After breakfast on Sunday, I felt exhausted, so I crawled back into bed and didn’t wake up again until around 1:30 in the afternoon.
I don’t know if it was my allergies, or the fact that I was just a bit behind on sleep, but even after sleeping in, I still felt extremely groggy and a bit in a funk. Even though I was in no mood to get out of bed, I forced myself to at least take a nice long walk outside (which often is the best cure for a stale mood).
First stop along the walk was Cafe Romeo for lunch, because my stomach was already grumbling like crazy. I guess my banana bread oatmeal for breakfast wasn’t decadent enough?
Cafe Romeo is a fairly new eatery in East Rock, and although the competition for Italian food is fierce in this area, they’ve sort of carved out their own little niche by pairing good sandwiches with good aesthetic design.
With their open-air store front and large outdoor seating area, the ambiance is definitely a step above the competition, but their service still hasn’t quite reached the level of professionalism that I guess comes with time. I don’t think this has deterred anyone from going though, because the place was packed!
I ended up ordering something I’ve enjoyed at Cafe Romeo before—their tuna salad sandwich.
I had my tuna salad on their whole wheat bread, but in the past I’ve had it on their pumpernickel rye bread, and that’s definitely my favorite.
I also got to sample their foccacia bread, which Michal had an Eggplant Panini on.
Grilled balsamic marinated eggplant, roasted red peppers, and baby spinach, with a kalamata olive tapenade.
This sandwich melts in your mouth
I also ordered some freshly brewed ice tea, which tasted amazing, and really helped perk me up for the remainder of my Sunday walk.
After Cafe Romeo, I came across a store near the New Haven green that I’ve never noticed before (which is odd since I’ve walked past it at least a dozen times now).
Ten Thousand Villages is fair trade non-profit organization whose mission is to, “provide vital, fair income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America. Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. This income helps pay for food, education, health care and housing.” (Source: Ten Thousand Villages website).
Walking through the store felt like someone had stocked the shelves based on my personal taste in jewelry and home decor.
…And because it was for such a good cause, I had to buy a few things, right?
I immediately grabbed a bar of extra dark chocolate, because it’s really hard for me to find authentic chocolate at the local grocery store, and once you acquire a taste for real chocolate, everything else just tastes processed and fake.
My next purchase was the most beautiful card ever, but I can’t show it here, because it’s for mother’s day, and my mother sort of stalks me through this blog, so I don’t want to ruin it for her (sorry mom–you’ll have to wait until Sunday).
My last (and favorite) purchase was a necklace and pair of earrings made from recycled brass.
I’m a bit obsessed with the craftsmanship and beauty of this necklace (this photo doesn’t do it justice), and the coolest part is that they can provide you with a print-out with background information on any item in the store…
My particular necklace came from the non-profit, Jacaranada Workshop, in Kenya, which provides employment, training, and other assistance to artisans with mental or physical abilities.
The sad thing is that I never really realized the impact one can have by simply choosing to buy their jewelry or home decor from developing countries.
I’m definitely going to make more of an effort from here on out to buy jewelry and other decorative items from non-profits such as Ten Thousand Villages, rather than Anthropologie other stores.
On my walk home I passed this advertisement:
I thought the tag-line would be a great motto for this blog, even though my motto for today was sort of “get out more, spend a little!”
Although there was nothing particularly adventurous about this Sunday, by the end of my long walk I felt so much more energized (and happier) than when I had begun, so I stand strong in my belief that it’s always better to just force yourself to get outside if you’re in a funk.
I know it’s hard sometimes, but a long walk in the sunshine can cure even the most stubborn of mental states.
May 4, 2010 1 Comment
You know you’re going to have a good Saturday when it starts off with Starbucks and a Garmin.
At around 9:30 am my friend Mandy and I set off on our mini-road trip to Kent, CT to attend the Kent Film Festival.
I was extremely excited to attend the festival for a few reasons.
The first was because I love the idea behind independent film making, and how if you’re passionate enough, you can make a powerful film on any budget. And the second (and main reason) was because Michal had a film in the festival!
Mike (Actor), Noah (Director AND Writer), Michal (Cinematographer)
I was extremely proud of Michal, along with everyone else involved in the project, and I’m always amazed to see how much a person can light up when they’re in an area with hundreds of others who are equally as passionate about their dreams as they are.
