Restaurants

Restaurant Week at Sushi Taro

I have always steered very clear of Restaurant Week (RW) in DC in the past for many reasons. In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, RW happens twice a year – once in January and once in August – and many restaurants offer 3 course lunches for $20.12 or 3 course dinners for $35.12 for the entire week. A lot of big cities around the country do restaurant week, and it’s supposed to be a good opportunity to try out restaurants you might not be able to afford otherwise, or just ones you’ve wanted to try and haven’t gotten around to.

When I go out to eat, I don’t normally order 3 courses for myself, so that’s a big part of the reason I avoid it. Also, having worked in the restaurant business myself, RW was always so chaotic that the service offered was never up to par with regular standards, and the food was never as good. On top of all that, I never planned for it in advance, so by the time I even contemplated checking somewhere out, all the good places have been taken.

This time around for some reason, as soon as the email went out announcing restaurant week a month or two ago, I made a reservation at several fancy schmancy places I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t gotten around to. I wasn’t even sure if I’d make it out to any of the places but figured reservations couldn’t hurt in case I did want to go when the time came. After that, I sort of forgot about my inclination to make so many reservations, until I got a reminder from OpenTable of all my reservations coming up.

The one that made the cut was Sushi Taro, an upscale, authentic Japanese restaurant located in the Dupont Circle area.

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I’d heard great things about the restaurant and had been wanting to try it for some time,  but it’s quite expensive so definitely would be more of a special occasion place than a don’t feel like cooking sort of night out. After doing some browsing about DC restaurant week on the web, I read a lot about it being a good value for RW, so at that point I was sold.

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My date for the night was my good friend Elena, and we had gone back and forth pouring over the menu all week leading up to our reservation since we found it on their facebook page.

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The deal for restaurant week there is that you get four courses for the $35.12. The tasting menu that you get normally costs $80, and doesn’t include the dessert, so it was certainly a good deal. We also ended up both getting the pairings, which brought the cost up to $50 per person, but was totally worth it in my opinion.

The first course was a box tasting plate that had three items that you didn’t get to choose.

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It came with a 5 oz. pour of Kirin Ichiban beer, which was a nice accompaniment.

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Starting from the right, there was a soba noodle dish with tempura pieces, nori, and fried scallion in a light soy dressing. This had such a nice blend of textures and flavors and really tasted wonderful. My only complaint is that there wasn’t a little more!

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The middle had four small pieces of sashimi – two salmon and two yellowfin tuna. The fish was as fresh as could be and literally melted in my mouth – absolutely delicious.

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The left side had the weirdest thing of the evening.

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Jelly coated crab in a creamy corn sauce, garnished with a slice of okra.

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Now I normally consider myself a VERY adventurous eater, but I just could not get down with this. I tried it, but the jelly coating was flavorless gelatin and just didn’t do it for me at all. The other two parts of this tasting box were so awesome though that it made up for this part of the dish for sure.

The second course was the only hot course and one where we had a choice. In addition to what we both ordered, there was a 10 hour braised black pork belly with sweetened soy sauce or a tempura fried softshell crab with vegetables. We were both trying to be healthy, but after seeing the softshell crab come out for other tables, I would definitely give that one a try if you need a little tempura in your life.

The dish we both went with was a black cod marinated in a sweet soy sauce, which was also awesome.

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It came with a piece of eggplant and a sweet pepper, and was very buttery and delicious. It was cooked with the skin on so the fish was very flavorful, yet mild, and was just the right size.

This warm course came with two small pours of sake, one filtered and one unfiltered.

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The sake on the left that was filtered was dry and very refreshing. The one on the right that looks a little milky was the unfiltered one, and it was a little on the sweet side but also delicious.

The third course was a sushi sampling with three choices. With my little research on the dinner there, I found out that the 7 piece course was also known as the amateur, so I went with the 5 piece option, though there was also a 4 piece option known as the sushi foodie. The sushi also came with your choice of half a california or spicy tuna roll, but we both opted for the spicy tuna.

