2.11.2013

Sangria, Lush Wine, and Crazy Food

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We kicked off the weekend with a night of food and drinks. I've been eyeing a BYOB joint called Gaudi Cafe for a while now, ever since my sister went there on New Years Eve and raved about it. So, Friday we finally made it over there with our neighbors.



Their menu seems very European inspired, with many Spanish tapas style dishes. Everything was delicious, but my favorite dish was the fried goat cheese on house made garlic toast.


Inside that perfectly round ball is warm, gooey, melty goat cheese. Makes me weak in the knees...

Another interesting thing about this restaurant: If you bring your own wine, they'll turn it into Sangria  for just a few bucks. We brought a bottle of white, which we had them Sangria (Yes. It's a Verb, now).


The server came back with four glasses filled with Sangria, and a pitcher that held the rest. When I asked her what they do to turn it into Sangria, she said they add some Sprite, Triple Sec, and chopped apples. I'm not a huge fan of Sprite (or any soft drinks, for that matter), but it was definitely tasty and refreshing, so I would do it once in a while. It took the edge off of what was otherwise a somewhat bitter Pinot Grigio.


On top of the bottle of white wine, we also brought a pack of Guinness and a bottle of red. In hindsight, it was like we were just asking for a hangover. The table was covered in glasses from our various different beverages. Oops?


After dinner and drinks, the four of us came back to our apartment. It was our neighbor's birthday (we were with her) starting at midnight, so we counted down the clock and popped some bubbly to celebrate.

Afterward, we pretty much passed out. 

Hand Stamped Birthday Card + Ribbon + Bubbly = Success!

Generally, when I've had at least a few drinks, my internal clock wakes me up around 5 or 6am (ah!) to chug water. So, I downed about 8 cups of water, took some vitamins and advil, and passed out again for a few hours.

By the time I woke up for good, I felt like a million bucks. Thumbs up. I even had the energy to make this delicious breakfast: Plain Greek Yogurt, Charred Banana Slices (Slice a banana, then put slices on a baking sheet and broil in the oven until brown), 1 tsp Chia seeds, 1 tsp Sliced Almonds, 1 tsp Hemp Seeds, 1 tsp Maple Syrup drizzled. 

It was utterly delicious and I think my fiance actually finished his bowl (sometimes when I get fancy like this he is a little hesitant). Good job, Carly.


After breakfast, we chilled out and watched Silver Linings Playbook. I was totally expecting it to be a romantic comedy...  not so much. Romantic? Yes. Comedy? No. More like Romantic Drama. That said, by the end, I was in tears and happy. No spoilers here... just love for the movie!


Post-movie, I headed to the gym for a run. I watched about 3 episodes of The Mindy Project on a treadmill and ended up at just shy of 6 miles. Seriously, when it comes to long cardio workouts, Netflix on an iPad is the bomb. Just keep running, just keep running, just keep running, running, running. What do we do? We run... (YES. FINDING NEMO.)

When I got back to the apartment, I had a leisurely shower and used a new argon oil soak on my hair. I don't usually do much to my hair (honest - I cut it about every year or more), so my hair was probably starving for some TLC. 


My fiance wasn't feeling well, so I played doctor while I got ready. I had plans to meet some of my girlfriends from high school at a wine store / wine bar called LUSH, so I got a little excited and did the typical girl-getting-ready-to-meet-other-girls makeup regime. The Mindy Project was playing in the background as I got ready in our Uber-Mirror (It's taller than my 6 foot 7 fiance, so I feel like the title is warranted).


My fiance dropped me off at LUSH and I took a peek around as I waited for my girlfriends to arrive. This place is really fun - they have a wine store on one side, and then you can bring your wine to the other side and they will help you pair your wine purchases with some delicious food. Everything from meat and cheese plates to crazy pop corns to delicious soups. They do have a full menu too, so I suppose you could go there just for food. Like I would ever pass up a good vino.

I was really digging the hand written description for this bottle of white wine... white flowers and honey? Twist my arm, already.

They also have an Under-10-Dollar rack for both reds and whites, which was pretty awesome. My girlfriends arrived and we hit that rack pretty hard. I left with two bottles (one petite shiraz for dinner, one cabernet sauvignon from south africa to bring home to my fiance), and my girlfriends also made some purchases.


All three of my girlfriends were starving, so we decided that the wine-bar-esque menu at Lush wasn't quite enough to fill them up. The good thing is that there are a number of good BYOB options around Noble Square, so we checked them out. Shaman, a mexican place, had a 45 minute wait, and the latin place next door was also packed. We ended up opting for a Puerto Rican restaurant across the street named Cafe Central.

The place was pretty much dead, which should have indicated the quality of the food. I don't want to turn this post into a Debbie Downer rant about how horrible this place was, so if you're actually interested, you can read my Yelp review. The short story is that the food was awful and dry and just extremely disappointing. But, hey, we bonded over how awful it was, and we had great wine from Lush, so everything was good in the end. [Gratitude for the small things, people.]



Post-awful-dinner, we headed back to my apartment to polish off another bottle of wine, a white Chardonnay from Languedoc. My girlfriends left my place around ten to head to some bars in Lakeview, and I stayed back to be a lame person. 

Yet again, I woke up around 5am on Sunday, chugged water and took vitamins, and hit the hay again. By the time I woke for good, my fiance was insistent on going to The Breakfast Club. I ordered an egg white omelet with onion, spinach, bacon, feta, and tomato slices on the side. My fiance got the meat lover's skillet. Aren't we just an image of gender stereotypes? #NotAshamed. 


At home, I made a delicious iced coffee drink for myself as we started a marathon of Homeland. In a mason jar, I added ice, about an inch of Coconut Milk, filled it to the rim with cold coffee, and then added a few drops of Chocolate NuNaturals. Stir and viola! Wonderful, delicious goodness. Let's call it Chocolate Coconut Ice Coffee. 


And, regarding Homeland... can I just say that Dana annoys the living heck out of me? I used to think Carrie was the crazy one... but now I don't mind her as much. Now, I just think Dana is an annoying kid, and Jess is just a bee-yotch. 'Nuff said.



During our marathon (seriously, we watched like 8 hour-long episodes), I munched on some Edamame for dinner and made a bunch of chicken for us to eat and save for lunches this week. The Edamame was pretty awesome because it sort of felt like eating popcorn at a movie theater. Except... it wasn't pop corn. So... boom. 


In closing, here's my favorite shot of the weekend: My handsome fiance and my beautiful pup. They are just too cute to handle. I want to squish them.



So, how was your weekend?
  • What was the best thing you ate? The fried goat cheese on garlic toast at Gaudi Cafe was utterly amazing. I would like to eat that for breakfast and lunch and dinner, forever.
  • The worst thing? The fried halibut at Cafe Central was nasty, as was the side of "Mofungo" I got. Just... gross.

1 comment:

  1. It looks like you had a wonderful time. xx. McKenna Lou
    www.lynnandlou.com
    p.s. Hop on over to Lynn and Lou to win a $50 gift card!!

    ReplyDelete

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