Day 98: An Amazing Dinner and the Final Countdown!

What a way to cap off our more than 3-month journey of eating real food and real food only! At the very last minute my husband’s boss said he would be in town and wanted to take the two of us out to dinner (our choice!). After scrambling to find a babysitter we decided that we’d love to be treated to a meal at one of our favorite local restaurants…Upstream. Since we hadn’t been there since well before starting our real food journey, I decided to call in advance to inquire about their menu (and to also spare my husband any embarrassment in front of his boss!).

Whenever we are out and armed with all of our food questions we seem to always end up speaking with someone from the kitchen (rightfully so). And things were no different with Upstream because they knew right away where to send me. I was lucky enough to speak to a chef named Charlie that totally made my day! Not only was he incredibly knowledgeable and eager to help me (which I so appreciate since we are a tad bit difficult these days), but once he saw the challenge in trying to avoid white flour and sugar he made a fabulous proposal. He suggested that my husband and I choose whatever we wanted off the menu and he would make it real food approved for us. What a treat!

Now I love some good food and after months of almost never choosing a menu item that I am in the mood for, but rather always choosing what is “approved,” I was absolutely delighted with this offer. I decided on the Sea Scallops with Sweet Corn and Wild Mushrooms and my husband chose the Leek and Crab Stuffed Idaho Trout. Let me tell you….our food was AMAZING! I promise that if no one would have been looking I would have totally licked my plate. And before we dove into this divine meal it was served complete with a visit from Charlie and his explanation of what he did to make sure our dinner did not break our rules. And as if that wasn’t enough for an over-the-top wonderful dinner he even brought us some complimentary dessert plates and drinks! Now we’ve never once had “dessert” away from home so this was a welcome sight. They had prepared a dish of some amazing cheeses, fruit, honeycomb, and even a Parmesan crisp. What a way to celebrate at almost the end of our journey…thank you Upstream!

Well it is kind of hard to compete with that as far as what I have been cooking at home, but I guess I will share anyway. While we were out being treated like royalty our children were home eating a dinner that I threw together very quickly. I already had some whole-wheat tortillas in the fridge so I just whipped up some cheese and corn quesadillas for them and paired it with some fruit and frozen peas (yes, they like their peas frozen). They loved this dinner.

I have also been busy making things for all of us to enjoy. We made a big batch of butternut squash ravioli (to eat and store in the freezer) and it was just delicious. I don’t think we could ever get tired of raviolis. And at the end of making them I had a little leftover whole-wheat pasta dough so I used little flower and star cookie cutters to cut out shapes from the sheets of dough. I then boiled them (although they can be frozen at that point too) and mixed them with a little butter and Parmesan cheese to send to school in my daughter’s lunch box. She loved it!

Lastly, I am excited to introduce one of our very first blog sponsors, and what I like to call a hidden gem in Charlotte…Hillbilly Produce! I only recently discovered this place, and I am so glad I did. No longer do I have to set my alarm and race to the farmer’s market every single Saturday because Hillbilly Produce not only carries a wide variety of local produce and meats, but they are also open every single day of the week. Now how about that for convenience?

Only 2 days left of our pledge!

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  • Comments

    1. Sara |

      Awesome that the chef was so accommodating! Also an early congrats on making it through the pledge!! :)

    2. |

      Would you do a post sometime of how you approach restaurants when eating out following the rules and the questions you ask? Thanks!

    3. Lance |

      What an awesome experience. You should definitely spread the word on that restaurant, if they’re willing to accommodate most folks like that. They would definitely get my business. Keep up the great work and all the sharing!

    4. Melissa |

      Thank you so so soo soooo much for telling me about Hillbilly Produce. I’m so excited to go check it out! .50

    5. |

      What a lovely experience. I love that the chef came out and explained everything to you. Perhaps your family and the restaurant can team up to make a special ‘real food’ dinner once a season? It certainly would be a good way to show people that it is not an intimidating departure from what they are already eating!

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        I love that idea!

    6. Rene |

      WOW!! This restaurant and Charlie sound AMAZING!! A place like this deserves our business. Be sure to share the good news of the restaurant on yelp or twitter or wherever. I wish I could visit but I am in NY. We need more Charlie’s!!!
      And I agree that perhaps you and Charlie could team up on a future real food project! Perhaps the real food cookbook!

      Congrats on the challenge!!

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        The word definitely needs more Charlies…it was so nice for them to accommodate us after months of difficulty when eating out! Thank you for the comment!

    7. Cynthia K |

      Thanks for the tip about Hillbilly Produce! I’d love to check it out sometime; I live in Kannapolis so it’s a bit of a drive but if I’m in the area I’m definitely going to swing by!

    8. Tara B |

      I just wanted to say I have been following your journey and while we have not signed up for the 10 day pledge it has greatly effected our eating habits. Kudos on a climactic end to a most wonderful and enlightening journey.

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Thank you!

    9. Anne Maire |

      How nice to know you have a restaurant like that near by with such an accomodating chef. I’ve always found eating out in America very difficult but I take heart from your blog that it is possible to find restaurants that serve real food! In saying that…i’m in Ireland and although its a little easier here the use of processed foods sneaks in everywhere!

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        I know it is a little trickier eating out because there are no labels to read…restaurant eating has definitely been an interesting experience for us!

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