we went to Mas (farmhouse) in the Village for my birthday. It's new-ish, and had decent sounding vegetarian options. They offer a three-course tasting plus dessert, but we decided to go with two courses, cheeses, and dessert. Their menu is extremely flexible, which was nice. I even substituted sides on my entree. Here's what we ate:

Me --
  • Salad of Local Summer Beans with a Truffle Vinaigrette, Maplebrook Farm Stracciatella & Brown Butter Croutons (stracciatella is this amazing mozzarella/cream concoction. i had never had it before. so good.)
  • Roasted Long Island Duck Breast, Fingerling Potato Purée, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Grilled Baby Squash
Tim --
  • Heirloom Tomato Tart on a Parmesan Sablée, Caramelized Onions & a Toasted Pine Nut Dressing
  • Fried Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Mushroom Duxelle & Mustard Greens, Huitlacoche- Black Trumpet Purée, Baby Spinach, Roasted Radish & Almond Foam

Cheese -- 
  • Spring Brook Farm “Tarentaise,” Reading, VT - Cow’s Milk, Alpine style, aged 1 year
  • Cato Corner “Hooligan” Colchester, CT  - Cow’s Milk, pungent wash rind
  • Belle Weather Farms “San Andreas” Petaluma, CA - Sheep’s Milk, crumbly with a buttermilk tang

  • Caramel Roasted Peaches over a Ricotta Pound Cake, Blackberry Compote & Sweet Corn Ice Cream
  • Hazelnut-Milk Chocolate Mousse with Cocoa Streusel, Salted Caramel Ice Cream & Chocolate Ganache

I yelped it. here's the review, for posterity's sake:

The good: 

Read more... )

Red Snapper
Kohlrabi, Shiitake Mushrooms and Smoked Jalapeño

Soft Shell Crab
Corn, Red Leaf Lettuce and Pickled Green Tomato

Zucchini, Black Olives and Lobster Sauce

Barley, Sungold Tomatoes and Artichokes

Pork Loin & Belly
Flageolet Beans, Hakurei Turnips and Pickled Carrots

Nectarine Tarte Tatin
Bourbon Crème Anglaise and Butter Pecan Ice Cream

I thought I had written about this, but I guess I didn't. The halibut was probably the best piece of cooked fish I've ever eaten. Everything was perfectly balanced, and I even liked the snapper dish, despite not really liking any of the ingredients particularly well on their own. I also had a cocktail and two glasses of cider, and tastes of at least three other people's desserts. I could go back there all the time. We'll try the tavern side next time.
Tim starts teaching on Monday, which means the half-time long-distance bit of our lives is about to start. Which also means I have to cook, and more unfortunately, clean for myself. I foresee a lot of hamburger with rice, potstickers, and takeout food, but I have to try to be better behaved than that. It also means that I'll probably only get groceries once a week, so the creativity will rise as well, especially by Wednesday dinners.


Jul. 22nd, 2012 09:31 pm
on saturday, i decided to once again try and see if i hated running, and yes, i do, especially outside. i want to like it. it's so much more convenient than going to the gym, but my lungs just won't put up with it, and i felt like i was going to pass out (and i probably ran all of .5 miles and walked the other 2). so, i'll stick to the gym for awhile, but i will try to start going there more frequently.

also on saturday: farmers market (plums, bread, tamales, peppers); nap; mexican food, coffee; opera (HMS Pinafore - fun stuff)

today: got some work done; made a very tasty corn salad (plus hot dogs and zucchini); ran errands (including a new printer, since we lost a piece of the last one, and new underpants). visited trader joes for only the second time since we got here! now that it's so nearby, we barely go. so it goes.

this week: more interviews, more letters, and then a weekend of scrabble! hooray!
since [livejournal.com profile] olaugh, was off gallivanting with spherulitic[livejournal.com profile] wisemonkeydecided to come for a visit this weekend. got here saturday, we played a bit of scrabble, then went to Ajihei, a sushi place in Princeton that I've been meaning to try since I arrived in town. The pieces of fish were huge, and the rice was a great temperature, well-seasoned, and packed properly. I think the ratio was a little much fish for the rice, but it was some of the freshest fish I've ever had. We got seven piece chef's choice, which included two kinds of mackerel, tuna, salmon, yellowtail (i think), shrimp (which I didn't try), and one more that I've already forgotten. Also tried the eel and tamago, because they're my favorites.

