Friday, July 16, 2010

O my, Friday came so fast!

Did this week fly by for anyone else??

Wednesday was an experimental breakfast day for me. A friend suggested I try the Trader Joe's Frozen Steel Cut Oats since they're easy, tasty and filling. Of course I pick up a box!

I expected the box of 2 servings to house 2 cute little containers of microwavable oats.
UM, good thing I have tupperware. I'll admit, the packaging is great - portable, minimal waste, perfect size; it was just unexpected.

Approximately 4 minutes later:
Ta Da! Maple Steel Cut Oats! Confession: this was my first steel cut oat experience. I have mixed feelings. The flavor was good and I liked the extra chew to each oat, but it was really soupy. I usually like my oatmeal drier than most. Are steel cut oats usually soupy?

I was in such a rush to leave the apartment that I grabbed the container of leftover lentils without realizing I only had like 3-4 tablespoons of lentils left. Not quite lunch-worthy. As much as I hated to do it, I knew I had to buy lunch.

After an extensive Yelp search for salads near my office, I settled on Sweet Joanna's Cafe. I've been here once before and was pretty impressed with the salad bar offerings. They've got standard lettuce and toppings, as well as some marinated salads. This time there was also a hot rice dish and some roasted chicken.

I made a beeline for the large to-go box and mixed greens...gotta build the base for my salad!
To top things off, I grabbed the usual salad fixins and scooped some cabbage salad, marinated eggplant and a tomato and cucumber salad. I also tucked a couple falafel in the corner with some hummus for dressing. YUM. I only wish my falafel (falafels?) were piping hot :\

I had a major running fail after work that I really would not like to re-live. Let's just leave it at I should know by now that I shouldn't stray from the sneaks I've worn for 4 years. Done.

Yesterday marked a few firsts for me:
  1. First lunch outside of the office
  2. First lunch w/coworkers
  3. First happy hour in San Francisco (like legit, post-work happy hour)
Ridiculous, right? I've been here for almost 3 months and haven't done any of those. BAD! Since it was a day of firsts, I didn't whip out the camera so, bear with me as I try to find images for you guys.

We walked over to Sellers Markets on Market and 2nd Streets for lunch and immediately claimed a spot on the patio since it was a gorgeous sunny day. I had browsed the menu earlier and narrowed it down to 3 potential lunch options. After chatting with the girls, I ended up going with something totally different - Free-Range BBQ Chicken Salad (black beans, sweet shucked corn, red onion, roma tomato, corn tortilla crisps, romaine, house ranch dressing).

I forgot to ask for dressing on the side so it was a little over-dressed for my taste, but the chicken was fantastic. It was pulled bbq chicken and it wasn't funky fake chicken either (you know, like that weird spongy stuff from ABP I used to complain about?). The bbq sauce was mild, very tomato-y and kinda reminded me of a chicken dish my mom used to make. Two thumbs up!

A side of Creamy Mac n Cheese (all-natural cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella & finished with Point Reyes blue cheese) was also ordered for the table. At first I was worried about all those cheeses partying in the same bowl, but one bite...YUM. Rich, creamy and comforting. Good thing we split it ;)

Overall, I think Sellers Markets is a great lunch spot. I loved the large patio and the menu is diverse enough to fulfill any of your cravings. There are a couple other locations throughout the city and as I write this post, I see they have a Thursday happy hour too! $2 for a 20 oz PBR and $3 for a 20 oz premium beer. Good to know!

The afternoon zoomed by after that and then next thing I knew it was 6 and time to head over to Quiver Bar at Epic Roasthouse.

From the website:
Epic Roasthouse is home to Quiver Bar, an intimate upstairs bar and lounge with panoramic views of the city, the Ferry Building and the bay. Quiver offers the full restaurant menu as well as its own separate bar menu, and specializes in expertly crafted classical cocktails, a wide selection of premium whiskeys, and a selection of local and international beers.
They weren't lying about the views either.

Agh, I wish I had taken a picture! It was such a perfect evening with clear views of the Bay Bridge and Embarcadero.

Sorry, I got a little excited about the space and views. Back to the main reason we were there...happy hour! Quiver Bar is also home to the 3 B's. For a mere $20, you get a 1/2 pound burger, a beer (I think there was a restriction on this, maybe bottled beers only?), and a decadent brownie. Quite the deal, yeah? It gets's offered ALL THE TIME.

The thick burger comes with a huge pile of potato wedges and cute cups of toppings (jalapenos, bacon, mushrooms, mustard and mayo). Not that hungry? Don't worry, it's big enough to split with a buddy.

I wasn't quite hungry enough to commit to even half of a burger, so I just ordered off the regular bar menu. Kicked off Thirsty Thursday with a Lagunitas IPA (apparently my new beer of choice at bars?) and settled on a Short Rib & Horseradish Slider and a Vinegar Barbecue Pork Shoulder Slider.

I had such high hopes for the short rib slider, so I left that for last. Do you save the best for last or do you eat the best thing first?? The first thing I noticed when I bit into my pork slider was the perfectly crisp brioche bun. It was soft on the outside, but the inside had been toasted and had a delightfully buttery crisp crunch. AAHHH. Perfect with the tangy pork. I wish I saved this for last :(

The short rib slider was nice and tender, but really didn't have much flavor going on. Don't get me wrong, it was tender and just didn't compare to the pork that packed so much zing! I also wished the horseradish sauce packed more of a horseradish-y punch.

I definitely recommend the 3 B's deal if you find yourself wandering along the Embarcadero on a gorgeous night (or day). I saw the plate of burger two of my coworkers split and it's no joke. It's a whole lotta food for $20.

Tonight was a return to home cooking as I tried to make use of the following ingredients that desperately needed to be used:
  1. 1 Sweet Potato
  2. 1/2 package lentils
  3. bunch of kai-lan
  4. small basil tree
Random assortment of goods, right? Here's the final product:
Lentils with Roasted Sweet Potato
1 sweet potato, diced and roasted
4 stalks kai-lan, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 package steamed lentils
2 tbsp basil, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c chicken broth

Heat olive oil in a pan, saute onion until softened. Add kai-lan and half of the chicken broth. Cook until kai-lan starts to turn a bright green. Add lentils, sweet potato and remaining chicken broth. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in basil, salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Yeah yeah, not exactly an exciting dish, but it used all of the ingredients. Plus I thought it was pretty yummy. Toss a little hot sauce on there and it's perfect!

For dessert I snacked on a little fun mix I made this afternoon:
I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home and grabbed some dried mangoes, apples, cranberries, pepitas, pretzel nuggets, granola and a dark chocolate bar. I was inspired by my new favorite Clif MoJo bar flavor (Mountain Mix) and decided I'd make a sweet and salty mix of my own. I really want to find some yogurt chips and maybe some nuts to add to the snack mix.

I also picked up a couple bottles of this delicious adult treat:
I sampled some of this sparkling red wine last Friday at dinner and thought it tasted like a calimocho...but better. The best part about it? $4.99 a bottle. I love bargains!

Off to bed now. I've got a 10 miler tomorrow morning and I'm running the first portion of it on my own before meeting up with the running group for their scheduled 6 at 9:30. Welcome back to early runs! What do you have on deck for long run Saturday?

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