Dozen for a dozen
It's never too early to think about stocking stuffers — especially when they're gift cards from Panera Bread. Head to the 1472 S. Bryant location on Thursday to get 10 percent off food or gift cards when you mention University of Central Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts. From 5 to 9 p.m., stop by and register to win a free baker's dozen of Panera's bagels each month for an entire year! Make a donation to the UCO scholarship fund while you're there (and remember to get a receipt, since it's tax deductible) For more details, contact Lisa Antonelli at [email protected].

Uptown for le$$
Let's hear it for Hank Binkowski, owner of local chain Buy for Le$$. He now has 13 stores across the metro, and the newest addition will be Uptown Grocery Company, 1230 W. Covell Road in Edmond. Join in on the grand opening fun starting at 9 a.m. today. You'll be able to sign up for a coupon club and workshops. The store, which features specialty and organic foods, will also house a flower shop called Floral Fusion. Visit for more info, or follow at @Uptown_Grocery on Twitter.  

Chow Chat
Kim Dansereau is the co-owner of Picasso Cafe and The Other Room in the Paseo District, as well as Kaiser’s American Bistro in midtown.
Hometown: “Bethel Acres outside of Shawnee.”

Got into the hospitality business: “Totally by accident. I was 19, needed a job and was a server at (the now closed) Garfield’s in Midwest City.”

Something to do without spending a cent: “Taking the dogs to the dog park by Lake Hefner Parkway.”

Pets: "Bazil and Charlie are the dogs and Earl is the cat.”

Famous person you look like: “I have my own unique look.”

Never eat: “Bean sprouts or eel.”
But love: “Steaks and sweets.”

Music: “I love country music, especially Johnny Cash.”

Quick tip for cooks: “Always seek advice either from a professional or the Internet.”

Personal motto: “Set yourself up for success.”

Recent nice happening: “Kaiser’s was chosen the People’s Choice at the recent Chocolate Decadence 2012 for our Chocolate Juicy Lucy — a slider stuffed with chocolate, blue cheese, topped with blackened candy bacon.”

Most treasured possession: “My dogs.”

Die and come back as: “Myself.”

What impresses you most about future employees? “They have to be outgoing and people-pleasers.”

Believe your horoscope: “No.”

Would you take a pay cut to do something you really want to do: “I’ve done that before — and when I opened up my own restaurant.”

Something funny: “I got snowed in and had to spend Christmas Eve at Picasso’s with my manager. Luckily, she was a friend. It was not that bad and the next morning we had Bailey’s Irish cream for breakfast.”

How do you feel about loud music when dining out? That was the recent question posed on the Oklahoma Gazette Facebook page. Here are some of your reactions:

“Hate it. If I want music blasting, I will go to a bar. When I eat I want to be able to hear what the other person is saying and not have to shout at them. Dinner should be relaxing; not a noise-fest. We do not go to Outback or T.G.I. Friday's due to this issue.” —Julie Jester-Spielman

“I hate it. I hate televisions in any restaurant, too. Don't mind the bar, but not in dining rooms. It’s hard enough to escape. Dining out should be for conversation and connection with people, not more screen time. I'm glad you asked!” —Mary Ellen Gumerson

“I hate it. I am even known for asking them to turn it down. I want to be able to hear my conversations. Couldn't care less about their music. I will avoid restaurants that play loud music.” —Dawn Rumble Allen

“It keeps me from going to some restaurants that I actually enjoy the food and service.” —Nathan Aguilera

“Being a musician, it depends on how loud we are talking about. In a nice, fancy restaurant it's not OK, and in a bar it is up to the owner. I say this because my band plays in a bar in Edmond and sometimes we can be loud.” —Beket Julien Boussontié

“I like it almost as much as a smoke-filled bar. Please spare me.” —William Ries

“I don't mind music as long as it isn't so loud that you can't hear yourself think.” —Angel Parent-Perez

“My husband and I struggle to find a nice, quiet place with good food to have an intimate dinner when we have a 'date night.' If I want loud, upbeat, noisy with screens blaring, I know to go to a bar/pub. They're a dime a dozen.” —Trina Kopacka Morrison

“Depends on the restaurant. Different atmosphere for different places. I like the variety of places to choose from.” —Mike Denney

Photo by Mark Hancock

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