Tag Archives: Restaurants

Gracias Madre (San Francisco, CA)

After dinner out at Tortuga’s this weekend (which you can read all about here) I could not stop thinking about Mexican food! Rather than going back for a third round of delicious over indulgence in two weeks (you can judge me after you try it) I figured I’d take the lower calorie option of writing about it.

So you’ll notice that the title of this post has nothing to do with Mexican turtles or Princeton, NJ. The delicious little treasure that I’m going to tell you about is from my most recent trip to San Francisco, CA. The little iPad snafoo that occurred during this trip made posting very unattractive to me for a while. I think our relationship is more or less on the mend now though, so here we go 🙂

On Friday, the first day of my trip, Dr. M and I decided to go into SF to roam around without having to battle the weekend crowds of irritating tourists (not that I should be included in this group or anything…)

Note: Friday = weekend in touristville 😦

So, instead of standing in line for the cable cars and elbowing our way through the wharf we wandered our way through the Mission district for a calm afternoon and some good eats.

Enter Gracias Madre.

This cute little joint had outdoor seating, live music and a local, organic, seasonal, vegan, Mexican menu.
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What?!?!

The menu

GM’s menu is seasonal and vegan. It is determined by what is currently available at their local organic farm, BE LOVE Farm, in Pleasants Valley, CA. All of their cheeses and milks and ice creams are made using nuts and their tortillas and tamales are handmade from non-GMO organic heirloom corn. They typically have a selection of antojitos, entradas, sides and postres.
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We ordered three items to share.

1) The quesadilla de camote with sweet potato and caramelized onions folded into tortillas with cashew nacho cheese and pumpkin seed salsa
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2) Gorditas, grilled potato-masa cakes topped with warm salsa verde, avocado and cashew cream
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3) Empandads, homemade pastries filled with grilled plantains, served on a bed of spice mole sauce and topped with cashew cream
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Now I always get super excited about pumpkin dishes. And they seem to be trending right now – lets put pumpkin in this, lets put pumpkin in that. So, I’m not sure if I was too excited, or if they quesadilla wasn’t totally thought through before it was put on the menu, but there was too much pumpkin! I’m also not the biggest sweet potato fan (which seem to be everyone else’s hottest crush right now) so maybe that had something to do with it. Maybe. Probably. Anyway, the over-pumpkin + sweet potato gripe aside, the food was fantastic.

To be honest/fair/whatever, the flavors and textures were not those of your typical Mexican food. Frankly, I think this should be expected given that the dishes are made from very different ingredients. It isn’t a bad thing, you just can’t expect to taste cheese when use almonds. With this expectation, the food was delicious. It was fresh and rich and filling yet not heavy.

The staff

The staff was great. The waitress was helpful and the music troupe that migrated around the patio (and maybe inside as well) was adorable.

The ambiance

The ambiance was great too. The restaurant is on a relatively busy street in the Mission neighborhood and there are buses and cars and people going back and forth in front of the front patio. This gave it a nice cozy neighborhood feel.

And complementary blessings from La Madre herself!
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Gracias Madre! 😉

The inside is a little bit more done up — nice tables, decor, lighting, etc… It was a great place for an afternoon lunch and I would anticipate that it’s a hot date night destination.

$$

Very reasonable. Main dishes are <$15, sides are <$5 and our antojitos were <$10 each. We had plenty of food and given the quality of the ingredients used (which I am willing to pay more for), I think this is very affordable.

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Columbia Firehouse (Washington DC)

As anticipated, Dr. A and I ended our Saturday (American History Museum + massage day) with a most perfect dinner at the Columbia Firehouse in Alexandria. CF is owned by the same people who have ….

The menu

To start with the wine and beer list was a fun place to start with draught and bottle beer from all over the US (although mostly from the NE) and wine from all over the world. My DC Brau Pauncy oatmeal stout was a good choice. The dinner menu for actual food had a short list of petite snacks, mussels, raw bar items, sandwiches, salads, small plates, supper items, sides, chop-house pieces and daily plates. There were only about two to ten items under each section of the menu, but they ALL looked delicious! It was great to have a bunch of different options for how to approach dinner without being overwhelmed.

Dr. A and I decided to share a few smaller items on the menu so we didn’t have to pick just one thing. I strongly recommend this approach as everything we got was delicious and plenty of other things were also calling my name.

