Prime Time

I don’t know about all of you, but this weekend couldn’t come soon enough. The week was seriously dragging along.

For those of you who read my blog for workout motivation, this has been a sad week indeed. I have not worked out since Wednesday-ish, so I really need to get the ball rolling before I start rolling around like the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka.

I have, however, been eating very well. Too well, really. Maybe recapping the various things I’ve consumed in the past 24 hours will give me the encouragement to hit the gym. Probably not. I do promise that I will complete my 10 mile long run tomorrow and then be completely on track with my running moving forward since I don’t have any Christmas parties to use as an excuse for the week.

Ocean Prime

Sometime during the summer, I won a $200 gift card from a work raffle for Ocean Prime, a fine dining chain that popped up in Larimer Square around March 2011.

I have been putting off using it for awhile (not sure why), so I finally got together a group of friends to spend some money with me. I was a bit worried about it not being nearly enough for 4 people because I went there on a date, and we easily put down $200 between the two of us (I offered to pay my half). Luckily, we didn’t go much over.

We actually had one of the booths to the left.

We had reservations for 7:15 and didn’t get seated until 8:00…with a freakin reservation! They tried to make up for it with free champagne and a bite of an appetizer, but we still waited for over 30 minutes after they brought the free goods. According to Yelp, this is common. They offered to seat us in the open-seating bar area on the main level, but the table was horrible, so we waited.

Anyway, once we finally got seated upstairs in the main dining room, we were starving. We started off with perfectly warm, crispy outside/chewy inside bread. All photos are VERY yellow because the place is lit up using yellow lights, not soft white, orangey-yellow.

Then, we moved on to appetizers. We decided to go with the calamari and the cheddar fondue. The calamari was very salty and had way too much sauce. It was good for a bite or two, but that’s it.

The cheddar fondue, however, was amazing. The cheese had just enough bite and went very well with the assortment of veggies, meats, and breads that came with it.

By this point, I really needed a drink to wash everything down, so I got their signature Black Orchid drink, which was Belvedere Black Raspberry Vodka, St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, hand-squeezed lemon & white cranberry juice. Inside the martini glass was a frozen, edible orchid, which I carefully took out to photograph. This drink was one of the highlights of the meal, definitely recommend.

Then, each of us ordered a different entree so that we could sample several dishes. I ordered the 10oz filet mignon, medium rare, which came with this interesting garlic decoration. The filet was cooked perfectly and was unanimously the best entree of the table.

Thao ordered the Ginger Salmon, cooked medium, which came with sugar snap peas. This dish was also very good, but could have used less of a crust on the outside.

Our 3rd dish was a tomahawk pork chop, which we thought was actually going to be a tomahawk steak per our server’s description…surprise! It was served with truffled mashed potatoes and asparagus. The pork and asparagus were slightly overcooked, and the mashed potatoes had too many truffle bits and too much truffle oil. Trust me, I love most anything with truffles, but this was overdone.

Our final dish was a pork porterhouse (since we thought we hard ordered a tomahawk beef steak) which was not pictured. It came with brussels sprouts and was completely overcooked. It was so dry that we had a hard time choking it down, but we were so hungry from having to wait until almost 9 for our main course that we just ate it.

We also ordered sides of brussels sprouts and garlic mashed potatoes. The brussels sprouts were cooked more sweet than I’ve ever tried, which I personally loved, but the rest of the table found them too sweet to enjoy. The garlic mashed potatoes were very good and garlicy. I like when a restaurant isn’t afraid to use garlic. It helps to keep the glittering vampires at bay.

Overall, I give Ocean Prime 3/5 stars because everything was hit-or-miss with taste, their service is incredibly slow even with a reservation, and the price wasn’t worth the mediocre food. I’d rather go across the street and hit up Capital Grille, where the service and food are always on point despite being a fine dining chain. I would probably come back for happy hour to snack on some of their small dishes and get another incredible drink, but never again for dinner (unless I win another gift card). Total damage for 2 apps, 4 entrees, 2 sides, and 2 drinks was $250.

