Sunday, January 11, 2009

Better Luck Next Time

The Beanpole and I had plans to meet a group from our parish to have dinner and get to know some new people but the evening ended up being a bit of a bust. Nobody else showed up! We walked to the church in the cold and still-falling snow and even arrived a couple minutes early. Neither of us wanted to go inside as the service was still in progress so we stood on the cold wet concrete waiting. And waiting. People finally started to trickle out and we waited a little longer but after 15 minutes decided to give up and strike out on our own. Still a little early for dinner we chose to grab a beer at one of the many tiny local pubs on our list to check out. Wow. It was educational to say the least. The bar sat about ten grizzly men, all clearly regulars, who passed the evening cursing at the playoff game and ribbing each other. A word to the wise - not all "Irish" bars can pour a good Guiness. It's hard to see in this photo but the head was full of huge bubbles and started to collapse within a minute or two of The Beanpole handing it to me.

The emails back and forth between the original group of people heading to dinner suggested one of the many noodle shops and after our beers we walked to one closeby. I went to the bathroom and came back to find that The Beanpole had thoughtfully ordered me hot tea! One of the many reasons I keep him around. : )

To warm up even further I ordered the tom kha soup - a creamy and slightly spicy coconut soup with tomato and shrimp. The richness started to fill me up pretty quickly so I left about three quarters of the bowl in order to keep my appetite.

I was surprised at the number of noodle dishes that contained some sort of meat or offered very few vegetables. Since lots of veggies weren't an option I stuck with an old standby - pad thai with tofu. Even before the big switch I sometimes ordered tofu for variety so in a sense this was comfort food for me. The serving was HUGE. I actually ate a little less than half. Here are the before and after photos.



The leftovers are packed away in the fridge ready to become tomorrow's lunch! Lesson learned: when going to dinner with strangers be sure to exchange phone numbers in order to find each other or update with any cancellations!

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