Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Texas Revisited

Blogging hiatus is hopefully over for a bit. Had to have some time to get accustomed to our new schedule of activities. Also, I put myself on the Eat to Live diet for 2 weeks, and it was just too tempting, looking at all of your yummy meals. :) I have the afternoon free, though, and I plan to relax on my bed for a bit and do a little blog reading.

Early last month, my groom and I got to spend about 24 hours alone together to celebrate our THIRTEENTH anniversary. We decided to go to Dallas again because it's one of the closest big cities to us.

I packed a veggie burger for him and a Caesar salad for me to eat on the way. We also stopped at Whole Foods on the way out to pick up some car snacks. We chose: chocolate chips, watermelon, papaya chunks, Tofurky Jerky, Kale Chips, and B-Fresh Gum (which I always buy in a 10 pack to get the 10% case discount).

We drove straight to Bliss, a raw cafe we had never tried. It is a tiny place (but has more of an elegant feel to it). All of the seating is open-air, and I have to admit the temperature was definitely warmer than I'd prefer it to be while I'm eating. I liked it a lot, though, and I look forward to eating there again!

I ordered the Cowboy "Rawko" Tacos because that's just what I'd generally be drawn to on the menu, and I'd seen Amber Shea's (from Almost Vegan) post about them. Ryan and I each ate a taco, and we definitely liked them a lot. We felt very light and healthy, eating them.

I have to admit, Ryan was pretty bummed that I wanted to go to a raw restaurant, rather than Spiral Diner. It was definitely a tough call, but I knew we needed a new experience. Ultimately, we realized Spiral Diner is closed, anyway, on Monday's so that made it easier for him. He was glad we tried Bliss, though; he was impressed.

We also split the Rawsagna. (I'm a big, cheesey fan of cute, clever food names, by the way.) The lasagna was always delicious and very healthy-tasting. I think I preferred the lasagna, and Ryan preferred the tacos.

As we were looking over the menu, the waiter instructed us to "save room for their cheesecake," (what a mean thing to do, as you will soon discover) which is supposedly amazing and just like "real" cheesecake. Sign me up. Weeeell...when we were finished with our meal, we asked for slices of cheesecake. He told us they just sold the last piece! We did order this dessert to share - I forget what it was - a torte maybe? It tasted good, softer like a pudding.

We checked into our hotel, which was the Holiday Inn Market Center. It was great; I highly recommend because they were so helpful. We were able to park our car, and the shuttle van dropped us off at our next destination -

which was the American Idol concert. We thought it would be something fun and lighthearted to do together. This was actually the first season of the show either of us had ever watched. I never thought it was something I'd be interested in, but we really got into it, voting and everything. It was bonding time together after the kids went to bed.

Ryan got into it especially because he loved Lee DeWyze (the eventual winner), who is from his home state of Illinois.

Casey James - woo, woo!

It's as if the Heavens parted...

We were on the 4th row center. We really enjoyed the concert. We even enjoyed the contestants who weren't our favorites on the show.

The hotel shuttle came back to pick us up, even later than they generally run, which was so nice of them. When the driver found out it was our anniversary, he was very congratulatory and told us to go into the hotel lounge and order a drink on the house. I love nice people! I got a glass of orange juice. Which isn't what they had in mind, I'm sure, but I really like orange juice!

The next morning, we planned on stopping at a big Whole Foods I wanted to investigate. Ryan was a little like, "It probably wouldn't take any longer to stop at Spiral Diner... ." He really wanted to go. I'm so happy I have a husband who is just as excited to visit a vegan restaurant as I am!

I'm embarrassed to even say everything we got. Something comes over me when I'm faced with a menu with limitless options. I lose control a little bit. A lot.

Anyway, we took our food to eat on the road. We had the Chipotle Tempeh Quesadillas as an appetizer (Yeah - it's totally not meant to be an appetizer; it would be better served as a MEAL for two). Incidentally, I noticed there was a recipe for these quesadillas in the latest VegNews.

It was so filling - and decadent and delicious, and yet...we were laughing at ourselves because it was all sort of...disgusting. It was just that we were trying to eat it in the car. And I forgot to get napkins! Oil was dripping from us, and we felt like we were sweating because it was so spicy. The whole napkin situation was horrible. I did find a couple of tiny, flimsy napkins in the glove compartment, but they were no match for the oily Daiya quesadillas. It was one of those "you had to have been there" moments. Ryan got sort of quiet after he ate. His hand was off to the side, just curled up there, still covered in food for the longest time. I asked him (with a repulsed face) if he was okay.