Today, we trekked into NYC, met [livejournal.com profile] dugy1001 and squeegman, and waited in line pre-opening to try Ippudo -- we were seated right away. Great service, great pork buns, great ramen. I had classic, but I'll have modern next time. Wandered over to Washington Square Park and met up with [livejournal.com profile] sr_orangepants and his brother, but only had one Scrabble board between five players. Two tourists from London came by because they read in their guidebook that there was Scrabble in the park on Sundays. Random, especially since none of the people who regularly play in the park were there. Played two games of CSW, then some fry your brain, then went to Pommes Frites. Ducked into a coffee shop, played a bit more Scrabble, then to Chinatown to drop monkey at the bus, and get a giant container full of dumplings at Shu Ziao Fu Zhou for $3 (thanks for the recommendation, yelp!)

It took way too long to get home, but I had dumplings and flashcards and Tim to keep me company. 
Tim got me Book of Mormon tickets for Christmas, but it was sold out until July, so we've just been waiting for the day to come around. At the time, we thought it'd be a weekend trip to the big city, but now that we live 90 minutes away, we took a half-day trip.

Got in around 3, left the car near the theater, and walked over to the Plaza hotel, since I wanted to see the new food court. There were way too many options, and we ended up splitting a piece of coconut cake, and I had a (overpriced) cold pressed Stumptown. Did a check via foursquare of what else was nearby, and learned there was a Momofuku Milk Bar! Had to go there and try crack pie. So good. Now thoroughly hyped on on caffeine and sugar.

We had a fancier than expected dinner, thanks to my new promotion and feeling the need to celebrate. We went to The Modern, the fine dining restaurant at MOMA, which I think [livejournal.com profile] picopaco recommended at one point. Four course prix fixe, but also multiple amuses, and mignardises. So much food!

premeal 1: two spoons -- one with a cube of ginger and coconut crusted goat cheese (best goat cheese i've ever had) and one with a raw preparation of fish; watercress soup in a test tube; chili dusted, lemon verbena scented popcorn.

premeal 2: mackarel escabeche with a square of gelatin, basil cream, something else

one: "Pralines" of foie gras / Mango Purée and Balsamic Vinegar.
The foie looked like truffles, rolled in something crispy and some poppy seeds. This was just the right size serving, too.

two: SWEET PEA SOUP / Smoked Ricotta, Barley and Pea “Barbajuan”. 
Incredibly fresh flavor, with the biggest slice of black truffle that I've ever been served. it looked kind of ugly when you mixed all the components together, but it tasted great.

three: THOMAS FARM RACK OF LAMB / Olive and Fines Herbes, Fava Bean-Bacon Fondue and Crisp Spring Onion
This was prepared tableside, which made me feel a little silly. It was super rich, and the lamb was a huge, thick slice. the cooking seemed a little uneven to me, but it was still quite good, and the fondue sauce helped the meat where it was a little too done.

four: CARAMEL PARFAIT / Mango Ravioli, Coconut Tapioca and Ten Flavor Sorbet
Kind of weird, but not untasty. the combos of textures, temperatures and flavors weren't quite harmonious to me. I liked tim's fig tart better.

after: a big cart of treats that we got to choose from --  grabbed caramels, a macaron, a passion fruit caramel-filled chocolate 'lollipop,' a stroopwaffel cookie (or however you spell that), an earl grey truffle.

after 2: lemon and rosemary sorbet with candied herbs served in a raspberry tuille cookie.

after 3: a little box of the most amazing cookies, kind of like thumbprints, with a milk chocolate center, which we ate after the show.


Jun. 26th, 2012 08:33 am
  • 2002: Italian dinner at I Ricchi (ended in being so full we couldn't climb into our loft bed and slept on the floor. romantic).
  • 2003: Wild Orchid Cafe
  • 2004: no idea. didn't write about it, so it doesn't exist.
  • 2005: Geoff and Mary's wedding
  • 2006: I was at a conference in Portland, OR, and then Tim came up and we celebrated in OR/WA
  • 2007: Signature Room at the 95th in the Hancock Building in Chicago (which was also where we got engaged)
  • 2008: Oleana (in the midst of trying to sell our Waltham house)
  • 2009: somewhere in Vermont, while Tim's parents were visiting
  • 2010: i had surgery, and then laid on the couch in a vicodin-induced haze. we might have done something before the surgery, but i don't know what it was.
  • 2011: Primo in Rockland (though on the actual day of our anniversary, Tim was at a meeting at school and I ate take-out chinese)
  • 2012: Peacock Inn in Princeton


