22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: Main Street Bistro

Happy Wednesday, friends! It’s been awhile. As always, life has been busy. Busy, full, and oh so good. You have a well-timed thunderstorm/tornado warning to thank for this break in my crazy schedule- thanks nature! I have so many things that I cannot wait to share with you all, so many posts I’m behind on (seriously- SO MANY), but one thing at a time-this warning isn’t going to last forever! I do want to acknowledge, for those of you keeping track- my 30th birthday has come and gone. It was amazing, and I’ll tell you all about it soon, and where I’m at with the list. But before we get to that, I have some things to catch you up on…

Let’s back track to January. I started 2017 off with a much-needed and long awaited trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana to see my sister, Kaylee. Kaylee had moved to Fort Wayne the year before, but I was just now getting the chance to go see her. I’m not a huge fan of solo road trips, especially of that length, but I packed up my car on a Friday afternoon, swung by Atomic Coffee Bar to get my iced Nutty Professor for the road, and alternated between belting “Hamilton” and listening to an audiobook for my drive. I arrived at Kaylee’s just in time for dinner (homemade mini pizzas-yum!), some much needed tv watching, and half snuggles with her cat, Luna. Half snuggles are about as good as it gets with her.

We had a very full Saturday planned, mostly revolving around food and coffee. Would you expect anything less? Though it’s not the place I’m blogging about, I do need to give a shout-out to Dash-In, the place we had lunch. Rather than me telling you, let me show you. (And then tell you, because it’s me.)

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Mmmk, please look at this gorgeous food. A pesto artichoke grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. I don’t think I’d ever been so excited about a sandwich and soup in my life. Apologies to anyone who had to hear me say “this has ruined all other food for me” over and over.

Anywho, the main event of our day was me getting to meet Kaylee’s boyfriend, Brian. I’d heard a ton about Brian and had said hi on FaceTime before, but that was it. Kaylee planned for us to eat dinner together at one of her favorite spots, Main Street Bistro. We met Brian there, and settled in for a night of uncomfortable questions and silent judging. Just kidding- Brian and I hit it off, and spoiler alert, he passed the sister test. All good there. 🙂

The atmosphere at Main Street was super cute! It’s very trendy inside. The lights were dimmed, and although there were a lot of people there, it wasn’t overly loud.

Now, I typically don’t order a drink when I’m out, but I was on vacation, so I settled on this blue martini that tasted like a Sweet Tart. Or I think it did…this was five months ago.

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Our waiter was absolutely delightful, and gave us some recommendations. He brought us some fresh bread and-wait for it- butter with MAPLE SYRUP. I’m not kidding. I’m really not kidding. While we gracefully stuffed our faces, I perused the menu.

I narrowed down to a few things. Then, I remembered I was due for a new blogging restaurant and chose the prosciutto wrapped scallops. Now, I’m not a seafood fan. I’ve developed a fondness for shrimp, but that’s really it. The scallops didn’t sound particularly appetizing, but I was all about trying something new, and that blue martini reinforced that all my decisions were good ones, so clearly, scallops. Scallops and french onion soup.

We visited for a bit, continued to eat the best damn bread on the planet, and then our food arrived. Everyone was pretty pleased with their choices.

Ok, so we need to talk about these scallops. Well first, the french onion soup was delightful! Loved it, would definitely eat it again. But the scallops were…I’m not sure what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it. The texture was BAD and that was pretty much all there was to it. Scallops can join the ranks of tomatoes and bananas- things that make me gag. I did power through two of them, but I made Brian eat the last one. The pasta underneath was good, and I love prosciutto. But the scallops? NAH.

Overall, it was a great dinner- awesome company, mostly wonderful food, and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I would definitely go back…except Main Street closed shortly after my trip and is reopening as something else. Sad. But, I had a great time with Kaylee, enjoyed meeting Brian, and learned that butter with maple syrup is GENIUS.

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Well, the warning has expired, and I am falling asleep, so I better call it a night. More fun adventure stories to come soon…stay tuned!

Until next time,

xoxo

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22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: Blue Iguana

Three posts in a week?! Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and no, I’ve not gone crazy. I am sick though. Adult sick days are the absolute worst. I’m laying on the couch, trying to drink tea and take it easy, when I notice how much the floor needs vacuuming. And I need to dust. And the ceiling fan is dirty. And before I know it, I’m ten seconds from deep cleaning the entire house. But, I remind myself I’m sick and need to rest, and settle in for a season and a half of “How I Met Your Mother” instead. This has been happening about every hour, for the entire day. Resting is hard.

So, this post is actually from August…oops. It did get mentioned in my Milltown Coffee post, but today, you get to hear about the whole experience. I’ve been wanting to visit Blue Iguana for a really long time. As you know, I love Mexican food a whole lot, and I also love LeClaire, where Blue Iguana is located, so it was a win-win situation. I was also due for a date with Travis and Kristin (Bryan’s brother and sister-in-law, and my good friends) so I met up with them and Bryan and Seth at the end of August for dinner and blog fun.

We had a short wait outside when we arrived, which was fine, because I got to officially meet Finn, Travis and Kristin’s baby. After several minutes of cooing and gushing over his cuteness, we were seated inside. The waitress gave us our menus, and I immediately started to gorge on chips and salsa. I’m not kidding; I could eat chips and salsa daily for the rest of my life, and never get tired of it. In between fistfuls of chips, I perused the menu and asked for everyone’s opinions on what I should order. After shooting down Travis’s suggestion to order the lengua (HELL NO), I settled on the flautas.

