Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hot yoga and Birthday dinner 2

So before I get into my hot yoga and 30th birthday dinner part two, let's get back to my eats for my Saturday afternoon:

After my fabulous oatmeal pancake (which did a great job keeping me full!) I knew a light lunch was in order since I was heading out to my first ever hot yoga class. Knowing it would be an hour and half long I was worried that I'd get hungry during the class (which I did) but I also knew I needed to give myself at least a 2 hour window. So I steamed a serving of TJ's organic chicken and veggie dumplings with pearl tomatoes.

What I used:

  • 7 dumplings
  • 7 pearl tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
I finally found the perfect measure for my dumpling dipping sauce. I mixed the sauce in with the dumplings and tomatoes rather than dipping on the side since I had the tomatoes in there too, and since it was a small amount, it just barely covered everything without being overwhelming.
I also had 2 Medjool dates with a slather of raw almond butter on both. Perfect ending to a pretty tasty lunch.

Unfortunately I was hungry 2 hours later. The class was set to start at 4 and by 3:45 I my belly was grumbling. I had some water to hold myself over, only because I knew eating would hurt me.

We went to Sadhana Yoga Studio in the South End of Boston (Reba's 'hood). It was very small but there weren't too many of us in there so it worked out perfect.
I was worried about the length: 90 minutes for anything that requires my full and complete attention is VERY hard for me to commit to. Especially since I don't know a lot about yoga...I've tried a few classes here and there but nothing like this. I was worried I wouldn't be able to concentrate, that I would get bored or overwhelmed. Nope--none of that. Just pure bliss.

We did all the sun salutations and chaturangas and pigeon poses (which were by far the hardest for me to do). She also had us do some crazy ab work and a lot of plank moves (aside from the chaturangas). Fortunately I do a lot of these moves regularly, including planks for ab work, so I really wasn't hurting TOO bad...although the Dolphin poses were challenging.
All in all this class kicked my ass (in a good way) but left me feeling amazing. And sweaty. And stretched. We did a lot of hip opening work too which is perfect for running!

So now I'm in trouble because these classes cost $15 a pop! And I want to go every day! (ok, maybe not EVERY day but more than the twice a month I'll be able to afford right now) Also the owner just opened a studio in Everett, which is the town right next to me. Although the South End of Boston isn't more than 15-20 minutes from me, it's a pain in the ass to find parking. Reba said she'd switch it up and come out to the Everett studio with me so we can go to both if we wanted. I'm in love.
And as my mom has always said...I have expensive taste. Damn economy.

After yoga we headed back to Reba's to shower and change (again, not together). We stopped at a convenience store for some fruit to hold us over until dinner. I had an orange and an oatmeal raisin Clif bar.

Reba's boyfriend Kevin and our friend Jenny met us and we set off to an AMAZING tapas restaurant in Reba's South End 'hood called Estragon. (Your slice of Madrid in the South End--their slogan)
This was the perfect selection. It wasn't packed when we got there (at 7:30 on a Saturday? We got super lucky with this pick)

We were seated very quickly and started off with a pitcher of Sangria. I had one small glass that I sipped on the entire evening but didn't end up finishing it. It was good but I was actually really thirsty from the yoga class so I ended up drinking a lot of water.

We each chose one appetizer (tapa) to start with. But before any of our tapas arrived, we were greeted with this small bowl of cooked, seasoned and glazed carrots.

This was around the time that I realized how difficult it is to photograph foods. This is something I will definitely be working on.

I ordered green asparagus with lemon oil and manchego cheese (Esparragos verdes y Aceite de limon)

And the other tapas we tried included fried calamari

Warm goat cheese with tomatoes on toast (Queso de Cabra con Tomate)

And lamb skewers with cumin (pincho murono)

Everything was beyond excellent. I had never had lamb before, and it was very good. But Dennis reminded me that it's contradicting for me not to eat veal but to try lamb. He's right, and I doubt I'll eat lamb again for the same reasons why I refuse to eat veal. (it was really good though)

Then it was main dish time: A big ass pan of Paella Mixta with seafood (clams, calamari, mussels, shrimp and scallops) chicken, and veggies.

We split everything four ways. I will admit I didn't eat more than a few pieces of the calamari (even though I really wanted to eat half of it by myself) because I knew this bad boy was coming. Everything was cooked perfectly....the rice was soft, the chicken was moist, and the seafood was perfect as well. There is no way I could ever leave Boston without coming back to this place again. Oh, and they give post cards with their bills with old family photos on them as souvenirs. It worked because I made sure to take one home with me!

As much as we enjoyed this place, the only thing on the dessert menu that I was interested in was the flan, and since my mom makes the best flan known to man, I just couldn't bring myself to order it. So we headed out to another place for another drink and dessert.

Tremont 647 is a mid-scale restaurant in the south end, right on the corner of Reba's street. We've been there quite a few times since it's so close to her house. It's warm and cozy and has an inviting atmosphere, and a Sunday PJ brunch that is perfect to just roll out of bed to.

There was a 15 minute wait so Reba took it open herself to continue my birthday celebration with class by ordering a bottle of champagne.

It was red!

I'm not usually a big fan of champagne but I really liked this one (probably because it was red)

Cheers! (Jenny, myself, Reba)

To continue the sharing theme, we ordered Local Chocolate Love Letter (ever changing assortment of chocolate cookies & truffles) and the Stinky Cheese Dessert Plate (with house made jams, seasonal fruits, sea salt flatbread)

The Local Chocolate Love Letter:

The Stinky Cheese Plate:

Unfortunately I didn't hear everything our server had to say about what all the cheeses were, but the middle one was a blue cheese and my favorite was the last one to the right.

This was the perfect ending to our Tapas dinner. We were able to get enough of each item we ordered but didn't ever really get full.

The evening was exactly what I needed. We had a great time, great conversation and most of all GREAT FOOD!!

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