Tag Archives: New Brunswick

That Time I Raced a Mile

If there’s one thing most people remember about gym class in middle school and high school, it is having to run the dreaded mile. For some reason no one minded in elementary school; running around in the school’s field as fast as you could against your classmates was actually fun. By the time you turned 12, though, being told you had to run the mile – in gym class, no less – was among one of the “OMG worst things ever” for most people.

Admittedly, I don’t remember having to run the mile in high school. We definitely had days where we’d run outside in elementary school, and we were taken to the track a few times a year during middle school (it was right across the street), but we were never told to run a certain distance in a certain amount of time. By the time high school rolled around, we never ran. I think I remember one of my gym teachers taking us for a “jog” around the block once. In four years. Sure I was exempt from gym during swim season (usually mid-November to early March), but that isn’t prime running weather anyway. My school district just didn’t include running in it’s physical education curriculum. Most people are shocked when they hear this since for most, it was their least favorite day of the year in gym. Even though I didn’t run growing up, I’m not sure how I would have felt about running the mile in gym. Knowing me, I would have enjoyed it.

When I finally started running after college, I joined the local road race scene which meant 5k’s and longer. I didn’t know of any shorter road races, and the thought of hopping on the track intimidated me. Every race distance requires a different approach, and as I’m getting more comfortable with racing (it’s been 5 years!), I’m finally learning the “tactics” and applying them (albeit slowly) to my racing strategy. So when I heard about a local 1 mile road race, I knew I had to sign up. Plus, knowing one of my fellow NJ Oiselle birds, Jen, was racing made me want to run even more.

The College Avenue Mile runs two loops in New Brunswick, on you guessed it, College Avenue! This was actually the third year for the race, but the first time it actually worked out for me to run. Since I’ve never raced a mile, I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous knowing I’d have to race hard from the gun, but tried to reassure myself that the pain would be over in 6-ish minutes, a solid 14+ minutes less than any other race I’ve run! When registering for the race, you had to select what heat to run in – elite (sub-5:30), emerging elite (sub-6), masters, sub-7, or sub-12. I checked off the sub-7 option during registration, knowing that the McMillan pace calculator predicted me at 6:01 based on my recent half marathon PR. I was wary about running in the emerging elite heat and posting a 6-something mile. After much debate and some encouragement from my Twitter bud Sarah who was manning the registration booth, I decided to hop in the emerging elite heat. They were running over an hour before the sub-7 heat, and I figured running with a group of women slightly faster than me would be motivating… and I’d get home earlier! Plus, seeing that the race was relatively low-key, it was no problem for me to hop into a random heat. Probably the only time in my life I’ll be called an “emerging elite,” ha.

I warmed up three miles around College Ave. while the earlier races were going on, and before I knew it, we were being called to the start. As we waited for the go-ahead, I couldn’t help but think, “What have I gotten myself into?” along with, “Try not to come in dead last.” Everyone in my heat was friendly, so we were able to distract ourselves a bit by chatting about how we just wanted to get the race over, how hot it was, etc. And I finally met Meghan! You can see us in the picture below talking strategy, ha.

Serious business

Serious business

When the race started, the first quarter felt relatively slow. Of course it wasn’t, but in my head I needed to be going balls-to-the-wall immediately. I held back, though, knowing that there was at least someone I was running with that knew how to race a mile. We ran the first half mile in a pack, and started to thin as we reached the halfway point. Two laps of just one block meant 8 left-hand turns, which proved to be somewhat difficult for me. Since I was running so fast (for me!) and had a younger girl right next to me against the curb the entire time, I wound up swinging out a little further than I would have liked. At one point, the girl even had the nerve to put her arm out to make sure she had enough room for herself. I wouldn’t have minded, except for the fact that she started the race on the right-hand side of the road, cut across all the way to the left, and hugged the curb the entire time running the exact same speed as me. Guess it’s good the race was only a mile! I tried to focus on my own race, and realized I was really working based on the fact that I could hear myself huffing and puffing within the first quarter of the race.

Let's play "Where's Danielle in the pack?"

Let’s play “Where’s Danielle in the pack?”

 

Before I knew it we were on our second lap, and as I started the last quarter I somehow had a little gas left in the tank to pass two women that were right in front of me the entire time. Thankfully we finished on the right-hand side of the road, so swinging wide on my last left-hand turn worked out in my favor. I kicked my legs and pumped my arms as fast as I could as I rounded the corner and saw the clock slowly ticking away in the 5:50’s. I wound up crossing the mat in 5:56.06! As it turns out I did belong in the emerging elite heat – go figure!

