How to Avoid Madness with Yogurt and Sushi

Ohhhhh Bridge Run weekend. There are times when I miss living downtown, but this weekend is not one of them.

While more than 50,000 people woke up extra early this morning to push their way through crowds of people to find their place in line, then run a 10K over the Cooper River Bridge, I opted out of the madness this year. A solo run through the quiet trails and neighborhoods of Daniel Island sounded much better (although they are not as quiet as normal this weekend on the island, because the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament is taking place right next door).

Even though I didn’t run the race, I still got one perk from the event. Lindsay, a Chobani rep from NYC, was in town for the expo and other race festivities. She met some other local food bloggers and me for breakfast at Charleston’s Cafe.

I was so excited, because this was my first blogger meet-up! It was so much fun to meet Erica, Amy (and their adorable babies!) and Lindsay.

Erica has had plenty of experience at this restaurant and only had good things to say about all of the food, which didn’t help my indecisiveness one bit. I intended to keep my breakfast relatively light, so I ordered the Blueberry Breakfast Parfait and a sweet potato biscuit (!!!!!!!!).

Both were sooo good and filled me up much more than I was expecting. Everyone else’s food- pancakes, french toast, and oatmeal – looked delicious as well. I can’t wait to go back to try more!
Here’s the group afterwards. It was a great way to start the day!
The end of the day wasn’t too bad either. I was on my own for dinner and spontaneously decided to make the short drive to Publix to see what pre-made food I could quickly find. The big sign for sushi outside of the entrance made my shopping easy.

California Roll. Don’t mind if I do.
Today I’m hoping to soak up some sun and relax, because by 9pm I won’t be so relaxed! I’ll be watching the Ohio State game with Greg and some friends and it’s not going to be an easy game. It is most likely going to be a stressful couple of hours, but I’m hoping we pull off the win. Go Bucks!

A Week of New Foods

Let’s talk about this past week, shall we?

It. Was. LONG! But guess what? It’s over! Even though I felt exhausted waking up just about every day this week, I couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty of the sunrise on my morning runs. I have the best views from the paths behind my condo. I usually hate having to stop at any point during a run, but I just had to take a picture of this.

I also have fallen in love with these dark chocolate caramels from Trader Joe’s that I first saw via Jenny’s twitter feed last week. 
The bag was small and I thought it might leave me wanting more, but I have actually made it last a couple of days. Eating just three or four chocolates at a time went a long way. And that’s saying a lot coming from me. But, to be completely honest, popping a few of these for dessert mostly came alongside a cookie or ice cream too 🙂
Another newfound Trader Joe’s item for me are their veggie burgers. 

The first burger I made this week I ate on a bun with a slice of cheese and lettuce. I had another one the following night and decided to pretend like I’m watching my carbs by skipping the bun. I topped it with some shredded cheese and had a salad with boiled egg on the side. 

I don’t love these, but they aren’t bad by any means. If you have never had a veggie burger (which I hadn’t) the first bite is a bit of a surprise. I think I just had in my mind that it was supposed to at least somewhat be similar to a beef burger. Not only do these taste completely different, but the texture was different too. These are much softer and weaker (for lack of a better word) than beef or turkey burgers. It sort of fell apart if I tried to lift it up with the fork. 

Greg and I were both more than ready to wind down last night with some quality couch and tv time. But before that, we had ourselves a date at Umi Japanese Restaurant. We have been once before, as seen here, and I was excited to try a new sushi roll. 

Greg has never cared to try sushi much before, but wanted to give it a go for his appetizer. He ordered the Spicy Shrimp Cucumber Roll, but did not like it one bit. That was fine with me, because I thought it was delicious. I ordered the Salmon Avocado Roll and a side of vegetables for my dinner. The salmon was okay, but a little too much for me. The texture creeped me out a little. The Spicy Shrimp on the other hand is probably my favorite sushi. Now that I have sushi more than just a couple of times, I think it’s perfectly okay to proclaim a favorite. 
Side note-Wanna hear a funny story? I just went back to look at my blog post about our first trip to Umi and realized I had the Spicy Shrimp Cucumber roll then too! I feel really stupid now, because I did not remember what I had before. I also had said I thought I could handle something with a stronger sushi flavor, but I guess I was wrong! 
After dinner it was time for none other than Menchie’s! It was too convenient on our way home not to go. And with a BOGO coupon in my wallet, I was ready to fill up. 
I usually stick with just one or two flavors and go with fruit toppings, but after trying a sample of the peanut butter, my decision became more difficult. I hope my flavors didn’t feel too segregated in the bowl, but I couldn’t decide on just one theme.  An imaginary line divided the peanut butter and chocolate yogurt topped with peanut butter cups from the cheesecake and vanilla topped with strawberries on the other side. 
It was a great end to a busy week and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of the weekend with Greg’s parents who are visiting us!
Hope you all have a good day!

Spontaneous Sushi at Umi

About half way through the day yesterday, I was talking to Greg and we both agreed it was not the best of days. Work was taking its toll on us. No particular reason, it was just one of those days. Anyway, I was already thinking about what dinner would be and thinking how I had no desire to cook whatsoever.

Date night!

I really wasn’t planning on spending more money on food this week…we’ve been grocery shopping so much recently. But there was no way I was going to cook.
Greg and I met up after work and he left it up to me to decide where to go. Knowing how indecisive I am, you can imagine how long it took me to choose. Even after I said I wanted to fulfill my sudden (as in the last couple of weeks) craving for sushi and picked a place, I kept naming other restaurants until the moment we parked the car. Like I said, I’ve been wanting to try sushi. I tried a bite a couple of years ago and didn’t hate it, but wanted to give it another go.
UrbanSpoon helped us choose the right place: Umi Japanese Restaurant.
I wasn’t expecting much, but the atmosphere was much nicer than expected. Not a five star restaurant by any means, but definitely not the standard Asian take-out place. The lights were dim and there were booths along the wall for semi-private seating. We were seated right away and checked out the menu. Greg already knew he wanted hibachi chicken. It took me just a few minutes longer to choose what sushi I would try for my first real experience.
I went with the Spicy Shrimp and Cucumber. As always with my restaurant photography, this doesn’t look nearly as pretty as it did in person. And that’s actually a white sauce on top, not yellow.


I also ordered a side of vegetables. Yes, that is their “side” portion. Enormous. Half of that will be my lunch today.
I did like the sushi, but I think I am ready to turn it up a notch and not get something so mild next time. It wasn’t the least bit spicy for me. Maybe spicy in terms of sushi means something different? I don’t know. Either way, I am excited to join the sushi-eating world and try new kinds. One of the other types of rolls that appealed to me was the Philly with salmon, cream cheese and cucumber. Yum.
The service was extremely fast and our total was right around $20. For a good meal and pleasant atmosphere, it doesn’t get too much better.
Until this…
Menchie’s just happened to conveniently be right on the way home. With the BOGO coupon that came in the mail last week, Greg and I both got bowls of froyo for $2.09!!
You: “Are you kidding??”
Me: “Nope!”
Now, it doesn’t get too much better than THAT.
I think I’m in love with Menchie’s. Everything about it. Especially the combination I had tonight. Pumpkin, Praline Pecan and Country Vanilla topped with strawberries and cherries…NOT mixed with the pumpkin side though. Don’t you worry. I am a pro at pairing the right toppings with the right froyo and keeping them separated. Finally I added a pump or two of marshmallow cream to finish it off.
Goodness gracious. That was a good night.
The end.