Monday, February 28, 2011

Crepe Cellar - Je suis "not impressed"

This weekend my husband and I decided to have brunch at the Crepe Cellar in No Da.  After all, we had a Groupon for $40 and we figured that we could eat like kings for that much.  I called ahead and the man that answered the phone said that they were not on a wait and that if we headed over, we should get a table, no problem.  We arrived to find the Crepe Cellar a bit crowded, but saw that a table for us was opening up.  Great, we thought!

To make a long story short, the service was terrible.  Diners descended on the Crepe Cellar like locusts shortly after we arrived. There were two waitresses to seat and wait on over 45 people.  Yes, only two!  No hostess! We had to flag the waitresses down for everything - water, coffee, bread.  Luis ordered the French Onion soup as a starter and after 20 minutes of waiting, the waitress came to the table bringing my mussels but no soup.  They just ran out, she said (even though the person at the next table over had just been served a bowl).  It was only 12:30 in the afternoon!  Just ran out? What??  Luckily, the mussels were excellent, marinated in a sweet chili and lemongrass sauce.  We split them.

For our entrees I ordered the wild mushroom and spinach crepe, which was good.  It had goat cheese and carmelized oniions.   Luis order some sort of breakfast sandwich crepe.  He liked it but was not over the moon.  He said the dish made him realize that only sweet things should go in crepes.

Luis then decided to eat like he was on death row and ordered the Bananas Foster for dessert.  I had some spoonfuls and it was delicious.  By that point, though, I was just ready to get out of there.  We had been there forever and I was full and annoyed.  Luis was practically in diabetic shock, which prevented him from catching the fact that the waitress initially charged us for the French Onion soup he never ate.

So, not to be a hater but if you want some French food in your life, to go Lulu on Central Ave.  Sure, there aren't quite so many crepe options, but the services is way better and the food is excellent.  And don't get me wrong, I am all about No Da.  I love the atmosphere there - dreadlocks and all.  I am a hippie at heart.  But I am a stickler for service - a STICKLER.  So, once burned, twice shy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Last night I made this Vegetarian Chili Recipe (minus the bay leaves).  You can get almost all of the ingredients at Trader Joes (which, I feel, is a rarity for many recipes).  It's delicious and filling.  I ate it with a side of Harvest Grain Bread from the Fresh Market.  It was a hearty meal but not heavy on the calorie count.

The best part of this chili was that I could try out my new Le Creuset french oven.  I noted that it heated the contents very efficiently (it was simmering on a low heat).  It is an enormous, heavy cooking pot but I think the more I cook with it, the more I will see the benefits of the enameled cast iron.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cooking Class: Sauces Part Deux

As a wedding present, my friend Kimberly gave my husband and me a gift certificate to Cooking Uptown. Cooking Uptown is located in Elizabeth (right next to Hawthorne Pizza) and is comprised of a surprisingly large cooking store (a la Williams Sonoma) as well as a complete kitchen and prep area for cooking classes.  We decided to spend our gift certificate by take a cooking class: Sauces Part Deux. We did not attend Sauces Part Une, but that seemed to be of no consequence.

The class was a blast. Luis and I made chicken marsala, trout a la meuniere, and pork medallions with a bourbon apricot sauce. Our chef was Nikki Moore, owner of Food Love, and she was really great - very attentive and helpful. Luis lit some bourbon on fire and she didn't seem to mind. I think she even liked us the best.

Would I go back to Cooking Uptown? Absolutely. Very organized, reasonably priced and very fun.

Will Anyone Read This?

Having been reading blogs for awhile now, I've finally gotten up the nerve to start my own.  I figured that I read about all of the mundane details of other people meals, workouts, social outings, fashion opinions, etc., why not put some of my own out there?

This blog will be about balancing a very hectic work life as an attorney in the finance industry with healthy habits, a brand new marriage and an attempt at having a social life. Enjoy!