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The fish was as fresh as could be and a really nice assortment as far as sushi options go. From the left, there was tuna, snapper, mackerel, octopus, and raw sweet shrimp. The only one that was new-to-me was the raw shrimp, and it was a little weird to be eating raw shrimp, though I’m sure that was 98.5% mental. When I go out to sushi, I normally order SO MUCH more than what is pictured above, but just having that amount really made me savor every bite. I loved it.

This course came with one final glass of sake, another filtered, dry sake that was perfect with the sushi.

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The last course was a very small scoop of ice cream – your choice of mango or green tea. We both got the green tea ice cream – which is hands down my favorite kind of ice cream in the world.

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It was about half a scoop, which was the perfect size to end the meal with.

This meal overall was out of this world. I was really impressed with the attentive and friendly service, descriptions given on each item put down before us, and the quality of the food. Our server did not seem at all rushed and made sure to check in on us frequently throughout the meal. I also was happy because I left the restaurant feeling great – like I had a good, solid meal, but not at all overly stuffed like can happen with 3-4 courses. I would hands down recommend Sushi Taro for restaurant week and plan to make a reservation there each time the week comes around!

Do you have restaurant week where you live? What’s your approach – try new-to-you restaurants, fancy places you don’t frequent, or avoid it all together?

College Again?

Today has been a little bit of a slow start after last night’s festivities. It was a fun night and celebrating was in order because one of my best friends graduated from law school yesterday!! Let’s rewind a bit, shall we?

After work, I came home and made a quick snack to tide me over.

Almond Butter + Crofters Europe on Whole Wheat Potato Bread with a glass of Almond Milk. Then I went and got a pedicure since the pool opens this weekend, plus my eyebrows done. It was fun and while getting my toes done, I finished reading Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult. This book was pretty slow to start and took me a while to get into, but then it got really good and I couldn’t put it down about half way through. She’s one of my favorite authors and I’d never even heard of this book, but I found it in my Community Book Room.

After that, the boyfriend and I went and got a bite to eat at Hamlet, a bar/restaurant close to our apartment. I had a few glasses of wine, and got a fire roasted artichoke to start.

I shared, but probably ate about 2/3 of this. It was pretty good but I would have liked it to be cooked a bit more so the edible parts were a little softer. I also ordered a half salad:

Which was pretty big for a half size! It had greens, candied pecans, cashews, dried cranberries, tomatoes, avocado, and goat cheese. I ordered the dressing on the side but didn’t use it because there was a lot going on in the salad as it was. It was delish! The only problem was it had chicken in it and I didn’t realize it until it came out the first time, so I had to send it back.

After that, I went and met the new JD in DC for some drinks at Madhatter. It was a lot of fun and I felt like I was in college again – not getting home until after 2am! I can’t even tell you the last time I was out that late. It felt like being back in college! Here’s a pic of us girls at the bar:

Jess (the law school grad!!), Lianne, Me, and Katie (Jess’s little sis).

And that’s one of Lianne, me, and my vodka soda. 😉

Since I got home so late, I slept later than I have in years – until almost 12!! I woke up earlier than that but wasn’t feeling so hot so made myself go back to sleep and when I woke up for the final time I was feeling pretty good. I decided to have a stabilizing breakfast (slash lunch) which was actually delicious.

I pan fried an egg and melted some cheese on top, and then placed it on a bed of microgreens for an egg sandwich.

It was on Whole Wheat Potato Bread and reallly hit the spot.

I also had a sliced up apple to go with the egg sandwich.

Yum. I have been slacking a lot on cooking lately but I’m hoping to get back into it this weekend. I am so excited to have 3 days off and my boyfriend actually has the whole weekend off too! Not sure exactly what today will bring, but we might go thriftin’, shop for a few more plants, and get geared up for a little Memorial Day Party that we’re having on Monday with some friends by the pool. Today is kind of gloomy and overcast, but tomorrow and Monday are supposed to be really hot and sunny, so hopefully I’ll log some hours by the pool. 🙂

Happy Saturday!