He said, "I'm just still in shock over that quesadilla."

But did we stop eating? Nooo.

The Mitch

I got this same sandwich twice, last time we were in town. There's just something about it...the bread is so thin, yet there's that extra piece (like Ross's gravy-soaked extra piece of bread in his sandwich on Friends) - and with the thin tofu, bac'n bits, and Veganaise...I just love it. We split it.

"Ross, it's just a sandwich."

"Just a sandwich? I am 30 years old, I'm about to be divorced twice, and I just got evicted! That sandwich was the only good thing going on in my life! Someone ate the only good thing going on in my life!"

Meatball sub - mmmmm!!! I always pick the fruit as the side, as if that will somehow make up for my glutony.
I DID order several desserts, BUT it was more with the intention of taking them home for the kids. We just took sample bites of everything, then saved the rest in the cooler for them.

This was a tasty raw dessert. I'm always eager to try raw desserts.

I always go for the cinnamon roll, if it's ever an option. I love them, and I never get to eat them. I can't remember if I have ever made them, but I probably only get to eat one or two cinnamon rolls a year, if that.

The brownies were good. Soft in a way vegan brownies aren't always.

Peanut butter cup was good - probably no better than the ones I make at home.

...what I've failed to mention is that I had also ordered nachos and a taco salad. I just sort of had it in my head that we'd still be on the road at suppertime, and of course, we'd be hungry again. I hate not having anything to eat when I'm traveling. To be clear - I was NOT hungry again. I didn't even eat supper. I think Ryan and Tornado ate the rest of the food for supper that night.

Have a good day - more about my Eat to Live diet later this week. I've lost 4 pounds so far. I feel like it's necessary to say that after my narrative above.


  1. Oh awesome, you ate at Bliss Café! Aren't those Rawko tacos fabulous?!
    Funny, last time I was in Dallas I stayed at that SAME Holiday Inn! It was pretty nice :]
    Mmm, and Spiral Diner again make me wish I were there again! Hopefully I'll make it back to Dallas before the end of this year.
    Love the quesadilla story and the Friends reference :P
    What IS that raw pie?!?
    GREAT post! Good luck continuing with Eat to Live :}

  2. wow your "Groom" is HANDSOME!!seriously! really i didnt even finsih reading i just had to get that out there. so ill be riiiiight back with something a little more mature to say.

  3. You sound and look like you guys had lots of fun! Happy Anniversary! I have never heard of tofurkey jerky, how was it?

  4. "I'm so happy I have a husband who is just as excited to visit a vegan restaurant as I am!"
    yea you are!! mine(husband) is very supportive, but its not the same.

    hey im doing e2l also!!! but more like how you probably at 90%. my bday is coming up so im planning on slipping up:) lol a "planned slippage"

    that was so lame that there was no cheesecake after the guy told you about it!! how ironic:(

    "I always pick the fruit as the side, as if that will somehow make up for my glutony."...........

    no its true! it does...the enzymes etc...very scientific....

    yea....."sample bites" of your kids dessert...i remember when my mom brought me home a piece of flourless chocolate cake. there was exactly one small bite left...did you give your kids the same lame excuse my mom gave? "it was so small already, really!" *shakes head in disgust* ugh

    cinnamon rolls, i try not to even THINK of them
    :( they kinda take a lot of work to make at home and ive never seen vegan ones.

    four pounds! thats great! i lost....maybe three. i think i might cheat more than i think. i am so close to the weight that he recommends, just three pounds away, but its so tough getting there!congrats on that! was it hard for you to get rid of salt as it was for me??

    "I've lost 4 pounds so far. I feel like it's necessary to say that after my narrative above."

    that made me LOL :) you are so fun.

  5. I'm w/Michelle -- the hubby has a little Billy Zane thing going on there. Loved 'The Moist Maker' reference. Happy Anniversary!