Home Stretch!

Home Stretch!

In addition to the race, because I do my long runs on Saturday, I wasn’t getting away with just running a mile for the day – I had a total of 10 on the schedule. So after my three mile warm-up and one mile race, I set out for another 6 miles to finish off the day. When it was all said and done I was tired and all my legs wanted to do was relax, but it was  a fun way to get in 10 miles. I also won’t lie – my legs (and core!) were pretty sore on Sunday which I wasn’t expecting. It made my recovery run more of a slog… but it was nice to know I pushed myself the day before. Next on my schedule is a 4 miler on the 4th of July, followed by a bunch of 5k’s. Aside from the heat and humidity, I love summer racing!

Tell me…
Did you have to race the mile in school? Love it? Hate it?
What’s the shortest race (distance-wise) you’ve done? Longest?

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Tex-Mex Obsession

I hope that everyone in the Mid-Atlantic enjoyed the gorgeous weather we had all week! I am lucky enough to have the flexibility to work from home a few times a week so I made sure to take advantage of it; especially on Tuesday when it was 80 degrees! Unfortunately the weather isn’t sticking around, but I’m okay with it – I don’t think I’m ready for summer temperatures just yet. So even though I’ve been grilling and enjoying beers outside, I’m still doing a fair amount of indoor cooking… I’ll resort to grill-only foods come July, I’m sure.

The majority of recipes you’ll find on the blog are Tex-Mex, so it never comes as a surprise to someone when I proclaim “I love Tex-Mex food!” More specifically I love Mexican food, and Tex-Mex is a byproduct of living in the USA. Thankfully I don’t live too far from New Brunswick, where 49.93% of the population is Hispanic or Latino (2010 Census results) and as a result has a lot of really delicious and authentic Mexican restaurants (my favorite is Costa Chica on Handy St., for the locals!). So when I was thinking about more ways to incorporate some of my favorite flavors into a dish, I immediately thought of macaroni and cheese.

KickAss5k-001

After my run!

After completing Abby’s Kick Ass 5k, I got to work in the kitchen. But before we get into the recipe, I have to give a little plug for Abby. Even though the 5k is over, you can still head to her Team Challenge page and donate. Long story short, Abby is an incredibly strong woman who has ulcerative colitis and is running a half marathon in June with Team Challenge (in conjunction with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation) to help raise money for the foundation. As a fellow IBD sufferer, of course I had to donate to the cause, and I hope you’ll consider it, too!

The recipe uses veggie sausage, but you can either leave it out completely or use real sausage, ground beef, or ground turkey. And the recipe can be turned vegan if you use non-dairy cream cheese, shredded cheese, and milk. Since I’m slightly sensitive to dairy, this definitely isn’t a meal I would eat often… but it’s fun to indulge every once in awhile (though suffering the consequences isn’t fun)!

Tex-Mex Pasta Bake | Foodosaurusrex.com

Tex-Mex Pasta Bake
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. pasta (I used rotini, but small shells, elbow, etc. will work)
4 oz. veggie sausage or ground beef substitute (or ground turkey or beef if you aren’t vegetarian)
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp chipotle taco seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp adobo
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheese blend
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil and add the diced onion and pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Then set aside.
4. Add your meat of choice to the skillet and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until it begins to brown.
5. Add black beans followed by spices, and allow to cook 2-3 minutes. Add in cooked pasta.
6. Once well combined, add in the cream cheese, shredded cheese blend, and milk, stirring to combine until all the cheese is melted. Stir in the Panko bread crumbs.
7. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray and spread the pasta mixture evenly. Feel free to sprinkle a little extra shredded cheese on top for good measure.
8. Bake for 15 minutes until top begins to brown.

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Cajun Creole in New Brunswick

On Friday night, the fiancé and I joined a few friends to celebrate a friend’s new job, as the editor of New Brunswick’s Patch.com. Since the site officially launched on Friday morning, it was only appropriate to celebrate that evening. It was a nice way to kick off a new turning point in her career, especially because I know she’s worked really hard to get everything ready. I’m looking forward to reading the articles on the site, and I’m also looking forward to contributing! That’s right, you can now find this blog on New Brunswick’s Patch under their “Local Voices.” I’ll also have the opportunity to do some other writing (restaurant reviews, etc.) which I’m really looking forward to.

