a-Way is not at all what you would expect to find on South Beach. It’s not at all pretentious, and its ambiance is more of a laidback, midwest sports bar, than a SoBe nightclub. The decor is dark and warm, with several high-top tables and stools, and flat screen TVs all over the place with every sport you can imagine playing at the same time. They have a full bar, and on Friday and Saturday nights they have local bands playing classic rock covers, rather than techno DJs spinning the same electronica you hear everywhere else on the beach. Margaret explained to us that they’d like to become THE place for locals over 30, rather than rowdy Spring Breakers.




As I mentioned before, the menu was simple, but really interesting. I, personally, didn’t try the wings (I don’t like spicy food) but everyone else raved about them. Margaret had explained that they took twice as long to cook than regular wings, because of the grilling and seasoning process that their chef uses. Fanless and I decided to order the Seafood Nachos, and they were to die for! Instead of tortilla chips, Frankie’s uses fried wonton chips topped with a very generous helping of shrimp and fish, mixed with black olives and tomatoes lightly tossed in a buttery alfredo sauce, and sprinkled with red pepper flakes. The wontons were light and very crispy and didn’t get soggy under all the toppings. They are completely unlike traditional nachos, but I wanted to lick the plate, they were THAT good.  I also ordered a BLT sandwich, a nice and simple classic, but the chef sprinkled the tomatoes with a mix of secret spices and seasonings that lent just the perfect savory touch to the sandwich. The flavor wasn’t so strong that it overpowered the classic BLT flavors, but it did add just a hint of “mmmm, what is THAT??”


Our friends ordered spaghetti and meatballs, cheeseburger sliders and – get this – grilled fish sliders!  The burger patties for the cheeseburger sliders were hand-formed and grilled to perfection, with a nice crust on the outside, but still juicy inside. The fish sliders were made with fresh fish (I think either Mahi or Tilapia; I forgot to ask), which was white and flaky, and all were topped with fresh lettuce and tomatoes. They were perfectly sized if you wanted to eat one and take the other home.


The spaghetti and meatballs was served with a traditional savory marinara sauce and Margaret informed us that they make their own fresh meatballs, never frozen ones. The portion was extremely generous and definitely enough for leftovers.


While I just had a soda, the boys had ordered a pitcher of Frankie’s own No Crying Ale (“No Crying” is the restaurant’s motto). I tried it and it was really good. It was a little darker than most ales and one of our friends described it as having a “grainier flavor”, but I found it to be smooth and even a bit sweet. Whatever it was, it was good!


We had raved to Margaret about how good all our food was and how much we liked the location (walking distance from both Fanless’ home and his office) and the atmosphere of the place. After we paid our tab, we were just sitting there chatting for a little while, and the chef came over to our table to introduce himself and thank us for the compliments. That was a really nice moment and, as Fanless said to me later it “made him feel special.” I definitely agree with that. Margaret was so sweet, she kept coming over to chat with us, and even brought us a complimentary piece of tiramisu to share. We just though that was the nicest thing ever! And let me tell you, that tiramisu was sooo good. I tend to shy away from ordering tiramisu in restaurants because it usually tastes preprocessed and sometimes the coffee flavor is overpowering. But Frankie’s tiramisu was delicious! It’s homemade at the restaurant, not frozen, and it was light and airy, with just a hint of espresso flavoring. It was perfect.


If you happen to be on South Beach and looking for a nice, pretention-free place to enjoy a good meal and a couple of drinks without shelling out big bucks (our meal came out to roughly $15 per person), you should definitely check out Frankie’s South Beach Hide-a-Way. They also offer takeout and delivery, if you’re just wanting to pick up something to eat after a day of sunbathing on the beach. For late-night cravings, they are open until 5AM, and even have late night BYOB (Build Your Own Breakfast) after midnight.


I give Frankie’s two thumbs up, a high five AND 10 points. This is definitely a place we’ll be hitting up frequently.


Here’s a link to their MENU.


Frankie’s South Beach Hide-a-Way

754 Washington Avenue

South Beach



i got a brand new pair of rollerskates, You got a brand new key April 20, 2010

Filed under: Life,Miscellany,Personal,Photography — Lulu @ 7:08 pm

On Saturday, Fanless and I headed up to West Palm to celebrate our friend, Kim’s (his BFF’s wife), birthday. She wanted an old school 80s roller skating party and the Atlantis Skateway was the perfect place. I swear they haven’t changed a thing – including the skates – in this place since about the mid-70s.

IMG_5656  IMG_5657

Kim’s hubby, Brandon; her friends, Shaun and Adriana; and her brother, Carl, lacing up their skates. (Oh,and let me just warn you right now that the lighting in there sucked and I couldn’t get my camera settings right, so my pictures were really dark and had to be super-edited in photoshop. In other words, they suck.)


The birthday girl and her hubby.


The DJ at the rink was playing 80s music all night – mostly freestyle – so it was like stepping back in time for all of us. The ongoing joke of the night was “so what time is your mom picking you up?” since the last time any of us went skating we really DID get dropped off by our moms!


Kim’s cousin, Joy. As she was rolling towards us she was yelling “Oh my God! This is so scary!”


What can I say? My honey is a chick magnet. 😉


This one makes me LOL. Kim was pulling Fanless along with her.


