Comfort in a Bite-Sized Ball

Hey everyone! Turns out I made the right choice in flying out early because my original flight (scheduled to leave today) was definitely cancelled from the snowstorm. Instead, I woke up to a nice and lax day.

Jennifer and I woke up so that I could take her to work. On the way, we stopped by Starbucks to get some caffeine and food.

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I totally forgot to take a picture of my breakfast, but I got their chicken sausage and egg white wrap, which was a lot yummier than I was expecting.

After dropping her off at work, I drove back to her place to get some work done and go for a run. Can I just say how nice it is to be able to run in a tank top and shorts at 10am??? In February??? I was nervous to run because I hadn’t stuck to my training plan and didn’t run for 3 days.

Well, being at sea level is a helper, but not as awesome as I was hoping for (I was expecting superhuman running ability…haha jk….kind of…). The run didn’t feel completely easy because my legs were heavy, I was getting hot, and I was breathing harder than I’m used to. Now for the good news: I ran several miles at under a 10 min/mile pace! I’ve done that on a treadmill set at a decline, but never during one of my outdoor runs. No wonder I was breathing in a semi-uncomfortable zone!

My legs are feeling more fresh and loose (sounds kind of dirty), and I’m digging the help of extra oxygen no matter how small the difference. Once I got back to take a shower, I literally had streams of sweat pouring off of my face, which promptly turned into rivers once I took my hair out of a ponytail. Yum…sweat.

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It’s a good thing I can clean up nice. Here’s a picture with my new haircut sans curls and post shower. It’s a good thing I shower frequently…

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I went to pick up Jennifer and her friend for lunch afterwards. We went to a Korean restaurant in Fullerton near her work that was just okay, but it temporarily satisfied my desire for Korean food. I’ll  be meeting up my aunt in Koreatown on Sunday for the good stuff ;)

Anyway, let’s rewind back to my post-airport dinner because it was so yummy.

Will Work for Balls…Potato Balls That Is

Jennifer took me to Porto’s Bakery last night because she said their potato balls would steal my heart.

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It was founded by a Cuban couple, so the menu has a good selection of Cuban-style sandwiches and baked goods along with more standard bakery/deli fare.

We started with two potato balls for each of us because Jennifer said that I would not be satisfied with just one.

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She was right.

Oh. My. Yum! To put it simply, they taste like shepherds pie in ball form, but that almost sounds insulting. They’re these deliciously seasoned smashed potatoes stuffed with an amazing meat blend and then fried to a beautiful, golden crisp. I’m in love.

Jennifer got their tuna melt as her main meal, and I went with their steak torta served with a side of fried plantains.

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It was delicious, too! It came with guac, black beans, and the other typical burger fixins, but was beyond a burger. Although I was in love with the sandwich, I really just wanted to eat a platter of the potato balls. For real, they were that good.

Well, Jennifer is almost off work again, and I’m sipping down another cup of coffee before I pick her up from work. We’ve got to head back to the airport to pick up my friend who’s flying in from Utah. Then we’re off to hit the town either in L.A. or Newport Beach. See you tomorrow!

Question of the Day: Should I put on my headphones during my first half or no? I really want to savor the experience, but I don’t know if listening to spectators is enough. Share your thoughts!

Take Me Away

What a whirlwind of a day. I was hoping the weather reports would change, but they didn’t. Denver is supposed to get between 6-18 inches of snow tonight depending on the area. I’m glad you all found the racing tips from my last post useful. I’m getting more excited (and nervous) as Sunday scoots closer and closer.

I was supposed to fly out to Los Angeles tomorrow afternoon, but that’s supposed to be the peak of the storm, and the Denver International Airport area is one of the locations estimated to get between 10-18 inches of snow. Lucky for me, most (maybe all?) of the airlines were offering flight changes for no cost, so I moved up my departure to today before the storm is supposed to really hit…woohoo! An extra day in sunny California, absolutely no snow for me, and no work for 4 full days. Snowstorm planning ftw!

***Woot just landed. That is all.***

Thao’s Birthday Dinner

Thao’s birthday was last Friday, but a handful of us celebrated with dinner last night at ChoLon Bistro. The ambiance, and the restaurant itself, were perfect for the evening. The large group table was, indeed, large and didn’t make us feel cramped despite having a multitude of dishes on the table. The music was and chatter were loud enough to keep us from being the table of obnoxious girls, but quiet enough to not have to shout at each other.

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about setting the mood for a girl’s dinner: it’s all about the food. Oh, and Thao :D We each paired up with someone and ordered a few different dishes because their menu is designed to be shared.

To start: instead of the usual bread and butter, we got popped rice with black sesame seeds with a sort of chili sauce…it kind of reminded me of a spotted version of a Korean snack. Doesn’t it look like seashells? Or ants stuck in styrofoam… It was useful for scooping up food later.

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Michelle and I decided to share, so first out were the curried duck spring rolls with cilantro yogurt. Absolutely delicious.

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Soon after came the stir-fried brussels sprouts with ground pork and mint. It was a tad on the salty side, but it went well with the more mellow flavors of the evening. They’re hidden under the mint leaves and crunchy things.

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Our main course was a pork tenderloin with butternut squash puree and some Chinese broccoli. Pork tenderloin is obviously supposed to be tender, but this porker was TENDER. Like I probably could have cut it with my fork, but I tried to act more refined and used the knife.

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For dessert, we had nibbles of Thao’s exotic birthday sorbets along with our 5-Spice donuts with Vietnamese coffee ice cream and caramel sauce…yum!

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The service here is excellent and the food is moderately priced. One of our dear friends got a piece of saran wrap from her bite of Thao’s sorbet (they use saran wrap to form the ice cream into shell looking things), and they immediately deducted the amount of almost all 4 of the desserts from the tab after the manager came and apologized. Not to mention, you get a straight view into the kitchen to see esteemed Chef Lon Symensma at work with his line. Another great night out with the girls!

Question of the Day: What was your last great eating experience? What made it so great?