Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hell Yes, Taste of Belgium

Now that I've been to Brussels and am an expert on Belgian food, it's only right that I should review the new Taste of Belgium bistro in OTR.

My review: It's terrific. Go there immediately. (12th and Vine.)

The space is airy and lively, it has a bar/counter (I will eat anywhere that has a counter), as well as a bonus counter where you can watch them make pastries.

The service is great and the food is delicious. (This photo doesn't do it justice - it was busy both times we were there.)

I had the vegetarian crepe (spinach, red peppers, goat cheese, balsamic) and added some turkey for protein. Ray had The 'Nati, which was goetta and some other stuff, I can't remember exactly, but who cares because mine was better, so get what I got.

And the crepes are made with buckwheat, bonus.

But the real highlight was the frites. (I can say frites now that I'm practically Belgian.)

Yes, I ordered fries for brunch, with a crepe. Don't judge.

You can't go to a Belgian place without getting frites and since I ate my way through a cone of these babies one night after a full dinner in Brussels, I had to try the local version.

Taste of Belgium uses chipotle mayo for theirs, and to that I say, Hell yes, Taste of Belgium. *applause

But I will tell you this. Ray is a greedy mofo when it comes to the chipotle mayo. You get one container with your frites, and sure, they'd have given us another one, but that's not the point. The point is that we shouldn't eat two containers of chipotle mayo, so I was all, "Ray, easy on the mayo, we gotta make it last through this whole cone of fries."

And Ray was all, "LAY OFF ME AND THE MAYO!"


That's why he's smiling in this photo. Because he got the better of the chipotle mayo.

We love it so much we went back the next weekend (and because it's practically in Ray's backyard) and this time we both had the turkey and cranberry waffle sandwich, which was the weekend special. I was cagey at first about a waffle sandwich. I was wrong to be cagey. Fear not, my friends. You'll dig it.

On your way out, or if you're just dropping in for coffee (from Coffee Emporium), there is a case of pastries, cookies and waffles at the front you will absolutely swoon over.

The place is just about perfect.

I saw Wine Me, Dine Me there snapping photos, so look for her review if you actually want to read an articulate review by someone who knows about food.

Or you can just trust me, being that I'm an expert in Belgian food and beer because I ate and drank there. (Totally qualified.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Santa Prep

Ray and I got the apartment ready for Santa's arrival, where he is certain to bring us everything on our list:

• Pretzel M&Ms
• Snow on Christmas Day
• (new) Used records

Tall orders, we know, but we made this video for him... and Ray does the robot!

We're gonna be buried in M&Ms and snow. *yes!

Gina and Ray

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble, Gobble

I hardly slept a wink last night.

My mom kept me up late watching the finalé of Dancing With The Stars.

Except she calls it, 'Dances With Stars.' Kind of like, 'Dances With Wolves.' It's a Native American dancing show now.

Ray and Susie were on their way to Natural Bridge for Thanksgiving and stayed over last night. Which meant yours truly got to slept on the couch after 'Dances With Stars' was over.

My mom was torn between JR and Rob winning.

'Rob is so sweet... even if he does have a big butt,' she said. 'But JR is really good. He's a natural. Rob had to improve a lot... because he kept sticking his big butt out.'

I'll not spoil the ending for anyone.

It was good to have them 'home,' even if they did insult my tv - 'It's so tiny! Does that thing have a tube in it?!'

Tomorrow Ray (my boyfriend, not my dad) and I will be heading to Kentucky to join them for turkey and stuffing. *and visions of pumpkin pie danced in my head

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Imma Be A Reverend!

From Halloween, 2008. This was a really, really good look for us. She should wear my 'wedding dress.'

No one sane lets me do anything at their wedding but eat, drink and sometimes break it down to Rob Bass' It Takes Two.  

So a few weeks ago when my best pal Missy asked me to officiate her wedding, well… I just stared at her.

I was waiting for her say, "Just kidding! Hahaha! I'm having someone uncrazy do it! Woo - you should have seen the look on your face!"

But she didn't say that. So finally I said, "Really?" very hopefully, like, 'Really? Truly? Me?! YES!"

And then immediately the Princess Bride wedding scene entered my head - MAHWIDGE. Mahwidge is what bwings us, togever, tooday. And I envisioned cracking up everyone with my super spot-on impression.

This is why people don't ask me to do things at their weddings.

But instead the themes I'm going for in my first role as officiant are: Sweet, fun, romantic and light-hearted.

Tan, gleaming blonde hair and kick-ass dress will just be unexpected freebies for the guests.

I feel like I also need to be in shape, have super white teeth and basically just allow my inner glow to radiate.

Wait, who's wedding is this? I'm Reverend-Zilla.


I've already started outlining what I will say, how I will welcome the guests, how I will introduce Missy and Josh, and what best captures the love and romance and hope that weddings are all about.

Geezus, I hope I don't cry.

Missy will most certainly slap me if I do, which could mess up her hair, and I don't want to get slapped again just because she didn't use enough spray.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I have only 10 months to plan for this and already I am panicking. For the love God send me your ideas a-sap! And make it funny and sweet and lovely and light-hearted and romantic, will ya.


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Score One For The Minions

Oh, this smug look?

Because it was pouring down rain when my package arrived at another building. But you know who was in that other building for a meeting? The Boss Man. So rather than walk outside to get it, I enlisted the help of an admin.

"Can you have Dr. Boss Man bring my Amazon package over when he leaves. It's very important."

"Hahahaha! Ummm... Ok, I'll tell him!"

The package contained my new origami iPad case and two instructional ballet DVDs.

He came back wet and kinda pissed.

Totally worth it.

Monday, November 07, 2011

How To Occupy Those Cold Winter Months (Mostly)

"In my early twenties, that’s when I really began to write. Before that, I was too busy working, keeping myself going. I often thought of killing myself but then I wanted lunch. So I had to make a buck. And all my stories were rejected. I sent them out to various editors and they returned them. In fact, I had to wait until I was in my late twenties before I sold a couple of stories to what was then called the Negro Digest. I still have them."

From the Paris Review's Q&A with author Paula Fox, who I had never heard of until I read this interview. Great stuff.

And I hope you're not busy for like, the next three months because look - The Paris Review's legendary series Writer's At Work, where authors discuss their lives and craft, are right here.

Each decade's greats - Hemingway, Capote, Ellison, Didion, Faulkner, Nabokov. A staggering list.

According to Wikipedia Nabokov's interview was cut short when Jeopardy came on. I don't know if this is true, but God I hope it is. I totally get it, Nab. Jeopardy is awesome.

I'll be busy the entire winter reading all of these. Thank God for the iPad, and I never thought I'd say this, but for cold weather.