Friday, April 25, 2014

#30: Zama

Hello everyone who reads Ryan's blog, Regan aka Ryan's sister aka Maid of Honor here to guest blog our trip to Zama. The Tuesday night prior to Zama, I was sitting at home in my PJs waiting for my boyfriend to come over with leftovers for dinner. He called me to say he had arrived and to come let him in. When I got to the door, Ryan was there holding a Papa Johns pie with MOH spelled out in pepperoni on the pizza. To really understand the significance of this I should point out I have a pretty serious pizza addiction, particularly Papa. I was very excited to be officially asked to be Ry's Maid of Honor and devour some pizza and wine with her. I think my reaction was more confusion (..wait why are you here, Michael's not coming over?) than Ryan would have liked and in retrospect I wish I would cried or something, but I guess I am not good at surprises. Either way, it was pretty much the most amazing way I could have been asked to be her MOH. Ryan and I both had busy Wednesdays so we decided we would officially celebrate on Friday night using one of her gift cards.

Zama was walking distance from Ryan's which was great because it was a beautiful night, and who doesn't love walking through Rittenhouse Square on a beautiful night?! We found it without too much trouble (one day we'll get this city down) and had a reservation so sat right down.

The service really wasn't great. I feel like Ryan complains about this in a lot of her posts, and maybe we inherited the trait of being tough on restaurant staff from our Dad, but we had to wait for water and drinks and Jimmy has taught us this really just shouldn't happen.

Either way, we eventually did order our glasses of wine and edamame. I guess I learned to eat edamame while I was in college and when I moved back I remember teaching Ryan how to eat it- "No Ry, you pull the edamame of out the pod you don't eat the whole thing" and now it's pretty much our go to appetizer when we get sushi. Zama had an interesting twist, the "Edamame Sampler." You got to pick three different salts, we relied on the waitress for this one- I didn't even really know three types of salts existed and there were 5 to choose from. We went with sea salt, wasabi, and Yuzu. We were surprised by how spicy the Wasabi was but we probably shouldn't have been... Overall the sampler was enjoyable, which is good cause you really just shouldn't mess up edamame. We destroyed it, probably myself more than Ryan.

Before                                                                      After

I am the most boring sushi eater ever. I didn't eat any sushi up until recently and just haven't moved out of the phase where I only ever get California rolls and Shrimp Tempura roles. To make it worse I generally do not eat the end pieces of the Shrimp Tempura with the shrimp ends sticking out. On that note, I am probably the worst person to be critiquing a sushi place but I would give these two roles pretty high ratings.

Ryan got a Dragon role and a Spicy Crunchy Tuna role. I generally just try not to look at them or think about eating them, but Ryan seemed to enjoy.

We chatted a lot about the upcoming wedding and I had a lot of questions around what the heck a maid of honor is supposed to do. Ryan reassured me not a whole lot at this point, but I have a feeling it will come sooner rather than later!

Occasionally Ryan will say something like, "I am stressed out because.." and I like to finish her sentence with "You realize Brendan's not the one and you're not sure what to do? Good I was hoping you would finally realize." (We can joke about this because Ryan and Brendan are literally the perfect couple).

I couldn't be more excited for my big sister to be getting married. Even though I am pretty much clueless when it comes to weddings, Pinterest is a great tool and I am already learning a lot. I am lucky that Ryan knows what she wants anyway, so I just get to encourage and reassure her. And tell her every couple of days how amazing her ring is (nice work Brendan).

Anyway, overall positive experience from Zama. Again, I can't really say too much on the sushi, but the restaurant itself was nice, food seemed good, location was great (lots of options for post dinner drinks) and it wasn't super expensive. I think Ryan goes through how much we spent when she does these, but I honestly don't remember the total- which means it wasn't very much because if it was I would remember for sure.

Thanks Regan for giving me a break on my blogging- you're not too bad at this, either!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#31: Oyster House

One of my blog followers emailed me a few days ago and said "Still following your dining (drinking) experiences...". And I have to say, he was right on the mark when it comes to my experience at Oyster House. We had been hearing about Oyster House's happy hour special from 9-11PM on Saturdays and thought it would be a good way to 'blow through' my gift card, which is honestly how I have been thinking about these suckers lately. After owing money on my taxes this year because of receiving a 'gift' of $2600, I feel a bit cheated. Don't get me wrong, this has been an amazing experience but I think it's safe to say I have lost more money than I gained.

Oyster Bar was pretty packed when we arrived at 8:30- all seats at the very, very small bar were taken, so that put a damper on our plans. However we made the best of it and got the corner of a side table to hang. The happy hour specials weren't as great as I was expecting, but still pretty worthwhile for a Saturday night in Center City. Their 'Buck-a-Shuck'  happy hour offered $1 oysters, one option of $3 draft beer, $3 signature shooter of the night, and a $5 signature cocktail.

At the beginning of the night I was perfectly content with just using my card for drinks, but then when I saw all of the oysters being passed around the restaurant, I quickly got FOMOOO (Fear of Missing Out On Oysters). So just had to order 4 of the $1 oysters on special. We also got an order of calamari for the guests who didn't like oysters- basically everyone else I was with.

So before we knew it, $50 was up and we moved on. Short and sweet trip to Oyster House- I would recommend if you are looking for good raw bar options in the city. If you want to take advantage of the happy hour- get there early!