The Fat Radish Review

The ambiance is wonderful. I absolutely adore the rustic decor, the white bricks &  the harvest tables. I love everything about the place. The server was friendly &  helpful. The food was presented beautifully. Unfortunately, the food was nothing spectacular.
They give you a complimentary plate of radishes, which were surprisingly bitter & spicy. No one at the table liked it.

The most talked about item in the menu is the Scotch egg, which is an egg wrapped with sausage & deep fried. It comes with a delicious spicy mustard & cornichons (baby gherkin pickles). At $10  for one egg cut in half,  it is a pricey appetizer, but one that was highly recommended. It was not oily whatsoever. The taste of the sausage & egg was mild. I was expecting it to be more flavorful, but I would still recommend you try it at least one.
The pea pot pie had a flakey outer crust which was good. The filling of snap peas &  green peas were flavored very lightly & it was on the sparse side.

The kale Caesar salad was fresh. It came with crunchy croutons & 2 pieces of salty anchovies. This was a good started.

The special appetizer of chicken thighs was pan seared giving it a slightly crunchy skin. The  chicken was tender. This was a good choice, but it was a special & they change according to what is in season.
The pork chop with couscous was on the dry side. I wouldn’t recommend this at all.

The carrot appetizer was just a bunch of mixed carrots cooked blandly. The larger carrots weren’t completely cooked, which made for really crunchy carrots.

The curried monkfish was cooked well, with a spicy kick to the flavors. We liked this dish.

Overall, the experience was just okay. We felt the food fell short of the rave reviews. The ambiance &  service were excellent though.

Sweet Corn & Tomato Pancake Recipe (Gluten-free)

I saw a bunch of tomatoes in the fridge, so I searched online for a tomato pancake recipe. Yep, you heard right, a tomato pancake recipe. I know it sounds weird, but it’s actually quite tasty. You get a little salty & a little sweet, so it’s the best of both worlds. No lie. This can be made totally gluten-free for those with allergies.
Sweet Corn & Tomato Pancake adapted from The Pancake Princess

¾ cup milk + 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
6 tablespoons sweet potato starch
6 tablespoons cornmeal (I had corn bread mix, which contains flour so don’t use this if you want gluten-free. Cornmeal should be fine.)
6 tablespoons oatmeal
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 can corn kernels, drained
1 medium tomato, sliced thinly width-wise
Combine the milk & vinegar in a cup & set aside. You are essentially making your own buttermilk.

In a medium bowl, mix the sweet potato starch, cornmeal, oatmeal, baking powder & baking soda together.

Mix the oil & honey into the milk mixture. Pour the milk mixture into dry ingredients. Mix until combined, leaving some lumps. Fold in the corn.

Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes, undisturbed, until it thickens.
Heat frying pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, grease pan with coconut oil. Drop 2 heaping tablespoon full of batter into the pan. I have a small pan, so making 2 at a time was ideal. Don’t overcrowd your pan.

Cook for 2 minutes until the edges start to Brown. Press a slice of tomato into the pancake & press down into the batter.

Pick up your pancake with a spatula, add more oil to the pan & then flip the pancake into the newly greased surface of the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve with a sprinkle of sugar. For a few of the pancakes, I cut a slice of Muenster Cheese diagonally into 4 pieces & let it melt on top of the tomato. The cheese makes it more savory, which I love.

I Am Spartan

Okay, I am not Spartan, but I did the Reebok Spartan Race. All my friends were doing some sort of obstacle course race, so I wanted to be like the cool kids & jumped on the bandwagon. I went for the race that had less running with the shortest obstacle course possible. Yeah, I was not about to commit to a 12+ mile run with obstacle courses like some other crazy races. The race was 2 weeks before I took my engagement photos, so I didn’t want to get too many scars or break a leg with a 4+ hour course.

We opted for the Tuxedo Hill course in NY since it was the closest one to us. The drive there wasn’t too bad. There’s ample parking but each car had to pay a fee (about $10). The check-in was pretty quick. You can rent lockers ($5) there to store your stuff, or leave it in the car, but with the latter option, the walk back to the car is pretty long if you really needed something. I would recommend sharing a locker with a friend. They had port-a-potties for your bathroom needs. Yes, this is a classy kind of race.

The Preparations:
We sprayed ourselves with sunscreen at the car.

We did not bring water bottles with us because it’s just a hassle carrying anything when running, jumping over walls, or crawling in mud. It just was not ideal. Be warned, they did not have any water stations on the course, so we did get hot & thirsty, but like I said, it was better not to carry anything extra with you.

I wore long, tight running pants & an Under Armour HeatGear® Top, both of which dry pretty quickly when wet. I brought my workout gloves which helped with the rope climb & crawling on muddy rocks & under barbed wire. These items helped keep me from getting scratched up.

Bring a change of clothes with you. You will be muddy, dirty & disgusting. They have cold showers at the end but it’s out in the open. You’ll want to get out of your nasty clothes. We changed in the car since there weren’t bathrooms or any facilities to change at.

We left all our other essentials in a locker: Car keys, money, ID, water bottles, phones, cameras, change of clothes, etc.
The Race:
It was a 3 mile uphill course in the scorching June heat. There were over 30 obstacles which took us over 2 hours to finish. Halfway through, I seriously just wanted to quit. I was tired & grumpy from the heat, but we persevered & finished the race.

We encountered about 10 walls to climb. It started really low & easy, but then it got taller & taller, so you’ll either need a buddy to help give you a boost or find a new friend on the course to help you out. If you decide to skip an obstacle, you’ll be penalized with burpees. If you’ve ever done burpees, you’ll know they’re horrible, plus doing them on muddy ground makes it that much worse.

We climbed up rope walls, crawled in tubes, did a javelin throw, climbed a rope, monkey bars, hopped from one tree stump to the next to get to the other side, did a bouldering wall, flipped tires, carried a weighted pancake uphill (this was killer), ran with a tire, dragged rocks on a rope, pulled a weight on a pulley to get to the top, crawled under barbed wire, slip & slide (a girl broke her arm so they closed this), dodged men with gladiator sticks ready to pummel you as you run by, jumped over fire, and a bunch more that I can’t remember.
Crawling under the barbed wire was the worst thing ever. It was maybe 400m which took a bare minimum of 20 minutes to get through. The ground was not only muddy (they had hoses that kept pumping more water onto the course), but it was completely filled with rocks. So every movement hurt. If you crawled, your knees would take a beating & your back would get scratched up from the barbed wire. If you went on your butt, you had a better chance since there’s more cushioning, but you’ll be moving much slower. We saw people’s clothing get snagged on the wire & saw a few casualties with bloody cuts on various parts of their body.

The drive home was pretty miserable. Being out in the scorching sun & exerting energy for 2 hours was exhausting. I would never do this again. I did it just to experience it for myself. Once is more than enough.

Don’t let me discourage you from trying one out. They had one recently at Citifield (home of the NY Mets) where they didn’t have any mud, so that one might be better for some people. Plus the Citifield course is flat compared to the constant uphill of Tuxedo Hill.
Oh yeah, they give you a medal, t-shirt & a ticket for 2 free beers at the finish line. Munkie wore his medal proudly.

Let me know what you think if you’ve ever done one of these Adventure Races before so we can compare notes.