Jun. 16th, 2012 09:23 pm
We went on a cultural food field trip up rt 27 today. First, checked out the great wall supermarket. it's a pretty well-stocked Asian market, with the typical fishy Asian market smell. The bao were just baked and still warm. nom. we picked up black rice vinegar, vegetarian hoisin sauce, a few kinds of fresh noodles, and various other things. On the way back toward home, we stopped off at the Pennsylvania Dutch farm market, full of freshly baked goods, home-canned goods, farmer cheese, and other homey stuff. Picked up the csa share on the way home (including four heads of lettuce. our home abounds with lettuce), and then worked most of the day. I finished the three letters i promised myself i would, which means i get to see The Avengers tomorrow. I'm on track to finish everything for August 9, and am getting closer to purchasing tickets to see my scrabble people in Orlando for the Nationals weekend, but I still can't quite commit yet. 

xmas dinner

Jun. 4th, 2012 07:12 pm
tim got me book of mormon tickets + pre-theater dinner for my xmas gift, and we're finally going soon. i'm trying to choose a restaurant. any thoughts on any of these?





http://www.jean-georges.com/ (specifically, terrace at jean georges)

when i woke up this morning, the carbon monoxide alarm was beeping every 20 seconds or so. this usually means change the batteries, so i went hunting around the house for batteries. i ended up stealing them from remote controls and installing them. still beeping. so, i hunted down shiny, new batteries (not an easy feat in house of mad unpacking). still beeping. was about to be late for bus, so crossed fingers hoping it was just after effect beeping, and also that intermittent beeping meant something more benign than imminent death. was paranoid about it all day. arrived home around 7pm. beeping had stopped. dogs still alive. phew. still a little paranoid, this being a new to me rather old (1920s ish) house, and me being here by myself (plus dogs, minus tim) til tomorrow night.

today was the last day of late night drop in hours for the semester, thank goodness. i worked from 915-7 today, which still isn't all that bad, but i did feel a little guilty about leaving the kids home alone (especially re: potential imminent death). we just went for a brisk mile walk, and now i'm trying to decide whether it's worth cooking, or if i should just eat leftover fried rice and/or a pile of cheese and crackers. i'm kind of a bad grown up when left to my own devices.
and monday is a day off! this weekend was sorely needed.

slothed around this morning, unpacked a few boxes, then headed out to get dim sum in princeton. it was pretty tasty, though they didn't have cheong fun, which is my most favorite thing, and thus i was sad. bao and scallion pancakes and sesame balls were all good, though. still, i'll have to seek out another dim sum locale to satisfy my rice noodle pancake cravings.

got a couple more things for the house: hair catcher for bathtub so i can bathe my stinky hounds, pan lid organizer, veggie seedlings to hang upside down in the backyard (don't judge - the planters came to the house. if they make anything grow, it'll have been worth hanging bags off of sticks in the yard). grilled for dinner: just picked, local asparagus, potatoes, hot dogs. 

i'm still a little twitchy about being here and not at one of the many scrabble events this weekend (especially since scrabble is generally climate controlled and my house is not. it's very humid here). but, it was much better for me to stay here in terms of my levels of sanity and the rustiness of the scrabble. i had a two hour nap in the middle of the afternoon - hard to do that at a tourney.


May. 20th, 2012 05:58 pm

We have arrived in New Jersey. Our stuff doesn't arrive until tomorrow, and our Internet doesn't get set up until Tuesday, so no long post today. Just saying we are here, and it still feels surreal. Went to Princeton, ate at Tiger Noodles, got some groceries, and now [livejournal.com profile] mthgeek is out running. I'm sitting on a dog bed on the living room floor. It'll be better once the couch and bed are here.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

I made it through HR New hire orientation today, but just barely. It makes me crazy when people read PowerPoint to me. I wore new shoes that are the loudest shoes I have ever owned. I should have tested them somewhere other than my carpeted office before committing to them.

I lugged my laptop home from the office today, so now I can flashcard on my phone, watch Netflix on my iPad and chat with people on the lappy.

I am not usually attracted to the Asians, but this one was irresistible, and I brought him home:

To save me from this sad specimen:

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Food fail!

May. 6th, 2012 06:27 pm

So I tried to very carefully menu plan so that I could make it through these ten days or so without buying too much food, particularly perishables, since I'm not sure how frequently I'll get to the grocery without a vehicle. I somehow talked myself out of staying in town tonight for dinner (I really want to try Ajihei, a sushi place, but I already spent a lot of money on my hair today. it'll wait for another time).

