Tag: sushi

A Whirlwind of a Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Mine was really busy but in the best possible way.

On Friday night, Ian and I went out to dinner to celebrate our four year anniversary. We enjoyed a 12+ course sushi dinner and a bottle of wine and everything was fabulous. We were getting up to leave when Ian asked me to wait a second… and then he proposed! I was so surprised! Even better, we had photographers. The restaurant was tiny (maybe 8 tables?) and the people sitting next to us managed to catch the end.


We decided to go to the Violet Hour after dinner for a celebratory drink. I had never been there before and it was pretty cool.

On Saturday, Ian and I spent some time calling our families (it was too late to call Friday night and the majority of them knew it was going to happen), I got a manicure, and then Ian went to work on his car and I went to book club. This month we read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by The Bloggess and it was absolutely hilarious. I highly recommend everyone read it! As always, the food was delicious and the company was great!

Ian and I had planned to go out on Saturday night to celebrate some more but we were both exhausted and not feeling up to it. We curled up on the couch and watched Netflix instead :).

The weather was fabulous all weekend and made for some extra beautiful runs. I spent some of my run on Sunday scoping out potential places to have engagement photos taken.


Wouldn’t that be a beautiful backdrop?

Unfortunately, I had to devote a lot of time on Sunday to chemistry homework but I did manage to take a break so Ian and I could go to the Maxwell St Market for a late lunch. The market is one of the first places Ian took me before we started officially dating and it was fun to think back on all of the times we’ve been there. Unfortunately, our favorite food stand was MIA, but we did find that Rubi’s (a close second) had a shorter line than usual, and grabbed tacos from them.


A late lunch meant I wasn’t super hungry for dinner but I did manage to muster up enough appetite to eat this vegan, gluten free pumpkin maple cupcake for dinner (with a side of more chemistry homework). Totally worth it.


I ended my night with a few online chem lectures (our class was canceled last week) and then watching more Netflix with Ian.

How was your weekend? Tips/advice for the recently engaged?

Weekend Things {05-06-2013}

1. Friday was a looong day. After feeling some sharp/weird pain in my leg/hip/butt on Tuesday, I decided to stop running for a while to let it get better. After a few days and no improvement, I scheduled an appointment with a specialist to see what was going on with my body. I was lucky and got in to see my doctor on Friday and after an assessment, I was told to limit my activity to swimming and biking and was sent to have my leg MRI-ed. Not quite the afternoon/evening I had planned for. Hmph!

2. One thing I noticed about not running on Saturday mornings is that errands get done so much earlier than usual. By noon, Ian and I had both eaten breakfast, grabbed coffee at our favorite coffee shop (Big Shoulders), cleaned up a bit, and run some errands including meal planning and grocery shopping at Mariano’s (<– we spend forever in that store). Not to mention all of this happened at a very casual pace. At this point, I started to get antsy and crabby and forced myself to go to my community pool to swim some laps. I did feel much better afterwards so there’s that.

3. Saturday night was spent on the couch sitting on an ice pack and watching Gossip Girl. It was pretty relaxing but maybe too much so? I definitely started to feel really restless by the end of the night.

4. On Sunday, I woke up determined to stay busy and feel productive- no more feeling sorry for myself about not being able to run! Unfortunately, my gym is closed on Sundays so working out (i.e. biking or swimming) was a no-go but grabbing brunch is always fun.

brunch collageIan and I checked out a casual cafe near our apartment. I had oatmeal and he had some delicious bacon strata. Obviously, Ian won brunch.

5. After brunch, Ian and I hit up Ikea for some furniture odds and ends. The trip was a success although we couldn’t fit everything in Ian’s car and had to hold off on purchasing a few items. The store actually wasn’t busy at all which drastically decreased our chances of getting into a screaming match in one of the show rooms. Just kidding.

6. After Ikea, we decided to run some foot errands downtown and then grab tacos at Carbon, a small Mexican restaurant nearish our apartment. I wasn’t very hungry because I had a late lunch but I did manage to kills two tacos and some chips + guac. Everything was fabulous and I’m sure we’ll be back!

tacos7. Our Sunday night was spent in the best way possible, putting together Ikea furniture! Woohoo!

8. Bonus. I have the weirdest cat.

bubsHow was your weekend?

Umai Japanese Kitchen & Sushi

Ian and I are pretty much obsessed with sushi. It’s my favorite pre-race/pre-long run meal and we’ve even gone as far as setting a no-more-than-once-every-other-week sushi rule to keep costs down.

