I'm not sure if it was that we left the blinds open or the feather pillows, but I couldn't sleep worth a damn on Friday night, and woke up bright and early Saturday morning. With E still fast asleep and breakfast not being available for another 3 hours, I headed down to the hotel gym for an early morning swim. I was shocked at how small the pool was! At most, it was 15x10, with the deep end being 5 ft. I swam a few laps, but after 20 minutes I was totally bored, and without being able to tread or do pull-ups, I headed back up to our room.
Post-"workout" snack" - 1/2 each of a Bartlett pear and a gala apple, plus some Barney Butter. E wanted to eat the pear without cutting it, so I had to wait for him to finishing munching on his half before he'd cut up mine - silly boy!
I got a couple of packets of Barney Butter right before we headed out of town, so this was the perfect time to give it a try!
-very smooth consistency
-made in a completely peanut-free factory
-low in sodium and sugar
-comes in both jars and single-serving packets
-roasted peanut flavor
-hard to find in brick-and-mortar stores
-unlike MaraNatha which contains only almonds, Barney Butter also contains evaporated cane juice, palm fruit oil and sea salt. While the additives are natural, I don't know that they're necessary.
-very similar consistency and mouth feel to peanut butter, which is evidenced by E, Mr. PB himself, liking Barney Butter when he's never like any other nut butter before. Great if you love PB, not so much when you don't.
I'd definitely buy the single-serve packets because they're super-portable and great for traveling, but when it comes to jars, I'm sticking with my MaraNatha - sorry, Barney Butter!
Once we were finally ready, we headed out for breakfast at ZenCha. A little under a mile away from the hotel, we decided to walk it, and I'm glad we did. The Short North is one of our favorite neighborhoods, and it was really great to be able to stroll by on such a beautiful day. As we were walking, I couldn't but think how less than 6 months ago, there were days when it was a struggle to walk half as far - we've come a long way!
Check out the greatest advertisement ever - given more time, we would've totally hit it up for kicks!
ZenCha is what tea heaven must be like - with 120 or so varieties from all over the world, and everything from Bubble Tea to French tea lattes, you just can't go wrong! E picked a sampler of 3 - silver tip white tea, Earl Grey, and a Pu-erh which is an aged and fermented black tea. E loved them all, and got somewhere between 7 and 9 cups of tea out of the mix, which definitely jazzed him up.
I'm a simple gal, and had an iced Cinnamon Mint Chai. Creamy, refreshing and soothing, this was the perfect pick. I really loved that they added the ice cubes to the filter inside the pot, so not only was this constantly cool, but the tea wasn't watered down a single bit.
With so many great dishes to choose from, we decided to share two, and thankfully we were on the same wavelength!
Our first pick was the Arabian Night, a delicately crisp yet fluffy cardamom-scented waffle. With dates baked right in and topped with sliced almonds, orange supremes, a little creme fraiche and served with an orange-cardamom syrup, these were some serious waffles! Not too sweet and definitely satisfying, these were spot-on.
Check out the cross-shot of waffle goodness!
For our second choice, we went savory with a Vegetable Okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake/omelet hybrid filled with veggies like shitake mushrooms and crispy napa cabbage, and topped with Kewpie mayo and a mysterious sauce similar to a hoisin. This was our time to try okonomiyaki, and it will definitely not be our last! I can just imagine how great the chicken and seafood varieties are.
We decided to take our time coming back, and checked out a few of the little shops lining the street. We also took a side trip to one of our favorite spots, North Market, where E convinced me to try some Morbier, a super-stinky cheese he's been wanting for years. Surprisingly delicious, the Morbier turned out to be much milder than it smells, with a nice nuttiness. I shared in, and ate about 1 1/2 oz. of the cheese with a little more than half of a wholemeal roll.
We headed back to the convention for a few hours, and picked up a small lunch since we weren't eating dinner for a while. I had another packet of salmon and avocado sushi.
I also had a few of these teeny hash browns, were were really fresh and crisp. Yum!
Later on, I'll be posting our experience at dinner, and don't forget to vote for me here. Also, Eating Bird Food is having a sparkling giveaway which you need to check it out, so head on over!
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