I was fortunate to spend the last couple days at the Charlotte VMware User Summit.  For those of you not familar, the User Summits or Conferences are larger regional and all day conferences for the VMware Users Group.  I happen to be one of the leaders for the Washington DC group, and have been heavily involved in the Potomac Regional VMware User Conference that is coming up next week.  If you are in the area and have not registered, then you should using this link http://www.vmug.com/p/cm/ld/fid=1742.  These summits are a great way to interact both professionally and often socially with some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the virtualization community.  The Charlotte Summit was packed with rockstars just to name a few:

Along with numerous sessions on topics like how to make the move into the public cloud, or what exactly is vOpenData, there was also a full hall of exhibitors.  The exhibit space was also a great area to be able to meet with vendors, colleagues, and some of the characters listed above.  I have been fortunate and got to know alot of the people heavily involved int he VMware community over the past few years and with the Nexenta booth setup early and a sponsor reception out of the way, a few of us ventured for the second year in a row to what many could call a religious experience.

I was joined by Jake Martin(Nexenta Federal Sales Director), Chris Colotti, and Sam Aaron to grab some dinner at Jakes Good Eats.  The name does not do this place justice.  As Chris so eloquently put it, the converted gas station does not look like much but when you walk through the doors it is like walking into Oz.  It is rare that a restaurant would be as good a second year as it was the first but Jake’s managed to meet and possibly exceed our expectations.  I am not one for normally taking food pictures and the ones below dont do the flavor justice.  Needless to say if you are int he Charlotte area, it is worth the 20 minute drive East to visit Jakes.  We found it courtesy of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and the Flavortown App on the iPhone.  We have yet to be able to try the Venison Quesidilla and it will probably mean another trip back, but between the best Scallops  I have ever had (Seared with bacon braised spinach), the crunchy yet chewy homemade tortilla chips with spinach dip, or the perfectly cooked double bone in pork chop, I dont think it will be hard to go back.  That does not even account for the great banana pudding we had last time or the now favorite of everyone who has ever tried it, Chocolate Pie.