You can guess our excitement when little over a month ago, we noticed that a new sushi restaurant was opening up in our neighborhood (we currently have one and it’s far away). When we were walking by earlier this week, we noticed that some people were inside Umai and decided to pop in, say hello, and ask about their opening date. They told us they were going to open on Thursday so last night we decided to check it out and go out for a weekday date night.

I was really impressed with the interior of Umai, it had a modern, lofty feel while also staying true to a Japanese theme.


I thought the hanging lights were so cool, I wish they were practical enough to have in my apartment.

I love ginger dressing so I started dinner with their house garden salad (mixed greens, carrot, tomato w/ house dressing).


After giving my crispy things to Ian, I dug into my salad. The green beans on the salad gave it a nice crunch and the dressing was so good (although most likely cream based so I only used a little). My only complaint with the salad was that my “mixed greens” seemed to include a lot of iceberg lettuce. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with iceberg lettuce but a restaurant shouldn’t advertise mixed greens and then primarily serve something else. Either way, I’d still order the house garden salad again. The pros definitely outweighed the con :).

For dinner, Ian and I split a bunch of rolls.


From top to bottom:

  • Spicy Salmon Roll: salmon, masago, and spicy chili oil (we subbed the oil for spicy mayo)
  • Rainbow Roll: California roll topped with avocado, salmon, tuna, cooked shrimp, and yellowtail
  • Beni Imo: Baked Hawaiian sweet potato, asparagus, avocado, yamagobo ,tomato, crunch, honey miso sauce
  • Escolar Nigiri (super white tuna)
  • Hamachi Jalapeno (unpictured and ordered after) – Hamachi and jalapeno.

Umai’s sushi really impressed me. Their fish was fresh, they carried super white tuna (my fave), and their rolls were creative. Unfortunately, most of their signature rolls had heavy tempura or mayo so I had to avoid them (the Beni Imo was a compromise, I probably shouldn’t have had it… but whatevs) but I did appreciate that they were willing to substitute chili oil for spicy mayo which makes it possible for me to eat spicy rolls without getting sick from egg.

Overall, I’d recommend Umai if you’re ever in the South Loop area and looking for a good sushi dinner. The prices were very reasonable (rolls between $4-$17 with the ability to order half rolls) and the menu was quite extensive including Japanese BBQ, udon & ramen, teriyaki and tempura style dinners, as well as sushi. They also offered wine, beer, and cocktails. Ian and I are already planning our return to try some of their non-sushi items.

Do you like sushi? If not, do you have one type of food that you love to eat and never get sick of?

Monday Things {11-19-2012}

1. On Friday night I had a girls night with some of my favorite ladies in Chicago. We ate salad, hummus & veggies, chips & guac, and popcorn while drinking wine and attempting to watch Crossroads (we were waay too chatty for a movie). I had so much fun that I didn’t get home until almost 1 am. That hasn’t happened in a loooong time.

2. I spent the majority of my Saturday watching Michigan beat Iowa (woohoo!) and recipe planning for the Thanksgiving at my mom’s. We’re going to have a few family traditions (modified for my dietary restrictions) as well as some new dishes and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

3. On Saturday night, Ian and I decided to go out for a date night. It’d been about 2 weeks since our last sushi excursion, so we figured it was about time to be sushified. Rather than drive/take the el for 30-45 minutes to go to a sushi spot, we decided to head over to one of the nicer sushi places nearby, South Coast Sushi.

While we were looking over the menu, our waiter brought out fried seaweed with wasabi mayo and spicy mayo for dipping. I always used to love this little appetizer but I can’t have it anymore (although I did steal a few strips of seaweed–I was hungry!)

I decided to start with a ginger salad and Ian had a cup of miso soup and then we split the super white ponzu appetizer.

I love super white tuna, it has to be my favorite sushi fish.

Next, we ordered some nigiri (two yellowtail, two super white tuna, & two salmon) as well as a salmon poke roll (salmon marinated in seaweed, scallion & fresh sesame soy, cucumber, masago, and crushed cashew).

We also ended up ordering an Alaska roll (king crab, avocado, cucumber, and roe). It was good but not as tasty as our first plate.

Overall, it was quite the successful evening and I’d highly recommend South Coast if you’re looking for a good sushi spot in the South Loop area.

4. On Sunday morning I woke up early to get my 14 miler in (cut back week FTW). I fueled with a rice cake with sunflower butter, chia seeds, and dried cranberries and some almond milk (I decided not to fuel during the run but to eat a bigger pre-run snack). The run went well and was over before I knew it! It definitely helped that it was nice and sunny out ;). I’ll get my weekly workout recap up soon (and link to it here like before). Obviously I suck at doing it on Sundays :P. My weekly workout recap has been backposted here!

