EA Pub Crawl

Last night, Andrew and I participated in the second annual ‘East Aurora Pub Crawl.’  We even had t-shirts!

Isn’t this drink adorable??  It’s only 5 oz!  That was my last drink of the night–a teeny, tiny glass of Southern Tier’s Pumking, which is a seasonal (obviously) specialty beer that’s very popular.  This was also my first time in Aurora Brew Works, the newest ‘establishment,’ but I wouldn’t call it a bar.  It’s more of an uber-specialty beer retailer with a few choices on tap for tasting and some tables.  I think they might be trying to incorporate some food items, but for now they just have a ‘snack bar’ where you can buy candy bars and things.

Our night started at the other end of Main Street at the East End Taproom, where I tried Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale.  Because I’m counting my calories again (and because alcohol is expensive, and we’re cheap–sometimes–and because no one really needs THAT much alcohol in so little time), my plan was to only have ‘special’ drinks at a couple of the places we went, and to alternate every-other with water.

My plan worked!  After my workout this morning (it was a little rough getting up this morning after being out so late, but I’m glad I did), I was an ADDITIONAL two pounds down!  (I mean, heck, I would have been happy to break even…)  I get that it was mostly water lost during my workout, but how was I not up after a pub crawl?!  So, basically, I somehow netted a loss despite a little partying, which is probably just a testament to the discipline I’ve had this past week.

ANYWAY…the highlight of my night was actually at REDfish, where I ran into Firefly owner Wendy, who I haven’t seen in forever, and ME!  As in, the painting of me Alix did and subsequently sold within days.  She and I have been working on getting a print made for Andrew and myself, and it looks like it’s going to happen.  So excited!

It didn’t occur to me at the time to have Andrew snap a shot of me next to ME in the painting, but for now all I have is this:

It’s Alix’s business card and it’s just a portion of the painting.

So, getting back to last night, Andrew and I had a great time out with friends, chatting with friends we haven’t seen in awhile (Sharon, Alix and Wendy!), and getting to savor some of the last decent weather before it gets yucky.  The icing on the cake was my responsible partying–oh, and the fact that Wendy told me her chocolate explosion cupcake has only 300-some calories.  I mean, it’s still a dessert, but I’d been thinking it was AT LEAST 500 calories, if not more.  You better believe I feel better going in more often!  I can’t wait!

Zebb’s

We were feelin’ a night out yesterday since we’d been in all day.  Well, that’s not true–I did my usual Saturday morning routine of: eating a huge breakfast, hitting up Wegmans around 8 a.m. (before it gets busy), then swimming at the gym and returning home at 11, and Andrew was at the office from 10-3–but when it was pushing 4 p.m. and both of us were still in sweats, we needed a change!

We headed out for a visit at the in-laws’ before stopping at Taste for coffee (decaf for me), then running some errands at the Verizon store (clear display covers for my phone–post coming soon to show you my new case!) and shovels at Lowe’s.  You know, because we live in Buffalo now and it snows here…a lot.  We’ve gotten by so far this year on a metal dirt shovel and we’ve been lucky to have a mild winter.  (I think God is smiling on us transplants since we don’t have a garage for our cars–NOT fun.)

Anyway, we ended up at Zebb’s, a sport-bar-like place I drive by all the time and that Andrew frequented a bit in high school.

It’s a bar and grill and they’re known for their burgers.  They also have entree’s, wings (of course) and sandwiches.

We asked to sit in the bar area and were seating long before some who had arrived before us.  We also had some of the best service I’ve had in awhile, if not ever.  Colin was awesome.

We both ended up with Blue Moons (the pint for me, the tall for Andrew) and a sample of Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat because, well, I wouldn’t be ‘me’ if I didn’t have a sample of something.  The cherry wheat was good, but not as good as a Blue Moon.

We got wings as an appetizer.  I swear, since moving here, I’ve eaten more wings in these few months than I ever have before in my life.  This is, of course, both good and bad.  Good for my sense of ‘culture’ and assimilation into my new surroundings; bad for my hips.  And thighs.  And arteries.

I saw the “ZebbOriginalWings” and immediately wanted them, but the bleu cheese turned Andrew off, of course.  Awesome Colin said we could split an order and I eagerly anticipated their arrival.

And yes, they were everything I hoped for, and more.  They had enough “buffalo” flavor to fulfill that ubiquitous ‘wing taste,’ but with a kick of something more.  Not spicy, just really flavorful.  The bleu cheese wasn’t a dominant flavor, and Andrew was brave enough to give it a try.  We just might be ordering those next time…we both ended up saving the sauce to dip our fries!

Andrew had ordered a medium on the spicy-scale when we thought we were sharing, but Colin got the impression Andrew wanted a bit more heat than me, so he went ahead and bumped Andrew’s up to HOT…  Talk about great service!  Andrew enjoyed his wings, but they were no Pasquale’s.

