Tag Archives: crimini mushrooms

A special night with my girl and an unexpected request for dinner


Today’s Weight … 120.2

Check out that third digit. See it? The one right before the decimal point. Yes, that’s right! Proof that you CAN eat cookies and lose weight!

Don’t get it? Check this post.

I felt completely compelled to write a post today based on the above weigh-in box. Especially when you consider the fact that my girl and I went out for dinner tonight and my numbers are likely to creep back up tomorrow.

She and I have been wanting (read: dying) to try out a neat little tapas place located in the Riverbend section of the city. Over the years, I have sat with the owner at the bar in his Spanish restaurant to purchase numerous gift certificates for special people in my life. And every time, I have enjoyed (because if I say ‘sample’ than you don’t realize that I mean entirely full glasses) of his homemade Sangria as well as cured meats, a few desserts and, well, cheese. And I’m like a cat when it comes to cheese. If you feed me once, I’ll be back repeatedly for the same service. You’ve got a friend forever.

The owner is adorable. He’s a Seinfeld character if you ever saw one. And, every time I go in to purchase another gift certificate,  he asks me when I myself will be coming in to dine with him. The last time I went my girl was with me. Thus, she was involved in the decadently gustatory experience of it all. And she’s been asking me to take her back there ever since.

So tonight, while the boys in our family took in yet another Hornets basketball game, the girls decided we were tired of waiting on them and we jumped in the car to have dinner at ‘Barcelona.’ (Yes, I sang that name to the tune of Oklahoma the entire way. What is WRONG with me?  “Barrrrrrrrrrrrcelona, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain ….” )

The owner was just inside the door when we arrived and recognized us both immediately from our past visits. He instantly stopped what he was doing, seated us himself and stayed to talk over the many offerings on the menu. My daughter already knew what she wanted from her previous visit: the 18-month-cured Serrano ham. She describes it as ‘the ham that changes you.’ Keep in mind, she’s 9.

She ordered the garlic crimini mushrooms … and she literally drank the garlic butter sauce in the dish when the mushrooms were gone. (Sure, I probably shouldn’t have let her do it, but she’s a skinny little thing and was so happy that I didn’t want to squelch it.) She also ordered a small plate of ham that came with large croutons upon which she was instructed to rub the garlic cloves and grape tomato halves that came with it, then add a little olive oil and salt, then place the ham on top. I honestly think she enjoyed the preparation pageantry as much as the food itself. She even created her own garlic pop (yes, it’s as gross as it sounds) following the completion of her meal while I finished mine.

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The picture doesn’t do it justice.  There’s olive oil and salt coating the outside of that little chunk of impaled garlic.

I ordered a glass of Sangria (that I would later refill) and let the kitchen select my plates for me. I offered only the suggestion of cheese. And I was not at all disappointed. I tried the Manchego as well as the Gouda which also came with their own crouton bread, Chorizo, spreads, etc.

And for dessert? My girl had never tried Creme Brûlée so we ordered the restaurant’s take on it entitled Catalan Creme Brûlée which infused lemon juice and cinnamon into the traditional recipe. We liked it so much that we, um, ordered a second one.

I don’t expect to get along with my scale tomorrow. At all.

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