Present

Tonight has been super fun but everything good always goes by so fast, doesn’t it? After work, I ran to a new-to-me Farmer’s Market that opened up right by my apartment in Crystal City. It had a lot of the same vendors as the ones I go to in DC but there were a few new vendors and I found some good deals. I honestly didn’t need much, but I picked up a few things that I’m looking forward to trying.

Leeks, green onions, a tomato (in the 99 cents bin but perfect!), strawberries, and white potatoes. Everything for $10! After the quick stop at the farmer’s market, I came home and my boyfriend was already here! Very rare occurrence. He still had to do some work but I was really going back and forth about working out and starting to feel lazy and more like laying on the couch than going outside, but then I remembered the pizza for lunch and going out for dinner and forced myself to go. Once I got out there, it felt great. It was my first bike ride since last weekend (1.5 weeks ago) when my tire popped! I just did a quick 30 minute ride since we were going out to dinner.

Today’s Stats:

  • Duration: 35 minutes
  • Distance: 7.3 miles
  • Avg. Pace: 13.5mph
  • Calories: 525

I was so glad I convinced myself to go because it felt so good and I was so happy after. Sometimes I get really caught up in doing big, long workouts, and feel like if I do something small it doesn’t really count, but I really need to break that mentality. 30 minutes is a normal workout and I should just do 30 minutes when that’s all I have time for and feel happy about it, not guilty for not doing more. Blah.

After a quick shower, we went to dinner at a Vietnamese Restaurant called Present, in Falls Church, VA. I’d been there one other time, the night before my 10 mile race back in April with my parents. The food there is amazing and really pretty to look at. I was ravenous by the time we got there, so we ordered two appetizers to split. A special shrimp dish that I couldn’t really understand other than it was jumbo shrimp so I said yes please.

It was green tempura fried I think? Whatever it was, it was delicious. It came with sweet and sour sauce to dip and I had two of these. The other appetizer was the summer rolls, which came with pork and shrimp but we got them shrimp only.

These came with peanut sauce and were awesome. Summer rolls are one of my all time favorite appetizers because they’re so fresh and delicious. yum.

My main course was called Mosaic Pathway.

Described on the menu as, “The Chef’s special jumbo lump crab meat and cellophane noodle sautéed with fresh ingredients (bamboo shoots, mushroom, onion, chives, bean sprouts, carrot, and celery).” It was so, sooooo good. It was pretty light but the sauce was so delicious and there was a ton of lump crab meat with the cellophane noodles. Our waiter recommended the dish and I’m so glad he did because I loved it.

And then we split some green tea ice cream for dessert (my fav!)

Such a great way to end the meal.

After dinner, we somehow had enough time to run to Home Depot and pick up some plants for the balcony! It makes me feel old to get so excited about plants, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t so. Having plants and flowers out there just makes it so pretty and nice. 🙂

Catching up on Parenthood now (anyone!?). This show is INCREDIBLE.

Be back tomorrow!!

Best Lunch Ever

Ohhhh man I just had the most delicious lunch ever. Sometimes it’s nice to go somewhere you know you love but try something new, and have it made for you rather than throwing it together yourself. Today was one of those days for me. I went to the Juice Joint Cafe since I ran out of time to pack my lunch this morning, and with the cold/rainy weather, had to convince myself to go outside. My standby there is a Roasted Veggie & Mozz Sandwich but I was in the mood for something different, and something warm, so I looked at the Hot Sandwich/Wrap list. There’s been one on there calling my name for some time, so today I finally went with it, and was SO glad I did.

Plantain a la Cubana: Grilled plantains, black beans, sour cream, brown rice, lettuce and tomato. Served on your choice of tortilla.

I ordered it on a whole wheat wrap, and it did not disappoint.

It was pretty massive, but it was too good for me to leave some behind. Take a look inside the wrap:

Loaded with plantains, black beans, brown rice, and veggies. It was amaaazing. This may be my new go-to there, and definitely something I plan to recreate at home. I love plantains and they are so cheap at the grocery store, so this would be pretty easy to whip up at home and maybe make into a salad version. I also had a small side salad:

With organic greens, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers. It was the perfect supplement to the wrap. I kind of wish I could rewind and have lunch again, it was that good. Plus, I’d rather eat than do work, but I don’t think that makes me unique.

