Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday Update: Richmond and Back

Good Morning everyone, are you having a great day? Sorry I was MIA yesterday it wasn’t intentional. Let me explain. Yesterday my husband had a quick meeting (2 hours) in Richmond. Since he was driving down alone I decided to join him so he had company for the 6 plus hours in the car. Our day started at 5am, very early by my standards. We were packed up and out the door a little before 6:30am (still extremely early in my world). Driving around DC at rush hour is not pleasant but once that was behind us it was an easy trip.

We made it to Richmond a little after 10 for Dan’s 10:30am meeting. I was glad that I went because I got a chance to see Richard and catch up with him before the meeting. He hasn’t been in Baltimore since last spring so it was nice to catch up and see some pictures of his little one. They grow up so fast. Richard and the guys came in one car for the meeting and wanted to head back to their office so Dan and I were on our own for lunch.

Before we left I researched restaurants in the area to see what veg friendly restaurants there were. I was surprised by the number of options. But one restaurant stood out so after Dan’s meeting we stopped for lunch at a cute place near Virginia Commonwealth University called the Ipanema Café. We were old enough to be the parents of everyone in the place, but we had a great time. It is a funky little place on the ground floor/basement of an old brownstone. Dan couldn’t get over the tattoo parlor on the floor above it. Here is the entrance to the restaurant.

They have a great tea list, which always makes me happy. Here is the tea menu.

We ordered the Fukujyu because it was sencha which is high in EGCG. It was a very mild tea, but we liked it.  When they say a pot of tea they aren't kidding. Here is how it comes.  I loved the pot and cups.

As usual we ordered things to share. Dan and I haven’t eaten an entire meal in the last 20+ years. We like to order things that we both want to eat and then both take some from the others plate.

I ordered the Tempeh Ruben. It came with sautéed cabbage instead of sauerkraut, but that was a nice change that my hubby particularly enjoyed since he isn’t a kraut lover. I appreciated that the sandwich wasn’t covered in dressing. It is nice when condiments are applied with a light hand.

Dan ordered the Vegan Chorizo Wrap. This thing was a monster of a sandwich. It had vegan chorizo sausage, potatoes, corn, spinach, tomatoes and lots of nice spice. The entire sandwich was heated in the oven and we both thought it was really good.

We were still hungry so then we ordered the Vegan Caesar Salad with Grilled Marinated Tofu. The tofu was some of the best I have ever had. It was packed with flavor and had wonderful texture. You know we had to compliment the tofu and see if we could find out how it was made. The server did give us some information. I will be working on making my own variation of this as soon as I get more tofu. This tofu was amazing and I want to be able to come up with something similar and share it with all of you.

After our lunch we started for home because it was already 2:45pm. As we got closer to DC the traffic was jamming up again. We thought if we went out Route 7 we could avoid the beltway and stop at Leesburg Outlet Mall. Big, big mistake which we would quickly realize. The traffic was going under 20 miles an hour and that 15+ mile trip took an eternity.

We did stop at the mall quickly before heading for home. I picked up a few things: a pair of shorts at Under Armour, a couple of T-shirts at Nautica. Dan also bought shorts, but his were dress shorts where mine were for exercise. Polo has nice men’s flat front khaki shorts if you are looking for them. I mention this since the pleated front shorts are easy to find but the flat front shorts are not. I also bought a few more tasting spoons. Seriously, can you ever have enough of these? I don’t think so.

By the time we were leaving Leesburg it was after 8:30pm. We decided to have some of the munchies I have brought for dinner instead of stopping at a restaurant. We snacked on whole wheat wraps which we stuffed with leftover veggie burgers from last night, roasted garlic hummus and fresh spinach. I will be posting the hummus later today. Both Dan and I thought it was my best fat free hummus so far. It is very flavorful.

When we are going to be out of the house a long time I always pack snacks so I know we have access to healthy food when we are hungry. In the car we had a cooler with water, hummus, veggie sticks, and the sandwich fixings. We also took a bag of dried apples and trail mix which I made with dry roasted edamame, dried blueberries and walnuts. We didn’t eat all the food, but we did snack quite a few times in the car. Do you take food with you when you travel? What sort of things do you carry; I would love to hear what you bring.

When we finally arrived at home it was 10pm and I was exhausted, probably due to inadequate sleep the night before. I took a quick shower and dove into bed. Sorry I didn’t have time to post this last night. Since I didn’t take my netbook with me the post wasn’t written and I didn’t feel like I could stay up to write it. Sleep was definitely more important for me last night.

