May 19, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in | 5/19/2014
Earlier this week, I made vanilla cupcakes filled with lemon curd and topped with lemon buttercream. I've been eating these all week and I'm surprised that there's one left. Well, I hid it in the fridge and was planning on eating it, but forgot. It's still MINE.

I had my 44 mile road race on Sunday, so I needed to eat plenty of carbs on Saturday. Since I've never raced my bike before (except for a sprint duathlon), I didn't know what to expect and what my fueling strategy should be. I know that riding hard for 2 hours would require some type of fueling during the race, but eating a solid meal the night before will also help top off my glycogen stores. Before every race, it's tradition for me to eat a pasta dinner. I was planning on carbing up at Buca di Beppo, but mid-May is a terrible time to go there since there's prom, graduation, weddings, etc. I didn't make a reservation (doh) and there was a two hour wait. Hells to the no was I going to wait. I was already really hungry, so I had to think of an alternative. I ended up choosing Macaroni Grill, which is a fine substitute. They have good bread, and between me, a friend, my brother, and cousin, we polished off three loaves before the entrees came out. I went with the largest pasta platter, which was a trio of cannelloni, chicken parmesan (over more pasta), and a huge slab of lasagna. I demolished the entire thing. So much salty, carby goodness! 

Well, the carbo-loading worked, and I fueled pretty well. So well in fact, that I didn't even eat a single gel during the race. I only consumed approximately 200 calories from my sports drink.

After the race, I wanted to go to Eden Center on the drive back home. Eden Center is in Falls Church, Virginia and it's a Vietnamese shopping square full of restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, etc. So much good and authentic Vietnamese food. Unfortunately, I live about 45 minutes away from Eden Center, so I rarely come here. I went to a restaurant called Rice Paper for an early dinner with my dad. We got stuffed grape leaves for an appetizer and noodle soup for the entrees.

I ordered a noodle soup with "duck salad" and I was kind of surprised that it came separately. The soup was in a lightly flavored broth with rice noodles and bamboo. The duck came with a lot of hearts and it was a bit chewy. It also came with a sweet chili ginger sauce that was delicious.

I love Vietnamese food because it comes with so many fresh, colorful and flavorful herbs and veggies. This meal really hit the spot. I only had a Clif bar, PB&J, and a banana before the race!

Of course, I had to get dessert. I went to a bakery and bought a bunch of buns, cookies, and sponge cakes to take home. What I really wanted was THIS.

Not sure what this is called, but it's a Vietnamese dessert that's layered with mung beans, grass jelly, pandan jelly, and taro, sweetened coconut milk, all topped with ice. You stir it together and eat it with a spoon or straw. Kind of like Chinese/Taiwanese shaved ice. There a lot of other toppings, such as fruit, tapioca, red bean, etc. This is so refreshing on a hot summer day. 

Do you like Vietnamese food?


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