In no particular order…

We each got a bowl of the pumpkin basil soup which was fantastic!

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pumpkin basil soup

It wasn’t so much that it’d be a good stand alone dinner, but it worked great as one of our many dinner parts 🙂

We also go the anson mills roasted heirloom hominy off of the petite snacks –

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anson mills roasted heirloom hominy

And the cornbread panzanella with buttermilk vinaigrette off of the sides –

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cornbread panzanella with buttermilk vinaigrette

This was so so so good, despite looking like it was saturated in too much dressing, which it was not. If there was a gun to my head and I had to pick one favorite dish, this one would probably be it. Who doesn’t keep talking about food with a gun to their head?

We also got the buttermilk brined onion rings off of the small plates.

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buttermilk brined onion rings + cornbread muffins

Dinner also came with the best complementary corn bread muffins (they are hanging out with the onion rings above).

The staff

The waitress was nice and helpful enough. There was nothing remarkable about her and that was just fine. The rest of the staff were nice and helpful as well.

The ambiance

So I’m not sure what the building used to be that the CF has taken over, but now it’s damn cool. We were actually seated in what used to be a big hallway leading from a door to the outside to another room in the back (now a dining room). There were benches for the sides of the table against the wall and chairs for the other sides of the table. The ceiling was super high with interesting old light fixtures, dark wood and bras lined the walls, and the whole restaurant was cozy and warm. There was a bar in another large dining room off of the hallway and additional rooms upstairs. The background chatter/noise level was nice, and there was no problem holding a conversation.

$$

Considering the quality and quantity of food we got the prices were VERY reasonable. To be quite honest, we both ate more than we probably should have (what would be fun if we didn’t do that though?) and I was drinking (as usual) and the bill was still less than $30/person (including tip). Of course, this probably isn’t the best plan for dinner every night of the week (as I would be broke and needing an ever expanding – in the wrong direction – wardrobe) but it was most definitely a perfect plan for our Saturday night!

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Thanksgiving 2013

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. I had an awesome holiday and an absolute shit-storm of a week to follow (see Week 18 + 1), hence this being just a bit belated. The good news is that rattling on and on about good food never gets old for me, so I’m perfectly happy sharing all of the delicious details re: my Thanksgiving over a week after the fact 🙂

To begin, everything is yummier at a balmy 65 F with the sound of the ocean in the background. (And no, I do not miss the cold and snow during the holidays one damn bit, they do not make it feel more festive and Thanksgiving/Christmasy, they just make it feel cold and snowy.)

Next, everything is yummier when it is prepared for you by a personal chef and his first mate…

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To acquire the strength to get through this most strenuous day, we first made a batch of homemade mac-n-cheese for lunch. That’s exactly what one needs for lunch on Thanksgiving day, right?

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mmmmmmm 🙂

Then it was on to the more serious tasks of the day…

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You can never have too much stuffing!

This is the vegetarian's  assignment?

This is the vegetarian’s assignment?

Before...

Before…

...and after!

…and after!

Dr.T: Maroof, can you beat two eggs for me please? **five minutes later Dr. M: Maroof 2, eggs zero! Dr. T: sigh

Dr.T: Maroof, can you beat two eggs for me please?
**five minutes later**
Dr. M: Maroof 2, eggs zero!
Dr. T: sigh

Never-the-less, our beautiful tripple berry and pumpkin pies

Never-the-less, our beautiful triple berry and pumpkin pies

Can you guess whose is whose?

Can you guess whose is whose?

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you negate 18 weeks of marathon training!

In addition to a most gluttonous Thursday, we took the next 3 days to do nothing but eat and drink our way through Napa Valley. (See above comment.)

We managed to hit 4 wineries on both Friday and Saturday and two on Sunday before heading home in our understated vehicle…

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Out of character at all?

1. Laird

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That’s a little more like it!

Laird is small, family owned and operated estate vineyard and winery. You get a very nice tasting for $20 and a list of recommendations that should be taken with a grain of salt.

2. Domaine Chandon
Domaine Chandon was an over-commercial, over-plastic, under-authentic, non-appreciated experience. We tasted 4 sparkling wines here for $20, all of which I could have done without. I would not suggest visiting if you are looking for good wine or interesting vineyard/winery experiences. I would however recommend stopping here to survey both employees and clientele for who NOT to trust with your next cosmetic surgery.

