Wednesday, April 24, 2013

let's talk about bikes.

You guys, it's been a brutal winter. It's the end of April, but we've spent the last few weeks getting blasted by snow and ice. But spring's just GOT to be nearby... so let's talk about it like it's already here. Spring means a number of totally awesome things to me: banishing tights from my wardrobe, being free of static electricity and shocking everything I touch, and finally being able to go outside and see some green. But today, we’re talking about another very important spring thing: riding my bike.
I realize that I could ride my bike all winter if I really wanted, but let’s face it, I’m not that dedicated. It would be super cold, and I’d probably slip on the ice and crack my head open. I can barely stay upright on ice with my own two feet; imagine me trying to stay vertical on a bike. Not happening.

So my bike hibernates for the winter, but both my bike and I start to get antsy once Daylight Savings hits. Surprisingly enough, Sioux Falls has some pretty decent bike trails, so I have someplace to go. And even better: I have somebody to go with me. James is a bicycle fanatic: he was one of those guys who used to do tricks on those little tiny bikes. Nowadays, he has a couple of road bikes that he rides for miles and miles and MILES. James will never say no to a bike ride, but if you even casually mention it, you’d better be ready to follow through with that ride: rain or shine. You know how some dogs get really really excited when you say “walk”? That’s what happens to James when you say “bike ride,” further enforcing my theory that James has the personality of a Labrador. (Which, believe it or not, is a compliment: he’s friendly to everyone, he’s happy to see me when I get home, and he’s always smiling. If James had a tail, it would always be wagging.)
See how happy he is?
Anyway, bikes. It all began with the shiny red tricycle I got for what I’d like to say was my fourth birthday. My deep and abiding love for the color red was already in high gear, so this red trike was clearly the best thing ever. I rode it everywhere… or, everywhere that a girl of four in rural South Dakota can ride a trike. 
So... around the yard.
That tricycle was a true champion: it survived whatever hell I put it through, and it lasted through my sister and brother, as well. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that little trike is in my parents’ shed, ready for its next enthusiastic rider.

You probably would’ve noticed a trend here, but I’m going save you the time and just tell you: every single bike I’ve owned has been a birthday present. My second bike was a gift for my sixth (I think?) birthday, and it was a six year old’s dream: I’m mildly sure that the name of the model was something like “Dream Sparkles.” It was hot pink and turquoise with many MANY sparkles, streamers on handles, and a basket on the front.
If you can look past the stunning pumpkins, you'll
see an equally stunning bicycle.
It came with training wheels, and it may or may not have been an embarrassingly long time before I manned up and let my dad take those training wheels off.

Once Dad got the training wheels off and I realized I wasn’t going to fall over and die, my bike and I were best friends. I put my stuffed animals and Barbies in the basket and drove them all around the farm. I loved bike rides after it rained: my Barbies would have to scoot over to make room for all the salamanders I found. We would go camping every now and again when I was a kid, and we hauled my neon bike along with us. I biked my little heart out, all through the big loop that was the campground. There was a GIANT (“giant” in six-year-old terms, anyway) hill near the dock, and that (obviously) was my favorite part. It was the next best thing to a roller coaster (or, what I assumed roller coasters were like, as I didn’t have much roller coaster experience at the time): it was free, there were no lines, and there was a whole lot more danger of wiping out, which made the ride down the hill all the more exciting.

When I turned ten, I received what appeared to be the most badass bike a ten-year-old could possibly imagine: it was an actual adult bike (true story: I was fully grown by the age of eight), so I felt impossibly mature. My bike was metallic pink and purple, and it had TEN WHOLE SPEEDS. And HAND BRAKES. And a WATER BOTTLE HOLDER.
Mine is the bike on the left. I was in ten-year-old heaven.
To top it all off, my friend Sarah had the same bike, just with different patterns on the hand grips. We rode our matching bikes all around my gravelly yard (until hers got tangled in a barbed wire fence, but what do you do).

Yes, I loved my bike… but, unfortunately, I hit an “I hate being outside” phase. I stopped wearing any kind of clothing that would reveal my legs, and I turned down rides on the boat in favor of remaining in the air conditioning and having the house to myself. I don’t know what my problem was, but I lost too much lake/bike time to my dumbass teenage ways.

