Lunch with the Hawthornes
I received wonderful news the other day.
News that Rosie Hawthorne
and Mr. H would
be traveling through Bloomington on their way
to points West.
I have been wanting to meet my Internet friend
and fellow blogger for the longest time.
This was an important event in the Foodie household.
I learned this morning, via Rosie's blog,
that Mr. Hawthorne is on a high-protein diet,
so I quickly did some research for a suitable
The restaurant I chose was one that was highly rated.
It was also one I had never visited.
I kept my fingers crossed that I had chosen well.
After the Hawthornes arrived at my house and
we joyfully met in person for the first time,
I drove them to our destination:
Upland Brewery is one of the many
B-town independent restaurants that believes in supporting
local farms, thus improving the quality and taste of the food.
This also helps to benefit the community and to help
reduce the carbon footprint.
Sorry about the really fuzzy picture.
I'm pretty sure that this is one of Murphy's Laws:
Take one picture of something and it will turn out crappy.
Take multiples and they will all be great.
We sat by the window overlooking the outdoor patio.
After perusing the menu,
Mr. H decided to order the Buffalo Chili.
This was made with locally raised ground buffalo (bison),
simmered in a spicy tomato broth with black beans,
vegetables, smoked chilies, and Bad Elmer's porter.
I do believe that Mr. H was happy with his bowl of chili
as he polished it straight off.
Rosie was craving some substantial food and ordered the Upland Nachos.
This mountainous pile of food contained blue corn tortilla chips,
melted mozzarella and cheddar-jack cheeses, diced tomatoes,
fresh jalapenos, black beans, and spicy beef (an extra) with
a side of chipotle salsa.
Rosie also asked for sour cream on the side.
Rosie was one happy girl,
although she declared that there was no way she could
eat all this herself.
Indeed, she asked for a box and we took the remainder
home to the Foodie Boyfriend - who promptly devoured the rest.
Being a born, if not bred, Hoosier,
I had to try out Upland's version of the quintessential Hoosier sandwich,
the breaded pork tenderloin.
I ordered the fries "extra crispy."
This was a good sandwich.
This pork tenderloin was not one of those frozen patties.
There was no gristle.
It was tender and I didn't have to add salt and pepper to the
The fries, as requested, were extra crispy.
They were also house-cut.
This is how you set yourself apart from your
Do things right and made the food taste good.
Then, Mr. H ordered a beer-battered cod
so that my husband and I would know if this would be a
good place to go for seafood.
It received the Hawthorne seal of approval.
I done did good!!
Then I took the Hawthornes on a tour of
which is one of the largest student unions
in the world.
At about 500,000 (that's half a million, folks!) square feet, it is huge.
It encompasses one of the largest hotels in B-town,
several restaurants, study areas, meeting spaces,
stores, a beauty salon, pool hall, arcade, and bowling alley.
It also houses a priceless collection of artwork.
For some unknown reason,
there is a statue of a giraffe in front of the IMU.
I happened to snap a picture of this lovely couple
with the giraffe.
And now, Rosie and Mr. H will learn what they missed
by leaving so early.
I had planned on making a brie en croute for my special guests.
The ingredients are
1 puff pastry sheet
1 8-ounce round of brie
3 to 4 tablespoons F.R.O.G. preserves (Fig, Raspberry, Orange, Ginger)
After thawing out the puff pastry sheet,
place the brie in the center of the sheet.
Then spoon the preserves on of the brie.
Carefully gather up the corners and edges of the pastry
to the center and pinch together.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
In keeping with my recent trend of meatless
(or in this case, mostly meatless) Mondays,
I prepared mixed salads of Romaine lettuce and baby spinach
with strawberries and sliced red onions.
While the others had the usual grated mozzarella cheese,
I opted to go with crumbled Dubliner Irish cheese.
I decided that I liked having a bit of the brie en croute
with my salad.
It was so wonderful to meet this absolutely delightful woman
and her charming husband.
Safe journeys Rosie and Mr. H
and I look forward to seeing you again.