That is the update for yesterday. For now I need to exercise since most of my yesterday was spent with my butt firmly planted in a car seat. I will be back later with that hummus recipe. I hope you are having a great Tuesday!  Talk to you soon.

BTW, If you get a chance check out the website above for the restaurant.  They had some interesting dishes you many want to make at home.  I couldn't take a picture of the menu since it was written on a chalk board as you come in the door and the lighting was too dark.


  1. Wow, lunch looks fantastic!!! That tofu looks absolutely delish - completely packed with flavor. Did they just marinate it forever???? I really want to try my hand at a tempeh reuben. I think tempeh would be ideal for holding up to saurkraut. YUM. Sounds like a really great day, even if it was long and tiring. I always have at least 1 granola bar in my purse at all times. When we go on road trips I pack all sorts of things like apples, bananas, granola bars, etc.

  2. Heather,

    Lunch was great. They said they marinate it for an hour, but I was thinking I would marinte mine longer.

    Since you use tempeh so often please do try it. I can't wait to see your variation!

    I didn't even think of granola bars and I had some in the pantry. How did I forget those? Fresh fruit is a great idea too. Thanks for sharing! ;-)


  3. Oh my goodness! I want to go to that restaurant! The tea list was amazing! I would so eat at a place under a tattoo parlour! Have lunch, get a tattoo....sweet! It sounds like a wonderful time, except the driving, I am an impatient person and I absolutely hate traffic and trains....Did you get any dish-ware at the mall???
    When we travel this is usually what I bring:
    veggie sticks
    Sliced up fruit
    some kind of sandwich, last time it was a veggie sub sandwich, kinda like a muffaletta(sp), some baked cookies, water and tea, sometimes juice... I never leave for a trip without a fully stocked car....LOL
    I am dying to see the marinade on that tofu!!!!! It reminds me of a cross between blackened and bbq, from the picture!!! I am dying!!!
    Hurry hurry! lol

  4. Brandi,

    The tea list was the best I have seen in a quite a while. I was in tea heaven. LOL.

    The food was really good. I can't say enough about the tofu. It blew me away. It may have had a touch of sweet, but not much if any. It also wasn't spicy. But it did have tons of flavor and the texture was perfect. According to the server it was a multi step cooking proces. I am going to try to make my version both healthier and easier, if I can. The original version would take hours and I am not that patient unless absolutely necessary. I did take good notes of the conversation with the server. Let's hope I can get this right on the first try. Dan is very anxious to see what I come up with. He loved it too, and tofu is not his favorite food.

    I did buy a couple of pieces of dishware, of course. We picked up different tasting spoons and some cute plain white bowls which will be great when I make rice bowls for dinner.

    talk to you later,

  5. Wow, everything looks delicious. I wonder how it tasted. Oh, I was there. It was great!
    Dan ;-)

  6. Dan,

    LOL, that was very funny! I didn't know it was you right away.

    love you,

  7. Sounds like a long day...but the food looks worth it...too bad I'm not anywhere close by, I'd be there in a flash to give it a try.

  8. Rose,

    If we were closer we would go more often too! Next time Dan's goes to Richmond I may have to tag along, just for lunch. ;-)

    You would have loved the restaurant, especially the tofu. I can't wait to make a good approximation of that.


  9. LOL - hey look, a cameo appearance by the notorious blog star Daniel-san! :-)

    Sounds like a fun day! And your food - especially the tofu - looks amazing! But I can't believe you passed up a chance to finally get that tattoo you've been wanting since you were 18. It would have been so convenient! ;-)

    I pack all kinds of food for road trips (and airline trips!) Dried fruit, cooked potatoes or yams, carrots and celery with little travel containers of hummus, roasted pumpkin seeds... you should see the looks I get when I haul all my contraband food out on an airplane and line it up on my tray. LOL (They change from looks of bafflement or disdain to looks of jealousy as soon as the vile airline food gets passed out!) ;-)

    Looking forward to seeing your tofu recipe that replicates what you enjoyed in Richmond!

  10. La,

    Wow you do pack the chow when you travel. I want to go with you on vacation. Sounds much better than airplane food to me too!

    Good memory. Still no tats but you never know, that could change. LOL!

    You would have loved the tofu. It was absolutely amazing! That was I what I had planned for the tofu I picked up on Saturday. I really need to make that before I forget what it tasted like. Thanks for reminding me to get moving on that. Sometimes I need a little nudge. ;-)



Related Posts with Thumbnails