Wednesday, May 16th

9:40AM Dorm Room
I know it sounds weird, but I had sushi for breakfast… yeah haha. The Philly roll that I bought yesterday, I was going to have it for lunch today, but then I got an email from my postdoc telling me to eat before coming to lab because there was no lab meeting. So I ate my sushi for breakfast instead haha. The Philly roll has smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumbers in it, which I have decided tastes a heck of a lot like a bagel with lox and cream cheese. I didn't have a whole lot of time to sit and savor the flavor, but it does actually work as a breakfast item hehe. The only thing that worried me a little bit was that when I was watching the guy make the Philly roll yesterday, he reached into a huge bucket of cream cheese that was half empty, and scooped out a little bit for my roll, using his gloved hands that had been handling all this raw fish. So I am kind of thinking that the bucket of cream cheese must have lots of raw fish bacteria in it that could make it quite unsafe to eat… right? Well I guess I'll know soon enough haha.

1:30PM Harvard Square Pho Pasteur (I can't stand the name Le's, so I refuse to acknowledge it haha)
I came here with my friend Zheng for lunch, because having no lab meeting meant that I got my lab work done early in the day and had free time in the afternoon. When we first got to Harvard Square, Zheng had the brilliant idea to go to Alpha Omega to look at expensive watches (mind you, I was in my school clothes and had my backpack on, while he was wearing a t-shirt with frayed jeans and flip flops), making us both feel terribly out of place. It wasn't just the several hundred dollar watches either, he went to ask the salesman to show us $4000 Rolexes. Hahaha I was so embarrassed, you just know what those nicely dressed salespeople were thinking when we sauntered into the store.

At Pho Pasteur we got summer rolls for an appetizer. Zheng particularly hates seafood, so we got the summer rolls without shrimp (they didn't seem to have given us extra pork to compensate though). The summer rolls are filled with rice vermicelli, shredded lettuce, mint, and boiled pork, and is wrapped with soft rice paper. They come with a side of mildly spicy peanut sauce, which was a bit excessive for dipping, but still tasty. I had the pleasure of watching Zheng's summer roll explode onto his plate when he took a bite in just the wrong location haha. Sorry pics are not great, the dimness of the restaurant made it difficult to take a clear picture. Too bad my arms make a terrible tripod.

I ordered a small bowl of beef pho for lunch. (Pho Pasteur numbers their dishes, so I call it the small #14). It comes with rice noodles in beef broth, and is topped with beef brisket, thinly sliced rare eyeround, flank, and tendon chunks. It also usually has tripe (beef stomach) in it, but I can't stand the plasticky chewiness of tripe, so I always ask them not to include it. I really like the rest of the beef contents though, they're all quite different and give the soup variety. The beef brisket is always well-done and practically falling apart, while the rare eyeround is tender and pink since they immerse the eyeround into the hot soup in your bowl to just barely cook it. And tendon is fantastic, I love cartilage for some reason, and tendon just has this perfect chew that is so different from meat. Flank is not particularly interesting to me, but it's not bad either. I usually add raw mung bean sprouts into my soup while it's still hot, to cook the sprouts a little, which lends a wonderful and refreshing crunch to the soup. I have to always ask them to not add cilantro to my pho though, I think its flavor is too strong and overwhelms the soup. Scallions and onions are quite nice in it though.

If you have never had pho before, it's really quite interesting to learn to eat it. I myself only learned during senior year of high school, and made quite a fool out of myself for a while before I got the hang of it. You eat with an Asian soup spoon in your left hand, and a pair of chopsticks in your right hand, simultaneously. Some people prefer other methods of eating their pho, but the way I learned it (from a Vietnamese friend), you use the chopsticks to pick up noodles and beef, and nestle it into your soup spoon so that it forms a mouthful. Then you dip your spoon carefully into the soup to get the soup into your spoon of goodies (without losing your noodles and beef!). Finally, you can dip your chopsticks into a sauce on the side and transfer it to the top of your heaping spoonful (I prefer to use hoisin sauce or peanut sauce, but other options exist), before sending it all into your mouth for a yummy and flavorful bite. Delicious! No need to slurp or have noodles flopping around splashing everyone around you. It's quite the art to eat.

2:30PM Herrell's Ice Cream Shop in Harvard Square
Zheng was craving Herrell's brownies n' cream ice cream, which is like cookies n' cream except with ground up brownies, but they didn't have it today. So he decided he would substitute by getting a brownie sundae haha. I shared it with him, because we were both pretty full from lunch. We got a scoop of cookies n' cream, and a scoop of strawberry ice cream, with hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. The brownie sundaes at Herrell's are really good (I get them with my boyfriend whenever I can find an excuse hehe), they heat up the brownie square so that it's nice and soft, and it's so sinful, melting the ice cream on top of it into a lovely puddle of sweetness. Unfortunately the people in the store today seemed new, and while one guy was confused when we asked for a brownie sundae, the girl who went to make ours melted the plastic bowl as she was heating the brownie, which we didn't realize until we had gotten our bowl and finished eating, only to find a big puddle of ice cream on the table that leaked out from the hole in the bottom of the bowl haha. Scary to think that I probably ate melted plastic, ick. Still, the sundae was very yummy.

After I got back to my dorm, the sky start looking really scary, with huge dark clouds rolling in very quickly. It was like the whole sky was covered with a blanket, and you could see the last bits of light being pushed out of the way as the blackness swallowed the highrise buildings in Boston. Of course, minutes after I took these pictures, it poured like mad. I'm so glad I was indoors :)

8:15PM Baker Dining
Eating a late dinner because I wasn't very hungry after eating lunch. Baker had roasted pork loin with rice and mixed vegetables, so I got that and ate the pork and veggies (no rice because I've definitely eaten enough refined carbs for the day lol). The pork was okay, though not nearly as tasty as the maple-roasted loin Baker served earlier in the term. It wasn't too tough, but also not that tender, even though I got a center slice. It came with a garlicky gravy that was definitely necessary to help the pork taste moist. My favorite part of the dish was the vegetables though. They had the usual mixture of broccoli, peppers and squash, but today they also had boiled spinach and mung bean sprouts. I absolutely love the silky texture of freshly boiled spinach, so I really enjoyed eating the vegetable side.

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