  6. happy anniversary! i looove spiral diner. it was my first all-vegan restaurant experience. i agree it's hard to practice self-control when you have the ENTIRE menu to choose from!

    i just saw your comment on my post about not eating meat since i was young -- i stopped around age 7. you too? that's awesome! i think that makes it easier -- i don't even remember what meat tastes like, why would i wanna eat it?

    congrats on your weight loss! i'll have to look into 'eat to live' -- i'm trying to drop a few before my brother's wedding next month. i've been running but i think some diet changes are also in order (like fewer oatmeal pies and apple crisps!) :)

  7. Road trips are not complete without food pics! Love it...all your raw dessert pics were tempting this pregnant mama! Looks like you both had a fun time! ( :

  8. I laughed out loud for a good 20 seconds after reading the part about the no-napkins-with-the-quesadilla incident... hilarious!

  9. Happy Anniversary! Sounds like you had a great time with your hubby. Congratulations on the 4 pounds too.


  10. Jenny,

    American Idol concert? I had no idea!

    I cannot believe your tiny little body can consume all that food. Only in my dreams could I eat that and not blow up. Lucky girl.

  11. Happy Anniversary! Okay...first off, I am sooo jealous that you went to the American Idol Concert! I loved this past season!

    All your food looks and sound delicious! I would have gained 10 lbs eating all that food. :o)

    Oh, I am supposed to be getting my CSN order in today that I got with your giveaway that I won. I will be posting about it in the next day or two...I can't wait to get it. :o)

    So glad you guys had a fun anni! Sounds like you have an awesome husband!

  12. Happy anniversary! Looks like a fun getaway. I like Tofurkey Jurky - I just tried it. Weird, but good.

    I'm glad you stopped at the second restaurant - I completely know what you mean about ordering too much when there's so many good choices.

  13. Congrats on 13 years. We just celebrated 10! I am drooling over the food and totally agree with you about loosing control when you actually have choices. I have to go to Dallas Sun-Wed for work and soooo need to find some good veggie friendly restaurants. kind of freaking out.

  14. Those tacos look so awesome...all the eats are making me hungry. Sounds like a fun trip! Congratulations on 13 years together.

  15. Happy anniversary! Everything looks SO GOOD. Especially the raw desserts (what IS the slice with the chocolate drizzle?). I always question why I haven't tried any raw desserts here in New York yet.

  16. Happy anniversary, guys. It looks like you had a really great and delicious time! I am happy for you. :)

  17. I just found your blog. We went to Spiral Diner in March of this year, I wrote about our experience on my blog, too!
    Happy Anniversary, this year, for our 4th, we celebrated with a vegan chef! It was awesome :)

  18. Amber Shea, that IS funny that you stayed at the same Holiday Inn. Thanks for the restaurant recommendation!

    dirtyduck, you made me smile so hard! you're cracking me up! thank you! and I promise - I DID give my kids most of the dessert, ha! I HAVE been known to hide things for myself, though - just not this time. :) And for the record, this trip was before I started E2L. And yes, I have slipped since then, as well. Giving up salt is the hardest thing for me. I'm used to salting everything. (Except fruit - ew. I hate salted watermelon.) I have low blood pressure so it was hard to get motivated to cut it out - but I know there are so many other reasons I need to STOP it.

    Carissa, we like our Tofurky Jerky a little too much around here. We almost always get a pack for car trips. The kids like to eat it, and it's not messy.

    SV, "The Moist Maker" - that's right, I forgot that's what it was. Billy Zane - funny and awesome. And thanks. :)

    sara, that's funny - I always think WHY am I not losing weight, then I remember the piece of pie I just ate. :) That's cool that you've been to Spiral Diner; I forget that you lived there. And yeah, I love that it's been so long since I've eaten meat. I'm going to do a blog post about all of that one of these days.

    Ashley, Kerry, Ali, Marja, Rose, Wanna Be Vegan Mom, Jessica, THANK YOU for your nice comments! (And WBVM, I'm going to go look for your Spiral Diner post!)

    Blessed Mama, you had no idea there was an American Idol concert tour? Is that what you mean? Did you watch the show? just moved up SEVERAL notches in my book by calling my body TINY. It's not tiny, ha! But thank you!

    Michelle, thank you! Yeah, I really did love all the singers. I know it got a lot of press for being one of the worst seasons ever - and I have nothing to compare it to. BUT I caught glimpses of season's past, and it never seemed like my taste. I did watch the final two episodes of the previous season because Kris Allen is from the town I live in.

    Cary, you made Ryan "LOL."

    Heather, congrats on 10 years!

    Diana, WHY indeed? :)