I embraced shorts and the outdoors again in my late teens, but I didn’t really start riding my bike again until I was a junior in college. By this time, James (bike enthusiast, remember?) and I were dating, and he begged me to bring my bike from home. I did just that and promptly realized that bikes in college are genius. 
GENIUS, I tell you.
I was living off-campus and quickly found out that biking to school was much better than walking. My roommate Sara and I took our bikes to explore the mysterious west side of Morris – and endeavor that would’ve been a lot less fun in a car.
Though there were some casualties.
By this time, my metallic bike was more than ten years old, and it looked VERY 90s in the harsh light of 2007. I wanted a new bike, but I was too cheap/poor to buy one. I casually mentioned to James how a new bike would be nice, and he took this on as a personal mission. James is the champion of a lot of things: champion of shitty cars, champion of difficult parallel parking, champion of living on rice alone for months on end… and champion of finding nice bikes for little to no money. Before I knew it, James had procured a gold vintage Huffy bike from a friend’s garage: the bike had been there when they had rented the house, and they were happy to get it out of there.

All my new bike needed was a new seat and a new set of tires, and it was road ready.
My metallic bike from the fourth grade had served me well, but now I had a kickass new-to-me bike that I could ride while feeling like a real college student. Besides, the hipsters at Morris all had expensive faux-vintage bikes, and here I was with the real thing. Feeling superior to hipsters is a favorite past-time of mine.

When I graduated from college, my gold bike took shelter in my parents’ shed. I wasn’t going to haul it to Denver and New Orleans (especially in New Orleans, where I lived in a shed and had barely enough room for me, let alone a bike), but I knew it would be waiting for me when I came back.

I moved to Minneapolis in January 2010: NOT bike weather. Even when spring came, I was still a little hesitant to bring my bike to Minneapolis. Yes, Minneapolis is Bike City USA, but it’s also terrifying. Not all of Minneapolis has bike lanes, and you definitely can’t ride on the sidewalk. Take uptown Minneapolis, for example. The streets are narrow, and there are cars parked on both sides. If you’re on your bike, you must ride in that narrow space between the parked cars and the moving cars, and it looks like the worst thing ever. I am nowhere near brave enough for that. Plus, I have poor balance, so that’s another strike against me.

The Twin Cities area has some beautiful parks and bike trails, so I brought my bike from Arlington, and we (my bike and I) played it safe and avoided the city streets. James – who is much braver and has excellent balance – threw caution to the wind and rode all over the place. It was glorious, and we felt like card-carrying Minneapolins. (or Minneapolites? what do you call people who live in Minneapolis?)

James moved to Ellsworth in fall 2010 to start his teaching job, and my bike-riding companion was gone. I remained in Minneapolis for another year, but James did stay with me over the summer and happily rode his bike the whole time. When I moved to Sioux Falls, my bike came along, and James and I proceeded to explore my new neighborhood (which really blows compared to my Minneapolis neighborhood, but oh well). While it does have some bike trails, Sioux Falls isn’t near as bike-friendly as Minneapolis. You’d be loath to find a bike lane, and riding along in Sioux Falls traffic is a death wish (just DRIVING in Sioux Falls is a death wish!).

In Sioux Falls, most of the recreational bike riders stick to the bike trails, so you’ll never see them on the streets. As a general rule, the people you see riding their bikes on the streets of Sioux Falls are the ones whose licenses have been taken away for too many DUIs. So, yeah… nothing like Minneapolis.

I loved my gold bike, but I had been dying for a bright red bike since forever. James, always looking for a project (and double points if said project involves bikes) offered to paint my bike red as part of my birthday present last year.

James did a FANTASTIC job; he stripped off the old paint (here’s hoping he doesn’t die of lead paint inhalation) and repainted my bike bright candy apple red. My friends, it is glorious. It’s an ongoing project: it’s hard to paint a bike in a small-ish apartment, so James has major plans for my bike once the weather warms up again. He’s going to add white pinstriping and all sorts of other white detailing that he’s really excited about. And whitewall tires. James is using Pee Wee Herman’s bike as inspiration, and I cannot wait for the finished product.
What a beauty.
So now that being outside no long causes my nostrils to freeze shut, I’m itching to get out on my bike – it’s been languishing in the apartment for too long. So if you see me riding around Sioux Falls, a.) please don’t run me over, and b.) bring your bike along next time and join me!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

remember Accelerated Reader?

