I believe that this is where my penchant to notice the little things came from. I also used to make fun of my sister for reading, thinking she was a super nerd. Now I read every possible waking minute. I also fought listening to classic rock (Rolling Stones, Rush, Tom Petty, etc) and now I can't get enough, as they remind me of those long-ago road trips. I still get sick while traveling but the desire to visit wherever I'm going often overrides my illness.
A weekend or two ago, I visited everyone I know and love on my mom's side of the family in Colorado. A four day week of work that week and next the didn't hurt anything either. To finish off my Thusday, my carpooling buddy and I took a detour on our way home from Kennebunk to Saco. Ice cream was our destination, even though I had somehow conned K into stopping for a chocolate sea salt donut from the The Holy Donut that morning...after traffic, visiting an ATM (cash only at this joint) and an extra while in the car, we mutually decided that heck yes, it was all worth it for Garside's hot fudge sundae. I got mint chocolate chip and mocha chip with fudge and K went with chocolate chip with fudge sauce.
Upon our arrival into Denver, I looked down to see one incredibly lonely tree in a field that stretched on and on upon Denver's incredibly flat land, smoke far of in the distance, mountains looming that I couldn't wait to climb, erratic tractor trails in the fields and the "pollution sink" effect that plagues downtown Denver. It was a beautiful weekend filled with nephews, hiking, eating peaches non-stop and good ol' fashioned family time. My super-talented cousin Marcy made a peach galette that was just perfect. The recipe can be found here: http://www.marthastewart.com/908598/stone-fruit-galette
Upon my re-entry to Maine life, I went on a walk with a good friend. We ended up at Honey Paw (they also own Eventide and Hugo's so you know it's going to be incredible). There was a Beastie Boys themed food event going on. The talented boys at Bunker Brewery were behind it all and even had a special beer for the release called, of course, Brass Monkey. I've never had the pleasure of drinking a 40oz but I hear that when you mix beer with orange juice, it's quite the bocktail (beer cocktail?). After saying hello to my Bunker buddy, M and I ordered one of these orange beverages and hung out in their small outside standing area. As I looked around at everyone eating their painstaking beautiful food, I was reminded that I myself had visited Honey Paw for dinner recently.
Initiate flashback sequence: A NY acquaintance visited Portland on his way northward for a wedding last month. Being a true tourist, he wanted to go to Eventide. I gave the below listed as possibilities but he wouldn't be swayed: Bao Bao-dumplings and more, Petit Jacqueline-French, Green Elephant-vegetarian amazingness, Bonobo-woodfired pizza, Bramhall-upscale pub, Empire-mmmmmmm, dim sum. Nope.
Upon arrival, Eventide was its usual mini-metropolis. I made the executive decision to go half a block down to Honey Paw instead. Here, we were able to sit down right away and have an Eventide Mai Tai (best drink on the menu in the summer time!). The evening couldn't have been more perfect as we waited for our food to arrive in waves. Meat snacks were definitely ordered because, with a name like that, how could one resist? It was warm beef jerky topped with greens, thinly cut onion, shredded carrot and other delicious things. The beef itself was served warm, which added to the party in my mouth (never thought I'd say that about beef). The next round of food consisted of greens and wings. Kudos on both of them but surprisingly, the greens may have been my favorite part of the entire meal, minus dessert round one of course. Finally, came the entree which was good too. When it was time for dessert, after two Mai Tais, the only answer is, "bring it on." Honey flavored soft serve with hard chocolate shell bits and caramelized honey. Topping was the cats pajamas. Had it not been $7, we would have ordered four more. I want one now, at 10:30am.
After contemplating ordering more of everything, we walked around Portland for a complete experience. It just so happened that our walk took us right past Gelato Fiasco. Oops. Of course we had to go in at taste multiple heavenly flavors. I ordered resurgam and chocolate sea salt caramel. End flashback in a haze of happiness.
Does food affect everyone else the way it affects me? I went to Salvage a couple nights ago and had their ribs plus mac and cheese. My dinner companion and I were on the middle of a conversation, and as I bit into my first rib, I think I actually held up the "I'll be with you in one minute" finger. I was overcome with the feeling that all was perfect with the world, just for that one minute. The rest of the night was a complete shit-show but, while I as eating these perfect ribs and dense Mac and cheese (as thunder and lightening show raged outside), nothing could go wrong.
One more recent and random has struck in my mind. Timber Steakhouse has an incredible happy hour. Considering I fear I can't afford anything on their regular menu, I got an impromptu happy hour invitation to join friends awhile back. Upon arrival, I walked through the visually-pleasing restaurant to Timber's large patio area. It was a great temperature to sit outside and they were able to accommodate about ten of us. The actual special is $5 appetizers (I got chicken croquettes and jalapeño Mac and cheese, other friends ordered fries, etc). Mini bruschetta bites come with purchase which included roasted tomatoes, Parmesan and duck fat butter on the side. The macaroni and cheese was indubitably cheesy and not too spicy but not spicy enough but still incredible and the chicken croquettes very good as well. Anything fried gets my vote. The two special cocktails of the evening were light and flavorful but simple in their ingredients. I cant' wait to return!
Happy eating! Enjoy this heat wave with cold cocktails!