So, I came back to the cottage and went to make pasta with onions, sausage, sun dried tomatoes and walnuts (a pretty standby meal for me). Got water in pot, turned salt shaker over the water, and it was empty. I had assumed there would be salt and pepper in the shakers - silly me. So, no pasta. Went to next meal of interest - pork and sweet potato quesadilla - I managed to forget tortillas at the store. Sigh. Okay, how about beans and rice with onions and garlic? The knife that came with this place is rusty. This is unacceptable. I will have to go and procure a knife because it is dangerous (not to mention kind of gross) for me to try to cook with a knife that's this bad.

So, I ended up with another standby meal: hamburger teriyaki donburi. Sadly, I didn't buy sugar (I usually use sugar and soy sauce over the ground beef), but truvia was fine. No cutting needed. Good thing I brought my rice cooker with me. The rest of the meals I have planned:

Keema beef curry (I think I bought everything I need - doable once I get a knife)
Israeli couscous salad with mango chutney dressing (haven't located Israeli couscous yet)
Spinach quinoa salad with dried cherries and walnuts (will probably do tomorrow)
Ravioli with Brussels sprouts and bacon (need knife)

So, one out of seven meals that I planned was viable. I guess I'll wander out to the Mexican grocery tomorrow during work and grab some tortillas and to the kitchen store for a working knife, and steal some salt packets from the convenience store by me. Or I'll just eat stand by things like fried rice, hamburger donburi and hot dogs every day.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

I'm here in New Jersey, a little more permanently this time. I'm glad that I brought my little Bluetooth speaker - no TV channels here, and it would be way too quiet without my phone playing me music (Follies, concert cast).

The trip here was uneventful. Had a minor attack of panic/sadness leaving my house in Maine. It is mostly packed at this point, and should go on the market while I'm gone. Had a California burrito from Loco Cocos, then set off on bus to Logan to plane to Newark to car service to here.

The cottage is perfectly fine for a short stay. I think it's just one unit, though there are two garages, so maybe someone lives below me in the first floor - if so, they have a separate enhance that I didn't see. In the door is just a stairway, which leads into the living room to the right, and the kitchen to the left. A short hallway to the left dead ends in the bedroom, with a bathroom just to the right. It's compact and straightforward. The bedroom has three closets, a desk, a nightstand, and a dresser. I unpacked all my clothes and am sitting on the bed right now. The living room has two chairs, bookshelf, closet. No couch, so I'll probably spend a lot of time on the bed. Bathroom has a stall shower only, which is fine. Kitchen has gas stove, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, utensils, pots, pans, glasses, dishes. I have a grocery list that's fifty items long, mostly because I have none of the staples that I'll need (like dish soap, toilet paper, garbage bags, coffee beans, spices - I will be conservative with grocery shopping, but I also need to buy enough so that I will cook rather than ordering delivery every day). I do foresee cooking more than eating out, both to save money and to lose some of the weight that i have put on during this crazy month. It's a 15 minute or so walk to my office from here, so at least I'll get a nit of exercise every day.

In terms of (inanimate) things from home I'll miss most in this interim time before all of our stuff arrives and we move to the real house: couch, chef's knife, TiVo, my pillows, my bathrobe.

Things I brought to try to keep myself sane: slippers, rice cooker, wedding picture with mom, Kim, nana and me, favorite sheets, knitting, small stuffed bear that I've had since I was very young (snowball).

I have enough clothes to last about a week, maybe a week and a half, I do have in unit laundry at least. I'm not sure that the clothes I brought make that much sense as outfits, but hopefully along with whatever I've left in my office these last few visits, I'll be able to cobble professional dress together.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

we have reached the point in packing boxes where things don't go logically together anymore. also, i have felt nauseous all day so progress is slow. 

i have been to the dentist four times - once to get the crown, and three times to get it adjusted. am really hoping it's right this time. nausea may well be due to taking a whole lot of ibuprofen this morning to combat tooth soreness. 

not sure what to do about rerouting the mail. i'm moving somewhere for two weeks and then somewhere else permanently. probably i'll just have everything forward from maine to permanent address as of may 20.