As soon as I learned how to read, that’s all I wanted to do with my time. The day I got my first library card was probably the greatest day of my life. When my school implemented a new program called Accelerated Reader, I knew I would like it just fine.
Don’t quote me on this, but I’d like to say that Arlington adopted Accelerated Reader when I was in third grade (around 1995). The premise was simple: each book you read was worth a certain number of points based on its difficulty level (most books were worth something like five or six points apiece). When you got done reading the book, you would take a quiz about it. 
You were then awarded a percentage of the possible points depending on how many questions you got right. If you got so many questions wrong – I think 40% – you got no credit at all.

During the beginning of the Accelerated Reader program, I spent a lot of time taking quizzes on books I had read over the last few years. After I had caught up on quizzes for my previously read books, I started in on the new ones. I loved reading, but now that I could earn points for it, I attacked my hobby with new fervor.

After a while, the school decided to buy Accelerated Reader plaques for all of us. They would hang in our classrooms for most of the school year, and each class would take turns exhibiting their plaques in the big glass display case in the hallway. The little bars on the plaques were awarded in 25-point increments. When the plaques were first announced, I remember that we got to vote on what they should look like. We had choices of wood (oak or cherry) and metal for the bars (gold or silver). I distinctly remember voting for cherry and silver, but I was defeated on both counts and was angrier about it than I should’ve been. (But then again, I’ve always harbored a distaste for yellow gold – when I was a kid, I didn’t want to get married because I thought wearing a gold ring was a requirement.)

Those plaques were around throughout junior high, and then we got to take them home. At that point, my friend Allison (also an avid reader) and I had earned so many gold bars that there was no more space left on our plaques (even though the bars eventually switched to 50-point increments). I’m pretty sure we ran out of space at 500 points. Go ahead, be impressed.

As we entered junior high and then high school, Accelerated Reader was no longer such a big deal. However, it was still a part of our grade in English class. When we were freshman, we all took a test to assess our reading levels. Once we were assigned our reading levels, we were only allowed to gain points by reading books within the appropriate range. For example, if I tested at a tenth grade reading level, I could only get points for books that were an eighth grade level and above (or something like that). The rules made sense, but it made those of us who tested at high levels kind of irritated – after all, there were only so many books at the appropriate reading level that we hadn’t read. We only had a small school library at our disposal, so resources were limited.

At the same time our reading levels were assessed, each individual student was given a set number of Accelerated Reader points they had to earn in a semester. The higher your reading level, the more points you had to earn. Thanks to our smarty-pants reading test scores, Allison and I were assigned the maximum number of points per semester. (The number 25 sticks in my mind, but no guarantees to the accuracy of that memory.) That was all good and well, but again with the limited resources within the Arlington School library. We had read almost everything, hence our high numbers of elementary school Accelerated Reader points. So what now?

Luckily for us, the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books became Accelerated Reader-friendly. They were all worth a significant amount of points (especially Lord of the Rings), and we were pretty much set for the remainder of high school.

(Shameful secret: I never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I made it partway through The Fellowship of the Ring and gave up. I still took the Accelerated Reader tests, though… after I had seen the movies. Shame, shame, shame on me.)

During our junior year of high school, Allison and I somehow got involved in an independent study class. What was our independent study? Accelerated Reader. I can’t for the life of me remember why we had an independent study. Maybe there was nothing else for us to take during second period? Who knows. Anyway, our responsibilities for this class involved earning 50 Accelerated Reader points per semester (on top of the 25 for English class) and doing a few odd projects. “Class” was in the library every day, where Allison and I just sat (unsupervised) and read books. (We did actually read books some of the time. But some of the time, we did our homework, and a lot of the time, we read the dream interpretation books aloud.) The aforementioned projects involved going into classrooms and reading a book aloud so many times per semester. We also went into classrooms and had kids read to us. Needless to say, we both got As.

Out here in the real world, there is no Accelerated Reader, but I think it would be kind of fun. I still read a lot, and I would love to take quizzes on the books I read to test my comprehension. I also would just like to be able to feel smart and accomplished by saying things like “I got 100 book points last week alone!” But then again, I’d probably just sound like a dork. Some things are better left in elementary school.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

let's talk about Monopoly.

