While transferring pictures from my camera to my computer today, I realized that I have a few random things to “catch up” on in the blog, and I’m going to try to do so in the context of food, since that is supposed to be my blog theme, right?
Okay, so recently I tried this Mint Lemonade at Palm Palace and OH.MY.WORD is unreal. Lots and lots of fresh mint blended into this icy, citrusy drink. Best lemonade ever, hands down. I’ve had it twice in the last couple of weeks! My mother-in-law is in town for a bit this summer and she was introduced to this lemonade as well, and I believe she was equally smitten.
Oh Palm Palace, you never cease to make me happy.
I typically don’t even blog about my meals there much anymore since I almost always order the Lamb Shawarma with Hoummus because it is the BEST. Plus lots of delicious grilled veggies. Just don’t eat the freaky pink beet.
Running with Garmin
Recently I had my first RUN with my Garmin, and, as suspected, I’m not as fast of a runner as I thought.
My two miler was 19:46 because I realized my usual two mile “route” wasn’t quite two miles after all! It was also hella hot during this run. Just sayin’.
Tuesday Night Out
Do you know what yesterday was? It was me + the huz’s three year wedding anniversary. And, oh my word, it was a gorgeous, sunny Ann Arbor evening, so we headed downtown to Bar Louie for happy hour. I ordered five buck Pom Peche martini (which was okay – I think I stated that it tastes like “cheap booze,” though it contained Absolut vodka – sure was strong though), huz got a brew, and we split an order of soft pretzel sticks with a trio of sauces: cinnamon butter, honey mustard (which tasted horseradish-y to me!), and QUESO. Spicy queso I could just drink by the gallon. Mmm. Wasn’t super impressed by our service here. Service was quite slow (though it was very crowded) and our server wasn’t very accommodating, I guess I would say, but it was so nice hanging out on the patio in the nice warm weather, people-watching.
The Ravens Club
After strolling around downtown for a while (um…I found some buttons with The Bang! logo at Vault of Midnight – WIN!), we went to the former Monkey Bar/former Full Moon location which now The Ravens Club, for dinner. The Ravens Club opened on Main Street a couple months ago, and some renovations have been done on the inside.
We had a choice to be seated in the “normal” level tables toward the dimly light rear, or else at the high top tables located toward the front of the restaurant, near the window and Main Street, which is where we chose. I liked that the host (possibly the owner!) made it very clear that our table choice was flexible and to pretty much pick whatever table we liked – not all places will do that!
I tried, discreetly, to take some pictures of the inside without being obvious, and here is what I came up with. First, a shot of the black walls, adorned in “ravens,” and of the entryway, in which you can also see some exposed brick which is also present in the building. It was rather dark inside, which made for an intimate, almost mysterious feeling, with black walls, old street lamp light fixtures, dramatic lamps, and a large gorgeous, well-stocked bar. It was a nice ambiance.
Here’s a shot of the bar that I tried to sneakily capture, but ultimately ended up with a blurry shot. Haha. I think you get a pretty good idea of the vibe, though?:
Complimentary bread. The bread slices were tasty but I wished they were warm. The bread sticks were crunchy but I wish they had some sort of seasoning or…something? The seasoned butter was great! Tasted like orange zest. Love the pretty presentation.
We started with a glass of Argentinian Malbec and two small plates to split, the first of which being this Savory Chicken Pastry, “stuffed with roast Amish chicken, sweet potatoes, and fresh herbs in a cherry cream sauce.” First let me say that I LOVED the flavors in this dish! The filling tasted like “Thanksgiving on a plate” – I tasted sage, and just pure savory deliciousness. The cherry sauce was an excellent accompaniment. My only gripe is that the bottom of the outer pastry was a bit overcooked. If it were cooked properly, this would have been awesome, but I think I will downgrade and instead call it “very good!”.
Our other small plate was Shrimp and Grits, “featuring organic cornmeal, serra ricotta cheese, okra, and creole spices.” The abundant and large bites of shrimp were sweet and DELICIOUS, but the grits needed a bigger punch of flavor, I thought. More spice. Very good, but room for improvement!
This was actually the very first time I’ve ever had Shrimp and Grits, so I don’t have much room for comparison.
After we finished our two small plates, we ordered two more dishes to share. We originally went here with the idea of ordering several small plates, but then decided to do a sandwich and a salad in addition to two small plates, so we actually didn’t try any entrees. I was in the mood to taste lots of dishes! The huz’s choice was the House Smoked Turkey Sandwich, “featuring Maytag blue cheese, coleslaw and heirloom tomatoes on toasted Pain de Mie from Café Japon.” The sandwich was good.. ya know, it was alright, but please can we talk about the fries!? Oh my word, the FRIES. These fries were stellar. Totally loved them. Tons of coarse sea salt. :: Swoon :: When I crave fries, this is what I have in mind!
My salad wasn’t totally swoon-worthy. I ordered a steak salad, but I can’t find it listed on The Raven Club’s online menu to give you a menu description, but I can tell you that there is a portion of sliced sirloin steak located atop a big ripe, juicy tomato slice on the plate below. I ordered my steak medium-well, but I should have ordered it rarer because it was basically well done. It was good though, just overcooked for my taste (I still devoured my half!). I wished the steak were sliced smaller (more steak bites!) and served atop the salad, I think.
As far as the green portion of the salad goes, I can tell you that whatever the little green globs atop my salad were, they were NOT good! They were some sort of mild pepper, or… something?! I don’t even know but they just had an unpleasant taste and an unpleasant texture. The salad greens themselves were really delicious. Lots of very interesting greens in here, with various textures and flavors – so I loved that unique aspect of the salad! I also loved the tangy, nutty cheese atop the salad – wonderful cheese. The dressing was good, but there was just TOO much of it on the salad for me.
All in all our experience at The Ravens Club was positive. I somewhat regret not trying one of the cocktails on their very intriguing cocktail menu, but I was in a ‘wine mood’ for dinner. I would like to go back to try some cocktails! We received very good, prompt, accurate service, so that is always a huge plus. I was also a fan of the dark, intimate atmosphere, so more points there. The food was good, and I loved that several unique dishes were offered (featuring rabbit and antelope!?). I am not one for boring food, so unique dishes win big points in the MGNN “book,” however, I do feel that the food has room for improvement. I love the direction that the menu is headed, and I think with time the menu could really be great with a few improvements to the dishes. I would go back again, maybe in a few months after The Ravens Club has had some time to “work out the kinks”!
PNUT Buttah Bar
After dinner, we walked over to Cupcake Station and split a blissful peanut butter bar. These are just ridiculous. They just taste TOO good – how are they legal?
Crazy to think that three years ago today, I was in JAMAICA, doing this:
Oh, and a little of this fuzzy navel sipping, you know, for good measure.
So irie, mon. I wanna go baaaaaack.
So moving on to today, Wednesday. Dinner was a WIN! I had leftovers from The Ravens Club and scored some pretty awesome MBD leftovers from work today (half a sammich, mac salad, pickles, and not pictured: Greek salad + brownies!), and also steamed some green beans from my CSA box. All I do is win.
My mail was interesting to me today – so much so that I felt compelled to capture a photograph. Apparently my household was “randomly” selected to completed a national household (er…American Community?) survey, and I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that my response is “REQUIRED BY LAW.” Sheesh.
Also got some netty flix and a foodie mag. Oh yeah. Ohhh yeah. No bills = win! See, I told you; all I do is win.
Currently listening to: Showbiz – Muse.