The other day I had the chance to talk with a person about lent. I asked her what she was going to give up, and her answer was that she was going to give up alcohol. I tried to understand more why she would give up alcohol and not something else. She then explained that it was more of a personal challenge, and that the reward was that whatever you gave up becomes even more special when it’s over.
In a way I feel the same about choices I have made in my own life, like the fact that we decided to eat meat only once a week, which has made me appreciate (and at times crave) more proteins like fish, chicken, pork when I do eat them (the list could go on, but I’m making myself hungry again!) So with this resolution and for the sake of appreciating our food even more, we also decided to go out to eat only once a month. This past week we visited a restaurant we not only like for the food, but also because of the quality of the products they use. They mostly serve meat from local farms. When they do use produce from other cities or countries, it’s only on very special occasions; otherwise they stick to local and seasonal vegetables. This place is one of the few nearby that we love to eat at; sadly college towns sometimes can bring the best and the worst. On the one hand, there is a more creative, young and diverse culture that is expressed in art, like in stores and restaurants. But at the same time, there can also be really crappy, generic, and cheap food as seen by the plethora of burrito places popping up on every corner.
But that’s not the case with our current favorite, 715. This is one of the few restaurants unafraid of creating specials where fruit bats, goat sausage, and rabbit kidney aren’t a rarity (unless you live in an average american suburb), not to mention the big selection of wines and other specialty cocktails. On our previous trip, the rabbit raviolis were melt-in-your-mouth amazing. This time Katie had speckled trout over spicy couscous and I had chicken with Brussels sprouts and dates. The chicken of course was locally raised and pasture grazed: good company, great dinner, and an amazing time.
So whether you are religious or not, if you are giving up something in order to enjoy later, I would recommend that you do it with confidence and more awareness. Food is one of the things I love the most, which is why I want for it always to be special, which it fails to be if you have it everyday. It’s important to stop for a moment and think about what process is involved in making something. Even though this post is about a restaurant, it’s also a reminder about a value we can all achieve when we decide to make a little sacrifice and for that I am grateful today. Feliz Dia de San Valentin!