Date Night: Dinner Out With My Wife


MeAndGuacamoleWithPlantainChips

A Paleo Night Out with Urban Paleo Chef:

I know, I know, you’re all used to seeing me with my red shirt. Well, the truth is that, as much as I love that red shirt, it’s the exception and not the rule. I spend most of my days in a suit, tie, and some modified Paleo dress shoes (don’t worry, I share my shoes in a post soon enough). So while I live my exercise life in that red shirt (and others like it) I spend most of the rest of my life trying to approach a Paleo lifestyle, while wearing modern fashion, eating out, and looking great! Obviously, my wife deserves all of the credit for any time I look good.

My wife and I went to one of our favorite restaurants last night for a date night. We go here fairly often because we love the ambiance, the food, and the service. Everything about the place is top quality. In fact, my only meaningful complaint about them is that they use CAFO beef and chicken. It’s a legitimate complaint, but not one I expect them to respond to any time soon. So my wife and I just choose to eat food from their menu which are neither beef nor chicken. And at any great restaurant, that shouldn’t be an issue in the least.

I am getting quite used to the phrase: “I am allergic to soy and wheat.” Waiters respond to the word “Allergic” and treat it with a very different level of respect from “don’t eat,” or “don’t want”. If you’re looking for a successful Paleo night out, you’re going to have to embrace those words eventually. And the sooner you do, the better your digestion, and your satisfaction, will respond to your treatment!

What we had:

GuacamoleWithPlantainChipsGuacamole and Plantain Chips

We love our avocado, in almost any form! When we go out and see guacamole on a menu, we almost always get it and try it out. Son Cubano, the restaurant we went to last night, has never disappointed us with their guacamole, and we order it every time we go!
We noticed a Tuna Tartare on the menu, and were quite excited! This is a new menu item for them, and we really wanted to try it. Thankfully, we asked first whether there was soy in it, and were told that it is made with soy sauce. So we will have to go back another time, when it’s less busy, and ask if the Chef will make it without the soy. Not this time though.

SeaBassWithPlantainsPlantain Crusted Chilean Sea Bass

This is normally cooked in sunflower oil, but on special request, the Chef was willing to cook it in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It was cooked to perfection! It was just lightly crispy on the outside, and warm and moist, but still slightly rare on the inside. It was just the way I like my fish! The flavor was wonderful, indicating to me that it was as close to fresh as I can expect from a Chillean fish! It was served with the black bean and corn chile that you see, which I did not try, as well as some grilled tomatoes underneath. I did scrape the beans and corn off the tomatoes and eat those – I like grilled tomatoes, and these were pretty good.
The menu had a salmon dish as well, but they could not confirm if it is farmed or wild salmon. Knowing that farmed salmon may actually be worse for you than CAFO beef, and is probably worse for the environment, I elected to eat the sea bass instead of the salmon.

GrilledCalamariGrilled Calamari

My wife LOVES grilled calamari. And I don’t blame her a bit! I reserve the top spot on my seafood list for wild-caught salmon, but grilled calamari is definitely up there for me! Well, we saw the grilled calamari on the list and simply could not pass it up – my wife made short work of that delicious dish! And I helped out just a little bit…

Eating Out Tips:

  • If you’re going out to dinner, make sure you read my Going Out To Dinner Tonight? post with tips on how to eat well, and how to have a great time.
  • Don’t be afraid to splurge once in a while. It’s not always appropriate, and if you eat out regularly, you may want to designate a once-per-month rule, or something like that. But going somewhere nice, eating some well crafted food where the chef really cares about the final product, it can be a great way to enjoy an evening with your special someone!
  • “Stretch” yourself a bit when you go out to a nice restaurant. They will do a good job with all of their foods, so it’s a great time to try something you might not normally eat. Go for that seafood dish, or that steak tartare that you’ve been silently eying and avoiding until now. The top-quality restaurants are definitely the right places to try these “edge” foods that you just didn’t dare order at other places.

Questions:

  • Have you “splurged” on a night out recently? What was the occasion?
  • Did you eat a “stretch” food? What was it? How did you find it?

6 thoughts on “Date Night: Dinner Out With My Wife

  1. I am a fan of “frozen at sea”. Having been a comercial fisherman, I know how long fish can sit on ground ice and preservative powder, and still be “fresh”… yeh. But the factory ships at sea have small boats that bring their catch within hours and the fish is cleaned and flash-frozen right away… no time for bacteria to take over, no time for the eye to dim, no chemicals needed. It is actually the freshest. Now you only have to ask when and how it was thawed, and there are no unknown middle handlers of questionable pride and integrity to wonder about.

    • Thank you for your perspective Gary – it’s great to hear that the frozen industry is as good as my experience of it has been.
      Any chance you would be interested in writing a Guest Post about the fish industry, and the benefits of frozen fish?

  2. I am always afraid someone is going to spit in my food if I get too picky and ask too many questions! Normally I just avoid the things I know are bad and if something that isn’t paleo approved sneaks its way in, well it isn’t the end of the world for me(though it can be for people who have serious reactions). Chances are I am going to order cheesecake for dessert anyways.

    • I understand! I was hesitant to start being demanding as well, and for the first year of being Paleo I was more or less like you: I was mostly unaffected by the occasional food contamination. But I’ve now been Paleo for 2.5 years, and my digestive system is no longer tolerant of soy or gluten in even the smallest concentrations. I now have to be strident.
      So I’ve discovered that the most culturally appropriate way of being strident with my needs is to use the words “I am allergic”. People respect that, and it’s a culturally acceptable limitation. Waiters and chefs are more willing to work with, and around, people’s allergies now than ever before. And since it works, it’s the way that us Paleo people need to address our food service providers. It’s the magic phrase!

      • I totally understand, for people with serious reactions just a little bit of gluten can be a big deal. There is always going to be a risk when eating out, I have used the “I’m allergic” line before and still ended up with a single crouton buried in my salad, perhaps a sick joke from someone who thinks gluten allergies are a fad or something.

      • Yeah, I didn’t start getting serious reactions until well after a year of being Paleo. But it definitely has settled in for me. There’s no turning back now, even if I wanted to (and seriously, who would want to?)! I think it’s got something to do with how little I cheat – I simply have no resistance any longer. And I am OK with that!

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