My parents also drove up for the event, and absolutely loved it. Below is my mom showing off her cool new film festival tote which she purchased to “support the event,” but I just think she wanted to look more “indie.”
The film screenings took place in various buildings all over town, but Michal’s film played in the Kent Community House, which was a really beautiful venue.
After the screening, everyone was starving, so we all split up to grab some lunch at various places. Michal, Mandy, Jesse and I chose to get sandwiches at J.P. Gifford.
The town was packed, but we were able to score a nice table outside.
And the sandwiches were very tasty…
I had turkey with sun-dried tomatoes, topped with lots and lots of pesto. I was very happy that they were generous with the pesto, because that was the best part.
After lunch the four of us explored the town a bit, but be warned, you are about to experience cuteness overload….
These pictures don’t even really do the place justice. You just have to go there and experience Kent for yourself.
After lunch we met back up with the rest of our friends, and decided to all drive up to Kent Falls (about 5 minutes up the street). This adventure deserves it’s own entry, so I’m going to write about it later this week, but here is a preview….
If you enjoy art, Kent would make for a great day trip, especially since there is no charge to explore the galleries, and there are gorgeous sculptures displayed all over town. Below was one of my favorites.
Later on that night, they had an awards ceremony, which was held in the same art gallery that Mandy and I had explored earlier.
It seemed as though everyone (including myself) had some sort of camera in their hand, but around this same time my exhaustion started to take over, so the above photo was my last.
I guess I’ll end this entry then with one of the first pictures I took, so it will be as if this awesome day is just beginning….
April 25, 2010 2 Comments
B.good burger joint…
The best thing to happen to Boston since the Red Sox won the world series.
I’m confident that I’ve eaten at least 100 b.good burgers, especially since I went through a 3 month phase where all I ate for lunch was their blackbean veggie burger topped with avocado, cilantro, and Chipotle salsa. Let’s just say that working around the corner from their Dartmouth Street location and having no concept of money was a dangerous combination my first year after college.
As fate would have it, they just opened up a sixth location around the corner from where I was staying for the weekend.
I was downright giddy when we walked inside to place our orders, especially since I hadn’t enjoyed one of their burgers in over a year, and also because I have a profound respect for their philosophy on food (i.e. raising cattle right, and buying produce from local farmers!).
Everything, down to the potatoes, is grown locally and grown right. They even have bios hanging on the walls of the farmers they use for each ingredient. Love it!
I ordered my favorite (the”West-Side”), except I swapped out my usual veggie burger for a turkey burger.
Perfection = Avocado, cilantro, tomato, and homemade chipotle salsa.
Below is Michal’s order (the “Cousin Oliver”), which is lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, all atop a homemade veggie burger.
We wanted so badly to order the sweet potato fries, but after all the food we had consumed in the past 48 hours, we didn’t think our bodies could handle it, so we opted for the healthier option, and split a side of crisp veggies.
And now I must place my vanity to the side to show you what happened next:
Believe it or not, these were the “classiest” photos of the bunch. All the others were even more disturbing, and looked as though I was brutally attacking my burger with my mouth (apparently I like to inflict pain on my food and those who watch me eat).
On a final note, if you live in the Boston area, and haven’t yet tasted the mouthwatering wonders of b.good, then you’re missing out on what’s sure to be a Boston trademark in a few more years.
April 14, 2010 1 Comment
This afternoon was crazy. I can’t believe how much ground I covered in Boston today. I guess I’m just so glad to be here, that I want to be moving towards some sort of destination at all times.
The afternoon started at the Trident Cafe, which probably ranks second to The Otherside for places I’ve eaten at the most.
I met some friends from college there…Kate and Drew…..
What pretty people! It was so nice to catch up with them, and I’m excited about hanging out with them again later on tonight.
After lunch, Michal and I headed to the Apple store, because he was dying to try out the new iPad.
It was very difficult to rip Michal away from the iPad station.
I on the other hand, was just excited about the idea of pulling up my own blog on the iPad, and then taking a picture of it to post here (so dorky, I know, but at the time it seemed so cool).
After the Apple store, we headed over to Marathon Sports, which is the best place I’ve ever found for purchasing running sneakers.
