Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eating Local

My mom flew down to visit this past week/weekend.  I've had a great time showing her around town, discovering new places, cooking, and drinking lots of coffee.  The two places I wanted to highlight are The Bread House & Granary and Little Havana.

The Bread House & Granary is a small bakery run by Grace Way residents.  Grace Way is a non-profit, long term, faith based home for women recovering from alcohol and substance abuse.  The Bread House is Grace Way's for profit business which only employs women who have gone through the 12 step recovery program.  The bakery is another way to give these women structure and new skills for the future.  Their products use only whole wheat flour which they mill themselves, honey instead of refined sugar, and sea salt.  Mom and I sampled several different items including the pumpkin bread, Jalapeno Cheddar Loaf, and Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed cookies.  I'm not exagerating when I say these are the best cookies I have ever tasted.  They are crunchy and gooey, perfectly sweetened, and completely addicting (.  I want to sit down with the whole bag, a big cup of coffee, and good book. After the Nun Run last month we got to sample the Cranberry and Blueberry walnut energy bars.  They were very tasty, Ryan liked them plain, I wanted a smidgen of butter on top.  Needless to say I will be going back and look forward to trying the cinnamon apple loaf.

Little Havana is a locally owned Cuban restaurant that just opened in the past two months.  Ryan and I had not been there yet, so it seemed like a good place to try with mom.  Mom ordered the shredded pork with onions while Ryan and I had the ropa vieja.  Dishes are served with cuban style black beans and white rice, and fried green plantains.  The meat was just delicious, well seasoned but not spicy.  Since it is a stew it stayed incredibly tender.  I enjoyed taking a fork full and placing it on my fried plantain and eating it that way.  Moms pork was also exceptionally flavorful and moist considering how simple the dish was.  For desert we tried the cheese & guava jelly pastry.  A fried turnover filled with what we believe to be cream cheese and sweet/tart guava jelly.  AMAZING!  Mom said the flavors reminded her of the food she ate in Brazil when she was 16.  The whole meal seemed like the perfect way to refuel after my 1/2 marathon; carbs and protein, yum.  Word has it they will soon be getting a special bread oven in order to make their own Cuban bread for sandwiches.  Sounds like a great reason to go back for more.

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