The Friday Lunch Series

At the beginning of the semester, my friend Schuyler and I decided that we would make good use of our class-free Friday schedules and always reward ourselves with a lunch out. Well, here we are halfway through the semester and let me tell you, I have had some good lunches. We’ve yet to repeat a restaurant (other than the den once) and the small culinary vacation is always a welcome treat. Because I love food, I will try my hardest to relive each meal by listing them, starting with yesterday.

Heidi’s Deli– Heidi’s is what every student crosses their fingers will cater a meeting/event/lunch that provides food. Amazing sandwiches. AMAZING. I had a Cajun Turkey and avacado sandwich on sourdough. MMM. It’s also right over the bridge in Auburn AND close to Shaws and starbucks making my other Friday errands easy to check off my list.

The Library Cafe– This pick was Schuyler’s, who discovered it at the Taste of Lewiston/ Auburn, which is a showcase for local restaurants for the entire Bates community in the fall. It’s a new little spot in the basement of the Auburn Library, and a great stop on our lunch tour. It was pouring rain that day, which also happened to be the opening day of Fuddy Meers, but we walked into the cozy spot and we were greeted by a delicious menu and friendly staff. I had a “Thoreau” (all of the sandwiches had literary names. Get it? Library?) which was some sort of turkey and cheddar sandwich with good spreads on great bread. (I’m kicking myself  for not remembering the exact combination. Well, looks like I’ll have to go back and check..)

Commons– On the day of Parent’s Weekend, in preparation for the gluttonous parent pampering to come, we decided to stick to campus. Boy, we wish we hadn’t. We were so used to our calm Fridays in quiet restaurants that a parent-overloaded commons made us immediately swear to go back to our lunching out plans for the rest of the semester.

The Bobcat Den– There have been two times where  we’ve opted to stay on campus, but instead of going to commons we head over to the den. The Den used to be the late night food place at Bates (before my time) when Old Commons was in use. Now, it’s operational only during the day, and therefore is a faculty and staff hangout. As we painfully found out, if you go at 12 to the den you will experience a similar horrible rush as going to commons at noon; but instead you will see your boss, your favorite professor, your least favorite professor, and everyone in between. Still, I’m partial to chicken salad on borealis bread when I go to the den, with a hot chai!

Marche- I wrote about Marche in my Parent’s Weekend post. It’s fuel’s (probably the best restaurant in Lewiston) little lunch spot, who also does one dinner on Mondays. Well, you would never guess that it was an ‘order at the cash register and pick up your food at the counter” place from the ambiance. It’s decorated very well: sophisticated, with a little fun in the pictures on the wall and the objects being displayed. Anyways, I had this amazing steak sandwich with cheese, peppers and onions and with horseradish mayo on a really delicious roll. Schuyler and I both ordered the same thing and were satisfied for probably three days. If anyone’s a repeat in this series, it will be Marche.

Grittys- A classic. We headed to this Maine pub-style restaurant early on in the semester. It’s a really good place and you know you can fill up on burgers, sandwiches, and other great pub foods no problem (and if the season’s appropriate, you can sit outside overlooking the river). I had a burger (of course. I love burgers) with bbq sauce, bacon, and cheddar cheese. MMmmm! Just thinking about it makes my stomach rumble.

There you have it– the Friday lunch series. Although I am spending a little bit of extra cash each week, it’s totally worth it and a great little vacation after a full week of work. I think we are almost running out of suggestions, but we have 5 more weeks to fill. We’ll see where we end up in the future! Who knows, all I can say is it better be delicious…

Fall Break

October break– what a lovely set of foliage filled days where Batesies can relax post-midterms. After last year’s very fun but also expensive and adventurous trip to Montreal, I decided to just come home this year. I’ve been really enjoying myself. I left early Wednesday morning and dropped off a friend at the Portland Jetport on my way down 95. (We had a really silly 9 am car ride where we listened to a cappella and swapped our funniest stories).

By noon I was at home, cuddling with my dog, feeling cozy and happy in my house! I was able to see some friends who go to Harvard for coffee and it was so great to hear how wonderful everyone’s semesters were going. Whenever I come home, it’s great to just slip into the swing of things. I have great routines when I’m at home– my favorite drives listening to my favorite cds, my favorite coffee shops, meeting up with the best people who are in the area. Catching up with everyone is definitely a highlight.

Tonight, though, to top off the week, I’m having some friends, Bates grads in fact, over for a big lovely home cooked dinner. Lots of planning has gone into this, and I’m very excited for for it. The food will be DELICIOUS (my father and I raided Whole Foods in preparation), the conversation should prove interesting, and it will be a room full of people that I love — all together! I also baked an apple pie that will be sensational. I can tell.

Back to Bates Sunday– too bad I have a Shakespeare paper that must be written before then!

Fuddy Meers

It’s finally here! The big weekend where the show that I’ve been working on the whole time I’ve been at school has started performing! We had our first show last night, and it went really well! There were a few little hiccups, lines dropped, reordered, a pen that flew out of my hand and out the window… But the director, Michelle was really amped! I’m super glad. Being good friends with your director makes for a lot of pressure– I want this to be great for her after she’s worked so hard! Since we are performing in the black box theater, there are only 36 seats, meaning that it’s always a packed house. The stage is so small that the actors are really in the audience members’ space and vice versa. This was a little alarming on opening night!

