Sushi, Tapas and Leftovers

Jon had Monday and Tuesday off this week so he with a 4 day weekend he was in “vacation mode”. Aka “let’s go out to eat and live it up” mode. Which I definitely don’t mind! I know cooking at home is healthier and more cost effective, but I really do love going out. It’s the whole experience of it.

Monday, before we headed to a St. Pete Shakes meeting, we decided on a sushi dinner at The Vue. This was our third time here. We’re pretty picky about everything sushi so when a few friends enlightened us by taking us to Vue we were pleasantly surprised. The prices are reasonable, they have tons of specials, the fish is fresh…what more could you ask for? Well, maybe better service. It’s been hit or miss with us, but on Monday we were practically the only people there and we had to wave down the waitress multiple times. Also, this place does a lot of nightlife so if you dine there when it’s still daylight you kind of feel like you’re in a club after it’s closed down. There’s more atmosphere at night with dim red lights.

 Besides that food is still very tasty. We started with the miso soup, mushroom dumplings and shrimp tempura. The soup is kind of eh, but I was really in the mood for it so it hit the spot. I love the dumplings. The texture, the filling and the sweet sauce they’re served with all blend together pretty well. The shrimp tempura was crunchy and light tasting…that’s what I love about tempura…it’s got the flavor of fried but it’s not as heavy.

For the main event we got 4 pieces of nigiri, which was on special for $1 a piece. I’ve never been a huge fan of this…the whole big slab of raw fish kind of creeps me out even though I know I’m eating the same thing in my roll. But I was brave and tried a piece of tuna and then the escarole. Delish! The tuna was a bit flavorless, but the escarole was nice and creamy. We also shared the St. Pete roll, which had cream cheese, avocado, tuna and roe. It was really good…I try and usually stay away from the rolls that have cream cheese, but I was oddly craving it that night. The other roll we had was their speciality, The Vue. I can’t remember what was in it, but it topped the St. Pete roll.

Tuesday we headed out to Cafe Alma. As of about a year ago we used to go to Cafe Alma A LOT. It was one of our favorite restaurants in St. Pete. But then, sadly, we noticed that the food wasn’t tasting as good. We decided to give them another shot since it had been so long. And what better night than Tapas Tuesday, where they have half off select tapas and half off select bottles of wine. Unfortunately, we still found the food to be at the same mediocre level that we had left it. We got the mussels in white wine sauce, the beef carpaccio, the smoked salmon carpaccio and the crispy shrimp (their version of bang bang shrimp). The shrimp’s texture was off and they were screaming for some more flavor. The mussels were really salty. The beef was eh. The salmon was actually my favorite. I loved the soft grilled bread it was on and you can’t go too wrong with capers and aioli as toppers. But overall we were definitely underwhelmed. It’s like you could taste the cook’s boredom in the food.

With both of us being in hospitality I know that it is better to let people know your feedback rather than say nothing. Because then how can they change it? So when I saw the comment card poking out of our bill I grabbed a pen and wrote down that the food quality had gone down. As we were finishing our last sips of wine the manager came over to talk with us. We were honest and he genuinely appreciated our feedback. We will probably not go back again, and if we do it won’t for a long time. But it was nice to know that hopefully our comments will be put to use.

Yesterday, I headed to Target after work and spent WAY too long in there. I was hoping to find some cute summer dresses but everything was just meh to me. I saw a few cute ones in juniors, but they were way to short for me (and I’m 5’2″!) I figured while I was there that I’d get our groceries for the week. I was really surprised at how many healthy/natural products they have! I thought for sure they wouldn’t have any of my beloved Kashi products but they did! Plus some great fruit and nut snack varieties.

Once I realized it was almost 7 p.m. (!) I booked it out of there and got home in time to take a quick 2 mile run. Then I settled down to some Real Housewives of Orange County and some yummy leftovers.

Mashed potatoes, to-die-for meatloaf and brussel sprouts.

It was my first time having frozen brussel sprouts. Not the same as fresh and roasted, but still tasty and nutritious!

Tell me about some good/bad restaurant experiences you’ve had lately! Do you prefer to go out or eat at home?

 

Roasty Toasty Goodness

Hi all!

Hope everyone is having a good start to their week. Not too much going on here except a very busy week at work, which I love! Also excited about a freelance project I’m working on that kicks off Saturday.

Eats

Breakfast has been using up the sandwich thins…def think I prefer english muffins. They just seem more heartier?

Snack of the week has been fage plain yogurt with chia seed and fresh strawberries.

Monday was a lunch meeting at Skidder’s on St. Pete Beach. It’s close to where I work so we to take out from there a lot. The Skidder Wrap is a fav if you ever go! But Monday I was in the mood for a classic soup and sandwich combo. So I got a cup of Navy Bean soup and a Tuna Melt. So good and hit the spot 🙂

Monday’s dinner was a leftover surprise. We had leftover pasta and leftover smoked chicken so the Chef combined the two along with frozen peas. Yummy!

And a few of these for dessert.

Had the rest for lunch the next day.

I did our weekly grocery shopping yesterday after work.

The goods…

Can you tell there were a lot of BOGOs and 2 fors? Plus I think I won’t have to buy breakfast food for 3 months.

P.S. I should not be allowed to go into the grocery store without a list. I felt like…no, I was walking around the store aimlessly with wide eyes and my finger to my lip in my “quizzical look”. I went back to the produce section 3 times, erg!

The cranberries and white chocolate are for a recipe I’m trying tomorrow for an office potluck Friday.

Sweet potatoes and broccoli were for dinner.

I drizzled the potatoes with some tuscan herb olive oil from a local olive oil store we have called Kalamazoo. My mom got Jon a sample set for Christmas. A little salt and pepper and then roasted them in the oven for 40 minutes on 450.

The broccoli got drizzled with Kalamazoo garlic olive oil and sprinkled with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Roasted in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (lost track) on 450.

Potatoes came out a bit burnt because I didn’t cut them evenly (oops), but they still tasted really good! Broccoli tasted awesome too!

The star of the plate was leftover steak from Sunday dinner, sauteed with onions.

Paired with Woodchuck Amber. I prefer Dark and Dry!

And there was some leftover for lunch today 🙂

Fitness

I’m loving Pinterest for finding new workouts to try! Who needs a gym when you have blogs and Pinterest?

Monday I tried this diddy. Whew, it was sweattastic!

Yesterday I didn’t feel like or have time for anything too long or intense. So I rolled with this quick arm workout.

I’m still slowly getting back into a routine. Don’t want to push myself too hard too fast. I think once Gina‘s Winter Shape Up makes it’s appearance I’ll be ready to amp it up!

Thought(s) of the Day

Beautiful sunrise this morning…

Too bad our window screen ruins the photo.

I’ve noticed that I eat my lunch really slowly at work. All of us eat at our desk while working. It made me realize that the slower I eat the more I’m able to tell when I’m full and not just scarf down my meal. I need to incorporate this into dinner.

I tried to rearrange our pantry a bit last night to make room for some new stuff I bought. I realized that we have bags and bags of unused things like rice, lentils, wild rice, pasta, etc. A good reminder to look through our pantry each week and see what needs to be used up!

 

More exciting things on the way, I promise! Having dinner at Meze 119 tonight with a friend and running some fun errands. More tomorrow!

Are you a fast or slow eater?

Are you good about using up food you already have or do you tend to forget about it?

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