Thriftin’

Sadly, my day off is over! It always seems to fly by before you know it! Even though the rain ruined our original plan, we didn’t let it ruin us. We decided to go thriftin’ because there’s still a bunch of random stuff we need for the apartment and going to thrift stores can be fun!

I found this one store online called Unique Thrift Store that was apparently the size of a Target and worth the trip, and we ventured out. There were a bunch of sneaky vendors at the beginning before you got into the proper thrift store that had a bunch of cool stuff that was not too cheap and caught our attention immediately. Once we realized they weren’t part of the “Customer Appreciation Day” (where everything was 25% off!) we quickly moved on, and this was no joke. This store was enormous, with rows and rows of household stuff, furniture, books, games, clothes, shoes, etc. Unfortunately, the furtniture wasn’t very good looking (we are in search of *the perfect* coffee table) and the household supplies (which we honestly don’t really need any) left something to be desired. We made a rule that we had to find at least two things to purchase in order to buy something at the store, and though Wil found one random spoon he wanted, we walked out empty handed.

We then spotted (in the same parking lot!) this Asian grocery store that we decided to stop in. It seriously blew my mind. They had tanks with live eel, shrimp, dungeness crabs, mini lobsters, and other fish, which were all SO CHEAP. They had rows and rows of produce, some I had never heard of before, and then aisles and aisles of asian groceries. I was so overwhelmed, I didn’t even take any pictures, and I zoomed from aisle to aisle focusing on random segments. At one I point I decided to get stuff to make sushi because of their fresh fish, rows of rice, and many difference kinds of seaweed, but then I aborted mission and tried to find soba noodles, but got distracted by tea. I want to go back to this place and have a game-plan, because we walked out with lots and lots of random things, but nothing that really went together. In terms of produce, we got a melon, white sweet potatoes, cucumbers,mango, avocado, and yams, and then crystalized honey, tea, tapioca flour, spices, skewers for the kabob, Sriracha hot sauce, and some other randoms. It was such a cool experience, and we were the only white people in the whole store, but I want to go back with a plan!

After that we ventured to another thrift store and actually found a good coffee table, some art for our wall, and some new grill utensils. All of the furniture was 50% off, so we got the table for $20! It’s a little low to the ground for my preference, but it works.

After we returned from our day of thrifin’, we decided to go to happy hour at Kora. They have some great happy hour specials, and its walking distance from our apartment. I started off with a glass of Malbec, and the bartender decided to put the whole bottle near my glass ‘in case I wanted more.”

That never ends well. 🙂 I got some bruschetta to start (which was $5 for happy hour!) and it was delicious.

The bread was toasty, the tomatoes juicy but perfectly firm, and the pesto perfect with the dish. Yum! We then split two tiny pizzas.

The first was a white pizza with provolone, mozzarella, and spinach (we asked for it without sausage).

The second was a margarita pizza with fresh mozz, tomato, and basil. Both were outstanding! They had a pizza oven that was in perfect view from where we were sitting at the bar, and the crust was crispy but perfectly fluffy. The cheese was all melty, and the toppings were perfect on both pizzas. So good! They were pretty small, so splitting two did not feel too indulgent (they were also $5 each for happy hour!)

Then we ended the meal with a Beet Salad.

It had roasted red beets, arugula, walnuts, gorgonzola, orange segments, and an orange vinaigrette. It was the perfect way to end the meal! The walnuts were toasted and everything just went so well together. This one was not on the happy hour menu but we were in the mood for some greens, so it was delicious.

I’m off to watch Nurse Jackie and make it an early night so I can get ready to go to work tomorrow (what’s that!?)! Have a good night!

“Light” Meal

Hiya! Tonight got away from me so I’m going to make this quick! This whole week FLEW by and I’m so happy its the weekend already. We had another office outing to Yogen Fruz today and I went back to my old standby, Green Tea frozen yogurt.

