Tuesday, May 24, 2011

That Time When I Ate My Way Through My Birthday

Ryan and I were able to get off work a little early on Friday, which meant we were able to head into Philly for one of my new favorite restaurants, Banana Leaf. It's a small Mongolian place in Chinatown that we stumbled upon after leaving The Legwarmers concert back in March. I'm sure they just loved having customers decked out in 80's costumes piling into their restaurant at midnight! Anyway, the food was so yummy (and super affordable) that I was just waiting for an excuse to go again. I think celebrating my 29th fit the bill perfectly! 

 Dominating the pyramids of sushi 

 Coconut water with delicious chunks of coconut on the bottom

 Ryan and his enormous bowl of duck soup

 & his even larger pork dish

After dinner, we headed to the movie theatre to see the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean. See, I made a deal with Ryan back in April that if I could go to an Ingrid Michaelson concert on his birthday, he could see the new Pirates movie on mine. Note to past self, this was not an equal switch. I'm pretty sure the Ingrid concert was a gazillion times better. The movie was ok...better than the 3rd (which weirded me out), but I will admit to some dozing off. However, this may or may not have been due to the pre-movie, self-inflicted food coma.

We both worked on Saturday, and had plans to celebrate with my family on Sunday. Things got a little hectic with a slew of last minute craziness, and it needed to be rescheduled. My dad's birthday is this week, so maybe he'll let me share in a little of his celebrations.

Sad because the family party was cancelled, and because my mom gave me socks for a gift. Not any socks though...slightly imperfect socks (love you Mom & your Marshalls/TJ Maxx addiction!). Apparently I am slightly imperfect too. 

Since the big BBQ shindig was a flop, (and because the socks weren't cutting it) my mom decided to treat me and Ryan to dinner. I'm not gonna lie, I'm kinda glad it worked out this way, because dinner was AMAZING.

We went to Sovana Bistro in Kennett Square, PA, which I had been wanting to try for a while, and I can't say enough good things about the restaurant. Going out to eat is usually a huge endeavor for me because of my food allergies, and it becomes so much work that it takes a lot of the joy out of the experience. I usually have to study a menu beforehand, call a restaurant to see if things are made with cream or butter (wheat is a lot easier to figure out than dairy!), see if substitutions can be made, and then pray that the chef knows what they are doing. Even if a restaurant has a gluten free menu, most of the items contain corn or dairy, which I am also allergic to. Needless to say, I often end up eating a hodgepodge of things, or something I may not have really wanted because there really isn't much leeway on a lot of menus.

I grew up in the restaurant industry (literally), so I know that there is only so much that can be done, and I totally accept that and go with the flow. But I've dreamed of the day when I'd actually be able to order all of the things I really wanted. And Sovana Bistro...well, they definitely made my dreams come true. When I asked the waitress about a certain dish, she responded with, "Oh just let me know what all of your allergies are, and I'll see if the chef can make the dish around those. If not, you can just let me know what you like, and we can create a dish for you." I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped on the floor. They would make a dish around things I wanted?!? Be still my heart. Dear Sovana Bistro, you win the BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT award.

 Everyone at the table got a small tasting spoon. The one on the left was especially for me! I didn't even have to ask...they just made a special one!

 Scallops, Pork Belly and Kale. My stomach is still celebrating the awesomeness of this dish.

Brussel Sprouts!!!
 Brussel Sprouts are my favorite food (I eat them for breakfast...weird, I know). 
Ryan and I both ordered a side of them, and I ate them both. Consider it my birthday cake. 

All and all, it was a great birthday weekend! I loved all of the messages, cards and phone calls I got from family & friends, and or course all of the yummy food I got to eat. I'd consider it a great start to the last year of my twenties. Hopefully there's a lot more exciting (and delicious) things coming my way this year!

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