I’m definitely straying from the fitness portion of the WIAW theme, but we had a lot of fun and a whole lot of food in celebration of Mark’s birthday month.

Mark’s actual birthday was last Tuesday. We started the month out with a birthday brunch. I took him to our favorite local restaurant, The Café, which has a rotating menu to reflect seasonal ingredients from local agriculture. They have a few things that remain constant on their menu, but typically we go once every few months and there are new and interesting dishes to try. I usually get a boring plate of eggs with bacon and potatoes and some fruit, unless they have a gluten-free option that sounds particularly interesting. This time, they did not.

Mark took his time deciding, and we ordered drinks. Out came the best-looking bloody mary that I have ever seen. Olives. Lime. Celery. And jerky. Not too heavy and thick, definitely spicy, and not too salty.

mark's birthday brunch at the cafe with an awesome bloody mary and beef jerky

Mark ended up getting the eggs benedict selection of the month. It had creamed spinach and crispy artichokes as well as pancetta. We ordered dessert to share, and the safest thing for me to eat (though I would be willing to be sick for a week for their carrot cake) was the créme brûleé. It was the best I’ve ever had. Not too hard of a shell on top. Creamy and pudding-like in the middle. I wish I would have skipped the breakfast part and just had one of those babies to myself.

mark's birthday brunch at the cafe with eggs benedict with fried artichokes and a creme brulee to die for

We went hiking one day a week or so ago and decided that it was too late to make dinner. I jokingly I said that I needed 3 more restaurants to get to my summer bucket list goal of trying 10 new ones, and that it was his birthday month after all, so we could try Oddfellows, a new burger joint that I probably never would have tried on my own. He took me up on that offer, since he knew that it would likely be the only offer he’d get to go there.

The restaurant is crazily decorated … in a Friday’s sort of style … but with eclectic collections of things that the owner put together. He’s got a thing for Elvis too. The menu would have normally sent me on a design tirade, but it fit so nicely with the rest of the place that I kept my mouth shut.

I ordered a salad after discovering that a tip I read on Yelp or somewhere claiming that this restaurant was gluten-free-friendly was highly incorrect. Everything other than salad on the menu was breaded or would be boring without the bread (seriously, who wants a burger without the bun?) so I got what was supposed to be a pulled chicken salad, to receive a salad with what looked like naked chicken nuggets doused in barbecue sauce. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

Mark's birthday dinner at Oddfellows in ames with the weird decor and scary designed menu and my boring salad

Mark, however, was the opposite of disappointed with his meal. I assumed he would order the burger between a glazed donut, but instead he got this mammoth double bacon cheeseburger between two grilled cheeses. Which sounds like a huge feat and a food coma, but if you think about it, it’s really the equivelant of 2 double cheeseburgers. Which is still a lot of food, but Mark knew we were probably only going to go to Oddfellows once, so this was his chance …

Mark's birthday meal at oddfellows with his ginormous double bacon cheeseburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches and tator tots

… except they have these teeny martinis that are $4 a piece. They’re the perfect size for me. And they’re small enough that you can have a few different flavors. The martinis redeemed the restaurant. In fact, we might go there for drinks and tots sometime, if I can confirm that the tots are not, in fact, breaded (they were sketchy).

mark's birthday meal at oddfellows with teeny martinis — jalepeno and tiramisu

And no birthday eating experience would be complete without a candle blowout. I mentioned that I whipped up a cake last week, and here is a shot of him blowing out all 26 candles. It was nearly a fire hazard. I kid. I’m going to be 28 soon!

Mark blowing out 26 candles

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Have you tried any new restaurants lately? 

10 Responses to What I ate Wednesday: Mark’s Birthday Meals

  1. Totally miss that Bloody Mary!
    Kim @ Wonderings recently posted..Monday Suds: Left Hand Brewing or A love letter to a brewery.My Profile

  2. Mary Ann says:

    Ha, that sandwich is insane! That Bloody Mary looks amazing. My boyfriend’s brother is a cook (chef if it was a fancier restaurant he works at) and makes pretty awesome Bloody Marys. I took the bf to Trebol the other day, pretty fun kinda trendy/sustainable Oaxacan restaurant the other night, dang good food!
    http://trebolpdx.com/menu/
    Mary Ann recently posted..Phoenix Quilts CharityMy Profile

  3. jessie says:

    Oh my goodness, that burger is something I have never seen before. It is huge, but in a disgusting way.. it kinda looks good. Not like I could ever eat it, but I’m sure the hubs would enjoy one of those :). By the way, love your hair cut & the color. Absolutely adorable!
    jessie recently posted..A new beginning…My Profile

    • chimes says:

      Yeah — my thoughts exactly. Definitely not something he would get every day. He didn’t finish the whole thing (I ate most of his tots, actually) and he felt pretty gross after eating most of it. I think next time he’s going to get one of the more normal burgers with some funky toppings.

      And thanks! I just got it cut. The color is natural with a bit of the light blonde leftover from what wasn’t cut off.

  4. Stephanie F says:

    Lol you guys ordered dessert at brunch? Ah well, that’s what birthdays are for, i guess! :D
    Stephanie F recently posted..Please help my brother get his PhD!My Profile

    • chimes says:

      Um, yeah. The café has great desserts and we hardly ever go anymore, so we usually get one to share. You should read the rules about WIAW. It’s not about judgement, missy. ;)

  5. […] you know, Mark is no stranger to the monster burger. But this one? Was entirely too greasy for him. He didn’t finish it (I’ve never seen […]

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