Well, I’ve almost been away for two entire months. It’s not because I don’t enjoying complaining about public transit and transportation and talking up my favorites restaurants, but I’ve been really busy reading hardcopy books.
It appears that I neglected to celebrate our second year of being a one car household in an area that really doesn’t do much to encourage regular use of public transit. I’m more than irked that ATS has decided to undertake increased marketing efforts rather than spend money on expanding service. People know that the bus service exists, but it is under-utilized because it isn’t convenient. I want it to be easier to buy passes; currently, one can visit the transit center with cash. Why aren’t there refillable cards and self-service kiosks that accept cash or credit, even if they are isolated to the transit center? It is cheap, and it is safe; however, when many routes end service before 7:30 how can anyone use ATS to have a dinner out or catch a movie or go to church? If you don’t work first shift (or if you work first shift on a Sunday), it is very likely that you won’t be able to use ATS to commute to and from work, even if you live well inside city limit. On the other hand, I am thankful that we live about a twenty minute stroll off the bus route and that my husband can get to and from most of his work shifts. We’ve made it work these past two years because we believe in the good of public transit and the benefits of walking (with or without sidewalks on busy five lane highways or quite neighborhood streets).
The next milestone is our four year wedding anniversary. We opted to celebrate on a Wednesday night rather than the actual Monday our anniversary fell on, and we decided to revisit The Market Place. I don’t recall the exact year of our last visit, but we were completely unimpressed with every aspect of our meal, especially the steep prices on the wine list. Due to the passage of time and new ownership (even though I thoroughly respect Mark Rosenstein for all he has done and continues to do to support local food and farms), we decided to give it another go. We were seated in the back close to where we sat at our last visit, and our server, Denise, was attentive and knowledgeable of the menu. I opted for the edamame, because I cannot seem to eat enough edamame, and it was the only vegetarian appetizer that held any appeal (sorry I’m a bit too cheap these days for a $14 cheese plate); the chili soy glaze was pretty sweet, and it really detracted for the sublime simplicity of soybeans. My husband enjoyed a generous serving of duck confit spring rolls that really looked pretty tasty. For my entree I chose the agnolottis because again it was the only realistic vegetarian option since a local vegetable plate just seemed a bit boring. Then again, how cliched for the vegetarian entree to be a pasta dish; however, cliched or not, it was good and filling and just what I really wanted. Apparently we were in need of comfort food as my husband went with the pork chop entree. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to enjoy all of the juices because the food runner poured a good portion of them down my arm; the part he did enjoy was very satisfying, even if he really wanted more carrots and brussel sprouts. Getting to wear his dinner was really were our experience fell flat (and my shirt is now ruined). When it happened I requested a bar towel not a treated napkin that really does nothing to absorb liquid, but of course I received seltzer water and a cloth napkin (I should’ve demanded the bar towel). The staff was apologetic, but rather than comp his entree or mine for that matter, they offered to buy us a dessert and two glasses of champagne, which we weren’t interested in anyway. We ended up taking a boxed up a cappuccino chocolate torte, which was a nice after work treat the next day. Personally, I prefer the ambience and food at Cucina24, but this visit didn’t rule out future visits (although they are not likely to happen in the near future).
We opted to postpone our anniversary dinner due to a doctor’s visit, which would leave us with either great news or less than great news. We got the great news, so we were a bit on cloud nine, and I just wasn’t able to demand a free entree nor was I able to enjoy anything alcoholic because earlier that day we had seen our baby’s heartbeat. We also confirmed that I was about five weeks pregnant, and I’m now almost twelve weeks along, which is why I’ve been reading, reading, and reading some more about pregnancy and childbirth. I am not suffering from morning sickness per se, but I am suffering from an incessant desire to eat edamame, eggplant, and pretty much anything else with bread and cheese as long as artichoke hearts, raw garlic, and pesto aren’t included. My nausea is triggered by not eating enough (i.e., about every couple of hours) or eating too much at once (hence, I was truly not able to eat dessert at dinner). Additionally, my eating idiosyncrasies have multiplied, and although they aren’t as bad as they were before I met my honey, they are irritating and frustrating. Last week, I couldn’t stand the thought of eating roasted root vegetables (butternut squash, celeriac, and beets) and goat cheese, which normally, I would devour. Therefore, I will not be posting anymore restaurant reviews until I feel normal about food again. I do think I will continue to complain about public transit and the dearth of sidewalks even in parts of Asheville that have been annexed for years and years (here’s looking at you, Hendersonville Rd); now that it is dark around six p.m., I won’t be walking home, which means I have to pick my husband up from work since the last bus to our end of town runs about five to six hours before he gets off work. Then again, since we’re planning on caving in and buying a second car rather than deal with a wee one and one car, I guess I won’t have as much to complain about public transit.