Thai Street Food (name of restaurant)

Now onto food that is more my everyday price point. If any of you have visited downtown Denver and stopped by the Thai Food Cart (not Liang’s Thai Food Cart, there are two), you will know that she has the most unusual “hours”: temperature must be above 50, no rain, wind or snow, between the hours of 11-5, or if she feels like showing up. You will also know that her pad thai is to die for, and you must wait for an average of 45 minutes in line to get it. Good news! I’ve finally been able to track down her restaurant in the seedy neighborhoods surrounding the CU Medical campus near Peoria and Montview.

The only problem is, she’s only open on Saturday. That’s it. Her sign used to say the opposite of her food cart sign: open only when below 50 degrees, when raining, snowing, or very windy…lol. Thao and I have been craving her food since she’s stopped showing up downtown (it hasn’t  been above 50 degrees in awhile), so while trying to get the items needed to complete a gift for my roomie, we stopped by.

As soon as you sit down, they immediately bring you giant steins (yes the beer steins) of Thai ice tea, but not the kind with an unhealthy amount of condensed milk. It was just perfectly-sweetened Thai tea sans milk. I ordered chicken pad thai, medium high, and little juicy (they have a very specific ordering system) and a basil chicken, medium high, to-go.

Thao ordered the beef pad see-ew, medium, little juicy.

We both agreed that the best thing on the menu is pad thai because we’ve had better versions of her other food at various other Thai restaurants. If any of you Denverites plan on going, be warned about their levels of spicy. There are about 7 levels of spiciness, and it’s probably the only Thai restaurant I’ve gone to where it’s actually shit-your-pants hot. I’ve never gotten their fire level, so I have not soiled myself, but you get the idea. I used to be able to handle medium high-high, but the feeling of dying afterwards was not worth it hahaha.

Workouts

As stated early on, I have been totally off my workout game this week, but I think it was much needed. Now I need to refocus for the last 6 weeks before my half marathon (eek!). My posts will be more back to “normal” starting tomorrow. My inner fat kid needed a week to express herself ;)

Question of the Day: How often do you take an extended break from exercise?

Linger for Awhile

Hey Everyone! Thank you for all of the birthday wishes, they really brought a smile to my face :) <–see?

For my birthday dinner, ten friends and I went to check out linger. It’s spelled with a lowercase “L” because it resides in the building of the former Olinger Mortuary, so the “O” isn’t lit up at night.

Yeah, it’s a bit morbid to put a restaurant in a former house of dead people, but they play it up nicely, and it’s a lovely restaurant. It’s quite a hot spot because I made reservations a month in advance and it was almost booked that far ahead.

To keep with the theme of being in a former mortuary, they kept some small details. All of their water jugs are in what look like old formaldehyde bottles, the drink menu looks like a metal clipboard, and some of their separate menus have little taglines up top that say things like “attach to toe”.

They use all locally-sourced and organic ingredients except when it’s not possible. A lot of their foods come from local farms in the area, so it’s all very fresh.

Everything Almost everything is served as a small plate, so everyone ordered 2 or 3. It ended up being way too much food, but at least everyone was full.

Doner Cobb Salad- Warm Flatbread, Grilled Chicken, Greens, Roasted Vegetables, Bacon, Brussel Sprouts, Medjool Dates, HardBoiled Egg, Avocado, French Feta & Harissa-Yogurt Dressing

Maple Leaf Farms Duck Wings- Shaved Fennel, Blood Orange Hot Sauce & Celery Root Ranch

Korean BBQ Pork- Chinese Spring Onion Pancake, Poached Egg & Kimchi

Pad Thai- Fresh Rice Noodles, Farm Egg, Peanuts, Bean Curd, Pickled Vegetables, Garlic Chives & Cilantro

Strongbow Cider Mussels- Garlic, Thyme, Celery, Grain Mustard, Maple Drizzle & Grilled Spicy Cheddar Bread

St. Germain Cocktail- St. Germain, Cava & Soda w/a Lemon Twist

Overall, the food was just okay. A lot of it was so salty that we didn’t even finish half of the plate. The drinks, on the other hand, were FANTASTIC! They were probably the best drinks that I’ve been served in Denver, and the prices were reasonable. The above cocktail was $10, but they fill the large wine glass and give you the leftovers to refill with.

I <3 food.

