Throwback Monday

Wait, what do you mean, “Throwback Monday” isn’t a thing?? Pffft, it is now!

I got the brilliant idea to head to Oakland for lunch today, to pretend I’m still in college and to get chicken biryani from a food truck. I was torn about whether I’d have time to get to the trucks before they closed down, so instead of going to the gym first, I opted to run around Oakland for a little while instead. So I parked in Squirrel Hill and made my way through the CMU campus and then all through the Pitt campus. Eventually, I settled on the India on Wheels truck on Bigelow.

I used to always grab chicken biryani from the trucks when they were outside of Hillman Library back in the day, and this transported me right back to that time. It doesn’t hurt that someone approached me with book buy-back information, too – I’d forgotten it’s finals week! It felt nice to know I can still pass for a college student. :)

I never realized how good I had it when I ate at the food trucks 13 years ago – they’re so stinkin cheap! And so good! Knowing I’d want lunch for the rest of the week, I got a large chicken biryani, two samosas, some naan, and a mango juice… all for $10 even. When I got home, I ate exactly a quarter of all the food and drank half of the juice. That’s a buttload of food for next to nothing.


If only I could go back so that I could truly appreciate the awesomeness of college…

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Frank The Tank

We had a fun day of brunch, running around, and then dinner with my parents, and now I’m all settled in to get started on my last week in my current position at work.

Dinner was at The Yard Gastropub in Shadyside, and it was actually my dad’s idea. Some people at work had told him about it and he was pretty jazzed about checking out their grilled cheese selections. We started with the poutine which was delicious, and then I chose the Frank the Tank grilled cheese for my meal.

Frank the Tank had two cheeses, chicken, red hot, and red onions. It was served with a small cup of tomato soup and fries – I opted for the sweet potato fries, but everyone else got the garlic parmesan. My sandwich was okay, but I feel like more could have been done with the chicken. It just tasted like boiled chicken inside the sandwich! Some seasoning would have done wonders… although I did like the cheeses, onion, and hot sauce. The sweet potato fries (with cinnamon butter) were good, but the tomato soup was my favorite part of the meal – it was sort of sweet and smoky. I stole a few garlic parm fries and dipped them in the soup and they were amazing.

The BF and I are curious about their brunch (hello, more chicken & waffles!), so I’m sure we’ll make our way back to The Yard… who knows, maybe even as early as next week!

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Hey, Bud!

Just a few weeks ago, our courtyard at work was covered in snow. Now it’s covered in buds.

I think it looks better this way. :)

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Ramen, Elevated

Working from home, stuck with completing over six hours of online training before the end of the day, I had a lot of time to think about lunch. There’s a recipe I’ve wanted to try since seeing it on The Mind of a Chef, and a little internetting helped that recipe make its way into my kitchen. On the show, Dave Chang (Momofuku) created cacio e pepe using ramen and it intrigued me. Here he was, making a traditional Italian dish, with ramen. It seemed both sacrilege and brilliant.

So when I came upon the recipe today and saw how easy it was to make, I decided to give it a go. The result: way better than regular ramen with the seasoning packet. I even cut down on the butter, oil, and cheese, and it was still pretty awesome.

With how easy it was to make and how quickly it came together, I can definitely see this “fancy” ramen becoming one of my regular go-to quick meals.

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The World Is My Oyster

I had another awesome day today – turns out transitioning all your work to other people is actually really fun and relaxing once they start to get the hang of what they’re doing. My workload has gone from “zomg-can’t-even-spare-3-minutes-to-microwave-my-lunch” insane to “meh, maybe I’ll go to Au Bon today and stand in line for 20 minutes to get my lunch and then maybe I’ll walk up to Macy’s to look at dresses and ooh! I meant to stop at the post office as well” chill. I love it, and I’m soaking it all in. I know that once things really start moving with the new position, I’m going to go crazy all over again.

But for now, I’m enjoying the peace of it all. And that means taking advantage of a free lunch at Au Bon Pain (it’s birthday month, n’at) and then leaving early to hit happy hour with a friend (as is our tradition for the birthday season). We went to Eleven and indulged in some Eleven Mules and oysters before our main meals. Since I had a birthday certificate to use, I ordered the salmon with roasted cauliflower and cheesy grits. As always, every single thing we had was delicious; Eleven has never disappointed me.

As for the last highlight of the day, I got something I’ve been wishing for at work. Someone either changed up our beverage order at work, or maybe it was an accident, but in any case, we now have a bunch of cases of seltzer water in our cooler. Considering I really just like the fizz and not the sugar (or fake sugar) and caffeine of pop, I’m one happy camper. I went through three cans just in the span of my last four hours at work. I may have even brought one home. Accident or on purpose, I hope whoever creates the order sees that someone is drinking it and decides to order more when the time comes.

Maybe I’d better stockpile just in case. ;)

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The Beast Within

For Free Lunch Wednesday today, we were treated to chicken (or portabella… gross) fajitas and salads, but I decided to multi-task and combine the two. This fajita salad was a BEAST; I could hardly finish it. And when I did, I wasn’t hungry again until after I got back home from the gym.

Hooray for super-filling salad beasts!

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