22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: Bowls Urban Eats

This week has sucked. (Also, hi. Welcome back.) But seriously. I’ve spent the last week being sick. I’ll spare you the details, but it started as the flu and has resulted in me not having any energy or appetite this week. Really, it was a good week to be sick since we only had class Monday and Tuesday (two nights off for trick or treating…woot woot!), but I missed our Halloween event at work AND I missed my trip to Cincinnati to see Danielle, which I’ve been looking forward to for…forever. So, instead of writing this post to you from Cincinnati after eating a gourmet hot dog at Senate, like I had originally planned, this post is coming to you directly from my couch.

As I mentioned, I’ve had zero appetite this week. Nothing has sounded good, not even my favorite foods. Today was the first day in a week that I’ve woken up hungry, which was a relief after six days of waking up feeling like death. Anyway, I was extra excited because I had dinner plans with Bryan and Seth tonight and I needed something fun to make up for not being with Danielle. On top of that, I knew I’d get to blog about my dinner experience, so triple excitement!

Bryan and I go out to eat a lot, but we are definitely creatures of habit. We go to the same places, and order the same things each time. In fact, I could probably order for Bryan everywhere we go. Seriously. (Los Agaves- chicken fajita quesadilla. Café Fresh- chicken quesadilla wrap. Red Robin- Clucks and fries OR the Bleu Ribbon burger with a turkey burger. I could go on…) We were discussing dinner options yesterday and, after ruling out a few places, decided on Bowls Urban Eats. Bowls is a newer restaurant downtown. It’s actually about a 5 minute drive from my house, but I’d never been.

Now, per Ria’s instructions, I was supposed to pick something on the menu I wouldn’t normally order and then write a review on it. I looked up the menu earlier today so I’d have an idea of what I was in for, but I decided I’d make my final selection when I got there. Bryan and Seth were waiting for me when I arrived. Bowls is very small, but really cute! 

They had been there before, so I let them order first. Several things looked good, but when I got to the counter, I blurted out something I hadn’t really been looking at: Spicy Szechuan Noodles. It was on the “Guilt-Free Bowls” part of the menu and had a lot of veggies in it, which I’m normally not keen on. But I added some chicken and decided it would be fine. I ordered a Mountain Dew with it as a treat. I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but I gave up my daily Mountain Dew in August! I still drink it occasionally, but don’t keep it in the house anymore. It was hard at first, but it’s been such a positive change! Anyway, I placed my order and then had a seat at a high table. One thing I really liked right away was that it wasn’t packed with people. There were 2 other people there when we arrived, and a small group came in as we were finishing up.  I also liked how quickly our food arrived. It wasn’t done so fast that I questioned whether or not it was fresh, but I also wasn’t clawing my eyes out with hunger. My Spicy Szechuan Noodles with chicken

Bryan’s Mac and Jack with chicken

Seth’s Urban Alfredo

Initially, I was a little nervous I would still be hungry after finishing my bowl, but that was NOT the case. It was so filling and SO delicious! In addition to the noodles and chicken, the bowl had broccoli, carrots, a mix of bell peppers, and peanuts. The sauce was very flavorful and had a nice kick to it, but wasn’t too spicy. The veggies were cooked to perfection, and I was very happy with the texture of the noodles. I always worry at noodle places about the noodles being soggy or slimy, but they were great! The chicken was great, and really absorbed the flavor of the sauce. I was very impressed with the food, and even more so with the price! My entire meal was $7.48! The environment was excellent. As I said, it wasn’t overly packed. They had a fun Pandora station playing at a nice volume. The staff was very friendly, and didn’t bother us while we were eating. I will definitely be going back. As a comparison, I’d say Bowls is similar to Noodles and Company. However, I’d rate Bowls higher because:

a) it’s local

b) it’s a shorter drive

c) the food tasted fresher and had more flavor

 Overall, I’d say the experience was a positive one! 

Happy with pasta in our bellies!

We rounded out our night with a stop at Hobby Lobby to stock up on clearance Halloween decorations, Coldstone for ice cream, and a few episodes of Friends. It was a great night, and a great end to a not-so-great week.

 

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