Monday, June 8, 2009

Pinch Hitters and Pops in the Park!

This weekend was nothing short of a fabulous one on the food front. It was so tasty that I am going to have to break it up into a few different posts as to be sure that I am giving each bite equal press time. Sunday is fresh on my mind and all of the elements of the day made me so happy.

Last week, my mom and sister did a tastebud test with the Bailey family at Big View Diner, the newest restaurant in the Ilios Noche family. I listened to them rant and rave about how fantastic it was and not only did my mom proceed to enjoy the diner TWICE last week, but Mark took his mom there and could not stop talking about it either. I feel like the restaurant and its tastiness made its way into several conversations last week and I was so curious to try it for myself! On Sunday, Mark was nice enough to decide that it wasn't fair that everyone else had been lucky enough to try it and I was still left out and my food loving soul was very crushed over what I was missing! We enjoyed a scrumptious lunch and before we sat down, we set the intention of saving room for dessert (always the smartest mindset in my opinion!) Mark ordered an open faced steak sandwich and I opted for a Ruben which was probably the best I have ever had (and according to our waiter, the most popular item on the menu right now). I would also like to note, as I observed the retro ambiance of the restaurant and looked around at the small details, the ice cubes really impressed me as their slightly oversized and chunky cubic shape sat so nicely in the water glasses. It takes these small elements to add to the attitude of an establishment, and I'm all about detail.

While eating our lunch, our conversation turned to my top five favorite desserts and Mark got creative and advised that the dessert in my "top 5" could be up for grabs and substitutions, otherwise known as a Pinch Hitter! I immediately took to this term and am adopting it. Which brings me to the most important line of business when discussing Sunday's lunch- Banana Cream Pie. I personally LOVE banana desserts and could not have been happier with my dessert choice (other items on the menu: bread pudding, cannolis, strawberry shortcake, among other sweet delights...) I am pretty sure that we had the entire thing eaten in less than 5 minutes but believe me, I savored every bite and enjoyed it to every last heavenly crumb. The pastry- like crust was not too sweet and the cream above the well balanced banana pudding filling was like eating a cloud. White chocolate shavings provided a pristine garsish atop the magical slice. Big View's "Soon to be Famous Banana Cream Pie" is now the current Pinch Hitter on Nina's list of top 5 desserts!

As my Sunday continued, I had a lovely girls night planned with Crystal, Kealy and Laura at the Pops in the Park concert hosted by the Charlotte Symphony at South Park. The music theme for the evening had a country flair and I was so excited to hear music from one of my most favorite musicals, Oklahoma! I hope that the people on blankets around us didn't mind our loud voices as we sang along! On our way to the park, we stopped by Dean & Deluca for a quick bite to carry with us! I got my favorite Dean & Deluca house salad (mixed baby greens, roasted red peppers, toasted pine nuts, goat cheese and balsamic vinegarette) and all of us girls enjoyed a summer glass of wine and a small bite of Peruvian and Costa Rican dark chocolate for dessert! Our girls evening was enchanting, to say the least and the symphony provided for a perfect Sunday under the stars. Ciao!

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