cuban feast!

February 26, 2012

so i’m on call
but the weekend really hasn’t been a bad one! it hasn’t been the easiest call weekend ever [and of COURSE i got paged at 3 am last night . . .], but it’s been far from the worst. it’s funny – i used to feel like having the pager strapped to my hip meant that i could never relax — that it would be continuous misery [probably got that idea from residency, when that was often true]. i am still not able to get perfect sleep or stay flawlessly composed at all times, but i think i’m getting closer. probably a good thing since in the future i’ll be sure to get paged while breastfeeding/diapering/etc. talk about balance . . .

anyway, the past two days have actually been quite productive. both days, i hit the gym before rounding [getting in a morning workout = important sign to me that the pager hasn’t won]. after returning from the hospital around lunchtime, i spent the rest of yesterday checking off a million boxes. taxes are done! final baby items are ordered! and a master-list has been created . . .

making this list just might coax our baby out a little earlier. worth a shot!
today i’m up to my usual sunday shenanigans: menu planning / groceries / recycling / laundry. i’m answering some pages, too. and it’s okay. i’m even kind of happy!

[of note, there is a HUGE difference between being on call for 3 nights/2 days and the dreaded 7 day/night stretches. MUCH prefer these shorter stints!]

a night out
when josh and i venture out to dinner on a call night, it’s a game of chance: will i get paged just as our entrées arrive and have to take a long phone call out in windy 30-degree weather — or the women’s restroom? sometimes, the answer is sadly . . . yes. but when it doesn’t happen, i feel like i got away with something! this was the case last night. i’d say it was even worth the 3 am wakeup, because josh and i had a great time trying out a new cuban restaurant: the lovely gregoria’s kitchen.

we had absolutely no plans yesterday evening, but by 7:30 pm we were both hungry. with no food in the house, we made the decision to try a new place, and sort of randomly chose this one. i think we were both expecting sort of a hole-in-the-wall sort of experience, as neither of us knew much about it. josh had mentioned a recent review on carpe durham and we figured it was worth a try, as both of us love cuban cuisine [we seek it out on trips to miami especially!].

as soon as we arrived, we realized we hadn’t really gotten that gregoria’s is actually quite an upscale fancy place! it was also packed and we had no reservation. however, the maitre d’ was super-nice to us [maybe the crutches and giant baby bump helped?] and we were seated within 10 minutes of our arrival.

view of the front — from their website
you know when a meal starts off on the right foot and you just KNOW it will be good? this is how we felt last night.

i think he’s giddy with anticipation
moments after we were seated, our server brought out warm and slightly sweet bread with a chili butter.

addictive and delicious.
filling up on bread at restaurants is a bad move, but this was hard to resist. we moved on to two contrasting starters to share:

refreshing romaine salad with tomatoes, avocado, and lime vinaigrette
decadent maduros stuffed with sweet and piquant ground beef
the beef reminded me of the inside of a chinese pork bun — which was a good thing [LOVE those].

for dinner, josh ordered ropa vieja — a standard of his in cuban/latin american restaurants. the words themselves mean ‘old clothes’ because the beef is stewed to resemble them in texture [but luckily not in flavor]. he RAVED over this. i tried some and liked it, though it was a little salty for my tastes. it was served with hot rice and black beans as well.

i ordered garlic shrimp and was very happy with the dish — this tasted fresh and flavorful without being overwhelming, and the greens and tomatoes were lovely. underneath was a bed of white rice which soaked up lots of rich broth — mmm.

los camarones
[of note, for a change i was pretty happy with how these photos turned out in the super-dark restaurant with my little non-flashing point + shoot! not that they’re fabulous, but okay considering the conditions. unfortunately, i have no idea what i did right.]

anyway, any triangle locals — i would DEFINITELY recommend checking out gregoria’s for delicious cuban cuisine in a really nice and fun environment. we will no doubt be back! and next time i plan on trying one of their mojitos . . .

the laundry is calling
and i will listen. have a great weekend!

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