Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wherein I search for cookies and happen upon SISU Uptown

I’ve been off. For the past week or so, my mojo has been out of sorts. I wanted to chalk it up to a hormonal thing, but all of my usual go-to things to give me a zing of happy hadn’t been working. I don’t like to talk about these mini-depression episodes. I know I’ll eventually figure out a way to drag myself out of this hole. Even now, I feel happy in knowing that I’m not gonna have to turn around and attempt to tunnel out on the other side (because quite frankly, I’ve had to do that a number of times and folks, it isn’t fun…I know some of you readers have been there and done that. God bless you for it! High fives for persevering!)

This morning, I got up late. Alarms went off and some how I didn’t notice it really. I just wanted to sleep. In my dreams last night, I was crying. I woke up with unusually puffy eyes, so I guess it must’ve persisted in reality somehow. I got dressed and slipped on my “fat pants” only because I needed comfort. Then, I was irritated that my fat pants are too loose. A good problem to have, I know. A bad problem because, well, I haven’t replaced my trousers to my new size, only skirts and dresses. In the past, when my weight fluctuated, my pants remained constant. This is the first time since I can remember where I will actually have to buy new pants. I’m excited about it, but at the same time, I need my pair of fat pants. sheesh. I threw on my red sweater-wrap, a purple shell, and my favorite pair of flats because none of the heels in my closet was going to make me feel more like myself. Only my socks were wanting to be sassy today and even then, that was almost borderline to what I could handle.


Catered lunch appeared and the only vegetarian option was a plain salad. (I know, right? Who the hell is complaining about the free, catered lunch? I suck. I know this.) Wednesdays are sandwich and salad days. All of the sandwiches had some type of animal in them. I fell off the no-animals wagon over the weekend, but I’m trying to jump right back on and this was proving to be more difficult than I remembered. Seriously, I’m looking up burgers and foix gras on Google images, salivating over the food porn. I have a problem, y’all. “Just eat the damn burger already, Bianca.”

I threw my arms up, took a deep breath, and went for a walk. I’ve been stalking a new place from the windows in my office of a resort style restaurant. What? Yeah, this restaurant has a pool with cabanas and just screams, “Come, relax, and stay for a spell.” My walk took me across the street to SISU Uptown and I prayed that they had a cookie. For some reason I thought that a nice, fresh-baked cookie would make me feel better. I walked in to this beautiful and naturally lit space with a sour attitude and my heart on my sleeve. The hostess had amazing blue heels that I regret not photographing. Anyway, I needed to get over myself in the worst way. Mitch, my server, warmly greeted me and he was such a delight with the friendliest smile. He’s exactly what I needed. Even more so in that he returned my wink after a special request. Ahh…I was gonna like this place! He didn’t skip a beat when I ordered dessert first: The Better than Tollhouse Cookie.



Atop the cookie is Henry’s vanilla bean ice cream. HEAVEN...even for this lactose intolerant gal! The cookie, sadly was not the cookie I’d wanted. It was dry and hard on the outside and a tiny bit soft on the inside. It was like a hard biscuit with a slightly undercooked center. It was actually a bit burnt on the bottom. Maybe I’m a cookie snob, but no, I like my cookies much softer than that. I was that girl and sent it back. Sadly, it wasn’t the cookie I was needing/wanting, but that’s ok because what came out next was easily in my top 5 best bites of food of my life! The Roasted Beet Salad: Red beets al dente, yellow beets softened, crispy hearts of celery, candied walnuts, and a flash fried beet green, cheese. I added the fried egg on top. (This is where I’d winked at Mitch and he said, no problem. Man, I heart that dude!)



I was in love with this plate. Had Mitch not snuck up to me to refill my water, then I would’ve been licking this plate with unapologetic gusto. I even told him it was so good I wanted to slap him. We had a laugh. I wasn’t ready to go to jail for assault, so I kept my hands to myself. But seriously, this was the happiness I needed. This plate, I felt warmth, tenderness, love, and great care with each bite. This plate made me think of California. It reminded me of how relaxed I was just a few short months ago. This plate gave me a much-needed hug from the inside and wiped those tears I’d been crying.

better.

Executive Chef Stefon Rishel came out and we had a nice chat about the cookie, about the beet salad, about the concept behind SISU, about pretentious sounding food being unpretentious. I wanted to slide over in the hot pink backed booth, and have him sit with me over coffee and talk all about food and culinary adventures. He was so friendly, so approachable, and you knew he had a real passion for his craft. He had to get back to the kitchen, but I did indulge in some of that coffee. I stared off into ether of the world, just tasting, smelling, listening, feeling, and seeing. Not worrying, thinking, or stressing, just being.


If you are in the Uptown area of Dallas, check them out. SISU Uptown Resort off of Maple. I can’t wait to try out their Sunday Brunch menu!

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