Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ate like kings...

Hey all!  Hope you guys are having a great holiday weekend so far!  Ours has been FOOD PACKED already, so I thought I'd give you another mid-weekend recap before my computer implodes with pics! hehehehehe

First up was our Friday night dinner....which just so happened to be a chilly & blustery night made perfect by one of our "spring tradition":  Green Spring Chili French Fry Pie!

I can't successfully transition to summer without having this dish at least ONCE in the spring!  And since this weekend is a kick-off to summer, well, I guess better late than never, huh?J

Even if this one swapped our GREEN for RED in the form of this tomatillo sauce I got from Trader Joe's...

How could you EVER complain about a layer of white bean & turkey chili simmered in tomatillo sauce... 

...topped with FRENCH FRIES! 

I mean, let's get real...SHOES would seem appealing with a layer of friesJ  But even so, this dinner was delicious, as always.  (even Katie dug it!)  A little angel (turkey/white bean chili) & the devil (fries) all in oneJ

Saturday brought MUCH more food & fun when Scott, Katie & I BUNDLED UP and headed to the farmer's market bright and felt WAYYYYYYYYY more like October than May!  So, fighting off the chilly wind, we made a quick whirl-through, picked up our goodies for the week and made one final stop here, as usual

I was all set on my normal quesadila...until I saw that the waffles were being topped with FARM FRESH STRAWBERRIES and then I knew it was OVAH! 
Oh man, it's gonna be a tough pick from here on out!  I loveeeee my chicken, cheese & veggie packed quesadillas, but this CRISPY & fluffly waffle was just divine.  And I'm not usually MUCH of a 'strawberry sauce' type, but made during 'perfectly ripe strawberry season', doesn't get much better than that!

After the waffle, I headed straight to the gym for some sweat-drenching yoga and then a shower, train ride & a few hours later, and we ended up here:
Continental is a cute little place in Midtown Philadelphia decked out in a very MOD motif, complete with cute little charms like sunken couches & wicker swings...

It also may very well always hold a special place in my heart because it was where Scott & I had lunch before taking Katie to meet Santa Claus for the first time back in December...flashback:

(Less than 7 months now...wohooooooo!)

But we were there last night to celebrate for equally fun reasons:  my GORGEOUS niece's 14th birthday!

We were lucky enough to get there early & grab a beautiful table right by the picture window and proceeded to eat like kings! 
95% of Continetal's menus is tapas, which means there's plenty of small plates to try & plenty to share!  I would ALWAYS rather have a few bites of a bunch of different dishes, than a zillion bites of just one borin ole entree.  Life's just WAY more fun that wayJ  

OK....but let's just ignore the word "small" for a sec when you catch a glimpse of the first dish that hit our table: 
That, my friends, is a plate of szechuan shoestring fries topped with Chinese mustard.  Oh man, they were heaven!  Our forks just kept seeming to find their way back to the stack to pick & pick & pick.  The Chinese mustard was what put them over the top.  It was just enough spice to go with their thin, mellow crispness.  And they still managed to ALL stay crisp while never feeling overly greasy...a win FO SHO!

Next up were the French Onion dumplings..., I swear that's not escargot!  It is indeed paper-thin dumplings packed to the gills with braised french onions and topped with melted gruyere.  I mean...

Next up were the Korean Pork tacos...which I could only manage a bite of, as they were way toooo spicy for meJ  (which, to the normal person, probably registered about a 5 on the heat scaleJ

And my 'most excited' to try pick:  the Kofta, which are Indian spices meat kebabs.  Indian spice + cool yogurt = Flawless! 

I also got the chance to split some crab cakes with my niece (Scott doesn't do crab...the bum!) 

...and we just HAD to have the Philadelphia cheesesteak eggrolls.   When in Rome...

And, not shocking, we were pretty STUFFED by this point...but by the time the piece de resistance hit the table, all 'full' thoughts were just pushed aside.  I give you:  The Lobster Mac & Cheese! 

This may have been the MOST perfect mac & cheese I've EVER had out and about.  The orzo was a good swap & cooked perfectly, the cheese sauce was unreal CREAMY & decadent and it was punctured with lobster bits (although not as well as in Mystic!)  This is comfort food: 101!

What a fantastic and REALLLLLLY fun meal!  When everyone at the table is 'experiencing' the same dish at the same time, I just think that's the ultimate fun way to eatJ  Makes it much more about the GROUP than the meal...or at least that's what I thinkJ

We spent the rest of the night trying to walk off the meal around the city and then coming back to teach my niece about the phenomenal movie-ness that is "The Sixth Sense" (one of my ALLLLLLLLLLL TIME FAVS!) before bed.  (maybe not the BEST "bedtime movie"...buttt...)

Anddddddddddddddddd it wasn't long in the morning before the 'food antics' started up again.  We had made a quick stop at Reading Terminal Market when we got to Philly, knowing that all the good Amish treats would be 1/2 price an hour before closing and would be perfect for Sunday morning breakfast treat!

And then after finding out the fantastic Beiler's had now developed it's very OWN DONUTS STAND:

...this was just inevitably about to happen:

Yup, coconut cream, apple fritter & caramel apple donut bites were also very 'breakfast tapas' this morning... 

Buttttt let's just say that donuts are the very WORST idea before heading to a super INTENSE, full-throttle BOXING CLASS.  Sugar coma does NOT equal stamina!  It's all fun & games until that moment of UGH!

I tttttttrrrrrrrrrriiiiiedddd to have a little bit more of a 'simple lunch' when I came home...
(strawberries + my beloved dark chocolate covered almonds that I found in BULK at the Amish candy store at Reading!)

...before even MORE food shenanigans in the form of GOOD OLE AMERICAN PICNIC FOOD starts up again shortlyJ  I'm gonna try my best to keep this one from getting out of hand.  And let's not even begin to describe the DETOX that shall be taking place starting Tuesday (yes...tomm might be a little 'wild & crazy' too!)

Alrighty...I better get movin & get my picnic stuff prepped!  Hope you guys have a GREAT rest of Memorial Day Weekend and be sure to give THANKS & HONOR to all of those who make it possible to ENJOY this great country!!!

See ya Tuesday!

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