So, over a week ago I said that I wanted to do a Spring Break “wrap up” post, well, here it is, a week after Spring Break is over. Its been a very busy week, and its going to be a very busy weekend, so I’m lucky just to have a chance to try to catch up.
So, how did Spring Break end up turning out? Well, overall, not too bad. As I predicted, it was plagued by LRW and other various law school things. I also failed to achieve some of my goals, but on the whole, for a “stay-in” Spring Break things went ok. Sure, returning to school and learning about the adventures of my absurdly rich classmates was a bit humbling, but c’est la vie!
SB and I’s Thursday lunch turned out nicely. After a bit of deliberation we ended up going to someplace on our “Places we want to eat” list, Tory Row. Which is unsurprisingly named after the real Tory Row, which I discussed here. It (the restaurant) has been someplace we’ve wanted to try for awhile. But, surprise, surprise, its too expensive. In fact we almost passed it up again, but since this lunch outing was part of my not-break, Spring Break, we went for it.
It ended up being really good! Sadly they don’t have lunch specials (wtf?) so there were no discounted options. However, we chose items towards the low end of the price scale. I went with a serrano ham, fig jam, cambozola blue, and arugula flatbread (amazing!) while SB went with a grilled marinated chicken breast, spicy aioli, and potato sandwich (also amazing!). We both really liked our lunch, both for the food and for the rare chance to actually have lunch together. Afterwards we headed over to Peet’s Coffee for, well, coffee, and then SB had to head out. I studied for a bit and then was off to physical therapy.
The very next day was our Friday date night, and it was my turn to pick. I decided to go with our old favorite Grendel’s Den. Its really hard to beat that (nearly constant) half-price food menu, its one of the few places where we can get food and drinks and not spend more than we should. Well, at least that is the way it works out normally. This time we splurged a little bit. There is a “Cheese Fondue for Two” on the menu for the regular price of 25$ (so 12.50$ during half-price) that we had joked about getting for some time. I suggested we get it, SB thought I was joking, but then she realized I was serious and we decided to go for it! Spring Break was drawing to a close, so why not! The fondue included: Swiss, Gruyere & Raclette cheeses melted with white wine & kirsch. Served with French bread for dipping and choice of two side salads (Caesar, Greek or Mediterranean). SB went with the Ceaser salad, and I went with the Mediterranean, which had a really odd Tahini dressing that I wasn’t too sure about.
The best part about fondue is of course getting your own little campfire. It reminded me of a time we went to Hu Hot and were able to roast s’mores at our table (more on s’mores in a bit!). Shortly after we finished our salads the huge bowl of cheese came.
SB followed sage advice when she began to dig into the bread and cheese! It was really good. I’m not a huge cheese person, at least not to the point of “Hey lets eat a bowl of molten cheese,” but this was admittedly pretty tasty (especially the semi-burnt cheese on the bottom). There was no way we could have managed to finish it all though. I really think you could split this between four people as an appetizer quite effectively, but for two people its definitely an entree.
I liked the little forks we were provided with to poke and dip things. Between the salads, bread, cheese, and beer, we left feeling quite pompous indeed. We still managed to fit treats in our bellies later that night though, have no fear.
In fact the food splurge spilled over into the next day, when we stopped through The Biscuit on our way to Whole Foods. We had some coffee, and shared a salmon sandwich (yum!), as well as chatted for a good bit, in fact we closed the coffee shop down! Such rebels we are (they close at 5pm).
Later on, we continued our parade of noms in a tribute to America.
Looking back, that is a lot of food. But hey, my Spring Break was basically work, beer, work, food, work, beer. And speaking of beer, lets discuss two new ones I’ve had. While I’ve been a bit obsessed with Dogfish Head lately, there are many more fish in the sea (har-har). I decided to try a couple new kinds of beer, but keep within the IPA theme.
Starting with the comically named, Spring Hornin’
This was an interesting IPA. In fact, I think it was more akin to a dry-hop Pale Ale than to a traditional IPA, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It was kind of a citrusy-herbal hybrid beer, labeled as an IPA. It was also the first beer I’ve ever had from this brewery. Overall I was definitely impressed. Especially since it boasts a 6.8% ABV, but does not taste like it has that much alcohol at all. I honestly think I’d rank it a little bit higher than Beer Advocate did, but they tend to be more purist than I am, which might explain why they didn’t go for the “offbeat” IPA vibe.
Next up was Samuel Adam’s Rebel IPA
Yes, yes, I know, its just an empty bottle, no beer. I forgot to take a picture with a poured glass (hey it was the end of my Spring Break, give me a.. ehm.. break). I guess that is an excuse to get it again. Since I’m now BFFs with Jim Koch maybe I can get him to send me some for free. Speaking of which, here is a write-up about his visit. If you read my previous post about Koch, you’ll remember me mentioning that a very good picture of he and I exists somewhere. Well, they didn’t use it for the article I linked, so yeah, its probably gone forever. I’m sure those photos are entirely Harvard’s property. However, you can actually see me in this photo.