I went here for the first time as a senior in college, and they assessed my running stride, and matched me to an amazing pair of Brooks sneakers. I wore the sneakers into the ground, and never once got a shin splint. Once I moved away from Boston though, I sort of bought sneakers haphazardly at other stores, and have had problems ever since.
After assessing my running stride again, they hooked me up with a new pair of sneakers which felt incredible!
Coincidentally, they were Brooks again. I guess if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
After Marathon Sports we decided to make one last stop at the Boston Public Gardens before heading back to my friends apartment.
How is it that the Boston Public Gardens NEVER get old?
After the gardens, we headed back, and got in at around 5:30 from being out the entire day. I was so tired that I actually got a coffee from Starbucks (haven’t drank coffee in maybe a year). This was followed by three advil.
Now I just need to figure out how to get my legs to move again.
April 10, 2010 No Comments
Oh Boston, how I’ve missed you…
I got into Boston pretty late last night, but I was way too excited to sleep in this morning, so I woke up at around 8am and decided to go for a run along my old route along the Charles River.
How can you not want to be a runner if you live near the Charles River…
Don’t let the sun and greenery fool you though. This mornings run was extremely windy and cold, but luckily I’m familiar with Boston weather, so I knew that bringing a fleece and running gloves is still a necessary precaution when visiting Boston in April.
I think my face in this picture is sort of saying “why did I ever leave.”
On the run back, I took a short detour to pass the apartment where I lived during my Junior and Senior year of college. Seeing this place brought back lots of fond memories…
I then took Michal for a loop around the block so we could eat a hearty breakfast at The Otherside Cafe.
I’ve probably eaten here more times than any other restaurant in my life. And it’s not even really because of the food. It’s more that this place was just always part of my neighborhood. Even when I moved apartments after college, I ended up moving just one street away.
Michal and I started with some tea, but sadly, these are the last pictures I have of our Otherside experience. We were so hungry, that when the food came we inhaled it, and completely forgot to take photos.
It was really good food though. There were lots of eggs, cheese, and potatoes involved–with oil being the main ingredient.
April 10, 2010 3 Comments
I come from a Jewish-Irish-Catholic-Italian family, so during Easter, our family dinners are basically one step away from sandwiching lasagna in between two pieces of matzah.
The cafe, which adheres to the philosophy of only eating “raw”, gives the customer a unique dining experience which is not easily accessible in these parts (nor in any other parts for that matter).
To understand what “eating raw” actually means, I recommend reading a quick article on raw foods here.
When we first arrived at the Cafe, Michal and I were hungry, tired, and extremely thirsty from biking, so we started with some fresh juices. We chose the “Kalelicious,” which was Kale, Carrot, and Celery, and the “Blood,” which was beet, red apple, lemon, and ginger. I love how rich the colors are…
I also like how they make everything right out in the open, so you get to see how beautiful the produce is.
For my meal, I had the Pasta Primavera which was zucchini noodles, spring vegetables, tomato sauce, and pesto topped with Rawmesan.
The dish tasted incredible, and as you’ll clearly notice from the above close-up shot, this food is extremely fresh.
For our raw dessert, we ordered one s’more and one brownie. Michal and I both loved the S’more, but he found the brownie to be a bit too rich. I on the other hand have never experienced the sensation of a dessert being “too rich,” so I was a huge fan of the taste and texture, and had no qualms with finishing it off myself.
Although I don’t foresee myself ever going completely raw, I have a strong appreciation for this type of vegan diet, and it’s definitely inspired me to try and eat less processed foods (I even bought a bag of raw almonds to keep at my desk at work).
All and all, this was a fun little food adventure, and I will definitely be back to try more.
April 6, 2010 3 Comments
Pigs head, pork belly, lambs throat, and bone marrow are just a few of the things you can experience at the culinary adventure that is Roberta’s in Brooklyn, NY.
Although I had my fears about the menu, it turned out to be a REALLY fun night.
Michal and I were the first ones to arrive at the restaurant (we were meeting 5 others to celebrate my friend Jesse’s birthday), so it was the perfect opportunity for me to take some interior shots of the awesomely eccentric decor, which I would describe as “warehouse chic.”