This has dark chocolate shavings and mochi (japanese rice cake) on top. Green tea ice cream has always been one of my favorite flavors, and this frozen yogurt tastes just as good as the real ice cream! It’s so creamy and packed with flavor. If you’ve never tried Mochi, it’s kind of like gummy bear texture but not quite as chewy, and much less flavor. I love them for the texture and its one of my favorite toppings for fro yo. Yum.

I was planning on going to Bikram after work, but I ended up getting caught up doing something until after 5, and by the time I finished it was too late to make it to the 6pm class. I decided to just come home instead, and once I was on the metro my eyes started getting so heavy and it hit me just how tired I was. I crashed immediately when I got home and slept for over an hour. It felt SO good. I rarely ever take naps because I usually wake up more tired than when I started, but today I didn’t really have a choice.. my eyes were closing on me! After I woke up I was really hungry, so I had a quick snack.

A toasted everything bagel thin with goat cheese from the farmers market… SO good! This was the first time this year I’ve tried this goat cheese and it is delicious. The woman who sells it owns around 500 goats (!!!) and raises them and makes the cheese on her farm. It’s so fresh and has such an intense flavor.

After my snack, I went and met my boyfriend at LIA’S for a quick meal after he got off. A vendor had dropped off this bottle of rosé of sangiovese wine for him to sample, so I had 1 and 1/2 glasses of that during our meal.

It was crisp and tasty. I don’t generally go for rosé wines, but the price was right on this one and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t that hungry since I had the bagel thin, so I decided to go pretty light for my meal. I started with a bowl of minestrone soup which was their soup of the day. It was supposed to come with a proscuitto crostini but I ordered it without because the rest of the soup was vegetarian.

They also served some house-made foccacia bread with olive oil.

I had one piece of the foccacia and it was AWESOME. It had grey sea salt on it and it was really crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. The olive oil is also really flavorful so just a little but goes a long way. It went really well with the minestrone soup, which was full of beans, tomatoes, and a delicious broth. We also got citrus cured salmon crespelle.

Which are basically little house cured salmon tacos. I had one of the three of these, and they have mache on them in addition. The salmon is cured with lemon, orange, lime, citrus vodka, salt, and sugar. Really tasty.

I ordered an appetizer salad for my main course with beets, mache, orange, goat cheese.

The oranges are hiding under the mache on this salad. I looove goat cheese and forgot until just now that I already had some today! Beets, orange, and goat cheese really is a winning combo – the sweetness of the citrus works so well with the other flavors, and I ate the whole thing.

I also had one small piece of my boyfriend’s pizza, which had shrimp, tomato, fontina, bottarga, scallion, garlic butter.

This was amazinggg… by now you probably know just how much I love pizza, and having one piece of someone else’s is the perfect solution in my book. Then, we had to try one of the new desserts (because we wanted to) so we went with the honey and pine nut tart with evoo gelato, spiced tuile cookie, and caramel sauce.

Oh.my.god. This was seriously amazing, and I don’t even love pine nuts that much! It kind of tasted like pecan pie but was a little looser, and the evoo gelato on top was just melt-in-your mouth incredible, and brought the whole dessert together.

Kind of funny because I intended to eat light but looking back it doesn’t look so light now does it. That said, I left feeling really satisfied, not stuffed by any means. But I kind of take back describing the meal as light. Kind of.

Good night!!

Shrimp Ochazuke

I just got back from an awesome team lunch with work! Our department is pretty small so there’s only 7 of us, and everyone is pretty young and cool so we all get along quite well. We went to Teaism today and I hadn’t been there in ages. It’s a great little place with 3 locations around DC, and one of them happens to be just a few blocks from my office. Judging by the name, I’m sure you could venture to guess that they have tons of different kinds of hot tea, but they also have a retail area where they sell tea pots, tea sets, and of course, tea. It gets super busy during lunch so I couldn’t look that much into it, but I’d love to get a fancy tea pot and some nice loose teas.