Aww yiss, famous now. And no, that is not the photo I was saying was good, the photo I’m referring is actually Koch and I in the law school’s pub (just the two of us!). I really want it. Anyways, back to the Rebel IPA. It was good, but I think I preferred Spring Hornin’ overall simply because the Rebel IPA was just a straightforward IPA, no gimmicks or strings attached. There is no problem with that of course, but I think I should have drank the beers in reverse order to be entirely honest. I think the Rebel IPA’s “straight-laced” approach is probably what garnered it a higher score on Beer Advocate.
Of course, the later portion of my break wasn’t entirely food and beer. We also went to see the Boston Celtic’s play! Spoiler: They lost, but we still had a lot of fun. SB and I normally can’t afford any professional (or often even collegiate) sporting eventing unless there is some sort of special deal going on. Case in point, we really want to go to a Bruins game, but NHL tickets are just so pricey! However, this time around the Harvard Law School Couples Association nabbed a group of 20 tickets for 10$ a piece. Sure these weren’t court-side tickets, but we did get the 30-35$ tickets for 10$ instead, and in my book only paying 1/3 of a price is pretty good. We decided 20$ was well worth it to go to an NBA game. The opposing team was the Detroit Pistons.
[Edit: A couple of weeks later the HLSCA ended up giving us our 20$ back because they had excess funds – so the tickets were totally free!]
We got there a little early, just to find our seats, get oriented, scope out the food situation, etc. While SB had been to NBA (Pacer) games in the past, I don’t think I’ve ever been to an NBA game. In fact I think this might have been my first professional league anything. So I was pretty excited, even though basketball is far from my go-to sport (not that I have a go-to sport). It was a lot of fun, and even though we were up in the Himalayas surrounded by the other poor folk, I really enjoyed myself. At one point they tossed t-shirts in the audience (no cannons, sadly). However, they later made up for the lack of t-shirt cannons by dropping t-shirt parachutes from the heavens, it was awesome.
Here is a (blurry) shot that shows one a bit more up-close.
If you regularly watch games this is probably totally a non-thing for you, but I don’t, so it is. And, have you ever parachuted? Didn’t think so. Those t-shirts have.
The game itself kind of flip flopped, there for a bit the Celtics seemed like they had it, but then the Pistons surged back at the end and then just dominated overtime for the win. But as a I mentioned before, it was more about the experience. I enjoyed just watching the game, as well as the tricycle-race they had some kids do at half time, and the parachutes and green light shows of course. Oh, I also liked pestering Daryl 2, who is a Celtics fan. But he was in Florida, so he deserved it.
By the time we got home it was decently late, so the Celtics game (which was on Sunday night) was pretty much the last event for my Spring Break, as it was back to school the next morning. And boy, back to school sure came on with a vengeance. I promised myself I wouldn’t turn this post into an LRW-bitchfest, but I’ll just say that my week involved a lot of reading (a lot), journal sub citing, journal editing, LRW anguish, and LRW partner hostilities.
On top of it all, class registration is almost upon me and I’ve had no time to research classes, I still don’t have an apartment for Denver, AND, and this one is great; my laptop seems to be in the process of breaking. Yes, yes, its wonderful. In fact I tried to fix it and that just ended up with the laptop permanently bent in one spot and my fingers hurt (all thanks to one stupid stuck screw the size of a flea).
But not everything was bad this week. Harvard gave me s’mores.
I bet you thought I was being metaphorical or something, nope, Harvard literally gave me s’mores! Not only that, they gave me hot chocolate too! Heck, these s’mores even came with a variety of chocolates, I choose to make mine (yes we got to make them, over a real fire – insurance be damned!) with a Mr. Goodbar, because I friggin’ loved those when I was younger and fatter. They also had a potted flower (not sure which kind, some sort of early Spring variety would be my guess) but I didn’t get one since I wasn’t sure how care intensive it would be. Anyways, so why the treats? Well, I’ll just share the message from Harvard’s President.
The reason we have to go watch, is primarily to fill the room (people care way more about the final round), but also to see the process action because as 1Ls we also have our own Ames (the reflection is just to prove we went, and didn’t lie and say we did). Our Ames, which isn’t part of the three round competition, is the culmination of the Hell-on-Earth that is LRW, and yes, we have to argue against opposing counsel before a court, and yes, you can lose, and yes it affects your grade if you lose. Plus, since there are only 2 people in a team (as opposed to 5 on the “real” Ames) both people have to be oralists. Anyways, I have that coming up in a couple of weeks, but first I have to get the brief itself done, which is due Monday. In fact, I will probably spend my entire damn Sunday working on that stupid brief. But I’ll talk about how that ends up in another post.