So, to celebrate we headed to The Old Bay in New Brunswick, which is a restaurant and bar serving up Cajun Creole cuisine. I’ve been a few times, but only to meet friends for drinks, so I was excited to try their food. So like I always do, I checked the menu ahead of time and was immediately drawn to their jalapeno corncake appetizer. Other than that, though, I had no idea what I’d order, which is rare. So, it wound up being a game time decision!

Jalapeno Crab Cakes

I decided to go with the Andouille crusted red snapper, that’s served over edamame succotash and wilted spinach. I was hoping it would have a little kick from the andouille, but that was something a dash of hot sauce easily fixed. The edamame succotash was amazing – I would have ordered an entire bowl of it if I could!

Andouille Crusted Red Snapper

The fiancé decided to get two appetizers as his dinner, and went with the Bayou fish tacos, and their version of beef pies, which were both really good (of course I had to sample them!).

Bayou Fish Tacos & Beef Pies

I washed everything down with some Victory Summer Lovin’ ale, which was nice and light, crisp, and fruity – just the way I like my beer!

I would defintely recommend The Old Bay – especially if you’re looking for a bunch of appetizers and drinks. Plus, if you stick around on most nights after 10pm they have drink specials, and live music!

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I Almost Did It Again

Sunday’s race was a prime example of just how crazy us runners are.

On Saturday, the greater tri-state area experienced monsoon-like weather, with extremely high winds, rain pouring down all day in buckets, and the occasional thunderstorm. By the time the rain stopped (in the wee-hours of Sunday morning), the wind was still around, and there was A LOT of flooding. Anyone familiar with the general New Brunswick area knows that almost all of the parks, especially Johnson Park, flood almost every time it rains.

So, when we were on our way to the Unite Half Marathon on Sunday morning that starts over on Rutger’s Busch campus, it was no surprise that we saw flooding in the parks. We also, however, saw quite a few paths and roads that had dried up. Once we arrived at the start, and were waiting for a port-o-potty while listening to announcements, we heard what at first I thought was a joke – due to flooding, the 13.1 mile race was pushed back to be only 10 miles. I definitely heard groans throughout the crowd. I giggled to myself that we were all disappointed to not be running an extra 3.1 miles!

For me, I wasn’t too disappointed; because of all my injuries, I didn’t think it would have mattered for me either way if I ran those extra 3.1 miles as I knew this race wasn’t going to be a PR. However, I did feel badly for everyone there going for a PR, or for anyone that was running their first half marathon. While I understand it’s impossible to control the weather, I don’t understand why there wasn’t a plan B. Like I mentioned, everyone that is familiar with the New Brunswick area knows the parks, specifically Johnson Park, flood A LOT when it rains. I was baffled that they couldn’t have had us do an extra lap here or there, or re-route the course a bit to make up the difference in miles. So instead of heading to the park after 8 miles, we continued across a narrow (3 person-wide) footbridge to make our way to the finish line.

There isn’t much to say about the race – it kind of just happened! It was super windy though, which at points was pushing me to the left and right, and I felt like I was battling through a brick wall. Aside from the heavy winds, it was a great day for a race. The morning started a bit cloudy, and then the sun came out (I think I actually got a little color!). I started off right behind the 9 minute/mile pacers, but quickly put myself in front of them, and stuck with it. I didn’t have any expectations going into the race, but after knowing it was only 10 miles, I felt like I could push it a little. Here I was thinking the race was 10 miles, and it turns out it was only 9.65! That actually annoyed me; not that they cut it short in the first place (I was over that), but that they said it was 10 miles, but was really 9.65. That extra .35 makes a difference – I thought I ran 10 miles on Sunday! My overall pace for the 9.65 miles was 8:54 min/mile, having me finish at 1:23:49.

Looking at that timing, even if I had slowed down a bit, I probably would have PR’d. Crazy to think! The fiancé also ran, finishing in 1:11:53, average pace of 7:28. Considering his own injuries, I couldn’t be prouder!

Since I didn’t run the 13.1 that was planned today, I think the fiancé and I are going to sign up for the Superhero Half on May 15th in Morristown, NJ. Maybe I’ll PR there! And even if I don’t, at least I’ll get to run the full 13.1 miles.

