Every now and then I have to head to Portland for work. Usually I’ll just drive from Seattle down, and figure out my meals when I get there. But since I’ve started P90X, I’ve tried to be a lot more structured on when I eat. So on this trip, it happened that I would need to stop for lunch on the way down. I actually kind of scheduled it that way to break up the drive a little bit, but still get to Portland before rush hour. Anyway, I decided that I would try and stop in Olympia and find a place to grab a quick bite. A quick Urbanspoon search revealed that the best soup/sandwich place to check out was the Bread Peddler.
Not only was the Bread Peddler the top rated restaurant for what I was looking for, but it was less than a mile off the freeway! Convenience always makes me happy. I made my way through some narrow streets and a couple of one ways to find parking a mere half block from the door. Things were going well. Inside, I was greeted by the smell of fresh baked bread…a smell that is just about my favorite in the world. There was a small area to eat, but it was obvious that most of the real estate in the store was for baking and cooking. As I was taking a look at the menu board, I also happened to notice two people working on chopping onions and other ingredients that were inevitably going to go into something fresh and delicious.
After a few minutes of searching, and talking myself out of one of the many sandwiches, I decided to go with the brown rice salad and the white bean soup. I had to talk myself out of the sandwich because even though I’m in Phase 2 of P90X which allows for more carbs, I’m supposed to keep my bread intake to whole wheat, and that wasn’t an option.
Anyway…the salad and soup combo was all kinds of P90X appropriate, and it was all kinds of delicious as well. The brown rice was served on top of a bed of arugula so there was a little earthy flavor combined with a little bitter flavor. The dressing was minimal, but provided a little bit of freshness that was further accentuated by the fresh slices of beautifully ripe tomatoes. And the soup was great as well. It was savory, but not heavy, with a bit of a bite that hit the back of the throat. The pork was tender and juicy, and everything worked well together making for a delicious lunch.
The Bread Peddler, as you would expect from any self-respecting bakery and bread company, slipped in four slices of a fresh baguette. And while I know that I’m supposed to stick to whole wheat, I couldn’t help myself…I had to try one of them. And it was fantastic! I don’t know if it was because of my bread withdrawals, or if it was just that good, but it made me miss bread immediately. The crust was nice and firm and crunchy, and the inside was perfectly moist. I couldn’t help myself, and had to have another piece…equally as delicious. But I stopped myself, I’m trying to be good. And I can justify it if it is fresh baked with high quality ingredients and not processed, right?
I’m definitely glad that I made the stop in Olympia, and have a feeling I’ll be making a return trip. But I’ll probably wait until I’m done with P90X and don’t feel as guilty about eating a sandwich made with their delicious white bread.