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Before I begin this blog, I'd just like to shout out a belated THANKS FOR A ROCKIN' WEEKEND to Jennifer and Jim (bloggers). I think you get the basic description thru Jim and Jennifer's blogs of everything that happened and everywhere we ate, but I still wanted to say something about that whole weekend and reiterate that it was such a great time! I hope the three of us can get together again soon! Jennifer and I are trying to convince Jim to move to Minneapolis, haha!
And yes, BTW, Jim, quit apologizing!
And thanks, I'm flattered to be referred to as the lovely and intelligent Erika (blush).
Can I just say though, wow, sitting thru a dinner with three Type As who are devout to the diet... like Jennifer said, oh, our poor, poor waiter!! Half the time utilized in the restaurant was spent trying to order!!
Wow, going over a week without a blog was really getting to me. Needless to say, much of this has to do with work and all the time and energy it was sucking out of me. BUT, good news to you, readers! I'm cutting down on hours!!!!!!
A compromise was made that will definitely be to everyone's advantage. I will work half-time at my home store and half time as a float. Yes, this means, it's time to commute again, but two days a week is not so bad. I still get one weekend per month at my store. I think, in a way, this will be good to float again. Sometimes when the brain gets used to things, it needs a challenge. New patients, new drugs....each store, each neighborhood is so different from the next! I will really miss working full time at my own store, but 32 hours at this store (vs. the 40++++ I usually work salaried) is currently not an option. The store I'm at is the Twin Cities best kept secret in terms of patients. With the exception of a few bad apples, I couldn't ask for better patients. The absolute best in the entire metro area!!! Thanks for being such great patients!
Now, as for my dining experiences......allow me to highlight some wonderful moments during the past week........
Mission bar and restaurant downtown. I had their salmon along with their garlic broccoli and a nice glass of merlot. Oh, what a nice meal! I was so spaced out by the end of the work day that one of the waiters thought I was staring at him when I was really just staring off into space.
All these conference/convention men were sitting down the bar from me and the next thing I know, the bartender pours me more wine and I didn't even ask for any! Well, I find out that these out-of-towners bought me another glass! Thank you?!
I chatted with one of them about politics and the city, too. He was from Chicago. He said something very funny about Minnesotans: "At first I thought Minnesotans were daft, but then as I began to converse with them over two hours I realized they were intelligent people."
Must be our silly accents. Oh ya, you betcha!
Yeah, I really like this state, and particularly, this city. Well, except the winters, but even those aren't so bad because the summers are so beautiful and make up for those cold winter nights!
Next day, I went to Bobino across the river on East Hennepin. Oh, that was also a VERY nice meal. Nice flambuoyant waitstaff, too! Yes, this will definitely be a repeat dining experience for me. A patient who was also a server there recommended that I come for lunch sometime since I have to work evenings. I had chicken and wild rice soup and also butternut squash risotto! Oh, dear Lord! I just LOVE risotto! Oh, it just melts in your mouth! AHHHHHH!!!!! Now, unfortunately, I was only an hour from working and could not partake in libations but boy do I think that meal would have gone so well with a nice chardonnay! Next time, Dr. Klus, next time (after work that is).
Now, probably the most amazing dining experience was Saturday night. A great friend of mine in the Psy.D. program at the Minnesota School of Clinical Psychology celebrated her birthday at Ichiban downtown, across from the Hyatt! Can I just tell you how wonderful it is to watch those guys throw their knifes around?
So, when I first got there we ordered drinks. They have these cute Buddha, Panda, and Geisha girl pottery glasses for their exotic drinks. I ordered Buddha and got to take him home with me (oh no, Grubby bear!). Buddha has a straw hole for his belly button. After brining him home I soon learned that he makes an excellent incense holder! Though it does look like an alien is coming out of his belly such as that in Space Balls. But he's standing up. Well, you get the picture, right?
The drink was some sort of rum concoction. This was followed by a sake bomb. Can I just say, I'm not a fan of the bomb? Not a fan of carbonation in general but certainly not the bomb. I like my sake unadulterated and hot out of the bottle, thank you. And believe me, I had some of that, too!
Now, as stated in a very, very old blog (I'm talking back in February!) I've been to a restaurant where the chef throws around the knife and makes noise, but going here put my Mason City strip mall Habatchi experience to shame! This was so fun! And then put that together with all that sake and rum and that knife and spatula seem to go even faster!!!!
The chefs at Ichiban are the real deal. You know going into it that being across from an international hotel, keeping in mind all the folks coming from all over the country and sometimes world for the convention center, these restaurants aren't gonna mess around with quality or authenticity. Nevertheless, the whole night was centered around FUN! This is a great place take a group of people you barely know because the chefs and hosts make it so fun!
Every time the chef added sake to the food and set it on fire, we all yelled, SAKE!!!! It's like the "What's up!" of the Habatchi world, haha.
The meals started with a wonderful soup appetizer with veggies. I also ordered Miso soup. We then had a cucumber salad with a nice Asian dressing. All this foreplay toward the main course was in itself to die for! I also had a spicy tuna roll. I did not want it spicy but my order was miscommunicated from across the table by a fellow healthcare worker and sushi lover like myself! (Hi Holly!) Still, it was very yummy! My main course was salmon on the grill along with some chicken. That was probably one of the best pieces of salmon I've had in months! I mean, don't get me wrong, I've had some GOOD salmon these past few months, but this was so amazing! It was grilled in parchment paper and then finally sauteed with all sorts of soy saucey Asian flavors for the most unforgettable experience for my taste buds!
My friend had the beef and I tried a little of hers. It was juicy and tender, but somehow I still preferred my salmon to her beef! My type A body must be subconsciously trained not to enjoy red meat now! I never thought I'd come to that point!
Dessert: green tea ice cream! C'mon, what else would it be?
This was not a cheap meal by any means, but special occasions like this are totally worth the splurge!
Well, that's all for now. Now that I'm cutting back on work hours, this might mean it's time to quit dining out so much and start cooking my own meals. Well, we'll see what happens. Stay tuned for the next episode of Erika's shrinking pay check, haha!
(Believe me, the money isn't worth the extra insanity of HMO paradise)
PS-I can't wait till we "fall back" with daylight savings. I'm finding it so difficult to get up in the morning when the sun isn't out at 7 am! Wouldn't you all agree?