Thursday, March 15, 2012

A mid-week meeting at the Lake

I had a mid-week meeting at Lake of the Ozark's earlier this week. The nicest two days of the year, so far, were spent at Camden on the Lake, which was an amazing resort.

I have so much to blog about regarding this trip. The room, the food, the lunch the next day ... all, and I mean ALL, are blog-worthy.

We'll start with the room. Camden on the Lake is the newest Resort at Lake of the Ozarks. It sits right on the shoreline, and houses H Toads. It is in the same cove as Shady Gators.

A quick rate search on their website shows off-season (current) rooms costing between $149 and $216 per night. If you go for a conference, the rates are likely to be considerably cheaper. Mine was.

Now to the good stuff, my lakeside grand suite truly was lakeside. From my balcony, it almost felt as if I was on top of the water. It overlooked most of the cove and in the distance you can see Shady Gators. This photo makes it look pretty far away. It wasn't. Most could probably park a boat at the hotel and swim their way to Shady Gators without being out of breath.

The room itself was split into two rooms. A hallway separated the two. The linens were soft and the down-filled (or down-like filled) pillows put me to sleep in no time. A television is mounted to the wall over a dresser, and the room holds a sitting chair, desk and two side tables.

As an aside, I know many who hate hotel beds, but when you're staying at a hotel like this one, it's like heaven. I seriously felt like I was floating and the pillows made it even better. I can't tell you enough that the extra money one pays for a hotel with a nice bed is totally worth it.

Now that we've talked about the bedroom, let's talk about the fact that this room had a tv in the bathroom, a fireplace and a kitchenette where I could have made any dish that didn't require an oven.

On to the food!

H. Toads has a limited selection, but I didn't hear anyone say a bad word about anything they ate the entire conference.

For lunch, I had a southwest chicken wrap that was flavorful and filling. The wrap was southwest cream cheese, chicken, lettuce and other veggies in a herb tortilla. My dining mate had their shrimp salad with a crab cake. She raved about it, as did a dining partner during dinner. Both said it was filling and delicious. I, as many of you know, don't eat anything that ever lived in water, but if I did, I'm sure I would have loved it, too.

For dinner, I had the pasta primavera pictured here. It was good, but I definitely prefer a cream sauce over a garlic butter sauce. I need a little bit of substance beyond butter. It also had mushrooms in it after specifically asking for no mushrooms. It was, however, light and flavorful, which was needed on a day when it was 85 outside, even as the sun was setting. The chicken was cooked perfectly, as were the vegetables and pasta. And the garlic bread was completely divine.

My real highlight of the conference, though, was lunch before I came back to Jefferson City. It was a chance for great conversation with a good friend, and great food in a place I least would have expected it.

Sadly, I took no photos of Wobbly Boots or the food I ate, but all of it was delicious. So delicious that I brought the leftovers home for my husband so he could experience this wonderful food.

Collin suggested we start with a wings appetizer. The wings had Wobbly Boots homemade sauce, tasting almost like a chipotle bbq. They are smoked, rather than baked or fried, which made the meat fall off the bone.

They are, however, messy, which led to a lovely mess on my shirt I was wearing for work. Or maybe I caused the mess. Either way, bbq sauce on silk ... never coming out.

I had the brisket meat on a bun sandwhich. The brisket was tender, juicy and seasoned well. Again, a homemade seasoning if one is to believe the menu. I paired it with the mac and cheese, which was OK, but heavy on the cheddar. I prefer a milder cheese for my mac and cheese.

The real star of the meal, though, was the sweet potato fries. I had never had sweet potato fries, and I didn't order them, but Collin did, so I stole a couple. It was suggested that I dip them in honey mustard. THAT was the best suggestion of the day. Sweet potato fries will be my go-to anywhere I can get a side of honey mustard now.

All in all, a good conference with great company and great accommodations.

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