3. Turnbull
Turnbull is a medium-sized family owned and operated vineyard and winery. For $20 the tasting was great, one of the best of the weekend, and the self guided vineyard tour was a pleasant way to sober up before getting back behind the wheel.

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Turnbull

I kid.

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Given the chance to ride a Ditch Witch, you’d be stupid not to!

(Just not now.)

4. Cosentino
Cosentino was a great way to end the first day of tasting. It’s a relative new (1980) but has quickly become regarded as a top winery in the valley. And for good reason. Again, they offer a very nice tasting for $20.

5. Mumm

Mumm Winery was the first stop of day 2. We took the ~1 hr long tour and tasted 3 wines. The tour was very well done with the right amount of info and entertainment. It kept moving without feeling rusehd or lagging. Plus, we got our glasses refilled 3 times en route, which didn’t hurt I’m sure. Regardless, not half bad for $25 each.

6. V. Sattui

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V. Sattui

V. Sattui was great. We got to taste just about everything on the menu for our $20 tasting and had fantastic help. This is the one place that we ended up purchasing something, to be cracked open next time I’m in CA. Here’s to hoping it lasts that long!

To complement the fun tasting, there was a retail shop with a bunch of chocolates and cheeses to pair with the wine and a BBQ outside for lunch if you were hungary and around during that part of the day. We were and got a lamb sandwich + a margarita pizza. Both were super good.

7. Prager Port

Prager was maybe my #1 pick of the weekend. It’s a little tiny family owned and operated port winery. Now I love port, so this might be skewing my opinion just a titch, but they had really great Port.

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Prager

AND, their back tasting room was covered in dollar bills from around the world. (This totally makes the wine that much better…even when you buy it to drink at home…) Of course we signed a dollar and hung it next to the Zimbabwe dollar so we could hang out with Master David and the Fresh Prince of Delaware for eternity in the port cellar. Or until we get stapled over…

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Evidence that we were here! (Until we get stappled over by the next port-loving drunk…)

8. Castello di Amorosa

Now the Cstello di Amorosa is very new and a bit over the top for me. It’s an (admittedly beautiful) replica Italian castle. But, it is a replica castle. In California. Maybe this objection makes me a bit of a Italian castle snob, but it just isn’t my deal. (And of course my deal is the right deal….right?) That being said, we took some really nice pictures and had a great time walking around the castle grounds…

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Castello di Amorosa

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Our new dining room.

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Yummy 🙂

The wine tasting was in a cellar tasting room and while the ambiance was great, thea assistance left something to be desired. We split 2 tastings and sampled all of the reds and all of the desert wines…none of which I can complain about.

4x dessert wines

4x dessert wines 🙂

After all of these adventures, we found some feathery and/or furry friends and gathered our strength for the drive back to Napa.

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The week’s survivors…

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…and their goat and sheep friends.

9. Hess

The Hess Vineyard, Winery and Art collection was a bit off the beaten trail and came to us upon the recommendation of Laird (one of their better suggestions). The grounds were beautiful, the 3 stories of modern art were super fun, the free personal vineyard (with 90 yr old vines!!) and winery tour that we went on was most informative and the wines we tasted (for $20) were delicious. This is another top hit of the weekend for me.

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Cold Hess

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Pretty Hess

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PSA: Every vineyard/winery should also be an art museum.

10. Domaine Carneros

Now for some reason I wasn’t nearly as offended by Domaine Carneros as I was by Domaine Chandon, but it had the same vibe — oversized, plastic and commercial. On the bright side here, we had a table to ourselves on a patio with a beautiful view on a beautiful day. The tasting menu was also sparking wines. The three that we tasted were definitely not my top wines of the weekend, but a hell of a step up from Domaine Chandon.

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Domaine Carneros

And with that it was back to Berkeley and then back to the reality of NJ and my F32. Joy.

It was a wonderful 5 days holiday regardless of what was waiting for me. For next time we have learned to scout out the small, less advertised and less traveled options. We will also have to incorporate sections of both Sonoma Valley and the Russian River Valley. There is so much wine tasting yet to be done!! 🙂

Cheers!

