Sunday, April 7, 2013

Diner Log Lunch & End of Break

I timed my first spring bike ride so that it ended outside the Log at noon on Friday—indeed, much planning went into this outdoor adventure and eating endeavor, as I had been anticipating Log Lunch all week. I hurriedly swung open the door—admittedly, the promise of delicious food imparts a frantic energy on my mannerisms—and was greeted by the savory scent of one of my favorite lunchtime combos, tomato soup and cheesy bread. This classic pairing promised decadent warmth and childhood comfort, and I felt the first spoonfuls deep within my chilled forearms. The soup was satisfyingly creamy but not cloying, sprigs of basil and small tomato chunks contributing fresh flavor to every lightly textured bite. I ripped nibblets from my open-faced cheese bread—true to tradition, the bread was made with white flour, the slightly crunchy exterior layer encasing a fluffy interior, and the melted cheese, white cheddar perhaps, clung tightly to the bread, forming the requisite greasy connection. The whole meal was reminiscent of diner food: the upscale cobb salad consisted of crunchy romaine leaves, thinly sliced hardboiled eggs, chopped tomatoes and avocados, and rich blue cheese. I went back for seconds, and then thirds, making the discovery that a ladle of soup at the bottom of the bowl topped with an equivalent amount of cobb salad made for an excellent combination, the flavorful liquid acting as a dressing of sorts. The meal culminated with seven layer bars, tantalizing mounds—globules, rather—of peanut butter, coconut shavings, chocolate, butterscotch…and seemingly from the title, a few other ingredients that invariably contributed to the irresistible sweetness of the dessert. 
Once again, the picture file "stack" has been building in size, and there are a few eating endeavors that deserve particular mention..
I am always treated to a "last supper" at home at the culmination of each visit. This time, we delighted in sweet potato-squash-star anise soup made with dad's chicken stock, a fresh salad with mustard vinaigrette, avocado, and fennel, and mom's salmon cream sauce pasta, the rich sauce made, once again, with dad's chicken stock, and additional components such as green garlic and lemon zest lending fresh flavor. 

Easter dinner at the Gaidus household occurred mere hours later. We enjoyed roasted asparagus with parmesan, rich, savory fougasse bread from Wildflour Bakery (yes, the loaf made the cross-country flight with me), arugula salad with pickled onions and green grapes, and rouladen, a traditional German dish of thinly sliced flank steak smeared with mustard and wrapped around bacon, a pickle spear, onions, simmered in wine, beef stock, diced vegetables, and tomato paste and then roasted in the oven, the juices subsequently spooned over garlic mashed potatoes.