Guess what today is!? MegGoesNomNom’s TWO YEAR anniversary! Crazy, right? Two years ago today, which happened to be the day after my 24th birthday, I decided to start this blog – and, two years and 57,000 views later, here I am today. I don’t have anything special in particular planned, but I can tell you about my most recent birthday, which was yesterday! The big 2-6.
I suppose I’ll share most of the birthday deets on here. Sometimes I feel the need to reconsider what content and I do and do not want to share on the blog. Some things I like to keep private, while others I like to share on my blog as a means of a more-or-less personal diary I can look back on, a way to share life updates with fam + friends, and also a way of sharing all things “nom” with fellow food lovers. My rule of thumb is that if something doesn’t have to do with food, it is less likely to make it to the blog. As I’ve reiterated on the blog over the last two years, I try to post about life updates in the context of, well – my blog topic: food.
So here we go!
The last Martini Monday of my 25th year, on the eve of my birthday. Five Cent Femme and I redeemed a LivingSocial deal at Café Felix. Monday evening was most definitely the best weekday to redeem our deal because of Martini Monday! Ten dollar martinis for five bucks.
Martini #1 above: Honey Pot - Vodka, Barenjager Liqueur, vanilla and a splash of cream and dash of cinnamon. Barenjager Liqueur = honey liqueur.
With my sweet martini, I had a savory and spicy (only after adding liberal doses of red pepper flake) thin crust pizza (above):
- Jumbo Shrimp with Fresh Garlic: “Shredded Mozzarella and herbed Chèvre, grilled jumbo shrimp, roasted garlic drizzled with our garlic-infused olive oil.”
A whole dessert for myself!? Why, yes, indeed. I had warm, tender crepe filled with strawberries and bananas, and drizzled with Nutella. That’s when I told Five Cent Femme that I like Nutella, but it just doesn’t do all that much for me, and I lost several respect notches in her book, most likely. With that said, this was mighty delicious. I also had a sweet tea-themed martini with dessert.
On my birthday, I took the day off work and basically just indulged myself all day. I am worth it!
I got a free lunch from Moe’s (hint: join their email list) – Homewrecker burrito with ground beef and … everything. All the fixin’s. Oh my word – the Moe’s in Ann Arbor has an incredible new Coca-Cola machine with over 100 flavor combinations available and it is amazing. Maybe that sounds like an exaggeration to you, but it is not. It IS amazing, okay? I got Vanilla Coke Zero fountain pop, baby.
When birthday well-wishers call me on the phone, I tend to doodle. Seriously, I was on the phone and unconsciously doodled this entire page. I am, and always have been a chronic doodler.
I also indulged in jewelry organization projects with a couple of my birthday gifts from the huz. Organizing things makes me happy. Remember what I did last year on my birthday as well?
A new place for my pins and guitar picks as well!
Early evening, we headed to what is decidedly my favorite Ann Arbor brewpub, Grizzly Peak. Since it was Brewer’s Night, we got to try pints of Count Schakuporter, which is a porter containing chocolate and chocolate nibs from local shop, Schakolad. It was good, but I would have liked even more chocolate flavor! I still think Grizzly Peak’s stout is better than their porter, so I will probably return to my trusty stout next visit.
After drinks, we headed to Gratzi, for a wonderful meal!
I hadn’t been to Gratzi since I graduated from undergrad, in ‘08. Gratzi, an upscale Italian restaurant, is part of the Mainstreet Ventures collection of eateries, which offer a free meal on one’s birthday. Specifically, diners receive 1/[number in party] off the food portion of their bill. For instance, 1/4th off all food on the bill for a party of four.
To start, warm bread with olive oil. The below quoted food descriptions are taken from the Gratzi menu.
Starter: Code Di Scampi Tirena – “brick oven roasted jumbo shrimp with pancetta, brandy and butter pan sauce.”
These babies were huge and delicious.
Salad course for me:
Insalata Mista Della Casa – “mixed greens with tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese,
tossed with a white balsamic vinaigrette.”
This salad was perfect; loved it.
For my entrée, I ordered:
Capesante Con porri e Mostarda – “seared natural sea scallops with angel hair pasta, spinach, leeks and pommery mustard butter.”
Oh, these seared scallops were just wonderful. The portion size was perfect – not too skimpy, and just enough to satiate my desire for delicious scallops. I really prefer seared scallops over broiled scallops, and these were seared beautifully, with a savory crisp exterior, and a tender, sweet interior. Love love love.
Another shot, for good measure:
My lovely dining companion, the huz, ordered a veal dish, which I had also considered:
Vitello al Tartufo – “roasted veal tenderloin with mushroom ragout, served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, finished with truffle butter.”
Mmm mm! I tried a tasty bite of that tender veal – good stuff. Do you see that herb butter? Oh yes.
Free dessert – with a candle. Made me feel so special. For real! It’s been a while since my last birthday candle. I hope my wish comes true.
This was a Grapefruit Campari sorbet, with a pair of biscotti. Oh, and my Rodney Strong Merlot is back there too. Good wine.
We had a really awesome meal at Gratzi, largely in part to the wonderful server we had! He was laid-back, yet very professional, and never condescending like servers occasionally may be in some upscale restaurants (I’m lookin’ at you Chop House!), and that really added to the evening’s experience. Plus, all of the food was absolutely delicious. I forgot how good Gratzi is, I’ll definitely have to go there more often.
Now the huz and I are the same age, for two weeks of the year. Not looking too bad, are we!?
This is what we looked like standing in front of Gratzi about four years ago! Ahahaha:
Obviously my birthday would not be complete without Iorio’s gelato! A free small (piccolo!) one for the birthday girl.