Because I LEAVE FOR PERU NEXT WEEK (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) after which time I will promptly report back with a bajillion pictures of all of the llamas - err, I mean the majesty of Machu Picchu! I'll also do my best to Instagram stuff, but the whole wi-fi 13,000 feet above sea level situation may be a bit dicey.
But seriously, I cannot even tell you how excited/nervous/ready/not ready I am. This is my first solo international trip, I haven't hiked in like 10 years, my backpack is quite literally twice my size, and I've heard the bathroom situation on the Inca trail is the stuff nightmares are made of.
God, I'm so hardcore.
(So hardcore that I may or may not be packing an inflatable mattress pad, travel pillow, hair straightener, and framed picture of Jonathan Taylor Thomas with me because, prioirites.)
Speaking of travel, remember how I creepily lamented about how much I missed my badass world traveler friend Megan? Well she came back! And we reunited at Paulie's in Montrose, and it really was just as awesome as everyone says it is, and it was super romantic, and she and I are in love! ....what?
This was another occasion where I went to dinner, post-90 minute hot yoga sesh and wanted to eat all of the things. (My logic is if I repeatedly put myself in a heated room where I can barely breathe and
You know what else is science? 9,000 degree Houston summer + dumping a bucket of ice on yourself = Not such a bad thing!
Now onto the food!
I started off with the small tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad, which was still pretty big. And delicious. Look at the copious amount of basil on top! Love it. The tomatoes were ultra juicy and fresh, and the mozzarella tasted like it had just been churned (churned? coagulated? congealed? I'll stop). Plus it was a departure from a normal caprese salad in that it was drizzled with some sort of mustard sauce, maybe a hollandaise actually? Whatever it was, it was GOOD. And creamy, yet light. It definitely is on my list of top five best caprese salads I've ever had.
For my entree I ordered the small portion of the primavera aglio e olio (say that ten times fast), which was made up of grilled vegetables, olive oil and garlic. I also asked to have it tossed in a marinara sauce because sometimes you just need some extra marinara in your life, you know? And again, the small portion was massive, even for the intense state of hunger I was in. The pasta, made in-house, is exceptional. I know I run the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy (what else is new.), but I really could taste the love and care that went into making it. And the barely-crisped, beautiful variety of grilled vegetables was exciting and perfect. The sauce was also incredibly flavorful and fresh, but I almost wanted more of it! Note to self for next time.
It also came with a side of grilled garlicky toast that was fluffy and light and gobbled up in no time!
Paulie's really is a Houston institution and truly lives up to all the hype surrounding it. The super casual (hullo, I showed up looking/smelling like the swamp monster) counter service spot still manages to offer an intimate, romantic vibe (perfect for my bromance reunion with Megan), while producing delicate, phenomenal food!
2,786 selfies with llamas, coming soon to a blog near you.