 

 

 

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Peace Food (NYC)

My Top Secret Accomplice Dr. Allison and Top Dog Sir Jack recently came to visit for the weekend. Unfortunately Top Dog Sir Jack was suffering from a bum hip and couldn’t strut his Top self around town as he had hoped. Fortunately (sorry Jack) this left Dr. A and I able to spend the day in The City (NYC if you somehow don’t just assume this when you hear the word “city”) relatively guilt free. While I probably should spend the post discussing the time we spent at the Science Museum – the awesome dinosaur exhibits, the whale in his great hall and the display of meteors and meteorites in the space exhibit – I will instead blabber on about the restaurant of the weekend, Peace Food. We (by “we” I mean “Dr. A”) found this perfect little joint by using our (our =her) mad Yelping skills with a focus on the upper west side. Now for me, using Yelp often ends up being a bit of a crap shoot. Allison rocked this crap shoot!

Peace Food is very much what you’d assume from its name — a hippy dippy local organic vegan vegetarian friendly bomb of a restaurant…

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There is a bakery, juice bar, sandwiches, salads, soups, take out options and tables for dining in. The staff are super friendly and cheery and, frankly, so are your fellow patrons (…albeit a bit malnourished looking in some cases…but never mind…)

The menu

We went for lunch at 2 pm or so and had a great menu to choose from. The dishes are largely familiar items but with a hint of Peace Food personalization. Frankly, everything looked great and as the tables around us got their food, the decision just got harder and harder to make.

We were both actually in the mood for soups so in the end Dr. A got the leek soup while I went all in for the vegetarian chili…and then we split the Asian greens salad on the side. Now my fat self is always one to worry that I’m going to have enough to eat, and of course I was concerned that this little soup and salad wasn’t going to do the trick. Dr. Trott was wrong! (Surprising, I know.) The bowl of chili was serious and the corn bread removed any shred of doubt that I’d still be hungry. To be honest though, our salad is probably the one item that I’d recommend if I could only pick one. The greens were perfect, the cheese was fantastic the tempeh was perfectly done and the Asian dressing was equally interesting and delicious. If/when I go back, I would also like to give the juice bar a try. They had a well oiled operation going on behind the counter that I was kinda bummed about being too full to partake!

The staff

Our waiter was excellent and that really seemed to be a prerequisite for working there. Super helpful, attentive, nice, personable, talkative — but not too much. We had exactly what we needed when we needed it and could enjoy our lunch without feeling smothered. The atmosphere, with loads of positive energy, was undoubtedly a product of this. If you like good service you won’t be disappointed.

The ambiance

Peace Food has a great ambiance/atmosphere.

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The restaurant is bright and open and filled with funky decorations, cheery people and delicious smells. The staff set a great mood which, IMHO, draws in a great clientele. The dining room is high, positive energy, without being overwhelming or stifling. There is chatter and movement and commotion, but just the right amount.

$$

“Vegan, vegetarian, local, organic” (never mind “Upper West Side”) generally = three days of fasting to follow, but Peace Food was very affordably priced. Now, if you’re looking for a dollar menu this might not be the best fit for you, but we got really great food at a very reasonable price. Both the quantity and quality of all the grub we got was outstanding. <$20/person for a great lunch of familiar yet interesting dishes made from high quality ingredients in a most delightful atmosphere. I will definitely be going back, and dragging my friends with me. (Friends, consider this your warning.)

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Tortuga’s (Princeton, NJ)

Not to sound like a broken record (I can’t help it), but this post is way over due. Upon arriving at Princeton in June, one of my top orders of business was to get the scoop on the top eating (and running) and eating opportunities in town, of course. Upon my declaration of love for good authentic Mexican comida, I was directed to the wonderful Tortuga’s. This cozy little restaurant is located off the tourist (and undergrad…but never mind…) beaten path in the neighborhood on the north-west side of town. They don’t take reservations and typically have a bit (it really isn’t bad) of a wait but they start you off with bottomless and fantastic homemade salsa and chips and follow-up with dishes that are well worth any wait. They are also BYOB/BYOW, which I have come to totally love (Come on, I am picky and cheap…a most endearing combination…don’t act surprised…) Anyway, this is where I took Dr. Samia when she moved to town (town = NJ … yes, this is totally fair) and where I have been with my group mates for dinner and where I took Dr. Allison for her first dinner in town (town = Princeton … Why are you confused?) and where I will insist on going with Dr. Maroof next time he is in town (town = your definition of choice).