Monopoly is just one of those games: you love it or you hate it. It should be no surprise to hear that I love it – after all, why would I write a blog story about a board game if I didn’t like it?
My dad taught me how to play Monopoly (my mom falls unapologetically into the “hate it” camp). I’m sure it was during a blizzard, as that tends to be the only time my dad and I play Monopoly. As anyone who has ever played Monopoly knows, the game can be a real time-suck. Plus, it’s bad form to just give up: you must keep playing until the bitter end. When my brother and sister got old enough for Monopoly, they’d enthusiastically accept an invitation to start the game, but they would rarely finish. I guess they just hadn’t yet developed the thirst for fake capitalism and heartlessly bankrupting your family members.

There is one thing you need to know about playing games with my father: he will mock you mercilessly. No one is safe from Dad’s snark; he’s an equal opportunity ridiculer. Even if he’s losing, Dad will continue with sarcastic comments until the very end. The game you’re playing doesn’t matter: from Monopoly to cribbage to tic-tac-toe, every game played with my dad is infused with derision. As long as you can insult him right back, you’ll be just fine.

Anyway, playing Monopoly with Dad is how I first learned the fine art of good-natured taunting. It’s critical to be able to do this to be a member (in good standing) of our family. Dad, my brother Mitch, and I come by it naturally, but kinder souls like my mother and sister have to work a little harder. James, my fiancĂ©e, is nicer than all of us, so it’s taken him almost eight years (can you believe we’ve known each other that long?!) to be able to tease with the rest of us. He’s not yet up to Dad’s, Mitch’s, and my level, but we’re hoping that James will just keep practicing.

I keep getting side-tracked. Back to Monopoly.

My cousin Dana was (and probably still is) a Monopoly aficionado. He would come from California to visit in the summer, and we would always play a game or two of late-night Monopoly. One such game has gone down in family legend: Dana and I were neck and neck, and we played into the wee hours of the morning. I think we may have had hotels on the entire board, and the properties were pretty evenly split between the two of us. The game showed no real sign of ceasing until, at long last, the bank ran out of money. We had reached an impasse. No longer able to play our game (and not feeling ambitious enough to mint some new Monopoly money), we totaled our assets to determine the champion. Dana ended up winning, but by some ridiculously small margin like two hundred dollars. That, my friends, was a GAME.
This is not that game, but it's a Monopoly game with Dana all the same.
Another favorite do-or-die Monopoly story is from a snow day I spent at my friend Allison’s house. I had spent the night at my friend Allison’s house, and an overnight blizzard had us snowed in the next day. Allison and I played a six-hour game of Monopoly with her dad. Allison was the first one to go bankrupt, but I hung on for dear life. Sadly, my railroads and few prime properties (Boardwalk and Park Place; Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Pacific Avenues) were no match for Frank’s: he owned the purples (Mediterranean and Baltic), the light blues (Oriental, Vermont, and Connecticut), and the pinks (St Charles, States, and Virginia). He was the slumlord, and the Community Chest and Chance cards worked in his favor: the “advance to Go” card set you on the brink of his string of properties, and the “advance to St Charles Place” card put you right in one of his hotels. It wasn’t long before I foundered, but I fought nobly… or, at least that’s how I remember it, so that’s what I’m telling you.

The last truly memorable Monopoly game I played was during my freshman year of college. As a college student, I didn’t play a whole lot of board games. There are two reasons behind this: 1.) I was always quite busy (and sometimes, I was even doing schoolwork!), and 2.) nobody really wanted to play board games. My college friends tended to have better things to do, like drink beer and… drink more beer. This game of Monopoly came about only because said friends wanted to make a drinking game out of it; hence, “Drunkopoly” was born.

Now, I’m not just saying this to make you think I’m some sort of paragon of responsible choices, but I didn’t drink during Drunkopoly. This game was on a weeknight, and I’ve never been a fan of weeknight drinking (unless you have the following day off, of course). There was only one other sober person playing that night, and it was none other than James! This was well before we were a couple: at this point, we had another year-and-a-half of friendship to go before we began dating. Nobody else was really into the game, but James and I had a great time. I don’t remember who won, but I distinctly remember James offering to shave his mustache off if I’d trade him New York Avenue. (I didn’t take him up on his offer, but I really should have: to this day, James insists that he would’ve honored the deal.)
You can't see the Monopoly board, but I promise, it's there.
My Monopoly career has not been restricted to the board game. For Christmas one year, my parents gave me the hand-held electronic version. 

