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Calling Ahead

May 3, 2011



I am loving your responses to yesterday’s Monday Man-Day post! Sounds like most guys that drink coffee stick to black.

Last night my family went out to dinner for my Dad’s birthday. The restaurant, which we had been to before, is called Niche and is very well-respected in St. Louis. It’s the type of place that only has about four choices for entrees, but they each have unique ingredients and are well prepared. Yesterday at work I checked the menu online to see what my vegetarian options would be and I noticed it said that Mondays featured a special “Comfort Food” menu.

*uh oh*. Comfort food doesn’t bode well for a healthy-eating vegetarian. I decided to call the restaurant and see what was up. It was a good thing I did because there were only two options that night – a chicken and a beef. But the chef was more than willing to prepare a dish for me, which was greatly appreciated. I don’t often call restaurants ahead of time because it makes me feel like a picky, obsessive eater, but in the situation it was definitely beneficial. I ended up with one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a while!

Instead of the pork shoulder appetizer, the chef prepared me a salad with artichokes, carrots, and shaved cheese. It had a light and mildly salty dressing on top.


My main course was absolutely perfect. The chef used the ingredients that come on the side of the usual entrees and prepared me a mixture of farro, greens, morel mushrooms, green beans, radishes, and chimichurri sauce. It was so freaking delicious! They had asked if I would prefer lasagna, but I let them know that this is exactly what I would have wanted to order had it been on the menu. Maybe they’ll put it on there πŸ™‚

And dessert wasn’t an issue. I went with homemade vanilla ice cream and an insanely rich chocolate sauce.

I ate every bite of this meal and left perfectly satisfied but not stuffed. I am so impressed with Niche’s willingness to accommodate me and cannot say enough good things about the service, ingredients, and taste of everything I ate.

  • Have you ever called a restaurant ahead of time to make sure you can get the meal you want?

Now that I know how easy it is and how much better it can make my dining experience, I may do it more often.

Niche on Urbanspoon


This morning I was up and at ’em for 6am spin class. I love getting in a leg work out along with my cardio. I generally ride about 18 miles in one class…no idea how that compares to others.

After I was sufficiently sweaty, I completed a full body weights work out. I made up my own circuits of upper body and lower body exercises and completed 3 sets of each. So glad I’m incorporating more strength into my routine now! I’m trying to gradually start upping my weight so I really push myself.



This striped top might be my favorite purchase from the J.Crew Outlet. I love how simple and classic it is!

Top: J.Crew Outlet, Pants: BDG from Urban Outfitters, Shoes: From Work, Necklace: Forever 21


I opened a can of pumpkin for my pumpkin pie smoothie on Sunday, so now I’ve got to use it up. Today I make pumpkin overnight oats using the following:

  • 1/3 cup raw oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 container Oikos 0% plain Greek Yogurt
  • ~1/2 cup Libby’s pumpkin
  • 1 heaping tsp Chia Seeds
  • pumpkin pie spice, stevia, splash vanilla
  • water to thin

I mixed that all up and then topped it with 1/2 banana and a spoonful of almond butter before placing it in the fridge to thicken.

mmm I was kind of bummed about having to use pumpkin all week, but now I remember how good it is! I am just trying to figure out if I like the almond butter and pumpkin combo…not sure about it yet.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2011 10:34 am

    Calling ahead is a great idea. Usually higher end restaurants are more accomodating than chains. It’s always nice to not have to order pasta!

  2. May 3, 2011 10:36 am

    Wow, so nice that the chef was so accommodating!

    The pumpkin oats look amazing. I just finished off my last can of pumpkin, but now you have me wanting more!

  3. Erin permalink
    May 3, 2011 10:43 am

    I love your shoes! Would you mind sharing the brand?

  4. May 3, 2011 11:07 am

    I’m all about calling ahead! πŸ™‚ (If the restaurant blatently has no options on the menu for me, that is.) It’s helpful for the restaurant becasue they get a head’s up, and it prevents me from having to be picky DURING dinner (I hate that, too!!).

    LOVE your top!

  5. May 3, 2011 11:22 am

    Good for you for calling ahead. I’ve never done that, but I’m not a vegetarian so it’s not usually an issue. I DO check the menu online before I go so I can look up nutritional facts and/or plan my meals for the rest of the day. If I’m going somewhere that only serves comfort food, I’ll have a light breakfast and lunch. It’s all about being aware and making good choices! πŸ™‚

  6. May 3, 2011 11:32 am

    thats so nice he made you a special dish! ive never called ahead– welll never have had to yet!

  7. May 3, 2011 11:52 am

    I need to buy more pumpkin – I ate too much back in the fall and was kinda sick fo it but am ready to have it back it my life again πŸ™‚

    By the way I love your shirt!

  8. May 3, 2011 12:25 pm

    Your outfit today is definitly one of my favourites so far! Love the nautical theme πŸ™‚

    Ah, I have always thought about calling ahead especially when I know there will be nothing available to me and the menu is so small because I hate to be such an inconvenince! On Sunday, I went on a first date.. to a steak house, the first thing I thought was this is going to be a fail right off the start. I figured there would be no vegan dishes, but I made do with that I could because I clearly was not going to complain on my first date haha. PS he know nows that I am a vegetarian and I am lactose intolerant haha.

  9. May 3, 2011 12:30 pm

    Your custom made dinner looks wonderful!! I’ve had that happen once to me. I’ve never called ahead, but I was at a pretty well-respected Mexican restaurant with my mom and brother and I couldn’t find anything. They made me a delicious salad full of tomatoes, black beans, carrots, etc. and TONS of chopped avocado. I told them it needed to be on the menu!

  10. May 3, 2011 12:43 pm

    You’re the second person to mention farro today, and before today I’d never heard of it!

    I’ve never called ahead. What a great idea.

  11. May 3, 2011 3:24 pm

    I’ve never called ahead mainly because eating out is generally when I enjoy the little red meat I do eat, but for vegetarians or even just fish eaters I think it’s totally fine. My sister does it all the time and usually people are accommodating, which makes manlike a restaurant even more

  12. Abby permalink
    May 3, 2011 4:15 pm

    I’ve never called ahead but I think that it is a great idea! πŸ™‚ That dinner looks amazing!

  13. May 3, 2011 4:16 pm

    i LOVE Niche!! def one of my favorites here. now im even more smitten with the place knowing how accomodating they can be!

  14. May 3, 2011 7:23 pm

    Scrumptious! That was a very accomodating restaurant… 5 stars for fixing that meal for you!

    I have never called ahead, but i am not a picky eater… I will eat anything πŸ™‚


  15. Lisa permalink
    May 4, 2011 1:14 pm

    I don’t usually have to call before hand, most restaurants where I live are very accommodating places so its not an issue most of the time. Just curious, how do you know how many miles you usually cover during a spin class? I’m loving pumpkin right now!

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