Monday, February 17, 2014

Blog Reader Appreciation Part 18
Ann Sather

Have you ever been completely dreading something only to find out later that it wasn't nearly as bad as you thought it'd be?  Or maybe even that you kind of enjoyed it?

That's exactly how I felt about my long run this weekend.  Based on the previous two weekends, I was expecting nothing more than yet another death march through hell.  What's that phrase... Keep your jean waists, credit card bills, and expectations low?  Something like that?

The point is that I wasn't expecting much more than utter misery.  So imagine my endorphin high on Saturday when I realized midway through my run that the sun was shining and I could feel my face.  I bounded through the rest of the run in pure joy, the kind straight out of the Sound of Music.  Life had meaning and the world was wonderful and rainbows and sprinkles and group hugs.

More importantly, that run motivated me to change my whole outlook on life.  My new motto is:  Don't expect much and your expectations will always be exceeded.

So this one is for all of you out there with low expectations.  May life always surprise you with more than flat tires and crummy first dates.

So no matter what hasn't got your hopes up, sit back and relax: I've got something for you.

Let me tell you exactly how much not to expect.

16 Graphs And Charts That Perfectly Illustrate Twentysomething Life

 Neither were these babies, and that turned out to be pretty great.

18 Babies Who Cannot Believe What They’re Seeing Right Now!

Well, it is true that the older you get, the more hard life lessons you learn.

32 Things You Learn Growing Up. Number 24 Is So True.

Don't have high expectations for peanut butter?

Well two things: One, what's wrong with you?  And two, let me help you out here:

#1. Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies Filled With Caramel and Peanut Butter via Bakeaholic Mama
#2. Peanut Butter & Jelly French Toast Sandwich via Macaroni and Cheesecake
#3. Peanut Butter Cream Filled Donuts via How Sweet It Is

Perfect!  These puns were made you for.

31 Puns That Are So Bad, They’re Good. The More I Read, The More I Laughed!

Don't worry; no one else is either.

If You Argued in Real Life Like You Do on Facebook

It's not hard to do when the place you're going... doesn't have Bloody Marys.

And the best part about this kind of low expectation is that when the brunch turns out to be the best brunch you've had yet, it makes it that much more spectacular.

Yes, you read that right.  My brunch this weekend at Ann Sather's did not involve a single Bloody Mary, and it still was the best one I've had in Chicago.  Let that sink in.

Ann Sather was a little old Swedish lady who decided to make it her life's mission to lay the foundation for the most glorious diner in all of Chicago.  And she did.

Like many restaurants here, it's BYOB, meaning you bring the booze and they supply the OJ.  Or in this case, half a pitcher of Orange, Strawberry, Banana Juice.

I guess technically it was a mimosa, but it felt like so much more.  I don't want to pick favorites and hurt Mary's feelings, but her overachieving little sister made me wonder what's so great about tomato juice... sorta.

But the drinks were absolutely nothing compared to the food.  I could use so, so many adjectives to describe what we were about to experience but I think it might be more effective just to show you.

These cinnamon rolls are the most convincing argument for God I've heard yet.  Or tasted.  Whatever.

The point is, I didn't realize what life meant before our waitress delivered these rolls.  You know how they say life begins when you have your first child?  Wrong.  Life begins when you take your first bite of Ann's rolls.

The only downside is that life almost ends once you finish your breakfast (at least in Derrick's case, anyway).  In addition to eating 1.5 rolls, he also had biscuits and gravy.

Derrick views biscuits and gravy like I do the Bloody Mary: a sacred brunch staple that is all too easy to mess up but, done right, the most glorious thing one can experience.  And according to Derrick, Ann nailed it.

The only problem was that he had just eaten enough Weight Watchers points for an entire village.  That didn't stop him but when he finished, it was (and I quote) "devastating."  I will never see a man so close to explosion as I saw Derrick as I nearly rolled him out of the diner.  If death by biscuits isn't a real thing, it should be... because Derrick was almost the first casualty.

I, on the other hand, ordered rice porridge, biscuits, and fruit.

I broke my self-imposed sugary breakfast ban because, well, I've got a sweet spot for rice pudding.  (Wah-wah.)  Derrick asked why I was eating like Oliver Twist and scoffed at my "District 12 food" all through brunch but I couldn't hear him over the joyful singing in my soul.  Plus, unlike him, I was able to stand up afterwards.

I hesitate to say this because I know how serious of a statement it is, but in this case, it's warranted: hands down, this was the best brunch we've had yet.  Well done, Ann.  I can't wait until we meet again.

Happy Holiday-Weekend Monday!
And if you're at work, then just Monday.

Want more tea? Have a second cup!
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