Archive for the 'dining out' category

July 18th, 2008

» weekend deliciousness

A brief not-so-brief & awesome summary of my awesome weekend:

Get up unconscionably early on Saturday for an airport pick-up. Leave home a little earlier than usual, as the last three or four times the flight was early; halfway down the hall from my apartment think to go back for a book, since I’m surely jinxing things leaving at such an hour. Arrive and park by the curb’s absolutely-no-parking,-unloading-only! sign and read a bit. Read a bit more. Read a while longer. Finally get out the cell and spend a while puzzling over Sun Country’s website. Finally find the bit where it says the flight’s an hour late. Triumph over having brought the book at least; read some more.

Breakfast at Al’s, where the surly waitress is working the front grill again. When our supposed-to-be dry wally blues are up she sets the plate in front of us, steamy blue-y cakes with a big globe of melting butter on top; after double-checking our order slip she grabs a napkin and plucks the butter off. During my last two bites I realize there are sadly no walnuts in these wally blues. Still, I forgive Al’s this, as the previous eggshell incident, and the pancakes-tasting-like-bacon incident. I love Al’s.

Back at my apartment we pause for ginger carrot cake, then head out to Buffalo to watch the girls from my barn show. Friday they made a great hue and cry about the idea of us not coming, so here we are. The show is moving unbelievably fast, and we are there only long enough to share out half the remaining cake and watch three classes. We make the trek eastward once more.

After a stop for lunch (hummus wrap! cool-oretto!) we spend a delirious time in Target loading the cart with clearanced toys, then head to the rodeo, where we meet up with my parents, Alex, and Peyton. The rodeo is wonderful: bronc and bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing. Alex loves it and at intermission and after the show is over he spends an alternately serious and ecstatic while sitting in each of the five tractors on display, twisting the steering wheels and jiggling all the levers. We try to interest him in the wee adorable cowboy hats; he wants to try on a few of the pink ones but mostly wants to go back to the tractors for lever-jiggling.

We retire to my apartment to unpackage our toy-loot, then head to my parents’ for dinner and baby-holding. Afterwards we return home and play an endless game of Pirateology. We head to bed at a not-unconscionable hour and then stay up discussing improvements for the game’s rules.

* * *

I’ve been writing this since this past Monday (July 14). It’s waving it’s little ‘Send Help!’ flag — if I don’t post it now, I never will. So, actually brief this time: Sunday was equally awesome, and involved a trip to the Wienery (LOVED it) for veg hot dogs and fresh-cut fries and a root beer float, then a stop by Fast and Furless to get vegan marshmallows (they exist in Minneapolis!) and a vegan s’more-thing (Bryce contends that because it had chocolate around the outside instead of on the inside it doesn’t count as a s’more, so we didn’t actually eat three). Then over to the Walker for their outdoor exhibits: art mini golf and Design for the Other 90%; both received thumbs up from us. Back home we tested and approved our new Pirateology rules (so much better than the rules-as-written), and also set my smoke detector off roasting marshmallows over my stove. So worth it. And we only set it off a little, and quickly devised a fan scheme that’s been worked beautifully since then. Then failed to install 11th Hour on my computer and installed Omikron instead. I have no idea why I never made it past the first ten minutes the last three times I tried to play it, because it was really fun. Then again, maybe it’s all in the company.

November 19th, 2007

» in which I go on and on

(So I thought I was going to mention this incident briefly and then ask y’all to help me name my horse, but it turned into a big old vent so, you know. Feel free to move along.)

Saturday a bunch of us went to the Bulldog NE. I heart the Bulldog — in fact, I did a quick search just now and am shocked to discover that I apparently have not yet sung the praises of truffle tots here. They may be one of my favorite foods ever. Tater tots, parmesan-crusted and finished with truffle oil. Sinfully delicious. I am a fan of their whole concept, and the vibe of their menu, and in the last month have delighted in their black bean burger and Venezuelan not-dog — a tofu dog finished with mayo, mustard, ketchup, onions, cabbage, and crushed potato chips. It’s a wonderful dog variation, and the Bulldog’s the only place in the Cities that I know of that serves veggie dogs (I’m sure other places exist; I just haven’t found them).

So on Saturday I ordered the Venezuelan not-dog again, and when it came took a delighted bite, and chewed and froze. It tasted real. Really real. I eyed it, and poked at the dog part a bit, and it looked really real too — sort of pinkish and whirled and pulling apart in that way beef hot dogs have. Tofu dogs, if you don’t already know, are shaped like hot dogs but they’re much more processed-seeming — the texture is — mealier, softer, more pureed — more like bologna. And they taste tofuish. This? This tasted like a beef hot dog. I consulted with Jo, and she poked at it a bit, and agreed that it looked just exactly like beef, and after some uncomfortable conversation she (bless her also-vegetarian heart!) tasted it, and agreed it tasted like beef. So I consulted the waitress, who was all Oh yeah, we’ve been getting that a lot, it’s a not-dog, it just looks really real. And I pressed, because hello I’m the vegetarian, I know how tofu dogs are supposed to taste, and she said she’d ask the kitchen and she took the basket and rolled her eyes and went to double-check. Rolled her eyes. Seriously?