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A Piggie Sunday

The latter half of this past week was super stressful; I got sick, we had a family emergency, and then Saturday and Sunday was spent packing, cleaning, and traveling to two (yes, two) Ikeas to get new furniture. Why the new furniture, you may ask? My fiancé and I are moving at the end of the month! Don’t get too excited, we’re only moving about 10 minutes away to a different town, but we’re upping our game and renting a townhouse! We’re hoping this will be our semi-permanent home until we’re ready to buy a house… yikes.

As you know, I had an awesome giveaway this week, that I just picked a winner for (congrats Jordan!). So, any time I do a giveaway, I also get a sample (win!). I decided to make an appetizer styled dinner, since I was exhausted and wanted minimal effort, and I had all these yummy Hormel products laying around. I had stumbled upon You Are What You Eat or Reheat‘s White Trash Puff Balls a week or so ago, and thought they’d be perfect for the little pepperoni package I got. Instead of combining them with cream cheese, I just threw the pepperoni with shredded mozzarella, and since I grabbed the regular Pillsbury rolls and not crescent rolls, I essentially made pinwheels.

Pepperoni and Cheese Pinwheels

I also decided to try my hand at homemade potatchos, which are basically potato chip nachos. They’re served at a New Brunswick and Rutgers University staple, Stuff Yer Face. If you live in the general vicinity (i.e. probably about an hour in every direction) you’ve heard of the restaurant. You may have even seen it on Man vs. Food! At any rate, their potatchos rule. It’s potato chips, bacon, tomato, cheese, ketchup, sour cream, and chives. I assembled pretty much all of that (I forgot tomatoes – duh!) and threw it in the oven. I have to say, they were pretty spot on.

Homemade Potatchos!

Both of these little ditties would be great appetizers for a get together, on game day, etc. I wouldn’t recommend pairing them together as a dinner, unless you are attempting to use a lot of self control, and break it up with a giant salad (as I did). Sometimes, though, you just need a little comfort, and after the past few days, my fiancé and I were glad to have it.

Homemade Potatchos (Potato Chip Nachos)
– Serves 2-3 –

Ingredients:
1 bag potato chips
4 oz. shredded cheese (any variation – I used Mexican)
2 handfuls of crumbled bacon (I used Hormel’s Real Bacon Bits)
1/2 tomato, diced
Liberal squirts of ketchup
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain) or sour cream
1/2 cup chives, chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Spray baking sheet, and pour chips onto sheet
3. Sprinkle liberally with cheese (feel free to use more!) and bacon pieces
4. Bake for 10 minutes
5. Squeeze ketchup all over chips, top with yogurt, tomatoes, and chives

Pepperoni and Cheese Pinwheels
– Serves 3-4 –

Ingredients:
2 containers of Pillsbury Rolls
1/2 bag of Hormel Mini Pepperoni
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Coat baking pan and open rolls (unroll them, even though their directions tell you not to) and keep them in twos
3. Place combination of pepperoni and shredded mozzarella on each set of two, and roll from one end to the other
4. Bake for 10 minutes

PS – Congrats to everyone that completed the Chicago Marathon yesterday! Hopefully I’ll be there one day too.

 

UPDATE: I’ve submitted the potatchos recipe to Foodbuzz’s BACONALIA contest! YUM.

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Veggie burgers and Mexican BBQ

Yesterday was seriously delicious.

My parents and I decided to go to lunch in New Brunswick to catch up and talk wedding business. My dad works at Rutgers, so everyone is pretty familiar with the food options in the area. After much debate on what we wanted, we settled on Old Man Rafferty’s. Though I hadn’t been there in easily 10 years, I remember it being pretty good.

I started off with a coconut flavored iced latte. It was topped with
real whipped cream and absolutely delicious. For my entree, I went
with the veggie burger paired with sweet potato fries. My mom got the shrimp salad “boat” and my dad the chicken salad “boat.” My parent’s meals were paired with a Greek salad and pita chips, and looked awesome. My veggie burger was really good. It had a nice char-grilled flavor, but wasn’t over-done. At one point I really questioned if it was veggie – it was impressive! The fries were sliced thin and had the perfect crisp. It was served with a cucumber ranch dip that I used both for my burger and my fries.

