Our friday was pretty relaxed due to Luke’s six-hour drive back from Detroit! Although I think the Red Velvet Elvis Cupcake made up for it.
However, six-hour drive just for one meeting! No wonder the Americans have such big comfy cars. They do some insane mileage just for a few meetings. We were awoken on Saturday morning by Nikhil informing us there was a huge parade of marching bands. They are still here! We decided to stay all cosy and watch them from our balcony. I have to admit, We were being a little bit lazy. However, I made up for this by a trip to the gym, which now felt like an alien place compared to outdoor bootcamp. It wasn’t half as fun! Luke and I then popped down to the pool just as it began to cloud over. Excellent! Yet we prevailed and sleuthaly went from the pool loungers into the pool. We didn’t stay in there long because it was freezing!
We retreated back to the flat and watched “Philadelphia“. It’s so sad but an amazing film. Maybe not what you want to be watching before a night out but it certainly makes you think. We then got ready for our posh meal at St Elmo Steak House, with the others, courtesy of Devour Downtown. This meant that lots of changing of outfits ensued on Luke’s part. Should he wear jeans or too casual? should he wear smart pants or are they a bit too smart? should he wear shorts or definitely not!? or should he wear corduroys or was this a debatable choice? He really is worse than me! I have no idea where people got the misconception that girls take longer to get ready. They do not! Unless it is just me and that would explain why Luke looks smarter than me all the time.
With Luke in tow, wearing the jeans that were the first pair he tried on, we headed to pick up Faye and then Nikhil and then Jack before we finally made it to Roanne’s flat. Here we had some drinks, listened to some random music and took prom style photos on the balcony.
With those shenanigans over Dan called his taxi friend called Issac and asked him to pick us up. Dan has the habit of making friends with everyone and this can be very handy.
We had to wait by the bus stop for a little while because Issac turned up a little late, minus one seat, so we squashed in and made our way to St Elmo. After a brief spot of taxi rage with a fellow cab Issac dropped us off safely at the restaurant.
Excited, we made our way through the famous walls of the St Elmo Steak House and downstairs to our table for seven. It was a really nice atmosphere and I loved the open brick walls with old photos of Indianapolis.
I also loved our waiter, especially when he said he wasn’t going to serve me alcohol because my photo ID was too nice. However, then Luke said I look really different now. Not quite sure how to interpret that! We then tried to choose the right wine as St Elmo has one of the largest wine cellar in Indianapolis. We ended up going for the cheaper Merlot despite Luke and Dans plans to purchase the 8,000 dollar bottle of wine. We reined in the boys and enjoyed our cheaper choice, which Jack did a great job of tasting for us.
We then chose our meals from the set menu. I opted for a salad and this happened to be a good choice. The others were pre-warned that St Elmo’s famous shrimp cocktail, known for its hotness, was indeed very hot. Dan pointed out that is never usually a good thing when food comes with a health warning and this was enforced as the waiter informed them to only breathe in through their mouths, never their noses, when eating the shrimp. Oh dear.
An almost comedic sketch followed as they all, in a mixture of cockiness and trepidation, took a mouthful of shrimp and consequently reached for their drinks. I encouraged them to go for water not wine but not even the water did not help. Dan declared it “a meal and a challenge in one, with a cry after”. Jack was too busy reaching for his wine and trying to blow on it but, unfortunately, that only works to cool temperature and not spiciness. Nikhil seemed to be ok. Luke was trying to avoid the sauce and I was content with my iceberg (even if it was a bit dull for posh nosh). Roanne was asked by the waiter how she was finding it and she informed him it was a bit strong and nearly making her cry. The waiter replied that this was good and that meant the shrimp sauce was at the perfect hotness! So everyone comes to St Elmo to try the now infamous shrimp cocktail and St Elmo’s aim is to kill a few taste buds and make you cry? Well it did provide a great topic of conversation during the starter. In between tears and gasps as the horseradish based sauce hit the back of their throats with a vengeance.
We then had our dinner slightly disturbed by a female clown minus the face paint but carrying lots of balloons. She nipped into a private side room where the ‘other half’ have their exclusive dinners and then promptly came back out still holding the balloons. She popped up later and entered the room again and came back without the balloons. Odd, even for a clown! Nevertheless we refocused and enjoyed our delicious mains. I was the odd one out with salmon but we all enjoyed fantastically garlicky green beans and creamy red potato mash.
The salmon was beautifully grilled. The steaks looked fantastic and tasted great as well, which I discovered when I pinched some of Luke’s steak.
Additionally there were giant-sized steak knifes to eat them with that looked like fun. When I first saw them it made me wonder what sort of animal the steak was coming from!
The others then enjoyed a lovely cheesecake and creme brulee.
However, I felt that the disappointment of a cheesecake without a biscuit base is hard to make up for! In my opinion, a cheesecake is not a cheesecake without a big, crunchy biscuit base. I just never got the point of the more traditional styles yet somehow all the deserts were finished, the wine was drunk and we made our way back through the lanes of tables and out into a rainy Indiana evening. Lovely. Still, with true British, Indian and Scottish grit we braved the rain and made it to O’Reilly’s bar for one more drink. This also involved playing a few shooting games, of course.
We then ambled home and lost Nikhil, Jack and Roanne half way through. I later discovered that the lure of MacNivens bar had proved too much for them and that is where they had disappeared too. We carried on back to Riley, minus the other three. On the way Dan managed to save two people’s lives by removing not one, but two banana skins from the pavement! Just call him BananaDan I say.