I’ve been thinking about making a music list from the mid-to-late 90s for the OR. It’s really the time period I know best for rock music, apart from the stuff I listen to today that does not always tickle people’s music loving ear. I don’t know WHY- I’m talking about The National, Arcade Fire, Cold War Kids, Robyn. I think it’s because part of what makes OR music tolerable for most people is some familiarity with the bands which, frankly, my uncool staff have never heard of (<– this is tongue-in-cheek). BUT, we all like the "modern rock" of the 90s so in an effort to find ways to frivolously spend my money, maybe I'll putter around iTunes for a bit.
Hey-o! I’m feeling a little more Christmas-y with my new little tree! I ordered a ready-made (Charlie Brown) tree from 1-800-FLOWERS for both Mechen and me. I love it! It’s so cute. It’s a teeny live tree in a pot with a potholder (ha, ha, they actually call it a “tree skirt”) that has a countdown calendar with little felt ornaments for each day. My favorite part about it is the Christmas feel I get when I’m in a dark room right before bed and the Christmas lights are on. The lighting always makes me think of Christmas. And, bonus points for being a thoughtful girlfriend and getting Mechen a tree! This is a nicer way of looking at it than to point out that I once again lived out my Christmas shopping mantra, “One for you, one for me!”
(The title is a poor written form of how I hear Adam Sandler sing “Thanksgiving” at the end of his turkey song. I have a thing for male singers who sound as if their voices are about to crack- I always whisper a silent prayer, “Oh, please don’t let them crack.” Ok, I don’t REALLY pray. But I do stress.)
I’ve had a life this weekend! Hooray! It’s a beautiful golden weekend, aka no rounding, and I’ve had the best time. On Friday, I went salsa dancing with two other residents and one of their friends and it was a lot of fun. I’m not very good at dancing but once I got out on the floor (after a shot of tequila), I got my rhythm back and had a great time. Our group was two guys, two girls so it was nice with friends. I stayed out late, went home and totally crashed.
Yum, look what I had for breakfast this morning! A flipped around Texas waffle! Today was a day off so I got to enjoy the breakfast buffet that’s held daily here at the hotel. During the weekdays, my day is well underway by the time the buffet starts (0630). But on the weekends, I tend to enjoy although I don’t want to overgraze. Anyway, they switched out their boring waffle makers for TX shaped and even though I obviously don’t know how to plate it properly, I had a TX-sized breakfast. I stirred in a little brown rice protein to make a little more balanced and brought it to my room so I could use my real maple syrup. It was awesome.
Although my life in Houston has not been the most social butterfly-like, I have made it out to a few restaurants. This is in spite of the fact that even patients have noticed how much the fellows and residents work. I’ve been asked several times (not unkindly) if I have a life and/or how is it that I’m working so much?
So, in order of my personal preference-
1. Tiny Boxwood’s Cafe (3614 W. Alabama St)
Mechen and I went here for brunch/lunch and it was so good. We went around 3 o’clock so it was busy but not standing-room-only. Mechen had the turkey avocado club sandwich, which was delicious. I had the salmon served on greens that was also tasty but a little out of proportion. It was at most 3 oz serving of salmon on a whole bag worth of mixed greens. The dressing was also a little heavily applied but I quibble! We also had a chocolate chip cookie that was a touch too underdone but so good. The sangria was delicious and helped turn our afternoon of lunch and a museum into…lunch. A lunch of leisure. We moved from our table and had a second glass while resting on the couch and it was an awesome way to spend a beautiful afternoon. And we still made it to the Byzantine chapel and Rothko chapel!
So, even though most of the dishes had a detail or two that I personally would change, the food was high-quality and in an amazing, relaxing setting.
2. Benjy’s (2424 Dunstan Rd)
I went here for dinner last night with a friend from work and the most awesome thing is their 7 day a week Happy Hour. We had appetizers and drinks that were delicious. I had a blood orange margarita, glass of Pinot and a “Pom Collins,” a riff on a Tom Collins with vodka instead of gin and sweet/savory pomegranate molasses. The appetizers were half-price and Jen got a pizza, while I got the butternut squash crepes and calamari. I didn’t eat all of it b/c the portions were huge and it didn’t appeal to Jen but it was very tasty. I will definitely be back at night and also to hit up their delicious-sounding brunch. Whoa…I just Googled the brunch menu and it is more amazing than I thought. Yum!
3. Pappas Steakhouse (5839 Westheimer Rd)
Mechen and I went while he was here. I figured we should go to a steakhouse while in Texas and this was the one I selected after querying many people. The steaks were amazing and perfectly cooked. I was a little puzzled when the waiter assured me he could do a “medium/medium-rare” but I loved it. Hot, seared but still pink on the inside. Our sides were delicious and we felt good about supporting the butter industry single-handedly. The deconstructed pecan pie was terrific, too. Finally, special shout-out to the sommelier who linked us up with a 2004 Spanish wine, “Mas de Can Blau” from Celler Can Blau. I will definitely seek out that wine to buy in the future.
4. Goode’s BBQ (5109 Kirby Dr)
The meat is cooked well but I’m not a fan of the dry rub/ketchup-based BBQ sauce. Unless Mechen is really seeking out more BBQ, I think I’ll take a pass. Not bad, just not my thing.