Joy and her hubby, Dave.


It looks like Fanless is concentrating really hard, while Carl pulls his little sister around.


And, of course, no trip to West Palm is complete without a stop at Sonic. Okay now, really, how many people does it take to order??



Yummm! (Brandon ate TWO double burgers! Crazy!)


We had a lot of fun that night and being at the rink brought back a LOT of memories from junior high days. I’m really going to miss Kim and Brandon when they move to Washington this summer. =(


That’s all for now. Peace out, yo!


How About You? April 16, 2010

Filed under: Life,Miscellany,Personal,Random Thoughts — Lulu @ 8:59 pm

From Rachel Denbow’s blog:


1. When do you feel happiest?

Probably when I’m with my boyfriend. He is just so funny that I’m always laughing when I’m with him. It’s pretty hard to not be happy when you’re laughing.


2. How do you take care of yourself?

Err… not sure how to answer this. Physically? Mentally? I need specifics.


3. Are you internally (by yourself) or externally (by others) motivated?

Both. Most of the time I”m self-motivated because I know there are things that need to get done and I am the one that needs to do them. Other times I might see or read something that inspires or pushes me to do something, like a read a particular book or watch a specific movie.


4. What do you do for fun?

I am such a nerd. My idea of fun is reading a good book, scrapbooking, playing computer games, or watching TV or a movie. I do enjoy going out with my BF to eat at a new (to us) restaurant or see a band play live.


5. What intimidates you?

Talking to strangers. I have a perpetual case of “stranger danger” and I hate having to talk to people I don’t know (like at dinner parties and things like that). I am very much a wallflower in those situations.


6. What is something you’re proud of?

I really have no idea.  


7. Finish this sentence. I never _____________.

I never eat mushrooms, if I can help it. Yuck!


8. Favorite vacation spot.

I am not a “lie on the beach and tan” kind of girl, so I prefer going to places where I can do a lot of sightseeing, particularly historical places like Washington, DC. So far, my favorite vacations have been to DC, Seattle and St. Augustine, because I got to do a lot of touristy stuff.


9. Today is a (rate from 1 – 10).

About a 5. Ish.


10. Finish this sentence. If you knew me really well you’d know_____________.

That I am painfully shy and insecure, and I try to overcome that with sarcasm and humor.


That’s it, I guess.


hello, Friday! April 2, 2010

Filed under: Flashback Friday,Life,Miscellany,Personal,Random Thoughts — Lulu @ 4:58 pm

It’s Friday. I have absolutely nothing new to share (it’s been very same shit, different day around here lately). So, inspired by a couple of recent posts from my girl crush, Stephanie Howell, I am sharing A) a list of 20 confessions, and B) an extremely embarrassing adolescent photograph.


1. I love watching documentaries on History and Discovery Channels. My favorites are historical, religious, or anything having to do with serial killers.

2. I am addicted to “Law & Order:SVU” and have watched the reruns of every episode so many times, I usually know exactly which episode it is before they even get to the opening credits.

3. I love Pad Thai. I could eat it every single day of my life.

4. The first LP (that’s a 12” vinyl record for those of you born after the 80s) I ever bought for myself was “Dare” by the Human League.

5. I am extremely sensitive and cry very easily. Especially when I’m angry or hurt.

6. I love to read, but I go through phases. Sometimes I can go through a few books in just a matter of days; other times, I get lazy and it take me forever to finish one.

7. I save all my patterned paper scraps, but I never remember to use them.

8. I love notebooks and writing utensils. If I had to guess, I would say that I currently have at least 500 pens/pencils in my possession. (It might be more.)

9. Sometimes I snort when I laugh too hard.

10. I daydream/fantasize/obsess about moving to Washington state someday.

11. I have never, not once, in my life thought of myself as pretty or attractive. I will only say of myself that I am “cute, with makeup.”

12. I know that I would have made a great mom, but I’m glad I didn’t have kids with any of my exes.

13. I am totally, butt-crazy, in love with my boyfriend. He is absolutely my favorite person on the planet.

14. I hate sorting and doing laundry, but I like folding it when it’s done.

15. I’m pretty sure that if I ever met Drew Barrymore, we would be best friends.

16. When my ex-fiancé dumped me, my first thought was “thank God I won’t have to put up with that pain-in-the-ass kid anymore” (his son from his first marriage). Seriously, that kid made Damien seem sweet.

17. I can not stand having long nails.

18. I have several scars from abdominal surgery, but I kind of like having them. (Weird, I know.)

19. I hate roses. Especially red ones.

20. Because of blogging, I was able to meet my awesome boyfriend and one of the best friends I’ve ever had.


Okay, on to the photograph…


I believe this was in 1980 or ‘81 (I was around 12 in this picture, and those are my paternal grandparents, both deceased). Not only was I sporting the big-ass Kid Cudi glasses, but check out the oh-so-stylish General Hospital t-shirt AND high-waisted jeans.



I was actually pretty obsessed with GH at that time. It was when Rick Springfield was on “General Hospital” as Dr. Noah Drake, and this song was on the radio all the time (“Paging Dr. Noah Drake to ICU to treat a case of heartbreak”). Oh boy.



Ahh… good times, good times.


That’s it, y’all. Peace out!