Later that evening we decided to head to The Grub Hut in Manville with the usual foodie suspects. BBQ and Mexican in one place?! Not only does it sound amazing, it is amazing. I don’t even know where to start with this place. It’s nothing special on the outside, and even when you walk in; there are a few table and chairs on either side of the doors, and then the kitchen area is wide open with metal everywhere – they don’t hide anything, and they don’t go for looks either. But when the food is that good, does it really matter what the place itself looks like? If you are ever in the mood for smoky, excellently seasoned and perfectly cooked food, and A LOT of it, then I would absolutely suggest The Grub Hut. They actually used to be called The Rub Hut, but added a G in front, probably for the best.

In terms of their menu, it’s pretty impressive; they offer brisket, chicken, pork, Texas link, and ribs all done either in a traditional BBQ way, or Mexican style and served up either in a burrito, flauta, taco, enchilada, or chimichanga. You can even order the mother of all combos and have some BBQ and Mexican heaven together. They offer individual sized meals as well as those you can share with a table, such as a THREE POUND burrito!

The meal started off great with nicely seasoned tortilla chips and an awesome salsa. It is super chunky, and spicy and tangy in a way that most salsa’s seem to miss. I went for the chicken chimichanga, while my fiancé got the ground beef jumbo burrito. They were both HUGE! I was really pleased with my choice of chicken; it was smoky and definitely had a BBQ flavor, but also had a serious kick of Mexican spices. Shoved into a huge tortilla that was fried with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce and tomato paired with some sour cream and guacamole = heaven. I only ate about half, and am saving the rest for tomorrow night’s dinner! Everyone else at the table went for the BBQ side; a BBQ chicken sandwich, a platter called “Hog Heaven” that had chorizo, ribs, brisket and pulled pork, and a Pit Master platter that was similar. Most of their entrées come with two sides; they have everything from fried plantains and rice and beans to “loco” fries doused in jalapeños and cheese.

Jefe Grande Chimi

Needless to say we all waddled out of the restaurant, and headed not home, but to Rita’s. Yes, we’re gluttons for punishment and decided to stretch our stomachs just a little more. While everyone else went for ice, I got myself some vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles – my own personal heaven. I only finished about a quarter of it, but it was well worth every bite.

Thankfully, I went for a four mile run today and watched myself in terms of eating, since yesterday was a serious glutton fest. But what can I say? You need one of those every once in awhile!! And I’m definitely planning on going back to The Grub Hut to enjoy some more Mexican BBQ in the future!

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Rita’s Tour – The 2010 Edition

This past Saturday was the first day of Spring. So, as they do every year, Rita’s gave out free 10oz servings of their famed ice all day. Being a bunch of gluttonous children, my fiancé (you can read his tour round-up here) and a group of friends and I decided upon the ultimate task – 10 Rita’s in one day, a new flavor at each location.

Last year, the group made it to about five locations in only a few hours (it was a Friday so needed to be done after work). Knowing that this year it fell on a Saturday with a gorgeous forecast, we got cocky. About a week prior to the event, a few different e-mails were exchanged with maps of potential stops. It included a trip to Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick for ‘bolis, and a detour to look at a potential wedding venue. We also stumbled upon a Cupcake joint, Sugar Mommy’s Cupcakes, that I’ll detail in a separate blog entry.

After starting our trip at about 12:30pm and devouring our ices at about 1, we then spent the next 8 hours driving to various Rita’s Ice locations in New Jersey. We made stops in Bridgewater, Somerville, Flanders, Denville, Berkeley Heights, Westfield, Plainfield, and finally Edison. We searched for a Rita’s in Morristown that no longer exists, and ran out of time before heading to Milltown. But at any rate, I sampled eight different ice flavors, preparing me for the season ahead. They included Alex’s Lemonade, Green Apple, Florida Orange, Sugar Free Cherry, Wild Black Cherry, Coconut, Pistachio, and their newest edition – Peeps. Oh yes, you read correctly – Peeps flavored ice! As in the little bird shaped marshmallows that are covered in sugar, usually found in Easter baskets. It tasted nothing like Peeps, but more like birthday cake, which I was more than okay with. It’s neon yellow color was another selling point.

I really liked all of the flavors. But, I think Alex’s Lemonade and the Coconut were my favorites. I think the only ice I wouldn’t order again would have been the Wild Black Cherry. That was definitely sub-par, and had more of a grape flavor than anything else. The Peeps was also super-sweet, so that would have to be consumed sparingly.