All that catches us up to tonight (Friday)
SB and I went out to Darwin’s for dinner since its getting colder (in advance of the coming snow). Then we went over to Broadway to pick up some beer for me, but no treat. What!? Yes, we didn’t get treats at Broadway, our treat had came via the mail.
Now, depending on your personality, you probably either just 1) Puked in your mouth, or 2) Began salivating. You can mark SB and I down as being firmly in category 2. And I have to say, these Oreos were FREAKING AMAZING. They are hands down, the best “flavored” Oreo I have ever had, in all the flavors Oreo has tried out, this is the best in both SB and I’s book. The thing is, these things were a bitch to find.
The story begins over a year ago (seriously), when I learned about them in an online forum. We began searching for them, but could never find them anywhere. The search eventually petered out and we even began to question their existence. From time to time I would fruitlessly check store aisles, but we never saw them. Well, eventually we moved to Boston and the Cookie Dough Oreos slowly faded from memory until one day when I was getting an MRI one of the techs was eating them. Suddenly the search was on again! (I didn’t get a chance to ask them where he got them). Well, we still couldn’t find them, not even in a big East Coast city (the coastal cities traditionally have stuff like this sooner than the Midwest). The sorrow returned and it seemed like we would never have God’s Gift to Oreos. Until one day I stopped being stupid and looked for them online. Now here is the kicker, not even Amazon has them anymore. So I went to Ebay. Yes, freaking Ebay, for food. Sure enough, there they were. Some industrious person in Pennsylvania had cleared out the supply from his Sam’s Club or something back when they were still in stores. And now these cookies are no longer produced, so he sells them marked up about 4-5x on Ebay, because he (rightfully) knows that people like me will buy the damn things. And I did. Now, I generally don’t take buying food on Ebay lightly. But this seller had over 3000 feedback and it was 100% positive, so I figured it he was mass poisoning people, he was doing it very intelligently.
Long story made short, we ordered them on Ebay, paying more for Oreos than I could ever imagine, they arrived a couple days later, perfectly packaged (and sans poison) and they were SO DANG GOOD. The entire process was worth it. I cry a little bit as I take each bite, knowing that I may never have these delicious Oreos again. Not that I need them, its like 5lbs of calories in each 1oz cookie. But still, look at how noms these look, complete with chocolate chunks, it really is a cookie inside a cookie.
Oh yeah, and the beer! Whereas I had been on an IPA kick before, this time around I decided to head to the British Isles!
Yep! Every beer pictured comes from either the UK or Ireland. Its a nice change of pace from the American-made IPA kick I’ve been on lately (not that I didn’t like those IPAs!). I actually bought the two kinds of Guinness for a specific reason, I’ll have a post about that later. For now I’ll just talk about the Bass.
I’ve had Bass before, more than once. In fact one of the first times I had it was at Epcot! However, I’ve never highlighted it here on Dinosaurbear before. According to the brewers, Bass is “The World’s First Pale Ale,” dating back to 1777. I have no idea if that is true, in fact I’d probably say its not, but its one of those things that is very difficult to prove, so I guess we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. However, they also claim that Bass’ red triangle was the UK’s first registered trademark, which is true! (UK00000000001) Apparently so many people were ripping off Bass by 1876 (or 1875 according to the brewers) that they had to do something, and thus the UK’s first trademark was born. By comparison, the first US trademark was an an eagle and a ribbon for the Averill Chemical Paint Company (1884), which is way less cool than a beer triangle.
Unfortunately Bass is a beer that just isn’t as exceptional or unique as its history. Its actually the lowest ranked beer of the three in this post (on Beer Advocate). Its not a bad beer, it just doesn’t have anything that really goes “BAM!” about it. Its kind of like the Rebel IPA in that regard, its good for what it is, but isn’t too memorable, even as the “first” pale ale. I do like the head, its sort of a creamy foam, which isn’t standard for pale ale. Its also fairly crisp for a pale ale, and is definitely drinkable. The 5.1% ABV also means that you could have a few without getting plastered. There is also just a hint of sweetness that blends with the overall flavor. So yeah, not a bad a beer, but nothing legendary (as its history might imply) either.
For the rest of the night I’m just going to chill. Tomorrow (today) I have to go grocery shopping with SB, do all my Criminal Law reading for next week, research classes, and do some more apartment hunting (e.g. a bunch of stuff some of which I will definitely not get done). Then Sunday.. well Sunday is going to be all LRW, that’s all I have to say about that (for now).
Until next time,
[P.S. – Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about my owed Dogfish Head review, good things come in time. Also keep your eye out for my Guinness post (coming sometime between now and infinity) if you are hankering for some Taco beer posting, which you aren’t.]