Good morning (:
Over the weekend, I not only went to Grand Rapids for a night to visit my little sister, meal prepped for almost the entire week, and got a few really good workouts in, but Chris and I also watched the entire season of Big Little Lies on HBO. I am embarrassed to say that, but not even mad because it is so, so, so, so, SO freaking good. A few of my friends have been bugging me to watch it for about a month now (since it premiered) and for some unknown reason I’ve been hesitant, but I knew within the first two minutes of starting it on Saturday night that I was going to be obsessed. And was I ever. But now I’m super disappointed that it’s OVER already! Please go watch this show if you haven’t seen it yet. I don’t want to ruin it for anybody that hasn’t seen it, but it’s essentially about a bunch of moms and their first graders at a prestigious school in Monterey, California and all the drama they get into.
ANYWAY, onto the actual rest of the weekend (; Chris and I both worked a half day on Friday and then drove the 2.5 hours to Grand Rapids to see my little sister dance at a basketball game. We hung out at the hotel for a while and then ventured out to two awesome restaurants for happy hour and dinner in nearby Eastown: Green Well and Grove.
I used to go to Green Well all the time in college, but hadn’t been back in years. It’s a really trendy gastropub with what I would describe as “fancy bar food,” great cocktails, and a really good atmosphere. We split the roasted brussels sprouts with parmesan and chorizo, and they were beyond fantastic. I’m usually not a fan of meat other than chicken and fish, but the little bit of chorizo I had was spicy and paired perfectly with the brussels sprouts. I also got a bourbon/lemon cocktail and Chris got some sort of beer.
Once we were finished, we walked right across the street to Grove to have their tasting menu for dinner. The concept was amazing – you get to pick three courses (from three different categories) for $39 and then can add an additional wine pairing for each course. We split the tasting menu (since we didn’t have too much time before we had to leave for the game) and each got our own wine pairing and were more and more pleased with each course as it came.
First we got the Crab Churro which was comprised of “cream cheese remoulade, beer gel, peppers, cabbage, queso fresco, and lemon.” We both had no idea what to expect when we ordered this and were blown away by what they came out with. We knew this restaurant was known for being “farm-to-table,” but it was so strikingly noticeable how fresh all of the ingredients were. Every bite of this dish tasted just a little bit different, primarily due to all the different little sauces and gels that were strategically placed around the plate.
For the second course we had the Chili Rigatoni & Clams – “smoked duck, charred onions, swiss chard, dill, lemon, and butter.” Reading that back after I type it, it sounds so odd, but somehow it all worked together perfectly. I’ve never had clams before, but if they all taste like the ones in this dish, they may be one of my new favorite foods. Smoked foods are not always my favorite, but the smoked duck in this duck was great. However, the best part of the dish in my opinion was the charred onions. They added such good flavor, and I wish there would have been more of them!
Lastly we had the Trout: “braised lentils, broccoli, onions, romesco, soy caramel, and peanuts.” If I could somehow recreate this caramel sauce they used, I think I would put it on everything. I am not a big fan of sweet things, but this sauce just made the fish taste out of this world. It was cooked absolutely perfectly and again, I loved the onions with it.
After dinner we headed to the basketball game to watch my sister dance with her team. Chris and Sara’s boyfriend really enjoyed the game, and I loved the people watching and the music (; After the game we all went to get frozen yogurt and walked around the city for a little while.
On Saturday morning, we were bound and determined to get out of bed early enough to get breakfast at my all-time favorite restaurant from college, Marie Catrib’s. It’s a tiny family-owned place with unbelievable food, a super cool atmosphere, and great service. We got there just in time to get the last two seats available at the bar, which worked out wonderfully because we were able to watch the kitchen make everyone’s food which always fascinates us. We both agreed that this restaurant should be a contender for Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Chris got the breakfast special (of course…), and I got their yogurt parfait with homemade granola and a fantastic almond poppyseed muffin on the side, which is not pictured because I ate it too fast. And a ton of coffee.
After breakfast we sat at a tiny coffee shop with Sara and her boyfriend playing Clue for a while and then walked around a local farmers market and got lunch at New Holland Brewery. On our way back home, we stopped to visit my grandma for a bit who was in town and then spent the rest of the evening watching Big Little Lies, doing laundry, and making dinner at home after eating out all weekend.
Sunday was a beyond beautiful day outside which consisted of nothing out of the ordinary – church, working out, cleaning, meal prepping, grilling, and watching our shows. Just what I needed after a couple days of traveling and eating out non-stop. We are on a plan for the month of April to work out better, eat smarter, drink less, and save money. We had a decent start yesterday and are determined to keep it going today and over the next couple of weeks.
Thought for the Week
I think this quote speaks for itself. Especially when the same thing keeps happening over and over again, it is crazy of us to expect anything to change. I think the saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.” I fall victim to this every single day. My goal this week is to close chapters that are finished, open up new ones, and understand that letting things go isn’t always a sad thing. It brings room for more exciting, passionate projects to occur and new people to arrive.