As is tradition on Thursday nights, I’m just getting around to posting about last weekend. It was a nice weekend, but one of those where you have no idea where the time went.
Friday, we stayed in and I made a giant lasagna to go with a lovely wine that we brought home from Sonoma. This is the first bottle we’ve had since the trip, and I’m already sad that one is gone. I’m one of those wine hoarders who rarely opens what I buy because then I’ll be sad!
I’ve been sleeping poorly lately, so I didn’t make it up for my favorite Metcon class at the gym. So sad because it’s one of my favorite workouts all week. I ended up just doing some intervals of running and lifting and then who knows how morning turned into evening. Matt’s company had a big Christmas party downtown, and it was fun to get dressed up.
We spent a good part of the evening at his group’s pre-party where they had the best jumbo shrimp and Manhattans. I’ve finally figured out that I need to order bourbon drinks straight-up so that I’m not racing against melting ice for the best flavor.
The food at the main event was pretty good and I loved the mini pies for dessert. Sadly, we didn’t do any dancing because we were so deep in conversations. Does this mean I’m getting old?
We ended the weekend at Malai, where we tried the Thai-inspired brunch. I really enjoyed the shrimp eggs benedict on coconut biscuits!
I’ve been going to bed ridiculously early this week. I’m feeling a little off, but not sick, and with 20+ cases of flu at my school, I’m trying to take care of myself before it’s too late!Read More
I’m just getting around to posting about the lovely dinner I had Saturday night. We’ve been holding on to a gift card from Matt’s parents for quite some time – saving it for a fun surprise. We didn’t have a single thing planned last weekend (I’m loving this!), so we got dressed up and walked down to Stampede 66. It’s a Texas themed restaurant, by chef Pyles – one of my favs.
We both started with cocktails. I ordered a mint julep and asked for a Texas bourbon. It was perfect!
We debated if we should waste space on bread, but we simply couldn’t say no to jalapeño cheddar cornbread. We also ordered the jam of the day, which was strawberry. Both were superb!
I was curious about the frito pie (with house made fritos), but didn’t want to fill up on chili with so many entrees to pick from, so we asked if we could just get a cup and they said yes! The chili was delish and quite rich.
We shared the redfish with fried crab and a mole verde sauce. The crab and the sauce with the fish made for an incredible combo. Sadly, there was only a tiny bit of crab, and once we ate it, the fish was rather bland. I loved the sauce though.
We also ordered brisket with house made pickles and ranchero beans. Our first round of brisket came out cold (weird), so we sent it back. The second round came out sizzlin’ and was divine. Maybe the best brisket I’ve had? The sauce was perfect.
We went all-out and finished the meal with a triple berry cobbler. This was on the savory side, but the ice cream balanced it out and the crust was an awesome texture.
Overall, the service was excellent and most of the food was fabulous. The restaurant is decorated with lots of Texas stuff, which does make it feel a bit touristy. It’s a cool vibe, but something about it felt a little empty, even though it was full of people. I think it was just the spacing between tables.
I’m off to bed. Enjoy the rest of the week.
PS: thanks for all your comments on bed bugs. Who know you were all experts! I read the comments and did some more research, and I don’t think I have them. It still makes me a little uneasy having bites on my legs, so I may still have the situation checked out:)Read More
The food in Turkey was ridiculously good. And oh so fresh!
There were markets with beautiful fruit. I had sooo many cherries at breakfast every morning. Given that we were near the water, there was also wonderful local seafood and we enjoyed seabass 4-5 times during the trip.
The Turks start their meals with mezes, small dishes or snacks that are usually served cold. I was obsessed! The only problem was that we would often order a couple and eat them with lots of bread, and then be too full for our entrees:)
Another dish I was in love with was warm hummus served with hot pastrami. I could eat this for days.
For snacks, we would sometimes stop by one of the many juice stands for freshly squeezed juice,
or duck into a spice store for giant medjool dates.
And the bakeries, oh the bakeries, were delightful, and on every corner. Matt and I made it our goal to try all the varieties of baklava and would search for the best-looking bakery after dinner each night.
Waffles stuffed with toppings were also a thing over there. Although it doesn’t look as delicious as it tasted, this soft waffle was filled with dark chocolate, caramel, bananas, strawberries, and sprinkles; it was to-die-for.
I drank lots of Turkish wine. Although most food in Turkey was less expensive than in the US, the alcohol was pricey. I stuck to local Turkish wine and beer, because cocktails were $15-$20! The Turkish reds weren’t too flavorful (although we had one or two good ones), but the roses and the whites were great. I’m not usually a rose girl, but I got into them on this trip. Side note: the bar below is called Mikla and had the most incredible views of the city. You MUST go for a drink if you are ever in Istanbul!
The local beer, Efes, came in a dark variety that both Matt and I loved.
We had many wonderful meals, and I obviously didn’t document all of them, but here are a few highlights:
Meze by Lemon Tree (above). I choose this for our last night of the trip (we were back in Istanbul) because the menu is mostly modern mezes. We ordered 6 cold ones and 3 hot ones and every dish was incredible. It was phenomenal.
