Thursday, September 6, 2012
Lunch with Laura at Spize Cafe!
Today I was able to sneak out for a great lunch with my friend Laura at Spize Cafe in Raleigh. Spize Cafe was at the Gluten Free Expo last month and after sampling their curry and salad dressing we left the expo with a bottle of their yummy salad dressing and a menu. I stuck the menu on the fridge with a magnet so I wouldn't lose it and would remember to give it a try soon.
When Laura and I made plans for lunch downtown Raleigh was the perfect halfway spot but we needed to find a restaurant that would work for both of us. Laura is vegan and I, as you may have noticed by now, am gluten free =D so I checked the Spize menu and noticed their vegan options.
Because I drive like my grandma and took side streets into Raleigh past NCSU during lunch hour, Laura was already there and checking out the menu when I arrived. Spize is small, bright and modern with a tiny but busy kitchen on the right and seating on the left and the staff is friendly and helpful. We ordered our lunches at the counter and waited outside for our lunches. The weather was just perfect for sitting outside and catching up.
We both ordered a red curry rice plate with veggies - nice and hot and full of fresh veggies. I loved the strips of bamboo shoots and cabbage. It was thin and soup-like and had just the perfect amount of kick for me.
(I can't wait to get Chris here - he would love this curry but they also have French artisan baguette sandwiches that sound right up his alley. We never have gluten in our kitchen and he rarely eats anything with it in front of me so I may have to talk him into one of them.)
Laura ordered a vegan won ton appetizer special that looked so yummy. See them in the pretty picture of Laura above?
My appetizer was really enough to make a meal of and for that matter so was the curry - I left quite full and happy.
Isn't this a gorgeous basil shrimp rice paper roll and so much prettier than the rice paper rolls we make!
The anchovy lime vinaigrette was tart and had just the right amount of that fish sauce punch - I could have poured it over a bowl of greens and licked the bowl when I was done.
I loved my meal but I loved getting to sit and visit with Laura much more. We had never met when we went to the same church, or lived in the same town. Laura is our favorite checker at Trader Joe's but we didn't get to know each other there, either. Despite the fact I'm there at least twice a week you don't really have time for much conversation in a store that busy.
In fact, long before we met I remember running in one day to pick up a few things. I don't remember what had been going on but I was really stressed out. Joe was shorter than me so I know it was a long time ago! Laura walked by and asked how I was. I smiled and said something like "fine, and you?" but she didn't say "fine". She asked me how I was *really* doing. It caught me off guard and I admitted it was an off day but you know the rest of the day was better. It made a world of difference that someone asked. Laura's that kind of person.
Since Marie introduced us we've emailed a lot, had some quick conversations at TJ's and we've prayed for each other. Today I had the opportunity to meet my friend. We caught up on faith and family and their farm. Well, more like we scratched the surface on all three, but we did fit a lot in. =D I hope we have the opportunity to share many a lunch or cup of tea in the future.
Laura gave me a mission for our first lunch - she wanted me to share a favorite verse, person or book of the Bible with her and said she would do the same. Don't you love that?
Laura also had a surprise for me. I knew she was sharing a bunch of fresh chives from her garden but she also gave me beautiful jar of her homemade body balm and I just love it. It lighter than the body butter I make and Laura gave it a light orange scent.
It feels so silky and smells heavenly.
You should check out the body balm post and read about harvesting honey, too. Things are busy at that farm!
I love that girlie purple bow and keep sliding it back on the jar when I use it but I also love what Laura did under the jar. Check this out:
Such a sweet label - ysic - Your Sister in Christ. The heart and cross means so much. And notice those two little letters - GF! Love that, too.
Sweet friendship and a spicy lunch - not a bad day!