Eat well, live well, enjoy every minute.
I am (was) on VACATION - Woohoo!!! Yes! The children are (were) not with me, Handsome Chris is (was) at work, and I am (always) the best date because I get to eat exactly where and what I want to! Seven days and seven lunches.
Monday: I am a baker, I scope out local coffee shops/bakeries, I almost always order the scone. A scone is the litmus test of a bakery's metal. This is a peach ginger scone from the Gray Owl on Gray Ave in Norman. Super hot, strong black coffee was my scone sidekick. This scone had a very delicate texture, nice crumb. Alas, I will admit, this scone had no flavor. I can see the peaches but I cannot taste the peaches nor the ginger. Scones batter exists as a catalyst for the add ins. Please oh please - add more! I will try the Gray Owl again on my next visit - and I will order another scone.
Tuesday: The Greek House. Norman is a college town, and what kind of college town would it be if there were not a singular kick ass gyro joint? When H.C.'s son told me the Greek House cooks the fries in the grease drippings from the gyros I knew I had to try them. O.M.G. This is the best fricking gyro - ever. The fries? Amazing! The gyro? A warm soft pita, meat that is turning on a spit to roast and carved to order, tzatziki sauce that is fresh, cold and homemade, crisp fresh onions. As you can see, I had to eat it with a fork, the portions were huge. So sorry to my local gyro joint, I have left you for someone better.
Wednesday: I awoke to cool temps and a day of rain. My objective was to stay in my pjs for the entire day. I cobbled together this tuna melt from items on hand in the tree fort (H.C.'s bachelor pad). Albacore tuna salad from the local Sprouts market, baby Swiss cheese, English muffins. All cooked in the toaster oven until warm, melty and delicious. Even Frank the dog enjoyed a bite or two.
Thursday: I spent the day walking on the Main Street strip through Norman, my kind of funky shopping district with the arts, handmade items and second hand shops I love. I am the crazy psuedo-Asian woman who was walking with an umbrella on a 100 degree sunny day, because I needed my portable protection from the sun. I took a break and popped into Fancy That for a late lunch. The blackened Tilapia fish tacos sounded filling yet light. They were delicious; crispy slaw, fresh tomatoes, tender fish. These were barely blackened - not a touch of heat - so don't be afraid of the name for these overall flavorful tacos. The service? Perhaps it was the late lunch hour, perhaps it was a shift change, perhaps it was my lack of Oklahoma drawl, but the service was pretty terrible. I would like to eat here again - the specials board on the street looks so tantalizing, but the service alone may keep me away.
Friday: My week is winding down and *GASP* I have not yet eaten at the world famous Diner! Featured on Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins, this 1950s style diner is everything you want in a diner. Small venue, sassy staff, huge portions and great prices. A breakfast with myself was in order. At the waitress' suggestion, I selected the eggarito; scrambled eggs, green chilies, cheese all wrapped in a tortilla smothered in salsa verde and more cheese. Served with a side of the best hash browns I have ever eaten. My neighbor at the counter was eating pancakes. They looked amazing. I had to have one, blueberry please. My beverage of choice? Sweet Tea. And yes, aside from the burrito ends and the very middle of my pancake, I ate the whole thing.
Saturday: My Diner experience was so good that H.C. and I went there again for Saturday Brunch. I ordered the hash browns, again. I tried the biscuits and gravy. Meh - I like biscuits and gravy, but when the milk gravy is made from the sausage drippings and there are chunks of sausage. This was okay, unfortunately bland with no sausage, so nothing I would order again. The blueberry pancake was so spectacular I ordered one again this morning. The stellar point of a diner is seeing the cooks drop fresh blueberries into the pancake batter as it cooks on the griddle. I cannot imagine ever eating breakfast anywhere else in Norman.
Sunday: I left Oklahoma late Saturday night and drove straight through till morning. The downfall is that I drink coffee to stay awake on these overnight drives, then I am too wide awake to go to sleep when I arrive. A call to my very good friend Amy and a plead for breakfast on the patio at Der Rathskeller back home in Rockford. Fortunately she was free and willing to meet. Der Rathskeller serves Reuben omelettes with a side of homemade red sauce along with lyonnaise potatoes and sourdough toast. Just what I needed to end a great vacation week.
Eat well, live well, enjoy every minute.
The 365 Dinner series is published on Kindle!