Hockey is KING here, in case you didn’t know, and a tournament was on TV.  Really, all sports are pretty big here–the Bills Stadium is just a mile or so from Zebb’s–and watching football and hockey is very much a part of life here in Buffalo.  Guess I’m going to have to get a t-shirt…

Zebb’s is known for their burgers and topping bar (think Fuddrucker’s), and I’m a junkie for anything a restaurant is “known for,” so I went with the smallest burger and added cheese.  I mean, doesn’t cheese just make it?  A burger without cheese, to me, isn’t worth eating.

Speaking of eating…  I was good and only ate two of my wings in order to save room (and calories!) for my burger and fries.  But the angelic behavior ended there; I DEMOLISHED my burger and fries, with mayo, no less!  I must have been hungry.  And honestly, the burger wasn’t THAT good.  Definitely not good enough to eat it all.  Next time, I’ll stick to wings and fries 🙂

Meanwhile, it was snowing outside:

When we entered, there wasn’t really any snow on the ground.  By the time we left, it was blizzarding enough for us to have to drive slowly and there was about an inch or so on the ground.  It may sound odd, but I love that about living here–I love that you can go see a movie and come out to a completely different scene than when you entered.  (This, I’m sure, will get old after awhile.  But for now, it makes me smile.)

We’re going out, again, tonight to meet friends at Pearl Street (yay!), which might just mean more indulgent food for yours truly…  Good thing I did a tempo run this morning before church!

a series of unfortunate events

It was just that that led me to this at 9 p.m. last night:

 

Sharing chicken tenders at Tully’s with Andrew.

It all started with good intentions (don’t they all?); I had a Membership and Marketing ‘Team’ (which is what we’re calling ourselves now since it sounds more fun than ‘work group’ or ‘committee,’ which is what we’re all here for, right?  Oh, and to open a cooperative grocery store in East Aurora…) meeting at the Panera up in Cheektowaga at 6 p.m.

While I could have gotten a yummy and healthy dinner there, I find it hard to go out to eat when I have perfectly good (and potentially perishable!) food at home (despite my Christmas gift cards–thanks grandma and Mom Layer!), so I ate before I left, intending to get a tea and save some calories for ice cream later.

Anyway, our meeting ran a bit late and after a quick errand in Target, I realized I was STARVING at 8:30.  At just that moment, Andrew (who had found himself at the Eastern Hills Mall after his basketball game) called requesting my presence there–he’d been on the hunt for some on-sale golf shoes in his size and found them at the Dick’s there.  The only snafu?  Our Dick’s gift cards live in my purse.  So, off I went, driving even further away from the house and not quite sure of my destination’s exact whereabouts.

To make a very long story short, Andrew decided against the shoes just as I was nearing the mall and we found ourselves rendezvous-ing in a Dairy Queen parking lot, looking for dinner (for him) and dessert (for me).  We decided, after much conversation on the phone in separate cars, that we should probably just start driving home and be on the lookout for something along the way.

Well, we didn’t want fast food, nor did we want a traditional sit-down place (it was 9 p.m. after all) and everything else seemed to be hole-in-the-wall pizza joints.  Well, I’m not against hole-in-the-wall or pizza, but last night I wanted an establishment that would offer variety, a.k.a something for me to order that wouldn’t break the caloric bank and I’d still enjoy.  Thankfully, I had about 400 “saved” calories, so I wasn’t too worried…

ANYWAY…  We finally get to Tully’s, which is a sports bar Andrew had heard good things about, and as I was beginning to get to the point of extreme frustration with not finding anywhere and watching the clock tick on the dash, I gave in.

It was packed (the Sabres were playing–they won!) and had what seemed like an upbeat atmosphere, so I was pleasantly surprised.  Did I mention I was dressed up in jeans and boots and a cardigan and Andrew had come directly from his game?  We made quite a pair, I tell you.

After perusing the menu, we realized their specialty was their “Tully’s Tenders,” and Andrew wanted to try both the buffalo style and the regular with their special honey mustard sauce.  To get the half-price deal we had to buy two drinks, so I acquiesced and ordered a Sierra Mist.  It arrived in the largest cup I’d ever seen!  I mean, really, does anyone need a cup that big with free refills?!  (The picture does not do it justice.)  All I could see was about 40 calories, making it’s way from her hand to our table.  I resolved to enjoy a bit, but not finish the entire thing, and I’m happy to say that I succeeded.

We shared the tenders and fries and I feel like I did pretty well; of the 10 tenders we took 2.5 home and I probably ate 2.5 on my own.  It was the fries (not to mention the dreaded blue cheese!) that did me in…  I was definitely hungry, but I was just craving the salt!

This picture, while completely horrible, pretty much sums up how I felt by the end: not too full, pseudo-proud of myself for not totally overeating, and very “fat and happy.”  In the end, despite the frustration of taking awhile to find a place and being indecisive and not getting home early to get all the things done on my list that I’d planned, it was a great opportunity to spend some quality time with Andrew, away from the distractions of the house.

Tully’s Tenders might not be enough of a draw to get us back there, but I’ll remember how much fun we had on our spontaneous trip.