i am so sad about leaving this house. and going back and forth between really excited and completely terrified of new job and responsibilities (especially til a director is hired). i know it was time to be gone from UNH - i wasn't learning anything (didn't really in the past three years or so), plus this location will give me more freedom to get around on my own than maine did. but still. big changes. and i really need a haircut.
  • california burrito
  • eat chicken curry pita, fries and cider at coat of arms
  • go to maine diner
  • go to miyake
  • take dogs to dog beach
  • go to farmers market
  • take pictures of view next to bridge
  • have coffee milk stout at portsmouth brewery (it probably wont be back on tap before i leave tho)
  • go to lexington scrabble club (likely to happen on 5/17 - we'll see)
5/1 - dentist, pack all the things
5/2 - more packing, scrabble with [livejournal.com profile] jmallick, eat burgers.
5/3 - morning packing, fly to princeton, move into temp housing
5/4 - work, go grocery shopping with debbie
5/5-6 - something with[livejournal.com profile] sr_orangepants
5/7-11 - work. scrabble club if jason is willing to carpool me.
5/12-13 - sleep
5/14-16 - work. fly back to maine
5/17 - people packing up breakables in house, UNH party for seniors, maybe scrabble club in lex
5/18 - honors convocation at UNH, movers load stuff. maybe miyake in portland?
5/19 - graduation
5/20 - drive to new jersey (possibly with dogs)
5/21 - work. movers drop stuff off while tim supervises, probably grocery shop.

and at that point, i will be mostly permanent in new jersey. phew.
I got into my new, empty office today. I read some student files, got confused by all of the acronyms and abbreviations (always a problem at a new school), met my coworkers and some others from around the building, had a tasty sandwich for lunch and an iced coffee and frozen yogurt for snack (at 5. who knows if i will sleep or eat dinner).

I forgot my phone charger in my office, so we'll see if I can make do on one charge for two days. Seems unlikely. At least I have my laptop with me, too.

Tomorrow is apartment/house hunting day. I think I'm seeing six places, with the gracious help of [livejournal.com profile] sr_orangepants and also a realtor. I'm so stressed out about housing. There are a million moving pieces: whether or not [livejournal.com profile] mthgeek and dogs will be here full time or part time, whether or not our house will sell, how we'll get a move in date to correspond with a move out date at the current house (Princeton will pay to move all my stuff, but only once, which means we might have to put it in some halfway house space or something between now and then. I hope not).

In any case, things are moving ahead. I have moments of sheer panic and moments of sheer happiness. Tomorrow will hopefully help swing the balance toward the latter.


Feb. 26th, 2012 06:20 pm
last day in portland. braved the rain to grab a maple bacon bar at voodoo and enjoyed it with a stumptown mocha. set out around 1015, hit the yarn store again and grabbed a corned beef sandwich at kenny and zuke's to take on the plane tomorrow. met [livejournal.com profile] wisemonkey and [livejournal.com profile] olaugh at the food carts, but sadly, many of them are closed on weekends. we found some hawaiian kalua pork, and they had brought half of a porchetta sandwich from city market, so we made do with that. the kalua pork was salty and tender. the porchetta was a crazy good sandwich - big, thick chunks of melt-in-your-mouth pork, plus mayo, lettuce, tomato, peppers, and who knows what else, all melding together between two slices of ciabatta.

took a cab across the river to cascade barrelhouse and met up with [livejournal.com profile] mthgeek and [livejournal.com profile] winterene. i mostly knitted and watched others drink crazy sour beers. i did try one chocolate raspberry and one cocoa gingersnap, both of which were pretty strange in the realm of beers i've tried. from there, we walked to hawthorne street and had an encore helping of potato champion, plus a margherita pyro pizza. the pizza crust was perfect, hot from the brick oven on the cart. [livejournal.com profile] winterene also let us try his whiffie - a deep fried empanada-like, lard-crusted pie, this one stuffed with four kinds of berries, and his chocolate banana scone. the whiffie was strangely addicting. i'm glad that i only had the one bite of his, since i could've easily eaten a whole one on my own and squandered the space in my stomach that i was reserving for other things.

we walked down hawthorne from about 12th street to about 39th, stopping for browsing, shopping and eating. we were drinking french press coffee at a shop called Hazel Room, which was attached to a little arts cooperative, when suddenly an event sprung up around us. there was apparently a launch of a jewelry line to aid women involved in human trafficking/prostitution -- we got to hear three or four speakers on the subject, including a guy who's running for mayor, for about 45 minutes. again, got a bunch of sock knitted while passing the time.

managed to disentangle ourselves from the gallery/coffee/reception and wandered into a candy bus. A woman apparently bought this small school bus off of craigslist and decided to refashion it as a candy store. you walked into the bus, and there were shelves and tables of candy. it was mimi the candybus' first anniversary, and we decorated a cupcake in her honor. from there, we wandered down the street to waffle window, and had the best brie/bacon/basil belgian waffle, ordered from a little window in th side of a cafe.

