Monday, August 8, 2011

The tougher side of things ~ With some sunshine.

So, I know that I've stated before that as Duncan grows feeding him becomes easier, but also becomes more challenging.  It has now been several months since Duncan literally dug into my plate at Whole Foods with his fork and then basically cried in frustration that he couldn't share with me. 

A few weeks ago I posted about how we were grateful for Ruby Tuesday's but that we really wanted some new haunts to be able to go to.  Well, over the past couple of weeks we've found just that.  Some new places to eat and we've had a mishap or two.

We now know that Duncan can order a children's plate with steak and steamed broccoli at Cheeseburger in Paradise and a child's chicken/steak plate with a plain baked potato at Longhorn.  But, that doesn't really solve any price point dilemmas, although Cheeseburger in Paradise is a teensy bit cheaper than RT's and Longhorn.  

In the last post I wrote about how we can now have Five Guys (Woohoo!) and last night we found two new places as well!

For over a year now I've been eying a restaurant called Pei Wei which is located in the same parking lot as Whole Foods.  However, I've never eaten there because usually I'm at a loss with Asian food.  I grew up eating Japanese Hibachi (which is painfully wounded up here in NOVA) and on rare occasion had Chinese Food with my grandparents when I was very small.  I wasn't really exposed to Chinese food again until Dave and I began dating and I was never sure what anything was so I always just ordered the same thing for the most part until recently.  We finally found a Chinese place locally that gives descriptions of their dishes and that was all that I needed to try new things.

So, back to Pei Wei.  Two weeks ago when I made my trek to Whole Foods Kristina went with me.  It was lunch time and we were discussing whether to eat in Whole Foods or whether to go to Pei Wei.  Ultimately we decided to eat at WF's but decided to try Pei Wei some time.  

That brings us to last night.  Last night Dave and I had to go to Dulles Airport to get a rental car for him for the next couple of days.  Not only is the AC out in my car Dave's car has some issues that makes it un-drivable.  So, instead of us being stranded for two days (which tomorrow isn't an option because Duncan has his last insurance paid therapy visit) he decided to redeem some of his free rental days; a perk of traveling all the time.  

While in Williamsburg we were both pretty frustrated on Friday night.  We wanted to go out to eat, but wanted to find somewhere that Duncan could also eat.  Duncan ate incredibly poorly the majority of the week and he typically eats a fair amount when he gets a plate at a restaurant.  But, Dave and I didn't want to be forced into the same food all over again.  We wanted the excitement of letting Duncan eat in a restaurant & the benefit of not packing his dinner as we were in a hotel Friday night vs. our condo that we were in for the week prior.  However, after two hours of searching online, Yelp and phone books online we came up empty handed minus Longhorn and Ruby Tuesday's.

Earlier in the day we ate at a BBQ place surprisingly owned by an Italian.  It was delicious.  The chicken was 'plain' and just smoked.  Duncan loved it.  However, it would become obviously later in the evening via his bottom that it apparently wasn't 'plain' chicken.  Poor fella.  So, he had yummy food, but his GI tract and bottom had to suffer.  But, again, while searching for dinner we were not quite aware yet of this misfortune.

So, last night here we were again on Yelp!.   Here we were again *hoping* that we would find something and it wouldn't take hours to do so.  After clicking around for a few minutes Pei Wei popped up.  They have their menu online and an allergy menu online.  Now, let me say, allergy menu's are often inaccurate (and Pei Wei's definitely was - you can't tell me that the ten Coke Products that you serve are  corn-free - etc.) but their menu did show promise for Duncan.  So, Dave and I decided to take the dive and take Duncan to Pei Wei near the airport.

After a bumpy start once the lines of communication were truly open from the restaurant's side of things they bent over backwards to suit Duncan.  He was able to get rice noodles (true Asian Rice noodles - NO Corn!!! or gluten) with chicken sauteed in ginger and garlic water and steamed broccoli, carrots and snow pea pods.  YUM!  I actually LOVED my dish, honey glazed chicken with brown rice (which doesn't actually contain honey and the brown rice tastes like the brown rice we buy for Duncan - though he could not have their white rice...corn vitamins - it was enriched.)  And Dave liked his dish as well.  The best part?  They totally adapted Duncan's kid's dish and didn't charge us more for it.  Even better?  Our total was nice and you don't have to tip here.  :)  So, your total is truly your total.  Dave and I do intend to write the Pei Wei corporate offices and also write letters to Tony, the guy that took our order (you place your order and then sit) and Mario the manager.  The whole experience once off the ground was wonderful!  They definitely have made Pei Wei customers of us.  :)

Across from Pei Wei in the same parking lot was a smoothie place.  I wanted to go in just to see if there was any chance of Duncan getting anything there.  I'm typically never optimistic about smoothie places as most generally use pre-mixed syrupy junk that comes in a milk cartoon or 'fresh' fruit that has been frozen with preservatives such as ascorbic acid, vitamin c, or mixed tocopherols (vit. e.) which are all corn.  But, this place had the words 'healthy food' listed under their title.  That's quite a bold statement to make.  This is the first smoothie place EVER that I've found that uses fresh fruit.  Well, and to be truthful any restaurant, smoothie place, coffee house -any where- ever that uses truly fresh fruit.  They get fresh produce in often, dice it themselves and then freeze it themselves without any preservatives so that they can actually make smoothies that are, well, cold.  We were SO stoked!  We may not have an ice cream place that we can take Duncan to, as I know I've longed for, and it make take us 40-45 minutes to get there, but we now have a smoothie place to take Duncan to!!!  Thank you Robek's!  He has as many choices as they have fruit!  It's fantastic!  We didn't get Duncan a drink last night because we just finished supper, but we're going to go back sometime as a special treat.  

And the best part to top the night off?  They have a playground right beside the smoothie place!  So, now if I want to take Duncan out for a day.  We can go grocery shopping at Wegman's, eat at Pei Wei, grab a smoothie and play on the playground.  :)  This is a big thing!  This can and will alter our generally mundane routine.  

Thank God for progress, good fortune and answered prayers.  

I am mommy hear me roar.  And, I WILL find food for my youngin'.  Yes, I just said, "Youingin'" ~ for all of you unfamiliar with Southern terminology that translates to "young one."  :)  I will feed my child and I will feed him well!


  1. Awesome that you found some new places! I thunk there is Robeck's in Alexandria near the springfield mall. At least when we lived there was.

  2. Thanks! I looked up their site and it looks like there are a lot of Robek's around! I'm very excited! :) And, just for anybody reading...yes, you can get fresh fruit at some restaurants - especially those with bars, but what I meant was places that serve 'smoothies' and in general a lot of restaurants actually serve "fresh frozen" produce with preservatives. I'll give credit where credit is due. :) Applebee's does serve fresh Strawberries and Pineapple!