Sabbatical Day 8: Lunch in Portland

Drinking my lunch: a cup of fresh brewed drip coffee at Stumptown Roasters and a protein shake.

The protein-caffeine mix is my substitute for carbs.

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Train Dinner

First meal on Amtrak, brought to the room by Dan, the car attendant. With the exception of the sauce, I wolfed it, no pun intended. Train travel is hungry work, especially when you go REAL SLOW through these picturesque downtown areas of Central California coast and farm towns, and you see all of the cool eateries.

Note to self: always bring plenty of (healthy, protein-laden) foods on the train to supplement the meals. I did okay this time, but it never hurts, even on a trip as short as four hours.

Power Cheat, Pre-Sabbatical

The Pantry, downtown LA, after the Lakers game.

It was 10:3opm. I had eaten only about 600 calories all day, 60% of which was protein. We had walked seven miles. There was probably never a better time for a cheat meal.

And I couldn’t finish everything. Neither could the kid. The stomach apparently shrank along with the belly.

That said, there is nothing like comfort food, done right, and in generous portions to remind you of exactly how beguiling a foodie’s life could be.

My next cheat meal is scheduled for dinner on Saturday, January 19th in Chicago. That will be either hot dogs and tater tots, or Giordano’s pizza (2 slices.)

Cheat Meal of the Month (Sort of)

So for my first cheat meal since beginning my training program at the beginning of August, I was going to have this box of sliders and order of baked fries.

Well, I could only manage to eat four of the sliders, and after one french fry  I realized that something had happened to my appetite since starting on this journey: I didn’t much like french fries anymore.

So The Kid got two sliders and the fries, and I am perfectly happy going right back to my nutrition program.

Next cheat meal will be during my sabbatical three weeks hence, during my stopover in Portland, Oregon.

At the moment I am thinking about Pine Street Biscuits. Thoughts?

Bonding, Zhejiang Style

Dinner with the folks from Longjing winery. It’s the infamous and dreaded ganbei with full pitchers of the local pour.

Yes, my face is red.  I am told I managed to quaff about a liter of huangjiu between dinner and the unofficial meetings afterwards. The next morning I was about as hung over as I have been in decades, but it was not as bad as it would have been if I had been drinking different or lower-quality spirits.

It is a bummer that really good huangjiu is hard to find in the US. It is very easy to develop a taste for the stuff, and at about 15% ABV it fills a niche between wine or strong IPA beers on one end and spirits on the other. This is much more like a richer version of sake than grain-based paint-thinners like Maotai or Wuliangye, and is a superb substitute for brandy or port.

If you get a chance, give it a try. It will surprise you.