Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Restaurant Review: Barroco Grill

For the past year or so I have continuously heard my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances talk about this new little restaurant in Lakewood called Barroco Grill.  Located on Madison Ave.  towards the east end of the city this small hole in the wall serves up delicious Columbian fare.  I can't comment on it's authenticity as I have never been to Columbia, have no Columbian friends, and don't believe I have ever eaten Columbian food before.  I can however comment on the taste and atmosphere of the joint.

I ordered the steak arepa.  An arepa is apparently a tortilla that is made from white corn and grilled.  It is then filled with any number of fillings.  Mine had steak, corn, green peppers, and onion.  It was supposed to have mozzarella cheese and mushrooms as well but due to my allergy to dairy and my strong dislike for cooked mushrooms I ordered it without.  Unfortunately when it first came out there was cheese on it, but as soon as I showed the waitress she took it out and in about 5 or so more minutes I had a fresh steaming hot one in front of me.  It came with a healthy serving of seasoned fries and a very tiny yet refreshing fruit cup.  My friends enjoyed their meals too.  One got the Cheesy Corn which is mozzarella, corn, chicken, and bacon all mixed together.  It was a decent portion size and came with Arepa fries which appeared to be more like potato wedges.  She said it was delicious and other friends have told me they're sad for me since I can't try the deliciousness.  It made me question whether an epi pen shot might be worth it.... probably not.  My other friend got a chicken arepa and instead of fries substituted black bean soup.  She ate it all so I have to assume it was tasty as well.

There were also several house sauces that they provided.  I used the cilantro one and a garlic one and both were great.  I know there was also a spicy peanut sauce and a pineapple sauce among others.  I probably should have been brave and tried them all.

I had purchased a groupon for a $20 gift certificate for $5 the other day so all in total our bill went from $30 to $16 (including tip).  I think it's a great value for your money.  Oh and better yet, you can BYOB so pack up your favorite brew or vino and bring it along- money saving and customized to your taste!

The interior of the restaurant is small and a little kitchy but I liked it.  There is a sense of style there and it has a young hip vibe.  I have another gift certificate so I plan on going back soon.  If you want to check out the menu click here.

Oh and sorry I didn't take pictures!!!  Maybe the next time I go I'll remember.

Barrocco Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On My Soapbox

I'm not one to get political on my blog.  In general I let people have their opinions and I have mine.  But lately I'm having a hard time keeping my mouth shut.  This mess about birth control coverage, planned parenthood, and the pro-choice/pro-life debate is really getting to me.  To be clear, I am pro-choice, pro-birth control, and pro-planned parenthood.  Let me explain why I'm having a harder time accepting the view points of those who feel differently than me.

Being pro-choice is NOT being pro-abortion.  I would never tell someone they have to get an abortion, it is even unlikely that I would recommend an abortion to someone.  I do not like the idea of people using abortion instead of practicing safe sex.  BUT it is a woman's choice to do what she wants with her body and there are times when abortions are the best option- albeit an uncomfortable choice for many.

I have a problem with people who say that instead of aborting unwanted babies we can just put them in foster care/ up for adoption or the moms can just take care of them.  This is namely because almost none of the people who I have heard said this are planning to adopt (I on the other hand am).  And, my conservative friends, are less likely to want to support public assistance programs to help these mothers take care of their children.  I've also worked first hand with tons of children in the system and it's a horrible place to be that should be avoided by many.

I've heard the argument that if they can't afford the children they shouldn't have them.  So you'd think this means that these pro-lifers would be in support of lowering the number of unwanted pregnancies.  Yet these are the people saying birth control should not be covered by insurance.  Then I hear the argument that if you can't pay for birth control you either should not have any sex life or you should go to Planned Parenthood.  Again, these same people want to cut funding for Planned Parenthood.  And let's not get started on the fact that Viagra, Cealis, and other ED drugs are covered- and are essentially ONLY about sex not other medical conditions.

As we look at lowering the rate of unwanted pregnancies I think we should turn to the schools.  But AGAIN many of these conservatives refuse to let us teach our students about safe sex.  We can't show them how to use a condom, we can't tell them about birth control.  All we can do is tell them that they shouldn't have sex till their married- and let's face it not only is that naive, but teens don't respond well to strict rules that seem to impede on their ability to make choices for themselves.

In my perfect world there would be comprehensive sex education that encourages teens to wait for a long term exclusive relationship but ALSO teaches them how to use condoms, what their birth control options are, and the dangers of STDs.  This program would help future generations avoid unwanted pregnancies. Insurance would cover a portion of birth control making it accessible to all women.  Planned Parenthood will continue to provide important health services to women and will cover the women who aren't insured.  Birth control use will rise and unwanted pregnancies will decrease.  The overall number of abortions will go down and be used primarily for extreme health situations, cases of rape, and in instances of incest.

What do you think?  I appreciate all viewpoints as long as they are not personal attacks.  If you're pro-choice do you have anything to add?  If you're pro-life what do you think we should do about unwanted pregnancies?  Do you plan on adopting the unwanted kids?  Why or Why not?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lazy Girl: In The Gym

So this lazy girl has been stepping up her game.  On Friday, since I had to be out of my apartment while it was shown by a realtor, I went to the gym for a run on the treadmill and a Zumba class.  I've been building my confidence on the treadmill experimenting with sprints and such for the past two weeks.  I've also been looking at lots of different training plans to increase speed and endurance.  Keeping both of those things in mind I decided to try to run for as long as possible at 6.5 which is a 9:14 pace.  Then after a few minutes at that I kicked it up to around 8.0 which is a 7:30 pace for a full minute and gradually took it back down every 5-10 seconds till I got back to 6.5.  I kept my eye on the clock and I hit the one mile mark after 8 minutes and 54 seconds!  This was by far my personal best.  I haven't been even under 10 minutes ever- at least to my knowledge.  This has given me another boost of confidence and I plan on working on running 2 miles in under 20 minutes as my next goal because I do know I'm a better sprinter than distance runner and I'd like to be decent at both.  I need more goals.  But for now I'm tracking myself on Nike+ and am "running" through New York City.

How do you stay motivated?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Grad School

I'm meeting with my advisor for the first time on Tuesday and one of the things I need to discuss with her is whether or not I plan on per suing my degree full time or part time next year.  So in an effort to better organize my thoughts on it I've decided to create pro/con type lists...


Can work full-time while going to school
Less financial burden at any given time
Potentially less stressful if I remain in my current job where I do not have take home work

It will take me over 2 years to complete the degree
I might lose some of my motivation
Could postpone career opportunities


Can focus fully on my classes
Can potentially work a part-time job
Could finish in as little as a year and a half (I think.)

More money up front
Would have to stop working full time
Might burn out on school

All in all my lists seem relatively even.  Perhaps I should just view it as if I get my dream job for next year I will go part-time.  If I get laid off due to staff reductions I will go full-time.  I'm unsure where I stand if I'd just be keeping this same low-paying job.  I like what I do but I'm not sure it's furthering my career in anyway.

Any ideas? Thoughts?  I'd love your opinions!