eventually, we were hungry enough for dinner and followed yelp's advice to chiangmai, a small, unimposing thai place that specializes in northern thai cuisine. we ordered four entrees and ate about 3.5 between the three of us:

  • Sai oua pork sausage - handmade, well spiced without being spicy, plus some sticky rice, mint and peanuts

  • Gang om - marinated, flavorful beef stew, with more sticky rice

  • Pad Thai - best ever. it was wrapped in a super thin egg omelet, which meant getting a bit of egg in every bite, which i think can get lost when the egg is cooked in. the balance of flavors was just right for me - not too sweet and not too fish saucey. the tofu was flavorful and cooked well, and everything just came together perfectly.

  • Khao Soi - an encore from last night at Pok Pok. This one was spicier than last night's, and the chicken was served on the bone (though it fell right off the bone with tenderness). The broth was warming and comforting, and the noodles were fresh, with a good balance of fried to soft.

one of the best things about portland is that all of this food over the course of the day probably cost as much as a regular dinner in boston. you really can eat well and cheaply in this city.

i made it home around 9, laid in bed, and eventually convinced myself to get up and pack. left the hotel this morning at 445am, grabbed a bucket of day old donuts at voodoo, and hit the airport. this was a much needed break from reality for me. i think it's going to make the rest of the semester fly by, and we'll see where that leaves me once the dust settles.


Feb. 25th, 2012 11:34 am

Woke up lazily, Tim brought me stumptown, knitted and drank coffee in bed. Walked to brunchbox food cart and got greasy breakfast sandwiches. Eventually made it out to yarn store and powells, browsed and bought some cards to send and some Madeline Tosh, which is my current yarn of choice. Met John and Cecilia, headed to food carts:

Noodle house - chewy homemade Asian noodles stir fried with chili sauce, curry, veggies and chicken. Classic asian comfort food. Flavors could have been a little more exciting, but good overall.
Nong's Khao Man Gai - the only thing they sell is hainnanese chicken and rice, and they had the longest line of any food truck. This stuff has been featured in a number of magazines. It was as good as I could have imagined it, simple, well proportioned rce to chicken to sauce. I could eat it all the time. Might get more today - seems perfect for this rainy day.

Took a brief detour to hotel, booked travel to Princeton, picked up coat. Took bus to SE. Stopped at Bermongers and admired their well thought out collection of bottles, all of which you could enjoy there or buy to go. Got tim a sour brown and a spike and jeromes collaboration ale, and myself a sweet cider. Walked up to Potato Champion and had really good fries - thin, hand cut, crispy and brown on the outside, moist on the inside, with accompanying sauces - rosemary truffle ketchup, garlic anchovy mayo and satay. So good, especially when my fry consumption has been fairly low this trip. Another bus to Upright Brewing Company, a fairly small craft beer maker in the basement of a random building. Met up with tim and some math people, drank beers, met up with carl, played scrabble.

Last stop of the night was Pok Pok, a super popular Thai place, where winter also joined our group. Its so popular that, after the wait to get in started to get unmanageable, the management established a bar across the street where you could order drinks and appetizers. The restaurant calls the bar when your table is ready and you transition from one to the other. This is brilliant - customers basically pay the restaurant to wait for 2 hours by sitting in the bar eating and drinking. Tims math group split from our scrabble group so we wouldnt have to wait for a table for nine. We had a bunch of appetizers and played fry your brain (a scrabble variation). I won on AAIITV (everyone was stumped when the next letter was an I, though there are four letter steals - I might have gotten some without the time limit for guessing and also without being exhausted from the long day), and EILOVWZ (another E came out of the bag and the only possibilities were words that had been used already). time went pretty fast, and soon we were across the street eating amazing Thai food:

Kai Yaang - rotisserie chicken
Khao Soi - curry noodle soup with freshly pressed coconut milk
Muu Paa Kham Waan - spicy boar collar (too spicy for me to have much, but delicious)
Kung Op Wun Sen - clay pot with prawns, pork belly, bean thread noodles (I couldn't eat this one because of oyster sauce)

Tim and his friends were sitting next to us, so I also got to try their Brussels sprouts and pork belly. Everything was unique and flavorful and just what I was hoping for. My favorite was definitely the noodle soup, with two kinds of noodles, some heat without being overtly spicy, the smooth richness of the coconut. Yum. I admit that I'm now craving pad Thai, though, after having other Thai dishes two nights in a row. May go back to esan tonight and just enjoy my standby food.

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