Tortuga’s is a locally owned and reasonably authentic (as far as this Minnesota girl … with a thing for food and other cultures … can tell) Mexican joint. The menu is big, offering something for everyone, even a diverse set of vegetarian entrees. 🙂 The dining room is often quite crowded, loudish and the service is often a bit slow. Like I said, there is a reasonable amount of authenticity to the place and with the food comes the ambiance. Enjoy it. (I’m not being a smart ass here, for once.)

The menu

La Tortuga is open for both lunch and dinner. However, I have somehow (quite unbelievably) only been there for dinner so far! The dinner menu is large and constant, and I assume the lunch menu is similar. There are a nice variety of single entree dishes (variety in terms of preparation styles – tacos, burritos, chimichangas, tomales, tostadas, soaps, ensaladas, enchiladas… – and types of protein – steaks, pork, chicken, fish, beans, etc… – as well as combination plates. A word of warning is that all of the dishes are big so bringing half home for an awesome lunch is a good mindset to have before things spiral out of control (not that I know this from personal experience or anything…)

So I’m one to enjoy trying lots of new and different food so I have always gone with some form of vegetarian combination platter. The vegetarian burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas and tomales are all fantastic. The combo platters come with both beans and rice that totally hit the spot. In contrast, my dinner dates have always gone with some kind of main meat entree – steak or chicken have been the hot choices I think. I have yet to hear a complaint from any of them.

Additionally, thanks to agreeing to participate in a game of musical tables, Dr. A and I scored free desserts on our visit. It’s probably a good thing that I hadn’t looked at the dessert menu until then because they all looked amazing! In the end we “settled” on the key lime pie and the chocolate tort (when dessert is on the house you don’t split). Damn. Both were super good – just sweet enough for a satisfying end to a rich meal, but not over the top. Again, they were both good-sized (note: this is not a complaint) so in the event of actually having to pay for your dessert splitting might be a good choice.

The staff

The staff are authentic. They are friendly enough but not the speediest. It’s part of the charm though. Your food will come out correct and hot and in the order in which it was received. (I’ve been on hold with customer service too much recently…stupid glove box…never mind.) So, there really isn’t anything to complain about, but just be warned that if you’re on a tight schedule, either let them know ahead of time (this may or may not make a damn bit of difference) or think of doing dinner after the show.

The ambiance

The ambiance is authentic, cozy and busting. Everyone is there for a nice relaxing neighborhood dinner with friends and family. Plan to Do the same next time you’re in the Garden State 🙂

$$

Very reasonable. Entrees are ~$15 and can easily be 2 meals. NOTE: Tortuga’s is cash money only! YES, CASH ONLY! Not a big deal (unless you don’t bring cash and don’t have a particular fondness for washing a restaurant dining room worth of dishes on an overfull stomach of course), just remember to grab some green as you walk out the door. (Not that green…)

Anyway, the chips and salsa to start with are a nice added bonus and the BYO policy really adds to the affordability. Sharing works well too if you’d rather not be carting left overs around. The ingredients are high quality and the preparation is mindful soooo (IMHO of course) you really would be quite stupid not to 😉

P.S. I realize a restaurant review without pictures is a bit bullshit, but lets cut me a little slack and consider this one a work in progress.

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Week 15

Mon 10/21 – rest

Tues 10/22 – 6ish mi / fast enough

Out the door after work before the sun went down. Nothing special, I’ll take it.

Wed 10/23 – cross: flag football Princeton IM league championships

We won!! 😀 So I somehow managed to be roped into playing flag football again tonight. I figured what the hell, it’s the last game of the season, why not? It was cold (50F…god, I’m becoming a sissy…) and there were extra girls so I wasn’t on the field the whole time. I can’t say I caught a single pass or did a whole hell of a lot on defense to be perfectly honest, but we won! 🙂 And I came away with a lovely bright orange Princeton Tigers Champion t-shirt. That’s what this is all for anyway, right?

