As promised, I am going to tell you about my fabulous meal at Restaurant Iris a couple of weeks ago, celebrating my 37th birthday with friends Jennifer & Ben, Lisa & Scott, and my hubby, Kevin. My birthday was actually the week before, but it's the only time we could all get together and it was a good enough excuse to go to our favorite place...not that we ever really need one. Lisa and Scott were Iris virgins, so it was a real treat to see how much they enjoyed it.

I started with a Pimm's Cup cocktail....then the food just started rolling in. We tried to order from the menu, but they know what we like at Iris so they just started bringing food out. First there were 2 platters of fried oysters, baked oysters, a "grilled cheese" (cold smoked salmon, brie, olive, and creole mustard), lobster knuckle sandwich, natchioches (meat pies with lots of clove and a sauce Jennifer and I could drink it's so good), short rib raviolo with brown butter & mushrooms, and New Orleans style BBQ shrimp (again with a sauce that one can drink or sop up with enough bread to feed a small country).

We skipped our usual brussel sprout salad because of the massive quantities of appetizers we had just shoveled in. Our entrees consisted of 2 orders of the gulf jack with harissa "cafe au lait", 2 New York strips stuffed with more fried oysters & blue cheese (or Gouda if you're Kevin and you don't like blue cheese because you're abnormal), a ribeye with a truffle bordelaise that should be served in a glass, and pork tenderloin with beet greens, cornmeal pasta, and maque choux. All were perfect. There's not much else I can say but that our tongues were dancing and our faces were shining with delight.

Dessert: chicory creme brulee, coconut sorbet, malted chocolate shake, honey almond ice cream, blood orange sorbet, and cassis sorbet. Yummy! I could have skipped dessert but I'm so glad I didn't. The honey almond ice cream was awesome and so was Lisa's brulee.

So I'm sure many of you are wondering where the "Pancakes & Porn" reference from earlier this week came from. Well it's all Scott's fault. Apparently there is a movie out there that has "porn" in the title but isn't about porn. I can't remember what it's called. Regardless, it all went into the gutter from there. First we talked about our porn-given names: you take the street you were raised on as your first name and your first pets name as your last name and there you have your porn-given name. Mine was Brandy Welchshire. I don't remember who, but someones name was Heavy Juicy...pretty good right?!

Anyway, it just went on from there. Everyone was asking what I was going to write my next blog entry about and I said I was thinking about the pancakes. Then someone shouted, "Pancakes and Porn." We all agreed that evening at Iris should always be referred to as the Pancakes and Porn evening. Then someone suggested t-shirts with Pancakes and Porn on the front and a bed logo on the back with "Breakfast in Bed." So there ya go. It was a funny, delicious, and happy meal with good friends. I couldn't have asked for a better celebration of getting older.

Perfect Pancakes
Yield: 20 pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter or canola oil, optional
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk, milk, or water
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Blend all the ingredients together and cook on both sides on a griddle.

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