out and about

Gosh, guys, have I mentioned that I love having an iPhone? I’m actually remembering and chronicling the fun places I go! I’m sure it’s made me a more insufferable tourist/patron/dining companion, but it’s also been really nice!

One night after a long workday, Steve and I went to 9th street in Durham. Fun fact: I used to go to summer camp at Duke University (a school I am now contractually obligated to hate as a UNC student) and in the evenings they’d let us walk around on 9th Street (in groups of at least 3, with counselors strategically spaced along the street and always stationed outside the tattoo parlor. But still. It was exciting and independent-feeling).

Anyway, now I’m a grownup and can go to 9th street with my BOYFRIEND and drink ALCOHOL 😀

This place an absurd thing where some guy was buying everyone half price drinks. So my vodka-soda-lime and Steve’s gin and tonic came out to a grand total of $5.

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I mean… it was disgusting. I don’t know what kind of vodka they put in my drink but it was really really bad. But we sat on a porch in the sunshine with a bunch of bikers and it was nice so who cares?

Then we went down the street to Paris.

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Meaning Vin Rouge! So cute and special! (Steve and I have been in ongoing negotiations about going out to eat and what’s fun and what’s exhausting. I’ve determined that it doesn’t matter how fancy/potentially stuffy a place is- if we get to eat outside he’s happy)

Yummy bread and tapenade.

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I got a dry Riesling, he got a French beer.

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And crazy me was expecting French size portions so gaped when our food arrived. Steve got this COLOSSAL macaroni and cheese. It had tons of cream and gruyere and fatty pork and was exceedingly delicious.

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However, once he was done with the yummy crusty edge bits, he dug further into the pot to discover its ice cold center. Vin Rouge, previously freezing? Not classy.

Meanwhile, my two small plates were decidedly not. This beet and goat cheese salad was delicious, with one of those perfect French vinaigrettes. The beets were enormous.

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And my mussels were very nice but a few too many of them were still shut for my liking. I do not mess around with questionable shellfish, so I didn’t eat them. It seems like something they should try to check before it goes to my table.

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Anyway, it was lots of fun and felt really special!

A later weekend, we went to the farmer’s market and then I decided I needed to hydrate or I would die. So we went to Looking Glass, the adorable coffee shop near the farmer’s market!

Fun and 3-D paintings.

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Lovely summer sun streaming.

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Board games! This game Over Under is ridiculously fun. It had a board and tokens and a timer and… Steve and I didn’t really bother with any of that. We just had each other guess the answer to the cards, which gave you a statistic and had you guess whether the real number is over or under the number they list.

Some examples:

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I will never look at pigs the same way!

Another fun meal: Steve and I were craving Thai at the exact same time! Score! Off to Bangkok 54 we went.

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It was adorable inside. I love orange. Slight sadness- that listed special of mango sticky rice wasn’t actually being made the night we went! But, in their defense, they were holding out for really good mango. An admirable mission.

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Imagine my delight when I ordered an iced tea and then it was Thai tea with all those wonderful warm spices! So good.

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I got the pad thai, for which I had a serious craving. And promptly gave Steve all the baby corn (baby corn creeps me out). I ended up taking some of this home in a box and then digging into the box… with my fingers… on the car ride on the way home. I think I’d been subliminally saving room for mango sticky rice.

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And finally, my favorite meal, brunch! We went to the beauuuuuuutiful Antonia’s, in Hillsborough. Sat in a cute little table with stools by the window, which was great for people watching.

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Got excellent coffee (Joe Van Gogh, a local roaster) with half and half.

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And for entrees, Steve got the savory crepes. They ended up being in a casserole dish just SMOTHERED in cheesy creamy sauce. A perfect Steve dish. (I will say, that salad on the side was PERFECT! Nice peppery greens and a delicious balsamic vinaigrette. Cut through the richness nicely.)

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As for me, I got eggs Benedict, with the twist of biscuits on the bottom and pork loin instead of Canadian bacon. I promptly gave Steve the pork loin, since I’m not eating pig.

I did juuuuuuust fiiiiiiiine with those unreal hashbrowns and that crazy rich hollandaise.

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