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.
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 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.
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?