At the end of it all, I thought my stomach was going to explode. Then our server brought out a bread pudding cupcake with red bean & chocolate ice cream and a card signed by the restaurant staff. While everyone was having me take pictures with it, I accidentally blew it out while laughing…whoops.

I swear I have the greatest friends ever. For my birthday present, they all chipped in money for my Garmin fund! Actually, they fully supplied my Garmin fund, so it looks like I’ll have one this weekend! Thank you, friends!!! Special shout-out to Thao for organizing the rest of my awesome friends :) You are freakin awesome, and I love you to death.

As a gag gift, my friend, Lily, gave me a tin of bacon-strip band-aids lol. It was fun to play with.

Hesitantly preparing to munch real bacon while holding up my band-aid bacon.

It was an awesome day spent with great people. My co-workers decorated my cube with streamers and balloons, and I had enough cookies to put me into a diabetic coma. On top of that, I also received my first tin of cookies from the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I’m going to wait until I get all of mine and send mine before posting up pictures, but they were yummy and came in time for my birthday :)

While at the dentist’s office, I got a nice cleaning and had no cavities woohoo! I also got myself a snazzy Sonicare toothbrush. No exercise for today, but I think that’s alright. Have a good night!!!

Question of the Day: Are you participating in any cookie swaps?

Long Run Sundays: Surfs Up

Happy Sunday! I hope that your weekend has been swell and full of relaxation.

I’ve been semi-MIA from the blog world for a couple of days now because I had a friend from out of town staying with me the whole weekend. She moved for work, so it’s always a great time when she comes back to visit. We’ve been busy eating, shopping, and meeting up with friends all weekend long. Every time she’s here, it almost feels like I’m having a mini vacay since we do so much stuff and hang out with so many people :)

<3

Needless to say, I didn’t get much running in this weekend. Aside from our 4 mile run yesterday, I took a short running break and skipped my Sunday long run. I think it’s best because a) I had a hangover from last night (no puke face today), b) I didn’t want to aggravate my hip since it was achy yesterday, and c) I’m officially moving into training mode as of this week!

If you stopped by yesterday, you should have noticed my race confirmation screen shot for the 2012 Surf City Half Marathon! I’m SO excited because it’s a beautiful course that runs along Huntington Beach (and cute surfer boys *cough cough*).

source

So, what gives? I just signed up for the Portland Rock n Roll Half Marathon that will take place in late May, but it feels entirely too far off. I’ve already reached a long run distance of 9 miles, so knowing that I don’t have any reason to be running so much right now was somewhat demotivating. I seriously thought it would take me 8 months to train for Portland, but my body likes running more than I thought it would.

Because I started running about 2 months ago, I figured that February would be a great time to tackle a half marathon. The thing is, there is no way in hell I would run one in Colorado in February because you would probably find me frozen along the side of the street somewhere. I did a search for half marathons in February, and Surf City was at the top of the list. Mild weather + beaches +great food + cheap flight = WINNER. It also helps that I have several friends in LA I can recruit as my hotel, taxi, and cheerleading squad, so it was an easy choice ;) Thanks, friends!

source

This race is going to be glorious. I mean, look at that beach! It’s not Hawaii, but I haven’t seen a beach since I went to Spain in April, so I’ll gladly take what I can get since the closest thing we have to a beach here is along a lake. It probably won’t be warm enough to work on my tan, but it’s definitely going to be warmer than Colorado! Plus, I’m sure my running tan lines will not look sexy in a bikini.

This gives me more motivation to work on getting in more runs during the week since I know I’ll have to complete this half marathon in about 10 weeks. No more using work/tutoring or my hate of the treadmill as an excuse to run some other time. As such, I also need to look for a good training schedule, so I’ll post it up once I find one that I like.

source

I can’t wait to head to the expo to get my race bib. They give you the option to personalize your bib, so I took full advantage of the opportunity. I might be the only one who thinks I am clever and funny, but mine is going to say “Half Virgin”. Yup, that’s right, and I’m going to be wearing that damn thing proudly. That’s enough rambling for a night, so I’ll catch you all tomorrow!

Be Thankful Challenge

Today I’m thankful for Crystal Light. I normally don’t like the stuff, but I hate the taste of water after a night of drinking because it tastes like I’m chugging vodka or tequila…GROSS!

Question of the Day: Do you have any tips for half marathon training?