Let me tell you, that hand-held Monopoly game got me through countless road trips and stints in the waiting room at the orthodontist. It was really kind of ridiculous; the game had all these dorky characters you’d play against (the only one I remember was named Diamond Jim), and there were even goofy sound effects (like a train whistle when you landed on the railroads and a booming noise if your token was the cannon). It’s been years since I’ve played hand-held Monopoly, but I bet I could still find that game buried deep at my parents’ house. I should probably start bringing it for my lunch breaks at work… but only if the “mute” button is still functioning, as no one wants to hear Uncle Pennybags’ narration.

The final component of my Monopoly trifecta was the Monopoly computer game. I don’t remember a whole lot about the game… except for one incident where I asked my dad to watch an auction for me while I ran upstairs. In this version of Monopoly, properties were auctioned off if whoever landed on it declined to buy it. I wanted to buy whatever property was being auctioned, so I stationed Dad there to guard it. From downstairs, I heard Dad yell, “Calla! You’re going to lose the auction! Marvin Gardens is about to be sold for a DOLLAR!” I bolted down the stairs, only to slip on the rug at the bottom and go crashing into the wall. Dad laughed like a hyena, but dammit if I didn’t win that auction.

Whenever I played Monopoly, there was never a certain token that I HAD to be. Dad was always the car, and Darrah was always the dog. Me? I like variety.
I’ve never gotten to be the car (because I’m almost always playing with someone who demands the car), but I’ve tried all the others. I was particularly fond of the battleship (because it’s badass) and the thimble (because seriously, what is a thimble doing there?). And I don’t know about you guys, but I was bummed when the American public voted to retire the iron. The iron was one of my favorites, thanks to its handle. I’m not going to stress about it too much, as I’m sure the Iron Police aren’t coming to confiscate the token from my game.

I’ve lusted after a few specialty Monopoly boards (Lord of the Rings Monopoly and A Christmas Story Monopoly come immediately to mind), but I’ve never made the leap and bought them. It’s just as well: I don’t think anything could quite compare to the original. What a wonderful feeling to FINALLY land on that last color blocked property you need to create your Monopoly. And it’s pretty damn great to watch your opponent (especially when you’re playing against someone as cocky as my dad) sell of their little green houses and scrape together just enough cash to take care of the bill… THIS time. On the other hand, nothing strikes fear in the heart quite like approaching a cluster of bright red hotels that don’t belong to you… and then the grim realization that you have to mortgage your precious railroads to make it to your next turn. It’s exhausting.

It’s been years since I’ve played a game of Monopoly (maybe it was my four years at a liberal arts school?), so it’s about time to get back in the Monopoly saddle. Next time we’re looking for something to do, I’ll see if James is up for the challenge. I’ll even let him be the car.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

adventures in Morris: the food edition.

As you probably recall, I went to college in a small prairie town in Minnesota called Morris. Its population hovered just above five thousand, and the nearest town with any substance (“substance” being a Target) was forty-five miles away.

In a small town such as Morris, the restaurant choices were fairly limited. For its size, though, Morris had a respectable amount of chain restaurants: McDonalds, Dairy Queen, Subway, Taco John’s, Pizza Hut, and Pizza Ranch. If you wanted something a little less greasy and with a little more character, your options narrowed significantly.

This coming weekend is UMM’s annual Jazz Fest, which is a HUGE DEAL. It’s three days of concerts and workshops, and high school jazz bands from all over the Midwest come to learn and perform. The UMM jazz bands perform in the evenings, along with whatever famous jazz musicians have been selected as the guest artists that year.

But that’s not why we go to Jazz Fest. We go to Jazz Fest to see all of our jazz friends, wander around the town and the campus, and feel really old. Besides seeing our friends, the best part about Jazz Fest is getting to eat all the Morris food that we loved so much in college. In preparation for Jazz Fest, let me tell you about my five favorite Morris restaurants.

Don’s is the Holy Grail of Morris food: difficult to get to (because of their crazy hours), but absolute delight when you do. Don’s boasts typical greasy diner food, and you always smell kind of gross when you leave, but believe me when I tell you it’s worth it. There are three things at Don’s that I love the most: their toast, their grilled cheese, and cheese curds. 
The toast is renowned far and wide, and it's even inspired tshirts: note the shirt my sister is wearing in the first photo. It’s thick and homemade, and it’s the best bread you’ve ever tasted. The grilled cheese sandwiches are so good simply because they’re made with Don’s bread (and extra cheese, of course). The cheese curds are heavenly: made with white cheddar, like the best cheese curds are. I’m not kidding when I tell you that I sometimes have dreams about Don’s food.  