5. Ian and I spent most of Sunday watching Netflix on the couch. When it came time to make lunch, I only had enough energy to roast some veggies and throw them on top of kale. I was excited to try my new black truffle olive oil from TJs and I used a little bit to coat some brussels sprouts. It was good but not amazing. I’m thinking the oil will better on fries/in salad dressings. Any suggestions?

6. The rest of Sunday was spent in true lazy form. Ian and I watched Walking Dead, Breaking Amish, and more Netflix. Considering we’ll be travelling next weekend, I think we did an excellent job of laying low this weekend :).

7. And now it’s time to announce the two winners of the $25 gift cards from Coca Cola.

So this means that Sarah and Skylar J have won! Please e-mail me your addresses (runningthewindycity[at]yahoo[dot]com) and I’ll make sure your gift cards get on their way!

So now tell me, what did you do this weekend? 

Monday Things {10-08-2012}

1. First of all congrats to the Chicago Marathon runners. You guys did great!! Now it’s time to relax, recover, and sign up for your next one :).

2. On Friday night, Ian and I tried out a new sushi place, Union Sushi + BBQ Bar. We were both hungry when we arrived, so Ian was happy when our server brought us complimentary edamame just after sitting down.

I passed on it and ordered their roasted cauliflower salad instead. The salad was awesome, I could have eaten a larger version of it for dinner and been happy.

We also ordered their oysters on the half shell. They were pretty good and came with a japanese cilantro ponzu sauce.

And lastly we had some sushi. Ian ordered half of the old city market roll (big picture – spicy tuna, seared salmon, spicy ponzu, cilantro, green onion, crispy onion + wrapped in collard green), we split a tsukiji market roll (albacore, salmon, red & green onion, cilantro, burdock root, wasabi tobiko, ponzu sauce + wrapped in radish sheet), and then we ordered fluke + super white tuna nigiri.

3. I totally messed up my weekend by doing my long run on Saturday morning. It just felt so weird. I know a lot of people like getting their long run out of the way on Saturdays but I’ve always liked running long on Sundays after a day off from work and hopefully two nights of good sleep. Fortunately, I got to see a lot of marathoners and wheelchair cyclists out along the lakefront which kept me motivated to keep running and not curl up in a ball along the path and take a nap.

4. Ian wanted me to show you all his breakfast on Saturday morning. It’s pretty much a monstrosity that is sweet enough to give Bongo Room’s menu a run for it’s money. It is a waffle stack with marshmallow fluff and sliced banana in the middle and it’s topped with a pumpkin pie glaze and a few left over banana slices. So. much. sugar.

5. Kelsey and I decided to go to the Chicago Marathon expo on Saturday afternoon to check it out and see if we could score any free samples. Unfortunately, we each only walked out with a bag of chips and a few mini Larabars- BUT we did see Hal Higdon and request a picture with him. I don’t think he was nearly as excited as we were.

6. After the expo I met up with Ian and some other Michigan transplants to watch the Michigan vs. Purdue game. I’m always happy to see Michigan look awesome and they ended up beating Purdue 44-13. Woohoo! We also tried out a new Michigan bar and I got to shove my face full of complimentary chips and salsa. I was a happy camper.

7. Unfortunately I never got to sleep-in this weekend because on Sunday I had to wake up early check in at my volunteer spot for the marathon. Knowing that I was going to be on my feet for almost 6 hours, I made a breakfast that would hold me over for a long time- cinnamon apple oats.

8. Volunteering was fun? I really liked seeing the elites come by along with cheering for all the runners and the people I saw that I know BUT I felt kind of useless as a volunteer. I was basically spectating in a super sexy getup and hat. It was also freezing. I think it could have been better if the volunteer system was more organized but I really felt like I was thrown out there with no idea what to do.

9. When I got home from volunteering, I scarfed some lunch, attempted to make bagels (flop), and then headed back into the cold to go shopping. I really should know better than to walk into lululemon and expect not to spend money. I ended up only buying two things because the store was pretty picked over from the marathoners. I bought the run swiftly tech short sleeve shirt in grey and then the aphrodite crop. I’m wondering if I should take the crops back and exchange them for something run-specific. Has anyone run in crops from lulu that were designed for something else?

10. Last night, I met up with Kelsey, Kim, and the running legend Skinny Runner to grab dinner and drinks at Bar Toma. We chatted, noshed on salad (for me), a goat cheese spread, and margarita pizza. I can only speak for the salad but it was delish.

It was definitely a fun way to end the weekend and it was so nice to meet Sarah!

How was your weekend? Did you run the marathon?