Thurs 10/24 – 12 mi / fast enough

I’m 30, I’ve been wearing a bra for 20 years (or something like that) and yet somehow still manage to forget to pack the damn thing when I’m loading all of the other running essentials into my bag in the morning. Really? This is like packing half a shoe! What is wrong with me? Anyway, I needed to get the run in and I needed to learn a lesson, so after work I set off for the 6 mile run home to change and then run back. So, only half of the run was totally out of control (this is really all that I could have taken of this) and although I finished cold (again, it’s like 50F…I need to stop using the word) and in the dark, at least it got done. I was actually feeling pretty good at the end, which was a nice consolation prize (this may or may not have had something to do with the packages of fruit snacks that I gobbled down while I was at home…)

Fri 10/25 – rest

Rest = off to NYC for my 30th birthday party!! 🙂

Sat 10/26 – rest

Rest = participating in my 30th birthday party!! 🙂

So I’m just going to start by putting it out there that I was VERY BAD this weekend.

a) I did not run today. None. Zero. Zilch. I did spend the morning walking to and across the Brooklyn Bridge though.

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We do look our best freezing cold and in 50 mph (at least) winds.

b) I threw my 30th birthday party dinner at Cacio e Pepe that began with having my fill of the most delicious Italian cibo (this includes homemade tonnarelli tossed in pecorino and served out of a cheese wheel…

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tonnarelli tossed in pecorino and served out of a cheese wheel

…as well as the best pumpkin ravioli you’ll EVER eat). For a full review, be patient, there will be/may be one on here soon(ish).

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everyone

c) 4 words: Hooka Bar Bottle Service.

Here are a few more words (and photos to replace more words — as they are generally far more embarrassing and incriminating consise and illustrative than just the words) to take you through the next parts of the evening…

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What’s a birthday party without fire works in the bar?!?!

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Drs. AnneBelle, T and Sami

I know I know … for shame!

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But, who can say no to smoke rings for all?

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certainly not Dr. T and Dr. Dragon

But also super fun…

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Drs. Trott, Akihiro Yoshida and AnneBelle

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Drs. Louboutin

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Drs. KaAnne

…and not something I’ll do again…or at least not for a very long time…

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…ahem…

d) And then there were beers and dancing…

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…with the real troopers who were still left.

e) And closing out the night by scarfing red velvet cupcakes (thank you Samia!!)

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The perfect 3 am snack – red velvet (cup)cakes

Sun 10/27 – 7 mi through Central Park 🙂

This morning Team CEMS drug their asses out of bed and climbed into our team uniform for a run around Central Park.

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(Part of) Team CEMS!!

It was fantastic 🙂 It was calm and cool out and I had the best running company ever. 🙂 Of course it wasn’t the long run that I was supposed to do, and I might pay dearly for this in 3 weeks, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

After the run it was off to brunch at Friedman’s. The wait was a bit long (>30 min for 5 hungary people) but the food and coffee were perfect. I had the Southern Breakfast which was…

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…two eggs , housemade biscuit, cheddar grits and fried green tomatoes.

Full disclosure is that my food was actually just ok. After sampling everyone elses’ food though, I feel qualified to testify that overall, the food was fantastic. Per usual, there will be a review…someday…

Total mileage =  25 mi

Not what I needed for the last high mileage week. But,  you know what? I also needed a sweet 30th birthday party (yes people, this was a need, not a want) and even I know that at some point we have to make choices. I know/think/hope/know that I made the right choice on this one 🙂 (Ask me about this on the afternoon of Nov 17th…on second though, maybe not…)

Threads – tanks and tees, running skirts or capris for the chilly mornings, + compression for the long runs and Mizunos (Wave Creation 11s and Wave Elixer 6s)

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Week 13

Mon 10/7 – rest

Thank you.

Tues 10/8 – 6ish mi / fast enough

As usual, I had to force my run in between time points and I clearly didn’t quite know where I was going. 4.5 months later and this is still going on. Grand. To be fair, I was very thankful for this dysfunctional 6 mile break from the grind of the rest of the day. The cool weather is making the runs so enjoyable – it’s almost like I’m back in Minneapolis…and then I try to make a left turn or pump my own gas and the illusion is ruined…

Wed 10/9 – rest

Thurs 10/10- 6ish mi / fast enough

Today was supposed to be 12 miles, but I have an irritating and unpredictable work schedule (please see Tuesday’s post) and I live in the state that is apparently hell bent on winning an award for having the most unpredictable torrential  rain storms, sooooooooo 12 mi quickly became whatever I could get in. The 6 and change that I ran felt good so I guess I should stop complaining.

Also…

Happy Birthday Dr. Maroof!!

It’s my favorite partner in crime’s birthday today! Hopefully just the right amount of bad decisions will be made on the other side of the country tonight!