By about stop 5, we were all looking for food. The mere thought of devouring ‘bolis at Stuff Yer Face is what I think kept us going. So, we decided to head there after our 7th stop. When we finally got to the restaurant, we made no qualms about our purpose. We didn’t get drink wristbands, and ordered water and an appetizer almost as soon as we sat. After surviving on water ice for almost 7 hours, we needed solid food, quickly. We all dug in to our hot wings and onion rings as soon as they were brought out, and anxiously awaited the arrival of our stromboli. The restaurant has a lot to offer; there are pre-suggested combinations, and also a “create your own.” My fiancé always orders the same create your own, and after trying it, follow suit. It has mozzarella cheese, chicken, buffalo sauce, onions, and broccoli. It is absolutely amazing.

After realizing the time, we knew we’d only have time for one more Rita’s, since they close at 9pm. We headed to the one nearest to where we live, and waited in one last line. By the time we got our ice it was 9:15, and the line showed no chance of stopping.

I woke up today feeling great. Sure, I might have been a little sugar hungover, but I managed to run 7.5 miles (longest single run logged yet!) and I could absolutely eat another Rita’s Ice right now, preferably a Gelati. I’m so excited that ice and ice cream season is finally here. I’m looking forward to more outdoors frozen treat devouring, and saying goodbye to eating it while hiding under a blanket indoors.

All in all, our group (4 people) went to 8 locations, and sampled 20 flavors. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself! I hope Rita’s is ready for next year, because we’ll be back – bigger and badder than ever!

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Holiday Meals

In the spirit of the season, a group of friends organized a Holiday dinner this past Friday at a local martini bar that happens to have an extremely interesting, and delicious menu.

Located in New Brunswick, Clydz is a happy hour favorite, but also serves some very interesting food choices. For our meal, we were able to choose from four menu options, and it came with a salad and dessert. Our options were Oven roasted Giannone chicken with a grilled portabella mushroom, asparagus and red onion potato gratin, Venison flank steak with rattlesnake-rabbit sausage, garlic whipped potato and French beans, Charred Berkshire pork tenderloin with herb spaetzle, braised greens and whiskey-maple glaze, or Holland pepper stuffed with roasted wild mushrooms, organic tomatoes, basmati rice and Boston lettuce salad.

Originally, I was trying to decide between the Holland Pepper, or Oven roasted Giannone Chicken. However, after the firsts half of the table ordered, and I am pretty sure everyone got the Venison, I decided to be daring. Since my boyfriend and I enjoy pretty much all the same food and we’re not afraid to share, we decided to get the pork and venison to split.

All I can say about my meal: wow. I’ve never had venison, rattlesnake, or rabbit before, pretty much because I completely refused. The thought of it still bothers me a bit, but it was SO good! The venison was super thin, tender, and moist without being stringy or chewy (which I was afraid of). It was cooked medium, and was absolutely perfect. It tasted like a regular steak! The rattlesnake and rabbit sausage was definitely a new flavor. It had an interesting spice to it, but it was also awesome. As a true Irish girl would, I also devoured all of my garlic whipped potatoes, and green beans.

I’m not a big pork fan either, but my boyfriend’s pork was equally impressive. It was tender, and had just the right amount of seasoning to go along with it. The spaetzle, however, was sub-par. One of my friends likened it to charred cardboard. The braised greens were a little too charred for my liking as well. But the pork itself was absolutely delicious!

We washed down our meals with some Cabernet and Merlot, and then moved on to dessert. The dessert menu was just as impressive as the dinner course; three types of gelato or sorbet, bittersweet chocolate truffle cake, pumpkin cheesecake, and creme brulee just to name a few! I went with the bittersweet chocolate truffle cake, of course, and it was amazing. My boyfriend got vanilla gelato with espresso drizzled over the top; also really good – just like coffee ice cream!

Needless to say I was stuffed by the end of the night, and didn’t make it much longer when we moved on to a bar down the street. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any pictures of my food because the lighting was super dark in the restaurant. But, trust me when I say it was all phenomenal! There wasn’t an unsatisfied member of my party, and most of the actual dinner was in silence, because everyone was in awe of their food and enjoying every bite!

So, if you’re in the New Brunswick, NJ area, and are looking to try something different and have a few cocktails along the way, I definitely suggest checking out Clydz!

I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of my holiday eating! Now it’s off to make some cupcakes for tonight’s Festivus party 🙂

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