Happy birthday John! Plus: My first Lyft experience, food truck rodeo tomorrow

Yesterday evening, in my Monday Update blog post, I mentioned that I might stop by Slider Inn Saturday after the Cooper-Young Festival. I commented that it would only be my second visit to Slider Inn in 2014.

However, at the time of that post, I had visited Slider Inn zero times in 2014.

I also mentioned that on Monday evening, I planned to stop by Bardog, Flying Saucer (actually never made it to Saucer) with maybe one stop in between.

There was some hidden information there.

You see, our buddy John Haley, the executive chef at Bardog, celebrates a big birthday today. He thought yesterday was just a typical Monday evening, unwinding with a couple of friends for sex trivia at Bardog’s sibling restaurant Slider Inn.

He got more than he bargained for. There was a surprise birthday party waiting for him with 20 or 25 of his friends.

That wasn’t the only surprise he got. A bunch of us chipped in to get John a Big Green Egg. Big Green Eggs are very high-end grills, considered among the best out there. It didn’t ship quite in time so John actually got a picture of a Big Green Egg last night. It should arrive today.

John’s birthday cake was a chef’s cake created by the super-talented MK of Cake Madam. Look at the attention to detail! Every single piece of the cake was edible, even the Bardog order ticket.

Photo Sep 08, 9 26 42 PM

Here’s a pic of the birthday boy blowing out the candles.

Photo Sep 08, 9 23 19 PM

Yesterday was also my first Lyft experience. I had planned to have a couple of beers at Bardog and then have Melissa call me a cab to Slider Inn. Melissa told me, “Ian is going to Slider Inn too. Do you want to split a ride with him?” That sounded good to me. Ian has the Lyft app, and after we finished our beers he placed the order for a ride. I made a stop to the restroom then we walked outside. “The car is close to here,” he said, showing me a map. “It’s a burgundy SUV.” Not five seconds after he said that, a burgundy SUV showed up. The driver was very friendly and polite and 10 minutes later, we were at Slider Inn. The cost was $8. A cab ride from Bardog to Slider Inn would be in the $13-15 range I would guesstimate. About 10 Ian requested a ride back Downtown and it arrived in under five minutes.

The only thing is, to use Lyft with a debit card, it has to be tied to a bank account. I haven’t used a bank debit card in a couple of years after so many friends of mine got their debit cards skimmed. I now use a prepaid debit card where I can move money over from my PayPal account, and keep the minimum I need on there for emergencies and online purchases. However, Lyft is so much better that traditional taxi cabs that I may have to call my bank and say, “I changed my mind, send me a debit card.”

There will be a special food truck rodeo in Court Square at lunchtime tomorrow in honor of the American Food Journalists conference that is in town. Stickem, Mark’s Grill, Central BBQ, and Rock ‘n’ Dough Pizza will be at the park. There will be live music by Big Barton from 11:45 to 1.

I’ll probably be back with an after-work post with more news, so check back.