Being that there is an awesome bar and outdoor lounge in the back, waiting to be seated actually turned out to be a great socializing opportunity, and with all the laughs before dinner, I didn’t even notice the wait.
After being seated, we decided to just order a hodgepodge of items off the menu to share. Our picks were the following:
- Braised Tripe (cow stomach)
- Sweet Bread (lamb and calf neck/pancreas)
- Seared Scallops w/ Pigs Head
- Two orders of the combo meat and cheese plate (from what I can remember there was prosciutto, blue cheese, soft brie, candied walnuts and cherries)
- Good Girl Pizza (Kale, Pork Sausage, and Garlic)
- Rosso Pizza w/ Anchovies (tomato, oregeno, garlic)
- Calzone Tony (stuffed with mozzarella, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, pesto sauce)
- Bone Marrow, but they ran out.
As for what I ate, I sampled the candied walnuts, sweet cherries, seared scallops, calzone, and I had quite a few slices of anchovy pizza. Presentation was nice too. I tried to get shots of the food, but the lighting was so dim, that I sort of gave up half-way through. I did manage to salvage a few close-up shots of the anchovy pizza, but please keep in mind they do not do the food justice…
As for cost, we dropped about 25 dollars per person (not including drinks), but I’m pretty sure we spent on the higher end of the Roberta’s price range. In the end though, who cares about the price when you get to have a fun night out with great people.
All and all, Roberta’s is definitely worth trying, and a great place to hold a birthday party for your favorite hipster friend
March 28, 2010 2 Comments
I just got back from the Manchester “Finally Spring” 5K race, and what a fun time! This is probably the coolest 5k I’ve ever run because:
- Instead of a t-shirt you were given these amazing green socks (see below)
- The entire race is on an intense trail course through the woods, with the first mile being uphill!
- Michal and I crossed the finish line together
With over 200 people squeezing through rocky and steep trail turns, it is quite the adventure, and I’ve never seen so many people have to stop and walk during a 5K. Without a doubt I’ve run 10K road races that were easier than this trail course, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve had this much fun on a run.
Michal and I stuck together during the race, which was something we’ve never done in an actual race before, so I was happy about that. We do casual runs together once or twice a week, but Michal is a much faster runner than me, so on a race day it’s always been easier for us to go our separate ways–mostly because when we run together I try to run too fast to keep up with him, and he tries to run too slow as not to get ahead of me, and it ends up messing up both our paces. Sticking together for this race still required him to slow down at a few points, but before the race we decided to treat it like a casual run (and not a competitive race), and that mindset helped us cross the finish line together. Our final time for the 3.25 mile race was 28:40, which I was happy with (note my smile below).
Michal was just happy to have a pair of green running socks, which he insisted on putting on before the race.
After the race we headed a bit more north to Middletown, CT so we could enjoy the beautiful weather and eat at a restaurant called ION (It’s Only Natural), which was voted best vegetarian restaurant in the Hartford advocate last year. It deserves any accolades it gets, because it’s the first vegan and vegetarian restaurant I’ve come across where the entrees are actually gourmet. The prices are a bit steep, but it’s completely worth it.
We started off the meal with some fresh juices. I had the veggie bomb (left) which was carrots, beets, celery, and parsley, while Michal had a juice called Bee Green which was a bunch of green vegetables with agave syrup for sweetness.
For our entrees, I had the Macrobiotic Plate which was organic brown rice, legumes, sea & other vegetables, with a huge pile of kidney beans on the side. I mashed everything up together, and it tasted incredible. The sea vegetables had the perfect amount of saltiness to them, so I didn’t even have to season the dish.
Michal had one of the specials, which was a phyllo dough packed with tofu and mushrooms with a huge scoop of mashed potatoes and a side of asparagus. I had a few bites and it was to die for.
The serving sizes are really generous at this restaurant, which made this the perfect place to have our post-race meal. As you can see we inhaled are food.
I should also note that Michal and I have been here once before and we had the ION burger and Sweet Potato Enchiladas, and they were just as incredible as today’s menu choices. The ambiance of the restaurant is really nice too, and today we were seated at a fun table which doubled as a chalk board so we could draw on our table while we waited for our food.
I’m off to try and fit in a nap before a friend’s dinner party tonight.
Happy spring everyone!
March 20, 2010 3 Comments