Most of the cast members have family up to see the show tonight which is really exciting. This cast has been so much fun, and I’ve really made great friends in the process of perfecting a play. Always a plus. Shoutout to Marketa and Hallie: the three female parts are played by girls in different grades, but we’ve formed a trifecta and have a thousand inside jokes together and can usually be found trying desperately not to inappropriately crack up backstage. This is of course, to be expected when we’ve been spending ALL of our time together in a tiny room working on the play for 5 weeks.

Anyways, gotta get ready for tonight’s show! There will be a judge for a theater festival we’ve been nominated for at the performance, so I’m a little nervous about that… but I’m sure it’ll go well! Check out the write ups about the show: here and here!

Parents Weekend Exhaustion

Parents weekend! Always a part of the fall to look forward to, what with seeing family, getting taken out to AMAZING meals, meeting friends’ parents, and seeing all the student work/art/performances that are put on display, parents weekend is definitely a wonderful time. It is also, however, totally exhausting. Here is a run down of my weekend:

My mom and dad were supposed to come up but unfortunately my dad came down with a wicked cold the day before, so he stayed home. Nevertheless, my mom and I had a really lovely time. She came up around 5:15 Friday, and brought me necessities that I’d left at home, like my bean boots and down coat. We then met up with my friend Michelle and went to dinner– at Marche, which is the baby-sister to the always great Lewiston restaurant Fuel. Typically a lunch place, with one dinner on Monday nights, Marche was catering to parents weekend by holding a special 4 course meal on both Friday and Saturday. Okay. So delicious– start with a salad that had goat cheese and grapes, yum! Next course was a lobster and truffle risotto, that was INCREDIBLE albeit a little too rich (and a little too large of a serving considering that the main course came next). There was a choice between halibut and steak for dinner, my mother went fish but Michelle and I both chose steak. It was so wonderful, and came on a mountain of scalloped potatoes with spinach. Is your mouth watering yet? Seriously, just in recounting this meal I’m starting to get hungry and I just ate! Unfortunately, our timing was getting pretty close- we HAD to make it to the a cappella concert, which opened its doors at 7:30  and our dinner plates were cleared around 7:18. When we informed our waitress that we had to jet, and would have to skip dessert, she offered to box it for us!! So, fast forward to later that night when I discovered how delicious chocolate mousse and bacon are together (I admit, I was skeptical… but it was amazing!).

The a cappella concert, always a big event during the weekend, was a little stressful this year; it is always insanely popular and therefore very crowded. This year, due to fire codes, you had to get a ticket so they could count how many people were let in. In dashing away from Marche, I will not pretend that I didn’t RUN down the block towards the Lewiston Middle School where the concert was held. I was NOT missing that concert. We barely made it in, at 7:30 on the dot! Next came the hour of waiting for the concert to start, which was filled with parent introductions and giddy conversations about a cappella. Here may be the time to admit that I am a total a cappella groupie. Though slightly embarrassing, it is just who I am. Even in high school, all of my friends sang a cappella and I listened to all of their cds religiously and attended every single concert. So, it makes sense that at Bates, where there are so many awesome groups, I would be in heaven/totally obsessed. Though in some groups, I definitely missed having the presence of those who graduated, the new members really shined. It was a huge night for the Crosstones, one of the co-ed groups, because they released their CD, Lost and Found. It’s amazing. Seriously. By the time the concert ended, it was almost 10:30 and I said goodnight to my mom and we made plans to meet up the next morning.

Next: 8:45 AM my alarm goes off. In disbelief I stagger out of bed, completely dumbfounded by being awake before 9 on a Saturday. By some miracle, I make it out the door and into my car by 9 and drive out to Hallowell, a town about 40 minutes away where my aunt lives (and my mom was staying). We went to a restaurant there, Slates, and split two breakfast dishes. I love going out to breakfast, seriously, it’s one of my favorite things to do, but I always find myself stuck in the age old decision: protein or  starch?? Eggs are a classic, but sometimes french toast, pancakes or waffles are just what you need. Anyways, to combat this struggle, we split banana almond french toast AND eggs benedict with basil, red onions and goat cheese. Oh my god, it was incredible. After eating, we walked around the picturesque town and poked our heads into some shops.

We headed back to Bates and had a late lunch of thai food with my friend Schuyler. Ever since breakfast I’d been in a total food-coma and the yawning seemed to never stop. Luckily, I don’t think my mom minded (did you? sorry!) The thai iced tea I had gave me a small jolt of energy, enough to send my mom off on her drive home. What happened next? Let’s be honest, I immediately fell asleep and slept soundly for three hours. Schuyler and I grabbed a quick dinner and headed to the Bates Composer’s Society concert, which was a new event and featured student compositions.

My last parent/food experience was this morning, and a classic. Just like last year, my friend Claire’s parents took us to the Pop Shoppe for a good old fashioned diner breakfast. Though it seemed like half of Bates was standing in line, it was worth the wait. My two eggs over easy with cheese, toast, and corned beef hash was so incredibly good that now I might just have to take another food-induced nap.

In summary: great to see my mom, great to eat amazing food… but man, so exhausting! I need another whole weekend to recuperate now.

Dr Dog Concert

So… Dr Dog left me super euphoric but entirely worn out, both from the awesomeness of dancing my butt off as well as working the event from 10 AM-12 AM. So, I will present a photo!

Soudcheck, around 3 pm

A few hours later, after the sun went down, the grass filled with fans and a great time was had by all!

A choppy video: