Photosynthesis by Frank Turner – ever heard it? It’s a song that came on while I was listening to Pandora one day. I found myself nodding with the beat and soon enough, I was listening to the words. Not the way you listen to T. Swift and find yourself singing along without wanting to, but really listening. The kind of listening where you smile, chuckle, and goosebumps tickle across your skin.
Oh, maturity’s a wrapped up package deal so it seems
And ditching teenage fantasy means ditching all your dreams
All your friends and peers and family solemnly tell you you will
Have to grow up be an adult yeah be bored and unfulfilled
Oh, when no ones yet explained to me exactly what’s so great
About slaving 50 years away on something that you hate,
about meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity
Well, if that’s your road then take it but it’s not the road for me
The first time I heard the song, we had made the decision to move back to Indiana. I was leaving my job and we were saying goodbye to Brooklyn. I had no idea whether we were making the right decisions and to be honest, I still don’t know. But I get to spend 80% of my time with Clark and when I look at it that way, I couldn’t be happier. I can shovel horse shit out of the stall next to him while still laughing and enjoying myself. I don’t care how much we work or what kind of work it is, as long as we’re working together. That brings to mind another of my favorite songs – “Better Together” by Jack Johnson.
When I finished sending photos and recipes to Edible Indy for their summer issue [look for us in the spring issue, too!], I was ready to shut everything down and head to bed. Then this song came on. It seemed so appropriate to just keep writing. To say what I’m feeling and let it flow through my fingertips because, sometimes, it just feels so good to just write.
I haven’t been writing as frequently as I would like to and I’ve been sitting on so many great recipes. That’s why I find find myself at the computer at 1am. After hustling to get these recipes turned in before deadline, here I am working again and loving every second of it. I’m a month and a half late posting this little recap of Clark’s birthday weekend, but I make the rules around here and I haven’t felt like writing about it until now. Now that I’m missing him after 3 weeks without him and taking a moment to really acknowledge it, now seems like the perfect time.
With the lifestyle that we have, we spend so much time “on” that it’s hard for me to know how to turn “off.” I think a lot of people my age have the same problem. Our jobs require us to be available even after we’ve left for the day and many of us work untraditional jobs or 3 jobs or we bartend when we’re not playing barista at a cafe. My generation is weird and I’m well aware of that fact.
Valentine’s Day blew by without us having time for so much as a meal together or a date of any sort and Clark’s birthday was just around the corner. As we sat in the waiting room to have my dislocated pinky x-rayed, I made hotel reservations for us and decided it was time to take a little break. 6 days later, we were on our way to Indianapolis for what you might call a “staycation.”
We walked around in the cold like we didn’t care. And we stopped into coffee shops to warm up. And we drank small batch liquor like we were in Brooklyn. And we took a cab back to our hotel from dinner because Indy doesn’t have trains. And we ordered room service. And we did not give reality a second thought for 2 whole days. It was a glorious. Glorious, I tell you!
The Omni was a dream. I reserved a room on Priceline using their Name Your Price Feature and I paid about $90. I called them to request a king-sized bed and they upgraded me to a king suite. I asked for a room with the best city view they could offer and we were greeted with a picturesque panorama of a cold and snowy Indy. I pushed the envelope when I requested a room on their highest floor, but they obliged. We stayed on the 12th floor, overlooking the city and it was quiet enough to make me think we had the whole level to ourselves.
They were kind enough to let us check in early and they even granted my late-night room service wishes, including the flatbread that I ordered with eggs on top. Judge me all you want, but it was perfect with our wine.
We woke up feeling like royalty.
As for the food – and I know that’s what you came here for – we had an equally stellar experience.
Plow & Anchor
Plow & Anchor is Indy’s only seafood restaurant. Don’t listen to people who tell you to go to Oceanaire or Ocean Prime or anywhere else, for that matter.
There is only one seafood restaurant in Indianapolis and it is Plow & Anchor.
I ordered the scallops and Clark ordered sturgeon. I’ve never had fish that was cooked so perfectly and with such great flavor. The sides that they paired with each dish were phenomenal and complemented the fish. A lot of times, we feel a little disappointed when we go out to eat. The food might be good, but nothing special and nothing we couldn’t have cooked at home. Not this time.
That being said, I feel like I should add that the service and atmosphere were nothing spectacular – our waitress was slow and the restaurant was cold and loud. But regardless, it is a must-try restaurant.
I know I just finished talking about Plow & Anchor’s seafood so this isn’t going to make much sense, but we also grabbed lunch at an outstanding vegan spot, Three Carrots in the City Market for lunch. Seriously so good. The guys who run the place [pictured below] know their stuff. They make their own seitan and they are professionals at vegan cooking. Flavor, flavor, flavor!
I recommend the black bean chili or the taco-pita thing that Clark got. I don’t even know what all was in it, but it was a party for your mouth.
I didn’t take any photos of our food here, so you’re going to have to trust me: this place can’t be beat for brunch downtown. First, we tried to go to Patachou and then Milktooth. With an hour+ wait at each of those, we had to come up with another option. After a few minutes of driving aimlessly, BARcelona came to mind. So, rather than trying to hear each other over the din of 100 other brunchers, we had an intimate and romantic meal. When you walk into the restaurant, you instantly feel like you’ve left the United States. Suddenly, you’re in a cozy Spanish restaurant with tantalizing smells, delicious wines, and a relaxed vibe.
I’m all for a good hipster brunch with their repurposed Jack Daniels water carafes and their cold-pressed juice options. But there are times when I just want quiet, simple, and unpretentious. When our cast-iron skillet came to the table, brimming with bright saffron rice, aromatic garlic, and plump shrimp, I was so glad that the other places had such a long wait. Get the paella and get the baked goat cheese – you won’t regret it.
The recipe in this post is more like an afterthought, but it was a part of Clark’s birthday weekend and it’s one of my favorite treats to make. Two years ago, I made a version of these raw lemon tarts for Clark on his birthday. When I first made these, we were living in Brooklyn and we were trying out a raw vegan diet. We’re always doing something weird.
This year, I woke up early on his birthday to start the process and left him to sleep in – he looked too cute to wake him. Just a few quick steps and these adorable tarts were ready to refrigerate and then secretly pack into our cooler for our weekend shenanigans.
- Serves: 20
- Calories: 153
- Fat: 6 g
- Saturated fat: 2 g
- Unsaturated fat: 4 g
- Trans fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Sugar: 19 g
- Sodium: 6 mg
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 2 g
- 1½ cups raw macadamia nuts
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 4 pitted medjool dates
- 6 ounces of frozen, thawed raspberries
- 4 quarter-sized dried apricots
- 1 cup of raw cashews (soaked overnight)
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons raw honey
- 6 tablespoons So Delicious! coconut butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Soak cashews for filling in water overnight in a cool, safe place.
- Thaw frozen raspberries in the refrigerator.
- In a high-speed blender, combine macadamia nuts, almonds, and dates for the crust and blend until it becomes sticky. The consistency should be moldable in your hands.
- Combine raspberries and apricots in a blender and blend until well-combined.
- Drain cashews and add them to the blender with lemon juice, coconut butter, coconut oil, and lemon zest. Blend on high until the consistency becomes very smooth and creamy. Refrigerate for 30 minutes while you assemble the crusts.
- Lightly grease a mini-muffin pan with coconut oil. A full-size muffin pan works too, you’ll just have fewer tarts, obviously.
- Measure the crust mixture into the pan, using about 1 tablespoon per tart. Press down into the bottom and around the edges to create an even layer of crust a little less than ¼” thick.
- After forming the crusts, spoon a small amount of raspberry mixture into each and use the back of a spoon to spread it around on the crust.
- To fill the crusts, empty the cashew mixture into a large ziplock bag [or a piping bag, if you’re extra fancy] and cut off the bottom corner. Squeeze to fill each crust with your desired amount.
- If the filling becomes too runny, simply put it back in the refrigerator to firm up the texture.
- Once all of the tarts are filled, refrigerate the pan to keep them solid.
- For an extra bit of flair, add a pinch of lemon zest to each tart.