CK and I both work pretty hard on our various "work" projects and other things like yoga, Zen, and various connections with the Open Source and other communities like Love Based Living. It is pretty easy for us to just take a night off. Setting an official, on the calendar "date night" was discussed and tonight was our first official one.
When I left the building to walk over to Backspace I felt lighter and was happy with the warming weather, puffy white clouds & blue sky, and the sun lighting up all the green leaf buds on some trees and pink or white flowers on other trees. I was smiling at the late afternoon and as I walked past people they would smile back, regardless of who they were.
She wrapped up working and I checked email while having a creme soda. We decided to wander over to Shanghai Tunnel for a beer, mostly because I'd never been there before. This well known Portland bar, CK has been on a visit, but hadn't. It was OK, comfortable enough and people generally friendly. We played a couple of rounds of pool and decided to move on.
Bailey's Taproom was next. I think in my heart I'd never gone in since it occupied the space where Lampthong Thai once was. It was very comfortable even though it was pretty crowded with people. CK ran across the street to the convenience store to grab a bag of pretzels since Baily's only serves beer, and we enjoyed a sampler tray of our choice of beers.
We popped into Saucebox very briefly before ducking out again. I hadn't been there in years and only really had cocktails there. It was very loud, very trendy, and CK noted that it felt like San Francisco (in a bad way). Nothing on the menu really grabbed us as enticing enough to stand the atmosphere. While the staff were occupied we left quickly.
Onto looking in the window of Dragonfish. Again, nothing really jumped out at us as decent for dinner or even snacking. Sushi sounded good, as did miso, but we knew that we'd have to wait for a visit to Mio.
Since we were near Southpark we popped into the wine bar. The wait person went back to the kitchen to find out just what could be made vegan and came back with some suggestions we're going to keep in mind for the future (they offered to make risotto, fresh pizza, or linguini - any with an assortment of seasonal veggies). We ended up with their hummus, fresh flatbread, and fried chickpeas.
The wine at Southpark is always great. That's why we ended up in there, we at least knew the wine would be nice even if we moved on to eat something somewhere else. The flatbread & hummus plate usually comes with tzatziki but since we obviously wouldn't be having that they just added the chickpeas we wanted to that plate. All tallied up we ended up only paying for two glasses of wine and the flatbread plate! Nice touch on their part since quite often having some accomodation for a vegan often costs more.
The hummus was very garlicky with a nice tang of lemon and heartier than the more traditional, ultra-smooth kinds (like at Hush Hush, Nicholas Restaurant, or Habibi). The flatbread was freshly made and so tasty that we will try their offer of a custom pizza some other evening. The fried chickpeas with lemon were so tasty, lightly crispy on the outside, and with a bright, lemony burst of favor!
I felt a bit better today over all and not just because of the fun evening we had. Zazen and making myself write last night helped some. I also was able to fix something before heading downtown this morning (with the help of KE's extra eyes on my code we found a problem I was stuck on). I enjoyed myself at the Geek Chix lunch meet up at P.F. Chang's then walked over to the office for the afternoon. I felt like I caught up on a few things, which helped with starting to feel a bit more focused.
SWEET & TENDER VEGAN CORNMEAL MUFFINS WITH COCONUT & RAISINS (OR OTHER DRIED FRUIT) - A good friend of ours was coming over for coffee this morning, so I wanted to bake something simple but yummy. I've had a hankering for cornbread late...
2 weeks ago