Our food arrived and it was BEAUTIFUL. Since it was 5 months ago, I can’t remember exactly what everyone ordered, but three of us got the flautas. The other two? No idea, but here it is:

The food was outstanding! My only complaint was that there wasn’t more…

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Seriously. I could have eaten those flautas for days. When we finished up, Bryan ordered both of us horchata to go. (Mexican rice milk, in case you didn’t know what it was.)

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That was fantastic too! Considering we went for dinner and my bill was around $15, I thought it was pretty affordable. I will definitely be going back to Blue Iguana. It was absolutely delicious, the service was great, and the company was even better.

Until next time,

xoxo

 

22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: The Healthy Hub

Hey friends! I am having a perfect Sunday night. It’s raining, chilly enough for me to curl up under a blanket, Stella and Charlee are extra cuddly, I had an awesome dinner (homemade chicken parm with couscous, warm bread, and a caesar salad), and I’m listening to “How I Met Your Mother” reruns while I blog. I wish I could freeze time and do this all week. It’s officially my “end of the year marathon.” Preschool graduation is 11 days away, recital is 20 days away, I have graduation gifts/recital gifts/end of the year gifts to purchase, all while I attempt to maintain my sanity and not let the impending season finale of “Scandal” stress me out. I feel more at ease this year than I usually do, but it’s still a lot to cram into a short amount of time. Wish me luck.

So, if you’re keeping track, I’m a little late on this post. (Are you really surprised?) I do have a good reason…which I’ll get to. Patience. 🙂 Anyway, I’ve been struggling to choose a new restaurant lately, because I’m content with all my usual spots. Except when I’m at work. There are several places to eat by the Museum, but nothing that I want to have on a regular basis. I used to always get Mexican, but my take-out has been cold the last two times I’ve ordered. There is a good pizza place and a Culver’s, but when I want something light, my choices are pretty limited. A few months ago, my dancers told me about a shake place across the street. All I knew was that they made healthy shakes and they were good. So, two weeks ago, I decided to try it out. It was a Wednesday morning and I had a bunch of errands to run, so I figured I’d grab a shake for breakfast. Now, let me start by saying, I was feeling a little “off” when I woke up. That will be important later.

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I had absolutely no idea what to expect. The inside of the shop was pretty sparse. There were two ladies working, and three people inside getting shakes. I felt weird whipping out my phone to take pictures inside, so…I didn’t. They have a counter where you order your shake. Across from that is a small seating area. There is also a small counter with various teas. The back half of the shop is multi-purpose. They offer classes back there, from nutrition education to Zumba. Anyway, I walked up to the counter and told the lady I didn’t know what I was doing. Thankfully, she didn’t laugh, but talked me through what to do. She said that their tagline is “fast food for the healthy person” and that all their shakes have 23 different vitamins and nutrients. There are about 40 different kinds of shakes, broken into categories like “chocolate” and “cookie.” But before I got to that, she gave me a shot of aloe juice. Normally, I would have been super skeptical (I mean, it’s ALOE), but one of my friends recently started drinking aloe to help with stomach issues, so I didn’t think twice. The aloe had a hint of mango, and it was delicious! The lady behind the counter also told me that aloe is great for your hair and skin. Then, she gave me a slip of paper to place my order on. Each shake comes with a 16 oz hot or cold tea. There are 4 choices, and I opted for a cold raspberry tea. She said the tea is 5 calories, but burns 80 in your system. I’m on board with that! She told me a lot of other things about the tea, aloe juice, and shakes, but I’m gonna be honest…I don’t remember anything else that she said. Anyway, I’m a little picky about tea, but it was delicious! I had a hard time choosing a shake, so I asked the lady to decide for me. She told me to get their #25- “P’s Brownie Batter.” She also suggested I get natural peanut butter in it. Now, I don’t normally let other people choose my order, but since it’s something I don’t do, I decide to go with it for the list’s sake.

The lady gave me a cup to get my tea while she made my shake. It was very fast, probably two minutes tops. I saw that she was using protein powder, which I’ve never had before. I was impressed with the tea at that point, and couldn’t wait to try the shake. My total was $6.75, which I thought was reasonable, given the size of the shake and the tea, and that I was getting a shake AND tea!

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Several more people had come in, and were immediately greeted. Everyone was very cheerful and friendly; the shop definitely had a very positive atmosphere. I could tell that most of the people were regulars, which gave me hope that my shake would be delicious. I thanked the lady, and left. Once I was in the safety of my car, I took a sip of the shake. It was UNBELIEVABLE. It tasted just like brownie batter! I ran my errands and drank my tea and my shake. They were insanely good.

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But, by the time I got home and finished both drinks, I felt awful. My stomach was really crampy, and I really wanted to lay down. Also, I was still hungry. One of my dance girls had mentioned that the shakes were a meal replacement, but I definitely wasn’t feeling that way. I felt awful for a few hours, and I was NOT happy about it. The shake was really good, and I had planned to go back, but not if it made me sick. But, I wouldn’t be blogging about it if the shake made me sick, would I? That’s the reason this post is late… I decided to give The Healthy Hub another chance, just to be sure. I went back this past Friday on my way home from work. I got the same tea and the same shake, and they were both just as delicious as the first time. This time, no upset stomach and I was full afterwards. I’m not sure what happened the first time…I do sometimes have a sensitive stomach in the morning, so I’m wondering if that’s why I felt bad. Regardless, I’m a fan of The Healthy Hub. The drinks are delicious, the price is reasonable, and the people are so nice. While I don’t plan to go often (I don’t love to drink my meals), I’m glad that I have a healthy option for lunch when I’m at work.

Quad Citians, have you tried The Healthy Hub? What did you think? Has anyone else had experience with healthy shakes? I’d love to hear about it! Tell me about it below!

xoxo