Another great restaurant was Banyan in Ortakoy. Although this restaurant was Asian fusion and not Turkish, it had the most beautiful view of the water and I had to share the caramelized sea bass and quinoa shredded salad picture because it was probably the best salad I’ve ever had!
Lastly, we had a really nice meal on our first night at a modern Turkish restaurant called Lokanta Maya
Above are shredded wheat balls stuffed with feta and honey and below, fried zucchini.
We also had fresh clams and more seabass!
I think the Turkish food was my favorite part of the trip! After avoiding dairy for most of this year, the feta and yogurt tasted extra heavenly. Aside from being uncomfortably full some nights, I didn’t have any issues with bloating. I was religious about taking my probiotics while traveling, and I think they are making all the difference (either that or I’m just not stressed about finding a job anymore:) Anyway, I’m just so thankful that I was able to enjoy all the Turkish food and still feel pretty good!
I’ll share some pictures from Bodrum and Matt’s 30th next!Read More
Happiest of Mondays to you guys!
We did a whole lotta nothing on Friday and Sunday so that we could go all out on Saturday! For the first time in a while, we didn’t even put any effort in Friday dinner – we just had leftovers and went to bed.
Saturday, we drove out to the burbs to celebrate the adorable Rosco – he turned one! Time is flying – I can’t imagine how fast it moves when you’re a parent!
I was so excited to see the wine list because they had many bottles for $25-$32!! I love this restaurant just for that! We splurged for this bottle of malbec and it was wonderful!
We skipped the entree and just ordered a few small plates. Less is more these days.
This is the pork belly tacu tacu (lentil cake) with fig compote. It was absolutely perfect and the pork just melted in my mouth.
Next, the lobster sweet corn tamale with fried avocado – also fabulous.
The duck tacos were probably my favorite and they came with two salsas, cilantro, and a little tower of limes for seasoning!
Last of the small plates was the crab arepa.
The waiter talked us into desserts too, which were incredible: the sweet banana tamale (holy moly, so good),
the sweet potato donuts!!!
I was already completely in love with San Salvaje and then Chef Pyles stopped by our table to chat!! He’s been traveling to South America for years and created the restaurant based on his experiences. We’re hoping to plan a trip down there in the near future and got his recommendations for cities. He was so sweet and even went into the back to look up some names of restaurants in his notes and came back to share them with us later. He was down-to-earth and friendly, and now I’m an even bigger fan:)
Have a good week.Read More
Pizza and wine is becoming a Friday favorite! We opened a local bottle that we received from a friend. It was light and spicy.
I threw together a pizza with leftovers from our pineapple crockpot chicken along with sheep’s manchego, spicy bbq sauce, and cilantro. Pizza is always good. And we watched Rent because I had never seen it! I was impressed Matt knew many of the songs:)
Saturday we hit up bootcamp and made a hearty lunch in preparation for some beer drinkin. We were supposed to attend a crawfish boil, but because of the weather, the gathering turned into a visit to Community Brewing. We had been once before, and this time they had a new bar area and many more choices. I accidentally drank all three pints, and after hours of conversation, we decided to go in search of dinner. It was a lovely afternoon and I made new friends in addition to catching up with newish old ones.
We wanted something low-key, so we walked to the Rustic for Texas homestyle cookin.
They had a great beer list, but I decided on a pricky pear margarita in honor of our trip to AZ (but really because I was tired of beer!).
We shared two apps and a burger. Above, the cactus fritters (soo good), and below, the smoked catfish and crackers.
The burger was a bit dry, but I loved the bun and the green chilies that were served with it. The mashed sweet potatoes were amazing!
We rarely get dessert in restaurants, and were def. not planning to order one on Saturday, but then I saw this go by….
A giant peanut butter pie – who can resist?
I usually get to the grocery store on Friday or Saturday, but didn’t make it this week, so we decided brunch was in order on Sunday. We went to Sundown on Granada, which is officially my new favorite brunch spot! It’s on the hippy side and has incredible vegetarian and vegan options. We had been once before, but only sat at the bar for apps. I started with the vegan green drink made with kale, bananas, berries, cucumbers, mint, agave, and it really hit the spot.
We definitely only needed one brunch entree, but I had no idea they were gonna be so big! I had their version of a vegan benedict, which was swiss chard, sweet potato hash, chipotle-avocado sauce, and fire roasted salsa, over a housemade quinoa burger. I’ve been a bit disappointed in quinoa burgers lately, but this one was full of flavor (and giant).
Matt’s benedict was ridiculously good too, and consisted of Shiner brisket and bbq hollandaise over whole wheat molasses toast. I was in a definite food coma after this brunch, but it was good for grocery shopping afterwards because I stuck to my list exactly. And good fuel for the week! I’m working three days and have yet another interview. Hope yall had a good Monday! Adios.Read More