Speaking of bad decisions, there is a new rule that birthday wishes on the blog must entail a search of Dr. Trot’s phone’s photo gallery for the top entertaining images of said birthday boy/girl. Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Trot tries to follow the rules. Soooooooo…in no particular order, here you go…

SAMSUNG

Stylish Dr. Maroof
Scarf credit: Rachael May

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“What in the hell are we eating?” Dr. Maroof

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Jersey poolside Dr. Maroof

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Perfect timing while celebrating a freshly defended Dr. Maroof

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Peep-hole + hung over (see above photo) of a brand new Dr. Maroof

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A bucket of KFC (that couldn’t wait until we got home) to celebrate a half marathon PR Dr. Maroof

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Happy Birthday Dr. Maroof!

Fri 10/11 – rest

Sat 10/12 – 21ish mi / too long

Today’s run had to get done early before my buddies Dr. Allison and Sir. Jack came to visit for the weekend. Early morning weekend runs are really the greatest…until they turn into the worst. :-/

It was cool (~60 F), sunny and calm and I went out feeling great. The first 6 miles were perfect, the next 9 became a bit of a pain in the ass (and everywhere else for that matter) and the last 6 were the worst. A big part of the problem was – per usual – hydration. My pea-brain needs to stopping assuming that cool weather = I don’t have to worry about hydrating, because YES. I. DO. x-(

I didn’t drink enough water the night before, I didn’t drink enough water in the morning, and I quite obviously didn’t drink enough during the first 15 miles of the run. Consequently, during the pit stop at mile 15 I guzzled way too much and ended up with stomach cramps and digestion problems all the way home. Joy. My 4 oz water belt bottles are enough when I’m not too damn brain dead to prepare properly. I think a larger bottle may be a necessary investment at this point, genious. While I don’t like carrying things while I run…aside from my music, my snacks, my lip gloss, my mascara and a pack of smokes…but never mind, I hate the water belt, and this sort of end to the week’s long run is not acceptable. Boooo.

There were a few positive points to highlight though (even I can’t complain all the time…although we all know I’ll try… 😉 –

1. It was the debut run for my Philly Marathon Team CEMS outfit (minus the arm warmers) and it was awesome (obviously 😉 –

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2. Aside from being dehydrated and upset-stomached (yeah, that’s a word) and slow and grouchy at the end, that was really the worst of it. The lungs, legs, knees, shins, ankles, feet, etc… were all doing ok. YEAH! 🙂

3. After dragging myself back home and recovering like a boss, I got to spend the rest of the day with the very best company, Dr. A and Sir Jack –

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Sir Jack.
(Dr. A: not pictured.)

Unfortunately Sir Jack hurt his paw getting out of the car (things like that are difficult when you’re a foot tall and somewhere between 63 and 91 yrs old) and wasn’t able to strut around Princeton the way all had hoped. But, he was back in top form by the end of the weekend so we’ll just have to plan on strutting it out next time. On the other hand, Dr. A’s and my paws were all just fine, so we spent the day walking and eating our way through Princeton. The Bent Spoon and Tortugas were the two highlights of the day. A full review for TBS is on its way and too many words and not enough pictures reviewing Tortugas can be found here .

P.S. Allison, why have I no pictures of you/us?

Sun 10/13 – rest (i.e. important company in town)

And by “rest” I mean that Dr. A and I hauled off to NYC on the 8:30 train for a day at the Natural History Museum with future Drs. DJ, Jamie and Eric and then to Peace Food for the best lunch of the weekend (and perhaps month). Peace Food has composed and posted a full review for itself here. In stark contrast to Peace Food, we had a most disappointing dinner at La Mezzaluna. There will also be a review for this unfortunate little establishment coming soon, written by moi.

Total mileage =  32ish mi

The week’s running felt good (aside from the last part of the long run) and the Philly Marathon Team CEMS  outfit’s debut was a success! Now this was the first week in ~2 months that the milage ended up being quite a bit lower than what the training schedule called for so I’m not too worried about it. I got the all-important long run done and overall I feel like I’m where I should be (plus, I had a damn good reason for the -10 miles on Sunday 🙂 There are no big scary achs and pains and while the long run ended up being a whiny little bitch, why should I really be expecting anything else?

Threads – tanks or tees (+/- arm warmers), running skirts or capris for the chilly mornings, + compression for the long runs and Mizunos (Wave Creation 11s and Wave Elixer 6s)

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