As we were waiting in line, someone walked by me with their lunch and I saw it and knew I had to have it. Shrimp Ochazuke which was listed on the menu as a brown rice and tea soup, with shrimp, veggies, wasabi & sencha green tea. Your guess is as good as mine on how to pronounce that one (mine was acha-zu-key). 😉 Because we all ordered together, there was a little confusion over the drinks. I asked if they had unsweetened iced green tea, but they said they only had very lightly sweetened iced green tea, or hot green tea. So when I sat down to eat, I realized they had given me a pot of hot tea which I was fine with. I went and asked for a glass of ice and just iced it. Only after coming back to my office and looking at the menu online did I realize that tea was actually meant to be poured over my dish to make it into the soup that the menu described… better luck next time. 🙂

Even though I didn’t eat it how you were supposed to, it was delicious. (See that tea pot to the back left of the bowl? Yeah, that was the “broth”… oops!) It was incredibly flavorful and there was seaweed and some other spices sprinkled on top that made the whole dish pop. Underneath all the veggies was a scoop of brown rice, so the bowl not only tasted good, but it was filling, too. I’m looking forward to going back and eating it the right way, though my way was pretty darn good, too.

It’s a gorgeous day today, so I can’t wait for 5pm so I can go spend some time outside!

Cookie and Candy Plate

I’m so sad that Saturday is over! Though I wasn’t feeling that fabulous for most of the day, it was nice to take it easy and enjoy the 90 degree day. I found a new place in my neighborhood for a mani/pedi and they did an awesome job. I was in there for 2.5 hours because the woman took such care. Towards the end I was definitely getting a little antsy to get out of there, but it was awesome. She gave me a really long leg and foot massage and a great hand/arm massage too. I ate a lot of snacks after the GM, starting with another Kind Bar.

This was the Fruit and Nut kind and was even better than the last one. It had a bunch of different kinds of nuts and dried fruit so every bite was a little different and it was soo good.

I also had a bagel thin toasted with ricotta (no cream cheese or butter in sight).

And then I had a small mug of cereal with one crushed Weetabix biscuit and the rest of the pumpkin flax granola from Whole Foods, with some almond milk.

Looking back, I probably should have had one thing a bit more substantial, but I was feeling pretty icky so I just went with what I felt like…

Then I got myself together and met my boyfriend at Chef Geoff Tysons tonight when he got off of work to get a bite at the bar. I decided to have a glass of Torrontes (JUST ONE)

It was good, but I didn’t even finish the glass. I got the mixed green salad with blue cheese crumbles and berry vinaigrette to start (dressing on the side).

Then I ordered the wild mushroom pizza that had fontina, taleggio, and grana padana (all types of cheese).

This pizza was soooo good. They have a special pizza oven in the restaurant to make all the pizzas, so the crusts get crispy and the toppings all melty. So, so good. I ate 2/3 of this pizza (4 small pieces) and brought the last two pieces home.

I was pretty full at this point, but we decided to get a dessert to share anyways, so I just nibbled on it. It was the Cookies and Candy plate, which is all handmade at the restaurant.

Clockwise from top left, caramel corn, chocolate dipped toffee, dolce de leche, cinnamon sugar cookie, an anise marshmallow, and chocolate covered almonds. I tried a bit of everything and it was incredible. Handmade candy is like nothing else! I laughed a little because its called “cookies and candy” but it came out with only one cookie. Turns out the kitchen ran out of cookies so they just gave us one, but I found it pretty funny because I have a strange sense of humor… 🙂

Off to bed… I am going to sleep well tonight!

Back

Monday Morning… ick. I know this is a common sentiment but boy could I have used another day of the weekend! It just went by way too fast. Sorry I didn’t come back yesterday, I was just caught up in my Sunday and didn’t want to acknowledge that it was coming to an end. It also wasn’t the healthiest of days food-wise, but its all about balance, right?

For lunch, we went to a new place called the Stray Cat Cafe. It’s a really cool place with lots of cat pictures everywhere and cat names for most of the foods on the menu. The restaurant supports the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation which rescues and places over a thousand abandoned dogs and cats each year, which is pretty cool, too.

We started off with the Finicky Feline Dip, which was a vegetarian version of the regular Feline Dip. It had veggie chili, cheese, guac, lettuce, and tomato.

