Last week was kind of a blur, so I thought I’d write a recap. The early part of the week was spent on medical issues…..Kissy’s, mine and my dad’s. I wrote a post last week with the details of the many medical adventures of Kissy girl, so there’s no need to recap.
As for my issues, I have been having some problems that fall under the delicate heading of “female issues.” After several trips to the doctor, 1 surgery, an MRI this past Monday (holy cow – THAT WAS TERRIBLE – dad, I know how you feel now) and several years of symptoms; I have been diagnosed with adenomyosis. Adenomyosis Advice Association is a well-organized site at which you can find information about adenomyosis. Because of the pulmonary emboli I had several years ago, many of the traditional treatments are not available to me. So Jeff and I will have some conversations with God, each other, and my gynecologist to determine the best course of action. Fortunately, it is not something I have to decide immediately.
My dad, who will probably balk at my sharing this because he is always one to “suck it up, cupcake,” has been having severe pain in one of his legs and has been struggling to walk. He’s had trips to a few different docs, one MRI attempt that was ended midstream, and various pain meds/steroids to keep him “functioning.” The docs believe the problem is in his back/spine. After his next MRI (an open MRI), he will hopefully be able to have an epidural in his spine (a strange wish) that will open the nerve pathways and relieve his pain/symptoms. Please pray for continued healing for my dad, Tom.
OK – the medical update is over….on to the fun!
My schedule last week also included three restaurant visits. Lucky, I know. It’s not normal for me to eat out so many times in one week, but when it happens I just embrace it! Truthfully, I think it may have made me a little lazy in the kitchen!!!
The following restaurant reviews are entirely my own opinion. I did not receive any compensation for the contents.
The first restaurant I visited was Hellenic Kouzina in Mechanicsburg. My mom and I went on the late-side for lunch – around 1:30ish. The casual restaurant offers Greek cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. You order and pick up at the counter (although our order was delivered to us – probably because it was not too busy when we were there) and there are many seating options – tables in the “main” dining area, a bar along a bank of windows, and a second dining area that is small but sunny. There is also a patio that I imagine offers outdoor seating when the weather permits. The décor is a mostly modern with some gothic and victorian thrown in.
- Saganaki (which we both though sounded Japanese) – imported Kefalograviera cheese pan-fried in olive oil, flambéed with brandy and extinguished with fresh lemon. This was served with warm pita and was FANTASTIC! Of course, it was quite rich and there was enough for both my mom and me to taste and some left to bring home for Jeff – although I’m sure it lost something in transport and reheating). Saganaki is comfort food at its finest.
- Hummus – which the menu describes as a creamy blend of chick peas, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. The menu description leaves something out – there was also a spice in the hummus that was delicious, but about which my mom and I are still stumped. We couldn’t identify it. I’m wondering if it’s saffron……hmm…..
- Traditional Gyro – a combination of lamb and beef on a grilled pita with tzatziki sauce, “vine ripened tomatoes,” and red onions. While there were tomatoes on the gyro, I sincerely doubt by their texture and appearance that they were vine ripened. The gyro was really good and was served with a bag of tri-colored potato chips.
We did not order dessert, but the pastry case held many tempting treats that looked terrific. Had we not been so full from lunch we may have shared something to see if the offerings tasted as good as they looked.
My only disappointment with Hellenic Kouzina was that we had to clean off our table before we sat down to eat. Although it was lunch time, when we arrived it was not busy. Had we arrived at the height of the lunch rush, cleaning my own table prior to eating wouldn’t have seemed so bad – although I would prefer not to.
My next restaurant visit was with my sister, Laura, and my niece, Ashley. We went to the Pizza Grille in Mechanicsburg for lunch. Because I’ve written about the Pizza Grille in earlier posts and because I didn’t order anything new, I won’t recap. But I will tell you we had a great visit with one another – it’s been far too long since we’ve gotten together, our food and service were very good, and we came up with a non-traditional plan for Easter dinner. Stay tuned! Oh, and thanks for lunch Laura!!!
My final restaurant visit last week was with a blogger group – PA Bloggers. You’ve read about our meet ups in past posts. This meet up was at Say Cheese! in West Reading. Although I was on time, I was the last to arrive so I didn’t have time to scope the place out when I first got there. I went straight to the table and jumped into the action. This month there were only two familiar faces. I consider that both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because I got to meet some wonderful new people, but bad because I missed seeing some of the folks I’ve gotten to know!
After taking our time perusing the menu and asking some questions of our waiter, Robin, we placed our order. Then we went on to “blogger business.” Our leader, Steph, told us about how she arranged the event, talked a bit about April’s event, and gave us some fun news from our event sponsor – fit in clouds. Stay tuned to learn more about fit in clouds!!!
With an order of sweet potato fries with raspberry mayo and an order of chevre fondue in the middle of the table for snacking; we chatted with one another, took in the funky atmosphere and talked as a group about our blogging. When our individual orders arrived we decided to just walk around the table and take pics of everyone’s food rather than passing cameras and straining to take pics. I’m sure we were quite a sight for other diners. I wonder what they were thinking about our strange version of musical chairs or if they even noticed!
Say Cheese! offers an artisan cheese shop at the front and a 72 seat restaurant behind the cheese shop. The cheese shop carries artisanal cheeses and many products to accompany the cheeses – from marmalades and crackers to serving platters and coffees. There were many yummy products from which to choose.
The décor is very cool – everyone was commenting about the light fixtures, the artwork and even the ceiling fans! The service was terrific – both our attentive (but not overly so) waiter and the owner stopped by our table more than once during our meal to make sure we had everything we needed. The food was beautifully presented and the combinations of flavors the menu described were quite unique.
I wish I could say I thought the food was as good as it was described. It was good – don’t get me wrong, but I think my expectations were set higher than what was delivered. I ordered a combo – half a cheddar grilled cheese, which Robin said was one of his two favorite things on the menu, and the warm lentil salad with quinoa, dried cranberry, Burt’s bacon and kale. The brioche on which the sandwich was served was terrific, but in my opinion the sandwich itself was ordinary. I was hoping for an oozy center and a crisp golden crust, but my hopes weren’t met. The salad, while a great concept and a good effort, lacked pizzazz and I would recommend cutting the bacon in smaller pieces. The chevre fondue, however, was amazing! It was served with different types of bread cubes, sliced strawberries, sliced granny smith apples and really good cauliflower puffs.
Some of the ladies at the table challenged me to come up with a recipe for the cauliflower puffs. You know me, I am never one to shrink from a challenge. Stay tuned for the recipe I came up with – I think it’s even better than what we had at Say Cheese!!!!
Overall I’d recommend giving Say Cheese! a try if you live close to the restaurant. If we had another meet up there, I wouldn’t skip it but I don’t think I’d drive an hour just for the food.
Take a look at the slideshow of our time at Say Cheese!
The restaurant reviews above are entirely my own opinion. I did not receive any compensation for the contents.
In addition to the medical issues and restaurant visits, I also spent some time volunteering at the Kitchen Shoppe in Carlisle. It’s a great place for me to spend time. I love being a part of a team of hard-working, fun-loving, supportive folks who enjoy cooking and baking as much as I do!
And, of course, mixed in with everything else were real-life things like laundry, paying bills, cleaning, etc. I’m just a regular gal who is lucky enough to be doing what I love!!