the weekend

Good morning and happy Monday!

It is now officially the last work-week of the school year- and it’s a short one! Hooray for winter break!

This weekend was productive. Greg and I were on a Christmas shopping weekend, and were able to get pretty much everything done on Saturday. We set out in the late morning to tackle our gift list. It really wasn’t that bad- we were able to find parking spaces easily and the crowds weren’t as horrible as I imagined they would be. The only thing that kind of derailed our mission to get “in and out” as quickly as possible was that we kept running into people we knew around every corner (especially in Target!).

After a few hours of shopping, we headed downtown to check out Bryan Voltaggio’s new restaurant, Lunchbox. His place has been open for a few weeks and has a very simple menu: a few different sandwich, soup and salad choices, as well as various drinks and desserts. The really cool thing about the menu, though, is that nothing is over $5. In fact, this was our total bill for 2 sandwiches, 1 salad and 1 drink (I brought my water!):

My expectations for the restaurant were somewhat high, given that I’ve never had a bad meal at Volt. I liked the atmosphere- the ceilings are tall and the decor is very simple. There are large picnic-style tables as well as some smaller ones for 2 to 4 people. Mason jars hold flatware on the tables:

and a copy of the Voltaggio brothers cookbook laid on the counter for patrons to read (I’m assuming they probably have them for purchase, too).

There’s even free apples!

We ordered two sandwiches (a Reuben and a Pilgrim, which is roasted turkey, sage, cream cheese and cranberry spread on 7-grain bread) and a salad to share. It took a while for our order to be ready- but I assume that’s something that they will work out in time. But finally, our lunch arrived:

I wanted to like it. I really, really did. I started with the Pilgrim, and the first bite was okay. But the second bite, and the third, were just a mouth full of grease. I know that people go nuts over grilled sandwiches, but they’re not really my “thing.” On my perfect sandwich, I like really good bread, tons of veggies and some sort of protein. There don’t seem to be any sandwiches that fit this description on the menu. I also didn’t realize that all of the sandwiches are grilled, and therefore, slathered in butter. The Reuben wasn’t much better. And the salad- well, it was basically a bowl of dressing with some lettuce tossed in. I’ll know to ask for it on the side next time.

I was super hungry, so I ate a good portion of my half, but it definitely upset my stomach afterwards. Greasy food just does not jive with my digestive system well, which is one of the many reasons that I avoid that type of food. And the mental side of it: I’m perfectly fine with having a high calorie meal every now and then if it’s worth it. This was definitely not worth blowing 2/3 of my daily points over!

I don’t know, when I have a bad meal at a restaurant, it just sorta bums me out. But anyway, moving on.

Greg and I spent the evening wrapping presents and then watched the third Twilight movie. In the last two weeks, we’ve watched the first three in the series for the first time. They happened to come on one of the movie channels and Greg set the DVR to record them, because we were both curious as to what all the fuss was about. I liked all three movies. I didn’t love them and wouldn’t go line up to see the next one, but I enjoyed them.

Sunday morning was full of Bodypump and Spinning, and then I was off to spend the day shopping with Sara!

Our main agenda was to hit up Trader Joes and Whole Foods, and to go anywhere else that we felt the need to go. As I’ve said before, my town does not have a WF or TJs- the closet are about 30-40 minutes away. To me, it’s worth it to make the trip about every other weekend.

We started at Trader Joes and stocked up on supplies. I was disappointed that they still don’t have the Speculoos Cookie Butter that everyone keeps talking about. In fact, when I asked about it- they hadn’t even heard of it! They had all of my other staples, though. We made a brief stop at the running store, and then headed to Whole Foods. We tackled the rest of the grocery shopping first, and then came back in to hit up the salad bar for lunch.

Now THIS is a lunch that I can feel good about:

We both filled our boxes with assorted greens, veggies and proteins. And that odd-looking thing in the middle was a roasted plantain. Yummmm. Kevita to wash it all down (I LOVE THAT STUFF).

My awesome shopping companion:

When I got back home, Greg and I geared up to watch the Survivor finale. Of course, we fell asleep before it was over and had to quickly get to the jury votes this morning. I’m still exhausted today from staying up until the crazy hour of 10:30 pm! πŸ™‚

So now I just need to make it through this week and survive all of the off-the-wall-with-Christmas-excitement children before I can enjoy a much-needed break.

And look who came to work with me today!

More about that tomorrow.

Have a great week!

Have you ever had a meal at a restaurant that bummed you out? Would you make the extra drive to grocery shop at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods (if they aren’t already close by)?

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13 Comments on “the weekend”

  1. If a teacher brought their dog to work when I was in high school, it probably would have made my year.

    Even now, a gazillion years out of high school just seeing him on the floor made me smile.

    Have a great Monday!!

  2. Ugh I hate bad restaurant meals! Especially if it’s a high calorie meal and you’re starving. I like grilled cheese (no butter, a little cooking spray) but not too many other sandwiches. Sometimes I think that people (ie Paula Deen) believe that slathering butter on anything will make it taste good!!

    Glad you had a good weekend!! I think the Twilight movies are the only movies I like better than the book…

    • Lauren says:

      Yeah- don’t get me wrong- I love butter, as in, a pat of butter on a roll or something like that. Not dripping, greasy saturate everything butter.
      Everyone keeps telling me that the books are better (Twilight), but I just don’t “do” fiction books.

  3. I am about to hop on my stairmaster and watch the Survivor finale. I have my fingers crossed for Ozzy, love him. I am been waiting for the cookie butter at Trader Joe’s too. I love how easily the biscoff spread melts on oatmeal, I am hoping this is similar.

    I would totally travel for good groceries but I don’t have to because I good shopping here, although no Whole Foods. That’s okay, it’s kind of out of my price range anyway. But it would be fun to go to once in a while.

    You must be the favorite teacher bringing your pup to school. So very cool.

  4. Lee says:

    Both Trader Joe’s and WF are like a 15 minute drive for me, but I would totally go 45 minutes if they weren’t.

  5. The sandwiches look good, but I know what you mean about grease. I prefer grilled sandwiches with dry bread – no butter needed, bread is awesome!

  6. Maren says:

    You live in such a cool area. There is no place like that to eat around my ‘hood. It’s so cool that they put a cook book at each table, I’d be happy reading and waiting for my food all day.

  7. I love TJs!!! And BodyPUMP. What a great weekend πŸ™‚


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