Sunday, May 26, 2013

SCA and The Wild Duck Cafe

By some miracle we all slept in this morning, putting us a little behind schedule but oh well. After finally rolling out of bed and into street clothes we decided to go out for breakfast, something we rarely do. I love Munchkin but it can be hit or miss on taking her out to eat-if the service is too slow she can get pretty impatient, and if there are a lot of other kids she tends to pay more attention to them than her food.

We decided to go to Our Daily Bread, a little restaurant in our village housed in a converted church. The prices are a tad higher than other places but the food is always tasty and they are always willing to make changes to the dish at the customer's request. I had the Mexi Scramble: two eggs scrambled with green peppers, onions, mushrooms, ham, cheddar, Jack cheese, and salsa. I opted for the fruit and cottage cheese sides.

It was tasty though not as good as I remember. I have noticed that the further along I get the more eggs taste nasty. Even our eggs are starting to get a sulfer-y, rank taste.*sigh* Darn pregnancy food aversions. Have no idea what I'm talking about? Click here and read Melissa Hartwig's (of Whole9 fame) take on it, I can't explain it any better than her. With Munchkin it was spicy foods, which was almost worse than giving up bread. I mean, I'm the type that dumps Frank's Hot Sauce on just about everything and orders my Thai food with Thai-style spice, preferably 5 star level. Even so about 3 months into the pregnancy I couldn't handle extra black pepper on my food, let alone anything that would be considered mildly spicy. This time around it looks to be eggs.

After breakfast we headed south to the Egil Skallagrimsson Memorial Tournament, an SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) event hosted by the local SCA group (Barony of Adiantum). Hubby and I have been kicking around the idea of joining, being the nerds that we are, and  I figured it would be fun to check it out. They were also hosting two classes I really wanted to attend: a walk about identifying local edible plants, and a cooking class demonstrating the different methods (from different cultures and time periods) for cooking over an open fire. Sadly, our sleeping in nixed the classes but it was still fun to check out the merchants and watch the sword fighting.

My little darling, who loves princesses and dress-up, immediately went for the swords and knives in Merchant Row and spent most of our time there watching the fights. Hmm....warrior princess in the making?

Afterwards we met with my BIL and his awesome wife to try out a new (to us) restaurant: The Wild Duck Cafe.

I had my doubts, BIL described it having higher level pub food, basically hamburgers and the like. My experience with hamburger/pub food joints has not been great since cutting out grains and sugar. Usually its a pain to try and get things withheld or changed, or most of the items have stuff added (like breadcrumbs to the hamburger meat) that can't be changed. So, I have to admit I wasn't looking for much when we walked in but I was pleasantly surprised.

The place is located close to Matthew Knight Arena so its not surprising that most of the decor is yellow and green. University of Oregon sports highlights adorn the walls, nicely blended with metal art of local wildlife. The atmosphere was nice and relaxing, with high booths that provided privacy and noise control (always something important when dining with a toddler). There was also plenty of outdoor seating but with the inconsistent sprinkles we opted for a booth.

We were seated immediately (after Munchkin was given her choice of a rubber ducky. Miss I-Love-Swords opted for the Princess Duck) and had an awesome, attentive server. The brunch menu consisted of your usual different types of eggs and staples like biscuits and gravy but also thing like Cajun Grilled Salmon Benedict and Oregon Truffle Burger. Their meat is locally sourced and ground in-house, with produce coming from local growers and organic whenever possible. What I especially liked was the big, red, words at the bottom of the menu "Please tell your server if you have a food allergy. We have gluten-free buns available." Always nice to see a place willing to work with those who don't/can't eat the norm.

I went with the Cranberry Duck Salad-field greens with dried cranberries, candied hazelnuts (sugar, I know), and almond-breaded duck tenders, with pineapple-ginger vinaigrette.

It was very tasty-the vinaigrette was a little sweet making me wonder if there was sugar in it, but the spice of the ginger  blended great with the slightly gamy (just enough so you knew you weren't eating chicken) tenders. The greens were crisp and fresh and the cranberries added the right amount of tartness. I could have done without the candied hazelnuts, they were almost too sweet, but there weren't so many of them that it ruined the dish. Munchkin got the mini sliders from the kid's menu (and promptly dismantled them, eating mostly the meat) while Hubby chose the Fighting Duck Cheesesteak: roasted tri-tip with sauteed sweet bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and provolone on a gluten-free bun. It must have been good  because I wasn't able to get a pic of it. I can easily see us coming back for more, and it was a lot of fun visiting with the family.

The plan for the afternoon was to weed all the planters but the rain kept us indoors. We ended up doing some housework and being lazy.

Toward evening I suddenly realized I hadn't taken out any proteins to defrost for supper so, even though I wanted to cook, I didn't have anything. Grrrr!! Instead I warmed up the leftovers (that we should have had last night). I ended up with chicken soup, topped with roasted nori:

After Munchkin went to bed I was really craving some ice cream but made do with full-fat Greek yogurt with a handful of frozen cherries mixed in. I really need an ice cream maker.

Toodles folks!

Congrats to the Oregon State Beaver Baseball Team!! 2013 Pac-12 Champions!

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