It came with warm pita bread and tortilla chips, and was really delish. For my main course, I got the Bentley Wrap, which was a grilled pita topped with spinach, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, with Monterey Jack Cheese. I ordered it with Sweet Potato Fries on the side (my fav)

It also came with a pickle! This was so, sooooo good. There was a lot of cheese on it (maybe a little too much) but the veggies underneath went together so well and I gobbled down the whole thing. The sweet potato fries were crispy and delicious, too.  Yum.

Then we went bowling. I love bowling, but we haven’t gone in so long. The alleys always make me feel like I’m in the 1980s and I love how they do nothing to update their decor. It just wouldn’t be the same if they did.

And check out my new kicks!

I got these on clearance for 19.99. It makes me feel better wearing my own shoes, and these ones are so much nicer than the rentals at the bowling alley. The last time we went, my boyfriend got shoes that had been worn so many times, the soles were basically worn through and they were just gross.. after that, I went on the search for cheap shoes and found these ones, orginially 199.99, for $20! It costs $5 each time to rent shoes, so if I go 4 times, they’re paid for… 3 to go. =) I did really bad at bowling yesterday but it was still fun. I didn’t break 100 either time, sad.

After that we went home and watched Up in the Air from Netflix.. cute movie, but nothing to write home about. I love George Clooney though so that made it worth watching. A few hours later we ordered some unpictured pizza, but this time I didn’t eat the whole thing.. baby steps, right? I went to bed around 11 and couldn’t believe it was time to wake up at 7:30am when my alarm went off! I didn’t do anything to prepare for today like I usually do, ie pack my lunch, think about what to wear, etc. I did end up throwing together a delicious breakfast this morning before running off to work.

I mixed together a Strawberry Chobani with 1/2 cup rolled oats and then sliced a whole banana over it. I threw on some blackberries and 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips and devoured the bowl at my desk. Really delish. I think it’s great that you can eat rolled oats mixed into yogurt and its not necessary to let it sit overnight. It’s definitely thicker and a different texture than overnight oats, but they are still so good if they don’t sit together.

I got into work today and had about 50 new emails from the weekend… it’s going to be one of those kind of days! Gotta get cracking. Happy Monday!

Present

Hi! I’m going to make this quick because I want to get to bed so I can get some sleep before my race tomorrow!! Eek! I’m excited but getting nervous now that its very quickly approaching. We did a bit of shopping today (Costco, Target, etc) and after that, we had an amazing dinner, the best Vietnamese food I have had in a lonnng time (dare I say, ever?!) We went to this place called Present that I’ve been dying to try and it seriously blew me away. The wait staff was really friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, and the restaurant was packed, which is usually a good sign. We had to wait a little while for our table, but it was totally worth it. The menu was pretty extensive and I saw a ton of items I wanted to try, but there was a “Chef’s Recommendations” page at the end of the menu that had highlights from the whole menu. We decided just to stick with that part of the menu since that helped limit the choices somewhat and we didn’t know where to start! I had the spring rolls (shrimp only) to start:

These were delicious and really fresh. The sauce they came with was a little different than normal and just incredible. For my main course I got something called “Treasures from the Sea.” It was actually on the starter menu but was a dinner size. On the menu, it’s described as, “A salad made with fresh pineapple, julienned carrots, sweet onion, lemongrass, fried garlic, roasted peanut, tiger shrimp, and ivory calamari on a bed of half cut pineapple.” I love pineapple, shrimp, and calamari, so I figured this would be a good choice.

And boy was I right! I just wish I had eaten it a bit slower because it was so good but over so fast because I basically inhaled it! 😛 The pineapple was perfectly ripe and the flavor of the salad was just amazing. It also came with those rice crackers that are fried, that were perfect for eating the salad off of. Ah I seriously can’t even convey how out of this world this was. I cannot wait to go back because there are so many other things on the menu I want to try! The presentations of everything we saw come out of the kitchen were just gorgeous. Down to the little details…

Like the white radish flower that was on my plate next to the half pineapple the salad was served in. So, so good! I think I found my new favorite Vietnamese restaurant!

Off to bed!! Be back tomorrow after I’m done the race!! Eek!

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