The Common Cup.
The Common Cup is an adorable little coffee shop downtown (well, downtown for Morris, anyway). I worked there during my senior year, and besides the six am report-to-work time, it was delightful. Like all good coffee shops, they had comfortable chairs and a fireplace, and you can always find a herd of college students drinking the house blend and doing their homework. The Common Cup also had sandwiches and wraps and all sorts of local ingredients, so it was perfect for the hipster-centric UMM. They would have daily food specials and soups, and there would always be some sort of special drink to go with whatever holiday or event was coming up (for example: they had quadruple-shot espresso drinks on sale around finals time each semester). The Common Cup is where I learned that you can make scrambled eggs in the microwave (!!!) and that chai tea – if you get the right kind brand (Oregon Chai) – is AMAZING. Plus, Rose (one of the managers) would make chocolate cheesecake from time to time. I repeat: chocolate cheesecake.

Bello Cucina.
If you know anything about Italian grammar, you’ll know that the name of Morris’s only Italian restaurant is grammatically incorrect. We must overlook that fact and concentrate instead on the food. Bello Cucina didn’t open until my junior year at Morris, and it was (and still is) the only restaurant in Morris where you can go on a real date. It’s where my friends and family went to celebrate major events – we went there after Jazz Fest, after my senior seminar, after graduation, and after I made a presentation about my internships to the graduating art history seniors. After my senior seminar, my parents took a handful of us to Bello Cucina, and my mom and I ordered raspberry margaritas. Sounds good, right? Well, these were on the rocks – not blended, as we wimps prefer – and STRONG. So watch out for their drinks, but trust me when I tell you to go all out with their tiramisu.

The Met.
The Met is a sleazy bar in Morris that is famous for Quarter Taps: every Thursday night from 9pm to 10pm, plastic cups of skunky beer are a quarter apiece. As a member of the “if it doesn’t taste good, I’m not going to drink it, and I don’t care if it’s only a quarter” club, this is not why I’m telling you about the Met. I’m telling you about the Met because of Cheap Burger Night. Every Wednesday after 5 o’clock, you could get a burger and fries for $2.50. They weren’t the greatest burgers in the world, but for $2.50, they were damn good. James and I went to cheap burger night on many a Wednesday during the two years we dated in Morris. Wednesday nights were “work on the newspaper until the wee hours of the morning” nights, so James and I had to eat our burgers in a hurry. But they were (relatively) delicious and totally worth the extra hour or so I spent at the paper making up for lost time.

Last (but in no way least), I give you Jose’s. Jose’s opened in the Morris mall in the summer between my sophomore and junior years (they’ve since moved, thankfully). The Morris mall was (and probably still is) just pitiful: basically two floors of junky shops and a lot of empty space. There was a dinky little clothing shop there for a while, along with this questionable-looking jewelry repair kiosk and a Christian bookstore. The salon where I got my horrific fishtail haircut was in that mall, as was a martial arts/dance studio. The Christmas decorations stayed up year-round, and I’m pretty sure the schizophrenic guy who wandered the halls lived in a storage closet there. Plus, Jose (yes, Jose was a real guy!) was rumored to have spent some time in prison for beating up his girlfriend (who worked at the counter and was always super angry), but that’s just a rumor. Anyway, Jose’s is where I had my first quesadilla, and we (quesadillas and I) have been inseparable ever since. 
My parents love Jose's, too!
Jose’s also made these delightful dessert chips: tortillas fried and then coated with cinnamon and sugar. Before he developed a sense of culinary adventurousness, my brother Mitch once ordered a hamburger at Jose’s… and it was the most ridiculous thing we’d ever seen.
It was this overdone hunk of ground beef on a gigantic crusty bun – but I guess that’s what happens when you order a hamburger from a Mexican restaurant! Oh, and the best part about Jose’s? They’re open until 2 am on weekends! For Morris, that’s a huge deal.


So those are my five favorite places in Morris to eat. I would highly recommend patronizing one (or more!) next time you’re in Morris. And who knows? Maybe I’ll see you there!