Thursday, May 16, 2013

Too Few Choices at Pazo Restaurant

Tuesday morning started off with a big protein shake using vanilla protein powder, half a banana, frozen blueberries and frozen mixed fruit, flax seed, and vanilla soy milk.  Phew!  So many ingredients!  This is what it looks like pre-blending ... not too appetizing.  Luckily those chopping blades really work wonders. 
With all that breakfast-shake-making I didn't bother to put anything together for lunch, so I had to hit the pantry for a quick and easy meal.  Luckily, I've stockpiled a few Cashew Carrot Ginger bisques for just such an occasion.  This soup is definitely my new favorite.  The mix of sweet carrots with some bite from the ginger works really well. 
Of course it never looks as good in your bowl as it looked on the package, does it? 
Mid-afternoon I snacked on some oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter.  I feel like I've been having this almost every day lately, but it never seems to get old.  It's the perfect sweet treat with a bit of protein and fat to keep you full. 
Tuesday evening I headed out for dinner to attend a book club meeting.  We read The Great Gatsby and are planning to go see the movie tonight.  (Movie snack post coming soon!) 
The meeting was held at Pazo, a tapas restaurant in Fells Point.  I'd actually been to Pazo a few times before and really enjoyed it, but each of those times I was vegetarian and could order a lot more things on the menu.  On the plus side, I knew the vibe of the restaurant was loungy, upscale, and very hip (almost too hip, maybe?). 

In an attempt to be prepared for the outing, I visited the Pazo website earlier in the day to check out the menu.  I spied a few options (not a lot, and no large dishes), but I know sometimes you can't always tell what hidden non-vegan ingredients may be lurking in a dish, so I also e-mailed the restaurant to see if they could help me scope out the vegan options before dinner. 
No such luck!  I didn't get any response from the restaurant so I had to go into dinner blind.  Luckily, when I spoke with the waitress she seemed really knowledgable (maybe I'm not the first vegan to walk in there?!) and told me everything is prepared in olive oil (no butter), and that I could take cheese off of many items. 
I ended up ordering a Mykonos (rosemary and orange soda mixed with yellow grapefruit juice), marinated olives (one of the cold tapas) and the beet salad with no cheese or pesto.  The beet salad choice was on the recommendation of one of my fellow diners and the waitress.  Huge mistake. 
Look at it!  I was removing half of the ingredients, so I'm not sure what I really expected.  Maybe that they would increase the other ingredients to make up for the loss?  It tasted fine, but certainly wasn't filling and definitely wasn't worth $12. 
I had fun at the book club, but wish I'd just resigned myself to ordering drinks only and eating at home instead.  When I got home I was still really hungry and ended up devouring an almond cupcake with meyer lemon caramel. 
I don't think I'll be going to Pazo again anytime soon ...  Or at least until I hear about some significant changes to their menu. 

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