And she brought it back a minute later and plunked the basket back in front of me, sort of snotty and triumphant-like, and said They say it is absolutely a not-dog. And off she flounced. So I poked at it a little more, and squirmed and was unhappy, and finally got someone else at the table to try it, and she also agreed it was beef. And I still couldn’t believe the waitress had actually rolled her eyes at me — seriously. Seriously. Like it’s so inconceivable that a vegetarian gets served a meat product in a restaurant, like these things never happen, like it’s not a pain in my ass to have to be so vigilant about this kind of crap — and furthermore like maybe I should just shut up and eat the possibly-beef. So next time she came around I told her again, I’m sorry but we all think this is beef, so she went to get the manager, who was really nice and also said that they’ve been getting that a lot, but then went on to explain that they’ve just switched vendors and doesn’t it taste really real?

And yeah, it does taste really real, which is why I can’t eat it. She offered to have another one made but I thanked her and said no, that I just couldn’t eat it, it tasted too real, and she was very nice about the whole thing and didn’t look like she was even thinking of rolling her eyes at me — but also didn’t take it off my bill, which I thought was a little…well, whatever, I ordered it and didn’t like it, my loss I guess. But I think they should give some warning in the menu or something. I don’t know. The thing about tofu dogs is that they’re not really all that good. Their taste and texture is not fabulous, but they’re a hot-dog-shaped vehicle for tasty condiments like cabbage and potato chips, and there are times when it’s about nostalgia and not taste, and something glorious about being able to order a fake hot dog at a restaurant. Same goes for most fake meat products, for me. They’re not usually my first choice in vegetarian dining, but sometimes I want something called chickn that’s prepared just like the usual thing and looks and tastes almost just like it. Almost. Because it’s creepy if it’s exact. Really, really creepy, and kind of disgusting. I guess the kind of vegetarians who wish they could still eat meat and long for the exact taste and texture and all that would be delighted about this, but I don’t know any of those kinds of vegetarians. (Well, wait. Maybe — Bryce? Not that you long for it, necessarily, but it probably wouldn’t squick you out.)

Anyway, it just seems a little misguided. And makes me sad. I still very much love the Bulldog, and will be hoping for the day they go back to their original not-dog vendor, with dogs that are almost but, you know, not.

April 18th, 2007

» training log: 04/08 – 04/14

04/08 Sun: 50 min C+S
04/09 Mon: riding
04/10 Tue: riding
04/11 Wed: rest
04/12 Thu: riding
04/13 Fri: riding (lesson)
04/14 Sat: 45 min C+S

Also on Saturday? Best vegetarian fajitas ever. In Chanhassen, of all places. Mmm cactus paddle. I am so in love. I want cactus paddles in everything I eat from now on. (Okay, yeah, not everything, but they’re very tasty!)

April 12th, 2007


It’s a good day. Sort of. Weirdly. Between these random crabby bouts of really wanting to throttle someone, I’m in a great mood.

I got my hair cut last night, which is always always a fabulous experience at Moxie. I love love love my stylist (who always makes my hair decisions for me when I ask her, which is so awesome), and the woman who washed my hair (best scalp massage ever), and the receptionist, and just the whole vibe. Everyone always seems happy to be there. It’s like a present to myself to get my hair cut. (Which is good because I have been spending money like a drunken sailor this month and being really happy with how I spend it eases the raging guilt.) And then Jo and I went to Jasmine Deli, where I ate way too much but it was all fabulous — I’ve been craving their mock duck curry sandwich for months, and the day demanded noodles (the snow never did really stop).

And today? Today is a day for finding things. After weeks of waiting for my watch and ring to turn up (and worrying about it surprisingly little, considering it’s the ring I’ve worn almost every day for the last six and a half years — some things I just trust to the universe, though, and stuff turning back up is one of them), it occurred to me that I hadn’t checked the pocket of one of the hoodies I almost never wear, and there it was! Not ten minutes later I was heading out, and there on the bulletin board by the back door were two little rusting keys stuck up with a safety pin: the very two that vanished last fall while I was swapping some things in my storage locker. (They were the two extra for my locker and my bike lock, so I wasn’t without a way into either, and again — there are some things that aren’t worth worrying about.) I’m very excited about what else I might find today. Spring, perhaps?

March 27th, 2007

» training log: 03/11 – 03/24

03/11 Sun: gym
03/12 Mon: gym
03/13 Tue: gym
03/14 Wed: gym
03/15 Thu: nada (walking?)
03/16 Fri: nada
03/17 Sat: nada

I kind of don’t want to think about the amount of dessert I ate last week, so let me just say: chocolate treasure chest. Filled with chocolate mousse. And berries. With cheesecake. And that, folks, was just for one meal. The Hyatt has the food thing down. (The service thing is another story entirely; I don’t think there was a single lunch where someone didn’t try to serve me the non-vegetarian entree, despite my special little bright turquoise card.)

…and that was where my attempt at an entry ended over a week ago. So. F’ing. Busy.

03/18 Sun: rest
03/19 Mon: 50 min C+S
03/20 Tue: riding
03/21 Wed: fam dinner
03/22 Thu: riding (lesson)
03/23 Fri: scrapbooking weekend! (aka nothing)
03/24 Sat: scrapbooking weekend!