Like We Always Do Around This Time

We wonder to ourselves: Monday already? Last week completely kicked my ass, as work deadlines took precedent over everything else. Luckily, most of my current projects are near completion; freeing myself to un-tether from Powerpoint and look forward to this past weekend. To top it all off, I’ve been dealing with tennis elbow/tendonitis in both arms (yeah, seriously), which has forced me to lay off from my usual routine of hitting the courts every few days.

The weekend was chilled and calorie-filled. I started things off properly by enjoying some of the bounty from last weekend’s Napa trip, then headed over to Bombay Bar & Grill with Mar and Gav. If you dig Indian food as we do, be sure to check this place out. It’s conveniently in Midtown, has a terrific assortment of different dishes and excellent service to match. We ordered a few appetizers to start, then capped things off with lamb tikka masala, shrimp masala and a basked of assorted naan/kulcha. I forgot to take my camera, so count on some photos from my next visit, which will be sooner than you think.

Saturday began with a breakfast at Orphan Breakfast House with Kat and Jay. My first time eating here, I was really surprised at how fresh everything tasted, but honestly shouldn’t have been; Orphan is known for their generous, yet low-fat/sodium dishes made with extremely fresh ingredients.

Kat and I both were lured in by the Roast Beef Hash.

Of course, Jay opted for something much healthier.

This is definitely a spot to remember if you’re interested in seeing how traditional breakfast favorites can be translated into healthier versions. I can definitely say that I left with no hint of the ‘itis; something that I always seem to encounter after enjoying a big breakfast. Orphan is owned by the same folks who operate Naked Coffee, so also count on a great cup of coffee to wash things down. Go for the Sumatra.

Since breakfast didn’t slow me down by any means, I took it upon myself to find another face-stuffing opportunity to round out my day and try something new. St. James Armenian Church hosted the 65th Annual Armenian Food Festival at the Greek Hellenic Hall, located across from McKinley Park. I’ve never eaten Armenian food before, so I figured that this would be an ideal opportunity to try the real thing since I knew that the food would most likely be home-cooked, rather than from a restaurant.

In attendance were mainly families; little kids running around, tables filled with aunties, uncles, parents and grandparents. Needless to say, I was probably the only Asian dude in the building- inconspicuously holding 2 mountain high plates of braised lamb shanks, kabobs, kafta, tabbouleh, lahmajoon, and sou boureg.  Sticking out like a sore thumb, a few folks curiously asked how I found out about the event, and were extremely welcoming, inviting me to join them at a table. We talked family, food, and the merits of enjoying it all together. Good times. After a little conversation, I was invited up to the bar to join the guys in a few rounds of arak, a traditional anise flavored alcoholic drink indigenous to Arab cultures. Let me tell you, although tasty- this stuff was jet fuel. As you might assume, a few rounds ensued, complete with high fives and a few spills on my white tee. Knowing that the day wasn’t nearly over, I cut myself off early and headed out with a full belly, new friends and an authentic Armenian food experience.

After a few hours of trying to sober up from the arak, I hit the streets to check out the Sleeprockers’ performance at the Sammies Block Party. In true fashion, the guys killed it, performing alongside the Grant High School drumline, with the Live Manikins’ Self and J Rockit leading things off. Big ups to Zaved @ Desi Intervention, for the great photos below!

The fellas rocked the stage as usual, and DJ Rated R took home the award for Outstanding Turntablist. Congrats Ron! You absolutely deserve it! Shout out to another friend who took home a Sammie- production extraordinaire, Jae Synth, who won Outstanding Music Video Director.

Sunday was chill as usual, beginning with my weekly trip to the market to re-up on veggies. Since we’re nearing the end of tomato season, I wanted to share my go-to sauce recipe with you on this next entry.

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