West Palm Beach Area

February 12, 2010 21:30 – 21:30

We began our outing today by going to Tacos al Carbón in Lake Worth. I’d read that they had amazingly good & cheap Mexican food. They do! I had a shredded beef taco and a steak burrito. Karen had two tacos—one beef and one pork. We’re putting TaC onto our “go there again anytime we’re anywhere close to Lake Worth” list.

Unfortunately, we’d gotten a pretty late start this morning, and had time for only one major sightseeing thing, so we went to the Henry Flagler Museum. It’s a lavish mansion that 71-year-old Henry built for his 34-year-old bride. To hear the audio guide tell it, Henry—who “built Florida,” according to the folks at the museum—gets much of the credit for making Florida everything it is today. Carl Hiaasen, the Seminoles, and a few others might choose the word “blame” rather than “credit.”

Amusing story: A woman who reminded me of the late Al Searle was ranting in the museum gift shop about Henry Flagler being a robber-baron. After looking at a photograph of him, she pronounced him someone who looked really harsh and evil—not someone she’d ever want to have dealings with. To the contrary, asserted one of the shop staff, he was a very nice man who did lots for Florida and the people of Florida. To hear her tell it, Flagler was another Albert Schweitzer. They went back and forth several times. I suspect that the Al Searle-esque woman might’ve been a UU. I didn’t ask. I also didn’t disagree with her assessment. I just found the confrontation amusing and refreshing.

In any case, the mansion is indeed impressive. They allowed pictures, but I’m not that fond of taking pictures inside mansions, so I left my camera in its case. There was a very interesting statue of Venue with four leering satyrs at her feet. I snapped a couple of those with my cell camera, but I’m too lazy to retrieve the pictures.

After visiting Henry, we decided to drive up the coast and take a look at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, in Jupiter. Their mission is to rescue hurt and stranded sea turtles. Among other things I learned is that each turtle egg has the capability of becoming male or female. Temperature controls what sex the egg becomes.

At the moment, we’re sitting here waiting for Chinese delivery from the Singing Bamboo. We ordered almost two hour ago, and it’s not here yet. I think they’re not coming. L Well… moments later, they came. I’m posting a short review in another blog post.

There were really good reviews of Singing Bamboo on the Internet. But, I’m singing a different tune. Karen ordered beef Hunan style. It was bland—no spiciness at all. Are they afraid to actually make those asterisks mean anything? It was decidedly lackluster. I ordered scallops & shrimp with “hot” garlic sauce. Actually, I order scallops and shrimp Hunan style, but they brought the other dish instead. Again, it was very bland—with an almost-medicinal flavor to it. There was no hint of heat, and the shrimp was cooked to within an inch of its life. The shrimp rolls were so-so, and the fried chicken wings had no crispiness at all. Unfortunately, they had fried rice rather than white or brown, and it, too, wasn’t worth the calories. All in all, if you’re looking for good Chinese food in the West Palm Beach area… let me know if you find any.

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