Monthly Archives: September 2011

Goodbye to After the Bar; Hello to

Today, with out much ado, I want to announce that I’m moving my blog to a new location online– I’ve long used the free resources of to publish my blog, and while it has worked great, I think the time has come to take the next step.

Over the last year and a half, the purpose of the blog has shifted, and so I think it’s time to update. What started out as a place to write about the practice of law for a young lawyer recently past the bar exam has shifted to a more general set of posts about politics, books, restaurants, and, occasionally still, the law, not to mention other random items that catch my attention (including Spongebob, no less). With that in mind, I’m shifting to a blog that’s geared a little more to the general and less to the specifics (indeed, some might say I’ve already been there for a while…).

Please up date your readers, your address books, and your bookmarks–all ten of you–to my new address,

I look forward to seeing you there!

Book Review: “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” by Edmund Morris

The great thing about reading Edmund Morris is two-fold: he presents extremely thorough research with a enjoyable reading style that makes one feel like they are reading fiction. As a friend put it, it’s like reading a novel, not a biography. It doesn’t hurt that Theodore Roosevelt lived a life that makes easy picking for any biographer.

The first in Edmund Morris’ three part biography of the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt lived a life full to the brim. Born sickly, he had overcome physical ailments and “built courage by ‘sheer dint of practicing fearlessness.'” Indeed, his life reads in a crescendo that leaves other men wanting:

  • Published author at 18, of “The Naval War of 1812,” a classic that would go on to find a place in the textbooks for both US and British naval academies.
  • Married at 22, father and widower at 25, husband again at 28.
  • Acclaimed historian and New York Assemblyman at 25.
  • North Dakota ranchman at 26
  • Candidate for New York City Mayor at 27
  • Civil Service Commissioner of the United States at 30
  • Police Commissioner of New York City at 36
  • Assistant Secretary of the Navy at 38 (and author of the plan that defeated the Spanish in Manila under Admiral Dewey)
  • Colonel of the First U.S. Cavalry, the “Rough Riders”  and a war hero at 39 (yes, he left a near cabinet level position to ride in the cavalry)
  • Governor of New York two weeks short of his 40th birthday
  • Vice President at 42…

And that’s just in the first book. Making his living as a working writer, Roosevelt read over 20,000 books and writing fifteen of his own, not to mention speaking French and German, developing and maintaining relationships with numerous leaders in fields scientific, intellectual, and philosophical. His mind was a steel trap and his life steam engine, gaining speed and momentum.

He was a man who was a lifelong learner, knew no bounds to his interests or abilities, and never stopped trying to reach further. Although born to priviledge, Theodore took nothing for granted, and he took every advantage he could to work, read, exercise, challenge himself, and expand his reach. It’s an example that inspires me, and it’s one we could all use.

In a day where people talk a lot and actually do less, Roosevelt reminds us of the power of action, of doing, and that it is those who do that make a difference.

If you’re looking for a readable biography of one of our most colorful presidents, before he was president, pick up Edmund Morris’ “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.”

Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery: Good Lunch, Slow Service

If you’re in a hurry, do not try Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery.

Situated just north of fourth south on Main Street in Salt Lake City, Maxwell’s is an obvious stop for the downtown crowd. Occupying the corner of the building, Maxwell’s is lots of polished wood, a central bar, large televisions, and high stools. It’s an attractive place, and, in retrospect, the food was pretty good, too.

Just don’t come in a hurry.

We hit Maxwell’s for lunch, and when the waitress offered, within a minute of our arrival, we jumped at the lunch special–our choice of one of four types of salads and one of four types of sandwiches. For just $5.

Nice deal, eh?

It is. If you can get your food in less than 45 minutes, which we did not. To boot, as we waited, we watched our waitress approach and try to hand us our check…before we had been served our food.

Awkward moment, to say the least.

On to the food. I order a Caesar salad and a chicken parmigiano sandwich. The sandwich was a tender piece of chicken parmigiano with a marinara sauce on sliced Italian bread toasted in butter. It was tasty, and not too large, either.

The Caesar salad was a good side, drenched in dressing, and added a god green to the menu.

Final analysis? Good food, less than average service. I’ll go back at least once more to try their pizza, though. I’ve heard great things.

Service: 5/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Food: 15/20
Parking: 5/10
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  6.4/10

Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out, please contact me by sending an email to

Maxwell's East Coast Eatery on Urbanspoon

Chunga’s: Good Mexican Food, Just Outside of Downtown

The great thing about finding good Mexican food off the beaten path is that you don’t have to wait in line. Walk right up, place your order, and find a seat. Five minutes later, you’re enjoying your enchiladas, heaps of beans and rice, washed down by your favorite soft drink.

You can worry about the calories later.

In the meantime, get off the beaten path and head over to Chunga’s and enjoy that good Mexican food.

Over in Rose Park on 900 West, Chunga’s doesn’t look like much. More than meets the eye, though, and it’s worth checking out. The menu is simple, but looks written for a mixed clientage of native Spanish speakers and local gringos. I ordered my standard enchiladas with rice and beans.

While we waited, we were treated to restaurant style chips and salsa, the kind that you can’t stop eating. At most Mexican restaurants, the chips are long gone, along with my appetite, before the food arrives. Today, though, my order arrived before I could down more than  three or for chips.

And how were the enchiladas? Let me put it this way: not only did I finish them, but I also finished the rice and black beans that came with, as well as the pre-meal chips. It wasn’t quite Red Iguana, but Chunga’s certainly proved itself worthy of a drive away from the usual haunts in Downtown.

Last point: if it’s warm enough, don’t miss the chance to sit outside. There’s a lot more room outside in the patio area on the north of the building than there is inside. Might as well take advantage of it.

Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 6/10 (none, really. )
Food: 18/20
Parking: 6.5/10
Eat-ability Quotient (an average of scores):  7.9/10

Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out, please contact me by sending an email to

Chunga's on Urbanspoon

Because every penny counts.